PLANNING, CONTROLLING AND LEADING A PROJECT

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PLANNING, CONTROLLING AND LEADING A PROJECT. B y Prashant Shandilya.

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Complex maths formulae on a blackboard. Concepts & Principles of Project Management in Business.

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B road objectives. In the broadest sense, project managers (PMs) are responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the completion of specific projects for an organization while ensuring these projects are on time, on budget, and within scope . Project management enables companies to innovate, plan strategically, and for the economy to progress . The important parts of projects are often values such as team working, planning, innovation, time and budget management, and leadership. Project management reduces project costs by improving efficiency, mitigating risks, and optimizing resources . Even with the added cost of investing in a project manager, organizations stand to gain much more..

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Role of project management in achieving business objectives.

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Pins and thread forming a heptagon. Principles successful project managers should follow.

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Application of principles of project management in different business environments.

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Application of principles of project management in different business environments.

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Application of principles of project management in different business environments.

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Application of principles of project management in different business environments.

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Application of principles of project management in different business environments.

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Application of key concepts of project management in different business environments.

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Appraisal of business objectives in order to determine potential projects.

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Appraisal of business objectives in order to determine potential projects.

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Design systems & plans for Initiating, Managing & Leading Projects.

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Key leadership and management theories related to project management.

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Scientific management theory: Developed by Frederick Taylor, to study work performance scientifically. The scientific method should be used to perform tasks in the workplace, as opposed to the leader relying on their judgment or the personal discretion of team members. His philosophy emphasized that forcing people to work hard would result in the most productive workplace. Instead, he recommended simplifying tasks to increase productivity. He suggested that leaders assign team members to jobs that best match their abilities, train them thoroughly and supervise them to ensure they are efficient in the role. Bureaucratic management theory: focuses on structuring organizations in a hierarchy so there are clear rules of governance. His principles for creating this system include a chain of command, clear division of labor , separation of personal and organizational assets of the owner, strict and consistent rules and regulations, meticulous recordkeeping and documentation and the selection and promotion of employees based on their performance and qualifications. Human relations theory: This theory was developed by Elton Mayo, who conducted experiments designed to improve productivity that laid the foundation for the human relations movement. His focus was on changing working conditions like lighting, break times and the length of the workday. Every change he tested was met with an improvement in performance. Ultimately, he concluded that the improvements weren’t due to the changes but the result of the researchers paying attention to the employees and making them feel valued. Systems management theory: This theory asserts that businesses consist of multiple components that must work in harmony for the larger system to function optimally. The organization’s success, therefore, depends on synergy, interdependence and interrelations between subsystems. According to this theory, employees are the most important components of a company, and departments, workgroups and business units are all additional crucial elements for success. Contingency management theory: Developed by Fred Fiedler, this theory’s primary focus is that no one management approach works for every organization. Fiedler suggested that a leader’s traits were directly related to how effectively they lead their team. He asserts that there are leadership traits that apply to every kind of situation and that a leader must be flexible to adapt to a changing environment. Theory X and Y: American social psychologist, Douglas McGregor, introduced X and Y theories in his book, “The Human Side of Enterprise,” where he concluded that two different styles of management are guided by their perceptions of team member motivations. Managers who assume employees are apathetic or dislike their work use theory X, which is authoritarian. Theory Y is used by managers who believe employees are responsible, committed and self-motivated. This is a participative management style that gives rise to a more collaborative work environment, whereas theory X leads to micromanaging..

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Role & Responsibilities of the project manager for a project.

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Project organogram identifying roles of key project team members.

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Structure of organogram. An organizational chart, also called organigram, organogram, or organizational breakdown structure (OBS) is a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions/jobs ..

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4 types of project organizational structures. Functional Most organizations are divided along functional lines, that is, each “division” is organized by work type, such as engineering, production, or sales. In the functional organizational structure, projects are initiated and executed by the divisional managers, who assume the project manager duties in addition to their regular, functional, roles. They are often given secondary titles such as “Coordinator of Project X.” In this structure, project managers usually don’t have alot of authority to obtain resources or to manage schedules and budgets . They must obtain approvals to utilize resources from other departments, which can be a complex undertaking. This is because the functional organization is designed to focus on the provision of the divisional services rather than project deliverables ..

