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Midterm Project Management

Chapter 1 : Modern Project Management

i) Review Questions:
1) Define a project and its 5 characteristics that help differentiate projects from program
-Def :A complex, non-routine, one-time effort limited by time, budget, resources, and performance
specifications designed to meet customer needs
a) Has an established objective.
b) Has a defined life span with a beginning and an end.
c) Requires across-the-organizational participation.
d) Involves doing something never been done before.
e) Has specific time, cost, and performance requirements.
2) Key environmental forces that have changed the way projects are managed
a) Compression of the project life cycle
b) Global competition
c) Knowledge explosion
d) Corporate downsizing
e) Increased of customer focus, etc
3) Important of implementation of project to strategic planning and project manager
a) Do not tie together the overall strategies of the firm.
b) Fail to prioritize selection of projects by their importance of their contribution to the firm.
c) Are not integrated throughout the project life cycle.
d) Do not match project planning and controls with organizational culture to make appropriate
adjustments in support of project endeavors.
4) Explain technical and socio-cultural dimensions of project management

5) Explain Integrative approach

-Def : An integrative approach to project management is one in which all the parts are interrelated.
- The importance of the approach:
a) Projects must have a strong link to the organizations strategic plan, which is directed toward
meeting the customers needs.
b) An integrative approach provides an integrated system for the actual implementation of the
projects. This includes an information system which supports decision making

ii) Exercises:
1) Identify all the projects contained in the local newspaper
-Monorail will be built in the India by Scomi Berhad
-The launching ceremony of KLIA 2 to replace LCCT in 2012
2) Consider the greatest achievement accomplished by mankind to-date.
-Solar passenger car
-Landed on moon (Neil Armstrong)
-Highest building on the earth (Burj Khalifa)
3) Identify on question 1 whether both socio-cultural and technical elements factors in the success or
difficulties in the projects
-Both projects have both socio-cultural and technical elements in the projects.
-Difficulties still can been seen, but it isnt affect much on the project
4) Check out Project Management Institutes home page on www.pmi.org to find out about general
information, the location, PMBOK, and other links.
-General information:
Chapter 2 : Organization Strategy and Project Selection

i) Review Questions
1) Describe major components of the strategic management process
-Def: Art & science of formulating, implementing, and evaluating, cross functional decisions that enable
an organization to achieve its objectives.

2) Explain the role project play in the strategic plan

- Functions :
a) Responding to changes in the external environment (environmental scanning)
b) Allocating scarce resources of the firm to improve its competitive

3) How are projects linked to the strategic plan

4) Impact of portfolio of projects on the project
a) The implementation problems
b) Organization politics
c) Resource conflicts and multitasking

- Advantages:

Builds discipline
Links project to strategic metrics
Prioritizes project
Allocates resources
Balances risk, etc

5) Explain why priority projects needs to be open and published (m/s43)

-To discourages power play. Over time, the priority team evaluates the progress of the projects in the
portfolio and if this whole process is managed well, it can have a profound impact on the success of an
6) Why organization should not rely on ROI to select project
To select a project, we need to consider them model that we want to use, whether it is a financial model,
non-financial model, or the combination of both.
7) Pros and cons of the checklist versus weighted factor method of selecting method
Advantages Disadvantages
Review potential projects Fails to answer the relative importance of the of a
potential project to the organization
Determine their acceptance or rejection Fails to allow for comparison with other potential
Great flexibility in selecting the projects Power play, politics, manipulation
Easily used across different division and location

Chapter 3 : Organization: Structure and Culture

i) Reviews Question
1) The pros and cons of functional, matrix, and dedicated team approaches
Functional Matrix Dedicated team
Pros Cons Pros Cons Pros Cons
No Structural Lack of Focus Efficient Dysfunctional Simple Expensive
Change Conflict
Flexibility Poor Strong Infighting Fast Internal Strife
Integration Project Focus
In-Depth Slow Easier Post- Stressful Cohesive Limited
Expertise Project Technological
Easy Post- Lack of Transition Slow Cross- Difficult Post-
Project Ownership and flexible Functional Project
Transition Integration Transition

2) To differentiate the weak and strong matrix

Weak matrix Strong matrix
Same as functional approach except there is a PM predominates
designated PM for coordinating project activities
(Functional manager predominates)
PM as a staff assistant only Functional manager as a staff assistant only
PM has indirect authority Functional manager has indirect authority
3) Under what conditions we need to use strong matrix
a) When functional approach is not used widely
b) When PM needs to be a higher authority
4) What the important to assess the culture of an organization
-Def: a system of a shared norms, beliefs, values, and assumptions which binds people together
-The important:
a) Provides a sense of identity
b) Helps legitimate the management system of an organization
c) Clarifies and reinforces standards of behavior
d) Helps create social orders

