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COMM 431 - Exam Review.docx

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University of Waterloo
COMM 431
Zhiyong Liu

COMM 431 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXAM REVIEW NOTES LECTURE 1 – INTRODUCTION - Project – temporary endeavor to accomplish a specific objective through a unique set of interrelated tasks and the effective utilization of resources. - Example: Planning a wedding, hosting a holiday party, designing and implementing a product. - Projects Vs. Ongoing Operations: o Projects – temporary, completed when the goals and objectives are accomplished. o Operations – On going, involve work that is continuous without and end date. o Both are performed by people, constrained by resources, planned, executed and controlled. - Attributes of a Project: o Well defined objective/need/deliverables  SMART – Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time Related o Involves people – customer/client, contractor/developer and user o Has a series of interdependent tasks o Uses various resources o Has a specific time frame o May be unique or one-time endeavor o Involves a degree of uncertainty - Constraints for Project Success: o Scope, Cost, Schedule, and Customer Satisfaction o Project is completed within budget, on time according to customer satisfaction. o Triple Constraint – Time, Cost, and Scope. o Quality – emphasizes results; objective; measurable. o Customer Satisfaction – emphasizes experience; subjective; non-measurable. - People in a Project: o Client/Customer – one who needs a service o Developer/Contractor – one who is paid to provide the service o User – one who will directly or indirectly use the service - Project Cycle: o Identify a need  Develop a proposed solution  Perform the project  Terminate the project. o Project is born when a need is identified. o The life cycles vary in length. o Not all projects formally go through all four phases of the project life cycle. o Each of the stages could be a project in itself. o Phase 1 – identify a need, problem or opportunity. The needs and requirements are usually written by the customer into a document called a request for proposal (RFP). o Phase 2 – development of a proposed solution to the need or problem. Submission of a proposal. Contract agreement. o Phase 3 – performing the project. Detailed plan, resources and results in the accomplishment of the project objective. o Phase 4 – terminating the project. Come to term about the success/failure of the project. Closeout activities. - What is Project Management? o A set of techniques to manage a project to achieve an objective. o 9 Knowledge Area in Project Management:  Quality Management  Communication Management  Scope Management  Cost Management  Human Resource Management  Procurement Management  Schedule Management/Time Management  Rick Management and Change Management o Plan the work and work the plan. Mainly done in the third phase. o Planning the work:  Define the project objective.  Divide and subdivide the project into WBS.  Define specific activities that need to be done.  Graphically portray them.  Make time estimate.  Make cost estimate.  Calculate project schedule and budget.  Make plan B just in case. o Work the plan:  Establish a baseline plan and monitor progress.  Measure actual progress and compare it to planned progress.  Take corrective action if the project is behind schedule, over budget, or not meeting technical specifications. LECTURE 2 – NEED ANALYSIS - Initial phase of the project lifecycle. Mainly done by the customer. - Start with recognizing a task, problem or opportunity. End with issuance of a request for proposal. - Methods Used to Identify a Need: o Business Analysis/Strategic Planning:  SWOT  Value Chain Benchmarking – compare it with someone eles’s  Porter’s Model – market analysis o System Analysis:  Benchmarking  Outcome Analysis – do a survey; what does the customer want?  Root Cause Analysis – what caused it – this is the fundamental cause  Duration Analysis – operational deficiency problem  Activity Elimination – what can be removed?  Technology Analysis – new technologies out there - Project Selection: o Evaluating various tasks, problems or opportunities, and then deciding which one to choose. o Steering committee, decide a selection model, evaluation criteria, weight to each criteria, list assumptions, gather data and information for each need, evaluate each need against the model. o Selection Models:  Numeric:  Factor scoring  Weighted factor scoring  Profitability  Payback Period/Break-even point  ROI (Return on Investment)  Discounted Cash Flow (NPV)  Non-Numeric:  Sacred Cow – president’s pet project  Operating/Competitive Necessity – must do it to stay in business  Comparative benefits – examine +/- of each potential project  Q-Sort Project Ordering Factor Scoring Non-Numeric Profitability Factor Several (well 1 on several (implied) 1 (money) defined) Subjective/Objective In the middle Subjective Objective Project Nature Homogeneous Homo/Heterogeneous Homogeneous Amount of Input Medium Low High Quantitative/Qualitative Both Qualitative Quantitative Margin of Error Medium High Low - Feasibility Analysis: o Technical Feasibility – practicality of a technical solution and the availability of technical resources and expertise.  Familiarity with application and technology. Ex. business domain, software, platform, applications etc.  