Lecture notes on Software Project management

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Chapter 1 Introduction to Project Management This chapter provides an overview of project management, defining both projects and project management and exploring the difference between project management and operations management. Advances in technology are driving the speed of innovation and the ability of organizations to shorten the time needed to develop and deliver new products and services that increase an organization’s competitive advantage. This drive to develop new and unique products or services creates a perfect environment for the application of project management methodologies and skills. We also provide a brief overview of the knowledge areas of project management and the skills needed to be a successful project manager. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 6 1.1 Project Management Defined LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the Project Management Institute’s definition of project management. 2. Analyze and evaluate the role of client expectations in a project. 3. Define project scope. “Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to 1 project activities to meet the project requirements.” This simple definition represents a compromise that resulted from intense discussions within the Project Management Institute (PMI) during the 1980s. One of the priorities of PMI during this time was the development of project management as a profession. Although debate continues on whether project management is a profession with an enforceable code of conduct and other traditional criteria for recognition as a profession, the development of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) and the project management certifications that derived from these efforts helped promote the understanding and development of the project management field. The discussion about what should be in the definition of project management included debates about the purpose of project management. Is the main purpose to meet client expectations or is the main purpose to meet the written specifications and requirements? This discussion around meeting project requirements was not easily settled. If it is assumed that the project client is the one who defines project requirements, then maybe project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet client requirements or client expectations. PMI’s definition of project management does provide a good understanding of project management, but it does not help us understand project success. For that, we must include the client. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 7 2 Jack Meredith and Samuel Mantel discussed project management in terms of producing project outcomes within the three objectives of cost, schedule, and specifications. Project managers are then expected to develop and execute a project plan that meets cost, schedule, and specification parameters. According to this view, project management is the application of everything a project manager does to meet these parameters. This approach to defining project management shares PMI’s focus on the project outcomes in terms of requirements. Meredith and Mantel added a fourth aspect of project management—the expectations of the client. One client-centered definition of project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet or exceed the expectations of the client. This definition focuses on delivering a product or service to the client that meets expectations rather than project specifications. It is possible to meet all project specifications and not meet client expectations or fail to meet one or more specifications 3 and still meet or exceed a client’s expectation. 4 Meredith and Mantel discussed a tendency noted by Darnall that expectations often increase during the life of a project. Meredith and Mantel suggest that this is a form of scope increase. Aproject scope is a carefully crafted document that reflects the performance specifications of the project deliverables. Defining the project scope and managing scope change is a very different process from developing an understanding of a client’s expectations and managing those expectations. Darnall focused on defining and managing client expectations as a critical project management skill that is distinct from scope development and management. Client expectations encompass an emotional component that includes many client desires that are not easily captured within a specification document. Although closely correlated with project specifications, client expectations are driven by different needs. It is possible for a project team to exceed every project specification and end up with an unsatisfied client. Highway Project Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 8 The Department of Highways in South Carolina was exploring ways to reduce the road construction costs and developed new contracting processes to allow the road builders to bring new ideas for cutting costs. On one project, the contractor proposed cost-cutting ideas throughout the life of the project. At each phase, the client accepted many of the ideas and then revised the budget. The client promoted the revised cost target of the project as an example of the success of the new process. By the end of the project, the final cost was less than 1 percent over the newest target. Although the total cost of the project was almost 10 percent less than the original cost projections and contract obligations, the success of the project was connected to the new expectations that developed during the life of the project. Even though this project performance exceeded the original goal, the client was disappointed. The reverse is also true. A project can be late and over budget and the client can be satisfied. Although this may be counterintuitive, the response of a client to the events of a project is complex and goes beyond the data related in project specifications. Biotech Project A biotechnology company developed a new drug that proved to have a large market demand, and the team that developed the drug was assigned to build a new manufacturing facility to produce the drug. The project manager for the construction company that was awarded the contract to build the manufacturing facility managed the project effectively. Every request for a change in scope was approved, and the result was a 20 percent increase to the total cost of the project. On most projects, a 20 percent increase in the project cost would be considered poor performance. For the client’s project team, who were accustomed to complex projects with a large number of unknown issues that increase the final cost of the project, a 20 percent overrun in cost was not unusual. Even though the project was 20 percent over budget, the client was happy. Client satisfaction is often tied to Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 9 expectations about project performance. Identifying and managing those expectations is a primary responsibility of the project manager. KEY TAKEAWAYS  According to PMI, project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet project requirements.  