Discussion Question 1
Project Life Cycle
The four main elements of the project life cycle are defining, planning, executing and closing. Give an example of a task you performed on a project, either as a leader or team member, and identify what stage of the life cycle it was in and why. Describe if you felt the task was strategically important to the project and also the company.
Discussion Question 2
The Importance of Project Management
Describe how project management techniques can enable a company to achieve its strategies. Projects are integrated with the strategic views of the corporation to ensure maximum benefits are achieved. Describe how project management techniques enable the company to meet their strategic mission. Do you feel that project management is becoming more important in business today, or less important?
Discussion Question 3
Describe the importance of a project charter to the project manager. How does a strong project sponsor and clear project scope apply to the overall success of a project?
Discussion Question 4
Project Management Plan
List three important items that belong within a project management plan, and the importance of breaking the project into phases. Additionally, please comment on the importance of obtaining sponsorship approval when concluding each phase of the project.
Discussion Question 5
State the importance of identifying risks and categorizing them as high, medium or low probability. Explain why risks associated with the critical path of the project need special attention.
Discussion Question 6
The “triple constraint” in project management is traditionally time, resources and scope. Provide an example of a project you have been involved with that had limited resources. What types of resource constraints affected the project, and how? Please comment if the limited resources also impacted the timeline and scope of the project.
Discussion Question 7
Read the Forbes article, “How Deeply Engaging Stakeholders Changes Everything.” Based on the content presented in the article, describe how project managers must understand and communicate with all the project stakeholders. The project sponsor is one very important stakeholder that needs to be satisfied with the outcome of a project. Describe why the project sponsor is one of the most important stakeholders, and what a project manager should do to keep them informed of the status of a project. Provide professional examples if possible.
Discussion Question 8
Team Development Model
Review the five-stage model of team development in the required reading of Chapter 11. Describe a project that you are involved with right now, and the stage that the project team is currently in. Comment on what makes this particular stage enjoyable, or difficult. If you are not involved with a project currently, describe your favorite stage of a project you have been involved with in the past.
Discussion Question 9
The decision to close a project before actual completion can happen for many different reasons. Describe a project you have been involved with, or of which you have knowledge, where one of these barriers to project success actually occurred and the project closed before completion. Is there something the project manager could have done to prevent the early termination?
Discussion Question 10
Globalization and Project Management
The globalization of the workforce is an important trend in many industries and organizations. Not only are some project managers assigned to different countries to complete an assignment, but many virtual teams also have membership that spans different regions of the globe. Describe a project that you have been involved with, or are interested in, that may have a project team that is truly global. Determine the cultural aspects and possible conflicts of that project team, and how a successful project manager can overcome the issues.
Creating a Project
Follow the instructions below to create a small project file to submit to your instructor.
- Sign up for the free trial of Smartsheet. (http://www.smartsheet.com/signup?trp=17) Note that this free trial version is only available for 30 days from sign up.
- Click the Create New tab. On the left-hand side, you will see the Template Gallery.
- Select “Project Management” from the left-hand list.
- Scroll down the template list and search for “Basic Project with Gantt & Dependencies.” and click “Use Template” under template option:
- Name your sheet as first name.last name.inf410.w2 (example: jane.doe.inf410.w2) and leave all options checked.
- Review the following video tutorials.Tutorial #1, Tutorial #2, and Tutorial #5. Note: although the tutorials are for Microsoft Project software, Smartsheet has the same Gantt chart functionality.
- Once it comes up, you will see the Gantt view. To see the rest of the tabs (duration tab), move the border of the calendar over to the right or click on the Grid View Button under the home tab and that will show the rest of the menu tabs.
- Modify the work breakdown structure names and levels to look exactly how it is shown in Tutorial #2 (the basic breakdown structure is already provided for you in the Smartsheet template) and enter the tasks exactly how the video tutorial describes. You will need to add and remove rows along with indenting and outdenting to complete this assignment. Start and finish dates do not have to be copied from the video example.
- Select the durations of the tasks as shown in Tutorial #5. Use the exact durations shown in Tutorial #5 for your assignment. You do not need to use the “alternative” timeframes, as shown in Tutorial #5. You can keep everything in single numerical days.
- Save your project.
- Under the Home window on the left side of the project tab, click on the paper icon, select “Export” from the dropdown list and “Export to Excel” to save your file as an Excel document on your computer, keeping the file name already assigned in Step 3.
Monthly Status Report to Sponsors
Assume you are the project manager for a software company and your team is in charge of delivering an update to tax preparation software for the next tax season. The project team has ten software developers working together, but located across the country. You have the following information about the project, and need to provide a status to the sponsors.
- New items you learned this month about the project:
- There is a three-day weekend in the coming month.
- Nine of the developers are on track to finish their tasks two weeks early.
- One software developer took the recently announced “early retirement” package, and is leaving in one week. He is confident he will be able to finish his piece of the work before he leaves.
- It is hurricane season in Florida, where three of the developers are located.
- The developer who is retiring is the only person who knows how to get approval for the final product from the IRS.
- The project costs are under budget and there has been no need for overtime.
Write a one page status report (excluding the title page) to the sponsors providing a clear indication of status of the project (suggestion: use green, yellow, or red for status). Students are welcome to copy the boxes below into their assignment.
The sponsors also like to only know the two most important risks, and what could be done to mitigate the risk if it happens. The conclusion of the status report should include a paragraph that describes any requests for additional resources, if they are necessary.
The best status reports use bullets, memos or templates since they provide an at a glance status. If you use a template or memo you can create your own or find one from a respected source that meets the above objectives. If you use a template/memo from another source, you must cite the source in a reference page. In addition, you do not need to use any scholarly sources; however, if a reference is used it must be cited and included on a separate references page. Your paper must be formatted according to APA style guidelines.
The final six to eight-page paper must demonstrate understanding of new learning in the field of project management. It is mandatory to have research from the classroom text, as well as five sources from the internet or online library to support your views. It is recommended to use examples from your professional experience where possible, or build from your learning in the discussion boards. (Suggestion: use at least one project of which you have been either a team member or a project manager as an example to describe the topics below):
The following topics must be reviewed in order for the paper to be complete:
- Define project management and explain its importance to the business world.
- Explain project life-cycle management and the benefits of project management to an organization.
- Explain the concepts of planning in the project life-cycle and how research and critical thinking is mandatory in planning.
- Explain project organizations and the importance of leadership and sponsorship.
- Explain project team building, including techniques of successful team building.
- Explain how to create a work breakdown structure and how a project manager breaks down the overall project into packages.
- Explain the need for project management software in large integrated programs and the benefits to the overall project management organization.
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be six to eight double-spaced pages in length and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide.
- Must include a cover page that includes:
o Student’s name
o Course name and number
o Title of paper
o Instructor’s name
o Date submitted
- Must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis statement.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must conclude with a restatement of the thesis and a conclusion paragraph.
- Must use APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide to document all sources.
- Must include, on the final page, a Reference Page that is completed according to APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide.
Larson, E., & Gray, C. (2014). Project management: The managerial process with MS project (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin. ISBN: 9781259186400.
User Name: Stephen.Benoit@student.ashford.edu
Hack, N.B. (2011, May 3). How deeply engaging stakeholders changes everything. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2011/05/03/how-deeply-engaging-stakeholders-changes-everything/