Describe about the project management concepts.
This project has been undertaken to offer some light into the project management concepts. The assignment would help in offering a practical level of experience to understand the ways to handle project management in context to systems implementation. The primary objectives that this assignment emphasises strongly upon are listed below:
- Understanding the importance of a suitable software tool for project management purpose and learning the fundamental skills to use the same. In this assignment, the tool to be discussed in Microsoft Project.
- Developing and discussing key elements of the project management while carrying out a proper planning regimen that would let adjust the project proposal and would ensure that it fits perfectly within the schedule.
- Trying to incorporate some professional communication skills along with options for proper practicing sessions while writing memorandum to the concerned Project Manager that would explain the entire planning while seeking recommendation for necessary action
The approaches that needs to (would) be followed to complete the assignment
- Grabbing appropriate knowledge to use the project management tool. This assignment along with online tutorials would definitely make it easier to understand the proper ways to use the Microsoft Project application
- Implementing all the necessary knowledge that has been collected from the tutorial program to develop a proper plan for the project and then get it adjusted in order to meet the requirements.
- Developing a memo that would describe the revised project proposal. This is important since it would be able to challenge the researcher’s ability to justify and explain the changes in complex programs in brief with special mention for the recommended actions.
- Finally, it is mandatory to submit the assignment within the prescribed deadline
Using Microsoft Project, it would become easy enough to manage, plan, communicate, and consolidate information regarding the project effectively and in a very efficient manner. It would integrate graphical environment with critical scheduling path method with the help of Gantt charts, PERT charts, and other resource and task reports.
Introduction to Project Management
Project Management is basically managing tasks through proper planning and organizing of resources in order to achieve a certain objective. It would definitely involve a certain deadline as well monetary expenses. Be it large, small, complex, or simple projects, they are usually slashed down into smaller tasks that can be managed easily. In fact, it becomes easier to schedule these tasks and then track their progress.
Project management tries to find answers to questions like:
- What needs to be done?
- Who are the ones to complete the task?
- What is the time duration? must it be done?
- What would be the total expenditure involved?
- What happens if the deadline is not met?
Discuss each of the major sections of the PMP
The major areas of PM are illustrated below and other deliverables are also important but these are the most significant one.
- Planning the project followed by schedule creation
This is the primary stage where tasks are defined along with the time duration. It is also in this stage where relationships are created between each of these tasks while ensuring that all the resources are assigned properly. Remember, the forthcoming phases would depend heavily upon this stage. So be very careful while carrying it out (Ruiz Fernández et al., 2011).
- Managing changes
This process is ongoing and starts with scheduling of the project. It ends with the end of project. The phase deals with tracking as well schedule adjustment and reflecting the changes that has taken place during the commencing of the project.
- Communicating project information
This phase is highly crucial and involves detailed communication process with the management, staffs, and clients, and every one of those involved in the project.
Remember, any Project management software tool would be considered to be highly productive if it suitably assists the professionals involved in the project. In fact, handling such a software solution requires proper expertise.
Introduction to Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project is a project management software solution that would offer the necessary guidance while handing the project to ensure that deadline and financial constraints are met perfectly. Certain computer software tools could play significant role in the process to record, calculate, analyse, consolidate, and present the project in detailed formatting. But wait, becoming too much sanguine on achieving a successful project plan is not guaranteed. It all depends upon the project management team on how they approach and play the dice.
However, Microsoft Project definitely offers the best of assistance in developing a better plan.
The software tool asks the user to define the tasks in a more specific manner, thus letting the users get involved more into the project detailed scenario.
MS Project also ensure that the projections become easy enough to calculate and become more reliable. The software tool would calculate a perfect schedule depending on the data being entered.
MS Project would also figure out inconsistencies and problem areas in the project plan. It would detect any in-discrepancy or when deadline is not met.
MS Project can generate printed reports to make it easy and more convincing to sell the plan to higher management levels. It becomes easy enough to communicate with a printed report.
Format of this Assignment
The assignment has been created using a 2-phased approach.
- Information is provided regarding how certain procedures are undertaken along with usage of certain techniques. Boxes have been used to provide detailed explanation for concepts and terms. The knowledge being acquired from this information would be used for developing this assignment.
- COURIER font is used for specific set of instructions.
The Palmers Golf Course Project
Palmers Golf Course is one of the reputed golf courses in Auckland. However, it is a modern day gold course that was established two years back. It is known for the signature style and unique designing settings. It is the uniqueness that makes Palmers’ membership status experience a strong boost. With the increasing number of membership, the information system is being suffering a lot.
As a result, the present system is now used only for processing accounts payables and receivables. More paperwork is getting conducted due to increase in the membership status. Be it bookings, maintenance, or HRD related tasks, paper works are increasing. As a result, there seems to be a strong requirement for a new system that could minimize the paper work.
Let’s assume your role in the project management for Palmers Golf Course. You have been appointed as the Project Leader for Soft-development Ltd, the company that has been contracted by Palmers to undertake the software development project. Your responsibility is to create a plan that would feature the planning and development structure for the new system while focusing on the budget and timeline. Palmers have asked you to start the project by Mon, 9th May 2016 and must be completed by Thu, 26th October 2016.
Your reporting senior is Mr Robinson, the Project Manager for Soft-development Ltd, who liaises with Palmers Golf Course. You are ordered to report all the progress as well project planning to Mr Robinson on regular basis.
Setting the Project Start Date
Click on Menu Bar, go to the Project tab, and then click Project Information. Set project start date to Mon, 9th May 2016. Do NOT enter the finish date. Click OK.
Set the Project Calendar
A calendar needs to be created for the project that would highlight the working days as well non-working days with statutory holidays. The working time can be changed from tools under the menu tab.
Setting a Finish Date
In Microsoft project, from the project tab, choose project information to include a project information box. This box would provide you with a global view of the entire project. It also opens the option for “What if” scenarios from within the box. It can be used to specify a start date or a finish date. However, both at the same time cannot be specified.
Remember, every project comes with a certain deadline. In case you don’t need to reconcile the resource overloading part, it also offers the option to safely reschedule the project from the fixed finish date. Most of the projects come with limited resources. To help with resource overloads, this software tool can play an integral part.
The durations are displayed through Gantt Chart (available on the next page). Have a look at the process:
- Select Duration field for first task.
- Type a number to indicate the total length of duration along with duration unit in abbreviated format
- Simply press enter or tick mark
- These three steps need to be repeated for all the other tasks of the project
Once completed, the Gantt chart would look something similar to the chart in the next page with "PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT” being tagged as Task 1 and "Initial Study” as Task 2.
According to the chart, it would take a total of 10 working days to complete the project tasks 26 and 27(the red bars). Since these are the most critical parts, these have been indicated by red colour on the chart. This also indicates the fact that every task is of independent nature and would run parallel to one another. Each of the task would start at the same time and same date (Cardeña, 2015).
Establishing Relationships between Tasks
This is a crucial stage. Once the Gantt chart is formed, it becomes important to create a linking between the tasks and organize them in sequence to figure out the total time it would take to finish the project. Once the tasks are properly linked with one another, a relationship is being established between the tasks and it becomes easy enough to specify a series of events to be introduced in a sequential pattern.
Once a task starts immediately after culmination of the previous task, the sequence is described as finish-to-start relationship. This relationship is considered to be most common in this kind of projects.
Then, there is also finish-to-finish relationship where both the tasks end at the same time. Another option, start-to-start relationship witnesses starting of both the tasks at the same time. However, the most uncommon relationship is start-to-finish relationship where start of later task would be given prominence for completing previous task (Hölscher, 2014).
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