Project Management Basics

Here you can find some of my notes about Project Management. Actually these notes cover useful & basic information for variety of businesses. No matter which industry you are working for, you can get a line on project management basics with the assistance of this study.

The structure is based on bullet points. So, let’s roll.


Foundational Project Management Elements

  1. Constraints of Projects are:
    - Scope
    - Quality
    - Cost
    - Time + Risk
    - Resources
  2. Scope of Projects are:
    - Product Scope: All things in product
    - Project Scope: All work in project
    - Total Scope
  3. Process of Projects are:
    - Initiate
    - Plan
    - Execute
    - Monitor & Control
    - Close
  4. Two key elements of initiation: Stakeholders and Project Charter
  5. Project Charter is:
    - Agreement between involved parties
    - One location for all overview info
    - Definition of the project
    - Guide for project activities
  6. Project Charter Elements:
    - Project purpose & justification
    - Objectives & success criteria
    - High-level requirements
    - High-level project description
    - Summary milestone schedule
    - Budget
    - High-level risks
    - Stakeholder list(who are involving)
    - Project approval requirements (who will say it is over?)
  7. Scope Statement must include:
    -
    Scope description
    - Project deliverables
    - User acceptance criteria
    - Exclusions
    - Constraints
    - Assumptions
  8. Stakeholder analysis:
    - Definition
    - How they are related (interest)
    - Assessment of impact (power)
    - Potential strategies for reducing obstacles. (ie. for a stadium project, home owners nearby are stakeholders)
  9. 4 Steps of Dealing with Risks:
    - Find the risks
    - Analyze the risks
    - Develop a risk plan
    - Mitigate the risks as they arise
  10. Risk Analysis:
    - Impact of the risk
    - Probability of the risk
    - Triggers of the risk

WBS

  1. WBS (Work breakdown structure): Way to define, display and communicate a project.
  2. WBS Parts:
    -
    Deliverables
    - Work packages
    - Project Activities
    - Detailed Tasks
  3. In WBS, define deliverables and its tasks
  4. Project Activity: Component of work performed during project
  5. WBS Levels:
WBS Levels

Example of a WBS:


Planning & Scheduling

  1. Project Schedule shows relationships and dependencies of project tasks
  2. Critical Path: Longest string for project completion
  3. Float Time: Extra time before project completion
  4. 3 Types of Project Diagrams:
    - Gantt Chart
    - Network Diagram
    - CPM (Critical Path Method)
  5. Network Diagram (PERT View):
PERT View

6. Gantt Chart:

7. How to construct a project schedule:
- Tasks
- Tasks durations
- Task relationships
- Initial start & finish (early start, early finish)
- Late start & late finish

8. For reducing time, you can crash the project(increase workload), fast track the project(overlap phases, perform activities parallel), reduce scope or quality.

9. Milestones are significant events of projects.


Project Leadership

  1. Human Resources Planning:
    - Determine human resource requirements
    - Manage & lead the project team
  2. Human resource needs are determined by Work & Duration.
    - Work (Effort): # of labor required (expressed in hours, days or weeks)
    - Duration: # of work periods required (days or weeks)
Work Effort & Duration

3. Team Kick-off Meeting:
- Introduce team members
- Clarify project mission, definitions, deliverables
- Answer questions
- Start developing project plan

4. Double Scheduling:

5. Responsibility Assignment Matrix:

6. Why team members may not want delegation?
- There are no rewards
- Are insecure
- Do not have the skills
- Simply do not want the task
- Don’t trust project manager

7. Evaluate team members’ ability to accept delegation:
- Daily job duties
- Special skills
- Unique background or education
- History of previous tasks
- Willingness to accept tasks or trainings
- Previous experience
- Self-confidence

8. Leading the team: Maslow hierarchy — factors that motivate and drive team members

9. Execution:
-
Meet deadline
- Increase profit margins
- Get to market before a competitor
- Longer project life cycle
- Take advantage of a time-limited opportunity

10. Project Profit Graph:

11. Communication Plan:

12. Track & Control the Project:
- Monitor — Evaluate — Take controlling actions — Deliver results

13. Tools of Tracking:
- Project Schedule
- Communication Plan

14. Earned value management: A tool that shows both spending & progress on the same chart

PV: Planned Value
EV: Earned Value
AC: Actual Cost
Cost Variance: CV = EV — AC
Schedule Variance: SV = EV -PV

Example: Total Budget: 4m $ , Project Schedule: 1 year, Budget spent: 2m $, Completion: 1/4, Time worked: 2 full month

AC = 2m $ EV = 1m $ (1/4 is done of 4m$/4)
PV = 2/3 m $ (4m $/12 = 1/3$ per month. 2 month worked so it is 2/3m $)
SV = 1/3 m $
CV= -1m $

If you are using Earned value management. You should track: — CV & SV mostly.

15. Project Close out Checklist

* Complete the project:
- Check the exit criteria
- Confirm all deliverables have been given
- Confirm customer satisfaction.

* Close out all the details:
- Schedule Close out meeting
- Close out all financials
- Inform all support functions
- Inform team members
- Inform functional managers

*Review Project Success:
- Review project documents
- Review what went well, what did not go well

*Recognize, Reward, Celebrate:
- Recognize everyone on the project
- Reward people
- Celebrate the completion

Source: Project Management: The Basics for Success Course on Coursera.