Shared Flashcard Set


Information Technology Project Management
Final Exam study

Additional Business Flashcards




adv/disadv of gantt chart



*easily understood

*provide a picture of the current state of a project




*difficult to follow w complex projects


Gantt Charts



  • a visual representation that compares a project's planned activities with actual progress over time.
  • Estimates for the tasks or activities defined in the WBS are represented using a bar across a horizontal

    time axis. Other symbols, for example, diamonds, can represent milestones to make the Gantt chart more useful.

  • Gantt charts can also be useful for tracking and monitoring the progress of a project.

  • Although Gantt charts are simple, straightforward, and useful for communicating the project's status, they do not show the explicit relationships among tasks or activities.


Activity on the Node (AON)

  • is a project network diagramming tool that graphically represents all of the project activities and tasks, as well as their logical sequence and dependencies. Using AON, activities are represented as boxes (i.e. nodes) and arrows indicate precedence and flow.
  • predecessors, successors, or parallel. Predecessor activities are those activities that must be completed before another activity can be started—e.g., a computer's operating system must be installed before loading an application package. On the other hand, successor activities are activities that must follow a particular activity in some type of sequence.To construct an AON network diagram, one begins with the activities and tasks that were defined in the WBS. Estimates for each activity or task defined in the WBS should have an associated time estimate. The next step is to determine which activities are represented as boxes (i.e. nodes) and arrows indicate precedence and flow.

 Understand the importance of the critical path and be able to identify the critical path


}Longest path

}Shortest time project can be completed
}Zero slack (or float)
}The amount of time an activity can be delayed before it delays the project
}Must be monitored and managed!
}Project manager can expedite or crash by adding resources
}Fast tracking – running activities in parallel which were originally planned as sequential
}The CP can change
}Can have multiple CPs

critical path


is the longest path in the project network and is also the shortest time in which the project can be completed. Identifying the critical path is a major concern to the project manager because any change in the duration of the activities or tasks on the critical path will affect the project's schedule. In other words, the critical path has zero


slack (or float).  Slack, which is sometimes called  float, is the amount of time an activity can be delayed, that is, take longer than expected, before it delays the project.

*knowing the critical path can influence a project manager's decisions.



Calculate a PERT estimate

}Program Evaluation and Review Technique

}Developed in 1950s to help manage the Polaris Submarine Project
}Developed about the same time as the Critical Path Method
}Often combined as PERT/CPM
}Employs both a project network diagram with a statistical distribution
the standard practice with PERT/CPM is to estimate activity times under the assumption of resource loadings that are
the most common approach to project scheduling is the use of network technique

Be able to define the 4 precedence diagramming relationships (F-S, F-F, S-S, & S-F)

finish-to-start (FS)

A finish-to-start (FS) relationaship is the most common relationship between activities and implies a logical sequence. Here, activity or task B cannot begin until task A is completed. For example, a program is tested after it is written. Or, in other words, the code is written and then tested. This relationship is similar to the successor and predecessor relationships used in the AON method.








Start-To-Start (SS)


a start-to-start relationship between tasks or activitie soccurs when two tasks can or must start at the same time. Although the tasks start at the same time, they do not have to finish together—i.e., the tasks can have different durations. A start-to-start relationship would be one type of parallel activity that can shorten a project schedule.






Finish-To-Finish (FF)


Another type of parallel activity is the finish-to-finish

relationship. Here, two activities can start at different times, have different durations, but are planned to be competed at the same time. Once both  of the FF activities are completed, the next activity or set of activities can be started, or if no more activities follow, the project is complete.





Start-To-Finish (SF)








The start-to-finish relationship is probably the least

common and can be easily confused with the finish-to-start relationship. A SF relationship is exactly the opposite of a FS relationship. In addition, a SF relationship means that task A cannot end until task B starts. An example of a SF relationship in real life might be a nurse working at a hospital. This person may have to work until they are relieved by another nurse who arrives to start the next shift.

Developing the Project Budget

1.Define what resources will be needed to perform the work

2.Determine the quantity of resources that are needed
3.Define the cost of using each resource
4.Calculate the cost of the task or activity
5.Ensure that the resources are leveled, that is, resources have not been over allocated assigned to more than one task scheduled at the same time
Other Budget Costs

 }Risk management planning

}Determining how to approach and plan the project risk management activities. An output of this process is the development of a risk management plan.
}Risk identification
}Deciding which risks can impact the project. Risk identification generally includes many of the project stakeholders and requires an understanding of the project’s goal, as well as the project’s scope, schedule, budget, and quality objectives.
}Qualitative risk analysis
}Focusing on a qualitative analysis concerning the impact and likelihood of the risks that were identified.
}Quantitative risk analysis
}Using a quantitative approach for developing a probabilistic model for understanding and responding to the risks identified.
}Risk response planning
}Developing procedures and techniques to reduce the threats of risks, while enhancing the likelihood of opportunities.
} Risk monitoring and control
}Providing an early warning system to monitor identified risks and any new risks. This system ensures that risk responses have been implemented as planned and had the effect as intended.
Understand what makes up a project budget

costs include indirect labor, materials, supplies, and reserves (Kinsella 2002). To determine the total project's budget, we also need to include other costs as well. These costs include: 

-or the cost of labor for using this resource directly. In addition to direct labor, resource

direct costs, 

}Indirect Costs 
}Sunk Costs
}Learning Curve
}Prorated Costs
Risk management planning

The objectives of project risk manage-ment are to increase the probability and impact of positive events, and decrease the probability and impact of events adverse to the project

Risk Analysis & Assessment Qualitative Approaches


}Expected Value & Payoff Tables
}Decision Trees
}Risk Impact Table & Ranking
Risk Analysis & Assessment Quantitative Approaches

 }Quantitative Probability Distributions



Risk Strategies

 }Accept or Ignore

}Management Reserves
}Released by senior management
}Contingency Reserves
}Part of project’s budget
}Contingency Plans
}Reduce the likelihood or impact (or both)

E.g. insurance

Risk Strategies Depend On...

}The nature of the risk

}Really an opportunity or threat?
}Impact on MOV and project objectives
}Probability?  Impact?
}Project constraints
}Available resources?
}Risk tolerances or preferences of the project stakeholders
 The project management communication processes

}Communications planning

}Information distribution
}Performance reporting
}Managing stakeholders
Project Communications Planning

}Attempts to answer:

}How will information be stored?
}How will knowledge be stored?
}What information goes to whom, when, and how?
}Who can access what information?
}Who will update the information and knowledge?
}What medium of communication is best?
Information Distribution

 }Focuses on getting the right information to the right people in the right format.  Moreover, information distribution should also include organizing minutes from meetings and other project-related documents.

Performance Reporting

 }Focuses on the collection and dissemination of project information to the various project stakeholders.

}Includes status reports, progress reports, and forecast reports.
Managing Stakeholders


}Ensuring that clear, consistent, and timely communication satisfies the information needs and resolves any issues of the project stakeholders.
Understand what makes a good metric

}Project Metric 

}A qualitative measurement of some attribute of the project.
}Project metrics should focus on the following key areas:
A Good Project Metric Must Be…


}Objective (no bias)
}Cost Effective
}Easy and inexpensive to create
}What gets measured gets done
}High Impact
}Otherwise why bother?
Earned Value Concepts

}Planned Value (PV)

}The planned or budgeted cost of work scheduled for an activity or component of the WBS
}In our case, our planned value for each task is $2,000
}The planned value for each month is $10,000
}Budgeted At Completion (BAC)
}The total budget for our project
}In our case, $40,000 is our BAC since this is what we expect to pay for the completed project
}The BAC is the total cumulative planned value
Some More Earned Value Concepts

 }Actual Cost (AC)

}The actual cost incurred for completing an activity or component of the WBS
}For example, the actual cost for completing task 2 is $3,000
}Or, we have to write a check for $8,000 for the three tasks that were completed in Month 1
}Earned Value (EV)
}A performance measurement that tells us how much of the budget we really should have spent for the work that was completed
}We need to pay our consultants $8,000 in actual costs even though we should be paying them only $6,000
}This $6,000 is called the earned value
Be able to calculate CV

}Cost Variance (CV)-the difference between a task’s or WBS component’s estimated cost and its actual  cost: 

§CV = EV - AC
§Negative Value = over budget
§Positive Value = under budget
§Value = 0 means project is right on budget
Cost Variance (CV)


Cost Variance (CV) = EV – AC

                             = $6,000 - $8,000

                             = ($2,000)

Be able to calculate SV

}Schedule Variance (SV) – the difference between the current progress of the project and its original or planned schedule

§SV = EV – PV
§Negative Value = behind schedule
§Positive Value = ahead of schedule
§Value = 0 means project is right on schedule
Schedule Variance (SV)


Schedule Variance (SV) = EV – PV

                                  = $6,000 - $10,000

                                  = ($4,000)



Understand SPI
 if given values – e.g., if given an SPI = .57, is the project in trouble?

}Schedule Performance Index (SPI) – a ratio of the work performed to the work scheduled.

§SPI = EV ¸ PV
§ratio > 1 = ahead of schedule
§ratio < 1 = behind schedule
§Ratio = 1 means our project is right on schedule

The SPI provides a ratio of the work performed to the work scheduled. Therefore, for every $1.00 of work that was expected to be completed, only $0.60 was accomplished. These earned value metrics, such as cost performance index (CPI) and the Schedule performance index (SPI), can be greater than 1 or less than 1. A CPI or SPI ratio greater than 1 indicates tht the project is ahead of schedule and/or under budget. On the other hand, a CPI or SPI that is less than 1 indicates that the project is behind schedule and/or over budget.



Understand CPI
 if given values – e.g., if given an SPI = .57, is the project in trouble?

}Cost Performance Index (CPI)-percentage of work completed per dollar spent

§CPI = EV ¸ AC
§ratio > 1 = ahead of budget
§ratio < 1 = behind budget (cost overrun)
§Ratio = 1 means project is right on budget


Understand Estimate at Completion (EAC)
if given values – e.g., if given an SPI = .57, is the project in trouble?

}Estimates the most likely total or final value based on our project’s performance and any risks that should be considered

}We can ether revise the whole budget and schedule and start over,… or
}We can use the project’s current performance metrics to develop a more realistic picture
}Depends on whether we believe these variances are typical and expected to continue or atypical – i.e., we don’t expect variances or problems as we continue with the project.
What is Quality?

—“an inherent or distinguishing characteristic ; a property; having a high degree of excellence”

—Features & functionality
—“fitness for use”
—“conformance to requirements”
project quality management

 The processes required to ensure that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.  It includes all activities of the overall management function that determine the quality policy, objectives, and responsibility and implements them by means of quality planning, quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement within the quality system (p.95).

Eli Whitney

Eli Whitney (1765 – 1825) - (The industrial Revolution)

Invented the cotton gin
But invented mass production
In 1798 received $134,000 from the US Government to deliver 10,000 rifles within 2 years
Shortage of gunsmiths
Developed the manufactory where machines could build interchangeable parts and men could learn to operate the machines
Took 10 years to deliver the last rifle, but proved that the concept worked!
Fredrick W. Taylor (F.W. Taylor)

Fredrick W. Taylor (1856 – 1915) - (Scientific Management)

Management would set arbitrary rules of thumb
Workers produced so much each day – no more, no less
Believed the production process could be more efficient
Break a task down into smaller tasks & study it to find the best and most efficient way of doing it
Time – motion studies
Did not sit well with labor unions because many ignored the human factors & believed profits could be increased by speeding up the workers
Walter A. Shewhart

Walter A. Shewhart (1891 – 1967) - (The Quality Gurus)

Worked for Western Electric Company (Bell Telephones
Quality improvements needed for underground equipment
Applied statistical theory to control production processes
W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming (1900 – 1993) - (The rise of Japan)

¡Worked with Shewhart at Western Electric Hawthorne Plant in Chicago, IL in the 1920s
¡Management treated the worker as a cog in the machinery
¡Final inspection used to control quality
÷Worker not directly responsible
÷Scrap & rework reduced per piece rate
¡Invited to give series of day-long lectures in Japan in the 1950s
Joseph Juran

Joseph Juran (1904 - 2007) - (And the further rise of Japan)

Viewed quality as “fitness for use”
Also invited to Japan to conduct seminars in the 1950s
Message is that quality does not happen by accident – it must be planned in


Know the people: Eli Whitney, F.W. Taylor, Shewhart, Deming, & Juran and their contributions to quality management
Know what the quality systems are and their role in project quality management


  • ISO
  • 6 – Sigma
  • Capability Maturity Model

 —International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

—Derived from Greek word “isos,” meaning equal
—Formed in 1947
—Today has over 130 members “to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards.”
—Standards make up the ISO 9000 (organizations) and ISO 14000 (environmental) families
6 Sigma

Originated by Motorola in Schaumburg, IL

Based on competitive pressures in 1980s – “Our quality stinks”
The Capability Maturity Model - CMM

-In 1986, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a federally funded research development center at Carnegie Mellon University, set out to help organizations improve their software development processes. With the help of the Mitre Corporation and Watts Humphrey, a framework was developed to assess and evaluate the capability of software processes and their maturity, and the work of the SEI evolved into the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) (Humphrey 1988).

practices for a set of key process areas specific to software development. The objective of the CMM is to provide guidance as to how an organization can best control its processes for developing and maintaining software. In addition, the CMM provides a path for helping organizations evolve their current software processes toward software engineering and management excellence (Paulk, Curtis et al. 1993).The CMM provides a set of recommended




Differentiate process metrics

The control of defects introduced by the processes required to develop or create the project deliverables. Process metrics can be used to improve software development or maintenance processes. Process metrics should focus on the effectiveness of identifying and removing defects or bugs.

Differentiate product metrics

The intrinsic quality of the deliverables and the satisfaction of the customer with these deliverables. These metrics should attempt to describe the characteristics of the project's deliverables and final product. Examples of product metrics may focus on customer satisfaction, performance, reliability, and design features.

Differentiate project metrics

The control of the project management processes to ensure that the project meets its overall goal as well as its scope, schedule, and budget.


Process, Product, & Project Metrics




—Focuses on process-related activities to ensure that the products & deliverables meet specified requirements before final testing
—Technical Reviews
—Business Reviews
—Management Reviews
—Are we building the product the right way?


—Product-oriented activities that attempt to determine if the product, service, system or project deliverables meet the customer or client’s expectations
—Does the product function as intended and has all the capabilities & features defined in the project’s scope and requirements definition
—Did we build the right product?
Change Control, & Configuration Management


—Changes to the project work must be managed
—What changes were made?
—Who made the changes?
—When were the changes made?
—Why were the changes made?
—Configuration management includes a set of processes and tools that allows the project team to manage its various documents and files as various configurations of IT solutions and project deliverables are derived. It may include specifying and enforcing various policies that restrict access to specific individuals or preventing two people from changing the same document or file at the same time
 Differentiate process, product, and project metrics
Type  Metric  Description
Process Defect arrival rate The number of defects found over a specific period of time
Defects by phase The number of defects found during each phase of the project
Defect backlog The number of defects waiting to be fixed The average time it
Fix response time takes to fix a defect The number of fixes that created new
Defective fixes defects
Product Mean time to failure Average or mean time elapsed until a product fails
Defect density The number of defects per lines of code (LOG) or function points
Customer found defects The number of defects found by the customer
Customer satisfaction An index to measure customer satisfaction—e.g., scale from 1 (very
unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied)
Project Scope change requests The number of scope changes requested by the client or sponsor
Scope change approvals The number of scope changes that were approved
Overdue tasks The number of tasks that were started but not finished by the expected
date or time
Tasks that should have started The number of tasks that should have started but have been delayed
Over budgeted tasks The number of tasks (and dollar amount) of tasks that have cost more to
complete than expected
Earned value Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP)
Over allocated resources The number of resources assigned to more than one task
Turnover The number of project team members who quit or terminated
Training hours The number of training hours per project team member


Definition of change management

}Defined by the Gartner Group

}The transforming of the organization so it is aligned with the execution of a chosen corporate business strategy. It is the management of the human element in a large-scale change project.
 Assimilation and its application to understanding change


Assimilation is the process we use to adjust to positive or negative changes



Assimilation and its application to understanding change


-It simply takes time to assimilate change because we must adjust to the transition. Major changes, whether positive or negative, will require more time to assimilate than small ones. But once change is assimilated, it no longer creates the same level of anxiety or stress. 

-According to Conner, the problem occurs when we cannot assimilate change fast enough. Unfortunately, change tends to have a cumulative effect, and we can only assimilate change at a given pace. Different people will assimilate change at a different pace, and this ability to assimilate change becomes our resiliency to handle change.



The 3 models for understanding change:







Lewin developed the concept of Force Field Analysis or change theory to help analyze and understand the forces for and against a particular plan or change initiative (Lewin 1951). A Force Field Analysis is a technique for developing a big picture that involves all the forces in favor of or against a particular change. Forces that are viewed as facilitating the change are viewed as driving forces, while the forces that act as barriers or that work against the change are called restraining forces. By understanding all of the forces that act as aids or barriers to the change, one may enact strategies or decisions that take into account all of the various interests.






Until now, we have looked at change as a process and how change affects different areas of the organization. Change can also bring out emotional responses. An individual may have an emotional response to a change when the change is perceived as a significant loss or upsets a familiar or well-established equilibrium. In her book 

On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (Kubler-Ross 1969) provides insight into the range of emotions one may experience from the loss of a loved one. These same emotional responses can be applied to managing change whenever people experience the loss of something that matters to them.






Organizational Change

changes in people, technology, task, or organizational structure can influence or impact the other areas (Leavitt

1964). These four components are interdependent where a change in one can result in a change in the others For example, a change in the organization's technology (e.g.,

implementing a new information system) can impact the people within the organization (e.g., new roles, responsibilities, etc.) as well as the tasks the individual's perform (i.e., the work they perform), and the organization's structure (i.e., formal or informal).





Strategies for change

}Rational–Empirical Approach

}Picture, Purpose, Part to Play
}Normative-Reeducation Approach
}Focus on the core values, beliefs, and established relationships that make up the culture of the group.
}Power-Coercive Approach
}Compliance through the exercise of power
}Environmental-Adaptive Approach
}Although people may avoid disruption and loss, they can still adapt to change


Types of conflict

}Traditional View

}All conflict should be avoided
}“why can’t we all just get along?”
}Contemporary View
}Conflict is inevitable and natural
}Positive conflict stimulates ideas
}“Let’s agree to disagree!”
}Negative Conflict can be damaging
}Interactionist View
}Conflict is necessary for performance
}“Devil’s advocate”


Approaches to managing conflict and one is most appropriate


}Retreat, withdraw, or ignore conflict
}Appease the parties in conflict
}Dominant authority resolves conflict

Confronting and attempting to solve the problem by incorporating different ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives.



The 3 approaches to implementation:
(Know the pros and cons of each)
  • direct cutover
  • parallel
  • phased
Direct Cutover

}Old system is shut down and new turned on

}May be appropriate when:
}Quick delivery critical
}Old system so poor it must be replaced ASAP
}System not mission critical
}Risks associated with direct cutover:
}Not always painless – like walking a tightrope without a safety net.
}May result in major delays, frustrated users, lost revenues, and missed deadlines
}Places more pressure and stress on project team

}Old and new systems run concurrently

}May be appropriate when problems or the failure of the system can have a major impact on the organization
}Provides a safety net or backup in case of problems
}Can increase confidence in the new system
}Takes longer and requires more re$ources than direct
}Places more pressure on the users

}System is introduced in modules or in different parts of the organization incrementally

}Allows for an organized and managed approach for implementing system modules or a system/upgrades in different departments or geographical locations
}Experience with early implementation can guide and make later implementations go more smoothly
}Takes longer and may cost more than the direct cutover approach
}Problems encountered during early phases can impact the overall implementation schedule


What is administrative closure

}Normal – as planned

}Premature – early even if not complete
}Perpetual – runaway, never ending
}Failed – unsuccessful – cost of completion outweigh the benefits
}Changed Priority – due to resource constraints, misjudged value, needs changes, “starvation”
What is administrative closure

Although all projects must come to an end, a project can be terminated for any number of reasons. Gray and Larson (2000) define five circumstances for ending a project: normal, premature, perpetual, failed, and changed priorities.



The difference between a knowledgeable and short-sighted sponsor










sponsors tend to view the project as a short-term buyer-seller relationship in which getting the most for their money is the most important criteria for accepting the project. This view often leads to an adversarial relationship if the sponsor attempts to renegotiate the project scope or price at the end of the project.

The difference between a knowledgeable and short-sighted sponsor




Knowledgeable sponsors realize that they have an important stake in the outcome

of the project. As a result, they will be actively involved throughout the project in a

constructive manner. As Rosenau points out, knowledgeable sponsors may ask tough

questions during project reviews, but their objective is not to embarrass the project

team or manager, but to ensure the success of the project. Instead of an adversary trying to get the most in a "win-lose" situation, the knowledgeable sponsor will negotiate intelligently and in good faith.





 The 4 project evaluations:
  • Individual
  • post mortem
  • project audit
  • evaluation of the MOV

}Individual Performance Review

}Begin with the individual evaluating his/her performance.
}Avoid “why can’t you be more like….?”
}Focus on specific behaviors, not the individual.
}Be consistent and fair.
}Reviews should provide a consensus on improving performance.
post mortem

}Postmortem Review – Between Project Manager and Project Team

}Review the initial project’s MOV.
}Review the project scope, schedule, budget, and quality objectives.
}Review each of the project deliverables.
}Review the various project plans and Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) areas.
}Review the project team performance.
project audit

}Project Audit

}Preferably performed by an outside Auditor who should:
}Have no direct involvement or interest in project.
}Be respected and viewed as impartial and fair.
}Be willing to listen.
}Present no fear of recrimination from special interests.
}Act in the organization’s best interest.
}Have broad base of project and/or industry experience.
3 approaches to implementation


Direct Cutover

old system is shut down & the new system is turned on

target or go live date is agreed upon

can be effective when:

delivery of the new system is critical

the existing system is so poor that it must be replaced asap

the system is not mission critical - failure won't have major impact on the organization

least favored approach except in a few carefully planned situations

risky: everything must go right on the first shot


old & new systems run concurrently for a pd of time

@ some point the organization switches entirely from old > new

appropriate when problems or the failure of the system can have a major impact on the organization

provides confidence that the new system is functioning/performing properly before relying on it entirely

can create more stress for the users of the system

extra work load from entering data into both systems


introduced in modules or in diff parts of the organization incrementally

appropriate when introducing a software system to diff areas of the org

e.g. upgrading an OS

allows project team to learn from its epxeriences during the initial implementation

may take more time

may be less risky & much more manageable




Administrative Closure





























































Five Circumstances for Ending a Project





- project is completed as planned

scope is achieved w/in the cost/quality/schedule objectives

end of project marked w/a celebration/awards






- team pushed to complete early

system may not include all envisioned features/functionality

risks should be carefully thought through by all stakeholders






- project takes on a life of its own; runaway

may result from:


MOV that was never clearly defined

attempted added features increase schedule & drain budget

organization not making appropriate decision to pull the plug on an unsuccessful project

may also occur if the project has high payoff to the org & admitting failure is strongly against corporate culture






- unsuccessful

insufficient attn paid to:




cost & schedule overruns drain project's value to point where costs of completing outweigh benefits


Changed Priority




- financial/economic







The difference between a knowledgeable and short-sighted sponsor










·       tend to view the project as a short-term buyer-seller relationship

·       getting the most for their money is the most important criteria

·       often leads to an adversarial relationship if the sponsor attempts to renegotiate the project scope or price

@ the end of a project



·       realize they have an important stake in the outcome of the project

·       actively involved throughout the project in a constructive manner

·       negotiates intelligently & in good faith



Project Evaluation

four types of project evaluations to be conducted



post mortem

project audit

evaluation of the MOV


Individual Performance Review








































Individual Performance Review

with each project team member focus on the following points:

Begin w/the individual evaluating his/her performance




- most ppl are more critical of themselves provides opening for person doing the eval to agree/disagree w/the self-eval & point out several positive aspects creates dialog

Avoid "why can't you be more like....?"




- comparisons can have a counter-effect person exalted may not be the star you think others may become jealous & look for ways to discredit/disparage the individual

Focus on specific behaviors, not the individual




- show how their behaviors influence the team & overall project

Be consistant & fair




- be aware of how decisions concerning one person may affect the entire group be aware that ppl talk to one another & often compare notes have policies & procedures in place & stick to them

Reviews should provide a consensus on improving performance




- provide constructive feedback






Postmortem Review

























before the team is released from the current project

focus on the project's MOV & mgmt knowledge areas

should include:

Review of the initial project's MOV




- was it clearly defined & agreed upon? did it chg over the course of the

project? what's the probability that it'll be achieved?


Review the project scope, schedule, budget & quality objectives





how well was the scope defined? did it change?

how effective were the scope mgmt processes?

how close were the project schedule & budget estimates to the actual deadline & cost of the project?

were the quality objectives met?

how well did the quality mgmt processes & standards support the project processes?


Review each of hte project deliverables




- how effective were the business case, project charter, plan, etc?

