PROJ 586 (Project Management Systems) Devry
Week 1: Project Management Overview and Project Initiation – Discussion 1
Projects and Project Management (Graded)
This week, we will learn about project management as a discipline and a little history about the discipline. It is important to understand why projects and project management are important. How have you seen projects used in your company, organization, or personal life? What methods of project management does your company use? Do they work?
Week 1: Project Management Overview and Project Initiation – Discussion 2
Project Selection and Project Charters (Graded)
As organizations set their business strategy or establish their goals, there are new needs identified. Recognizing organizations may have a number of different needs, there are many projects to consider. How are projects selected? Why do you think it is important to evaluate potential projects before proceeding with implementation?
Week 2: Planning the Project: Scope and Responsibilities – Discussion 1
Project Charters and Scope Statements (Graded)
Why are the Project Charter and Project Scope Statement artifacts critical to the success of a project? Describe some of the key elements of these artifacts.
Week 2: Planning the Project: Scope and Responsibilities – Discussion 2
Work Breakdown Structure and Resource Assignment (Graded)
Assume you were appointed as project manager to lead a dozen of your classmates to write up an end-of-course summary guide that would be used to update all areas of the course (i.e. discussion questions, lectures, assignments, quizzes, and exams). You plan to form sub-teams to work each of these elements, each headed by a sub-team leader. How would you setup your WBS? What are some considerations you made when you decided on this structure?
Network Diagrams and Critical Path (Graded)
This week in the lecture, we are learning about activity dependencies and task durations. Activities in a project are often dependent on the completion of another activity. Those activities can be in the project you are completing or from another project or process. Remember, dependencies can be mandatory or discretionary. Understanding the concept of dependencies will help you build a network diagram to determine the critical path for the project. Why is it critical to the success of the project to understand the critical path?
Week 3: Planning the Project: Schedule and Resources – Discussion 2
Resource Utilization (Graded)
Managing resources can be an interesting, and sometimes difficult, job. How have you managed resources on any of your projects? What do you find as the most difficult part? How have you learned to overcome these issues? If you haven’t managed a project before, have you ever been a resource on a project? If so, what are some of the techniques your manager(s) use to balance their resources? What seems to be the most effective for you?
Week 4: Planning and Monitoring the Project: Costs, Budget, and Earned Value – Discussion 1
Cost Planning (Graded)
Cost planning starts with the proposal for the project, at which time project costs are estimated. And for budgeting purposes, it is best to keep the work packages or activities small in terms of scope and duration. What are some of the ways that a project manager can take these budgeting plans and track and compare them to actual data? In what sense is some cost reporting not reflective of the actual work performed? How can a project manager remedy this situation?
Week 4: Planning and Monitoring the Project: Costs, Budget, and Earned Value – Discussion 2
Earned Value Analysis (Graded)
Once your budget is planned and allocated across your work packages, it is critical to monitor and control your project’s cost. Why is monitoring and controlling the project cost important for the success of the project? What are some key components to monitor the health of the project, as it relates to earned value? How is earned value management different than straight financial accounting?
Week 5: Project Risk, Communication and Documentation – Discussion 1
Risk Management (Graded)
This week, we learned about risk management. Now let’s apply our learning to an example. Suppose you are the project manager of a team of software specialists working on a project to produce a piece of application software in the field of accounting. Identify some items that might go wrong during this type of project (i.e., what are some of the risks in this project), and discuss how you, as the PM, would assess and respond to such project risks.
Week 5: Project Risk, Communication and Documentation – Discussion 2
Project Communication (Graded)
This week, we learned about a communication plan. The first step in building a communication plan is to identify your key stakeholders. How would you identify a key stakeholder? Then, once you have identified that key stakeholder, how would you determine which form of communication to use? Can (and should) you have multiple forms of communication going for each of your key stakeholders? Discuss.
Week 6: Project Close and Organizational Structures – Discussion 1
Project Close Out (Graded)
Why is it considered a best practice to properly close a project? What about a project that is abruptly terminated? What are some good approaches for documenting the entire project? How does this occur?
Week 6: Project Close and Organizational Structures – Discussion 2
Selecting an Organizational Structure (Graded)
Scenario: The hospital has extensive experience and capability in implementing medical systems and has some expertise in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) scanners. It has not ever used one, however. In addition, the hospital has very limited expertise in the facilities and operations of NMR devices. It normally involves five internal departments in the installation of a new system. For this project, the hospital will need to bring in functional experts from five different technical specialties. It will use consulting companies to do this. The technology is very new, and there will be extensive coordination and communication requirements between the five consultants.
What organizational form (Functional, Project, or Matrix) would you recommend to effectively manage a project for a major hospital to evaluate and select a new nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) scanner?
Week 7: People: The Project Manager and The Project Team – Discussion 1
Stages of Team Development (Graded)
There are four stages a team goes through as part of the team development process. Think of a team in which you have participated (project team at work, sport team, etc.). Think back on how the team formed from the first day until the end of the project, or sporting season. Describe what took place. How did you progress into the next stages of team development?
Week 7: People: The Project Manager and The Project Team – Discussion 2
Managing Individual Performance (Graded)
What are some specific things a project manager can do to create an environment in which the project team would remain motivated?