||3 Individual Assignments (IAs) – Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3: Part 1 (IA): Business Case (Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation, equivalent to 2,500 words): 40% To complete the PowerPoint presentation: (I will sent you Individual Assignments from Units 1-5 to revise and compile into Powerpoint) – Compile your Individual Assignment entries from Units 1–5 into a single PowerPoint document Unit 1: A definition of the project scope, aims and objectives (1–2 PowerPoint slides) Unit 2: An analysis of stakeholder groups, stakeholder issues and stakeholder management strategies (1–2 PowerPoint slides) Unit 3: An analysis of project tasks and phases using key project management planning tools (2–4 PowerPoint slides) Unit 4: Proposed key performance indicators that could be used to monitor the project’s performance (1–2 PowerPoint slides) Unit 5: An analysis of risks involved in the project and proposed risk mitigation strategies (1–2 PowerPoint slides) – Add a final 1–2 slide summary of what you have learned from completing your Individual Assignments entries, highlighting specific attributes that would help in securing funding for your project plan. – References in Harvard Format Part 2 (IA): Critique of two project management planning tools (Microsoft Word): 25% (I will send you assignments from Unit 3 to review/revise) Refer back to the two project management planning tools you analysed in the Shared Activity in Unit 3. To complete the critique, compose an essay of approximately 1,500 words that includes: – An introduction explaining what project management planning tools are and how they can positively and negatively impact a project. – A description of the two project management planning tools you selected, including a brief explanation of why you find these tools interesting or relevant to your work. – An analysis and critique of the two tools, including: Strengths: How the tools you selected might aid your understanding and experiences with managing projects. Limitations: How the tools might make managing projects more challenging, and ways to overcome those challenges. A comparison of the two tools as appropriate. – A conclusion summarising your thoughts on the project management planning tools you selected, including any insights gained from completing your critique. References in Harvard format. Part 3 (IA): Critical review of a current debate in project management literature (Microsoft Word): 15% Select a current debate in project management literature. Identify a relevant article about a current debate in the project management literature. Compose an essay of approximately 1,000 words that includes: – An introductory paragraph identifying the current debate you selected and why it interests you. – A section critically reviewing the debate as presented in the article. – A conclusion explaining how you think the current debate could be resolved in the future. References in Harvard Format. Examples of current debates in project management you might address are found in readings throughout the unit. Some of these include: – Projects as a temporary organisation – Stakeholder involvement in project management – Impact of organisational structure and/or culture on projects – Project risk drivers – Project completion – Project planning tools In many cases, different authors use the same terms to describe different concepts, or different terms to mean what are essentially very similar ideas. Do not let terminology worry you; discuss your chosen concepts or theories in specific, descriptive language, without too much jargon. 3 Responses to Blog Posts – Final Reflection (Microsoft Word): The purpose of these Blog posts is to Reflect on all the assignments from Units 1-5: Throughout this module, you have explored important concepts and processes that can help you be successful in managing projects. Although some of the concepts and processes presented in the units may have been new to you, you should now have a solid understanding of what is involved in the project life cycle. You have also learned about your fellow students, and possibly developed some relationships along the way. This is characteristic of a transformational journey. Think about how you have changed throughout the course of the module and what impact the key concepts and processes have had on your attitudes towards and knowledge of project management. Consider concepts and processes you think will have the most influence on your future. This self-reflection will allow you to focus your educational journey or career path and achieve long-term success. Blog Post 1: Final Reflection Throughout the journey of last several weeks, I have explored the concepts of project life cycle, project scope, project stakeholders, organizational environments, project planning tools, project performance, risk management and project completion. I have renewed my learning about project management as an important organizational activity concerned with the planning and management of resources to deliver the required project outcome within defined quality, time and cost constraints. Below is summary of learning during this module: Systematically review and evaluate the concepts of managing projects and a critical awareness of the key factors involved in successful project management. Understanding the organizational context of projects and critically analyze important factors affecting the success or failure of a project. Analyze and apply appropriate techniques to each stage of a project’s life cycle. Assess the role and skill set required by a project manager; in particular leading, negotiating, communicating and cooperating. Reflecting upon individual and team performance in project management. Important Concepts Learned The most important concepts I learned are project closure, post-implementation review (PIR) and impact of organizational environment on team roles and on project success. Project closure happens when project stakeholders accepts and validates that the deliverables identified with the project manager at the beginning of the project have been completed. Many authors have identified the importance of project closure as; project closure is a set of activities that are required to formally end the project (Sanghera, 