SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGEMENT PDF
Project managers find success using a structured ap- proach to project planning, scheduling, resourcing, decision making, and management. This course isn't. Publishing a book is a project, and for Successful Project Manage- ment, I was fortunate to work with a team that has the can-do attitude that every project. PDF | With project managers in short supply and increasing pressures to identify potential project staff internally within the organisation, more.
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Project Characteristics. Management Knowledge and Skills .. . Project Management Institute Overview. management skills. • Better understand how ongoing risk identification impacts a project's success. • Gain tools to assist in your firm's support. This chapter presents an overview of project management concepts. You will will improve your chances of successful project completion and management.
Project-monitoring software systems can help you measure your progress. No single approach works for all projects.
Respond quickly to changes in data or information as they come in, and look for early signs of problems so you can initiate corrective action. Otherwise, all you are doing is monitoring, not exercising control.
Watch the real numbers as they roll in to ensure that they are matching the budgeted amounts. Be ready to explain why extra costs are unavoidable. Common ones that sneak up on projects include increased overtime to keep things on schedule, consultant fees to resolve unforeseen problems, and fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Report progress Stakeholders will generally want regular updates and status reports.
If you keep your stakeholders informed, they may turn out to be good resources when issues do arise. Set clear agendas for your meetings. Keep the momentum going by following up each week on any to-dos and connecting them with the metrics for overall performance. Manage problems Some problems have such far-reaching consequences that they can threaten the success of the entire project.
The most common are: time slippage, scope creep, quality issues, and people problems.
When you see signs like these, get to the heart of the problem quickly and deal with it. Closeout: How to Handle End Matters Though some projects feel endless, they all, eventually, come to a close. How do you, as project manager, know when to make that happen? And how do you go about it? Evaluate project performance Before closing out your project, your team needs to meet its goals or determine, along with key stakeholders, that those goals no longer apply.
Compare your progress with the scope everyone agreed on at the beginning. Research has shown that in general, project possess a specialized set of factors which if favourable can make the project successful.
These are called the key success factors or variables by some authors Cousons , Samaras and Yensuang in their works. The central objective of this study is to improve the level of project delivery in Nigeria, through the identification and integration of the critical success factors of projects into the project management system of projects, by way of designs, cost and time estimates as well as implementation of the above schedules during project execution. In order to test the statistical validity of effects of answers obtained on the above question to successful project delivery, the following hypothetical proposition is tested: H Adequate application of the critical success factors of project management does not lead to significant positive improvement in project delivery.
Ntamere defined project management as managing and directing time, materials and costs to complete a particular project in an orderly and economical manner, so as to meet established objectives in time, budgeted amount and to achieve technical results. A project has a defined starting point and a technical point. Project management hence, is perceived as having developed out of the growing necessity to deal with the growing complexity of inter-disciplinary transaction in organization.
According to Butler , 'modern executives must be cognizant of the myriad of non-structured undertakings required to complete a project within time, cost and performance parameters'. The status of these projects may vary from conception to completion. As the executive learns that he cannot keep track on all work efforts for which he is responsible. Ndiomu opined that 'whatever the size of a project and how properly the project is planned, proper management guarantees the success of the project while Nwankwo argued that 'a good manager can take a deficient organizational structure work.
In reality then, a project is one of several subsystems in an organization. Samaras and Yensuang further outlined the responsibilities of the project manager within the project management process to include: i. Establish project objectives ii.
Defines tasks iii.
Identify interdependencies Iv. Set milestones v. Allocate resources vi. Assign responsibility and accountability vii Monitor performance Project management does not operate in a vacuum but in an organizational arrangement.
And the task of the project manager is to implement the project objectives within the framework of the organization structure provided for the project. The project organization is seen here as focal, since it provides total project visibility, it is integrative in nature and becomes the hub of all activities, both internal and external which affects the project.
It is a management mechanism and does not replace the functional activities of the various departments; it supplements them. Managers use implementation to make planned changes in organizations by creating environments in which changes can survive and be rooted.
Implementation is a procedure directed by a manager to install planned changes in an organization. There is widespread agreement that managers are the key process actors and that the intent of implementation is to install planned changes, whether they be novel or routine. However, procedural steps in implementation have been difficult to specify because implementation is ubiquitous.
10 Rules of Highly Successful Project Management
Amachree made several important distinctions pertinent to these processes of planned change, identifying four procedures called the entrepreneurial, exploration, control and implementation sub processes. From this perspective, implementation can be viewed as a procedure used in planning change process that lays out steps taken by the entire stakeholders to support change.
