Answering the questions below assures that all stakeholders share a common understanding of the requirements and scope:. What are the limits on cost, time or performance on the product itself? What are the limits on the project in terms of priorities, resources and interfaces?
Are there risks associated with the project or the product? What is the impact of magnitude, complexity and technology of the product and the project? Accountabilities must be identified for all. Leadership and interpersonal skills are essential. A system of communications and team involvement is essential to success. Organizational forms for project management may be viewed as a continuum, from the functional form on one end to the pure project form on the other and the matrix somewhere in between.
A functional organization is oriented toward functional groups, with work activities organized into similar specialties, the organization is said to have the functional form. The staff is grouped by specialty. Functional organizations still have projects; however, the scope of the project is limited to the function. A project organization is organized around projects, with project managers having formal authority over the people who perform the work, the organization is said to have the project form.
The staff is grouped by project and project managers, which have a great deal of independence and authority.
A matrix organization is a combination of the project and functional organizations. The matrix form of organization is often found in companies that have a number of projects underway at any given time, none of them sufficiently large to warrant the creation of a separate project organization.
The matrix organization is by its very nature a compromise, attempting to balance the needs of the project manager and the functional manager. The role of the functional manager is to provide functional policy, procedural guidance, adequately skilled personnel, and maintain technical excellence. That is, how the technical work will be done, selecting the technology required standards, codes, and discipline practices. The functional manager is responsible for who will be assigned to perform the project work representing the functional department, division, or group.
The role of the project manager is to plan, organize, staff, evaluate, direct, control, and lead the project from concept to completion. That is, what project work will be done to meet the project scope, cost, and quality objectives and when the work will be done to meet the project schedule objectives. However, with regard to project cost objectives, the functional manager is responsible for estimating the cost of the project work and the project manager is responsible for determining whether or not the project budget can afford it.
In the event of a conflict between the project manager and the functional manager, both should be able to resolve their conflict and arrive at an equitable solution that will benefit their company and is a credit to their profession and their industry. The project manager performs many leadership functions in directing project activities.
These include planning, organizing, monitoring and controlling project activities. When selecting a project manager, there are a number of factors that must be considered in developing criteria. These factors include interpersonal, technical and political skills. Perhaps the project manager might be an expert in the primary technology at play in the project, but often this is not the case. Although a generalist, the project manager needs to have enough expertise and credibility to lead a team of technical experts. Project managers need good information to successfully manage their projects.
In a company of any size, the amount of information that will need to be collected will dictate the use and interaction with computerized corporate information reporting system. These systems may or may not have been designed with the needs of the project manager in mind. If weaknesses exist in these systems, they may need to be corrected. For this reason, it is important for a project manager to understand the requirements of a project information reporting system.
Visual project management
Quality on projects requires the identification of standards and criteria to be set in each phase of the project life cycle for both the product and the process. Quality means making and meeting agreed to commitments with a constant eye for improvement. Plans must be more than schedules in that they address all nine elements of the project management process.
Planned Commitments includes:. Planning aims to reduce the unknowns and uncertainty and to increase the likelihood of the project succeeding. If there is not enough information to produce a plan, then the planning should focus on how to learn enough to plan the next stage. The following are the components of a project plan:. Scope and mission define project boundaries establish goals and objectives.
This includes the business case and provides a basis for decision-making. Scheduling requires the evaluation of activity sequences and duration plus resource requirements to create the project schedule. Budgeting is the development of an overall cost estimate based on individual work items.
This can then be used as a cost baseline for measuring project performance. Personnel needs are specified based on project activities. Determines recruitment, selection, and training of project team members. Evaluation and control is required during all phases of the project. Risk and problems must be systematically identified, assessed and managed. Proper risk management implies control of possible future events, and is proactive rather than reactive. Scheduling is an essential element of the planning process. Project requirements and the WBS are used to create network diagrams and Gantt charts.
Fast tracking and crashing are used to compress schedules. Project cost, schedule and performance are highly dependent on available resources. The project owners have a responsibility to provide the necessary resources to support the project and to maintain ongoing surveillance over the use of those resources. Project planning estimates the resources to tasks. However, there must be flexibility in assigning resources so that they can be used in the most effective manner. Budgeting extends the concept of resource allocation to include estimates of equipment, overhead and contingency.
