<< . .

. 15
( : 16)



. . >>

classroom training nor computer-based training equips the new or potential project manager with the
experience necessary to deal with projects and their problems on a daily basis. Even simulation-based
training, which comes close to replicating the real world, does not have the pressure, sense of urgency, and
sense of criticality that is present in real-world project management. None of the formal training vehicles
fosters the long-term development of a project management style on the part of personnel being trained. Short
of trial by fire, there is only one other alternative: on-the-job training.
On-the-job training in project management involves pairing an experienced project manager with a prospect
to expose the new manager to behavioral patterns, style, and methods that yield effective planning and control
of the work. It also can pair a new project manager with a project management consultant for the same
purposes.
If the project manager in training is paired with a more senior project manager, there are two modes in which
the training experience can be structured: (1) the more experienced project manager as the project manager of
record or (2) the candidate as the project manager of record. We believe that the manager in training should be
the manager of record. This yields a more meaningful training experience and allows for termination of the
training when management has concluded that the objectives of the learning experience have been attained.
When the project manager in training is paired with a consultant, it is essential that the trainee be the project
manager of record. In principle, we are opposed to the concept of an individual who is not an employee of the
organization managing the project and giving direction to project team members who are employees of the
organization. In addition, this is a costly method, and it will be of relatively short duration. Upon termination
of the training experience, the project manager in training will continue to manage the project.
The most significant disadvantage of on-the-job training is cost. In absolute terms, it is expensive. Two
salaries rather than one are applied to the management of the effort. Even if the training period is much
shorter than the duration of the project, the costs will be significant. On the other hand, the costs pale in
comparison to the potential cost to the organization of the trial-by-fire approach. The risk associated with trial
by fire may serve to make the relatively modest cost of on-the-job training palatable to management.
A second disadvantage of on-the-job training is the possible transfer of bad habits and behaviors along with a
transfer of desired habits and behaviors. This potential disadvantage can be overcome by extremely careful
selection of the mentors, whether staff members or consultants, and by frequent monitoring and assessment of
the transfer of knowledge.
Another drawback, which is related to the issue of cost, is the scarcity of project managers in the organization.
The workload beckons, and anyone with the potential of performing the project management function may be
conscripted to staff the backlog. Therefore, on-the-job training is best accomplished during periods of
relatively slack demand, when the sense of urgency in staffing the workload is less pressing.
Advantages of on-the-job training are primarily contextual. It is the only means short of trial by fire of
exposing the trainee to the actual project management environment, with all the variables that affect the
project management processes and decision making in that environment. The project manager who has been
through on-the-job training is potentially better equipped to undertake larger, more complex project
assignments than the organization would trust to a new project manager who has not been through the
process.
On-the-job training requires more than a management decision to undertake the effort and the selection of a
mentor. It requires a plan, learning objectives, and periodic reviews of lessons learned, with a facilitator other
than the new project manager™s mentor.
In planning this experience, considerable attention should be given to the selection of the project. It should not
be contrived, overly simple, or overly complex. In selecting the mentor, consideration should be given to the
technical knowledge of both the mentor and the trainee. On-the-job training works best when both mentor and
trainee have similar fields of technical experience. This creates a stronger bond between two people who will
be spending a great number of hours together over a short period of time.
Finally, planning of the experience should include a schedule plan, with a target date for completion of the
learning experience substantially in advance of the completion of the project. An initial decision should be
made as to whether the mentor or the trainee will assume exclusive responsibility for the project at the end of
the training period.
There should also be periodic reviews between the trainee and a third-party facilitator of any learning progress
made. This facilitator could be the head of project management or another experienced project manager.
On-the-job training is costly, effective, time-consuming, and difficult with regard to a commitment of
resources, but its potential benefit to the organization makes it worth considering as part of the total
development plan for project managers.

Administrative Support
Administrative support within an organization that uses project management optimizes the use of time by the
project manager and the project team. The administrative support unit can be the custodian of the
organization™s project management standards. It can issue copies of the standards to all personnel requiring
them; edit, produce, and distribute updates to the standards; and coordinate the process of modifying the
standards, as required. This function clearly needs to be performed and does not require the attention of
project managers.
The administrative support unit can be the point of contact between the organization and its project
management software vendor. The unit manages the availability of the software for the staff. When new
releases of the software become available, this unit coordinates the evaluation of the upgrade, installs new
releases, provides training for the staff in the use of the software, and receives questions about the software.
When significant amounts of plan data have to be entered into the project management system, project
managers should be able to request data entry support from this group. The group either has data entry
resources or manages work flow to the data entry unit. In addition, this unit can manage the interface between
the organization™s project management software and its cost accounting and time reporting systems by
periodically transferring cost and person-hour data into the project management system for status reporting
purposes. Error checking, resolution of data problems, and reconciliation of incorrect project charges can all
be handled by this unit.