Project size, structure, schedule o Economic Feasibility – process of identifying the financial benefits and costs associated with a development project. Cost-benefit analysis. Refers back to the profitability models. o Organizational Feasibility – how well the system ultimately will be accepted by its users and incorporated into the ongoing operations of the organization. How does it affect the power structure of organization? Stakeholder analysis. o Social Feasibility – how does the project impact the society as a whole? Cultural, political, environmental, ethnical, legal issues. - Request for Proposal: o State what is required from the customer’s point of view. o Guidelines for drafting a RFP:  Statement of work – multiple proposals  Customer requirements – outcomes, certain features  Quality  Deliverables – product, services, reports  Customer-supplied items  Approvals required by the customer  Type of contract  Payment terms  Required schedule of completion  Instructions for the format  Due dates  Evaluation criteria o Soliciting Proposals – can identify a group of contractors in advance; don’t provide info that is not provided to all contractors; bidders’ meetings; not use RFP at all. LECTURE 3 – PROJECT PROPOSALS - Pre-RFP: o Don’t wait until formal RFP solicitations are announced. o Help clients identify their needs. - Bid/No-Bid Decision: o Be realistic about probability of winning the contract. o Consider: competition, risk, mission, extension of capabilities, reputation, funds, and resources. - Proposal: o It is a selling document – not a technical report. Convince the customer that you are the best one to solve the problem. o Technical Section: technical feasibility. Understand the problem and propose a solution. Not too complicated. o Management Section: operationally capable. Description of work tasks, deliverables, project schedule, organization, related experience and equipment/facilities. o Cost Section: financially sound. Labor, materials, subcontractors, equipment, travel, documentation, overheads, escalation, contingency and profit/fee. Don’t overprice or underprice. - Submission/Follow-Up: o Submit proposals on time. Hand delivers if needed. Follow up in a professional manner. - Evaluation: o Prices – select 3 lowest-priced proposals. o Screen out over-budget proposals or if technical section doesn’t meet needs. o Scorecard o Best and Final Offer (BAFO) - Types of Contracts: o Contract – vehicle for establishing customer-contractor communications and arriving at a mutual understanding and clear expectations. o Must clearly spell out the deliverables. o Fixed Price:  Price remains fixed unless he customer and contractor agree to change.  Low risk for customer, high for contractor  Well-defined projects and little risk. o Cost Reimbursement:  Customer requires that the contractor regularly compare actual expenditures with proposed budget and reforecast cost-at-completion  High risk for customer, low for contractor  Risky projects LECTURE 4 – THE PROJECT - Plan the work and work the plan. - Project Control – taking corrective actions to keep the project on target toward meeting its performance goals (time, cost, deliverables). - Controlling the project: o Monitor and measure actual progress – what has been done and how much money has been spent so far. o Analyze and compare it to planned progress o If there is a deviation, take corrective action to get back on track. - Project Tracking Tools: o Useful for project control o Tracks routinely cost and schedule status o For each activity, estimate actual cost so far and percent complete o Earned Value Analysis is a common tracking tool that provides performance metrics - Earned Value Analysis: o Compares the current project status with the original (baseline) plan o Computes several performance metrics for individual activities and for the entire project o Focused on cost and schedule performance - Project Control Tools: o Reporting/Meeting:  Keep everyone updates about the current project status  Includes:  Data on actual performance  Info on any changes in scope, schedule, and budget  Frequency:  Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly etc. shorter the reporting period, better the chances of identifying problems early and taking effective corrective actions.  Data should be collected in a timely manner and as close to the end of the reporting period as possible.  Report Format:  Progress since last report  Current status of project  Cumulative trends  Problems and Issues since last report  Corrective action planned o Project Audit:  Formal inquiry into any or all aspects of a project.  Revalidate business feasibility  Reassure top management  Confirm readiness  Investigate problems  Format:  Project status, in all dimensions  Future projects  Status of crucial tasks  Risk assessment  Info on relevant projects  Limitations of the audit o Resource Allocation:  Allocation more, less, or different physical resources can affect the progress of activities, and can affect their cost and/or the quality of outputs/deliverables as well. Same applies to employees and funds.  Set priority rules for which activity gets the constrained resource first. o Project Crashing:  Accelerating a project – shortening its duration, or speeding it up.  It almost always costs more  Sometimes it is done because earlier activities were delayed or because customer is willing to trade a higher cost for a short project time frame o Resource Loading:  For each resource during each time period, determine the total amount of resource time required by all activities combined.  Compare this total time with the capacity of the resource during each time period.  Identify resources that are over-utilized during any time period. o Resource leveling and scheduling:  Rescheduling some activities to eliminate resource overloading in certain time periods.  