Advise to a first Time Project Manager on a Software Application What would be your advice to a young project manager on her first software application package project on the following points? Organising people and resources Covering all aspects of the project scope statement Communicating effectively with team members The summary of my advice to Julianne will be that a successful project manager must at all times focus on successful execution of the project work scope and ensure that the project deliveries meet all the specified requirements.
To achieve these objectives, the Project manager should pay close attention to three critical elements, name: •Organizing people and resources •Covering all aspects of the project scope statement •Communicating effectively with team members Organizing People and Resources The project manager is the project leader, this makes him responsible for assembling the project team. It is important that he determines the required skill set for the project, and the right combination of personalities required to for a coherent team. A PM must be able to motivate his team and provide inspiration to ensure optimal performance from individual team members.
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He should be quick to spot suboptimal delivery from team members and adequately challenge the team to for better performance. Having determined the skills required for conducting the tasks on his project, the project manager need to assign tasks to team members. Some team members will need to be assigned full time for the duration of the project while others will be resourced at a specific stage of project execution and be released back to the functional organization when their task is completed. According to Andersen (n. d), the project manager can enhance clarity of responsibilities by creating a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM).
He each task is mapped against a resource person. This can even be made more information by the use of a RACI matrix which identifies maps the tasks against responsible, accountable, coordinators and those that only need to be informed. The RACI matrix clarifies the level of involvement of each resource personnel in the tasks. In addition to being a source of inspiration and providing a challenging work environment for his team, the project manager is also responsible for ensuring that resources needed for the project are available at the right time at each stage of project execution.
He also ensures optimal utilization of resources to prevent budget overrun. The project manager must manage the three scope constraints – Cost, Schedule and quality – effectively for successful project delivery. According to Kor and Wijnen (2007), there are five management perspectives that would help the project manger prioritize and effectively evaluate various competing requirements of a project. The five perspectives according to Kor and Wijnen (2007) are: •Tempo: Deals with the speed of project execution and relates to the project schedule. Feasibility: Determines if the project is doable or not, this perspective is usually managed at the scoping and initiating phase of the project, but should be constantly reviewed throughout the duration of the project. •Efficiency in cost and resource utilization. •Flexibility in managing changes when it occurs in the project •Goal Orientation Covering all aspects of the project scope statement The project manager is fully responsible for ensuring that the project scope is fully and satisfactorily executed. In achieving this he must ensure that no scope creeps occur during the project execution.
That means no unapproved scopes or changes are introduced to the project scope. According to Sanghera P. (2010), when scope creeps result in a project going off course corrective actions must immediately be taken and the reason for the creep should be investigated to avoid a reoccurrence. Only the defined scope should be implemented. The project manager must guide the project boundaries against unapproved changes. According to Module 3, week1 lecture note (2011), the following questions will be immensely helpful in controlling the project scope: ” Is each client requirement represented in the project scope statement? •Is each part of the project scope statement represented in the WBS? •Can it be demonstrated to the client that each requirement has been fully met? ” Communicating effectively with team members Effective communication is the live line of any successful project, the root cause of most project failures is poor communication. It is important to develop a comprehensive communication plan for the project, and this plan must be vigorously implemented. According to Wysocki R. 2009) good communication management will will clearly identify the project stake holders, what their information need will be throughout the duration of the project, and the means for information transmission. Information must be complete and clearly communicated, there should be a means of double checking that the intended information has been clearly transmitted and received. Communication within the project team must be seamless if the project is to be successful. It plays a vital role in organizing people and resources for implementation of the project.
According to Roberts (2007) effective communication must address the specifics of information to be communicated in a project, the format of the required communication and the frequency of transmission. References University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education (2011). Lecture notes from Execution and control with Risk Module Week14 [Online]. Available from: University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education VLE (Accessed: 3 June 2011). Kor, R. & Wijnen, G. (2007) 59 checklists for project and programme managers, University of Liverpool [Online]. Available from: http://www. iv. ac. uk/library/ohecampus/search/ebooks. htm (Accessed: 3 June 2010) Sanghera, Paul, (2010). PMP In Depth. Project Management Professional Study Guide for the PMP Exam, Second Edition. Boston: Course Technology. Wysocki, R. K. (2009) Effective Project Management, traditional, Agile, Extreme (5th Edition) Wiley Publishing Inc. Indianapolis IN Roberts, P. (2007) Guide to project management, University of Liverpool [Online]. Available from: http://site. ebrary. com. ezproxy. liv. ac. uk/lib/liverpool/edf. action? p00=&docID=10235172 (Accessed: 3 June 2011)