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Project Management: Tolerance for risk

Tolerance for risk

 

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th edition).

 

 

Traditional versus nontraditional projects

Executive View of Project Management

Old View

New View

Project management is a career path.

Project management is a strategic or core competency.

We need our people certified as PMP®s.

We need people certified in project management, business processes and possibly other areas such as program management and risk management.

Project management is a process for executing work.

Project management has evolved more into a business process than a pure project management process.

Our project managers need traditional organizational behavior training.

We need specialized training in organizational behavior, including such topics such as virtual teams, stakeholder relations management, and managing diversity.

Traditional versus NonTraditional Projects

Managing Traditional Projects

Managing NonTraditional Projects

Single-person sponsorship

Governance by committee

Possibly a single stakeholder

Multiple stakeholders

Project decision-making

Both project and business decision-making

An inflexible project management methodology

Flexible or “fluid” project management methodology

Periodic status reporting

Real-time reporting

Success is defined by the triple constraints of time, cost and scope.

Sucess is defined by competing constraints and value.

KPIs are derived from the earned-value measurement system.

Unique value-driven KPIs.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th edition).

Crisis Projects: Project Management Implications

Crisis Projects: Project Management Implications

  1. Leader of the Crisis Team

  • Rare that a project manager leads a crisis team.

  • Decisions made are not the usual decisions made by a project manager.

  • Project sponsor will assume dual role and be leader of the project team as well.

  • Leader of crisis team will have complete authority to commit corporate resources to the project.

  • Project manager, as we know it, will actually be an assistant project manager.

  1. The Crisis Committee

  • Composed of the senior-most levels of management.

  • Should have multi-functional membership.

  • Project managers and assistant project managers report to the entire membership of the committee.

  1. Crisis Communications

  • Leader of the crisis team will be the primary spokesperson; responsible for all media communications.

  • Media cannot be ignored and has the power to portray the company as victim or villain.

  • Senior-most levels of management especially executives with professional communication skills must perform crisis communication with the media.

  • Corporation should speak with one voice. Be swift, honest, compassionate, open, sincere in responding to the victims and their families.

  • Information must not be withheld. It may be considered stonewalling.

  1. Stakeholder Management

  • Identify all parties affected by the crisis.

  • Each stakeholder can have different interests namely, financial, medical, environmental, political or social unrest.

  1. Assume Responsibility

  • Company must accept responsibility for its actions (or inactions) immediately , and without being coerced into doing so.

  1. Response Time

  • Usually a small window of opportunity where quick and decisive action can limit or even reduce the damages.

  • The media views quick response favorably.

  1. Compassion

  • Respect for people mandatory irrespective of who was at fault.

  • Emotions of victims and their families expected to run high.

  • Public expects company to demonstrate compassion.

  • Be on the scene of the disaster as quickly as possible.

  • Delay may be viewed as lack of compassion or , even worse, that the company is hiding something.

  1. Documentation

  • Decisions need to be clearly documented for legal reasons.

  • Project manager and associated team members should possess strong writing skills.

  1. Capture Lessons Learned

  • Capture lessons learned from both internal and external crises.

  • Examine risk triggers, develop risk management templates and a corporate credo.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th edition).

 

Project Office and Business Case Development

Project Office and Business Case Development

The Project Office needs to become an expert in business case development.

Most project managers are appointed after the business case is developed.

Reasons:

  1. Project manager may not be able to contribute to the business case.
  2. Project might not be approved and/or funded and it’s an added cost to have the project manager on board early.
  3. Project is not well-defined yet. It may be too early to determine who would be the best choice for project manager.

Issues:

  1. The project manager ultimately assigned may not have sufficient knowledge about assumptions, constraints, and alternatives considered during business case development. This could lead to a less than optimal project plan.
  2. Project charter–prepared by someone else—may not have all the necessary assumptions, alternatives and constraints.
  3. The earlier the project manager is assigned, the better the plan and greater the commitment to the project.
  4. Business case development often results in a highly optimistic approach with little regard for schedule and/or budget. Pressure is then on the project manager to deliver–irregardless.

Conclusions:

  1. Project Office should develop expertise in feasibility studies, cost-benefit analysis and business case development.
  2. Templates, forms and checklists should be readily available to help in business case development.
  3. Project Office becomes a practical support to the sales force in making more realistic promises to customers and aid in generating more sales.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th edition).

Quality Circles

English: Every project is implemented under th...

English: Every project is implemented under three constraints, scope, costs and schedule. The diagram shows quality as the fourth constraint or as a result of the three aforementioned constraints Project Management (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quality Circles — small groups of employees who meet frequently to help resolve company quality problems and provide recommendations to managers.

Meet frequently either at someone’s house or at the plant before work begins.

Identifies problems, analyzes data, recommends solutions and carries on management-approved changes.

Success heavily dependent on management’s willingness to listen to employee recommendations.

Key elements of quality circles:

  • Team effort.

  • Completely voluntary.

  • Trained in group dynamics, motivation, communications and problem solving.

  • Rely upon each other.

  • Management support active but as needed.

  • Creativity encouraged.

  • Management listens.

Benefits of quality circles:

  • Improved quality of products and services.

  • Better organizational communications

  • Improved worker performance.

  • Improved morale.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th edition).

Standard Project Estimating

Standard Project Estimating

Estimating Method

Generic Type

WBS Relationship

Accuracy

Time to prepare

Parametric

Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM)

Top Down

-25% to +75%

Days

Analogy

Budget

Top Down

-10% to +25%

Weeks

Engineering (grass roots)

Definitive

Bottom up

-5% to +10%

Months

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R. Kerzner (11th edition).

English: Project development stages

English: Project development stages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unmanaged versus managed changes

Unmanaged versus Managed Changes

Where time is invested

How Energy is Invested

Which Resources Are Used

Unmanaged Change

Back-end

  • Rework

  • Enforcement

  • Compliance

  • Supervision

  • Senior management and key players only

Managed Change

Front-end

  • Education

  • Communication

  • Planning

  • Improvements

  • Value Added

  • Stakeholders (Internal)

  • Suppliers

  • Customers

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th Edition).

Risk Interdependencies

Action Possible Benefit Risk
Work overtime Schedule compression More mistakes; higher cost and longer schedule
Add resources Schedule compression Higher cost and learning curve shift
Parallel work Schedule compression Rework and higher costs
Reduce scope Schedule compression and lower cost Unhappy customer and no follow-on work
Hire low-cost resources Lower cost More mistakes and longer time period
Outsource critical work Lower cost and schedule compression Contractor possesses critical knowledge at your expense

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach To Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R. Kerzner