The project budget is the total financial plan for the project. Accurate budgeting is critical because it provides management with an understanding of the return on investment ROI from a project. In addition, a project budget establishes the foundation for effective project control. Any other way is inefficient. Complicating the matter, busy executive sponsors and key project stakeholders no longer have the luxury of time for lengthy project status reports or weekly status briefings. Decisions must be made in the moment, with whatever facts are available at the time.
Because of this, traditional project management discipline that relies on complex processes and document-heavy approaches are rapidly being left behind in favor of more agile-based methods. Lengthy, paper-based project artifacts take significant time and effort to both generate and consume. Research has also shown that information presented in text-based formats is ineffective and inefficient.
Visual project management
In fact, several supporting statistics exploring this concept indicate that, in order for information to be conveyed most efficiently, it needs to be visual. Researchers from quintagroup. The key benefit of this new approach is speed, as critical project information can be produced, replicated, and digested in more effective and efficient ways. Taking this new approach also provides additional distinct benefits to project managers, team members, and, most importantly, key stakeholders:. In today's time-compressed and lean business culture, busy executive sponsors and key project stakeholders simply do not have the luxury of time to digest a verbose, three-page project status report on a weekly basis.
Likewise, their double-booked calendars can no longer support attending status briefing meetings that simply regurgitate information that is otherwise available in alternative formats.
Project decision-makers must constantly make conscious decisions when to be engaged versus when to simply monitor progress. Time-honored, structured processes and document-laden approaches to managing projects are rapidly being left behind in favor of more agile-based methodologies.
Established waterfall and command-and-control structures no longer address the new, innovative manner in which work is now being conducted and managed. The agile movement wasn't started with the desire to eliminate traditional work organization tactics or project management methodology, but to make them more balanced, less rigid, lighter in documentation, and more fluid in planning. In fact, agile approaches to managing projects have started to become entrenched within even the most conservative industries like financial services, insurance, and healthcare.
Self-managed teams are beginning to replace hierarchical management structures. Cross-pollination from a number of different methodologies has led to an impressive diversity of custom approaches dedicated to finding the most efficient and effective way of getting the work done. One of many new customized approaches gaining traction in project management circles today is a concept that presents project-related information in a visual, often graphical, form to improve clarity, visibility, and understanding of the scope and operation of the effort.
Visual project management offers up information delivered in such a way that anyone can consume it at a time, place, and manner that is convenient to them. This information is typically delivered in the form of emails, status reports, project status meetings, conference calls, and in some cases, instant or text-based messaging. The recipient doesn't really get a choice regarding whether they receive the communication or not; nor do they have a say in what format it is delivered. Alternatively, more and more information is being made available electronically, to be digested when the recipient has the time to review it.
The recipient chooses what information they want to receive and when they want to access it. Most importantly, it creates an opportunity for the project manager and the project stakeholders to have a conversation about what information and specific data points are most important to them. Then, leveraging any number of visual thinking tools, the project manager can design the format that most clearly and efficiently serves the stakeholders needs. Today's global environment is becoming increasingly more complex and interconnected at an almost incomprehensible rate.
Raw data, in and of itself, is practically useless without proper context.
Similarly, as the pace of change accelerates, and as business challenges become more multi-faceted and complex, many leaders are increasingly finding it difficult to visualize and organize the chaos created among the myriad of data points, environmental and market factors, or influences, both internal and external. Witness the typical strategic planning meetings where, after lengthy discussion around complex organizational concepts and bulleted charts, the situation devolves hopelessly into utter confusion and frustration.
Only after someone, out of sheer desperation of attempting to get his or her point across, finally draws out the concept on a whiteboard or easel pad, does the discussion finally become productive again. So, what is this lens of visual perspective that allows a seemingly meaningless stream of complex data to become a desired commodity? It is a concept known as data visualization and the corresponding discipline of visual thinking.
Data visualization refers to the technique of communicating complex data or information by converting it into a visual object or graphical representation in order to aid in visual processing and comprehension.
Related Personal Reality: Project Coordination
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved