Project Management

2011-09-23 14:30 – 19:00

General

Name “Project plan” is commonly used when referring to project management plan [PMP]. PMP is often more comprehensive though and can contain subsidiary documents (risk register [RR], communications plan [CP] and so on).

It is good idea to read the materials before attending to the class. This is because then you have time to think and formulate questions and comments in advance. Classes most often contain discussions, so preparing in advance is good idea.

PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) is really good book and used as a reference on this course. Previous versions cost around 20USD in Amazon and are still valid. The idea is not to read the book from cover to cover, but to use it as a reference when needed. Ebrary has good selection of books, though PMBOK is missing from there.

Problems in projects

Common problems and their solutions were discussed. It was interesting to see that the same or similar problems were identified by the previous courses too. Following top ones were discussed:

  • Schedules
  • Change management
  • Communication

FreeNest / SkyNest

FreeNest is a project platform that is usable with browser. It offers a good stack of programs that can be configured and modified to suit the needs of user. Complete open source solution. Check http://freenest.org for more information. It can be used for application life cycle management (see the advanced courses).

SkyNest is the project developing FreeNest. It was interesting to see an overview how teams were set up and started working and adjusting their way of working. Bottom line was to take out all the unnecessary things and only lean what is useful and contributes to the goals in a meaningful way.

Project charter

PMBOK, chapters 1 to 4.

Every 3rd (?) project fails in a way or another. Why this number is so high, how can it be so hard?

Work vs. duration: Work usually means that something needs to be done. It could be “10 sacks of gold needs to be moved from vault 1 to vault 2”. Duration means time: “moving of the gold occurs over the time of 2 days”. This needs to be considered when planning the project (allocating resources, making sure everybody has something to do, but nobody has too much to do).

GOPP: Goal Oriented Project Planning. Take a bunch of people and stuff them into a room with loads of whiteboards. People are required to put everything that needs to be done on the whiteboards, go over them one by one and figure out how to make sure it happens. This takes lots of time, but results can be really good.

Sliced project: Big projects are hard to manage. It is usually easier to manage things that are maximum of 1 year. Bigger projects should be split into smaller chunks that can be managed.

Success: Biggest identified problems between the project team and success were: lack of executive support, user involvement, lack of clear business objective and too big scope.

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