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1.Define project management, resource, process and project cycle. Explain the life-cycle of a project.

What are the


roles and responsibilities of a project manager?

Ans-

Project management:- It is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the
successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. It is sometimes conflated with program management,
however technically a program is actually a higher level construct: a group of related and somehow interdependent
projects.

A project is a temporary endeavor, having a defined beginning and end (usually constrained by date, but can be by
funding or deliverables, undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, usually to bring about beneficial change or added
value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (or operations) , which are repetitive,
permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two
systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the
adoption of separate management.

Resources- In project management terminology, resources are required to carry out


the project tasks. They can be people, equipment, facilities, funding, or anything else capable of
definition (usually other than labour) required for the completion of a project activity. The lack of
a resource will therefore be a constraint on the completion of the project activity. Resources may
be storable or non storable. Storable resources remain available unless depleted by usage, and
may be replenished by project tasks which produce them. Non-storable resources must be
renewed for each time period, even if not utilised in previous time periods.

Resource scheduling, availability and optimisation are considered key to successful project
management.

Allocation of limited resources is based on the priority given to each of the project activities.
Their priority is calculated using the Critical path method and heuristic analysis. For a case with a
constraint on the number of resources, the objective is to create the most efficient schedule
possible - minimising project duration and maximising the use of the resources available.

Process- A process is a set of interrelated actions & activities performed to achieve a pre-
specified product, result, or service.

* Each process is characterized by its inputs, the tools & techniques that can be applied, and the
resulting outputs.

Inputs are the prerequisites or entry criteria to start a process. Output are the exit criteria or the
result of the process with which the process ends. Tools & techniques are methods applied on the
entry criteria to achieve required results. The output of one process generally becomes an input
to another process
or is a deliverable of the project. Defining boundaries of each process ensures better control over
the entire project and project objectives.

Project management processes are grouped into 5 different categories called as Process Groups.
They are : Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & controlling and Closing. These process
groups provide guidance in applying appropriate project management knowledge and skills
during the project.

Initiating Process Group – Those processes performed to define a new project or a new phase
of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project. Here is the Input, Tools &
Techniques, Output(ITTO) in the form of Mind Map for Initiating Process Group Processes.
• Planning Process Group – Those processes required to establish the scope of the project,
refine the objectives, and define the course of action required to attain the objectives that the
project was undertaken to achieve.

• Executing Process Group – Those processes performed to complete the work defined in the
project management plan to satisfy the project specifications.

• Monitoring and Controlling Process Group – Those processes required to track, review,
and regulate the progress and performance of the project; identify any areas in which changes to
the plan are required; and initiate the corresponding changes.

• Closing Process Group – Those processes performed to finalize all activities across all Project
Management Process Groups to formally close the project.

Each one of these process groups have well-defined interactions between them. Also, these
process groups closely resembles Deming’s PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act).

In case of big projects, each of these process group processes can be repeated for each phase
instead of defining process groups for the whole project. This extra effort gives more control over
the project.

* PLAN: coming up with new or changed process components to improve results. Directly relates
to planning process group in Project Management. Either new plans are created during start of
the project or plans modified & re-baselined based on inputs from other project processes.
* DO: Implementing the plan and measure its performance. Directly relates to execution process
group.
* CHECK: Assessing the measurements and report the results to decision makers. Directly
relates to monitoring and controlling process groups.
* ACT: Deciding on changes needed to improve the process. This is the change requests and
process changes outputs of monitoring & controlling processes. Project manager & management
team review all the change requests/required plan & process changes and approves them.

Project Cycle- The Project Life Cycle refers to a logical sequence of activities to accomplish the project’s goals or
objectives. Regardless of scope or complexity, any project goes through a series of stages during its life. There is first
an Initiation or Birth phase, in which the outputs and critical success factors are defined, followed by a Planning phase,
characterized by breaking down the project into smaller parts/tasks, an Execution phase, in which the project plan is
executed, and lastly a Closure or Exit phase, that marks the completion of the project. Project activities must be grouped
into phases because by doing so, the project manager and the core team can efficiently plan and organize resources for
each activity, and also objectively measure achievement of goals and justify their decisions to move ahead, correct, or
terminate. It is of great importance to organize project phases into industry-specific project cycles. Why? Not only because
each industry sector involves specific requirements, tasks, and procedures when it comes to projects, but also because
different industry sectors have different needs for life cycle management methodology. And paying close attention to such
details is the difference between doing things well and excelling as project managers.

Diverse project management tools and methodologies prevail in the different project cycle phases. Let’s take a closer look
at what’s important in each one of these stages:

1) Initiation:In this first stage, the scope of the project is defined along with the approach to be taken to deliver the
desired outputs. The project manager is appointed and in turn, he selects the team members based on their skills and
experience. The most common tools or methodologies used in the initiation stage are Project Charter, Business Plan,
Project Framework (or Overview), Business Case Justification, and Milestones Reviews.
2) Planning:The second phase should include a detailed identification and assignment of each task until the end of the
project. It should also include a risk analysis and a definition of a criteria for the successful completion of each
deliverable. The governance process is defined, stake holders identified and reporting frequency and channels agreed. The
most common tools or methodologies used in the planning stage are Business Plan and Milestones Reviews.

3) Execution and controlling:The most important issue in this phase is to ensure project activities are properly executed
and controlled. During the execution phase, the planned solution is implemented to solve the problem specified in the
project's requirements. In product and system development, a design resulting in a specific set of product requirements is
created. This convergence is measured by prototypes, testing, and reviews. As the execution phase progresses, groups
across the organization become more deeply involved in planning for the final testing, production, and support. The most
common tools or methodologies used in the execution phase are an update of Risk Analysis and Score Cards, in addition
to Business Plan and Milestones Reviews.
4) Closure:In this last stage, the project manager must ensure that the project is brought to its proper completion. The
closure phase is characterized by a written formal project review report containing the following components: a formal
acceptance of the final product by the client, Weighted Critical Measurements (matching the initial requirements specified
by the client with the final delivered product), rewarding the team, a list of lessons learned, releasing project resources,
and a formal project closure notification to higher management. No special tool or methodology is needed during the
closure phase.

