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Project Management

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Question Paper:

Define a project. What are the characteristics which help differentiate projects from other functions carried out in the daily operations of the organization?

What is the role of the Project Manager?

3. Why is the implementation of projects important to strategic planning and the project manager?

Strategic plans are implemented primarily through projectsÐ'--e.g., a new product, a new information system, a new plant for a new product. The project manager is the key person responsible for completing the project on time, on budget, and within specifications so the project's customer is satisfied. If the project is not linked to the strategic plan of the organization, resources devoted to the project are wasted and a customer need is not met. This lack of connectivity occurs more in practice than most would believe.

What is meant by an integrative approach to project management? Why is this approach important in today's environment?

An integrative approach to project management is one in which all the parts are interrelated. This approach is important because it can give an organization a competitive edge in today's environment. An integrative approach includes two parts. First, projects must have a strong link to the organization's strategic plan, which is directed toward meeting the customer's needs. A project priority system reinforces this linkage by prioritizing projects according to their contribution to the strategic plan and allocates resources by the priorities set. Second, an integrative approach provides an integrated system for the actual implementation of the projects. This includes an information system which supports decision making and a social/cultural environment which creates a positive, active contribution from team members responsible for completing the project.

Describe the importance of accurate requirements definition in setting up a project?

The portfolio of projects is typically represented by compliance, strategic, and operations projects. What impact can this classification have on project selection?

By carefully aligning your project proposal with one classification, you may increase the chances of it being selected. Remember, senior management typically allots budgets for each category independent of actual project selection. Knowledge of funds available, risk portfolio, senior management bias, etc. may cause some to attempt to move their project proposal to a different classification to improve the chances of the project being selected.

Describe an approach that will prioritize projects by their contribution to the strategic plan.

A priority system might include the following activities:

A. assessing the relative importance of organization objectives

B. developing criteria for selecting projects based on the project's contribution to the organization's objectives (value added)

C. prioritizing projects based on these criteria (and a balance of risk) using a weighting scheme

D. allocating resources to these selected projects

E. monitoring projects and use of organization resources

7. Why should an organization not rely only on ROI to select projects?

Financial criteria, like ROI alone, will not ensure that selected projects contribute to the mission and strategy of a firm. Other considerations such as developing new technology, public image, brand loyalty, ethical position, and maintaining core competencies should be considered. Furthermore, it is difficult or next to impossible to assess ROI for many important projects (e,g., Y2K projects). While ROI is likely to be a key consideration for many organizations, multiple screening criteria are recommended for selecting and prioritizing projects.

You are in charge of organizing a dinner-dance concert for a local charity. You have reserved a hall that will seat 30 couples and have hired a band.

Develop a WBS for this project.

Develop a WBS for a project in which you are going to build something. Try to identify all of the major components and provide three levels of detail.

Develop a WBS for a local stage play. Be sure to identify the deliverables and (people) responsible.

Use an example of a project with which you are familiar with or are interested in. Identify the deliverables and organizational units (people) responsible.

Why are accurate cost estimates critical to effective project management? How would you go about estimating costs for a typical project?

Without accurate time and cost estimates project control is ineffective. Inaccurate estimates can make the difference between profit or loss.

Ð'* Time and cost estimates are major inputs to project planning

Ð'* Project control is completely dependent on accuracy of estimates

Ð'* Estimates are needed to support good decisions

Ð'* Estimates are used to determine project duration and cost

Ð'* Estimates are used to develop cash flow needs

Ð'* Estimates are used to develop time-phased budgets and establish the project baseline


Ð'* Absence of estimates results in inaccuracies which result in time and cost under/ overruns

Ð'* The activity of estimating reduces error


What are the differences between micro and macro estimating approaches? Under what conditions would you prefer one over the other?

Macro estimates are typically top down, are usually used in the project conceptual phase, and depend on measures such as weight, square feet, ratios. Macro methods do not consider individual activity issues and problems. Macro estimates are good for rough estimates and can help select and prioritize projects. UNCERTAINTY




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