5) Which is more important : formal project management or culture of the parent organization
-I think the more important one is culture of the parent organization. By applying the culture to an
organization, we must know the following characteristics which are not apply to the formal project
a) Study the physical characteristics of an organization
b) Read about the organization
c) Observe how people interact within the organization
d) Interpret stories and folklore surrounding the organization

- Implication in navigating the organizations culture :

a) Interacting with the culture and subcultures of the parent organization

b) Interacting with the projects clients or customer organizations
c) Interacting with other organizations connected to the project

1. Describe the major components of the strategic management process.

The four major component of the strategic management process are (1) review and define the organizational
mission, (2) Set long-range goals and objectives, (3) Analyze and formulate strategies to reach objectives, (4)
Implement strategies through projects.

2. Explain the role projects play in the strategic management process.

The implementation of strategies through projects is the last step of the strategic management process. A
project, and its implementation in the sequence of events, requires certain elements in place in order to go
forward with it. Also, strategy formulation ultimately ends with cascading objectives/projects assigned to
lower divisions, departments, or individuals.

3. How are projects linked to the strategic plan?

Ultimately, projects are the final step in the implementation process. How strategy is implemented will
consume 80% of time spent, ultimately leading to the phase of project implementation. In order to
implement projects, the following five (5) areas must first be addressed: (1) Sufficient allocation of resources,
(2) Formal and informal organization that complements and supports strategy and projects, (3) Planning and
control systems must be in place, (4) Motivating project contributors, (5) Prioritizing projects.

4. The portfolio of projects is typically represented by compliance, strategic, and operations projects. What
impact can this classification have on project selection?
Each classification has a strategic value assigned to it prior to placing it in the project portfolio. Compliance
projects are must do projects required in order to operate in a region. Operational projects are projects
needed to support current operations. Strategic projects are those that directly support an organizations
long-term mission. If a project must be done or else the firm fails, then it is placed in the must category
and will be accomplished. Usually, however, projects are selected based on financial and nonfinancial criteria
within each of the aforementioned categories.

5. Why does the priority system described in this chapter require that it be open and published? Does the
process encourage bottom-up initiation of projects? Does it discourage some projects? Why?
The priority system should be open and published in order to avoid power plays within the organization and
to make sure that the process is free of power politics. Each project in the priority system is evaluated by the
same criteria (or by particular criteria within the class that the project has been placed in). The priority teams
major task is to make sure that projects are balanced by type, risk, and resource demand. By doing this,
projects that may rank low on most criteria may still be selected because the organizations portfolio does not
include too many of these types of projects (the opposite is true as well). By playing this balancing act, the
priority team encourages the bottom-up initiation of certain projects and discourages the acceptance of

6. Why should an organization not rely only on ROI to select projects?

Financial criteria will not ensure that selected projects contribute to the mission and strategy of a firm. Other
considerations such as developing new technology, public image, brand loyalty, and ethical position should be
considered. These fall under non-financial criteria. While ROI is likely to be a key consideration for many
organizations, multiple screening criteria are recommended for selecting and prioritizing projects.

7. Discuss the pros and cons of the checklist versus the weighted factor method of selecting projects.
The checklist model uses a list of questions to review potential projects and to determine their acceptance or
rejection. Checklist models can be used throughout different divisions and departments due to their flexibility
in question design. However, due to its inability to assess relative value of a project to the organization, the
checklist model can lead to power plays, politics and other forms of manipulation. A weighted scoring model
will use several weighted criteria to evaluate project proposals. This is really the best model to use. A con to it
however is that selection criteria used in this model should mirror the critical success factors of the
organization. If they do not, then the screening process is rendered useless.

Chapter 4

1. What are the six elements of a typical scope statement?

(Project Scope Checklist) :

a. Project objective

b. Deliverables

c. Milestones

d. Technical requirements

e. Limits and exclusions

f. Reviews with customer.

Many companies engaged in contracted work refer to scope statements as statement of work (SOW)

Project Charter: document that authorizes the PM to initiate & lead the project.

Scope creep : the tendency for the project scope to expand over time (usually by changing requirements,
specifications, and priorities).

2. What questions does a project objective answer? What would be an example of a good project objective?

The project objectives answers what, when, and how much. To replace the Willamette bridge by August
3rd at a cost not to exceed $1.5 million.

3. What does it mean if the priorities of a project include: Timeconstrain, Scope-accept, and Cost

The project must be completed on a specific date, the scope can be scaled back in order to meet cost and
time objectives, and when possible seek opportunities to reduce costs.