The role of the client is controversial. Some clients include meeting or exceeding their expectations as part of project management.  Project scope is a document that defines the work required to complete the project successfully. EXERCISES 1. According to PMI, project management is the application of knowledge, ________, tools, and techniques to meet project requirements. 2. According to Meredith and Mantel, a project should ____ __ ______ (three words) the expectations of the client. 3. If someone had asked you to define project management before you read this section, how would you have defined it? How did your definition differ from the PMI definition? 4. What aspect of project management was omitted from the PMI definition that is included in the definition proposed by Meredith and Mantel? If you were on the PMI decision-making body, would you vote to include it? Explain your choice. 5. What is meant by the statement “The response of the client to the events of the project may be counterintuitive”? Client Expectations Compare and contrast the highway and biotech examples previously described. Suggest an approach that might have prevented client disappointment in the highway project. Include the following in your answer: Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 10  What are the differences between the two projects? Provide a bulleted list.  Identify the single most important difference between the two projects that affected client satisfaction.  Suggest an approach to managing client expectations in the highway project that might have resulted in meeting or exceeding expectations rather than disappointment. 1 Project Management Institute, Inc., A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 4th ed. (Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc., 2008), 6. 2 Jack R. Meredith and Samuel J. Mantel, Jr., Project Management: A Managerial Approach (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2006), 8. 3 Russell W. Darnall, The World’s Greatest Project (Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc., 1996), 48–54. 4 Russell W. Darnall, The World’s Greatest Project (Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc., 1996), 48–54. 1.2 Project Defined LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Describe two defining characteristics of a project. 2. Organize projects within projects. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines a project by its two key characteristics. All projects are temporary and undertaken to create a product, service, or result that is 1 unique. These two simple concepts create a work environment that mandates different Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 11 management approach from that used by an operations manager, whose work is oriented toward continuous improvement of existing processes over longer periods of time. A project manager needs a different set of skills to both define and successfully execute temporary projects. Because projects are temporary, they have a defined beginning and end. Project managers must manage start-up activities and project closeout activities. The processes for developing teams, organizing work, and establishing priorities require a different set of knowledge and skills because members of the project management team recognize that it is temporary. They seldom report directly to the project manager and the effect of success or failure of the project might not affect their reputations or careers the same way that the success or failure of one of their other job responsibilities would. The second characteristic of a project, the delivery of a unique product, service, or result, also changes the management approach to the work. A project manager must take time to understand the deliverables of a project, develop a plan for producing the deliverables in the time available, and then execute that plan. Projects are also defined within the context of larger projects as the following example illustrates. National Energy Plan The National Energy Technology Laboratory laid out a plan for a national energy policy that had a clear and identifiable outcome—providing reliable, affordable, and 2 environmentally sound energy. The details of this plan will be revised and updated, but the general goals are likely to remain unchanged. To accomplish these goals, the project requires the development of new technologies, complex scheduling and cost control, coordination of a large number of subcontractors, and skillful stakeholder management. Development of each of the major components became a project for the winning contractors within the larger project of providing reliable, affordable, and environmentally Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 12 sound energy. Contractors for cleaner use of fossil fuels, conservation efforts, and development of renewable energy sources would manage major projects. Each project has to develop new technologies, manage a large number of subcontractors, and manage the stakeholders at the Department of Energy. Each subcontractor or work unit becomes a project for that organization. The project is defined by the scope of work. In the energy policy, the scope of work included all activities associated with reducing use of fossil fuels and reliance on imported energy. Using our definition that a project is a temporary endeavor that creates a unique product or service, implementation of the energy policy would be a project that consists of other projects, such as development of the following:  Wind power  Solar power  Electricity transmission  Electricity storage  New nuclear reactor design and installation  Other renewable energy sources  Biofuels  Electric vehicles  Nonpolluting use of coal and natural gas  Environmental protection KEY TAKEAWAYS  All projects are temporary and undertaken to create a product, service, or result.  Projects can contain smaller projects. EXERCISES 1. The project scope is the _____ required to complete the project successfully. 2. According to PMI, all projects are ________ and undertaken to create a product or service that is unique. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 13 3. Projects can contain ___________ projects. 4. What are two defining characteristics of a project that distinguish it from a process? 5. If you were planning to move from your current apartment or home to another location, would this qualify as a project? Explain your answer. Projects within Projects Choose a large public works project such as the construction of a new high school. Identify at least five phases to this project that could be treated as projects within a project. Specifically state how each project meets the definition of a project, and describe the product, service, or result of each project and why it is temporary. 