Project Management Life Cycle

Project Management Life Cycle comprises four phases...

Initiation involves starting up the project, by documenting a business case, feasibility study, terms of reference,
appointing the team and setting up a Project Office.

Planning involves setting out the roadmap for the project by creating the following plans: project plan, resource plan,
financial plan, quality plan, acceptance plan and communications plan.

Execution involves building the deliverables and controlling the project delivery, scope, costs, quality, risks and issues.

Closure involves winding-down the project by releasing staff, handing over deliverables to the customer and completing a
post implementation review. A more detailed description of the MPMM Project Management Methodology and Life
Cycle follows:

Project InitiationProject Initiation is the first phase in the Project Life Cycle and essentially involves starting up the
project. You initiate a project by defining its purpose and scope, the justification for initiating it and the solution to be
implemented. You will also need to recruit a suitably skilled project team, set up a Project Office and perform an end of
Phase Review.

Project PlanningAfter defining the project and appointing the project team, you're ready to enter the detailed Project
Planning phase. This involves creating a suite of planning documents to help guide the team throughout the project
delivery.:
Project ExecutionWith a clear definition of the project and a suite of detailed project plans, you are now ready to enter
the Execution phase of the project.

This is the phase in which the deliverables are physically built and presented to the customer for acceptance.

While each deliverable is being constructed, a suite of management processes are undertaken to monitor and control the
deliverables being output by the project.

These processes include managing time, cost, quality, change, risks, issues, suppliers, customers and communication.
Once all the deliverables have been produced and the customer has accepted the final solution, the project is ready for
closure.
Project Closure: Project Closure involves releasing the final deliverables to the customer, handing over project
documentation to the business, terminating supplier contracts, releasing project resources and communicating project
closure to all stakeholders. The last remaining step is to undertake a Post Implementation Review to identify the level of
project success and note any lessons learned for future projects.
The Role of a Project Manager:A new employee in the company mailroom noticed an older man sitting in the corner,
sorting mail, weighing packages, adding postage and doing other simple jobs. He asked his supervisor who the man was.

That's Joe." the supervisor said. "He has been with the company for 35 years and is getting close to retirement."

"Really." the new employee replied. "And he's been in the mailroom the whole time?"

"No, he left a number of years ago. But he asked for a transfer back - after spending several years as a project manager."

On the surface, the role of a project manager should be easy to describe. In fact, from a textbook perspective it probably is.
But the challenge to understanding roles and responsibilities is that they are different from company to company. So,
although this webpage will provide an overall perspective of the role, you still need to determine what the role of a project
manager is at your company, or in your organization.

Process Responsibilities

Once the project starts, the project manager must successfully manage and control the work, including:

Identifying, tracking managing and resolving project issues

Proactively disseminating project information to all stakeholders

Identifying, managing and mitigating project risk

Ensuring that the solution is of acceptable quality

Proactively managing scope to ensure that only what was agreed to is delivered, unless changes are approved through
scope management

Defining and collecting metrics to give a sense for how the project is progressing and whether the deliverables produced
are acceptable

Managing the overall schedule to ensure work is assigned and completed on time and within budget

Again, this does not mean that the project manager physically does all of this, but they must make sure it happens. If the
project has problems, or scope creep, or faces risks, or is not setting expectations correctly, then the project manager is the
person held accountable.

To manage the project management processes, a person should be well organized, have great follow-up skills, be process
oriented, be able to multi-task, have a logical thought process, be able to determine root causes, have good analytical
ability, be a good estimator and budget manager, and have good self-discipline.

People Responsibilities

In addition to process skills, a project manager must have good people management skills. This includes:

Having the discipline and general management skills to make sure that people follow the standard processes and
procedures

Establishing leadership skills to get the team to willingly follow your direction. Leadership is about communicating a
vision and getting the team to accept it and strive to get there with you.
Setting reasonable, challenging and clear expectations for people, and holding them accountable for meeting the
expectations. This includes providing good performance feedback to team members

Team building skills so that the people work together well, and feel motivated to work hard for the sake of the project and
their other team members. The larger your team and the longer the project, the more important it is to have good team-
building skills.

Proactive verbal and written communicator skills, including good, active listening skills.

Again, you are responsible for the success of the project. If the team has poor morale and is missing deadlines, you need to
try to resolve it. If team members don't understand exactly what they need to do and when it is due, then you are
responsible.

Multiple Roles

Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the project manager may take on other responsibilities in addition to
managing the work. For instance, the project manager may assist with gathering business requirements. Or they may help
design a database management system or they may write some of the project documentation. Project management is a
particular role that a person fills, even if the person who is the project manager is working in other roles as well.

For instance, a project manager might manage the project for 45% of their time, perform business analysis for 25%, work
on design for 15% and write documentation for 15%. This does not mean that one of the responsibilities of a project
manager role is to spend 15% of their time on design. Instead, it just means that the project is not large enough to need a
full-time project manager. The project manager spends the rest of their time in other project roles such as Business
Analyst, Designer and Technical Writer. Depending on the size of your projects and the way your company is organized, a
project manager’ time may be allocated one of three ways.

They may have a full time role on a large project.

They may have project management responsibilities for multiple projects, each of which is less than full time, but the
combination of which adds up to a full-time role.

They may fill multiple roles, each of which requires a certain level of skill and responsibility. On one project, for instance,
they may be both a project manager and an analyst.

Explain the various steps in the identification process of a project. What are the tools used in project planning?
How can risks be prioritized?

Ans- Traditionally, project management includes a number of elements: four to five process groups, and a control system.
Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, the same basic project management processes will be used.

