Assignment in ITE311B — IT Specialization Course 1

1. Read the report “2015 Pulse of the Profession. Capturing the Value of Project Management” by PMI mentioned in the What Went Right section, page 194 of the 8th Edition of the book. Summarize the key points on this study and your opinion of it. Describe some specific steps organization can take to provide a supportive culture for project management.

BUSINESS IMPERATIVES: GETTING THE FUNDAMENTALS RIGHT

In the report “2015 Pulse of the Profession: Capturing the Value of Project Management”, it is mentioned that the Pulse study shows that the organizations are focusing on the fundamental aspects of culture, talent, and process that’s supports excellence in project, program, and portfolio management.

Culture is the most effective organization recognize the need for formal project management in their “change the business” initiatives. Creating a culture that embraces project management and increases the business value it delivers involves:

  • Fully understanding the value of project management
  • Requiring actively engaged executive sponsors on projects and programs
  • Aligning projects and programs to the organization’s strategy
  • Having highly mature project, program, and portfolio management

Talent is a key factor in fostering a culture that values project management is understanding the importance of skilled talent. Process, the Pulse confirmed that organizations can clearly benefit from maturing their project, programs, and portfolio management process, and that process maturity leads to success.

FOUNDATIONAL PRACTICES

  • Greater knowledge transfer effectiveness

From capturing lessons learned to easing the impact of losing experienced staff, knowledge transfer represents a critical — but often undervalued — organizational competence. For knowledge transfer to become routine but effective, it must be culturally embedded.

  • More rigorous use risk management practices

Risk management is at the heart of project management. Any number of risks can befall a project and drive it off course, often through no fault of the project team. Such risks are not fully predictable, but with effective risk management practices, potential damage can be mitigated.

  • More frequent use of agile/incremental/iterative project management practices

Organizational agility is the ability of a business to respond and adapt quickly in response to changes in the market or other parts of its external environment. These include the emergence of new competitors, disruptive technologies, or sudden shifts in overall conditions. The use of this is vitally important in such scenarios as they impact projects and programs, and the use of these tools and techniques is on the rise, according to 2015 Pulse report.

Characteristics:

  1. Respond quickly to opportunities
  2. Shorten decision/production/review cycles
  3. Manage change
  4. Integrated the voice of the customer
  5. Manage risk
  6. Assign interdisciplinary project teams
  7. Eliminate organization silos
  8. Implement contingency planning
  9. Use iterative project management practices
  10. Leverage technology
  • Higher benefits realization maturity

Benefits realization illustrates and measures precisely how projects and programs add true value to the enterprise. Organizations that implement benefits realization programs understand this value, because they are capturing the hard facts needed to showcase the return on their project management investments.

Organizations with mature benefits realization processes can benefit from:

  1. Clearly identifying the strategic rewards prior to standing a project
  2. Effectively assessing and monitoring risks to project success
  3. Proactively planning for making necessary changes in the organization
  4. Explicitly defining accountability for project success
  5. Routinely extending responsibility for integration to the project team

2. Perform a financial analysis for a project using the format provided in the book (IT Project Management, Revised 6e). Assume that the projected costs and benefits for this project are spread over four years as follows: Estimated costs are $200,000 in Year 1 and $30,000 each year in Years 2, 3, and 4. Estimated benefits are $0 in Year 1 and $100,000 each year in Years 2, 3, and 4. Use a 9 percent discount rate, and round the discount factors to two decimal places. Create a spreadsheet or use the business case financials template on the companion Web site to calculate and clearly display the NPV, ROI, and year in which payback occurs. In addition, write a paragraph explaining whether you would recommend investing in this project, based on your financial analysis.

3. Develop an outline (major heading and subheading only) for a project management plan to create a Web Site for your class, and then dill in the details for the introduction or overview section. Assume that this Web site would include home page with links to a syllabus for the class, lecture notes or other instructional information, links to the Web site for the books that we are using in the class, links to other Web sites and all links to personal pages for each member of your class and future classmates. Also, include a bulletin board and chat room feature where students and the instructor can exchange information. Assume your instructor is the project’s sponsor, you are the project manager, your classmates are your project team and you have three months to complete the project.

1.0 Homepage

1.1 Syllabus

2.0 Lecture Notes

2.1 Books

2.2 E-books

2.3 PDF

3.0 Students

3.1 Regular

3.2 Irregular

4.0 Activities

4.1 Announced

4.2 Group Chat (GC)

4.3 Text

5.0 Back to home

4. Write a short paper based on the chapter’s opening case. Answer the following questions (Information Technology Project Management, 7e, page 140, Opening Case):

a. What do you think the real problem was in this case?

  • The real problem in this case is that Nick Carson recently became a project manager of a critical biotech enterprise at his Silicon Valley company since he was the leading software developer before he became the project manager.

b. Does the case present a realistic scenario? Why or why not?

  • For me, Yes. Because some things mentioned in the case could truly happen in real life just like what happen to Nick Carson. He was a former leading software integrator before he became a project manager. Because of lack of ideas in being a project manager, he did not do what a project manager does.

c. Was Nick Carson a good project manager? Why or why not?

  • Nick Carson is not a good project manager because he did not manage to do what a project manager should do. Nick did not focus on managing all aspects of the project. And instead of performing the work of a project manager, Nick had taken in the role of software integrator and troubleshooter.

d. What should top management have done to help Nick?

  • The top management should have helped Nick by giving him ideas of what a project manager should do.

e. What could Nick have done to be a better project manager?

  • Nick should have managed all aspects of the project. He should have provided them with accurate schedules or detailed plans of what was happening on the project.
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