2006); for a project, it is very important ‘knowing when to pull the plug’ (Staw and Ross, 2005: 65); Nicholas captured the importance of project closure in the statement that, ‘a bungled closure can bungle the project’ (2001: 423). Post-implementation review (PIR) is a formal examination of the results received after the project has been delivered (Lewinson, 2011). During project closure, the project team needs to conduct a review/lessons-learned meeting to capture items such as ‘what went well’, ‘what could have been done better’ and ‘what went wrong’. The outcome of the review meeting along with the estimation, planning and other project documents serve as a reference for future projects. In my current organization which is public entity; formal project closure and post-implementation review are not considered important steps of project life cycle. In future projects I will focus on formal project closure and PIR and will convince management about their benefits for coming projects and also will include adequate time while preparing project plan. Successful analysis of organizational environment is most important job for an IT project manager. If organization and management is more concerned about quantity but project manager is more focusing on quality and vice versa, then at the end he may fail to fulfill organizational expectations. It is more critical when defining project team roles because ‘a team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members. Members of a team seek out certain roles and they perform most effectively in the ones that are most natural to them’ (Belbin Associates, 2012). In a recent project of e-Transformation, management was expecting phased and module based project approach but in actual design, modules were dependent
and team roles were assigned accordingly. When there was delay in project launching due to resources unavailability and other reasons, top management asked to go live with whatever modules are ready but because of design it was not possible which made top management unhappy and put project manager’s job at risk. In my opinion it was mistake of project manager that he did not communicate properly about project plan and also fail to read and understand management and organizational expectations and environment. Influence on Career Module shared activities played a vital role to understand different concepts and at the end I am very thankful to all my classmates and instructor for posting their thoughts and their questions which added great value in my learning. After completing this program I will be looking for a managerial position, so I am very hopeful that the concepts of project life cycle, project scope, project stakeholders, organizational environments, project planning tools, project performance, risk management and project completion will provide great help in my future endeavors. References Belbin Associates, (2012) Belbin Team Roles, Available at: http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8, (accessed: 16/11/16) Lewinson, M., (2011) Project Closure Template – Key Steps to Closing a Project, Available at: http://www.mymanagementguide.com/project-closure-template-key-steps-to-closing-a-project/ (accessed: 30/12/16) Nicholas, J. M., (2001) Project Management for Business and Technology: Principles and Practice 2nd Edition, New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall Sanghera, P., (2006) PMP® In Depth: Project Management Professional Study Guide for PMP® and CAPM® Exams, Boston, USA: Thomson Course Technology Staw, B. M., & J. Ross, (2005) ‘Knowing When to Pull the Plug’, Harvard Business Review on Managing Projects, pp. 65-84 Blog Post 2: Hello Class, This module has really been an eye opener for me and I must say working with my peers has illuminated my understanding of Project Management alongside Risk Analysis. Going through different units in the module brought me closer to achieving milestones in understanding project management as a whole. I got to understand Organisational Cultures and their types with the unique features. The Power Culture in which power was held by few individuals, The Role Culture in which functions based on agreed set of rules, The Task Culture which is created with the sole aim of addressing specifics tasks in which power in this culture is based on expertise and The Person Culture where people believe they are above the law or that the organisation was set up for them. I understood that these roles have their advantages and disadvantages so they are neither good nor bad but are being used based on the set up of the organisation. Each set of organisational culture has an effect on project management and deliverable hence the need to be approached appropriately. Then we get to the Project Management tools. There were some tools that I had been exposed to but I did not know their names and to the full extent of their functionality. Engaging them more in this module made me appreciate them more. It also exposed me to tools I was not making use of properly alongside other tools I could make use of for more efficiency. Tools such Gantt chart, Work Break down analysis amongst others have been used and proven useful in my day to day engagements with Projects at my place of work. I got to understand these tools more and how to apply them to bring about utmost efficiency at my place of work. Although most of these tools have their strength and also their limitations, the strengths of these tools cannot be overemphasised. The approach to the balanced scorecard was also a strategic learning growth for me. It helps to reflect the bottom-line of an organisation’s value created activities. One very good thing about the Balance Scorecard approach is that this approach can be and is being embraced by small, medium and large scale organisations. This management approach was developed by Dr. Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and Dr. David Norton. They used this tool as a performance measurement framework that added strategic non-financial performance measures to traditional financial metrics to give managers and executives a more ‘balanced’ view of organizational performance. The balance scorecard helps to measure business and organisational performances from four interrelated business perspectives which are Financial, Customer, Internal Process and Learning. Finally Project Closure is the last phase of the module and also in a project management process. This has got to be the unit that influenced me the most. Although I am aware that at the end of an implementation phase, preliminary acceptance of the project result is accomplished (Project Management Knowhow). I never looked at Post Implementation Review / Project Closure as something to be done with the same verve as the implementation in itself. Project closure also represents a phase in the project in which the customer, project sponsor and all other stakeholders are in agreement that the deliverables of the project are as planned and expected and hence the project can be declared as a success and put it to an end, it is important however for project managers to understand that the process of closing a project in itself is quite significant and should be handled as a process rather than a milestone (Mastering-project-management.com, 2009). This made me understand the effects of not having a proper project closure process as some of disadvantages are lack of proper transition process alongside ever changing scope request. Lack of Project Closure also has financial impact as contractual agreement should also be part of project closure. This really change my perception of project closure and how it should be handled and treated. I became aware that ALL PROJECTS NEEDS TO BE CLOSED irrespective of whether the project was a success or not. A project is ready for closure either when the project reaches its’ final stage of implementation or when the project needs to be closed prematurely – at a particular stage (Prince 2, 2015). I know that I will not look at Project Management the same again and the learnings from this module will continually be of benefit to me and those I work with. References Belbin Associates, (2012) Belbin Team Roles, Available at: http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8, (accessed: 12/09/12) Bendoly, E., J. E. Perry-Smith, & D. G. Bachrach, (2010) ‘The Perception of Difficulty in Project-Work Planning and Its Impact on Resource Sharing’, Journal of Operations Management, 28 (5) pp.385-397. de Bakker, K., A. Boonstra, & H. Wortmann, (2011) ‘Risk Management Affecting IS/IT Project Success through Communicative Action’, Project Management Journal, 42 (3), pp.75-90. Retrieved from the University of Roehampton Library. Patanakul, P., & A. J. Shenhar, (2012) ‘What Project Strategy Really Is: The Fundamental Building Block in Strategic Project Management’, Project Management Journal, 43 (1) pp.4-20. Gantt.com, (2012) What Is a Gantt Chart?, Available at: http://www.gantt.com/index.htm(accessed: 12/09/12) Blog Post 3: Over the course of this module, I have learnt a lot about project management in ways that has expanded my understanding of the subject. As a Project Management Institute certified project management professional, who have been involved in many projects over the course of my career, I find the concepts and discussions of this module quite useful, prompting reflection on the topics with respect to the projects I have been involved in and managed as well as how I can use the knowledge acquired in future projects. One of such concept I find particularly interesting in the module is strategic project management (Patanakul and Shenhar, 2012), as a concept that emphasizes the importance of refocusing project management away from excessive concentration on time and cost as well as how project execution and delivery should add value to and compliment organizations competitive strategy (Porter, 1980). Understanding the need for such concept relative to traditional waterfall project management, which ordinarily is planned-driven with strong emphasis on delivery based on schedule and cost helps me understand why my organization adopted agile methodology which by designed puts more importance on how project delivery compliments organizational strategic objectives while ensuring cost and schedule is not overrun. There’s also the concept of fountain model of project management, as a contrast to the traditional plan-driven methodology of project management and delievery, the fountain model according to Söderlund (2002), is based on the recognition of the importance of collaboration and information sharing in the success of project execution as demonstrated by incremental and plan-as-you-go. This emphasizes the importance and brings the concept of incremental and iterative project planning (Fairley, 2009), which is based on using the information at every phase of a project to guide the next phase, into the all-out comprehensive planned-based traditional project management practices. I am able again to understand and appreciate more the choice of my organization in adopting agile software development and project management methodology. In learning about organizational culture as the set of values and norms of an organization Handy (2007) and as the way organization do things internally as well how it is seen by the public in this module, it became clear to me that the culture of an organization doesn’t just drive its processes, it also greatly influences how the organization adheres to and what project management practices is adopted. I am again able to connect this to how and why my organization adopts the task culture which based on the concept of bringing people and resources together for the purpose of project execution. The knowledge from this module has helped me understand how organizational culture is able to influence project delivery within my organization. References: Fairley, R., (2009) Managing and Leading Software Projects, Hoboken, John Wiley & Sons Handy, C. B., (2007) ‘On the cultures of organisations’, in Understanding Organisations, London, UK: Penguin Books, Ltd. Patanakul, P., & A. J. Shenhar (2012) ‘What Project Strategy Really Is: The Fundamental Building Block in Strategic Project Management’, Project Management Journal, Project Management Journal, 43 (1) pp.4-20. Porter, M. E., (1980) Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, New York: First Free Press Söderlund, J., (2002) ‘Managing Complex Development Projects: Arenas, Knowledge Processes and Time’, R&D Management, 32 (5) pp.419-430.