The project development stages[19]

Major process groups generally include:

Initiation

Planning or development

Production or execution

Monitoring and controlling

Closing
In project environments with a significant exploratory element (e.g., Research and development), these stages may be
supplemented with decision points (go/no go decisions) at which the project's continuation is debated and decided. An
example is the Stage-Gate model.

Initiation

The initiation processes determine the nature and scope of the project. If this stage is not performed well, it is unlikely that
the project will be successful in meeting the business’ needs. The key project controls needed here are an understanding of
the business environment and making sure that all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies
should be reported and a recommendation should be made to fix them.

The initiation stage should include a plan that encompasses the following areas:

Analyzing the business needs/requirements in measurable goals

Reviewing of the current operations

Financial analysis of the costs and benefits including a budget

Stakeholder analysis, including users, and support personnel for the project

Project charter including costs, tasks, deliverables, and schedule

Planning and design

After the initiation stage, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail. The main purpose is to plan time, cost and
resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to effectively manage risk during project execution. As with the
Initiation process group, a failure to adequately plan greatly reduces the project's chances of successfully accomplishing its
goals.

Project planning generally consists of

determining how to plan (e.g. by level of detail or rolling wave);

developing the scope statement;

selecting the planning team;

identifying deliverables and creating the work breakdown structure;

identifying the activities needed to complete those deliverables and networking the activities in their logical sequence;

estimating the resource requirements for the activities;

estimating time and cost for activities;

developing the schedule;

developing the budget;

risk planning;

gaining formal approval to begin work.

Additional processes, such as planning for communications and for scope management, identifying roles and
responsibilities, determining what to purchase for the project and holding a kick-off meeting are also generally advisable.
For new product development projects, conceptual design of the operation of the final product may be performed
concurrent with the project planning activities, and may help to inform the planning team when identifying deliverables
and planning activities.

Executing:Executing consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project management plan to
accomplish the project's requirements. Execution process involves coordinating people and resources, as well as
integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan. The deliverables
are produced as outputs from the processes performed as defined in the project management plan.

Monitoring and controlling

Monitoring and controlling consists of those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems
can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the
project. The key benefit is that project performance is observed and measured regularly to identify variances from the
project management plan.

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group Processes

Monitoring and Controlling includes:

Measuring the ongoing project activities (where we are);

Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope, etc.) against the project management plan and the project
performance baseline (where we should be);

Identify corrective actions to address issues and risks properly (How can we get on track again);

Influencing the factors that could circumvent integrated change control so only approved changes are implemented

In multi-phase projects, the monitoring and controlling process also provides feedback between project phases, in order to
implement corrective or preventive actions to bring the project into compliance with the project management plan.

Project Maintenance is an ongoing process, and it includes:

Continuing support of end users

Correction of errors

Updates of the software over time

In this stage, auditors should pay attention to how effectively and quickly user problems are resolved.

Over the course of any construction project, the work scope may change. Change is a normal and expected part of the
construction process. Changes can be the result of necessary design modifications, differing site conditions, material
availability, contractor-requested changes, value engineering and impacts from third parties, to name a few. Beyond
executing the change in the field, the change normally needs to be documented to show what was actually constructed.
This is referred to as Change Management. Hence, the owner usually requires a final record to show all changes or, more
specifically, any change that modifies the tangible portions of the finished work. The record is made on the contract
documents – usually, but not necessarily limited to, the design drawings. The end product of this effort is what the
industry terms as-built drawings, or more simply, “as built.” The requirement for providing them is a norm in construction
contracts.

When changes are introduced to the project, the viability of the project has to be re-assessed. It is important not to lose
sight of the initial goals and targets of the projects. When the changes accumulate, the forecasted result may not justify the
original proposed investment in the project.
Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof. Administrative activities include the
archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned.

This phase consists of:

Project close: Finalize all activities across all of the process groups to formally close the project or a project phase

Contract closure: Complete and settle each contract (including the resolution of any open items) and close each contract
applicable to the project or project phase

Tools used in project planning-

project management tools

Here are examples and explanations of four commonly used tools in project planning and project
management, namely: Brainstorming, Fishbone Diagrams, Critical Path Analysis Flow Diagrams,
and Gantt Charts. Additionally and separately see business process modellingand quality
management, which contain related tools and methods aside from the main project management
models shown below.

The tools here each have their strengths and particular purposes, summarised as a basic guide in
the matrix below.

Matrix key:

B = Brainstorming
F = Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagrams *** - main tool
C = Critical Path Analysis Flow Diagrams ** - optional/secondary tool
G = Gantt Charts * - sometimes useful

B F C G

Project brainstorming and initial concepts, ideas, structures, aims, etc *** **

Gathering and identifying all elements, especially causal and hidden factors * *** **

Scheduling and timescales ** ***

Identifying and sequencing parallel and interdependent activities and stages * *** *

Financials - costings, budgets, revenues, profits, variances, etc * * ** ***

Monitoring, forecasting, reporting * ** ***

Troubleshooting, problem identification, diagnosis and solutions ** *** ** *

'Snapshot' or 'map' overview - non-sequential, non-scheduled ** ***

Format for communications, presentations, updates, progress reports, etc * * ***


brainstorming

Brainstorming is usually the first crucial creative stage of the project management and project
planning process. See the brainstorming method in detail and explained separately, because it
many other useful applications outside of project management.

Unlike most project management skills and methods, the first stages of the brainstorming
process is ideally a free-thinking and random technique. Consequently it can be overlooked or
under-utilized because it not a natural approach for many people whose mains strengths are in
systems and processes. Consequently this stage of the project planning process can benefit from
being facilitated by a team member able to manage such a session, specifically to help very
organised people to think randomly and creatively.

