CIMA E2 – 9. Project Management

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Project
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“A human activity that achieves a clear objective against a timescale.” The term “project” is often used to describe something outside of normal day-to-day repetitive work
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Project characterised by
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•a one-off event •clear objective •set timescale •project manager organising and controlling the project •project team charged with executing the project •resources and budgets allocated •an end-customer. In some organisations, such as consultants or builders, the majority of their work is project based.
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Project management
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“The integration of all aspects of a project, ensuring that the proper knowledge and resources are available when and where needed, and above all to ensure that the expected outcome is proceeded in a timely, cost-effective manner
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Project management vs line management
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Project management differs from line management which is the management of day-to-day operations, for example a supervisor managing a production line or a sales manager managing their sales team. Line managers have the same area of responsibility day in day out and manage the same team doing the same basic tasks, often using the same standard processes, whereas project teams have a one-off objective and operate over a set time period.
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Nine areas of project management
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Constraints – scope, time, cost , quality, Risk Activities – resource management, procurement, integration, communication,
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scope
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Scope covers the content and objectives of the project – what is included, and not included, and what is to be achieved? Clearly defining, planning and controlling the scope and setting objectives at the start of the project ensures it is clear from the start what the project boundaries and objectives are, and as such this should help focus planning and project control within overall budgets
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Time
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Time It is important to define key activities and their duration and sequence them appropriately. Developing time schedules such as Gannt Charts and Critical Path Analysis can help provide a clear plan and support time based control.
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Cost
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At the start of the project is it vital that a clear budget is developed that is consistent the programme plans and is achievable. Cost monitoring and cost control should then be applied throughout the project including the use of variance analysis, to ensure costs remain within expectations.
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Quality
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Developing a quality plan ensures that key elements of quality are retained throughout. Quality needs to be balanced against cost as the higher the quality the higher the cost, and as such the quality plan needs to be set at the same time as the budget. Ongoing review of quality as the production continues will help to control quality.
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Resource management
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Ongoing management of all key resources including management of staff, inventories, machinery, IT and buildings, ensures that the optimum use of all resources is made at all times. Tools such as a resource histogram can be used to plan resources to ensure they are properly managed.
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Procurement
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Effective procurement includes selecting the right suppliers, negotiating, contracting and monitoring supplier performance throughout the project. By balancing elements of cost and quality with contractors this can help keep the budget under control while achieving the required project quality.
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Integration
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Integration relates to the bringing together of everything in the project to be coordinated, well run and well managed. This includes the use of project plans to manage the project, and managing change and uncertainty throughout.
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Communication
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Communication must be carried out between all the different stakeholders involved in the project to ensure everyone is fully informed, to avoid misunderstandings and to ensure good coordination. In particular the project scope must be laid down by the project board/customer and communicated to the project manager and team, and progress reports passed upwards to keep the board informed and to enable them to take relevant action. The project team must be regularly informed of their tasks and project updates to keep the day to day work on track, and the team coordinated through good communication with suppliers and contractors.
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Risk
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Risk Identifying and quantifying risks and planning strategies on how risks will be reduced and managed throughout the project ensures that key risks are controlled and the project is well prepared for most eventualities. Objectives of project management The objectives of project management flow directly from these project management areas. They are: Scope: To have a clear, focused project scope and objectives which all key stakeholders agree with, and which is the focus of the project. Time: To manage project timings effectively and complete the project on time. Cost: To monitor and control costs and keep within the agreed budget. Resources: Resources are acquired and used efficiently and effectively. Quality: The required standards of quality are met and ultimately the customer’s needs are met. Procurement: Costs of procurement are minimised, quality of purchases is at the required standard, and supplier relationships maintained well throughout the project Integration: The project is effective and well managed through clear planning and control. Communication: All stakeholders are engaged throughout, ensuring good coordination and control Risk: Risks are considered and minimised
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Programme Management
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Programme Management relates to the management of a portfolio of linked projects. It is an overarching function, in which overall goals for the programme are clarified, and the projects which will drive the programme decided upon. These are then prioritised, planned, and coordinated to ensure that, not only do the individual projects achieve their objectives, but that the combination of projects achieve the outcome required for the organisation/programme as a whole.
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Feasibility
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before a project is undertaken it undergo a feasibility study to ascertain whether the project can achieve its goal in a cost effective manner.