Review the various project plans & PMBOK areas





integration, scope, time, cost, quality, HR, communications, risk, procurement, & organizational chg mgmt

project implementation


How well did the team perform?

were conflicts handled effectively?

any morale problems?

what were the main challenges? & how well did they handle them?

how well did the team members function as a cohesive team?

Project mgr & team should identify what they did right & what they could have done better

document as lessons learned

identify best practices




Project Audit


·       review by an outside party

·       should be similar to the internal postmortem review

·       should additionally assess whether the project mgr & team acted in a professional/ethical manner

·       depth of the audit depends on:

o    organization's size

o    importance & size of the project

o    risks involved

o    problems encountered

·       audit team should:

o    have no direct involvement/interest in the project

o    be respected & viewed as impartial & fair

o    be willing to listen

o    present no fear of recrimination from special interests

o    act in the org's best interest

o   have broad base of project & /or industry experience



Evaluating Project Success - the MOV


o    often can't be readily determined @ the close of a project

o    assess the value that the project provides the organization

o    focus on answering & documenting the following questions:

o    did the project achieve its MOV?

o    was the sponsor/customer satisfied?

o    was the project managed well?

o    did the project mgr & team act professionally & ethically?

o    what was done right?

o    what can be done better next time?

o    make sure that the information system delivered hasn't been changed

o   chgs made by the org may have adverse affects



Be able to develop a basic project network diagram using AON






Activity on the Node (AON): graphically represents all of the project activities & tasks as well as their logical

sequence & dependencies

o    activities represented as boxes (nodes) & arrows indicate precedence & flow

o    constructing an AON diagram:

§  begin w/the activities & tasks that were defined in the WBS

§  each activity should have an associated time estimate

§  determine which activities are:

§  predecessors - activities that must be completed before another activity can be started

·       e.g. install OS before install software

·       successors - activities that must follow a particular activity in some type of sequence

·       e.g. test & document program after it's been compiled

·       parallel - activity that can be worked on at the same time as another activity

·       opportunity to shorten the project schedule

·       can also be a trade-off since doing more than one thing at the same time can have a critical impact on project resources

·       in the diagram, work flows from left to right

·       activity can't begin until all of its predecessor activities have been completed



Understand the importance of the critical path and be able to identify the critical path

Critical Path Analysis: looking at each of the possible paths & computing the total duration of each path; longest

calculated path is the critical path

§  the shortest time in which the project can be completed

§  critical path has zero slack (float): the amt of time an activity can be delayed (take longer than expected) before it

delays the project

§  any activity not in the critical path can be delayed by a period of time before it affects overall project duration

§  any activity involved in the critical path has no float

§  expedite/crash a project: adding resources to an activity on the critical path to shorten its duration

§  can divert resources from other activities not in the critical path

§  fast-tracking a project: doing two or several activities orig planned to be completed in sequence at the same time

to shorten the critical path



Definition of change management

Change mgmt - area of IT project mgmt that helps smooth the transition & implementation of the new IT solution

§  mgmt of the human element in a large scale change project



Assimilation and its application to understanding change

§  assimilation - process of adapting to chg

§  determines ability to handle current & future chg

§  chg tends to have a cumulative effect & we can only assimilate @ a given pace

§  ability to assimilate chg = resiliency to handle chg

§  can't assimilate chg fast enough - pass a chg threshold

§  become stressed

§  exhibit dysfunctional behaviors

§  organization must assimilate chg similar to an individual

§  each chg adopted by an org must be assimilated & managed w/in the chg threshold

§  else may exhibit dysfunctional behaviors - inability to take advantage of new opportunities

Leavitt's model

Leavitt's model of organizational change: changes in four areas can influence or impact each other

§  people

§  technology

§  task

§  organizational structure


force field analysis - technique for developing a big picture that involves all the forces in favor of/against a particular


§  driving forces - facilitate the chg

§  resisting forces - work against the chg

§  unfreezing - driving forces to initiate & motivate the chg

§  changing - transition state/neutral zone

o    those in org who support the driving forces likely to rush individuals thru the transition - results in confusion

§  resisting forces tend to push those individuals back to their present state

o    ppl in neutral zone for too long may create a compromise in which only a portion of the chg is implemented