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Project-Oriented On the other end of the scale is the project-oriented organization. These companies do most of their work on a project basis and are therefore structured around projects. This includes construction contractors, architectural firms, and consultants. Project managers are usually full time in the role , and for small projects they might manage several projects at once. In this structure project managers usually have a great deal of independence and authority. They are able to draw on resources with little required approval. In fact, most of these types of organizations have some form of functional divisions which are placeholders for resources that can be utilized by all projects. They are usually called “departments.” For example, at an engineering firm the geotechnical department is available as an expert resource to all projects within the firm..

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Matrix Although the project-oriented and functional structures are at opposite ends of the spectrum, it is possible to be located somewhere in between (a hybrid). In fact, most organizations are along some level of the spectrum, utilizing a structure that gives project managers a bit more authority without losing focus on the provision of functional services. In the typical matrix structure, a project manager is assigned from within one of the functional departments in either a part time or full time capacity. They are assigned project team members from various departments, who are released from their departmental duties (at least partially). Thus, a high priority can be placed on the project while maintaining the functional division services. However, the project manager and team members are still paid by their respective functional departments, thus the final accountability for the project still lies at the functional level. For example, if one of the department managers thinks that they have contributed more than their fair share, the project will stall quickly. From a theoretical point of view, there are two more adjustments that can be made. A weak matrix retains the management of the project in the hands of the functional managers instead of the project team, On the other side, a strong matrix is still a functional organizational structure, but has a completely separate project management arm. All of the project roles are still fulfilled within the functional departments, but the project manager is on the same level as the functional managers..

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Composite Functional organizations and project-oriented organizations are at opposite ends of the spectrum and matrix organizations fall somewhere in between. But it is possible to utilize both structures at the same time. Therefore, there is a fourth option that requires mention, the composite structure. This occurs when a project structure and a functional structure both report to a central executive. For example, a state government department of transportation has a maintenance division which seeks to maintain the level of service of the state’s roads and bridges, and a capital projects division which builds new roads and bridges. The maintenance division and the capital projects division are located side by side, reporting to the executive. This is a composite organizational structure (A matrix structure would require new construction to occur within one of the maintenance departments – the project manager would report to a functional manager rather than the executive). Most organizations lean one way or the other rather than using both structures, because of the drastically different management styles necessary to perform each of the roles well..

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Sources of finance available for a project. I nternal Sources of finance External Source of finance B ased on: Time C ontrol Amount Flexibiity L egal structure of organization.

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Feasibility of a proposed project. A feasibility study—sometimes called a feasibility analysis or feasibility report—is a way to evaluate whether or not a project plan could be successful . A feasibility study evaluates the practicality of your project plan in order to judge whether or not you're able to move forward with the project. How to write a feasibility study Describe the project. Outline the potential solutions resulting from the project. List the criteria for evaluating these solutions. State which solution is most feasible for the project. Make a conclusion statement..

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Effectiveness of communication within a Project Management Team.

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Project Communications. Project communications management defines necessary processes for ensuring proper and timely production, collection, dissemination and distribution of project information. Communication plays a role throughout the life cycle of a project and has a great contribution to its success. The greater the number of people in the project team and its stakeholders, the more important the project communications management will be. Project managers use a variety of tools to establish communication and coordination among project team members; this diversity and multiplicity of tools affects proper and timely dissemination of project information. Research has shown that because of the mistakes made in communication by the employees and the stakeholders, large amounts of money are imposed on organizations that will reduce the efficiency of project team members.

