Project management Chapter 1 Answers

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Define project.
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A project is an endeavor to accomplish a specific objective through a unique set of interrelated tasks and the effective utilization of resources.
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Define the term project objective and give some examples.
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A project has a well-defined objective—an expected result or product. The objective of a project is usually defined in terms of scope, schedule, and cost. Furthermore, it is expected that the work scope will be accomplished in a quality manner and to the customer’s satisfaction. An example is to produce 5,000 two-page, marketing brochures by July 1 for a cost of $15,000.
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List some examples of resources that are used on a project.
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People, equipment, money, materials, etc.
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What role does a customer have during the project life cycle? Why is it important to satisfy the customer?
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The customer should be involved throughout the project life cycle. The customer is the one who is paying for the project. Unsatisfied customers have been known to withhold payments, never call you again for repeat business, and spread word of their dissatisfaction. On the other hand, a satisfied customer will do the opposite of those things.
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What aspects of a project might involve some degree of uncertainty? Why?
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Many aspects can have some degree of uncertainty, such as the schedule or the budget. An unexpected snowstorm may delay a highway construction project and increased lumber prices may increase the cost of building a new home. Not everything in a project can be planned, scheduled, or budgeted.
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Define scope, schedule, cost, and customer satisfaction. Why are these considered to be constraints?
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The scope of a project is all the work that must be done in order to satisfy the customer that the deliverables meet the requirements or acceptance criteria agreed upon at the onset of the project. The cost of a project is the amount the customer has agreed to pay for acceptable project deliverables. The project cost is based on a budget that includes an estimate of the costs associated with the various resources that will be used to accomplish the project. The schedule for a project is the timetable that specifies when each activity should start and finish. The project objective usually states the time by which the project scope must be completed in terms of a specific date agreed upon by the customer and the individual or organization performing the work. Customer Satisfaction is the level to which the customer is pleased with the end result of the project. The objective of any project is to complete the scope within budget by a certain time to the customer’s satisfaction. Any of these four factors can put limitations on the final product.
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List and describe the main phases of the project life cycle.
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The first is the initiating phase, when projects are identified and selected. They are then authorized, using a document referred to as a project charter. The second phase of the project life cycle is the planning phase and includes defining the project scope, identifying resources, developing a schedule and budget, and identifying risks, all of which make up the baseline plan for doing the project work. In the third phase, the performing phase, the project plan is executed, and work tasks are carried out to produce all the project deliverables and to accomplish the project objective. During this phase, the project progress is monitored and controlled to assure the work remains on schedule and within budget, the scope is fully completed according to specifications, and all deliverables meet acceptance criteria. Also, any changes need to be documented, approved, and incorporated into an updated baseline plan, if necessary. The final phase of the project life cycle is the closing phase. Project evaluations are conducted, lessons learned are identified and documented to help improve performance on future projects, and project documents are organized and archived.
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List and describe the steps required to develop a baseline plan.
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1. Establish project objective — clearly define the project objective and have it agreed upon by the sponsor or customer. 2. Define scope — include customer requirements, define the major work tasks or elements, and provide a list of deliverables and associated acceptance criteria that can be used to verify that the work and deliverables meet specifications 3. Create a work breakdown structure — divide and subdivide the project scope into pieces or work packages. 4. Assign responsibility – identify the person or organization responsible for each work item in the work breakdown structure 5. Define the specific activities — develop the list of detailed activities that need to be performed for each work package to produce any required deliverables. 6. Sequence activities — graphically portray the activities in a network diagram to display the sequence and dependent relationships of the detailed activities. 7. Estimate activity resources — determine which types and skills or expertise of resources and how many of each resource are needed for each activity with consideration of the availability of the resources. 8. Estimate activity durations — make a time estimate for how long it will take to complete each activity, based on the estimate of the resources that will be applied. 9. Develop the project schedule — develop the overall project schedule, including when each activity is expected to start and finish, as well as the latest times that each activity must start and finish in order to complete the project by the project required completion date. 10. Estimate activity costs — determine the costs for the types and quantities of resources estimated for each activity using the appropriate labor cost rate or unit cost for each type of resource. 11. Determine budget — aggregate the cost estimates for each activity
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Why must a manager monitor the progress of a project? What can be done if a project is not proceeding according to plan?
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A manager must monitor progress to ensure that everything is going according to plan. It is also necessary to measure actual progress and compare it to planned progress. If at any time during the project the comparison of actual to planned progress reveals that the project is behind schedule, overrunning the budget, or not meeting the technical specifications, corrective action must be taken to get the project back on track within the scope, schedule, and budget constraints of the project objective. These actions include adding or changing resources to make up time and get back on schedule.
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Describe how a global project can be more complex than a project performed within just one country. How might these elements affect the successful outcome of the global project?
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Global projects have several unique influencing factors such as currency fluctuations and exchange rates, country-specific work codes and regulations, corporate joint ventures and partnerships creating entities with a presence and facilities in multiple countries, political relations between countries, and availability of high-demand workforce skills. Globalization changes the dynamics of the project and adds a layer of complexity that can adversely affect the project outcome if the project participants are not aware of what they might encounter in the way of cultural differences and multinational economic transactions.
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List some benefits of using project management techniques.
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• The ultimate benefit of implementing project management techniques is having a satisfied customer. • Completing the full project scope in a quality manner, on time, and within budget provides a great feeling of satisfaction. • It could lead to additional business. • Successful projects can expand career opportunities. • A feeling of satisfaction comes from being on a winning team. • Project management can expand knowledge, enhance skills, and make it easier to undertake more complicated projects. • When projects are successful, everybody wins!

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