Project Management Concepts Worksheet
Application of Concept in the Scenario
Reference to Concept in Reading
W hen reviewing the scenario, ABI’s goal of being integrated with FAFS is a great opportunity. As Senior Project manager, the goal needs to be monitoring project control. If there is not effective project management discipline, projects may not be successfully completed and time/cost estimates may be missed. The sponsor of Project Integra is Eric McLaughlin, CEO of ABI. He has stressed that the project must be completed on time and that no additional resources are available. Therefore, to see the successful completion of this project, as the PM, utilizing the Project Control steps for measuring and evaluating project performance is very important.
Control requires the project manager to use information to steer the project through rough waters” (Gray & Larson, 2005, p. 413). “Control is the process of comparing actual performance against plan to identify deviations, evaluate possible alternative courses of actions, and take appropriate corrective action” (Gray & Larson, 2005, p.413).
As part of project measurement, establishing a baseline provides any PM with a reference point to look back at to make sure the project is running smoothly. The project baseline includes figuring out the initial task, resources, beginning and ending date, the length of the project and the overall cost of the project. These figures constitute your project baseline. However, like any project, unexpected changes occur that are directly related to baseline control. To manage a project, the PM needs to be able to manage change through a dedicated process.
One example from the scenario is when Project Integra is given more assignments and expectations from FAFS management. The choice that needs to made by the PM is to either use assign more of FAFS resources or outsource the testing activities. This is important. Additional costs will change the baseline and outsourcing could possibly delay the project. PM’s should only allow scope changes or baseline changes if it is clear that the project will fail without the change (Gray and Larson, 2006).
“Generally, Project managers monitor scope changes very carefully. They should allow scope changes only if it is clear that the project will fail without the change, the project will be improved with the change, or the customer wants it and will pay for it” (Gray and Larson, 2006).
The Need for An Integrated Information System/ Variance Analysis
As the Senior Project manager, it will be important to use monitoring and control systems. However, some system formats leave out valuable information that can give incorrect evaluations and mislead managers and customers. One system that overcomes these issues is the earned/values system. Evaluating the present standing of a project with the earned-value cost/schedule system several variations can be assessed. Schedule variance (SV), Cost Variance (CV) are figured, giving either a positive variance, which indicates the project is right where it needs to be, or a negative variance which shows that some changes need to be made.
For ABI, the use of an IIS could help give correct estimates and allow the PM to monitor and control the project more affectively.
“Assessing the current status of a project using the earned-value cost/schedule system requires three data elements-planned cost of the work scheduled (PV), budget costs of the work completed (EV), and actual cost of work completed (AC). From these data the schedule variance (SV), and cost variance (CV) are computed each reporting period. A positive variance indicates a desirable condition, while a negative variance suggests problems or changes that have taken place” (Gray and Larson, 2006).
Time Performance/ Gantt Chart
There are several projects involved in Project Integra. As the Senior Project Manager, the task of monitoring all of these small projects becomes a big job in ensuring the succession of the project as a whole. With the acquisition of ABI and FAFS networks, a schedule that is consequent from the WBS can serve as a baseline. To help communicate schedules and illustrate start and finish dates, the PM could use a Gantt chart to help senior management, employees and other stakeholders, now the status and expected time performance of the acquisition and blending of FAFS networking with ABI.
“Adding actual and revised time estimates to the Gantt chart gives a quick overview of project status on the report date” (Gray & Larson, 2005, p. 416). “Gantt and control charts serve well as a means for tracking and trending schedule performance. Their easy-to-understand visual formats make them favorite tools for communicating project schedule status—especially to top management who do not usually have time for details” (Gray & Larson, 2006).
During the course of the ABI project, risk mitigation decisions had to be made in order for the project to be completed. During some of those mitigations, extra funds or costs were being spent to accommodate for the unexpected changes. Because a specific cost allowance was given at the beginning of the project, as senior project manager, decisions such as containing a contingency reserve may have proved beneficial. Though it is not stated, an agreed upon amount of contingency funds must have been approved. Several of the mitigation techniques did cost money, and as the PM, staying within the budget is very important.
“Contingency reserve is not a free lunch for all who come. Reserve funds should only be released by the project manager on a very formal and documented basis” (Gray and Larson, 2006).
Gray, C. F., & Larson, E. W. (2006). Project Management: The Managerial Process (3rd ed.). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill Companies.