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5 Aspects of Project Management

5 Aspects of Project Management
By Atul Gaur

Recently, I read an article 7 Project Management trends to watch on PMI’s blog. I appreciate the work done by the author as I share similar views on the issues raised by Mr. V Srinivasa Rao. My views on five most important aspect of project management are as follows:

  1. Look Beyond the triple constraintsMany times we do complete projects but still feel unsatisfied with the way the targets have been achieved. I feel the value that the project brings apart from the margin should be quantified and communicated to team members well in advance so that every body can work and achieve both tangible and intangible gains from the project. Organizations should concentrate on achieving internal deliverable (values) as much as on satisfying project stake holders by delivering the project within triple constrains. Organizations must establish procedures to ensure that the value delivered by the project is assessed, verified and improved upon on subsequent projects.
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Check List to Take Over An Existing Project

Check List to Take Over An Existing Project
By Atul Gaur

A project manager is not always lucky enough to get involved in a project right from its inception. For various reasons a project manager may have to get involved in a project mid-way or at times even during the last phase of the project. The ownership of the project that is being shifted to a new project manager, may either be a well-managed project or could be the most troubled project being executed.

Projects have a detailed history behind them and with the limited time that is available during handing-taking over of a project it may not be feasible for the new project manager to check and understand each and every detail of the project. Sometimes the unshared information happens to be the most critical aspect of the project and can put the new project manager in very difficult situations. Read the Complete Article

Perils of Matrix Organization Structure

Perils of Matrix Organization Structure
By Atul Gaur

Given the complex nature of engineering projects, it is pertinent to mention that there should be a well defined project organization structure at all times. Project teams should know exactly who to report for all matters of the project, diluting this structure affects the overall team dynamics and greatly impairs project progress. An engineering project requires a well defined organization structure and an established chain of command, with project manager at helm of affairs. However, with a matrix organization structure the authority, role, and responsibility of a project manager gets diluted to a great extent.

Theoretically, we have three main types of project organizations viz; functional, projectized, and matrix. Matrix organization has been further sub divided into weak and strong matrix. Irrespective of the nomenclature, the problems faced while working in matrix organization remains the same. The most serious problems faced are lack of centralized leadership, absence of a cohesive team, and improper implementation of project plan. Read the Complete Article

15 Benefits of a Project Management Plan

15 Benefits of a Project Management Plan
By Atul Gaur

Project Management Plan

A project management plan is the collection of outputs of the project planning processes. It defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled and closed. The project management plan needs to be updated and revised through out the Integrated Change Control Process. The Project Management Plan consists of:

  1. Project Scope Management Plan
  2. Project Schedule Management Plan

  3. Project Cost Management Plan

  4. Quality Management Plan

  5. Human Resource Management Plan

  6. Communication Management Plan

  7. Risk Management Plan

  8. Procurement Management Plan

  9. Process Improvement Plan

Other components of the project management plan include:

  1. Milestone list
  2. Resource Calendar

  3. Schedule, Cost and Quality Baseline

  4. Risk Register

Attributes of a Project Management Plan

The project team has to select a set of processes that would be implemented in order to complete the project. There are a total of 44 project management processes that are organized in 9 knowledge areas. Read the Complete Article

Fundamentals of Project Planning and Scheduling

Fundamentals of Project Planning and Scheduling
By Atul Gaur

One of my smooth progressing engineering project was suddenly jolted by numerous emails and phone calls from the project sponsor asking the Management to expedite activities at site. The project was going on quite smoothly as it had the best plan to back it up and we all hoped that things would go as planned but eventually it did not work out that way. The project sponsors demanded an unexpected change in the project completion date in order to meet their financial goals. The complete project schedule had to be reworked in order to meet the client expectations. Important milestones like site mobilization had to be advanced in order to commence construction activities and complete the project as per the new deadlines. The subsequent paragraphs describes some fundamental steps followed to develop and implement a new project schedule.

As the site team got mobilized we were bombarded with myriad of problems some of them so mundane that we were at times amazed dealing with the slew of such problems. Read the Complete Article

Earned Value Management Versus Traditional Management

Earned Value Management Versus Traditional Management
By Atul Gaur

Earned Value Management (EVM): is a technique used to track the progress and status of a project and to forecast its future performance. EVM systematically integrates measurement of cost, schedule, and scope accomplishments on a project. EVM was developed in 1960’s by Department of Defense (DOD) to keep track of defense projects and currently is most preferred Project Management technique world over. EVM provides organizations with methodology needed to integrate the management of project scope, schedule and cost.

How Management Can Benefit? EVM can play a crucial role in answering the following management questions that are crucial to success of every project.

  1. Are we ahead or behind schedule?
  2. How efficiently are we using our time?
  3. When is the project likely to be completed?
  4. Are we currently over or under budget?
  5. How efficiently are we using our resources?
  6. What is the remaining work likely to cost?
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