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Project Management

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Project Management ­MGMT627
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LESSON 20
PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.)
Broad Contents
Life Cycle Phases
Responsibilities of Key Players
Problems in Objective Setting
20.1
Life-Cycle Phases:
To describe it further, project planning takes place at two levels. The first level is the corporate
cultural approach; the second method is the individual's approach. The corporate cultural
approach breaks the project down into life-cycle phases, such as those shown in Table 20.1. The
life-cycle phase approach is not an attempt to put handcuffs on the project manager but to
provide a methodology for uniformity in project planning. Many companies, including
government agencies, prepare checklists of activities that should be considered in each phase.
These checklists are for consistency in planning. The project manager can still exercise his own
planning initiatives within each phase.
Table 20.1: Life-Cycle Phase Definitions
In addition to this, the second benefit of life-cycle phases is control. At the end of each phase
there is a meeting between the project manager, sponsor, senior management, and even the
customer, to assess the accomplishments of this life-cycle phase and to get approval for the next
phase. These meetings are often called critical design reviews, "on-off ramps," and "gates." In
some companies, these meetings are used to firm up budgets and schedules for the follow-on
phases. In addition to monetary considerations, life-cycle phases can be used for manpower
deployment and equipment/facility utilization. Some companies go so far as to prepare project
management policy and procedure manuals where all information is subdivided according to
life-cycle phasing. Life-cycle phase decision points eliminate the problem where project
managers do not ask for phase funding, but rather ask for funds for the whole project before the
true scope of the project is known. Several companies have even gone so far as to identify the
types of decisions that can be made at each end-of-phase review meeting. They include:
Proceed with the next phase based on an approved funding level
Proceed to the next phase but with a new or modified set of objectives
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Postpone approval to proceed based on a need for additional information
Terminate project
For instance, consider a company that utilizes the following life-cycle phases:
Conceptualization
Feasibility
Preliminary planning
Detail planning
Execution
Testing and commissioning
As the name suggests, the conceptualization phase includes brainstorming and common sense
and involves two critical factors:
1. Identify and define the problem, and
2. Identify and define potential solutions
All ideas are recorded and none are discarded in a brainstorming session. The brainstorming
session works best if there is no formal authority present and if the time duration is no more
than thirty to sixty minutes. Sessions over sixty minutes in length will produce ideas that may
begin to resemble science fiction.
The second phase, that is the feasibility study phase, considers the technical aspects of the
conceptual alternatives and provides a firmer basis on which to decide whether to undertake the
project.
Note that the purpose of the feasibility phase is to:
Plan the project development and implementation activities.
Estimate the probable elapsed time, staffing, and equipment requirements.
Identify the probable costs and consequences of investing in the new project.
If practical, the feasibility study results should evaluate the alternative conceptual solutions
along with associated benefits and costs. The objective of this step is to provide management
with the predictable results of implementing a specific project and to provide generalized
project requirements. This, in the form of a feasibility study report, is used as the basis on which
to decide whether to proceed with the costly requirements, development, and implementation
phases.
Moving ahead with the life-cycle, the third life-cycle phase is either preliminary planning or
''defining the requirements." This is the phase where the effort is officially defined as a project.
In this phase, we should consider the following:
General scope of the work
Objectives and related background
Contractor's tasks
Contractor end-item performance requirements
Reference to related studies, documentation, and specifications
Data items (documentation)
Support equipment for contract end-item
Customer-furnished property, facilities, equipment, and services
Customer-furnished documentation
Schedule of performance
Exhibits, attachments, and appendices
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20.2
Responsibilities of Key Players:
We know that planning simply does not happen by itself. Companies that have histories of
successful plans also have employees who fully understand their roles in the planning process. Good
up-front planning may not eliminate the need for changes, but may reduce the number of changes
required. The responsibilities of the major players are as follows:
1.
Project manager will define:
 Goals and objectives
 Major milestones
 Requirements
 Ground rules and assumptions
 Time, cost, and performance constraints
 Operating procedures
 Administrative policy
 Reporting requirements
2.
Line manager will define:
Detailed task descriptions to implement objectives, requirements, and milestones
Detailed schedules and manpower allocations to support budget and schedule
Identification of areas of risk, uncertainty, and conflict
3.
Senior management (project sponsor) will:
Act as the negotiator for disagreements between project and line management
Provide clarification of critical issues
Provide communication link with customer's senior management
Remember that successful planning requires that project, line, and senior management are in
agreement with the plan.
