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You are here: Home Blogs Displaying items by tag: organization
Project Management Blog
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:27

Organization charts

An Organizational Chart represents the structure of an organization in terms of rank. The chart usually shows the managers and sub-workers who make up an organization. The chart also shows relationships between staff in the organization, which can be:

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:24

Roles & Responsibilities

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES


PROJECT MANAGER ROLE
The essential role of the project leader is to lead the project team through the project management and team processes so that they complete the project successfully. The project leader is accountable for the overall success of the project.

  • The project leader is also referred to as the project manager. However, in a participative approach, the main role for the project manager is leadership, so we refer to him or her as a project leader. The role of the project leader is to
  • Provide direction to the project team.
  • Lead the project team through the project management process (creating and executing the project plan).
  • Obtain approvals for the project plan.
  • Issue status reports on the progress of the project versus the plan.
  • Respond to requests for changes to the plan.
  • Facilitate the team process, which is the interpersonal process by which team members develop as a team.
  • Remove obstacles for the team so they can complete the project.
  • Act as the key interface with the project sponsor.
  • Act as the key interface with the project customer.
  • Call and run team meetings.
  • Issue the final project report.


PROJECT TEAM MEMBER
The project team member has an active role to play in a participatory style of managing a project. The project team member not only provides technical expertise and produces deliverables, but he or she also helps in the planning and monitoring of the project. The project team member is accountable for ensuring that his or her work contributes to the overall success of the project.
The project team member’s role is to

  • Provide technical expertise.
  • Provide ideas that can help the team create quality deliverables, on time and within budget.
  • Ensure that his or her part of the project work gets completed on time.
  • Communicate issues back to the project team.
  • Participate in the project planning process.
  • Interface with the suppliers for his or her area.
  • Keep the boss informed on project issues, as required.
  • Keep the commitment he or she makes to the project.
  • Help to keep the project on track.
  • Provide updates to his or her resource manager on the status of the project.
  • Help to keep the team process and content on track.

 

SPONSOR ROLE

The sponsor is someone from management who has been designated to oversee the project, to help ensure that it satisfies both the needs of the customer and the needs of the organization. The sponsor is sometimes called the project champion. The sponsor makes sure that the project leader has the resources, training, support, and cooperation he or she needs to get the job done. The sponsor is accountable for the success of the project leader. What happens if you don’t have a sponsor? Then your boss or the project customer, if that customer is inside the organization, will need to act as the sponsor. The sponsor connects the project to the needs of management. It’s very risky to start a project without one. The role of the sponsor is to

  • Initiate the project by selecting a project leader.
  • Make sure that the project’s objectives are in line with the strategic direction/goals of the organization.
  • Provide overall direction to the project.
  • Make sure the team has the resources required to complete the project successfully.
  • Obtain commitment from the resource managers to support the project.
  • Review and approve the project plan.
  • Review status reports.
  • Review progress on the project with the project leader.
  • Help to remove obstacles that can’t be overcome by the team or the project leader.
  • Mentor or coach the project leader.
  • Review and approve the final report.


PROJECT CUSTOMER ROLE

A project exists to satisfy a customer. The project customer is the recipient of the main output of the project, called the final deliverable. In order to make sure the final deliverables satisfies the customer, the customer must convey to the project team what the needs and requirements for the deliverable will be. A customer can be internal or external to the organization. Most projects are done for internal customers (customers inside the organization), although the final deliverable produced by the project might eventually be distributed to or purchased by an external customer. Suppose you were working on a project to develop a new heart monitor for infants. The project customer is probably your marketing department because it’s their job to sell the monitor to the eventual buyers, the hospitals. The patients who would be hooked up to the heart monitor would be considered end users of the heart monitor product. (An end user is the ultimate consumer of the product.) Most projects are done for internal customers who then represent the needs of customers and end users outside the organization. However, some projects are done directly for an external customer. In these cases, the customer usually pays for the final deliverable directly. An example would be a project in a consulting firm to develop a customized piece of software for an external customer. The external customer would pay based on time and materials or as a flat fee for the project. Whether the customer is internal or external, there are certain similarities in the role they must play within the project:

  • Provide the project team with a clear picture of their needs and requirements
  • Review and approve the charter
  • Participate on the project team where appropriate
  • Inform the project leader of any changes in the environment that would affect the project deliverables
  • Approve changes to the project when needed to make the project a success
  • Review project status reports
  • Provide feedback to the project leader on a regular basis
  • Evaluate the final deliverables as well as the project process 

There are some additional roles that internal customers typically perform:

  • Review and approve the entire project plan (External customers usually review only the scope section of the plan)
  • Review the final status report

If you have a project with an external customer, it is imperative to have an internal sponsor working on the project. The internal sponsor’s job is to balance the needs of the external customer with the needs of the internal organization. If your project has an internal customer, the internal customer may double as the project sponsor.

 

 

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:02

Project Quality

What is Project Quality Management? Project quality management is concerned with the management of the project and the product of the project. The project Quality Management Processes include:

  • Quality Planning
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Perform Quality Control

PMI’s approach to quality management is intended to be compatible with that of the International Standardization Organization (ISO). This generalized approach should be compatible with proprietary approaches to quality management such as those recommended by Deming, Juran, Crosby and others. Non-proprietary approaches should be compliment Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, etc. 