Causes of Project Trade-offs

Shifts in the relative importance of criterions related

to cost, time, and performance parameters




One technique found in practice that is useful for this purpose is completing a
priority matrix for the project to identify which criterion is constrained, which
should be enhanced and can be accepted.
01. Project Management Trade-offs

Constrain: a parameter is a fixed requirement.

The project must meet the completion date, specifications and scope of the project, or budget

Enhance: optimizing a criterion over others.

Accept: reducing (or not meeting) a criterion requirement.

What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the functional, matrix, and dedicated team
approaches to managing projects?
1. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the functional, matrix, and
dedicated team approaches to managing projects?
Advantages :

5) No radical alteration in
basic structure of the
parent organization

6) Maximum flexibility in
use of staff within
functional units

7) In-depth expertise can

be brought to bear on
specific components of
the project

8) Normal career paths can

be maintained.

Disadvantages :
1) Lack of project focus

2) Poor cross-functional

3) Slow

4) Lack of project
The Functional ownership.

Advantages :

iii) Flexible utilization of

resources across
projects and functional

iv) Project focus is provided

by having a designated
project manager

v) Specialists maintain ties

with their functional

vi) Balances project

prerogatives with
The Matrix technical requirements.12)
Disadvantages :

8) Decision making can be

bogged down as
agreements have to be
negotiated between
project managers and
functional managers

9) Dysfunctional conflict

10) Stress induced by

multiple superiors

11) slow

Advantages :

f) Does not disrupt the

basic structure of the
parent organization

g) Concentrated project

h) Projects tend to get done


i) Strong cross-functional

Disadvantages :
a) Dilemma of what to do
with people once the
project is over

b) Technical expertise
limited to the people on
the team

c) We/they attitude
emerges between
project team and rest of
organization which
inhibits integration of
project with mainstream
The Dedicated operations
Team Approach
d) Expensive creation of
project management
role and duplication of
services across projects.

2. What distinguishes a weak matrix from a strong matrix?

The most distinguishing characteristicbetween a weak and strong matrix is :

the relative influence the project manager has over project participants and functional managers.

In a weak matrix the project manager role is limited to coordinating project activities. The functional
managers are responsible for managing their segment of the project. The project manager has little formal
authority over the project. In a strong matrix, the project manager controls most aspects of the project
including design trade-offs and assignment of project personnel. The functional managers are responsible
for supporting project completion. A project manager in the weak matrix is not likely to be involved in
performance appraisals and compensation decisions while project managers in a strong matrix would.

3. Under what conditions would it be advisable to use a strong matrix instead of a dedicated project team?
Both structures can be quite effective.

The strong matrix would be recommended when the organization cannot afford to have people work full-time
on the project and when the culture of the organization supports the dual authority structure.

Dedicated project teams are recommended when speed is essential to success and there is not enough project
work to warrant a formal matrix structure.

Dedicated project teams are also recommended when the prevalent culture within the organization does not
support collaboration and innovation.

4. How can project offices (POs) support effective project management?

POs support effective project management by:

f) Tracking project progress

g) Promulgating best practices

h) Providing project management training and consulting services

i) Integrating latest advances in field of project management

j) Being an organizational advocate

It should be noted that the extent to which a PO performs the above functions will vary from one organization to
the next.
5. Why is it important to assess the culture of an organization before deciding what project management
structure should be used to complete a project?
The culture of the organization can impact the effectiveness of different project management structures.

Organizational cultures that do not encourage teamwork, collaboration, and cross-functional integration need
a stronger project management structure (i.e., project team, project matrix) to be successful.

6. Other than culture what other organizational factors should be used to determine which project management
structure should be used?
The two major considerations are the percentage of core work that involves projects and resource availability.

Organizations, whose main business evolves around projects, should consider a projectized form of structure.

Organizations that have mainstream operations and projects should use a matrix structure.

When resource availability is limited then a matrix structure should be used that allows sharing personnel across
projects and operations.

7. What do you believe is more important for successfully completing a project the formal project
management structure or the culture of the parent organization?
Both are important and an argument can be made for either structure or culture.

The bias of the authors is that culture is more important than structure since it more directly impacts behavior. A
positive organizational culture can compensate for the inherent weaknesses of the formal structure. For
example a functional or matrix structure can be effective if the norms and customs of the organization value
teamwork and effective problem-solving. Conversely, a functional or matrix structure is likely to be disastrous
in a negative culture that encourages competition and looking out only for yourself.

Alternatively, one could argue that an organization can circumvent a negative culture by creating an
independent project team or a strong project matrix. In either case, the strategy is to insulate the project team
from the dominant organizational culture and create a unique project subculture.