20.3
Problems in Objective Setting:
It is not possible to satisfy all objectives every time. At this point, management must prioritize
the objectives as to which are strategic and which are not. Typical problems with developing
objectives include:
Project objectives/goals are not agreeable to all parties.
Project objectives are too rigid to accommodate changing
Insufficient time exists to define objectives well.
Objectives are not adequately quantified.
Objectives are not documented well enough.
Efforts of client and project personnel are not coordinated.
Personnel turnover is high.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT:Broad Contents, Functions of Management
  2. CONCEPTS, DEFINITIONS AND NATURE OF PROJECTS:Why Projects are initiated?, Project Participants
  3. CONCEPTS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT:THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, Managerial Skills
  4. PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGIES AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES:Systems, Programs, and Projects
  5. PROJECT LIFE CYCLES:Conceptual Phase, Implementation Phase, Engineering Project
  6. THE PROJECT MANAGER:Team Building Skills, Conflict Resolution Skills, Organizing
  7. THE PROJECT MANAGER (CONTD.):Project Champions, Project Authority Breakdown
  8. PROJECT CONCEPTION AND PROJECT FEASIBILITY:Feasibility Analysis
  9. PROJECT FEASIBILITY (CONTD.):Scope of Feasibility Analysis, Project Impacts
  10. PROJECT FEASIBILITY (CONTD.):Operations and Production, Sales and Marketing
  11. PROJECT SELECTION:Modeling, The Operating Necessity, The Competitive Necessity
  12. PROJECT SELECTION (CONTD.):Payback Period, Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  13. PROJECT PROPOSAL:Preparation for Future Proposal, Proposal Effort
  14. PROJECT PROPOSAL (CONTD.):Background on the Opportunity, Costs, Resources Required
  15. PROJECT PLANNING:Planning of Execution, Operations, Installation and Use
  16. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Outside Clients, Quality Control Planning
  17. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Elements of a Project Plan, Potential Problems
  18. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Sorting Out Project, Project Mission, Categories of Planning
  19. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Identifying Strategic Project Variables, Competitive Resources
  20. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Responsibilities of Key Players, Line manager will define
  21. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):The Statement of Work (Sow)
  22. WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE:Characteristics of Work Package
  23. WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE:Why Do Plans Fail?
  24. SCHEDULES AND CHARTS:Master Production Scheduling, Program Plan
  25. TOTAL PROJECT PLANNING:Management Control, Project Fast-Tracking
  26. PROJECT SCOPE MANAGEMENT:Why is Scope Important?, Scope Management Plan
  27. PROJECT SCOPE MANAGEMENT:Project Scope Definition, Scope Change Control
  28. NETWORK SCHEDULING TECHNIQUES:Historical Evolution of Networks, Dummy Activities
  29. NETWORK SCHEDULING TECHNIQUES:Slack Time Calculation, Network Re-planning
  30. NETWORK SCHEDULING TECHNIQUES:Total PERT/CPM Planning, PERT/CPM Problem Areas
  31. PRICING AND ESTIMATION:GLOBAL PRICING STRATEGIES, TYPES OF ESTIMATES
  32. PRICING AND ESTIMATION (CONTD.):LABOR DISTRIBUTIONS, OVERHEAD RATES
  33. PRICING AND ESTIMATION (CONTD.):MATERIALS/SUPPORT COSTS, PRICING OUT THE WORK
  34. QUALITY IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT:Value-Based Perspective, Customer-Driven Quality
  35. QUALITY IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT (CONTD.):Total Quality Management
  36. PRINCIPLES OF TOTAL QUALITY:EMPOWERMENT, COST OF QUALITY
  37. CUSTOMER FOCUSED PROJECT MANAGEMENT:Threshold Attributes
  38. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT TOOLS:Data Tables, Identify the problem, Random method
  39. PROJECT EFFECTIVENESS THROUGH ENHANCED PRODUCTIVITY:Messages of Productivity, Productivity Improvement
  40. COST MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL IN PROJECTS:Project benefits, Understanding Control
  41. COST MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL IN PROJECTS:Variance, Depreciation
  42. PROJECT MANAGEMENT THROUGH LEADERSHIP:The Tasks of Leadership, The Job of a Leader
  43. COMMUNICATION IN THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT:Cost of Correspondence, CHANNEL
  44. PROJECT RISK MANAGEMENT:Components of Risk, Categories of Risk, Risk Planning
  45. PROJECT PROCUREMENT, CONTRACT MANAGEMENT, AND ETHICS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT:Procurement Cycles