discussion 3222

Discussion 1.

WEEK 1 TOPIC: How can we define project success?

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Based on what you have seen in your own experience, and based on what you have read so far, how would YOU define a successful project? What do you think contributes to a project being unsuccessful? And, when you read about HUGE failures, do you believe they are, in fact, failures? Please provide examples and explain your answers. One or two paragraphs is all that is required. Remember that the quality of your participation and contributions to these discussions can and does make a difference in your overall course grade.

Readings:

Introduction to Project Management

Working with People on Projects

Discussion 2.

Scope Creep

(1) What is scope creep?

(Note: The textbook seems to have a partial definition, leaving out some factors. So while you may wish to start with the textbook, don’t end there. Do a little research on the Internet or in a library, for instance, to see what factors are involved. Then give a better definition of Scope Creep in your own words (but also properly citing any references you used).)

(2) Is scope creep inevitable? That is, is it normal? Will we always (or at least, usually) have to deal with scope creep on any given project? Why or why not?

(3) How can we deal with scope creep? What can we do to prevent it, and especially what can we do to handle it if and when it does occur?

Readings:

Project Scope

Requirements and planning

How to Build Work Breakdown Structures?

Chapter 4 – Understanding and Meeting Client Expectations.pdf

Chapter 6 – Communication Technologies.pdf

Discussion 3.

Project Estimating

First, consider the following case study scenario:

You are the newly appointed PM for a major new project in your company. You just stepped in and haven’t yet had a chance to analyze the project. This project has significant executive support and an engaged executive sponsor. The project’s executive sponsor catches you in the hallway on your day first or so on the job and asks you whether you will be able to complete the project in less than 6 months.

Then answer the following questions:

a) Based on what has been presented in this Module, can you give the executive sponsor an answer at this time?

b) Why or why not?

c) So what do you say to the sponsor? How can we respond?

d) More specifically: Describe to the executive sponsor what you must do from a project Time and Scheduling* perspective before you can give an answer.

*Cautionary Note

While it is true that we have covered project charters, WBSs, etc, this question is not looking for a “schoolhouse answer” like, “Well, first we need to develop a project charter and a WBS, then Bob’s your uncle!” Don’t get roped into an overly simplistic answer like that. Think it through: What do we need to do from a time and scheduling perspective before we can give a reasonable estimate of project duration.

Readings:

Chapter 3 – Project Phases and Organization.pdf

Chapter 2.pdf

Project Costs and Scheduling.doc

What NOT to do in a WBS.pdf

Discussion 4.

Estimation Inaccuracies

Consider a situation you’ve experienced when you made an inaccurate estimation for the duration of some activity. It doesn’t necessarily need to be during a project (though that would be desirable if possible).

a) What was the situation?

b) Describe how you made the estimate. Discuss your reasoning for estimating the duration of the activity the way you did.

c) In what way was it inaccurate? Discuss the factors that caused your estimate to be inaccurate.

d) What was the outcome of the situation?

e) What were the consequences of the inaccuracy?

Readings:

Chapter 7 – Starting a Project.pdf

Chapter 9 – Estimating and Managing Costs.pdf

Budget and Cost Estimate

Project Resources

Microsoft Project Resource Information

Microsoft Project Skills Tutorial

 
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