Fishbone diagrams

Fishbone diagrams are chiefly used in quality management fault-detection, and in business
process improvement, especially in manufacturing and production, but the model is also very
useful in project management planning and task management generally.

Within project management fishbone diagrams are useful for early planning, notably when
gathering and organising factors, for example during brainstorming.

Fishbone diagrams are very good for identifying hidden factors which can be significant in
enabling larger activities, resources areas, or parts of a process.

Fishbone diagrams are not good for scheduling or showing interdependent time-critical factors.

Fishbone diagrams are also called 'cause and effect diagrams' and Ishikawa diagrams, after
Kaoru Ishikawa (1915-89), a Japanese professor specialising in industrial quality management
and engineering who devised the technique in the 1960s.

Ishikawa's diagram became known as a fishbone diagram, obviously, because it looks like a
fishbone:

A fishbone diagram has a


central spine running left to
right, around which is built
a map of factors which
contribute to the final result
(or problem).

For each project the main


categories of factors are
identified and shown as the
main 'bones' leading to the
spine.

Into each category can be


drawn 'primary' elements or
factors (shown as P in the
diagram), and into these
can be drawn secondary
elements or factors (shown
as S). This is done for every
category, and can be
extended to third or fourth
level factors if necessary.

The diagram above is a very simple one. Typically fishbone diagrams have six or more main
bones feeding into the spine. Other main category factors can include Environment,
Management, Systems, Training, Legal, etc.

The categories used in a fishbone diagram should be whatever makes sense for the project.
Various standard category sets exist for different industrial applications, however it is important
that your chosen structure is right for your own situation, rather than taking a standard set of
category headings and hoping that it fits.

At a simple level the fishbone diagram is a very effective planning model and tool - especially for
'mapping' an entire operation.

Where a fishbone diagram is used for project planning of course the 'Effect' is shown as an aim or
outcome or result, not a problem.

The 'Problem' term is used in fault diagnosis and in quality management problem-solving. Some
fishbone diagrams can become very complex indeed, which is common in specialised quality
management areas, especially where systems are computerised.

This model, and the critical path analysis diagram are similar to the even more complex
diagrams used on business process modellingwithin areas of business planning and and business
process improvement.

Project critical path analysis (flow diagram or chart)

'Critical Path Analysis' sounds very complicated, but it's a very logical and effective method for
planning and managing complex projects. A critical path analysis is normally shown as a flow
diagram, whose format is linear (organised in a line), and specifically a time-line.

Critical Path Analysis is also called Critical Path Method - it's the same thing - and the terms are
commonly abbreviated, to CPA and CPM.

A commonly used tool within Critical Path Analysis is PERT (Program/Programme/Project


Evaluation and Review Technique) which is a specialised method for identifying related and
interdependent activities and events, especially where a big project may contain hundreds or
thousands of connected elements. PERT is not normally relevant in simple projects, but any
project of considerable size and complexity, particularly when timings and interdependency
issues are crucial, can benefit from the detailed analysis enabled by PERT methods. PERT
analysis commonly feeds into Critical Path Analysis and to other broader project management
systems, such as those mentioned here.

Critical Path Analysis flow diagrams are very good for showing interdependent factors whose
timings overlap or coincide. They also enable a plan to be scheduled according to a timescale.
Critical Path Analysis flow diagrams also enable costings and budgeting, although not quite as
easily as Gantt charts (below), and they also help planners to identify causal elements, although
not quite so easily as fishbone diagrams (below).

This is how to create a Critical Path Analysis. As an example, the project is a simple one - making
a fried breakfast.
First note down all the issues (resources and activities in a rough order), again for example:

Assemble crockery and utensils, assemble ingredients, prepare equipment, make toast, fry
sausages and eggs, grill bacon and tomatoes, lay table, warm plates, serve.

Note that some of these activities must happen in parallel - and crucially they are
interdependent. That is to say, if you tried to make a fried breakfast by doing one task at a time,
and one after the other, things would go wrong. Certain tasks must be started before others, and
certain tasks must be completed in order for others to begin. The plates need to be warming
while other activities are going on. The toast needs to be toasting while the sausages are frying,
and at the same time the bacon and sausages are under the grill. The eggs need to be fried last.
A Critical Path Analysis is a diagrammatical representation of what needs done and when.
Timescales and costs can be applied to each activity and resource. Here's the Critical Path
Analysis for making a fried breakfast:

This Critical Path Analysis example below shows just a few activities over a few minutes. Normal
business projects would see the analysis extending several times wider than this example, and
the time line would be based on weeks or months. It is possible to use MS Excel or a similar
spreadsheet to create a Critical Path Analysis, which allows financial totals and time totals to be
planned and tracked. Various specialised project management software enable the same thing.
Beware however of spending weeks on the intricacies of computer modelling, when in the early
stages especially, a carefully hand drawn diagram - which requires no computer training at all -
can put 90% of the thinking and structure in place. (See the details about the most incredible
planning and communications tool ever invented, and available for just a tiny fraction of the price
of all the alternatives.)

project critical path analysis flow diagram example

Gantt Charts (commonly wrongly called gant charts) are extremely useful project management
tools. The Gantt Chart is named after US engineer and consultant Henry Gantt (1861-1919) who
devised the technique in the 1910s.

Gantt charts are excellent models for scheduling and for budgeting, and for reporting and
presenting and communicating project plans and progress easily and quickly, but as a rule Gantt
Charts are not as good as a Critical Path Analysis Flow Diagram for identifying and showing
interdependent factors, or for 'mapping' a plan from and/or into all of its detailed causal or
contributing elements.