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Key Contents of a Project Communication Plan. Project communication is a two-way street. And much in the same way you work with stakeholders to set expectations on what’s being built, you also need to set expectations on how milestones, issues, updates, and critical information will be communicated throughout the project. This is literally a way to get the whole team on the same page! At a high-level, a communication plan should include: Purpose and approach. Think of this as a really clear summary of the entire communication plan—why it’s in place, the approach you’re going to take, and how it connects to the rest of the project. Goals and objectives. This is where you start to drill down on expectations and what you’re planning to accomplish. Stakeholder information. Clearly define who needs to be communicated with throughout the project, the type of information they need to receive (and at what frequency), and their preferred method of communication. Tools. This is where you answer how you’re going to communicate with everyone at different milestones or key moments. For example, meeting summaries, formal presentations, and custom project dashboards are all options. A high-level outline of internal project communication methods. While a communication plan mostly deals with people outside of your core team, it’s still a good opportunity to outline the methods you’ll be using for day-to-day communication..

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Project communication plan to stakeholders. Keeps you and your stakeholders aligned on the project’s goals A communication plan starts with the big picture and then gets refined into specific goals.This is a great way to make sure that both the broader vision and the more micro objectives are shared. Plus, you can schedule regular intervals for feedback, which helps to ensure that everyone stays on the right track and is happy with the progress being made. Helps create transparency and get stakeholder buy-in By mapping out every bit of feedback and every key point of communication, you’ll ensure every shareholder understands their clearly defined role and how they’re part of the bigger project. “Without full buy-in from team members, sponsors, and other stakeholders, projects may seem to be progressing smoothly and then suddenly take a sharp turn for the worse, risking the final deliverables and customer satisfaction. ” In order to avoid that, you have to map out everything—from determining motivations and managing contributions to soliciting feedback. Builds better relationships with clients or outside agencies There are few things clients love more than a well-defined plan with clearly established pathways to success. By creating a communications plan, you’re not just promising the client or outside agencies an outcome, you’re actively showing them how you’re going to get there. Many of the most common mistakes made by project managers are related to communication: Not setting clear goals upfront, not breaking big projects into smaller and clearly assigned tasks, not providing feedback on a regular basis. All of these issues might seem like they can be resolved within the team, but a poorly managed project will inevitably trickle down to the client, perhaps testing their patience or even irrevocably altering their impressions. Gather stakeholder information and communication preferences Alright, it’s time to answer the biggest question: Who needs to know about your project progress? At this stage, you’re going to have to think not just about what you’re communicating but how you communicate it. What are the most effective ways to disseminate information, which communication protocols are already in place, and what tools can make this process smoother? In a workplace, communications can run the gamut from informal hallway chats or post-work beers to formal corporate presentations and annual reports. There are also company-wide project management systems, like SAP, Oracle, with tools designed to either keep the whole team on the same page or to limit information for the handful of stakeholders who need to stay in the loop—especially in the case of sensitive information. And here’s another thing to consider: No two stakeholders are the same, so make sure you factor that in when putting together your communication plan. Here are some other things you might want to consider when it comes to managing communications with stakeholders: How urgent is the information, and do I need a quick response? Does the project require specific technology solutions, and do those need to be factored into communications? Are all of the pieces in place to facilitate the communication plan, or is additional training or staffing required? For longer-term projects, are team members mindful and paying attention to any updates in relevant technology that can be implemented into the communication plan? Think about the structure of your team and their specific communications needs—for example, a virtual team will work differently and have different requirements than a group of colleagues who share cubicle walls.

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Benefits of a project communication plan to stakeholders of a project.

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Identifying the 5Ws & 1H of project. Who needs to be communicated to? What needs to be communicated to them? When should this be communicated? Where should it be communicated? Why is communicating this to them essential to the project’s success? How is this going to be communicated? Is their preferred method for getting updates via email, call, in-person, video, or something else? EXAMPLE: WHEN : We will communicate with the client every Monday at 10:00am HOW : We will communicate via Google Meet/Zoom and share the conference link in advance WHO : The creative team working on the project will be involved (scriptwriter, storyboard artist, and animator) as well as the stakeholders on the client’s side WHAT : The weekly meetings will be for the creatives to give an update on progress and for the client to bring up any potential questions or issues.

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Factors that can affect communication during a project’s life span.

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Factors that can affect communication during a project’s life span.

