Blogger Widgets

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Project Management Case # 1

Questions:

Assuming you have read the entire PMBOK, please answer the questions below in no less than 1000 words per question.

1. What issues should have been considered by the project manager before accepting the project.
2. What alternatives should have been prepared by the project manager?
3. Do you think the system analyst and web developer should also be blamed for the failure of the project? Why?
4. What does the project team lack causing the project to fail? What additional recommendations would you give to this team concerning project management?
5. What is your assessment on the performance of the company president?

CASE 1

1. What issues should have been considered by the project manager before accepting the project?

In project management, accepting a project is a high risk on a team that will be handling the project, especially in the part of the project manager. It is a big responsibility to handle. By accepting a project, there are some issues that a project manager should be considered before accepting the project. In my own understanding about project management, the issues that should have been considered by the project manager before accepting the project is, the risk(s) of making the project. These were, if do they have the enough or capable staffs in doing such project. If in case, sooner or later they will have a new project offered by another client. How they could possibly work or handle it. If in the first project, they already assigned their best staffs, how about the second project if in case they have? The time pressure given in doing the project. Could they make it in achieving the objectives or the aims of the said project, could they give the result of the project’s objectives within the specified limit of time? and so on.

Based on a project management process, “First, you must assemble the team. Define Project Objectives. Define Project Scope. Construct an initial plan. Add resources, costs, risks etc., Obtain Stakeholder Buy-in. Publish the plan. Collect Progress Information. Analyze Current Status, Adjust the plan, and manage project change. Close Project.” And all of these steps should be considered by a project manager before accepting a project. Because some of these may have an issue that may affect the project's progress or compliance. 

Capable staffs or project team members. According to the PMBOK, 5th Edition, “The project team includes the project manager and the group of individuals who act together in performing the work of the project to achieve its objectives.” Each project’s member’s capability on doing such work especially on the task she’s or he’s into, should also be considered by the project manager. If each member is capable or should we say, how each project’s member would fit within the project team. 

Another project offered. Accepting a project offered comes with big responsibilities. Your client is expecting you, your company and your team that you can able to handle or do the given project on time, smoothly and surely. Aside from focusing on one project, how can a team or a project manager handle if there’s another project is being offered to him/her? A company can’t just accept only one project at a time. When the said company, which is the ABC Company is given a sixty professionals all in all. If they focus on the first project given, could they possibly give such attention to other project(s) that may come? How would the staffs being distributed or assigned? Before accepting a project that has been offered, there are stages of project management, a project manager should undergo. One is planning. The project manager should consider this issue, if another project is being offered, should he/she and her/his staffs or teams could be able to handle the projects if they will accept it. 

Limited time frame given or Time Pressure. Accepted project by a team’s project manager comes along with time pressure. According to the Project Management Book Of Knowledge (PMBOK), 5th Edition, “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The temporary nature of projects indicates that a project has a definite beginning and end. The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists.” In short, every project has a beginning and an ending. Every project has a limited time frame given by the client. This should also be considered by a project manager. They should also understand or analyze if they could done the given project before they will reach the deadline. Accomplishing the project’s goal or objectives should also met as they think about the time frame given. If they could make all things about the project right on time. 

Objectives of the Project. As what I have mentioned above, one thing that goes along with time pressure is the objectives of the project. This is an another issue that should have been considered by the project management before accepting the project. Could they possibly achieved or accomplished the goal of the project, its mission. If they, the project manager and the project’s staff could comply the requirements or should we say, could be done within the specified duration of time given by the client? The objectives or the goal of a project is an important part of it. Making or doing a project without an objective is useless. 

Make another an alternatives or another plan. In making a project, one should always make an alternatives or another plan if in case the main plan couldn't work out. They will always have a spare solution if they cannot find any other possible solution for the main project. Before proceeding to the another plan or let say plan B, there were always factors that should always be considered so that if they are already in the making of the plan B, they will not with regret their decision. These factors were the following: have they spent much resources or money from the allotted budget for the project and already spent most of the time given? If they already spent most of the budget and spent most of the time in making the main plan of the project, then they must think of the alternatives or another solution for the main plan so that they can continue from it. Rather than proceeding to the next plan that will cost more time and money. If they can’t think or find any other solution, then they must proceed to the next plan, the plan b. Are all of the signs of giving up the main plan of the project were all given? For example, spent almost majority of the time allotted or almost eighty percent, used majority of the allotted budget for the project, not efficient staffs to handle the project issues or the project itself and any other signs. If most of the signs that gives the project team an idea not to continue the main plan, then they must proceed to the alternatives. Should they really must continue the project or not? This is a very crucial decision a project team will handle and must think very carefully. Because giving up a project could affect the organization handling the project given. The company or the client may not make any project with this company or organization. As long as possible, making of plans can be up to plan z. 


