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Project Management An Introduction To Projects and Project Management Principles.

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Presentation on theme: "Project Management An Introduction To Projects and Project Management Principles."— Presentation transcript:

1 Project Management An Introduction To Projects and Project Management Principles

2 Projects - Why do we need them? A Project arises from the need to :- carry out a task or solve a problem By their nature, tasks / problems ( big or small ) impose the need for a solution by a certain time or event, e.g.. :- We need improved global heating by the next Ice Age We need to slow down the effects of global warming We need to get the car fixed before its next MOT We need to wash the dishes before the next meal

3 Project Management - Why do we need it? The solution will be achieved most easily if we :- have agreed goals plan ahead work to a schedule have reference points to assess progress against hold reviews to assess progress have mechanisms to apply any necessary changes

4 Project Management - How does the team go about it? Identify the problem or task  often identified by Clients Define the nature of task, objectives, & likely scope of activities to be undertaken in conjunction with Clients Produce an outline Plan  A Technical Plan, describing the problem, the preferred concept for dealing with it, the likely timescale & resources, including an outline cost The choice of concept, the resources, timescale and cost will require justification, especially for the CLIENT..(or Supervisor)

5 Project Management - Task specification, Contract, Programme The Task definition and the Technical Plan will be discussed with the Clients hopefully resulting in a mutually agreed Task Specification which provides the basis for a Contract and Programme It is vital that both parties do their best to communicate meaningfully, and present a reasoned case with supporting evidence Remember the Clients ‘own’ the task or problem and provide the funding. They therefore have the final say on what should be done – you can however advise on these matters

6 Project Management - Task specification, Contract, Programme Instant perfect agreement between the two parties is rare at this stage This may be a divergence of two expert opinions or An imperfect understanding of the problem by one or both of the parties or A desire to minimise cost / maximise profit The phrase “I don’t care what it takes, JUST FIX IT!” rarely occurs outside the world of movies

7 Project Management Settling on the Task Spec....... If, from the Project Team’s point of view what the Client is proposing appears insufficient to achieve the desired objectives You should inform the Clients in a rational manner, with justification Outline the amount of progress which you consider can be expected on the basis of the Client’s proposal At this point, the Clients may accept that the progress will be limited as described, and the job will go ahead on this basis, OR The two parties will strive for a compromise, which Will be reached, and the job will go ahead on the basis of this compromise, OR A compromise will not be reached, and the Clients will..

8 Project Management Settling on the Task Spec....... YOUR CLIENT WILL GO ELSEWHERE! This last outcome is bad for both parties :- the Project Team haven ’ t got the job, and The Clients have lost valuable time, and are unlikely to approach that Project Team in the future

9 Project Management The Programme #1 The Programme is what the Client and the Project Team will work to, and, with the Task Specification, is probably one of the most important documents to any project. Items to be included are:- Pre-Task Activities - (This includes any time spent on Project so far) Literature search /data mining & review of findings (any previous similar work done by you or anyone else). Task Specification Activity Definition – Work Breakdown Structure – A Plan Quality Assurance Procedures to be used Any known constraints Risk Analysis (what can go wrong, and what actions do we need to take to reduce the possibility or impact of a risk) Health and Safety Case Study (if appropriate) Working Instructions....... When do we get to do the WORK?!

10 Project Management Corny Proverbs Section It has been said that “ a good project is 95% preparation, 5% execution ” While we could argue the exact proportions, the principle is right. Remember the 5 P ’ s :- Poor Preparation makes for Particularly Poor Performance

11 Project Management The Programme #2 These are SOME of the other items for the programme:- Resources (Hardware, Software and People) Training Procurement (H/W, Software, infrastructure) Commissioning of equipment Identification of Deliverables Identification of Timescale (estimated or fixed?) For each Task in the work breakdown structure Assessment (technical, time, resources) Review progress Report on progress Close-Out, sign-off, what next?

12 Project Management - CLIENTS Clients are often misunderstood and misrepresented Their budget is limited and they are ALWAYS accountable to someone (ultimately shareholders and/or the Government) It ’ s THEIR problem, so they get nervy, they feel the Project Team don ’ t understand how important the problem is It ’ s VITAL that the Project Team and the Clients each understand that the other CARES GLOOMY CLIENT

13 Project Management - Tips on CLIENTS Remember that they are expert in their own activities, and Keep them informed, don ’ t mislead them If things take an unexpected turn, suggest the most likely course of action, and work with them to review the way forward They always respond better to being told you need more resource early, so they can plan, rather than finding out at the last minute Sometimes they cheer up and have a GOOD day! CHEERFUL CLIENT

14 The Project Team - Misunderstood Saints? A good Team exploits individual strengths, & bolsters weak areas - they work for each other and the Team Individuals must take responsibility within the team for their task areas A good Team blends experience in project work with the Client knowledge of the task area through good communication A Team which tries to mislead a Client risks being THROWN TO THE LIONS, and deservedly so!

15 Project Management The Programme #3 Project Planning and Scheduling Further Lectures on this but: Identify Tasks that need doing Identify dependencies between tasks (where they exist) Identify any fixed or key dates and key deliverables Pick a starting point from which to plan (could be the start date or the end date, or perhaps a fixed point somewhere mid project) Piece together the tasks, along with estimated resource requirements (guesswork involved) Make sure you have contingency built in How does it look?

16 Contingency Why do we need it? Delivery Failures (of expected equipment) Labour shortage Sickness etc.. Commissioning Snags such as Power cuts or infrastructure unavailability Equipment Failure (inc.. Network downtime) Trial /Task doesn ’ t run as predicted (After all, if we KNEW what was going to happen, we wouldn ’ t need the project!) We can use the Contingency and non-scheduled time to catch up, but don ’ t plan to use them People need their personal time. Fill a project plan with critical tasks and you will end up NO SPONTANEOUS CREATIVITY and no room for adjustments!

17 Key Deliverables & Milestones Reference points so that you and the clients can assess progress Key Deliverables are points the Project Team itself sets. They may be postponed for a valid reason, (trials delayed etc.) Milestones are deliverables set in conjunction with the Client, who sees these particular items as critical health checks for the project. These are rarely altered, only by reference to the Client, & the reasons must be COMPELLING. (As much notice as possible helps).

18 Surviving as a Project Manager Keep a Diary to record project activity (part of the Auditable Trail). Vital if a hand-over occurs or responsibilities change, or to persuade those with “ memory problems ” what was agreed Use checklists and pro-formas when building Task Specs, Activity Definitions, Safety Cases, & Costings so nothing is left out and you don ’ t have to think what has to go in it each time. The same general items crop up every time Keep a note of any extra requests from Clients, and either obtain extra funding for them specifically, or show them a costed list when money is running low Create a database or log you can search, of correspondence in and out, references consulted, and reports. This also is part of your Auditable Trail, and will be invaluable, saving time, effort, money, and much memory searching (yours and the Client ’ s). Don ’ t forget to budget for it! (Money and time)

19 People - The Ultimate Resource? No tool, system, reference, or machine is as flexible & creative as people Each team member should have clearly defined responsibilities & everyone ’ s progress to identified goals should be assessed. The balance between the team giving mutual support yet maintaining individual independence is delicate PROJECT TEAM Collective Halo

20 The Project Team The Project Team is a team - they work for each other The Client Team is a team - they work for each other The 2 teams form a larger team - they work for each other All the ancillary teams, Safety, Purchasing, Accounts, all form part of this enlarged team You will find that you form strong links with certain members of the extended team outside your immediate team - this is of great value & adds strength to the project


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