Previous Table of Contents Next




Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home

Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights
reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of
EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement.
Project Management
by Joan Knudson and Ira Bitz
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814450431 Pub Date: 01/01/91

Search this book:
Search Tips

Advanced Search


Previous Table of Contents Next



While project managers and teams tend to produce their own reports from the project management system, the
Title
administrative support unit is responsible for the production of periodic multiproject reports. Monthly senior
management summary status reports are requested, printed, and distributed by the unit. Multiproject resource
reports, directed to functional (skill group) managers, are also produced by this unit. These responsibilities
require the unit to ensure that all projects have been updated prior to generating the multiproject reports.
-----------
Finally, the administrative support unit can function as the project management archivist for the organization.
Information concerning completed or current projects can often be utilized again by the organization. When
such information is required, the unit can make the information available to the project manager and team.
Among the items that can be archived are work breakdown structure models for projects, phases, or groups of
tasks commonly performed in many projects; network models; historical estimates; and actual costs for
standard tasks.
An administrative support function allows project managers more time to devote to their projects. The clerical
work will be performed by clerical workers rather than managers. Specialists will devote their time to the
organization™s system interfaces rather than having each project manager attempt to deal with these complex
interfaces. The bottom line is that each project manager, having been freed from the administrative burdens,
can manage an additional portion of the workload. Thus, fewer project managers can control the workload of
the organization.
One final word of caution is required: If an administrative support function is relied upon by senior
management for an early warning reporting of project problems, the entire perception of the group in the
organization changes. Project and function managers will no longer consider the group to be their service. The
group will be regarded as an audit function, and its services will be utilized only with great reluctance. Project
problems should be brought to the attention of senior management by the managers of the projects which are
experiencing them, not by a support unit.

Political Aspects of Support
The three mechanisms that can support project management”software support, training support, and
administrative support”have technical and political aspects too.
The technical aspect of software support consists of the tangible software and the procedures that accompany
it. There are political issues here as well. Should one software product be chosen for all people within the
organization, or should each person (or group) be allowed to choose individually? There are arguments for
both sides. Those who suggest individual software choices argue that different groups need different types of
software support, and therefore each group should be allowed to pick a product fitting its own needs. On the
other hand, if everyone picks software, how will the data ever be consolidated in a manner that will allow the
management of the whole rather than fragmented pieces, and how will management ever be able to see a
composite picture of the status, staffing, and expenditures of all the projects in the organization? We believe
that most project management software products are competitive. If a product fits the basic requirements, then
all groups should be willing to use it for the good of the overall organization.
Training also has technical and political aspects. Technically, the course material must be designed, training
manuals developed, and qualified trainers brought up to speed. Politically, training is not always seen with a
tangible return on investment. Whether the course is developed inside the organization or an outside training
consultant is brought in, there is expense. And taking employees off their job to attend a training class is
another expense. Therefore, management and the participants must be convinced that there is a meaningful
reward in improved productivity and better efficiency for this expenditure of time and dollars.
Administrative support is less controversial but equally affected by both technical and political issues.
Technically, a job position must be created for an administrative support person, a salary justified, and a job
description developed. Politically, it may be difficult to convince management that an administrative support
person is necessary. What is the project leader doing if most of his or her work is being done by the
administrator? Are we paying two salaries to get one job done? The answer is “no.” The administrator can
offload some of the more detailed work from the project manager, who then has more time to work on
managing the project. The other political issue is who is the right person to take this job. It is more than a
clerical job. It requires some business knowledge and a strong logical bent, especially for checking the data
for reasonability. It is also not the project manager™s job, and the administrator will have to subvert his or her
ambition to be the boss, at least while on this job. You as project manager may promise the administrator that
this is an interim step in his or her career and there will be a promotion in a year or two. Even a year or two
with a good administrator is worth the investment, and you will see how much this person lightens your load
and allows you to concentrate on planning, problem isolation, and resolution.


Previous Table of Contents Next




Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home

Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights
reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of
EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement.
Project Management
by Joan Knudson and Ira Bitz
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814450431 Pub Date: 01/01/91