You can construct a Gantt Chart using MSExcel or a similar spreadsheet. Every activity has a
separate line. Create a time-line for the duration of the project (the breakfast example shows
minutes, but normally you would use weeks, or for very big long-term projects, months). You can
colour code the time blocks to denote type of activity (for example, intense, watching brief,
directly managed, delegated and left-to-run, etc.) You can schedule review and insert break
points. At the end of each line you can show as many cost columns for the activities as you need.
The breakfast example shows just the capital cost of the consumable items and a revenue cost
for labour and fuel. A Gantt chart like this can be used to keep track of progress for each activity
and how the costs are running. You can move the time blocks around to report on actuals versus
planned, and to re-schedule, and to create new plan updates. Costs columns can show plan and
actuals and variances, and calculate whatever totals, averages, ratios, etc., that you need. Gantt
Charts are probably the most flexible and useful of all project management tools, but remember
they do not very easily or obviously show the importance and inter-dependence of related
parallel activities, and they won't obviously show the necessity to complete one task before
another can begin, as a Critical Path Analysis will do, so you may need both tools, especially at
the planning stage, and almost certainly for large complex projects.

A wide range of computerised systems/software now exists for project management and
planning, and new methods continue to be developed. It is an area of high innovation, with lots of
scope for improvement and development. I welcome suggestions of particularly good systems,
especially if inexpensive or free. Many organizations develop or specify particular computerised
tools, so it's a good idea to seek local relevant advice and examples of best practice before
deciding the best computerised project management system(s) for your own situation.

Project planning tools naturally become used also for subsequent project reporting,
presentations, etc., and you will make life easier for everyone if you use formats that people
recognize and find familiar.

Project financial planning and reporting

For projects involving more than petty cash you'll probably need a spreadsheet to plan and
report planned and actual expenditure. Use MSExcel or similar. Financial accounting for small
projects can sometimes be managed using the project's Gantt Chart. Large projects are likely to
require some sort of require dedicated accounting system, although conceivably Gantt Charts
and financial management accounts can easily be administered within a spreadsheet system
given sufficient expertise. If you don't know how to put together a basic financial plan, get some
help from someone who does, and make sure you bring a good friendly, flexible financial person
into your team - it's a key function of project management, and if you can't manage the financial
processes your self you need to be able to rely completely on whoever does it for you. The
spreadsheet must enable you to plan, administer and report the detailed finances of your project.
Create a cost line for main expenditure activity, and break this down into individual elements.
Create a system for allocating incoming invoices to the correct activities (your bought-ledger
people won't know unless you tell them), and showing when the costs hit the project account.
Establish clear payment terms with all suppliers and stick to them. Projects develop problems
when team members get dissatisfied; rest assured, non- or late-payment is a primary cause of
dissatisfaction.

Remember to set some budget aside for 'contingencies' - you will almost certainly need it.

project contingency planning

Planning for and anticipating the unforeseen, or the possibility that things may not go as
expected, is called 'contingency planning'. Contingency planning is vital in any task when results
and outcomes cannot be absolutely guaranteed. Often a contingency budget needs to be
planned as there are usually costs associated. Contingency planning is about preparing fall-back
actions, and making sure that leeway for time, activity and resource exists to rectify or replace
first-choice plans. A simple contingency plan for the fried breakfast would be to plan for the
possibility of breaking the yolk of an egg, in which case spare resource (eggs) should be
budgeted for and available if needed. Another might be to prepare some hash-browns and
mushrooms in the event that any of the diners are vegetarian. It may be difficult to anticipate
precisely what contingency to plan for in complex long-term projects, in which case simply a
contingency budget is provided, to be allocated later when and if required.
Communicate the project plan to your team

This serves two purposes: it informs people what's happening, and it obtains essential support,
agreement and commitment. If your project is complex and involves a team, then you should
involve the team in the planning process to maximise buy-in, ownership, and thereby
accountability. Your project will also benefit from input and consultation from relevant people at
an early stage.

Also consider how best to communicate the aims and approach of your project to others in your
organization and wider network.

Your project 'team' can extend more widely than you might first imagine. Consider all the
possible 'stakeholders' - those who have an interest in your project and the areas it touches and
needs to attract support or tolerance.

Involvement and communication are vital for cooperation and support. Failing to communicate to
people (who might have no great input, but whose cooperation is crucial) is a common reason for
arousing suspicion and objections, defensiveness or resistance.

Agree and delegate project actions

Your plan will have identified those responsible for each activity. Activities need to be very clearly
described, including all relevant parameters, timescales, costs, and deliverables. Use the SMART
acronym to help you delegate tasks properly. See the delegation tips and processes. Using
proper delegation methods is vital for successful project management involving teams. When
delegated tasks fail this is typically because they have not been explained clearly, agreed with
the other person, or supported and checked while in progress. So publish the full plan to all in the
team, and consider carefully how to delegate medium-to-long-term tasks in light of team
members' forward-planning capabilities. Long-term complex projects need to be planned in more
detail, and great care must be taken in delegating and supporting them. Only delegate tasks
which pass the SMART test. Other useful materials to help understand team delegation are
theTannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum, and Tuckman's group forming/performing model.
The Johari Window model is also an excellent review framework for quickly checking or reminding
about mutual awareness among team members in large complex projects, where there is often a
risk of project fragmentation and people 'doing their own thing' in blissful isolation - which
seriously undermines even the best planned projects.

Manage, motivate, inform, encourage, enable the project team

Manage the team and activities in meetings, communicating, supporting, and helping with
decisions (but not making them for people who can make them for themselves). 'Praise loudly;
blame softly.' (a wonderful maxim attributed to Catherine the Great). One of the big challenges
for a project manager is deciding how much freedom to give for each delegated activity. Tight
parameters and lots of checking are necessary for inexperienced people who like clear
instructions, but this approach is the kiss of death to experienced, entrepreneurial and creative
people. They need a wider brief, more freedom, and less checking. Manage these people by the
results they get - not how they get them. Look out for differences in personality and working
styles in your team. Misunderstanding personal styles can get in the way of team cooperation.
Your role here is to enable and translate. Face to face meetings, when you can bring team
members together, are generally the best way to avoid issues and relationships becoming
personalised and emotional. Communicate progress and successes regularly to everyone. Give
the people in your team the plaudits, particularly when someone high up expresses satisfaction -
never, never accept plaudits yourself. Conversely - you must take the blame for anything that
goes wrong - never 'dump' (your problems or stresses) on anyone in your team. As project
manager any problem is always ultimately down to you anyway. Use empathy and conflict
handling techniques, and look out for signs of stress and manage it accordingly. A happy positive
team with a basic plan will outperform a miserable team with a brilliant plan, every time.

