Project Management Fundamentals

Why This Session?

Duration: 2 days

Project work differs from other, ongoing work efforts, yet few project team members are well prepared to participate in quality efforts. This session introduces participants to the minimum methods team members need to succeed in projects. It also provides tools and methods support for our universal business improvement methodology, MinProj.

This session covers the beginning project manager or team member perspective of the same methods presented in our more advanced project manager learning experiences, through presentation, discussion, and case study application of the methods. Thus, your entire organization can use consistent processes and terminology.

Learning Objectives; after this session, participants will be able to …

  • Initiating and Phase Structuring
    Define project management, and itemize the six vital signs of a successful project.
    Evaluate the business case, and use it to prepare a scope statement and objectives.
    Estimate project effort, then use Successful Project Profiles to define ideal staffing and duration.
    Structure the appropriate life cycle and deliverables for the size and nature of the project.
    Brainstorm and organize the phase activities using Work Breakdown Structure Templates.
    Contrast the individual and team approaches to structuring project work.
  • Improving Activity Estimates
    Combine estimating with an effective delegation process that provides the person doing the job with the information needed to do it well.
    Use a consistent process to determine the priority of multiple projects.
    Use assumptions-based estimating appropriately for the size and risk of the activity estimated.
    Manage the assumptions that can affect an estimate, and improve its actual performance.
    Quantify and control the factors that affect duration estimates. Estimate activity duration.
  • Scheduling and Tracking Progress
    Produce useful schedules with Calendars and Gantt charts.
    Show how to complete a project faster and manage resources better, and evaluate the trade-offs.
    Select minimum-effort tracking methods that can prevent, detect, and recover from problems.
    Describe the purpose and process of Quality Reviews; plan and perform effective reviews.
    Institute change control to manage the impact of changes on the project’s schedule and cost.
    Produce project reports that are appropriate for their audience, and for their timing.
    In closure, describe what Managers, customers and teams all want in a successful project.

Audience

This session covers the fundamental tools and techniques needed by beginning Project Managers and team members of medium-to-large projects: those lasting two to twelve months in duration, and with four to seven part-time participants. It is also of great value to project customers, especially when they participate with their project teams.

Session Outline

1. Initiation and Phase Structuring
  • Introduction: Project Challenges; Team’s Role in Managing Projects
  • Balancing the Vital Signs; Initiate the Project with a Charter and a Business Case
    • Problem or Opportunity Analysis; Scope Statement and Objectives; Case 1
    • Estimate Project Effort; Successful Project Profiles: Duration and Staffing; Case 2
  • Structure Project Phases; Select Life Cycles for Different Project Sizes
    • How to Develop a Work Breakdown Structure; Using Activity Templates; Case 3
    • How to Improve Any WBS; Roles and Responsibilities; Case 4
    • What to include in the Work Plan; Section reference information
 2. Improving Activity Estimating
  • Delegation and Estimating; Case 4A
  • Too Many Priority Ones? Determine Relative Priority
  • Guidelines for Successful Estimating; Levels of Assumptions-Based Estimating
    • Two-Point Consensus Estimating; Case 5
    • Factors that Cause Estimate Problems; The Effort-Duration Conversion; Case 6
  • Universal Assumptions; Section reference and supplemental information
3. Scheduling and Tracking Progress
  • Phase Scheduling; Eliminating “Can’t” Charts; Scheduling with Calendars; Case 7
    • Scheduling with Gantt Charts; Case 8; Precedence Analysis Trade-offs; Case 9
    • Resource Analysis Trade-offs; Case 10; How to Improve Your Phase Plan
  • Tracking and Managing the Vital Signs; Tracking With Minimum Data
    • Levels of Quality Assurance; Planning and Performing Reviews
    • Minimum Tracking and Better Information, Levels of Tracking
    • Change Control; A Change Control Process
  • Types of Reports: Status, Exception and Progress; Case 11
  • Getting Phase and Project Closure; Project Evaluation; Your Final Exam, Back on the Job …