BUS 1040 PROJECT MANAGEMENT- YOUR Answered Questions (YAQ)
Under construction-Dec.2 - 9, 2002
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Real project examples. Start with our project management sites. (our P.M. page). Or, there are thousands of references to real projects on the web that can be found with search engines such as Ask Jeeves-link our our home page.
Thanks to Stellar (Wed. class). for the following 13 questions.
1. What are the 6 questions we could ask once a project is selected as part of our definition stage.
Verzuh. P. 77 What , Why and When and How and Where and Who?
I gave the example in class of the similarity between 'ancient historical'
projects such as the pyramids
and projects in this century such as the Polaris project or improving a hospital admission
King Tut says, "I want to buried in a nice place - how about in a pyramid?" His project
manager says, "What's a pyramid?" Tut says, "Well I had a dream and it kind of looked like a
spinning top the kids play with but upside down." The project manager says, "Does it have
to be round-it's easier to build things that are square?" "Who cares about easy," says Tut?" "It's
got to be big, safe and impressive." "Why says the P.M.?" " Because I want people tripping
over it thousands of years from now" says Tut. The P.M. says, "When do you want it by?"
"Its got to be ready by the time I die," says Tut. "So Where do you want it says the P.M.?"
"I want to be able to see it being built from my condo on Main Street in Cairo." So the P.M.
says, "Then it will have to be right on the edge of town in Gaza, no problem, but give me a
little more detail. Tut says, "This has gotta to be big, solid, and pointing at the stars, with
tunnels and secret passages, and a Tim Horton's just inside the entrance." How am I going to
do all that says P.M.?" "Not my problem," says Tut-"that's why you are the P.M. so I don't
have to think about all this nitty gritty." "Who's going to help me?" says the P.M., I'll need
about 150,000 slaves, because 50,000 will die on the job?" "No problemo" says Tut. We'll
send the army down to Judea and Ethiopia and capture whole nations of people as slaves.
Done deal. So off you go, let me sign the Charter and you can get started. Remember, I want
2. Is apportioning a technique to estimate
top-down budget? Could you explain to me
what is apportioning?
Verzuh. P. 163. Apportioning breaks down the estimate into smaller pieces. Yes, it is. We
first do a Order of Magnitude (based on previous experience.). We then choose one phase
(part of the project) and take a portion (a percentage) of the estimate and allocate it to just
When the phase is completed we can calculate how close we were to the estimate.
then apply the % of difference to the next phase-i.e. we need more of less money. It is
important to start with an accurate Order of Magnitude.
3. Is parametric estimate a technique to estimate bottom-up budget?
Do I need to know
how do I calculate it?
Parametric is definitely bottom up. It is the one that trades people (the people
who do the
work) would use every day.
Yes, you do need to calculate. Easy. look for two different pieces of information and then
multiply (or a calculation method) for the total.
A wedding provides many examples, so does renovating a house.
Setting the dinner table: Need 1 cake to serve 8 guests. There are 64 guests. How many
cakes do I need. Answer 8 cakes.
A tire for my car costs $100. I need four tires. Answer, $400.
A shoe store decides to advertise the price of a single shoe in order to promote
to compete. I see the sign in the window that one Gucci swayback shoe is $75. What
method of estimating would I use to calculate my price for a pair of shoes? Answer: the
4. could you give me a basic example of resource leveling?
Verzuh. P. 149. We maximize the use of limited resources. People are a resource
and so is
equipment and other physical items.
On exam day we have too many students to fit into our class room. There is
an empty class
next door. We put the the extra students into the spare room.
There are two many photo copiers in the staff rooms. We have a print shop where
can get copying done and it is cheaper for the college. Teachers are required to use the print
shop for more than 100 copies per run. Or, some of the copiers are removed from staff
rooms. The resource (copiers ) are leveled.
5. What would you gather for the status meeting? .
Verzuh P. 228 and 229 and my web site handout in the Monitoring and Control section
6. How to fix that when teams not work? Is through negotiation and communication?
Verzuh .P. 307. Through communicating using various forms and meetings.
Negotiation would be used after all methods have been used and improvement is still needed.
You could negotiate with a group but we have focussed on the one on one method.
7. How to state what has been learned in Close Out phase? Is it through a
Verzuh . P. 243. You would write a report called Lessons Learned - this would
Process Improvement and or Continuous Improvement which is a specific category of
management. The Lessons Learned report may be circulated throughout your organization.
8. Where do the documents go at the Close Out phase? Is it to pass them on
to the person
taking responsibility for the next phase?
Documents might be computer records as well as hard copy. Back up copies of
data would be stored on the company data base with password protection as needed.
Hard copy would be filed in the company records area. Larger companies have areas and
staff set aside for records management (Career opportunity-Univerisity degree helps U of T,
F.I.S.) Small companies would simply file the documents for future access-legal issues,
learning, financial or performance auditing.
9. Verzuh. 109. Why would you develop the summary tasks? To and the relationships
between the long list of tasks. Once similar items are grouped (summary) you can decide
on the skills (specialist) you need. You can find efficiencies for doing the work. You can
price the work more easily and even save money. Once all the task are done you know
you have completed the summary.
The summary task also make it easier to understand the project breakdown..
grouping rather than long lists are less intimidating. Stakeholders can quickly identify their part
of the project by looking at summary tasks.
10. What do you think that work package might cost as part of the overall budget?
Every work package cost is made up from the cost of labour and resources used
complete that package. e.g 2 hours at $20 per hour plus materials or resources. The addition
of all the work package estimates provides the total for the money needed.
e.g Paying someone to buy your groceries. Their hours x rate, plus the cost of groceries.
11. What methods do you use to motivate your team?
Same answer as question 6, although the word motivation introduces the concept
which we did not go into detail on. Think in terms of what make you work harder on a team.
They would apply to some other members but not all. Everyone has different motives or
reasons for doing things. You have to find what their "stake" in the project is. Security,
recognition, $ reward, reputation, challenge, belonging (to a team), future career, learning
experience. The project manager asks "Open ended" questions of each person to find out
these things, then includes the necessary parts in a program he or she would devise.
Meetings, employee of the month awards, bonuses, special assignments related to the
persons interest or skills. etc.
12.a). How to reduce risk? b)Is it to prepare a contingency plan?
a). We reduce risk by looking for it (identifying or anticipating it.) Calculate
the probability of
it happening. Calculate the damage it will do and the severity. Assign resources to minimize
risk from occurring. Asking every member of the team for their input of what could go
wrong. Looking at lessons learned from the past. Monitor to see if the risk if it occurs or it it
has monitor effect. Mitigate (reduce) the effect of the risk.
b). No and yes. does it reduce the risk. See example below - No you still have an old car. Yes, It does however, reduce further risks. A contingency plan is what you have ready for when things do go wrong. You are going to a destination. If your old car breaks down (known risk with high probability) your
contingency plan is to finish the journey by bus so as to minimize the loss of vacation days.
13. How to avoid the optimistic guessing for estimating?
Consider every little detail in the planning. Good WBS and work packages. Look
previous projects-Lessons Learned. Ask people who actually do the work for their input.