Check, measure, and review project performance; adjust project plans; inform project team and others

Check the progress of activities against the plan. Review performance regularly and at the
stipulated review points, and confirm the validity and relevance of the remainder of the plan.
Adjust the plan if necessary in light of performance, changing circumstances, and new
information, but remain on track and within the original terms of reference. Be sure to use
transparent, pre-agreed measurements when judging performance. (Which shows how essential
it is to have these measures in place and clearly agreed before the task begins.) Identify, agree
and delegate new actions as appropriate. Inform team members and those in authority about
developments, clearly, concisely and in writing. Plan team review meetings. Stick to the
monitoring systems you established. Probe the apparent situations to get at the real facts and
figures. Analyse causes and learn from mistakes. Identify reliable advisors and experts in the
team and use them. Keep talking to people, and make yourself available to all.

Complete project; review and report on project; give praise and thanks to the project team

At the end of your successful project hold a review with the team. Ensure you understand what
happened and why. Reflect on any failures and mistakes positively, objectively, and without
allocating personal blame. Reflect on successes gratefully and realistically. Write a review report,
and make observations and recommendations about follow up issues and priorities - there will be
plenty.

Follow up - train, support, measure and report project results and benefits

Traditionally this stage would be considered part of the project completion, but increasingly an
emphasised additional stage of project follow-up is appropriate.

This is particularly so in very political environments, and/or where projects benefits have
relatively low visibility and meaning to stakeholders (staff, customers, investors, etc), especially
if the project also has very high costs, as ICT projects tend to do.

ICT (information and communications technology) projects often are like this - low visibility of
benefits but very high costs, and also very high stress and risk levels too.

Project management almost always involves change management too, within which it's very
important to consider the effects of the project on people who have to adapt to the change.
There is often a training or education need. There will almost certainly be an explanation need, in
which for example methods like team briefing have prove very useful.

Whatever, when you are focused on project management it is easy to forget or ignore that many
people are affected in some way by the results of the project. Change is difficult, even when it is
good and for right reasons. Remembering this during and at the end of your project will help you
achieve a project that is well received, as well as successful purely in project management terms.

Define the Risk Identification Process:Risk Identification is the process which seeks to understand the project,
determine which risks are likely and document the characteristics of the risks. It is mostly concerned with opportunities
and threats. Risk identification is never really completed until the project is also completed. It is a process which is
undertaken throughout the life of the project.
The approach one must take is to gather as much relevant data as possible and schedule a risk management meeting with
the core team members. Including the core team members is the surest way to secure support for a structured and thorough
approach to identifying risks.

Tools and Techniques of Identifying Risks

The most common tools and techniques used for developing a list of project risks are brainstorming, nominal grouping
technique, mind mapping, Delphi technique and lessons learned from similar projects.

1. Brainstorming

The steps involved are as follows:

Chose a facilitator other than the project manager;

Chose a scribe to capture the risks and opportunities;

Use a category or categories to start the creativity flowing; Do not judge or analyze during this effort; and

Focus on getting the universe of risks and opportunities for the project.

2. Nominal Grouping Technique

The steps involved are as follows:

Gather the core team for a risk workshop;

Use flip-chat paper or a white board the collect the information for the team;

Begin by requesting that each person identify potential areas of risk;

Request that each person write about three (3) to five (5) risk events for each area. Participants should not share lists.

Request that the first person provide the first item on his/ her list then proceed to the next person and repeat the request for
his/ her first item; and

Repeat until everyone's items have been listed.

This helps to avoid duplicate listings of the same risk(s) and also saves time taken to perform this task.

3. Mind Mapping

The steps involved are as follows:

Begin by drawing a circle that represents a risk category;

Represent major risks for that category with lines connecting with the circle;

For each major risk, identify smaller risks that are part of that risk;

Do not judge or evaluate at this point; and

Continue until no more risks can be identified.

At the end of this activity, there should be a fish bone diagram that shows the different relationships for each risk.

4. Delphi Technique
The steps involved are as follows:

Identify a person to act as the facilitator;

The facilitator identifies qualified experts to participate in the exercise;

The facilitator poses questions to the experts individually;

The facilitator then conducts a factor analysis on the data to identify common themes;

This information is shared with the panel of experts for validation;

The list of themes is refined and again shared with the panel; and

The facilitator then creates a single results document.

5. Lessons Learned from Similar Projects

The steps involved are as follows:

Identify comparable projects using the project characteristics;

Locate the relevant post project review reports;

Review the lessons learned documents for a list actual risk events that occurred, response(s) to the risk event, effectiveness
of the risk event and any new risks identified during the project.

Additionally, categories such as cost, schedule, technology, resources, environmental, legal, economic and political can be
used to group risk. Personal experience and intuition (thinking outside the box) are also quite useful in risk identification.

Involving the stakeholders early in the project opens communication and there is less risk of interpreting what the
stakeholders want and/ or require.

Make sure that there is an adequate amount of the correct information. By applying more than one of these various tools
and techniques appropriately, the list of risks and opportunities will be the most comprehensive.

At the end result of the risk identification process the project teams knows what may happen and what will be the impact.
The team understands the source and can estimate when it may occur.

What is the importance of PMIS? List out the macro issues in project management and explain each. What is the
modern mantra in project management?

