1. Chapter 5 discusses several estimating methods. Read the chapter and discuss which method do you feel is most effective from a project management perspective. Then select and discuss which method you think is most ineffective from a project management perspective. Support your selections.
Textbook: Project Management: The Managerial Process Seventh Edition
2. Read the attached article. Critique it. I am looking for you to discuss the best practices addressed. Are the points discussed in the article industry specific in terms of their value? Or is the article more individual-specific? Based on what you have read, how do the practices discussed affect scheduling? etc… Please explain your thoughts.
Article: Small Budget, Big Ambition.pdf
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When funds are tighter, teams must prioritize tasks and objectives.
BY HAYLEY GRGURICH | ILLUSTRATION BY PETE RYAN
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Economists and C-suite executives can’t come to a consensus. It’s unanimous, though, that optimism has waned and executives are tempering their expectations: CEO confidence in one- and three- year revenue growth at their organizations has either plateaued or fallen in all 90 regions in which PwC conducted its 2019 annual CEO survey.
For companies that want to remain competitive, that flatlined confidence need not send portfolios grinding to a halt—but it may well impact project managers and the budgets behind the initiatives they manage.
A 2018 Bain & Co. analysis found that companies that reacted more offensively across their portfo- lios—launching new R&D projects, greenlighting change initiatives, expanding into new arenas— emerged far stronger from a recession than those that shelved all but essential operations and waited for the recession to pass. And a 2017 study from the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research shows that a recession can actually accelerate technologi- cal change at organizations. That might be, in part, because project leaders are taking advantage of lower opportunity costs during economic dips to greenlight IT initiatives.
Retail giant Target is a case in point: During the 2000 recession and its lingering fallout, the company completed projects to build nearly 250 new stores, launched initiatives to expand into new
Is a global recession looming?
“Understanding how to do more with less … is a real challenge. But it’s not impossible.” —Sarah Devine, Few, New York, New York, USA
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fewer team hours—it’s imperative to take the time upfront to thoroughly analyze the project charter, says Malong Dong, PMP, portfolio manager, Insur- ance Australia Group, Sydney, Australia.
“Before rushing into project execution, analyze the scope, time frame and resourcing,” he says. “Spending that time in the beginning helps priori- tize project deliverables and align project objec- tives with the sponsor so you can better plan how to overcome the challenge of budget constraint.”
Pulling lessons learned from similarly scoped ini- tiatives in the organization’s past can shed light on how deeply the budget has been cut or constricted. Does the tighter budget correlate with a scaled-back scope? Has the team been resourced dramatically differently? Are there certain elements, such as external vendors or a lengthier schedule, that might also come into play?
merchandise segments and invested in supply chain efficiencies. Over the course of the recession, those projects and programs helped elevate sales by 40 percent and profits by 50 percent, according to a Harvard Business Review analysis.
But project managers tasked with delivering suc- cessful initiatives during lean economic times could find that they’re managing smaller budgets than similar projects might have commanded in the past. “Understanding how to do more with less—and make a tighter-than-usual budget work—is a real challenge,” says Sarah Devine, director of projects for the tech agency Few, New York, New York, USA. “But it’s not impossible.”
START SLOW While it may feel like the clock is ticking to get started—especially if that leaner budget is based on
Over the course of the recession, Target’s projects and programs helped elevate sales by 40% and profits by 50%. Source: Harvard Business Review analysis
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if they had jumped directly into execution with a vague plan. And it freed up more of the tight budget for tailoring the app’s functionality, positioning the team to not only meet but exceed the client’s origi- nal business goals.
TEAM TRANSPARENCY Sharing exact budget details with every team mem- ber might not be necessary—or even appropriate. But it’s worthwhile to signal that an initiative with greater budget constraints isn’t going to be business as usual, says Ms. Devine, so the team understands that meeting the intended targets might require some creative planning, extra hours or tweaks to the typical processes.
Be prepared, too, that a smaller budget can some- times trigger disappointment among team members, says Franciscus Suryana, PMP, an IT project man- ager for engineering firm Aurecon, Melbourne, Aus- tralia. “They may not be able to design and build the solutions they want,” he says. “But there’s an oppor- tunity for the project manager to position the smaller
An arbitrarily condensed project budget com- pared with standard projects can signal disaster down the road. But a frank conversation with the sponsor should reveal the reasoning and expecta- tions behind the budget, says Mr. Dong.
That was the case at Few, where Ms. Devine man- aged a custom-built app project for a client with an unconventionally small project budget. Rather than spur the team directly into the app’s development to save money, she made sure the planning phase wasn’t given short shrift.
“The team had two months of exploration,” says Ms. Devine. “The primary stakeholder on the client side came in for meetings with our head designer to talk about functionality, map out wireframes and really sketch out exactly what they wanted.”