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 17:56

Closing a Project

In multi-phase projects, the Close Project process closes out the portion of the project scope and associated activities applicable to a given phase. The two procedures necessary to perform the closure activities across the entire project or for a project phase:

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 17:31

Project Charter

To begin the project, a project charter is needed. The project charter is a formal document that brings the project into existence. The project charter is a small document but one that is extremely important to getting a project started in the right direction. The essential components of the project charter are simple. First, it formally authorizes the project to begin and names the project manager. It will also contain a brief business case showing the justification for the project.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 16:51

Constraints & Assumptions

Constraints are factors that may limit the project management team’s options, whereas assumptions are factors that for planning purposes may be considered to be true, real, or certain. Understand the differences between constraints and assumptions, and be able to recognize examples of both. 

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 15:18

Organizational Structure

Projects, of course, are not operated in a vacuum. They are parts, or subsystems, of much bigger organizations with much larger goals. Each project has or uses elements such as processes, participants, policies, procedures, and requirements, some of which are dependent upon and interact with related elements in the larger business system. By taking a systematic approach, the project manager can see how all the elements interact, and assess the impact on the individual project. Project managers must recognize the role of the project as a component within an organization. The role of the project, as a component, is to support the business model of the organization as a whole-not to necessarily replace it. Organizations are categorized into one of five models:


Functional
This traditional structure groups people by specialization (for example, marketing, contracting, accounting, and so on). The project manager has no formal authority over project resources and must rely on the informal power structure and his or her own interpersonal skills to obtain resource commitments from functional managers. Conflicts tend to develop over the relative priorities of various projects competing for limited resources.

Weak Matrix
The matrix organization maintains vertical functional lines of authority while establishing a relatively permanent horizontal structure containing the managers for various projects. The project managers interact with all functional units supporting their projects. In a weak matrix, the balance of power leans toward the functional manager rather than the project manager. That is, workers’ administrative relationships, physical proximity, and relative time expenditures favor the functional manager.

Balanced Matrix
A balanced matrix structure has many of the same attributes as a weak matrix, but the project manager has more time and power regarding the project. A balanced matrix still has time accountability issues for all the project team members since their functional managers will want reports on their time within the project. In a balanced matrix the project manager has a full-time role as a project manager with a reasonable level of authority and has a primarily part-time project team

Strong Matrix
The strong matrix is the same as the weak matrix except that the balance of power favors the project manager rather than the functional manager. The project manager has medium to high formal authority.

Projectized
In a projectized organization, a separate, vertical structure is established for each project.  Personnel are assigned to particular projects on a full-time basis. The project manager has total authority over the project, subject only to the time, cost, and performance constraints specified in the project targets.

These are the functional organizations; project expeditor, which is little more than a functionary who helps support the concept of project management but not really the practice; the project coordinator is a step up from that. Then a weak matrix is where you actually have the project manager getting resources from the functional organizations; a strong matrix is where the balance of power is shifted to the project manager. The way you tell whether or not that balance of power has shifted is where the money and the reporting come from. If all money and reports are generated by the project and are respected as being from the project, then it is a strong matrix. If the functional organizations are seen as generating revenue for the organization rather than the project organizations, then it is a weak matrix. And finally, PMI’s ideal structure: the projectized organization, a place where the project has its own reporting structure within the organization.


Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 15:15

Stakeholder Management

You should recognize the importance of involving stakeholders in the development of the project plan. It is the responsibility of the project manager and the project team to create an environment in which all stakeholders can contribute as appropriate, but recognize that who contributes and the level of the contribution will vary by stakeholder. There are usually a number of people who are either directly involved in a project or who have a stake in its outcome. These people are called stakeholders. The key stakeholders in most projects are:

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 14:58

Project Management Defined

The PMBOK®Guide defines project management as “ . . . the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements”. Although this definition may sound pretty straightforward, you will find that the skillful application of those skills, tools, and techniques will come only after you’ve had a significant amount of education and on-the-job experience.

Managing a Project includes Identifying requirements, establishing clear and achievable objectives, balancing the competing demands for quality, scope, time and cost and adapting to the different expectations of the various stakeholders.

Problems, needs, and opportunities continually arise in every organization. Problems like low operational efficiency, needs like additional office space, and opportunities like penetrating a new product market are just a few of a nearly endless number of situations that management must address in the process of operating an organization or company. These problems, needs, and opportunities give rise to the identification of solutions. Executing those solutions entails a change for the organization. Projects are generally established to carry out this change and there’s always someone responsible for the successful completion of each project. As the project manager, you are the primary change agent, and your guide for carrying out the change is the project management process.

 

PROJECT TOOLS

     A. Unique to the project
          a. Work Breakdown Structures
          b. Critical Path Analysis
          c. Earned Value Management

     B. Multiple applications
          a. PMBOK
          b. Standards and Regulations
          c. General Management skills
          d. Interpersonal skills


PROJECT WORK VS. OPERATIONAL WORK
For the exam you should know the similarities and differences between Project Work and Operational Work.

1. Similarities
      A. Performed by People
      B. Constrained by limited resources
      C. Planned, Executed and Controlled

2. Differences
      A. Projects end while operations are ongoing
      B. Objectives are fundamentally different
      C. Projects attain an objective and then terminate.
      D. Projects are bound by multiple constraints


The project manager is a professional who has a responsibility to have a good education, a good understanding of the practice, and experience in the respective field. The PM will play a series of roles: project manager, integrator, communicator, team leader, decision maker, etc...

 

 

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