Ans-A project management information system (PMIS)can provide a framework to help guide the progress of your next
major IT project. Here's how one company decided that a PMIS was needed to help increase project success rates.

We all know that accurate, timely, and relevant information is essential to the decision-making process of a project and
that relying on an inadequate information system puts a project at risk. We all know that information is a valuable resource
for project managers. Despite the fact that we all know these things, project managers often fail to deliver the types of
information needed to ensure project success. Implementing a project management information system (PMIS) is one way
to address critical project information needs.

One of my major clients, an international engineering firm, decided to break the cycle of miscommunication and derailed
projects by ordering the development and implementation of a PMIS that is able to provide upper management with
adequate information about all the projects in the organization’s portfolio. Traditionally, engineers and project managers
do not communicate project status adequately with upper management and functional departments. They believe that
projects are their responsibility and they have the authority to deliver them. Furthermore, functional departments are often
reluctant or do not have time to provide information to project engineers. These circumstances often lead to late, over
budget, and low quality projects.
First of two parts
This is the first of two articles on the implementation of a project management information system (PMIS) in a major
engineering company. The articles document the author's first-hand experiences with the implementation of a PMIS in this
global organization.

Symptoms of the problem


The following symptoms that made us realize the necessity for implementing a PMIS:

There was a loss of control through the systematic analysis of the information gathered.

There was no system for integrating the time, cost, scope, and quality objectives.Projects were often late, over budget, and
of low quality.

To overcome the shortage in information, managers created project organizations within the corporate organization that
led to duplication and waste of time, money, and effort.

The inability of the project manager/team to report accurately the status of the project in terms of time, cost, and work
remaining.

Here is the approach we decided to use for the progressive development of the PMIS:

Identify what is needed.

Compare the current situation with what is needed to achieve the aim of the PMIS set by upper management.

Bridge the gap between what is needed and what was already in place.

Improvement objectives
We agreed that the new system should meet improvement objectives for the project management process. This meant we
needed to state the improvement objectives as early as possible so that we could define the requirements of the system in
terms of these objectives and facilitate the system’s acquisition process. We decided the improvement objectives for the
new system should:

Enable the project team to identify and isolate sources of significant variances and determine the reason why a project
deviated from its plan.

Allow the project team to track the status of the work packages in order to determine the work that is completed and the
work that is still pending.

Help the project team manage project schedules by providing the basis for work package resource allocation and work
timing.

Interface and be compatible with larger legacy information systems.

Help the project team forecast the impact of certain risks on time, costs, and quality baselines.

Give the project team insight into what revisions to the baselines they need to implement, when they should implement
these revisions, and why they are implementing these revisions.

Integrate with the work breakdown structure (WBS), which provides the capability to report the status of the work
packages throughout the project’s life cycle. These reports include identification of the work package, its associated cost
code and schedule, and the individual responsible for the work.
Reengineering the project management process
We analyzed the existing management process and decided that it was inadequate for solving the business problem, or
meeting the improvement objectives. Thus, significant changes were required. We had to spend a considerable amount of
time developing and documenting the new process before going to the acquisition phase.
There was a wide gap between the information requirements we had identified and the existing project management
processes and methods. Thus, we needed to develop a considerable number of project management procedures. We settled
on eight categories of procedures. Following is a partial list of the procedures and their categories:

Procedures for project definition

Preliminary estimate

Preparation of technical specifications

Startup review

Procedures for estimating and cost control

Bottom-up estimate preparation

Cost control

Cost feedback

Procedures for scheduling

Glossary of planning terminology

Project milestones

Procedures for human resource management

 Coding procedure
Procedures for procurement management

Selecting vendors

Appraising vendors

Procedures for materials management

Expediting

Inventory control

Inspections for quality assurance

Vendor data

Procedures for documents management

Numbering system

Distribution profiles

Filing structure

Procedures for integrating the proposed PMIS with other information systems
 Data dictionary
In this article, we have identified the need for the system, the symptoms of the problem, issues to consider, improvement
objectives, and the infrastructure required (in terms of manual procedures) to implement a PMIS. In the next article in this
series, we will expand our definition of a PMIS, describe the information needs of stakeholders, the main components of a
PMIS, and the acquisition process.

10 Mantras for effective Project Management

A rising number of software projects today boast of precise processes and carefully calibrated time schedules, thanks to
the 10 P’s that are helping redefine project management

Sleepless nights and endless cups of coffee…A budget over shot and the sword of an almost missed deadline hanging
dangerously low…Freshly discovered bugs in the final version of the software solution and the sales head screaming…Is
that what software projects are all about? While some of these occurrences still trigger off the adrenaline levels of project
managers across the Indian IT industry, the Indian software industry has come a long way since those chaotic days of the
boom.

The buzz of words like knowledge management, formal management training and company-wide project planning
practices reverberating across the annals of Indian software companies speaks volumes about the maturing of the industry
itself.

Dataquest brings to you ten practices that have transformed the face of software project implementation by Indian
companies…

1 Planning
Even as the sales team revels in the euphoria of having bagged a plum deal, it is time for swift action at the delivery end.
But unlike the flurry of uncoordinated activity that often set projects rolling in the past, projects today, start with a
company-wide meeting involving all the stake-holders of the project. Anand Shankar Lal, PM at Infogain explains how a
project kick off meeting includes not just the project team and senior management, but other associated groups like quality
assurance and system support in order to understand the project requirement, milestones and risks.