2. What alternatives should have been prepared by the project manager? 

 If you’re an event planner or an organizer and you organize a client’s child’s birthday party on the client’s house and the party is celebrated within their house’s event space or garden without a roof. And while the party is going on, suddenly, the rain pours. How could you possibly make the party to continue? Is this means that you must stop the party? How about the money spent by the client just for this party? How about the guests that made their time just for this celebration? Have you prepared an alternatives for this phenomena that could possibly happened? Have you checked the weather forecast for that day? An alternative for this situation is to move all the party inside the house of course. If the house has a lot of space, good. Otherwise, use the little space that can be used and make another plan or re-plan the activities that must do within the party menu that just can do within the space. This is an example of making an alternatives and applying it. A key to have an effective business. This also applies on making something. 

In making a certain project, there must also be an alternatives. How about if there are some issues that may occur that may affect the project along the way? As a project manager, are you prepared enough for these some issues? How can you handle situations when these will arise? These questions must be prepared by a feasibility study. 

Being a project manager is a difficult job, given the fact that you carry responsibilities and must be a good model to your team. Must work effectively and motivate your team members to perform their task well, slowly but surely, but also must be within the time frame. As a project manager, he should have always be prepared with the alternatives for the project in case there are some issues that may occur while they are in the process of executing the project. The project manager should prepared an another project plan proposal in regards to the main plan of the project. He or she should make another plan if the first or main plan of the project cannot make it or cannot be succeeded on time. If some issue may occur along the progress of the making of the project, the project manager should always be prepared so he or she has a solution to the issue or an alternatives. 

In the case of the issue happened in the ABC Company’s making of the project for the XYZ Consulting Firm., the project manager should have added another staff for the project team. Or he or she must appoint a new person to be the project manager. Or if he or she is confident enough for the system analyst to be acted as the new project manager, the company president should appoint the web analyst right away so that they avoided delays, continue the progress of the project and made their client not to worry. With just two persons only on one project team can’t make it to finished that kind of project on time within two months giving the fact that the project manager and the system analyst is just one same person. A system analyst studies the company’s computer systems and make recommendations to help the company function effectively. While a project manager guides her or his staffs, managing and giving them directions for a certain project to be accomplished. If these two jobs will be operated all just by one person, can that person work effectively and efficiently and can work with the web designer without getting confused with what her or his really job is? Giving the fact that with the project manager is busy with an another project, and this have already caused delays of the project. The project manager can also add a staff to do the works that the system analyst and the web developer can’t do because of so much workload as an alternative. 

Preparing an alternatives for a possible errors or issues that may occur while in the process of developing or executing the project may prevent delays of the project. This will make the team use the time allotted for the project, wisely and efficiently. While the project manager is away and busy with the another project that came in, given the fact that he is also the company president must rapidly appoint a new staff to be the new project manager. Preparing alternatives for a project is part of the project management cycle. It is part of the feasibility study that takes place within the first phase of the cycle, the initiation. Each project must always prepare alternative solutions that is available and must have solutions for the implementation. The project team must identify or as possible, predict the possible issues that may occur along the way. List these issues and the possible risks with each solution and choose a preferred answer or resolution for implementation. The project manager must have a better understanding about the scope of the project so that he could manage to make alternatives for the project. And he must commit himself to the project and must do his job and responsibilities in able to be a good model to his team. 

Delays in a project will cause much issues in implementing the project. Such as what the project manager or the company president’s attitude have shown. He just appointed the system analyst as the new project manager in latter time which cause the project a delay. And also, appointing the system analyst without such proper planning on what is the possible issue(s) may occur. So, one way in avoiding it is providing a solution or an alternatives. It is important for the organization to identify and understand what causes the delay and how to prevent it from occurring. Because eventually, delays will give such project a high risk or chances of a project failure. 

Overall, it is clearly stated that the team is not prepared enough and did not plan carefully about the project. 


