Foundations Of Project Management

Respond to one of the following questions:

Question 1:

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The Monthly Project Report: Each month, all project  managers were called for an executive session to present the status of  their projects. All project managers and the key project team members  spent five to seven days a month preparing standardized briefing charts  for this critically important meeting. The meeting lasted well over half  a day while each project manager waited for his or her turn to receive  executive guidance.

Result: The project managers, team members, and  administrative assistants wasted hundreds of hours each month preparing  detailed slides, graphics, analyses, and report papers to provide to the  senior executive. The senior executive was gratified at the level of  work and detail his people put in to keep him apprised of every project  nuance. The senior executive had a much larger comfort zone of  information to rely upon when queried by his boss.

Analysis: When most organizations work Monday to  Friday, there are about twenty workdays in any month. Spending over 25  percent of the available monthly work time in preparing reports drove  project management costs up and undermined organizational commitment to  disciplined project management. Worse, tremendous amounts of overtime  were required to offset the lost project productivity. This forced the  project managers, team members, administrative assistants, and  contractors to work late nights and weekends. Productivity losses were  staggering. The senior executive was promoted, but the organization was  ultimately branded a failure and subsumed under another executive.  Several project managers no longer work for the company.

Discuss:

  • Evaluate the executive sessions. Should they be held on the basis of  project performance norms and the key project milestone dates and not  per a fixed schedule? Why? Would this require changes in organizational  culture? Explain.
  • How might a culture of openness be established that encourages  briefings to senior executives regarding deviations from expected  performance (both good and bad)? Offer a few ideas.
  • Explain some of the less time-consuming and systematic ways through  which an executive manager can update himself or herself on the status  of a project.

Question 2:

Review the PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct on the PMI website and answer the following questions:

  • What are the underlying international and global values of PMI’s Code of Ethics?
  • What is the difference between aspirational and mandatory standards identified in the PMI Code of Ethics? Justify your answer.

Question 3:

Leading the Main Street Project: Scenario: A small  town in Texas wanted to enhance its main street to reduce traffic safety  problems, enhance business, increase the number of businesses, and make  the street more appealing. The main street was also a four-lane state  highway that was restricted to 45 mph speed in the less populated area  and 35 mph speed in the business distinct. The project was approved by  the town council, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)  provided funding to create enhancements that included relocating  overhead wires and installing curbs and gutters while filling in  drainage ditches. The project was to last for two years.

Result: Poor project communications management  resulted in business owners not being aware of all the aspects of the  plan. Fears arose that businesses would fail during construction.  Project leaders attempted to assuage these fears, but a town council  meeting was called to vote down the project. The council members voted  unanimously to cancel the project on the basis of emotional arguments by  business owners and a few vocal townspeople. The TxDOT representative  thanked the council for its interest but announced that the project  would continue. Naturally, there was an outrage about this announcement  and vocal opposition followed. The TxDOT project manager informed the  assembled group that the city did not have jurisdiction over the road  and that the TxDOT had allocated funding on the city’s request. The  project would continue regardless of unfounded fears.

Discuss:

  • Create a plan that could have avoided this situation. How does your plan compare to others?
  • Evaluate the legitimacy of the TxDOT project manager’s use of position power.
  • Assess what communication skills you would use in this situation.

The final paragraph (three or four sentences) of  your initial post should summarize the one or two key points that you  are making in your initial response.

Justify your answers with examples and reasoning. 

Your posting should be the equivalent of 1 to 2 pages (500–1000 words) in length.

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