"When you promise 24X7 service to customers, logistical requirements of people working at the backend become
extremely important. Arrangements for food, transport and the security of teams working round the clock need to be
tackled. For this reason, involving HR and administrative heads (who will be responsible for making these arrangements)
in the planning meeting helps. Attending these meetings gives them a feel of the importance of the project to the company
and automatically buys greater commitment." says Kanad Chaterjee, senior Project Manager, HCL Tech

2 People
At the end of the day, companies have realized that technology and process deliverables do fall into place, it is the
allocation of human resources and managing them that required deft handling. "No sharing of resources across projects is
the basic principle. Though this means higher pressure on resource optimization, it is well worth the cost," points out
Sudhir Goel, vice president, delivery at MphasiS BFL Group. Goel explains that just-in-time recruitment is difficult and is
very rarely

3 Processes
The key reason why companies have been able to eliminate the ambiguity in projects is because precise processes have
been laid down and are being followed.

"According to the traditional mode of work, a task would be assigned with a request for an update every two hours.

Typically, at the end of two hours, one would discover that the task is well behind schedule, with the result that a task
which merits eight hours of work now needs to be accomplished only in six hours," says Anant Koppar, CEO, Kshema
Technologies and probably one of the few CEOs certified by the Project Management Insititute. Koppar explains that in
the above scenario, established processes would enforce discipline, making monitoring easier.
4 Prudence
These are difficult times and budgets are tight no doubt. Even as adherence to processes and the inevitable long work
hours that come along ensure that deadlines are stuck to, sticking to a budget remains a greater challenge. As Wipro
Technologies’GM, software engineering V Subramanyam says, "In the early days, infrastructure, conveyance and people
costs were covered under a general head and approved quite easily. Now things have changed. Cost estimation sheets are
monitored closely. All travel for instance, cannot be billed, but needs to be justified."

Similarly, there is no procuring of technical tools (even if the project demands it) unless it been specified to client.
Subramanyam explains how the setting up of an organization-wide tools lab helps where tools and licenses can be shared
across projects.

5 Patience
Clients and their changing requirements have been an integral aspect of software implementation. Over time, companies
have learnt to anticipate change and be prepared to tackle it without crumbling under pressures of time and budgets.

Mindtree’s Vishweshwar Hegde advises the setting up of a strong Change Management process to address multiple
dimensions. "Technical impact: analyzing what parts of the products get impacted. Financial impact on cost, effort and
schedule due to the change. Customer impact: early communication of the same to the customer and negotiations.

Strong risk management practices based on the past risk repository and structured risk assessment to prevent some of the
impacts of changes" says Hegde.

At Birlasoft, complete change management is done to deal with changing client specs. Any change raised by client is
analyzed for impact of cost schedule, work items etc. Change is accepted or rejected by software configuration control
board.Appropriate project re-planning is done according to change.

6 Persistence
Even as the traditional tussle between the Sales team’s attitude to notch up client wins and the technical team’s struggle to
deliver the promised goods continues, top level project managers are increasingly being called upon to smoothen
interaction with the client.

V Subramanyam, GM, software engineering, Wipro Technologies points out that clients too are becoming more focussed
on what they want. "Earlier they used to give end to end project deliverables. The trend now is quick deliverables small
time frames."

7 Perfection
There is little doubt that the Indian software brand has arrived where it has today, primarily because of the quality of
services offered. Testing, documentation and quality assurance are not activities that teams take lightly after the "hot hob"
of coding is done.

For instance, all projects at LGSI need to have Defect prevention leader (DPL). The DPL is required to accumulate and
aggregate all the defects (internal reviews raised by client) and perform a causal analysis on them. The outcome of the DP
analysis is discussed with the complete team so that most of the recurring defects are avoided in the future.

Rajesh Tikku, vice president, Delivery, Infinite Computer Solutions says the trick is in not only maintaining delivery
timelines but also a very high standard of the quality of deliverables. "People may not remember that you delivered a day
late, but they will always remember that you delivered bad code," he says.

8 Precaution
Despite stringent quality checks and a product that is certified as perfect by multiple authorities in the organization, cases
of software acting up before the client are not uncommon. Kshema executive VP, Y K Maheshwari explains that the
testing tool identified at the beginning of the project, may not work in a new operating system. "We discuss this again with
the client and look at using a new tool," he says. This is primarily because the hardware and software environment onsite
is bound to be different. Once again, the trick is to anticipate such hiccups and allocate enough resources at the client end
during the "acceptance phase" until things start functioning smoothly.
"As a precaution, we try to simulate the hardware environment that is prevalent at the client site. At times, we request the
client to ship that hardware to our location so that we can test the software in actual client-life conditions," says
Ramakrishna of Kshema Technologies.

9 Practice
Knowledge management and incorporating the learnings from one project into the next project undertaken by the
company has long been part of the holistic vision of companies. But as project managers struggle to first deliver all that
the client wants, often imeeting unrealistic deadlines, jotting down learnings often takes a backseat. Over the years,
software companies have found ways to pool learnings from past projects and collect them in a central repository to be
used by teams across the organization. But how does one ensure that the knowledge and experience gained during one
project is actually deposited into this repository?

"Project Managers are not allotted the next project until the completion report, along with learnings is not logged in,"
smiles Sunil Mittal of HCL Tech.

10 Professionalism
It has been a long journey for Indian software. Companies large and small are continuously striving to put up a face that
speaks of commitment, reliability and more than anything else, the confidence that global clients will take them seriously.

May it be processes or people, professional training in project management is the order of the day. Kshema Technologies
has made PMI certification mandatory for all project managers in the company. "As CEO it gives me the confidence that
things will run professionally in all projects undertaken by the company. I can do my audits without spending more time.
India has been poor at cost management and this has reflected in margin pressure. The PMI model accurately calculates
how much money has been spent, how much money we have and how much work has been done,"says Kshema CEO
Anant Koppar.

We certainly have come a long way from the days of ad hoc customer demands and rushed IT jobs. Companies no longer
place the smartest techie on board as the head of the operation and expect things to work out on their own. India’s large
software companies have already done it and the smaller ones are doing their best to ensure that those at the helm of
projects are professionally trained.

After all, a project is what brings in the bucks for Indian software, sustains burgeoning teams of software professionals
and signifies that the bench is a good while away.