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Knowledge Everyone involved needs to understand the basic principles and the desired outcome of the project, so it can move forward with the least amount of interruption. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that everyone understands the goals they are working toward. Teamwork A large project needs a team of the best workers to finish on top. Everyone must pull together toward a common goal to make it to the finish line -- there is no room for grandstanders or solo performers. Staff members must work together with the best interests of the project as a whole in place for the entire duration. Timeliness A project manager needs to be careful that work in progress stays on course as the project nears its end. Some employees have a tendency to drop the ball or let things slide as the conclusion approaches. Costs may exceed budget. The project manager must remain alert all the way to the finish line. Culture Currently, relationships are influenced by political, economic, and differences as well as different social contexts that shape people's perception of culture in international management..

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Risk factors that may impede completion of a project.

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Risk factors that may impede completion of a project.

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Design systems & measures to monitor & appraise the status & progress of a project.

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Contingency plans to mitigate potential delays. A contingency plan in project management is a defined, actionable plan that is to be enacted if an identified risk becomes a reality. It is essentially a “Plan B”, to be put in place when things go differently than expected. The Project Management Institute defines contingency planning as, “ involv [ ing ] defining action steps to be taken if an identified risk event should occur.” Contingency plans in project management are a component of risk management , and should be part of the risk management plan. 8 steps for contingency planning Make a list of risks. ... Weigh risks based on severity and likelihood. ... Identify important risks. ... Create contingency plans for the biggest risks. ... Get approval for your contingency plan. ... Distribute your contingency plans. ... Monitor your contingency plans. ... Create new contingency plans if necessary. Contingency opportunities can be discovered by meeting with the core project team to review: Project Objective, Requirements, and Approach. ... Confirm Assumptions. ... Known Risks and Allow for Future Risks. ... Known Issues and Future Issues. ... Resource Availability and Competency. ... Project Schedule..

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Closing stages of a project. Meeting. The purpose of the closing phase in the project management lifecycle is to confirm completion of project deliverables to the satisfaction of the project sponsor, and to communicate final project disposition and status to all participants and stakeholders . 7 steps to closing a project Formally transfer all deliverables. The first step to closing out your project is to finalize and transfer the project deliverables to the client. ... Confirm project completion. ... Review all contracts and documentation. ... Release resources. ... Conduct a post-mortem. ... Archive documentation. ... Celebrate. Project closure activities ensure the recording project documents, archiving in organizational process assets, making final payments, releasing resources and completing the project . Every project teaches lessons to the organization whether it's a success or is a failure.

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Importance of project evaluation. You learn how to optimize for success and discover the story behind the results Evaluators ask three over-arching questions at the start, middle and end of the project: What happened? Why? (the story behind what happened) Why do these results matter and what’s next? Evaluation paves the way to project improvements: In a typical learning collaborative, teams collect data to monitor progress and test change, which is certainly critical for improvement. While improvement advisors for those projects consider the big picture collaborative-wide, they don’t typically focus on the underlying circumstances of what’s happening and don’t usually make recommendations for project enhancements. In contrast, evaluation is research to inform decisions—an opportunity to push for adaptations and mid-course corrections that will maximize success. Evaluation results benefit the immediate project as well as enhance future initiatives with lessons learned. One size does not fit all : Evaluation can take many shapes. For example, evaluators may collect primary data from a variety of stakeholders via written survey, individual interviews and/or focus group discussions. Evaluators sometimes ask for written reflections in the form of a narrative or conduct in-depth case studies with select teams. In addition, evaluations often include analysis of secondary data such as written team work, progress of data submission and extent of online activity. Evaluations frequently include both quantitative and qualitative data. Every voice counts: Each and every person’s perspective is essential and can be very telling for the project as a whole. Participants’ feedback highlights areas of traction and areas that warrant further attention and specifics of what they need for the greatest success. This input can directly lead to improved levels of communication, logistical support, access to experts, guidance for using project resources, webinar offerings and much more. Also, the more people who respond to a survey, the more accurate the results will be. So please answer the next survey that comes your way since every voice does matter!.