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Feasibility – 4 areas of assessment:
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Technical – technology and technical expertise i.e mrketing, HR, Financial strategy Social – impact of a project on both int. and ext. stakeholders Ecological – impact on local community/ pollution/ reputation damage Financial – costs incurred by a project outweigh the benefits gained.
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Project life cycle
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to ensure that a project is successful, a suitable framework needs to be adopted: 1 – Identification of need ( initiation) – goals & objectives 2 – Development of solution ( Planning) – Resources 3 – Implementation ( Execution/Control) – allocation of resources and measuring progress to plan 4 – Completion ( Closing) – ensure project is completed
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Control methodologies ( Prince 2)
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it maintains control by prescribing a series of processes.
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Prince 2 Processes to be followed:
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– Initiating a project – set criteria which the project will be judged – Starting up a project – appoint the project maanger – Planning a project – sequence activities using project management tools – Managing product delivery – co-ordinate diff aspects of the project – Managing boundaries between each stage of an overall project – Controlling each stage of a project – solving problems and controlling deliverables – Closing a project – reporting on the extent to which a project is a success – Directing the project – carried out by senior management throughout the project
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Prince 2 processes are supported by three techniques;
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Product based planning – seeing the project in terms of output rather than activity Change control – how to manage changes when they arise Quality reviews – a structured measurement of ‘fitness for purpose’
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Benefits of Prince 2
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– Clear structure of authority and responsibility – Ensures management products ie Budgets are produced – Generates diff. plans to ensure that all participants have a clear understanding of their role in the completion of a task – Detailed, documented technical procedures – quality control
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other control methodology
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Project management Body of Knowledge Six Sigma Deal/INTRo
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Risk Management
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Manage risk using the following process: Identify – produce a list of risk Analyse – decide on size and probability Prioritise – rank Management – decide strategy Resolution – undertake strategy Monitor – ongoing monitoring
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Risk analysis
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Considered under 3 headings: Quantitative Risk-calculated using equation P(E)x P(L)x M Qualitative risk – used in absence of numerical data. projects ranked high/medium/low Socially constructed risk – reflects peoples perception of risk
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Risk management Strategies ( TARA)
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Transfer – pass to 3rd party Avoid – remove the facts that give rise to risk Reduce – mitigate the likelihood of the risk occurring Absorb – accept the risk on the grounds that it can be managed if it occurs
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Uncertainty
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– in the absence of any historical data to generate a probability, the outcome is described as uncertain. – it is is impossible to reduce uncertainty as it has no quantifiable value to begin with. its effects therefore need to be managed using contingency plans
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Project management Tools – Gantt Charts
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– Work breakdown structure presented diagrammatically – horizontal bar charts that present each component part of the project on a timeline – Gantt charts are easy to read – shows both est and actual performance to date – but does not show which activity is reliant on the other
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Project management Tools – critical Path Analysis
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– work breakdown structure presented diagrammatically – used to prepare a network chart which helps with the planning and controlling of complex projects – projects are broken down into sequence tasks – duration of task is estimated – tasks are arranged in a logical sequence
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Critical Path analysis – Milestones & Control gates
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Milestone are key events that measure how much of the project has been completed and how much remains outstanding. Control gates are those that do not let milestones to pass until the project has been reviewed and a decision has been taken whether to proceed or not to proceed.
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Critical Path analysis – Managing risk & uncertainty
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Critical path analysis has an element of risk and uncertainty attached to it, which can be managed in 3 ways: 1 – Project Evaluation and Review Tech (PERT) – estimate probable, optimistic, pessimistic – expected values are used to calculate the expected duration 2 – Contingency Planning – alternative plans drawn 3 – Buffering – Slack time is added into the activity durations. This should not be encouraged as can lead to inefficiencies.
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Project management software
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Management software can facilitate management of a project via: – Budgeting – Scheduling – Resource Planning – Activity Planning – Linking activities – Creating Gantt Charts – Reporting
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Project closure
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Once a project has been completed it should be reviewed to evaluate its success and learn from the experiences gained.
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Project Closure activities
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1 – Orgainse and fill project doc 2 – Receive and make final payments 3 – Formal sign -off from customer 4 – Appraising the project team 5 – Reviewing the business case – benefited the business as expected
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Post-Completion audit
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Formal review of the project and can be done internally ( members of the project team) or externally ( with the customer). Following area assessed: Has the required quality been achieved how eff. was the operations were the costs properly managed was the deadline achieved was the management of the project effective how were the significant problems dealt with
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Project stakeholders
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A stakeholder is anyone who is interested in, is influenced by, or involved in some way with the project.