Delay activities that have extra slack time first – this will not delay the project. - Terminate the Project: o Termination rarely has an impact on technical success or failure. But it affects residual attitudes toward the project and success of subsequent projects. o The purpose of termination is to learn from the experience in order to improve performance on future projects. o Reasons for earlier project termination:  Low probability of technical/commercial success  Unresolvable technical problems  Low profitability/ROI/market potential  Damaging cost growth  Schedule delays  Change in competitive factors/market needs  Higher priority of competing projects o Project Extinction – all activity ceases. Either stopped naturally because the project is finished or unsuccessful. Or stopped by murder – projecticide. o Project Addition – project becomes part of the organization. Must transfer assests and add responsibilities. o Project Integration – project outcome(s) become(s) part of acquiring organization or a larger project. o Project Starvation – active w/o activity. o Termination Activities:  Should be identified in the baseline plan  Contractual closure  Financial closure  Personnel closure  Administrative closure  Celebrate - Post-Project Evaluation: o Individual meeting o Group meeting o Customer feedback - The Final Report: o Recap, Project biography, Project plan, Audits, Change orders o Focus on performance, organizational structure, project teams, techniques and management. o Lessons learned. o Goal: Future improvement LECTURE 5 – PLANNING - Planning elements – project scope and baseline plan - Project scope provides the guidelines that are used to develop your project plan. It includes objective, deliverables, milestones, technical requirements, limits and reviews - Baseline Plan: o Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):  Deliverable-oriented hierarchal outline (map) that identifies the products and work elements involved in a project.  Major tasks  smaller tasks  Work Packages: lowest level of the WBS. Higher levels are work items. Defines what work needs to be done, within a timeline, which resources are required and who is in-charge of the task.  The level of detail is the level at which a single individual or organization can be assigned responsibility and accountability for accomplishing the work package and the level at which you can control the budget and monitor and collect cost data during the project. o Responsibility Matrix:  Linear responsibility chart or responsibility chart  Displays in tabular format the individuals responsible for the work items and work packages.  X – indicate who is responsible  P – indicate who has primary responsibility  S – indicate who has secondary responsibility  How to assign responsibility – expertise, availability, and distribution of work hours o Defining Activities:  Define specific detailed activities for each work package.  Activity is a piece of work that consumed time.  Milestone activities – significant events/activities on a project that normally have 0 duration. Used to measure progress, payment, approvals. Ex. start, complete. o Network Plan:  Graphically portraying the defined activities in a diagram. Displays logical relationships among, or sequencing of, project activities.  PERT – program evaluation and review technique.  CPM – critical path method o Gantt Charts:  Provide standard format for displaying project schedule information by listing project activities and their corresponding start and finish dates in a calendar format.  Planning + scheduling  Activities on the left; time scale on the bottom; estimated duration displayed by a line; columns indicate person responsibly for each task.  Issues – can’t display interrelationships of activities.  Symbols – black diamond – milestones; thick black bars – summary tasks; lighter bars – tasks; arrows – dependencies between tasks o Network Formats:  Activity in the Box  A box represents each activity.  Activity description is written in the box.  Each box has a unique activity number.  Activities might have a precedential relationship.  Activity on the arrow  An arrow represents each activity.  Activity description is written above the arrow.  Tail is the start; arrow is the completion.  Circles called events link activities.  All activities going into an event (circle) must be finished before any activities leaving that event can start.  Each event must have a unique event number  Each activity must have a unique combination of predecessor and successor event numbers  Dummy Activities – consumes 0 time. Represented by dashed arrow. Helping in unique identification of activities. Showing certain precedential relationships.  Loops are not allowed because it portrays a path of activities that perpetually repeats itself.  Slide 15 in Lecture 5B shows a comparison bet AIB and AOA  Laddering:  Used for projects that have a set of activities that are repeated several times.  Allow project to be completed in the shortest possible time while making the best use of available resources  Similar to assembly line  Precedence Relationships:  Finish to Start (FS) – activity 1 finishes then 2 can start.  Start to Start (SS) – activities can begin at the same time.  Finish to Finish (FF) – activities must finish at the same time.  Start to Finish (SF) – once activity 2 finishes, activity 1 can start  Lead and Lag times: o Lead (-) and lag (+) times are expressed as part of the immediate predecessor notation. o So 1FS+3 listed for the immediate predecessor of activity 2 means that activity 1 is the predecessor with a finish to start link and a 3 day lag time after activity 1 finishes before activity 2 can start. o 1FS-3 means that activity 2 can start 3 days before activity 1 finishes. LECTURE 6 - COMMUNICATION - Greatest threats to many projects is a failure to communicate - Communications planning: determining the information and communications needs of stakeholders. o What do they need to know? - Performance reporting: collecting and disseminating performance information. Keeps stakeholders informed about how resources are being used to achieve project objectives. o Status reports – where does the project stand? o Progress reports – what has the team accomplished? o Project forecasting – future project status and progress - Information