§  refreezing

§  chg begins w/an ending of the present state


Change Can be Emotional

§  five stages in understanding how ppl may react to significant chgs:

o    denial

o    anger

o    bargaining - making deals in order to avoid the chg

o    depression

o    acceptance

§  ppl may be drained b/c of these emotions - affecting productivity

§  should accept these ppl as normal part of the chg process & address them in the chg mgmt plan



Strategies for change

§  Rational-Empirical Approach - based on idea that ppl follow predictable patterns of behavior & that ppl will follow

their own self-interests

§  chg agent must be persuasive in convincing/explaining/demonstrating how a particular chg will benefit a particular

person/group identified as a target

§  provide targets w/consistent & timely info

§  should provide each individual with:

§  the purpose - reason for the chg

§  a picture - vision as to how the org will look/operate in the future

§  a part to play - once the chg is instituted

§  Normative-Reeducation Approach - people are social beings & human behavior can be chgd by changing the social norms of a group

§  chg agents & sponsor must study existing values & beliefs of a group - can be time consuming

§  requires unfreezing current norms so that a new set of norms can be refrozen

§  capacity for chg is directly related to a person's participation in a group

§  effective chg requires changing something both individual & group

§  bias & prejudice twd guarding one's closely held beliefs & values diminishes one's ability to think rationally

§  Power-Coercive Approach - gain compliance from chg targets thru exercise of power, authority, rewards, or threat of

§  punishment for non-conformance

§  may have only a short term effect

§  useful when the targets recognize the legit power or expertise of the agent(s)

§  org may be faced with a situation requiring immediate attn - time lost trying to "get everyone on

board" could mean disaster

§  objective is to chg the behaviors of the targets so that their new behavior supports the chg effort

§  sanctions should be imposed on an individul level

§  Environmental-Adaptive Approach - although ppl avoid disruption & loss, they can still adapt to change

o    chg agent attempts to make the chg permanent by abolishing the old ways & instituting the new structure as soon as possible



Types of conflict

§  traditional view - considers conflict in a negative light - should be avoided

§  leads to poor performance, aggression, & devastation if left to escalate

§  suppress it before it occurs or eliminate it as soon as possible

§  Contemporary view - conflict is inevitable & natural

§  can be positive or negative

§  can stimulate ideas or creativity

§  encourage positive; keep negative "in check"

§  Interactionist view - conflict is an important & necessary ingredient for performance

§  embraces conflict b/c teams can become stagnant & complacent if too harmonious/tranquil

§  project mgr should occasionally stir the pot in order to encourage conflict to an appropriate level (positive)



Approaches to managing conflict -(one is most appropriate)


§  avoidance - retreating, withdrawing or ignoring

o    cooling-off period when tempers are high

o    may be appropriate when:

§  you can't win

§  the stakes are low

§  gaining time is important

o    not useful when immediate resolution of issue required

§  accommodation - appeasing various parties in conflict

o    may be useful when trying to reach an overall goal when the goal is more important than the personal

o    interests of the parties involved

o    may be effective when:

§  dealing w/an issue that has low risk & low return

§  in a no-win situation

o    tends to work only in the short run

§  forcing - using dominant authority to resolve the conflict

o    results in a one-sided (win-lose) situation

o    may be effective when:

§  no common ground exists

§  you’re sure you're right

§  an emergency situation exists

§  time is of the essence

o    may cause the conflict to redevelop later

§  compromise - includes aspects of forcing & accommodation

o    gives up more than forcing & less than accommodation

o    essentially bargaining

o    no party actually wins & none actually loses - some satisfaction gained

may be useful when:

§  attempting to resolve complex problems that must be settled in a short time

§  the risks & rewards are moderately high

§  important aspects of a project may be compromised as a means of achieving short-term results

§  collaboration - requires confronting & attempting to solve the problem by incorporating diff ideas, viewpoints,

& perspectives

o    best approach when risks & benefits are high

o    focus is learning from others & gaining commitment, trust, respect, & confidence from the parties involved

o    takes time

o    requires:

§  sincere desire to work out mutually acceptable solution

§  willingness to engage in a good-faith problem-solving process that facilitates open & honest


-The best way to reduce conflict is to confront it.


choice of an approach to resolve conflict depends on:


-type of conflict & its relative importance to the project

-time pressure to resolve the conflict

-position of power or authority of the parties involved

-whether the emphasis is on maintaining the goals or   objectives of the project or maintaining relationships

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