Kerzner, summarized as follows: a.
Minimizing the need for continuous reporting c. Identification of time limits for scheduling. Identification of a methodology for trade-off analysis. Measurement of accomplishment against plans. Early identification of problems so that corrective action may follow. Improved estimating capability for planning. Knowing when objectives cannot be met or will be exceeded. Therefore, the project manager has the duty to control the company's resources within time, cost and performance.
For some companies, it means manpower, money, equipment i. The project manager has to devote more time on human, financial, and technical variables as the key to the realization of project implementation.
From available literature, it is apparent that the following determinants are capable of affecting project implementation in the states in review if not handled with care.
This in-exhaustive list includes: 1. Escalation of project cost due to inflation 2. Difficulty in payment to contractors due to bureaucracy in government parastatals.
Contractors performing below standard and expectation. Frequent changes in government. Increase in the scope of the project. Change in pre-contract consultants such as architects. Ineffective project finance arrangement 8. Reorganization of the parastatals.
Change in the original design Indiscriminate award of contracts without reference to funds available, location etc. Projects and contracts determined on political considerations. Poor planning or shoddy work by architects. Specification of costly and imported materials Are the goals clear, and can they succeed? Project mission has been found to refer to the condition where the goals of the project mission has been found and understood. Beck considers project management as not only dependent on top management for authority, direction and support, but ultimately the conduit for implementing top management plans, or goals for the organization.
Project Management Approach
Pinto and Slevin , has drawn parallels between the stages of the implementation process. The first step in the moving stage. For instance, Anyanwu found that the degree, to which clients are personally involved in the implementation process, will cause a great variation in their support for that project.
Anyanwu viewed client consultant as the first stage of a programme to implement change. It is often required throughout the life cycle of the project Schultz, Pinto and Slevin warns that: it would be dangerous for the project manager to assume that since client consultant was satisfactory at an early stage, this activity could be ignored for the remainder of the project.
Nwachukwu, However, an unfortunate situation could develop, as Pinto and Slevin observed: in many situations, personnel for the project team are chosen with less-than-full regard for the skills necessary to actively contribute to the success of implementation. Locus as an implementation strategist, discusses the importance of user participation in the early stages of a system development as a way of improving the likelihood of later acceptance.
The smaller the area inside the pentagon, the more constrained the project is. I once heard a senior manager ask a project leader how long it would take to deliver a planned new large software system. The project leader replied, "Two years. I need it in six months. A better response would have been to negotiate a realistic outcome through a series of questions such as the following: How critical is the six-month target?
Does something drastic happen if we don't deliver in six months [schedule is a constraint], or is that just a desirable target date [schedule is a driver]? If the six months is a firm limit, what subset of the requested functionality do you absolutely need delivered by then?
Can I get more people to work on it? Do you care how well it works? Figure 1: A flexibility diagram for a project that is staff-constrained and schedule-constrained, with cost being a driver, and quality and features being degrees of freedom. Tip 3: Define product release criteria Early in the project, decide what criteria will indicate whether the product is ready for release. Possible release criteria might include the following: There are no open high-priority defects.
The number of open defects has decreased for X weeks and the estimated number of residual defects is acceptable.
Performance goals are achieved on all target platforms. Specific required functionality is fully operational. Quantitative reliability goals are satisfied. Specified legal, contractual, or regulatory goals are met. The optimum marketplace time to release has arrived. Customer acceptance criteria are satisfied. Whatever criteria you choose should be realistic, objectively measurable, documented, and aligned with what "quality" means to your customers.
Decide early on how you will tell when you're done, track progress toward your goals, and stick to your guns when confronted with pressure to ship before the product is ready for prime time.
Carefully consider your target market segments when deciding on release criteria [Rothman, ]. The early adopters and enthusiasts have a higher tolerance for defects than do the pragmatic early majority of customers or the conservative late majority. In contrast, time to market and innovative features or technology usage are most important to the early adopters. Tip 4: Negotiate achievable commitments Despite pressure to promise the impossible, never make a commitment you know you can't keep.
Engage in good-faith negotiations with customers, managers, and team members about goals that are realistically achievable. Negotiation is required whenever there is a gap between the schedule or functionality the key project stakeholders demand and your best prediction of the future as embodied in project estimates.
Principled negotiation involves four precepts [Fisher, ]: Separate the people from the problem. Focus on interests, not positions. Invent options for mutual gain.