distribution: making needed information available in a timely manner. o Getting the right info to the right people at the right time. - Administrative closure: generating, gathering, and disseminating information to formalize phase or project completion. - Conflict Handling Modes: o Confrontation/Problem-Solving: directly face the conflict o Compromising: use a give-take approach o Smoothing: de-emphasize areas of differences and emphasize areas of agreement. o Forcing: the win-lose approach o Withdrawal: retreat or withdraw from an actual or potential disagreement o Conflict can be good sometimes if it produces important results such as ideas, better alternatives etc. Task related conflict often improves team performance but emotional conflict often depressed team performance - Running Effective Meetings: o Is a meeting really needed? Can it be avoided? o What is the purpose and intended outcome of the meeting? o Who should attend the meeting? o Agenda for participants before they attend the meeting.  Objective, attendance locations  Problems (info), background (info), cause (discussion), solutions (discussions), vote (on the best solution – action item). - E-mail: o Is it the appropriate medium for what you want to communicate? o Send it to the right people, use meaningful subjects, limit the content, number and size of attachment, and be clear and concise. - Use templates for project communications: o Project description – objective, scope, assumptions, cost, schedule o Monthly progress report – accomplishments, next plans, issues, changes o Letter of agreement – description, goals/expectations (organization and student), meeting info, contact info, communications plan, signatures o Final project report cover page, table of contents, need for project, description, letter of agreement, outcome, management tools, recommendations, Gantt chart, attachments with deliverables. o Final project documentations – description, proposal, contract info with acceptance documents, project plans and schedules, design documents, project report, deliverables, audits, lessons learned, appendices. - Communication Infrastructure: o Set of tools, techniques, and principles that provide a foundation for the effective transfer of information. o Tools – e-mail, PM software, documentations etc. o Techniques – guidelines, templates, procedures, processes, problem solving, conflict resolution and negotiation techniques. o Principles – open dialog and an agreed upon work ethic LECTURE 7 – RISK MANAGEMENT - Expect the unexpected. Unforeseen circumstances may jeopardize achievement of the project objective. - Project manager is to prevent, anticipate, and/or overcome such circumstances - Risk Management: o Reducing probability of an occurrence  What can be done to reduce the likelihood of something bad happening? o Reducing the severity of the consequences  If something bad does happen, how do we limit our liability? - Managing Risk: o Risk – possibility that an unwanted circumstance will occur that can result in some loss. o 4 components:  Risk Identification  Risk Assessment  Risk Response Development – contingency plan  Risk Control and Monitoring - Risk Identification: o Which risks may adversely affect the project objective and what the consequences of each risk might be if they occur. o Delphi Technique o Brainstorming o Interviewing o SWOT analysis o Historical Information form past projects - Risk breakdown structure – project  technical, external, organizational and project management. - Risk Assessment: o Assessing each risk involves determining likelihood that the risk event will occur and the degree of impact the event will have on the project objective. o Risk assessment matrix:  List the risks – what are the risks associated?  Identify the consequences – what happens with these risks?  Chance – the chance of them occurring.  Impact – how high of an impact will it have?  Action trigger – what can be done prior to?  Responsibility – whose responsibility is it?  Response plan – how can this problem be tackled? o Risk profiling – identifies acceptable and unacceptable risks based on the probability of them occurring and how low-high of an impact it will have. o Impact scale – a scale of 1-5 how much of an impact will it have on project objectives such as cost, time, scope and quality. o Simulation – uses representation or model of a system to analyze the expected behavior or performance of the system. Ex. Monte Carlo simulation – computerized mathematical technique that allows people to account for risk in quantitative analysis and decision-making. Need 3 estimates for that (most likely, pessimistic and optimistic) and an estimate of the likelihood of the estimate being between optimistic and most likely values.  Crystal Ball and Project Analysis – allows you to specify any type of probability distribution for each task. Specify all precedence relationships. It then shoots random numbers into your probability distributions to simulate thousands of completions of the project. Result is probability distribution of the total duration of the project, from which you can answer the what-if questions about how long the project might actually take. - Risk Response Planning: o Developing contingency plan to reduce the impact of likelihood of each risk. o Establish a trigger point for when to implement the plans to address each risk. o Assign responsibility o 4 strategies:  Risk Avoidance – eliminate a specific threat or risk, eliminate cause  Risk Acceptance – accept the consequences should a risk occur  Risk Transference – shifting the consequences of a risk and responsibility for its management to a third party  Risk Mitigation – reducing the impact of a risk event or reducing the probability of its occurrence - Risk Monitoring: o Regular review of the risk management matrix t
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