Search this book:
Search Tips

Advanced Search


Previous Table of Contents Next



Title
Index
[Italic page numbers refer to figures.]
accomplishment data
-----------
analysis of, 157-161
calculations using, 162-171
accomplishment monitoring, 154
critical issue in, 155-156
milestones in, 155
accomplishment trends, 161
achievement monitoring, 154, 157
milestones in, 155
actual cost of milestones performed (ACMP), 159-161, 162
administrative support, 172, 189-191
Advanced Project Management (Harrison), 33-35
alternative solutions, 122-124
authority, 7
formal, 27
informal, 26-27
in organization, 17-18
BAC (budget at completion), 162
backup plans, 95
balancing resources of the plan, 45-47
B-A-N-C criteria, 6-7
baseline change
client-driven, 101-103
externally driven, 105
guidelines for establishing, 107-108
internally driven, 105-106
procedures for management of, 106-107
regulatory-driven, 104-105
sources of, 101, 106
tracking of, 107
BCMP (budgeted cost of milestones performed), 159, 161, 162
BCMS (budgeted cost of milestones scheduled), 159, 162
bottom-up planning, 48-51
Brooks, Frederick (The Mythical Man-Month), 33
budget, 4, 7, 38
allocation of, on cost spread sheet, 89, 90-91
computer documentation of, 179
plotting of, 89
preparation of, 45
purpose of, 88-89
risk factors in, 94
in status report, 133
tracking expenditures of, 178
budget at completion (BAC), 162
budgeted cost of milestones performed (BCMP), 159, 161, 162
budgeted cost of milestones scheduled (BCMS), 159, 162
calendar flexibility, 178
change
baseline, 101-108
effective management of, 5
effects of, 96
investigation team for, 100
key objectives for control of, 97-98
management of, 96-108
in requirements, 96
scope, 96-101
change controller, 98
client, 4, 7-8
absence of, 8-9
determining objectives of, 14
focused interviews with, 14
recognition of, 7-8
rules for selection of, 9
sources for, 9
client-driven change, 101-103
coercion, using, to control team, 30-31
community relations, 13-14
compensation time, 86
completion criteria, 15
computer-based training, 185-186
computer report generation, 179
computer simulations, 178
conceptual planning, 48
constraints, in project initiation documentation, 16
contingency planning, 89-95
guidelines for, 94-95
trend analysis of, 144-150
contingency utilization trends, 149
tracking of, 144-150
control
benefits of project plan for, 111-112
five-step model for, 116-130
formal and informal, 112-116
model for, 109-131
problem solving in, 121-124
project team members™ role in, 131
techniques for, 132-153
transition from planning to, 109-111
corporate change, 105
corporate image, 13-14
cost line graphs, 89, 92, 138, 140
cost objectives, alteration of, 44
cost performance assessment, 159-161
cost performance index, 161
cost
change caused by problems with, 106
client-driven change in, 103
computer documentation of, 179
revisions of, 128-129
trend analysis of, 144
cost spread sheet, 89, 90-91
credibility authority, 27
critical path, 66-67
breakdown of activity of, 79
expediting activity of, 86
removing activity from, 86
critical path analysis, 66-70, 134-138
critical path compression, 77-79
cycle of funding and project
initiation, 7
data collection, 131
mechanisms for, 117-118
in problem solving, 122
sources for, 118
deadlines, 4
dependency analysis, 62
validation of, 65
design change, 96-97
detailed planning, 48-51
direct line authority on team, 27
divisional change, 105
earned value, 154, 165-171
earned value model, 154-171
effort estimates, 59
emotional needs in directing project, 28-29
Environmental Protection Agency, changes instituted by, 104
environment-induced change, 105-106
estimates, 41
definition of, 66
negotiating revisions to, 43
estimating techniques, 66
European Economic Community, 104
experience/knowledge authority, 26
externally driven change, 105
fast tracking, 79-86
finish-to-start relationships, altering, 79-85
flexibility, of project product, 13
float time, 69, 71
shifting tasks within, 86
forecasting model, 66
forecast reports, 120
formal project control, 112
compared with informal control, 114-115
performance of, 113-114
relative effectiveness of, 115-116
functional manager, 87-88
Gantt chart, 71-73, 134, 135-137
on-screen, 177
go/no-go decision, 45
governmental change, 104
Harrison, F L (Advanced Project Management), 33-35
historical files, 53
image, corporate, 13-14
impact report, 16, 120-124
influence, requirements for, 29
informal project control
benefits of, 112-113
compared with formal control, 114-115
relative effectiveness of, 115-116
In Search of Excellence (Peters, Waterman), 112-113
institutional change, 104-105
integrated project plan, 36-38
internally driven change, 105-106
interviews, with client, 14-15
job title authority, 27
judgmental finish-to-start relationships, 80-85
labor budget approach of measuring milestones, 156
leader, formal, 22
listening behaviors
nonverbal, 25-26
verbal, 24-25
maintainability of project, 12
management
communication with, 129-130
keeping informed on project change, 129-130
project reports for, 153
status report information for, 120
support of, 172-192
mandated authority, 27
mandated target dates, 77-86
mandatory finish-to-start relationships, 79-80
manufacturability, 12-13
materials, use of, 13
milestones, 154-156
budgeted costs for scheduled versus performed, 159
budgeted costs vs. actual cost of performed, 159-161
multiproject resource allocation, 179
multiproject status reports, 129
Mythical Man-Month, The (Brooks), 33
national institutional regulators, 104
need, criteria for initiating project, 6-7
negotiating skills, 29-30
network, project, 60-65
network diagram, on-screen, 176
nonverbal listening behavior, 25-26
objectives, 9-10, 42-43
of client, 14
development of, 54-55
negotiating revisions to, 43-45
on-the-job training, 187-189
operability, 12
overtime, 33-35, 86
pecuniary authority, 27
performance requirement, 11-12
performance appraisal review authority, 27
performance feedback, 28
personality-based authority, 27
personnel changes, 97
Peters, Tom (In Search of Excellence), 112-113
planning horizon, 52
planning techniques, 58-95
politically driven change, 105
power, 28-29
preliminary plan, 42-43
problem/opportunity statement, 15
problems
definition of, 121-122
sources of, 122
problem solving, steps in, 121-124

<< . .

. 15
( : 16)



. . >>