3. Do you think the system analyst and web developer should also be blamed for the failure of the project? Why? 

In every business project has a project team. And this project team is of course, composed of team members that is capable of doing works appointed to them to do so, which is aligned based on their expertise. And each of this member carries responsibilities in each of their job. The project team is responsible for planning the project and executing it to achieve its main objectives together with its main purpose.

With the ABC Company’s failed project of the XYZ Consulting Firm, although the project manager should shoulder majority of the blame, I still think that the system analyst and the web developer should also be blamed for the failure of their project. 

The project manager should shoulder majority of the blame because he did not perform his responsibility with the first project after he accepted the second project and work with it. The system analyst and the web developer had reached out their project manager regarding with the issues occurred during the process of the project, but the project manager is too busy with his second project. The project manager is responsible for ensuring that the project team finishes the project. He/she should develop the plan for the project and giving his/her project team members directions for their works for the project. The project manager must maintain the progress of the project to ensure the satisfaction of the needs of the stakeholders of the project, as well as the needs of the project and the needs of individual. I’m referring to the project team members. He/she is also responsible for making sure that the project can be delivered within the budget, time frame allotted and within its scope and objectives. 

The project team members, the system analyst and the web developer is responsible for executing or performing their tasks that is aligned with the project plan. They must also be responsible in keeping on updating the project manager the progress of their works and informing the project manager also on some issues that may arise along the way. So, how they can manage to report their progress to their project manager if he is away and busy with the other project that came in? How could they possibly accomplished their goals for the projects for an expected outcome if they are lack of staff(s), especially with a project manager. It’s like, how could a construction work done without an architect or a civil engineer? A project team members were managed and directed by a project manager. Each team member must understand the purpose, the goal and the objectives of the project. They must understand the scope of the project they are working. They must report issues and suggest solutions that may correct the problem. They must identify the risks associated with the project and the important is, they must work as a team. Each team member is assigned in the work they are in because that is the area where they are the experts. 

Why did the system analyst and the web developer allow that with the project, they doesn't have their project manger that manages and directing them for the project that must be finished on time. Each project team member needs a better understanding of the project’s goals, objectives, scope of the project, its fundamental components and the project’s vision. Lacking of team member(s) should think or plan if doing project should proceed or not if in the first place they surely know that the project will fail or not. The system analyst must not have been accepted the company’s president or the project manager when he or she appointed him as the temporary project manager if he or she is not well trained and experienced of being a project manager. Being a project manager means giving your team a proper direction to accomplished the project on time. Giving the team a proper guidance and from its name, project manager, managing your project team to the success of the project. Project Manager is very different from system analyst. The system analyst should not accept the job as the new project manager given all the delays for the project just because of project manager’s lack of managing capabilities. 

If the two project team’s staff, the system analyst and the web developer have done their parts, then they must not be also blamed and for the failure of the project. As part of the team, they must plan carefully the project, every little detail of it. And support and participate on each other’s, such as, when one had made a decision in regards to the project. As part of the team, they must also say something or they must also suggest on what they think the is the best. They should say something on about what they think about the decision that made, that may affect the project. An example for this is the project manager’s business with the other project. His absence during the implementation of the first project really affects the progress of the project. Lack of cooperation and commitment to the project are one of the cause why the project failed. Although, the project manager must shoulder majority the blame for the failure of the project, his team members should also be blamed. What this makes me think this so? A team is defined as which is composed of members that is come together to achieve a specific common goal or objectives. They must plan the project, carefully and properly. In other words, they must have proper communication with each other and must work as a team. Additional to this, they need much time to plan and initiate, which is pat of the project management cycle. Because as what I think, they do not use enough time to plan. Thirty minutes of discussing and planning a project is not enough. 

But blaming each other couldn't turn back the time, could not okay the situation and complete the project. All they need is to accept the result of what they have done or made. Accept it and learn the lesson so that if they will encounter such problem again, they will know what solution they must apply to resolve it. 


4. What does the project team lack causing the project to fail? What additional recommendations would you give to this team concerning project management? 

Failure of a project has many causes and each of all failed project has its own set of issues. Based on David L. Hamil’s article on a certain site which is cited on the bottom of this case, on the reference part, there were four fundamental reasons why a project fails. Poor planning, lack of corporate management support, poor project management and lack of customer focus and end-user participation. Along with these four reasons, 3 of these have done by the project team of ABC Company. 

Based on what I have came up after analyzing the situation given, the project team were lack of proper planning and initiation, lack of project manager’s support,lack of cooperation and lack of focus. 

