Project Management Test 1

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What are some defining characteristics of projects?
1. An established objective(goals)
2. A defined life span with a begining and end
3. The involvment of several departments and professionals (Specialized teams for different tasks)
4.Doing things that hve never been done before(accomplishing someting “new”/unique)
5.Specific time, cost, and performance requirements(these are what evaluations involve)
what a project is not
not everyday work, not routine, repetitive work. Projects are done only once!
The project life cycle
Defining stage, planning stage, Executing stage, Closing stage
Defining Stage
Specifications of the project are otlined,objectives,team formation, responsibilities assigned
Planning Stage
plans developed to determine what the project will entail, scheduling, and quality level/budget
Executing stage
Major portions of the work takes place(ie the bridge is produced) time/cost used for control. Forecast, revisions, changes needed etc.
Closing Stage
delivering the project, redeploying project resources (re-assigning), and post project reviews(assessing performance etc)
• What reasons account for the increasing importance of Project Management?
1. Compression of the product life cycle
2. Knowledge explosion
3. Trple bottom line
4. Corporate Downsizing
5. Increased Customer Focus
1. Compression of the product life cycle
(The fast rate of life for new products ie: xbox-xbox 360 etc NO ROOM FOR ERROR
2. Knowledge explosion
(new knowledge expands complexity so the need for new methods is evident)
3. Trple bottom line
(planet, people, profit- environmental concerns= can’t just focus on profit maximization)
4. Corporate Downsizing
(project management is replacing middle management- outsourcing is done, and more responsibilities rely on project managers)
5. Increased Customer Focus
(Increased competition= the need for more value creation-customization for specific needs= closer relationships needed)
The two dimensions of the project management process are
Sociocultural and Technical
Sociocultural Dimension elements include
Leadership, Problem solving, Teamwork, Negotiation, Politics, Customer expectation (relationship interactions)
Technical Dimenssion elements include
Scope, WBS, Schedules, Resource allocation, status reports (functions)
“works well with others”
Refers to the # 1 criterion for CIO’s – Strong communication and interpersonal skills is necessary.
Four activities of the strategic management process
1. Review and define the organizational mission
2. Set long-range goals and objectives (BASED OFF SWOT
3. Analyze and formulate strategies to reach objectives
4. Implement strategies through projects
Bread and butter projects (Top left)
Highly feasible(easy-low value
involve evolutionary improvements to current products and services(software upgrades/cost reduction efforts)
Pearls(top right)
easy–good profit value
represent commercial advances using technology
oyster(bottom right)
Hard to make (low feasibility) but generate good profit value
White elephant
low feasibility(hard to make)–low profits
• Why does a project manager need to understand his/her organization’s mission and strategy?
two reasons:
1. So they can make appropriate decisions adjustments
2. So they can be effective project advocates (demonstrate why their project is good!)
What are the two primary categories of selection criteria for projects?
1. Financial- (high confidence so numbers can be used)
2. Non-Financial- (highlights strategic importance with words/other reasons for selection such as: building customer relationships etc)
What are the two primary financial criteria for selecting projects?
NPV and Payback
uses managements minimum desired return- if the result is positive it is pushed for further consideration- If negative, the project is rejected
determines the length of time required for a project’s cash inflows to recover its initial expenditure
Characteristics of good objectives
Specific(in targeting an objective)
Measurable(establish measurable idicators of progress)
Assignable (assign objective to one person for completion)
Realistic (State what can realistically be done)
Time Related (Sten when objectives can be achieved)
Functionalist Organization
based on hierarchy coordination through regular management channels
Advantages of functionalist organizations
no change(projects completed in structure of parent organization)
Flexibility(Specialists can be moved through departments and are readily available)
In depth expertise-
Easy Post-Project Transition- Normal career paths maintained
Disadvantages of functionalist organizations
Lack of focus-many different objective
Poor integration- specialists may not work the best when involved in different projects from their own
Slow- Takes longer to complete due to slow response time(information circulation)
Lack of ownership- low motivation(not directed towards them)
Projectized organization
Any organizational structure in which the project manager has full authority to assign priorities, apply resources, and direct the work of persons assigned to the project.
Advantages of Projectized
Simple- teams stay in their teams only
Fast- projects get done quickly because of devotion
Cohesive- (unified) and motivated
Cross functional integration- Variety of specialists work closely together
Disadvantages of projectized
Expensive-(new management position, and constant resource requirement)
Limited technology expertise-
Difficult post project transition- WHat to do with specialists afterwards?
Matrix organization
an organization in which specialists from different parts of the organization are brought together to work on specific projects but still remain part of a line-and-staff structure
Matrix advantages
Strong project focus
easier post project transition
Matrix disadvantages
CONFLICT- between functional managers and project managers
Infighting- competition for scarce resources
Stressful-no unity of command(too many bosses)
Slow- too many bosses to relay information through
look at pictures starting on pg 66
weak matrix
A matrix structure in which functional managers have primary control over project activities and the project manager coordinates project work.(schedules etc) Functional managers=shot callas
Balanced matrix
A matrix structure where the project manager is responsible for defining what needs to be accomplish while the functional managers concerned how it will be accomplished
Strong matrix
a matrix structure in which the project manager has primary control over project activities and functional manager support project work.(creates the “feel”)
Organizational culture
the shared values, norms, principles, traditions, and ways of doing things that influence the way organizational members act.
10 primary characteristics that capture the essence of an organization’s culture
1. Member Identity (as a whole)
2. Team emphasis (group work rather than individual work)
3. Management focus(degree of MGmt decision)
4.Unit integration(how much work can be done on own as unit)
5.Control(rules etc)
6. Risk tolerance(aggressiveness etc)(low/high
7.Reward Criteria(degree to which promotions etc)
8. Conflict tolerance
9. Means vs orientation-outcomes over techniques
10. Open systems focus-monitoring of change
Steps of Defining the project
1. Defining the project scope
2. Establishing project priority steps
3. Creating the work breakdown structure
4. Integrating the WBS with the organization
5. Coding the WBS for the information system
A major product or result that must be finished in order to complete a project. (hard wood floor) 3 steps(list of specifications),(technical manual),(approved software)
an event that represents significant, identifiable accomplishments toward the projects completion
A “map” of the project, assures project managers that all products and work elements are identified. Or is simply the outline of the project.
how does WBS help the project manager?
facilitates the evaluation of cost, time, and technical performance of all levels. Problems can be quickly adressed and coordinated.
The lowest level of WBS is called
Work Package
Work Package is:
work packages are short duration tasks that have a definite start and stop point
Each work package in the WBS
defines work(what)
identifies time to complete work package(how long)
Identifies cost
Identifies resources needed to complete the work package
How well
Categories: Project Management