Investing in that level of planning quickly yielded cost savings when the team flagged existing func- tionality from a third-party service that could be leveraged as the foundation for the custom app. The team could then skip directly to the customization phase, shaving more time off the total schedule than
“There’s an opportunity
for the project manager to position the
smaller budget as a potential
gold mine of creativity for
the team.” —Franciscus Suryana, PMP,
Aurecon, Melbourne, Australia
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budget as a potential gold mine of creativity for the team.” Can the team deliver the usual solutions in a new way? Are there new delivery approaches that might prove more cost-effective? “Let them know this can be their chance to trigger innovative think- ing instead of delivering the same old solutions in the same old ways,” he says.
To sustain that early team morale, Mr. Suryana makes it a point to celebrate project milestones and commend individual contributions through the project’s execution phase. Even small birthday celebrations can help fuel engagement—and team momentum. “It shows that the project manager cares about the team, regardless of project budget,” he says.
PRIORITIZE RISK Overruns can be lethal to a smaller budget, says Thais Villela, senior tech project manager, interac- tive agency BFerraz, São Paulo, Brazil. And that’s particularly true if the portfolio also has lower con- tingency funds than usual to cushion any overage or realized risk.
Sponsor involvement is crucial on any project, but tighter budgets mean being especially mindful not to gloss over cost estimates and risk registers, says Mr. Dong. How early does the sponsor want to be alerted to cost overruns? What communication style will best engage him or her throughout the initiative? Are there any risks that, if realized, should trigger an automatic escalation? To avoid surprises and maintain alignment, Ms. Villela recommends frequent touch points with the sponsor. “Especially on tight-budget projects, touch base with updates at every possible step,” she says.
Those regular updates should also span risks, says Mr. Dong. “When working with a tighter budget, project managers have to pay extra attention to tracking project spend and forecasting in order to reduce the risk of budget overrun. But any con- versation about overruns should include overrun mitigation plans,” he says. In his experience, a one- page summary of the project’s current and forecast financials is a worthwhile tool to incorporate into any meeting with the project sponsor. PM
Thais Villela, senior tech project manager, BFerraz, São Paulo, Brazil, shares insights on how to adjust to a tighter budget when project work is already underway.
Review what the team has already done. That’s the only way to get a firm handle on what can and can’t be reduced to still deliver the mini- mum viable product, she says.
Lay out the scenarios. When meeting with the project sponsor, come prepared with a few possible scenarios. That makes it easier to concretely analyze the best path forward.
Focus on alignment. Remember: Scope, budget and schedule don’t matter much if the completed project isn’t aligned with the strategic goals of the organization or the client. Sometimes, that means the more stra- tegic move in the face of deep budget cuts is to shelve the initia- tive rather than plow forward. But if the adjusted project plan can proceed, priori- tize work-in-progress check-ins, she says, to ensure alignment every step of the way.
“Project managers have to pay extra attention to tracking project spend and forecasting.” —Malong Dong, PMP, Insurance Australia Group, Sydney, Australia
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THE MANAGERIAL PROCESS 7E
ERIK W. LARSON CLIFFORD F. GRAY
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The Managerial Process Seventh Edition
Erik W. Larson
Clifford F. Gray Oregon State University
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: THE MANAGERIAL PROCESS, SEVENTH EDITION
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Names: Gray, Clifford F., author. | Larson, Erik W., 1952 author. Title: Project management : the managerial process / Erik W. Larson, Oregon State University, Clifford F. Gray, Oregon State University. Description: Seventh edition. | New York, NY : McGraw-Hill Education,  | Clifford F. Gray is the first named author on the earlier editions. Identifiers: LCCN 2016040029 | ISBN 9781259666094 | ISBN 1259666093 (alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Project management. | Time management. | Risk management. Classification: LCC HD69.P75 G72 2018 | DDC 658.4/04—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/
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Erik W. Larson ERIK W. LARSON is professor of project management at the College of Business, Oregon State University. He teaches executive, graduate, and undergraduate courses on project management and leadership. His research and consulting activities focus on project management. He has published numerous articles on matrix management, product development, and project partnering. He has been honored with teaching awards from both the Oregon State University MBA program and the University of Oregon Executive MBA program. He has been a member of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of the Project Management Institute since 1984. In 1995 he worked as a Ful- bright scholar with faculty at the Krakow Academy of Economics on modernizing Polish business education. He was a visiting professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and at Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Bad Mergentheim, Germany. He received a B.A. in psychology from Claremont McKenna College and a Ph.D. in management from State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a certified project management professional (PMP) and Scrum Master.
Clifford F. Gray CLIFFORD F. GRAY is professor emeritus of management at the College of Busi- ness, Oregon State University. He has personally taught more than 100 executive development seminars and workshops. Cliff has been a member of the Project Man- agement Institute since 1976 and was one of the founders of the Portland, Oregon, chapter. He was a visiting professor at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2005. He was the president of Project Management International, Inc. (a training and consulting firm specializing in project management) 1977–2005. He received his B.A. in economics and management from Millikin University, M.B.A. from Indiana Univer- sity, and doctorate in operations management from the College of Business, University of Oregon. He is certified Scrum Master.