Lack of Proper Planning and initiation. Proper planning and especially executing it in the right way is the key to have the expected outcome in a project. It is the key in order to achieve the objectives of the project that will satisfy their client, XYZ Consulting Firm. The success of a project depends on thoughtful planning. Without such proper planning, a project may end up failure. The project team must focus on achieving the project’s goal and must plan a strategic move to end up in the successful outcomes within the specific time frame allotted to do the project.Proper planning involves creating a project plan, financial plan, quality plan and all plans that may affect the result of the project. Lack of initiation because in the first place, if they followed the project management cycle, they must provide possible solutions to the issues that occurred during the process of making the project. Initiation involves making a feasibility study where making an alternatives and creating or suggesting solutions is under. If they are prepared with solutions with the possible issues, then, they must managed the problem within the project quickly. But based on the given solution, it looks like that the project team is very lack of planning. So much issues or problems occurred and they don’t manage have solutions for these. That’s why it leads to the failure of the project. 

Lack of project manager’s support. Does the project you’re working into have the full cooperation and support of your team’s project manager? If the project doesn't have a proper communication with the project manager, the project will most likely end up failure. Having a project manager that will manage the project from inception to completion and communicated the needs needed for the project will give more help to the completion of the project. A project succeeds only when the project manager makes the project the top priority and communicates well with the stakeholders of the organization. The project team as wells as the whole organization must remain sensitive or knowledgeable and aware to the needs and priorities of the project. As to the ABC’s project team’s project manager, it is obviously that the project manager did not focus to the project with XYZ Consulting Firm. He is busy with his other project that just came in. His absence in the implementation of the project affects the members of the team and of course to the outcome of the project. The project manager is responsible for making sure that his project team completes the project. He, together with his team should develop the project plan and he should manage each team member’s performance. He should always maintain proper communication with his team members in order to monitor the status or the progress of the project. As the project manager, he must be a good model for his team. He should manage his time well and set up priorities to achieve the goal of the project, as well as the goals, mission and vision of his company. Without the proper commitment with the upper management, the projects may suffer in inadequate staffing, unfulfilled commitments, and insufficient funding.Inadequate staffing, without the proper management of the project manager, the team cannot maintain direction for the better progress of the project. The project manager must seek out talents of his team members. Unfulfilled commitments with their client and insufficient funding for the execution of the project. 

Lack of cooperation. Aside from lack of project manager’s support, the cooperation of the team members were also a cause for the project to fail. The system analyst and the web developer should maintain their cooperation or commitment with the their project manager. Yes, the project manager is the most responsible to the failed project but his team members also has a responsibility also with the project. They are in a one group. They must act as a team which each member carries responsibilities. 

Lack of Focus. This shortcoming is referring to project manager’s performance. He is lack of focus as being a project manager and to the project itself. He didn't think and plan well the actions he had made. He didn't manage to execute well his responsibilities as a project manager. In order to properly manage a project and to successfully achieved it, I recommend to this team that they must control and perform management. Such as time management, quality management, change management, risk management, issue management and communications management. Time management, this management must be perform in order for them to monitor and control their time spent within the project. They are able to monitor the amount of time that each of the project team member’s spent making the deliverables within the project and can manage to increase the chances of finishing the project within the schedule. If the team are able to perform time management, they must be able to control delays and apply a solution for it not to affect the outcome of the project. Cost Management, this must be perform within the making of the project in order to monitor the amount of resources’ cost, all the expenses that spent within the project. To keep track of all the expenses and record it.Quality Management, this management is for them to create a quality project that will satisfy the needs of the clients. Risk Management, will help the project team to manage the risk that may affect the project. They are able to control and monitor the the risks and helps or to make sure that the team will meet the project’s objectives. This will help them to diminish the risks. Issue Management, with this kind of management where the project team must perform can help them to manage identifying and resolving issues that will occur during the project life cycle before these issues may cause the project failed. Communications Management, to help the project manager to inform his or her project team be informed with the right information in regards to the project. And lastly, Change Management, this kind of management will help the project manager to manage the changes that took place within the project. How often times they make changes for the project? These managements can assist the project team to deliver their deliverables which is aligned with the project’s plan and will result to the expected outcome. 


5. What is your assessment on the performance of the company president? 

“Every organization, regardless of size, location or corporate structure, must have a leader who performs tasks aimed at developing the organization's vision and implementing the policies and procedures that allow that vision to be accomplished.” – KJ Henderson, Demand Media 

To be a president comes with big responsibilities. As what the quotation had stated above, a president should implement the policies and procedures that the company or an organization’s goal or objectives to be accomplished. 