Insist on using objective criteria. Any data you have from previous projects will help you make persuasive arguments, although there is no real defence against truly unreasonable people. I once met with an aggressive and intimidating senior manager to discuss our department's software process improvement plans. My process improvement group had carefully studied the problem and estimated that the end of was the earliest date that was even remotely feasible. After some debate, Jack grudgingly agreed to the end of , but I regarded even that goal as pure fantasy.
After additional discussion, I finally said, "Jack, I'm not going to commit to the end of He wasn't sure what to say next. Jack eventually agreed to the target date to which I was willing to commit. Plan to renegotiate commitments when project realities such as staff, budget, or deadlines change, unanticipated problems arise, risks materialise, or new requirements are added.
No one likes to have to modify his commitments. However, if the reality is that the initial commitments won't be achieved, let's not pretend that they will up until the moment of unfortunate truth.
Planning the Project Tip 5: Write a plan Some people believe the time spent writing a plan could be better spent writing code, but I don't agree.
2. Do Not Micromanage
The hard part isn't writing the plan. The hard part is actually doing the planning-thinking, negotiating, balancing, asking, listening, and thinking some more. Actually writing the plan is mostly transcription at that point. The time you spend analysing what it will take to solve the problem will reduce the number of surprises you have to cope with later in the project. Today's multi-site and cross-cultural development projects demand even more careful planning and tracking than do traditional projects undertaken by a co-located team.
A useful plan is much more than a schedule or work breakdown structure of tasks to perform. It also includes: Staff, budget, and other resource estimates and plans. Team roles and responsibilities.
How you will acquire and train the necessary staff. Assumptions, dependencies, and risks. Descriptions of, and target dates for, major deliverables. Identification of the software development life cycle that you'll follow. How you will track and monitor the project. Metrics that you'll collect. How you will manage any subcontractor relationships. Your organisation should adopt a standard software project plan template, which can be tailored for various kinds of projects.
This standard describes a comprehensive template, sufficient for the largest projects. Study this template to see what sections would make sense for the types and sizes of projects that you work on. If you commonly tackle different kinds of projects, such as major new product development as well as small enhancements, adopt a separate project plan template for each. Avoid overburdening small projects with excessive documentation that adds little value. The project plan should be no any longer nor more elaborate than necessary to make sure you can successfully execute the project.
But always write a plan. Tip 6: Decompose tasks to inch-pebble granularity Inch-pebbles are miniature milestones get it? Breaking large tasks into multiple small tasks helps you estimate them more accurately, reveals work activities you might not have thought of otherwise, and permits more accurate, fine-grained status tracking.
Select inch-pebbles of a size that you feel you can estimate accurately. I feel most comfortable with inch-pebbles that represent tasks of about 5 to 15 labour-hours, or about one to three days in duration. Overlooked tasks are a common contributor to schedule slips, so breaking large problems into small bits reveals more details about the work that must be done and improves your ability to make accurate estimates.
You can track progress based on the number of inch-pebbles that have been completed at any given time, compared to those you planned to complete by that time. Defining the project's work in terms of inch-pebbles is an aid to tracking status through earned value analysis [Lewis, ]. The earned value technique compares the investment of effort or dollars that you've made to date with progress as measured by completed inch-pebbles.
4. Framework for Project Management
Tip 7: Develop planning worksheets for common large tasks If your team frequently undertakes certain common tasks, such as implementing a new object class, executing a system test cycle, or performing a product build, develop activity checklists and planning worksheets for these tasks. Each checklist should include all of the steps the large task might need.
These checklists and worksheets will help each team member identify and estimate the effort associated with each instance of the large task he must tackle. People work in different ways and no single person will think of all the necessary tasks, so engage multiple team members in developing the worksheets.
Using standard worksheets will help the team members adopt common processes that they can tune up as they gain experience. Tailor the worksheets to meet the specific needs of individual projects. Tip 8: Plan to do rework after a quality control activity I've seen project task lists in which the author assumed that every testing experience will be a success that lets you move into the next development activity.
However, almost all quality control activities, such as testing and peer reviews, find defects or other improvement opportunities. Your project schedule or work breakdown structure should include rework as a discrete task after every quality control activity.If the cost is significantly higher or lower, the project team explores reasons for the difference between expected costs and actual costs.
Be ready to explain why extra costs are unavoidable. You can finalize these dates when you sit down to define your project schedule in the next step.
Equipment especially designed and built for a research project is another example. The tools incorporate a number of "cost drivers" you can adjust to make the tool more accurately model your project, based on the technologies used, the team's experience, and other factors. Prentice Hall Inc.
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