About the Authors
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
To my family, who have always encircled me with love and encouragement—my parents (Samuel and Charlotte), my wife (Mary), my sons and their wives (Kevin and Dawn, Robert and Sally) and their children (Ryan, Carly, Connor and Lauren).
“We must not cease from exploration and the end of all exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.”
T. S. Eliot
To Ann, whose love and support have brought out the best in me. To our girls Mary, Rachel, and Tor-Tor for the joy and pride they give me. And to our grandkids, Mr. B, Livvy, and Xmo, whose future depends upon effective project management. Finally, to my muse, Neil—Walk on!
Our motivation in writing this text continues to be to provide a realistic, socio-technical view of project management. In the past, textbooks on project management focused almost exclusively on the tools and processes used to manage projects and not the human dimension. This baffled us since people not tools complete projects! While we firmly believe that mastering tools and processes is essential to successful project management, we also believe that the effectiveness of these tools and methods is shaped and determined by the prevailing culture of the organization and interpersonal dynamics of the people involved. Thus, we try to provide a holistic view that focuses on both of these dimensions and how they interact to determine the fate of projects. The role of projects in organizations is receiving increasing attention. Projects are the major tool for implementing and achieving the strategic goals of the organization. In the face of intense, worldwide competition, many organizations have reorganized around a philosophy of innovation, renewal, and organizational learning to survive. This philosophy suggests an organization that is flexible and project driven. Project management has developed to the point where it is a professional discipline having its own body of knowledge and skills. Today it is nearly impossible to imagine anyone at any level in the organization who would not benefit from some degree of expertise in the process of managing projects.
This text is written for a wide audience. It covers concepts and skills that are used by managers to propose, plan, secure resources, budget, and lead project teams to suc- cessful completions of their projects. The text should prove useful to students and prospective project managers in helping them understand why organizations have developed a formal project management process to gain a competitive advantage. Readers will find the concepts and techniques discussed in enough detail to be imme- diately useful in new-project situations. Practicing project managers will find the text to be a valuable guide and reference when dealing with typical problems that arise in the course of a project. Managers will also find the text useful in understanding the role of projects in the missions of their organizations. Analysts will find the text useful in helping to explain the data needed for project implementation as well as the opera- tions of inherited or purchased software. Members of the Project Management Insti- tute will find the text is well structured to meet the needs of those wishing to prepare for PMP (Project Management Professional) or CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification exams. The text has in-depth coverage of the most critical topics found in PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). People at all levels in the organization assigned to work on projects will find the text useful not only in providing them with a rationale for the use of project management processes but also because of the insights they will gain on how to enhance their contributions to project success. Our emphasis is not only on how the management process works, but more impor- tantly, on why it works. The concepts, principles, and techniques are universally
applicable. That is, the text does not specialize by industry type or project scope. Instead, the text is written for the individual who will be required to manage a variety of projects in a variety of different organizational settings. In the case of some small projects, a few of the steps of the techniques can be omitted, but the conceptual frame- work applies to all organizations in which projects are important to survival. The approach can be used in pure project organizations such as construction, research orga- nizations, and engineering consultancy firms. At the same time, this approach will benefit organizations that carry out many small projects while the daily effort of deliv- ering products or services continues.
In this and other editions we continue to try to resist the forces that engender scope creep and focus only on essential tools and concepts that are being used in the real world. We have been guided by feedback from practitioners, teachers, and students. Some changes are minor and incremental, designed to clarify and reduce confusion. Other changes are significant. They represent new developments in the field or better ways of teaching project management principles. Below are major changes to the seventh edition. ∙ Learning objectives have been established for each chapter and the corresponding
segment has been marked in the text. ∙ Chapter 16 Oversight has been eliminated and critical information on project matu-
rity models is now part of Chapter 14. ∙ Chapter 18 Project Management Career Paths has been eliminated and essential
information from this chapter is now in Chapter 1. ∙ A new set of network exercises have been developed for Chapter 6. ∙ A new set of crashing exercises have been developed for Chapter 9 which introduce
crashing concepts in a developmental way. ∙ The Chapter 2 Appendix on Request for Proposal is now part of Chapter 12. ∙ Terms and concepts have been updated to be consistent with the sixth edition of the
Project Management Body of Knowledge (2015). ∙ New student exercises and cases have been added to chapters. ∙ The Snapshot from Practice boxes feature a number of new examples of project
management in action as well as new Research Highlights that continue to promote practical application of project management.
∙ The Instructor’s Manual contains a listing of current YouTube videos that corre- spond to key concepts and Snapshots from Practice.
Overall the text addresses the major questions and challenges the authors have encountered over their 60 combined years of teaching project management and con- sulting with practicing project managers in domestic and foreign environments. These questions include: What is the strategic role of projects in contemporary organiza- tions? How are projects prioritized? What organizational and managerial styles will improve chances of project success? How do project managers orchestrate the complex network of relationships involving vendors, subcontractors, project team members, senior management, functional managers, and customers that affect project success? What factors contribute to the development of a high-performance project team? What project management system can be set up to gain some