1 Project Management Institute, Inc., A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 4th ed. (Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc., 2008), 5. 2 National Energy Technology Laboratory, “Reliable, Affordable, and Environmentally Sound Energy for America’s Future,” The Energy Lab, 2001, http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/press/2001/nep/nep.html(accessed June 18, 2009). 1.3 Project Context LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the effect of organization type on time horizons. 2. Compare project management and operations management. 3. Describe the organizational options for managing projects. The project is affected by the type of organization in which the project is conducted and how the organization is organized to manage projects. Organizational Priorities Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 14 Organizations fulfill a societal role to meet economic, religious, and governance functions. Local factories, churches, and hospitals are all organizations that provide some social or community need. Factories create wealth and jobs, churches provide spiritual and common social needs for communities, and government organizations provide regulations and services that allow for an orderly society. These organizations have different views of time and each organization develops an operational approach to accomplishing the purpose of the organization over that time horizon. For example, a religious group might begin construction of a cathedral that would take several lifetimes to complete, government performance is reviewed at election time, and a publicly owned company must justify its use of money each year in the annual report. Organizations operate to effectively and efficiently produce the product or service that achieves the organization’s purpose and goals as defined by the key stakeholders—those who have a share or interest. An organization seeks to develop stable and predictable work processes and then improve those work processes over time through increased quality, reduced costs, and shorter delivery times. Total quality management, lean manufacturing, and several other management philosophies and methodologies have focused on providing the tools and processes for increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization. Historically, these methodologies focused on creating incremental and continuous improvement in work processes. More recently, organizations are increasingly focused on step changes that take advantage of new technologies to create a significant improvement in the effectiveness or efficiency of the organization. Often, these initiatives to increase organizational effectiveness or efficiency are identified as projects. Economic organizations will initiate a project to produce a new product, to introduce or revamp work processes to significantly reduce product costs, or to merge with other organizations to reduce competition or lower costs and generate additional profits. A social organization, such as a hospital, may build a new wing, introduce a new service, or design new work processes to reduce costs. A government organization may introduce a new software program that handles public records more efficiently, build a new road to reduce congestion, or combine departments to reduce costs. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 15 Each of the initiatives meets our definition of a project. Each is a temporary endeavor and produces a unique product or service. Managing these projects effectively entails applying project management knowledge, skills, and tools. Operations Management versus Project Management One way to improve understanding of project management is to contrast project management with operations management. Whether in an economic, socioreligious, or government organization, managers are charged with effectively and efficiently achieving the purpose of the organization. Typically, a manager of an economic organization focuses on maximizing profits and stockholder value. Leaders with socioreligious organizations focus on effective and efficient delivery of a service to a community or constituency, and governmental managers are focused on meeting goals established by governmental leaders. Operations managers focus on the work processes of the operation. More effective work processes will produce a better product or service, and a more efficient work process will reduce costs. Operations managers analyze work processes and explore opportunities to make improvements. Total quality management, continuous process improvement, lean manufacturing, and other aspects of the quality movement provide tools and techniques for examining organizational culture and work processes to create a more effective and efficient organization. Operations managers are process focused, oriented toward capturing and standardizing improvement to work processes and creating an organizational culture focused on the long-term goals of the organization. Project managers focus on the goals of the project. Project success is connected to achieving the project goals within the project timeline. Project managers are goal directed and time sensitive. Project managers apply project management tools and techniques to Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 16 clearly define the project goals, develop an execution plan to meet those goals, and meet the milestones and end date of the project. An operations manager may invest 10,000 to improve a work process that saves 3,000 a year. Over a five-year period, the operations manager improved the profitability of the operations by 5,000 and will continue to save 3,000 every year. The project manager of a one-year project could not generate the savings to justify this kind of process improvement and would not invest resources to explore this type of savings. An operations manager creates a culture to focus on the long-term health of the organization. Operations managers build teams over time that focus on standardizing and improving work processes, that search for and nurture team members who will “fit in,” and that contribute to both the effectiveness of the team and the team culture. Project managers create a team that is goal focused and energized around the success of the project. Project team members know that the project assignment is temporary because the project, by definition, is temporary. Project team members are often members of organizational teams that have a larger potential to affect long-term advancement potential. Project managers create clear goals and clear expectations for team members and tie project success to the overall success of the organization. Operations managers are long-term focused and process oriented. Project managers are goal directed and milestone oriented. Organizing to Manage Projects