It’s Due When?(Project Management Tips and Lessons) Elizabeth A. Evans UNCCAUSE Information Technology Services November 14, 2003 UNC Chapel Hill
My Goals for Today • To present some very general project management terms and processes • To present some examples from my own experience • To find out more about what you are all doing about project management
Your Goals for Today • ?????
First, You Have to Know What A Project Is! (What do you think?)
This is what “They” say: Temporary undertaking to create a unique product or service with a defined start and end point and specific objectives that, when attained, signify project completion (Project Management Terms: A Working Glossary, by J. LeRoy Ward, 1997)
Q. So, which of the following is/are a “project?” • A. Giving a party • B. Writing an application for users • C. Refinishing a table • D. Implementing a commercial product • E. B and D • F. B • G. All of the above
What a friend says: “Do you have black paint? If I turn my wooden planks into shelves, I’ve decided I want to paint them. I don’t have black. Should I buy some? I’ve never used spray paint before, maybe I’ll try that. And then I’ll have to decide between glossy, flat, matte, etc. Everything is a project!”
What the friend means: Do you have black paint? (Do you have a resource I need?) If I turn my wooden planks into shelves, I’ve decided I want to paint them. (Requirements definition.) I don’t have black. (Resource assessment.) Should I buy some? (If you have a resource I need, will you give it to me?) I’ve never used spray paint before, maybe I’ll try that. (Thinking through needs. Will a different approach be better this time? And how about testing a new technique?) And then I’ll have to decide between glossy, flat, matte, etc. (I’m not sure exactly what I want. Implied: Can you help?) Everything is a project!” (Whimper.)
But What About??? • Ongoing projects? • Implementation of commercial products? • Other non-development projects? Note: No right answers! Discussion!
What “They” say: Application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations from a project
Note: Application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations from a project
What “They” say: Individual responsible for managing the overall project and its deliverables. Acts as the customer’s single point of contact for the project. Controls planning and execution of the project’s activities and resources to ensure that established cost, time, and quality goals are met.
Note: Individual responsible for managing the overall project and its deliverables. Acts as the customer’s single point of contact for the project. Controls planning and execution of the project’s activities and resources to ensure that established cost, time, and quality goals are met.
In a Nutshell • An assigned role • Ultimate responsibility for project • Enough authority to manage project • Communicator • Negotiator • Meeting facilitator • A leader
Skills Checklist? • Ability to influence without necessarily having authority • Ability to pay attention to details without losing sight of the big picture • A propensity to hope for the best but prepare for the worst From Computerworld Web article
More Skills? • Meeting facilitation • Communication (writing, encouraging, guiding,using the gong) • Ability to bring people together— and keep them together • What else?
A Project Management Process • Concept (needs identification and project selection) • Development (planning) • Execution (implementation and control) • Evaluation • Finish
Another Project Management Process • Project selection • Requirements definition • Work breakdown structure • Risk Analysis • Estimates for people, budget, time • Analysis and scheduling • Execution and control • Closeout
Another Project Management Process • Enthusiasm • Disillusionment • Panic • Search for the guilty • Punishment of the innocent • Praise and Honors for the non-participant Source: F. Wittenburg (via T.A. Giemza and Assocs)
And One Final Project Management Process • Analysis • Design • Construction • Testing • Implementation • Maintenance
A New Project Management Phrase: Agile Project Management
Agile Project Management “It's a method of doing project management that allows a project manager to select the processes to be used on a project in response to new manufacturing and design methodologies. …PMs need to be able to respond to these rapid means of product development. The traditional PM methods we use will not support the implementation of these new techniques. What we need to do as project managers is use only the processes and resources needed to support a project. For an organization with defined project management processes we would have to select those that support the needs of the project and by-pass those that do not. For an organization without processes this is a little easier, but still requires we define and follow a process. We’re not ending the use of processes just stream-lining them to support new development methods. We become agile to respond to the new methods of product development.
1. A training project2. A software development project3. A commercial product implementation
Medical Students and Computers: 1989-1993 • The need: You’re gonna be a doctor; you’re gonna use computers. • The TEAM • The project management
The Good • Really early example of requiring electronic mail and of introducing medical students to non-clinical technology • A lot of commitment from a lot of people • A collaborative project • We learned every year, made changes every year, improved every year
The Bad and the Ugly • Subcommittee, not project management • Password failures/testing • Problematic Sytek connections/testing • Ungraded requirement/high-level buy-in • Gave out logins and passwords in advance; high no-show rate/risk assessment • Limited, if any, input from current students before planning for incoming students/requirements
From:/html/courses/engl12/html/courses/engl012/html/courses/engl12aFrom:/html/courses/engl12/html/courses/engl012/html/courses/engl12a To: /afs/isis/html/courses/[year][term]/[rubric]/[number]/[section]
The Good • Skilled team • A real need • Realistic • No real deadline • A successful outcome
The Bad and the Ugly • No real deadline • Constant re-evaluation of naming convention, timing to get there, schedule for moving out of NFS, etc • Not enough documentation of decisions
The Good • A really good team • Lessons learned from original implementation (2001) • A deadline • A backout plan • A good testing plan • A healthy fear factor • Met deadline, under budget
The Bad and the Ugly • Sometimes a testing plan isn’t good enough • Very close deadlines on 2 major projects for me • Not enough documentation (revisit some decisions) • Vendor support issues
Some Things That Workfor Me (YMMV) • Work hard on team dynamics • Set up a project listserver • Set up a project Web site • Want more electronic mail • Accept, even welcome, bad news early
Some Things That Workfor Me (YMMV), con’t • Involve people who want to be involved. • Welcome complaints. • Little of what we do requires secrecy. • Connect the dots: who is doing something similar? Who are we impacting? Who is impacting us?
Some Things That Workfor Me (YMMV), con’t • Never assume malice. (But be prepared to recognize it.) • Praise, celebrate, be inclusive • Archive all mail and documents
Some Things I Wish I Had/Did/Knew • Someone else taking notes at meetings • More expertise in developing test plans • More PM training in general so I could draw on pieces I need as appropriate
Things I Think About and/or Worry About • Balancing work about the project with the project itself • Trying to be sure the right people and only the right people are at meetings • Trying to be sure that people who think they should be involved are involved • Figuring out how to find out as much as possible from the user
Things I Think About and/or Worry About, con’t • Designing adequate testing • Practicing big concepts on little projects