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Project stakeholders include:
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Project sponsor – Provide funding and resources and make the investment decision. Project board/project owner – An individual or group of people tasked with overseeing the project. The project manager will periodically report to the project board/owner who will assess progress and have authority delegated to them by the project sponsor to allow significant project changes. Project Champion – A champion is usually a senior member of staff who supports the project and will “oil the political wheels” to facilitate its progress. Customers/client – The end-user, who will ultimately benefit from the project’s completion. Suppliers – Provide materials, assets and services. Project manager – Responsible for the project and its success. Project team – Undertake project activities.
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Stakeholder communication
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Stakeholder communication is vital to successful project management since it achieves buy-in and avoids misunderstandings which can cost time.
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Stakeholder Mapping (Mendelow’s Matrix)
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Mendelow’s matrix helps to identify the relationships that should be built with different stakeholders. A stakeholder’s position in the matrix depends on two factors: Power- The power to influence the project. Interest – The interest which the stakeholder has in the project. Each stakeholder is placed in one box depending on each factor and then treated differently depending on where they are: Minimal effort – e.g. Temporary employee on the project for just one day. Give them basic information to meet their needs, but pay little attention to them in decision making and strategy. Keep informed – e.g. Full time project staff. Regularly communicate with them, particularly things they are interested in. This helps retain good relationships and ensures good motivation and coordination. Keep satisfied e.g. Board of Directors over a minor IT update project. They have high power so to avoid them exercising the power they should be kept satisfied, for example by ensuring their needs are included in the project scope. As they have little interest only information is given to them as is necessary. Key players (Keep Close) e.g. Project Customer – Regular communication is maintained and their goals and objectives included as part of the planning.
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Project manager
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It is the project manager’s responsibility to look after the nine key areas of project management and ensure the project is completed on time, within budget and to the required standard of quality. Skills required of the project manager To effectively manage the project the project manager needs a variety of skills and knowledge.
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Project manager – Integration skills
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Change management skills: •Overcoming resistance to change •Change management tools and techniques (e.g. Lewins)
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Project manager – Scope skills
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Project area knowledge (e.g. an IT project needs someone with some good understanding of IT)
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Project manager – Resources skills
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Leadership skills: •Obtaining results through personal direction and influence •Team participation and consultation •Fostering team spirit and motivation •Recognising staff achievement •Conflict resolution Delegation skills: •Communicating overall and individual objectives •Passing down responsibility for tasks •Encouraging individual learning
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Project manager – Time skills
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Use of time-planning models and software Assertiveness to keep staff and suppliers focused on key target
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Project manager – Cost skills
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Budgeting and finance expertise
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Project manager – Quality skills
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Planning and monitoring skills Knowledge of quality techniques such as Total Quality Management, Quality circles and Six Sigma.
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Project manager – Communication skills
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•Verbal/people •Report writing •Running meetings
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Project manager – Procurement skills
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Negotiation skills: •Knowing the desired outcome (quality and price) •Understanding leverage points •Seeing the buyers perspective •Knowing when it’s best to walk away
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Project manager – Risk skills
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Problem-solving skills: •Analysing problems •Brainstorming solutions •Decision-making
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The project team
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The project team is responsible for undertaking project activities. To be successful the project team must: •work as a team •have a good team spirit •be well co-ordinated and controlled •be motivated •have the right skill mix •have the right mix of personalities (e.g. Belbin) •be effectively managed through the stages in group development (Tuckman) •be given clear objectives •have the appropriate resources •have clear roles and responsibilities defined to each team member.
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Project team structure
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The project team must have a clear internal structure. It should have clear leadership (usually from the project manager), and delegated responsibilities to team members for specific parts of the project. The larger the team the larger the team hierarchy is likely to be. Organisational structure and the link to project success The likelihood of success of a project may depend on the organisational structure. In divisional or functional organisations, where project working is less common, the culture may be more resistant to project-based working and project members less experienced at working in project teams and in a project environment. Project members will also have responsibility to their department as well as the project, and may have to spend time on departmental duties (e.g. departmental meetings) while on the project.
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Matrix organisations and Consequences of projects in matrix organisations
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Matrix organisations have a structure and internal systems which naturally allow for new projects to start up. Consequences of projects in matrix organisations include: •Project members are likely to be team players since this will be considered as part of the selection process. •The project management process will be familiar to everyone. •Obtaining resources will be a straightforward process built into everyday operating procedures

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