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Showing posts from January, 2007

Organizational Structures - Team

This type of organization focuses all resources on projects. Many organizations today establish cross functional task force teams to handle strategic and crucial projects.

These teams are an example of a project team organization structure. Typically resources are assigned full time to a project and they form the core team. The core team is supplemented with other expertise on an as needed basis. 
The role of the functional manager is eliminated or they act as internal technical consultants to the project team, and the project manager is responsible for the project budget, scope, schedule and all other resource, contractual and customer issues. 
This type of organizational structure is suitable for fixed price fixed time contracts. Organizations that adopt this kind of organization structures will need to insure that their financial and other corporate systems are setup for project data collection and reporting. 
Ideally project managers should have the authority to hire outside cons…

Organizational Structures - Matrix

In this type of organization structure resources are still grouped by their functional skills, however work is primarily done through projects and a single point of contact (project manager / project coordinator) for each project is established.

Ideally, the project managers are grouped in a separate unit or department and they are responsible for the successful delivery of projects from concept to product release. Resources working on projects in a matrix environment report to their functional line manager as well as to the project manager for their project. This can become a source of conflict as the functional manager views their own role as being responsible for the work of their resources across all projects, while the project manager is responsible for a specific project. 
With multiple project assignments resource’s priorities can shift as they are now assigned to more than one project at the same time. Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for functional and project m…

Organizational Structures - Functional

In this type of organization structure resources are grouped into functional specific units or departments based on their functional and or technical skills, and are excellent for operation (on going) type activities and they are also useful for managing small projects where the majority of the technical work is done within the same unit.
These types of organization structures, fall short in terms of timely delivery in a situation that requires extensive cross functional communication and cooperation. There s a chance of failure due to the lack of project ownership as resources in general will view their part of the project as part of their regular work and once they are done with their part they have nothing to do with the project. The project leader has little or no authority over resources outside of his / her department or unit.

Project Environment

For a project to be successful, there's a need to define its environment in terms of organizational structures, project classifications, portfolio project management, resource commitment, ...

Project Management Life Cycle

Project management as a function has its own distinct processes typified by the life cycle chart.
Planning is erroneously perceived as a phase in project management. This would be true only if one could freeze the change on all five-project variables (time, scope, quality, resources, budget). Under such a scenario, projects can be planned once, up front and the outcome (the project plan) followed to the completion of the project. Since this is rare if not quite impossible in real life, it does make sense to say that where there is change there is a definite need to revamp the project plan to incorporate or deflect the changes, thus reflecting reality. In other words, planning is an iterative process, which is on going through out the life of the project. The format and degree of detail in planning is a function of the size and complexity of the project and the degree of control required.
During the execution process, monitoring project performance is crucial to the project. It represe…

Project Variables

In a project environment it's possible to identify variables that are inter-related and can impact the success of a project. The degree of flexibility for each variable is different from one project to another. They also could vary on the same project depending on the phase of the project or its status. Example of variables are:

The amount of work to be done represented by all the activities in the project plan.
Time The established time frame for executing the project represented by the time elapsed between the defined start and end date of the project deliverables.
Cost The project budget and /or available funding for the project.
Resources People, materials and equipment necessary to deliver the project. 
Quality The performance capability, which meets or exceeds the end user expectation. 
Project management is the art and science of measuring, analyzing and managing the change in a project represented by these variables. Every person involved in a project whether they are man…

The differences between Project, Operation and Program

We said that a project is defined as a temporary endeavor that consumes resources, incurs cost and produce deliverables over a finite period of time to achieve a specific goal. They come in all shapes and sizes and can vary in length or complexity.

Operation type activities are similar to project activities in that they too produce deliverables, consume resources and incur cost. However they are on-going or repetitive in nature, hence they are not project activities or tasks. Some examples of operation activities are weekly maintenance of databases, paying invoices or help desk operations activities.

Programs are much larger than projects. They are made up of many projects and on going activities such as operation type activities and are similar to projects as they consume resources, incur cost and produce deliverables. However programs are more complex and include repetitive operation type activities such as maintenance work, facility administration etc, and are funded typically on a…

Project behaviour during lifecycle

What is the behaviour of the curve during different time intervals, such as at (0), (0, 20-30%], (20-30%, 50%], (50%, 75%], and (75%, 100].
Brief analysis and points of discussion: 
Since a project has a temporary endeavor, the timeframe has to be finite. The broken lines in the graph represent finite areas such as phases or milestones. The black graph represents the estimated project plan schedule, the blue graph represents an early schedule, and the red graph represents a lagging schedule.
In an ideal situation the beginning is usually slow because people need to acquire confidence with the project, and once the schedule has achieved 20-30% of the work completed, the slope of the graph will change and will accelerate due to the confidence and knowledge acquired. At 70-80% the schedule has reached a very good level of control and will continue with confidence to full completion of the project.
What is the scenario before Time=0, i.e., before launching of the project?
In practice, most…

Why do we need to implement project management?

Implementing project management means having knowledge of all processes, techniques, and methods that govern the life-cycle of a project. 
As a consequence, we are able to: -Meet the customer’s expectation
-Meet project deadlines and accountability
-Manage project profit margins
-Efficient resource utilization
-Manage information for faster decision making

Start of my discussion on Project and Program Management

Projects are initiated in response to a problem or to take advantage of an opportunity. They are defined as a temporary endeavor that consumes resources, incurs cost and produce deliverables over a finite period of time to achieve a specific goal. Projects come in all shapes and sizes. They can vary in length or complexity, but the above mentioned definition of a project holds true for all of them.
Listed here are examples of projects:
-Organizational Process Re-Engineering -Relocation Of Facilities & Equipment -Designing A Web Enabled Systems -Developing New or Enhancing Existing Products -Migration from mainframe to a windows-based distributed client-server system
Project management is the art and science of planning, controlling and tracking of activities and resources to achieve the organization’s strategic and business objectives.