Because project management is different from operations management, projects are handled best by people who are trained in project management. This expertise can be obtained by hiring an outside consulting firm that specializes in project management or by developing an in-house group. Some organizations are designed to execute projects. Often entities contract with engineering and construction companies to design and build their facilities or hire software companies to develop a software solution. The major work processes within these Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 17 organizations are designed to support the acquisition and execution of projects. Functional departments such as estimating, scheduling, and procurement create and maintain core competencies designed to support projects. The ability of these types of organizations to successfully manage projects becomes a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Organizations designed to produce products or services also use projects. Major activities outside the normal work of the organization’s department or functional units or major activities that cross functional boundaries become a project (a temporary task undertaken to create a product or service that is unique). As economic pressures increase the speed in which organizations must change and adapt to new environmental conditions, leaders are increasingly chartering projects to enable the organization to more quickly adapt. The application of a project management approach increases the likelihood of success as organizations charter a project to facilitate organizational change, to increase the development and introduction of new products or support the merger or divesture of organizational units. Project management offices (PMOs) have emerged to facilitate development of organizational knowledge, skills, and tools to internally charter and manage projects within the organization. The PMO varies in structure and responsibility depending on the project management approach of the parent organization. On one end of the spectrum, the PMO has complete responsibility for projects within an organization from the criteria and selection of appropriate projects to accountability for project performance. In organizations that make a large investment in the PMO, a large number of new product or process improvement projects are submitted, and the project office develops a portfolio of projects to manage over a given period that maximizes the use of organizational resources and provides the greatest return to the organization. PMOs can provide various functions for an organization. Some possible functions include the following: Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 18  Project management. Some organizations maintain the project manager within the PMO, assign project managers from other departments, procure contract project managers, or practice a combination of all three.  Center of excellence. The project office can maintain the organization’s project management policies and procedures, maintain a historical database, maintain best practices, and provide training and specialized expertise when needed.  Portfolio management. The project office actually supervises the project managers and monitors project performance. Portfolio management also includes prioritizing projects on the basis of value to the organization and maintains an inventory of projects. Portfolio management balances the number and type of projects to create the greatest return from the entire portfolio of projects.  Functional support. The project office maintains project management expertise to support the project. Estimating, project scheduling, and project cost analysis are examples of functional support. KEY TAKEAWAYS  The purpose of an organization can affect its view of the time allowed for projects.  In an organization, project management can be used to make step changes to take advantage of new technologies or make significant improvements in effectiveness or efficiency.  Operations managers are long-term focused and process oriented. Project managers are goal directed and milestone oriented.  Projects can be handled by outside contractors or by an internal group in a PMO. EXERCISES 1. The type of organization can influence the ____ frame allowed for projects. 2. Operations managers are focused on __________, while project managers are focused on the goals of the project. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 19 3. If projects are routinely handled internally, the group that manages the projects might be called the ______ ______ _____ (three words). 4. A friend of yours has a forty-five-minute commute to work. She decides to spend some time evaluating the different options she has for routes and possible carpooling to reduce the cost or time it takes to get to work. Is this task an example of something that uses the skills of an operations manager, or does it need the additional skills of a project manager? Explain your answer and refer to the definitions provided. 5. Business managers focus on improving efficiency and effectiveness, but sometimes they use a project management approach to make significant changes. What often prompts them to use the project management approach? What would be an example? Operations versus Project Management The manager of a sales department must meet annual sales goals, manage personnel in the department, and develop and deliver product training for clients. How is this type of operations management different from project management? Address each of the following issues in your answer:  How is the relationship between the operations manager and the sales staff different from the relationship between a project manager and the project team members?  Which of the duties described above is most like project management and might be contracted to an outside firm?  What is the biggest difference between project management and the sales manager’s job? 1.4 Key Skills of the Project Manager LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify necessary operational leadership skills. 2. Identify additional leadership skills required of a project manager. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 20 Every project is unique, and most projects will encounter unexpected technical challenges. Each project management team is a group of individuals who need motivation and coordination. Planning is vital, but the ability to adapt to changes and work with people to overcome challenges is just as necessary. A project manager must master the skills that are necessary to be successful in this environment. Operational Management Skills Often the difference between the project that succeeds and the project that fails is the leadership of the project manager. The leadership skills needed by the successful project manager include all the skills needed by operations managers of organizations. These skills include:  Good communication  Team building  Planning  Expediting  Motivating  Political sensitivity Project Management Skills Because project managers generally operate in a project environment that is more time sensitive and goal driven, the successful project manager requires additional knowledge, skills, and abilities. 