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Project Management: Gantt Chart and CPI

Project Management: Gantt Chart and CPI
By Larry Gunter

How does a Gantt chart helps communicate project progress?

A tracking Gantt chart depicts progress by the amount of time each task takes. This progress is the calendar dates for the project, a department task or even an individual task(Russell, 2007, p. 142). Using the tracking Gantt chart helps provide critical project information to the project manager, the project stakeholders and any interested person in the project. The adjustable nature of the chart allows for changes in resources, constraints in costs and personnel turnover. The structure of the chart also allows for consistent reviews when addressing progress of the project during various stages. The ability to show the task status on the chart and the resources assigned will allow communication to be more efficient when necessary.

How does a Project Manager would use the cost performance index (CPI)?

The cost performance index is used to determine if a project’s actual costs is on track, under budget or becoming a cost overrun(Gray & Larson, 2008, pp. Read the Complete Article

How a Project Manager Should Handle Project Closing Stage Conflicts

How a Project Manager Should Handle Project Closing Stage Conflicts
By Larry Gunter

Given that leadership conflicts are taking place during the project’s closing stages, here are a few recommended leadership actions. One action that is important is project evaluation (Kloppenborg, Shriberg, & Venkatraman, 2003, p. 86). The project post – launch assessment is important to determine the resource and cost constraints and containment within the project budgets. If there were shortages on personnel then human resources may be in conflict with department leaders. If there were cost overruns then the finance leaders may be in conflict with project teams. The best action is to create an objective report that summarizes the utilization of resources and finances throughout the project schedule.

Another action that is recommended is terminating a project that does not need to continue (Kloppenborg, Shriberg, & Venkatraman, 2003, p. 87). This requires the project sponsors, the project manager and core team to conclude that continuation of the project is not necessary. Read the Complete Article

Project Management: Work Breakdown Structure

Project Management: Work Breakdown Structure
By Larry Gunter

What is the differences between a WBS and a project network?

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is the final outline, made up of subdivided work tasks that form a map of a project. The project manager uses this tool to identify all the project elements and any subsets that need to be considered in completing a project (Gray & Larson, 2008, p. 97).

A project network is different in that it is only timed activities developed from the WBS. It is a diagram that shows sequential order of completion and the relationship of tasks and the interdependencies to track the sequential order of timed activities of the project. The two approaches which are unique to a project network are activity-on-node(AON) and activity-on-arrow(AOA). These approaches have been incorporated into project management software used commonly today (Gray & Larson, 2008, pp. 146-149).

How are the WBS and project networks are linked? Read the Complete Article

Project Management: Phase Gate Review Process

Project Management: Phase Gate Review Process
By Larry Gunter

How does the Phase Gate Review methodology improve project effectiveness?

The Phase Gate Review methodology improves project effectiveness by reviewing all stages of the project from the initial selection process through the entire process of development to the final stages of closure. The phases of the project are natural stopping points to stop and look back over what has been accomplished and determine if the required deliverables are being met and the project scope and schedule needs to be adjusted going forward or the project has a green light to proceed or red to stop or abandon elements or all of the project (Gray & Larson, 2008, p. 524).

The Phase Gate Review methodology is an easy structure to understand and work from. The stages are natural fits into the overall project portfolio. The methodology will answer key questions at each stage of the process to help improve effectiveness of the tasks being performed or the teams that are performing the tasks. Read the Complete Article

Project Management: Resolving Project Conflicts

Project Management: Resolving Project Conflicts
By Larry Gunter

This posting summarizes a suggested analysis of the failure to create a positive project partnership. The project manager is in the implementation stage of the accounting software installation project. The attempts to re-unit the project team members which are contractors have been meet with resistance. The project manager must negotiate with the stakeholders individually and collectively to get the project back on track. The project manager must also have processes in place to ensure the project stays on track until it is complete (Gray & Larson, 2008, pp. 410-411)

Why does project partnerships sometimes fail?

One of the primary reasons project partnerships appeared to fail is the auto-pilot mentality of project manager who set the course of the stakeholders, but then stop monitoring the various stakeholder gauges to determine if the personnel were still working within the guidelines that were originally agreed upon. Read the Complete Article

Project Management: Risk Assessment

Project Management: Risk Assessment
By Larry Gunter

In this article, I am recommending action for a project team to pursue when addressing risk management. This action includes steps necessary to handle project risks. The team’s objectives, risk process, activities and output are detailed out for this recommendation.

Team Objectives

The team objectives can be very broad topics to assess for risks. Many risk assessments that address the broad objectives, do not fully evaluate the cause which works to fulfill that objective. Risks to the mechanism of the objective is just as important to look for as evaluating the overall objectives (Gray & Larson, 2008, p. 200). It is important to evaluate the entire range of potential risks to the team’s objectives. Three team objectives should be evaluated using an impact scale.

Project Objectives

Low (1) to High (2) 1 2 3 4 5
Total Revenue – 100% 100 % loss – first 3 months < 75% loss – after first 6 months <50% loss after first 9 months <25% loss after first 11 months <0% loss after first 13 months
Special Offerings – (10 options available) Remove 1 offering Remove 3 offerings Remove 5 offerings Remove 8 offerings Remove 9 offerings
Quantity Produced – 100% Production reduced by <9% Production reduced by 10 – 20% Production reduced by 20 – 40% Production reduced by 40 – 60% Production by more than 60%

Risk Event Process

The process for handling risk events is a mathematical evaluation that estimates the impact of the risk events on the project. Read the Complete Article

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