November 26, 2011

Project Management - Introduction - Revision Article

Based on Meredith and Mantel Book

Definition: The Project Management Institute has defined a project as "A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service."

Program refers to an exceptionally large, long-range objective that is broken down into a set of projects. The projects are divided into tasks. Tasks are further broken down into work packages. Work packages contain work units.

Project Management - Definition and Objectives



In the past several decades many organizations are using project management as a basis to achieve the objectives of the organzation. Project management approach is providing organizations with powerful tools that improve the ability to plan, implement, and control activities as the utilization of resources.

The development of the techniques and practices of project management were developed more in the military organization. Meredith and Mantel give credit to government and military organizations for developing project management approach.

The three project objectives are stated as performance (scope), time and cost.

Definition: The Project Management Institute has defined a project as "A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service"

Distinction Between Program, Project, Task and Work Packages: The military is the source of these terms. Program refers to an excetionally large, long-range objective that is broken down into a set of projects. The projects are divided into tasks. Tasks are further broken down into work packages. Work packages contain work units.

Attributes That Characterise A Project:



Purpose: A project has a well-defined set of desired end results.

Life cycle: Project will have slow beginning, size gets buildup. Peaks, then declines and has to be terminated on some day. Either it is handed to the client or it is phased into the normal, ongoing operations of their organization itself.

Interdependencies: A project has relations with other project being undertaken by the organization for various facilities. It also will have relations with various functions of the organization like marketing, accounting, finance, human resoures management etc.

Uniqueness: every project being a one time activity has some elements that are unique. Project managers will have many exceptions or new issues that crop up that they have to manage.

Conflict: Projects compete with other projects as well as requirements of various functional departments of the organization for resources and personnel. Also, project managers have to manage the conflict between the demands of the client for more and features and changes, parent organization for profit, some demands made by public where the project is located, and the project employees’ demands.

Why Project Management?



Project management focuses the responsibility and authority for the attainment of the goals of the project on an individual or small group. The project form of organization allows the manager to be responsive to:
1. the client
2. environment
3. identify problems at an early and correct them in a timely fashion.
4. ensures that managers of the separate tasks or activities of a project do not optimize their individual tasks at the expense of the total project. Suboptimization is avoided.
The Structure of the Textbook by Meredith and Mantel
It begins with the creative idea that launches most projects and end with termination of the project. The authors wrote in the 5th edition that creation of initial concept of the project was universally ignored in books project management. In their book , Meredith and Mantel included two appendices on topics creativity and idea generation and technological forecasting. In the 5th edition they moved these topics from the textbook to internet. The appendices are now available in http://www.wiley.com/college/projectmgt/


12 Vital Rules for Project Managers



1. You have to understand the project purpose and context.
2. You need to identify the stakeholders in the project and understand their wants.
3. You have to accept and use the political nature of organizations in allocation of resources.
4. You have to recognize the conflicts that are arising as the project is progressing.
5. As a project manager you need to lead from the front.
6. You have to understand what “success” means for the project every day.
7. You have to build and maintain a cohesive team.
8. Remember enthusiasm and despair are both infectious.
9. Looking forward and planning is important. One look forward is worth two looks back.
10. Always be sure of what you are trying to do.
11. Manage time – Use time carefully or it will use you.
12. Plan, plan, plan
Based on the reading given in the book “Lessons for an Accidental Profession,” by J.K. Pinto and O.P. Kharbanda, Business Horizons, March-April 1995.



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Bibliography
 
Software Project Management - Summar Artlces
 
Chapter 1
 
Chapter 2 Software Lifecycle
 
Chapter 3 Project Planning
 
Chapter 4 Requirments Management
 
Chapter 5 Risk Management
 
Chapter 6 Cost Management
 
Chapter 7 Time and Schedule Management
 
Chapter 8 Measurement and Metrics
 
Chapter 9 Configuration Management
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Original post http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/project-management-introduction/ 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2140

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