1 Albert Einsiedel discussed leader-sensitive projects and defined five characteristics of an effective project leader. These characteristics were chosen based on some assumptions about projects. These characteristics include the project environment, which is often a Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 21 matrix organization that results in role ambiguity, role conflict, and role erosion. The project environment is often a fluid environment where decisions are made with little information. In this environment, the five characteristics of an effective project leader include the following:  Credibility  Creativity as a problem solver  Tolerance for ambiguity  Flexibility in management style  Effectiveness in communicating 2 Hans Thamhain researched the training of project managers and, based on the finding, categorized project management into interpersonal, technical, and administrative skills:  Interpersonal skills. These skills include providing direction, communicating, assisting with problem solving, and dealing effectively with people without having authority.  Technical expertise. Technical knowledge gives the project manager the creditability to provide leadership on a technically based project, the ability to understand important aspects of the project, and the ability to communicate in the language of the technicians.  Administrative skills. These skills include planning, organizing, and controlling the work. Thamhain’s work provides a taxonomy for better understanding the skills needed by project managers. Traditionally, the project manager has been trained in skills such as developing and managing the project scope, estimating, scheduling, decision making, and team building. Although the level of skills needed by the project manager depends largely on the project profile, increasingly the people skills of the project manager are becoming more important. The skills to build a high-performing team, manage client expectations, and develop a clear vision of project success are the type of skills needed by project managers on more complex projects. “To say Joe is a good project manager except he lacks good people skills 3 is like saying he’s a good electrical engineer but doesn’t really understand electricity.” Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 22 KEY TAKEAWAYS  Project managers need the same skills as an operations manager, such as good communications, team building, planning, expediting, and political sensitivity.  Project managers need additional skills in establishing credibility, creative problem solving, tolerance for ambiguity, flexible management, and very good people skills. EXERCISES 1. Project managers need the same skills as an operations manager, including communications, team building, planning, expediting, and _______ sensitivity. 2. In addition to the skills needed by an operations manager, a project manager needs to establish credibility, solve problems creatively, have a tolerance for ____________, be flexible, and have good people skills. Personal Leadership Inventory Rate your personal project management skills using the following scale:  S Strong  M Moderate  I Improvement needed Operational management skills: 1. Good communication 2. Team building 3. Planning 4. Expediting Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 23 5. Motivating others 6. Sensitive to the politics of a situation Additional project management skills: 7. Establish credibility with others 8. Find creative solutions to problems 9. Tolerate ambiguity 10. Use a flexible management style—adapt your management style to changing situations 1 Albert A. Einsiedel, “Profile of Effective Project Managers,” Project Management Journal 18 (1987): 5. 2 Hans J. Thamhain, “Developing Project Management Skills,” Project Management Journal 22 (1991): 3. 3 Russell W. Darnall, “The Emerging Role of the Project Manager,” PMI Journal (1997): 64. 1.5 Introduction to the Project Management Knowledge Areas LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Identify the tasks performed in a project start-up. 2. Describe the areas of project management knowledge as defined by the Project Management Institute. Projects are divided into components, and a project manager must be knowledgeable in each area. Each of these areas of knowledge will be explored in more depth in subsequent chapters. Project Start-Up and Integration Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 24 The start-up of a project is similar to the start-up of a new organization. The project leader develops the project infrastructure used to design and execute the project. The project management team must develop alignment among the major stakeholders—those who have a share or interest—on the project during the early phases or definition phases of the project. The project manager will conduct one or more kickoff meetings or alignment sessions to bring the various parties of the project together and begin the project team building required to operate efficiently during the project. During project start-up, the project management team refines the scope of work and develops a preliminary schedule and conceptual budget. The project team builds a plan for executing the project based on the project profile. The plan for developing and tracking the detailed schedule, the procurement plan, and the plan for building the budget and estimating and tracking costs are developed during the start-up. The plans for information technology, communication, and tracking client satisfaction are all developed during the start-up phase of the project. Flowcharts, diagrams, and responsibility matrices are tools to capture the work processes associated with executing the project plan. The first draft of the project procedures manual captures the historic and intuitional knowledge that team members bring to the project. The development and review of these procedures and work processes contribute to the development of the organizational structure of the project. This is typically an exciting time on a project where all things are possible. The project management team is working many hours developing the initial plan, staffing the project, and building relationships with the client. The project manager sets the tone of the project and sets expectations for each of the project team members. The project start-up phase on complex projects can be chaotic, and until plans are developed, the project manager becomes the source of information and direction. The project manager creates an Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 25

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