If you are part of the project team, does the project you’re working into have the full cooperation and support of your team’s project manager? If the project team doesn't have a proper communication with the project manager, the project will most likely end up failure. Having a project manager that will manage the project from inception to completion and communicated the needs needed for the project will give more help to the completion of the project. A project succeeds only when the project manager makes the project the top priority and communicates well with the stakeholders of the organization especially of the project. The project team as wells as the whole organization must remain sensitive or knowledgeable and aware to the needs and priorities of the project. 

The ABC Company which stated in its company profile summary above, always aims high in giving quality services and be one of the solution provider in the country. Quality Service, how this type of service can be accomplish if they don’t have at least provide solutions for their issues? Solution provider, how they can accomplish this if their company president didn't properly perform his task and responsibilities in the first place?

As the company president proposed its budget proposal to its client, XYZ Corp, means agreeing the budget allotted for the project. When the project was approved and agreed by the ABC Company’s president, and already formed its project team and discussing plans for the project, means that the company already accepted the responsibilities intact with it. As accepting responsibilities, they must also do their parts in achieving its project’s goal. The company president assigned staffs on the project, so it means, he or she is believing on the staff’s capabilities. And also trusting the each team member’s potential on their own field of work or expertise. In the first place, why did the president accepted the another project where they still have a pending project that should be done within two months. The project manager is so very busy on the second project, with this, it can produce more issues with the first project. In order to solve a one problem, one should be focus. How the project manager could be focus if he or she is busy managing with the other project? With just the system analyst and the web developer, how could they possibly manage to finish the current project assigned to them when their project manager is busy with the other project? Having with no project manager on a team, could not possibly accomplish things that must be done within two months time frame. 

The company president should have a proper commitment with his project team and same goes with the company president’s staff. They shouldn’t allow to do project without proper guidance or directions from their heads, project manager or company president. He should, as long as possible, assigned another staff or more in doing the project. In order to achieve the vision and mission of his company, he should set on his mind his top priorities in this business, in making projects, big or small. He must not allow not to have a proper connection to the team, where he must maintain proper communication with his staff in order for them to achieve their goals in making the project with maintaining the quality service the company aims to provide. The project manager or the company president shouldn’t left his first project and left his project team members hanging and busy doing the assigned tasks to them while at the same time, many issues were arising. The company president is lack project governance. Project governance is the key for an organization to properly manage and produce better quality of projects and helps the projects with a business strategy. Project governance provides a blueprint in which all staffs involved within a certain project could make decisions that will satisfy the needs of the project and of the client. He fails to create a governance structure that is appropriate to the needs of the project as well as the needs of his staffs. 

Overall, it is clearly stated that the project manager’s performance resulted to assessed him such a irresponsible company president. He just allow the issues occurred ruined the first project. If he is a good project manager and of course a good company president, he should manage to analyze and plan every single detail of his or her actions that may affect his or her business. The company president must possess his role as the company president and as the project manager. He must be responsible enough to handle such situations given the fact that he is the company president. As the project manager and the company president, he should monitored the progress of the project, but because he is busy with the other project, he was not able to perform his responsibility. He just left his team hanging in a project that full of issues because of lack of team member especially a project manager. And just as responding emails to their clients, the project manager can’t do because of the second project. With these, how can they possibly provide quality service and become a best solution provider in town. In my own opinion, the company president must not aggressively accept the second project if he is not done managing the first project. He must analyze the situation first before doing such decisions because doing without thinking may cause their works to fail. Working on too many projects at the same time may cause many delays. At the end of the day, we must learn the lesson. Learn the lesson and apply it to the future. In this case, the company president should learn his or her mistakes so that he or she will not do what he had done in this project that result to the project failure. As well as the two team members, where they must be vocal to what their thoughts are because they must have a cooperation for a better outcome of their project. The key to a successful project is to learn from past mistakes, from past project failures and put those lessons learned into action. 

References:

- A Guide to the Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK GUIDE), 5th Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc. 
- http://smallbusiness.chron.com/duties-president-organization-428.html
- http://proceedings.esri.com/library/userconf%29/proc01/professional/papers/pap529/p529.htm http://www.method123.com/project-lifecycle.php

...  ...

No comments:

Post a Comment