LEARNING OBJECTIVE You will become familiar with: the definition of a project and its attributes; the key constraints within which a project must be managed; how a project is born; the life of a project; the steps involved in the project management process ; the benefits of project management.
ATTRIBUTES OF A PROJECT A project is an endeavor to accomplish a specific objective through a unique set of interrelated tasks and the effective utilization of resources. The following attributes help define a project: A project has a well-defined objective – an expected result or product;
CONTINUE A project is carried out through a series of interdependent tasks; A project utilizes various resources to carry out the tasks; A project has a specific time frame, or finite life span; A project may be a unique or one-time endeavor;
CONTINUE A project has a customer. The customer is the entity that provides the funds necessary to accomplish the project – it can be a person, an organization, or a group of two or more people or organization; Finally, a project involves a degree of uncertainty.
EXAMPLES OF PROJECTS Developing and introducing a new product; Planning a wedding; Designing and implementing a computer system; Modernizing a factory; Designing and producing a brochure; Building a tree house.
FACTORS CONSTRAINING PROJECT SUCCESS The successful accomplishment of the project objective is usually constrained by four factors: scope, cost, schedule, and customer satisfaction.
PROJECT SCOPE The scope of a project – also known as the project scope or the work scope – is all the work that must be done in order to satisfy the customer that the deliverables meet the requirements or acceptance criteria agreed upon at onset of the project.
THE PROJECT COST The cost of a project is the amount the customer has agreed to pay for acceptable project deliverables. The project cost is based on a budget that includes an estimate of the costs associated with the various resources that will be used to accomplish the project.
THE PROJECT SCHEDULE The schedule for a project is the timetable that specifies when each activity should start and finish. The project objective usually states the time by which the project scope must be completed in terms of a specific date agreed upon by the customer and the individual or organization performing the work.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION The objective of any project is to complete the scope within budget by a certain time to the customers satisfaction. To help assure the achievement of this objective, it is important to develop a plan before the start of the project; this plan should include all the work tasks, associated costs, and estimates of the time necessary to complete them.
THE PROJECT MANAGER The challenge to the project manager is to prevent, anticipate, and/or overcome such circumstances in order to complete the project scope on schedule, within budget, and to the customers satisfaction. The project manager needs to be proactive in planning and communicating and provide leadership to the project team to accomplish the project objective.
CONTINUE The project manager must be aware of the degree of customer satisfaction throughout the project. By maintaining regular communication with the customer,the project manager demonstrates to the customer that he or she is genuinely concerned with the expectations of the customer and prevents unpleasant surprises later.
PROJECT LIFE CYCLE Figure shows the four phases of the project life cycle and the relative amount of effort and time devoted to each phase. Project are born when a need is identified by the customer – the people or the organization willing to provide funds to have the need satisfied.
THE FIRST PHASE.IDENTIFY A NEED This phase involves the identification of a need, problem, or opportunity and can result in the customers requesting proposals from individuals, a project team, or organizations (contractors) to address the identified need or solve the problem. The need and requirements are usually written up by the customer in a document called a request for proposal (RFP).
Through the RFP, the customer then asks individuals or contractors to submit proposals on how they might solve the problem, along with the associated cost and schedule. A couple who need a new house may spend time identifying requirements for the house –size, style, number of rooms, location, maximum amount they want to spend, and date by which they would like to move on.
THE SECOND PHASE.DEVELOP A PROPOSED SOLUTION The second phase of the project life cycle is the development of a proposed solution to the need or problem. This phase results in the submission of a proposal to the customer by one or more individuals or organizations) who would like to have customer pay them to subsequently implement the proposed solution.
In this phase, the contractor effort becomes dominant. Contractors interested in responding to the RFP may spend several weeks developing approaches to solving the problem, estimating the types and amounts of resources that would be needed, and estimating the time it would take to design and implement the proposed solution. Each contractor documents this information in a written proposal.
All of the contractors submit their proposals to the customer. After the customer evaluates the submissions and selects the winning proposal, the customer and the winning contractor negotiate and sign a contract (agreement).
THE THIRD PHASE. PERFORM THE PROJECT. The third phase of the project life cycle is the implementation of the proposed solution. This phase begins after the customer decides which of the proposed solutions will best fulfill the need and an agreement is reached between the customer and the individual who submitted the proposal.
This phase, referred to as performing the project, involves doing the detailed planning for the project and then implementing that plan to accomplish the project objective. This phase results in the accomplishment of the project objective, leaving the customer satisfied that the full scope of the work was completed in a quality manner, within budget, and on time.
THE FINAL PHASE.TERMINATE THE PROJECT. The final phase of the project life cycle is terminating the project. An important task during this phase is evaluating performance of the project in order to learn what could be improved if a similar project were to be carried out in the future.
This phase should include obtaining feedback from the customer to determinate the level of the customers satisfaction and whether the project met the customers expectations. Project life cycles vary in length from a few weeks to several years, depending on the content, complexity,and magnitude of the project.
THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCESS The project management process means planning the work and then working the plan. Project management involves a process of first establishing a plan and then implementing that plan to accomplish the project objective.
THIS PLANNING EFFORT INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING STEPS: 1. Clearly define the project objective. 2. Divide and subdivide the project scope into major pieces or work packages. A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a hierarchical tree of work elements or items accomplished or produced by the project team during the project.
3. Define the specific activities that need to be performed for each work package in order to accomplish the project objective. 4. Graphically portray the activities in the form of a network diagram. 5. Make a time estimate for how long it will take to complete each activity. 6. Make a cost estimate for each activity. 7. Calculate a project schedule and budget to determine whether the project can be completed within the required time, with the allotted funds, and with the available resources.
Planning determines what needs to be done, who will do it, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. The result of this effort is a baseline plan. The baseline plan for a project can be displayed in graphical or tabular format for each time period (week,month) from the start of the project to its completion.
Information should include: The start and completion dates for each activity; The amounts of the various resources that will be needed during each time period; The budget for each time period, as well as the cumulative budget from the start of the project through each time period.
The baseline plan involves performing the work according to the plan and controlling the work so that the project scope is achieved within the budget and schedule, to the customers satisfaction. The key to effective project control is measuring actual progress and comparing it to planned progress on a timely and regular basis and taking corrective action immediately, if necessary.
BENEFITS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT The ultimate benefit of implementing project management techniques is having a satisfied customerwhether you are the customer of your own project, such as remodeling your basement, or a business (contractor) being paid by a customer to perform a project.
Completing the full project scope in a quality manner, on time, and within budget provides a great feeling of satisfaction. If you are the project manager, you have the satisfaction of knowing you led a successful project effort. If you are a member of a project team that successfully accomplished a project, you feel the satisfaction of being on a winning team. When project are successful, everybody wins!!!!