Define a project All answer - 20257

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1.     Define a project. What are five characteristics that help differentiate projects from other functions carried out in the daily operations of the organization?


A project is a complex, no routine, off-time effort limited by time, budget, resources, and performance specifications designed to meet customer needs

·         An established objective

·         A defined life span with a beginning and an end

·         Involvement of several departments

·         Doing something unique

·         Time, cost , and performance requirements

·         To serve customers needs


2.      Compression of the product life cycle, Global competition, Knowledge explosion, corporate downsizing, increased customer focus, and small projects represent big problems are all environmental factors.


3.      It is important to strategic planning and the project manager because with a project there is so much going on between so many different people so the manager has to be able to implement a plan and have people follow it. This is the only way a project can run smoothly and with the least amount of problems. If the manager is able to get the best success with good project implementation.


4.      The technical side of the coin represents the science side of project management while the sociocultural side of the coin represents the art of managing a project. In order for a manger to be successful they must be a master of both sides of the coin. While some managers tend to focus on the technical side rather than the sociocultural side, they need to know that both sides are equally important.



5.      An Integrative approach to project management means that decisions and ideas are made by many different people, and there has to be some integrative plan to make the project work. Emphasis is on development of an integrated project management process that focuses all project effort toward the strategic plan of the organization and reinforces mastery of both the project management tools/techniques and the interpersonal skills necessary to orchestrate successful project completion.




Chapter 4:

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

The six elements of a typical scope statement are:

a.       Project objective

b.      Deliverables

c.       Milestones

d.      Technical Requirements

e.       Limits and exclusions

f.       Reviews with customers


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

The questions a project objective answers are the what, when, and how much.  A good example of this would be to develop a program that automatically translates English to Spanish, finished within 2 years, and not cost more than $15,000.00.


3.      What kinds of information are included in a work package?

Overall each work package:

a.       Defines work

b.      Identifies time to complete a work package

c.       Identifies a time-phased budget to complete a work package

d.      Identifies resources needed to complete a work package

e.       Identifies a single person responsible for units of work

f.       Identifies monitoring points for measuring progress


4.      When would it be appropriate to create a responsibility matrix rather than a full-blown WBS?

It would be appropriate to use for small projects.  Many times, the size and scope of the project do not warrant an elaborate WBS or OBS.


5.      How does a communication plan benefit management projects?

The benefit of a communication plan is that it expresses what, who, how, and when information will be transmitted to project stakeholders so schedules, issues, and action items can be tracked.


Chapter 5:

1.      Why are accurate estimates critical to effective project management?

Quality estimates are needed because in order to do the job of a project manager and to have a successful outcome, you have to know what you have to work with.  Everything that is going to be put into a project, including time and money, needs to be estimated accurately so that the PM can follow the scope of the project and have a happy customer.  In order for the planning, scheduling, and controlling to be effective, you have to start out with accurate estimates.


2.      How does the culture of an organization infulence the quality of estimates?

The organization culture can greatly affect project estimates.  In some organizations, it may be encouraged to high ball estimates so that they have a lot of room to work with, while in other organizations they might low ball estimates to make numbers sound good to clients.  Also, in some organizations it is strongly discouraged to feed into estimating gamesmanship.


3.      What are the differences between bottom-up and top-down estimating approaches? 

Under what conditions would you perfer one over the other?

Top-down estimates usually are derived from someone who uses experience and/or information to determine the project duration and total cost.  Many times these estimates are made by top management who have little knowledge of the processes used to complete the project.  Bottom-up estimates are estimates that are made by the work package level, by people who know the actual process of completing the project.  It is said that they come up with low-cost and efficient methods.  I think that in most conditions I would prefer the bottom-up approach because that involves everyone in the company and the more people you have the better ideas you can come up with.


4.      What are the major types of costs?  Which costs are controllable by the project manager?

There are 3 types of costs, direct costs, direct overhead costs, and general and administrative overhead costs.  Project managers can control the direct costs which include labor, materials, equipment, and other miscellaneous things. 



6.      Below is a project WBS with cost apportioned by percents.  If the total project cost is estimated to be $600,000, what are the estimated costs for the following deliverables?

Design cost= $240,000

Programming cost= $120,000

In-house testing= $240,000

The weakness with this method is that it has small variation or customization.


7.      Firewall Project XT.  Using the “complexity weighting” scheme shown in Table 5.2 and the function point complexity weighted table shown below, estimate the total function point count.  Assume historical data suggest five function points equal one person a month and six people can work on the project.

1.      Number of inputs        10        Rated complexity low

2.      Number of outputs      20        Rated complexity average

3.      Number of inquires     10        Rated complexity average

4.      Number of files           30        Rated complexity high

5.      Number of interfaces  50        Rated complexity high

a.      What is the estimated project duration?

b.      If 20 people are available for the project, what is the estimated project duration?

c.       If the project must be completed in six months, how many people will be needed for the project?

-The estimated duration of the project would be 43 months.  If there were 20 people available to work on the project it would cut the time down to about 13 months.  If you would need the project within 6 months, you would need 43 people working on the project. 



 Chapter 6:

1.      How does the WBS differ from the project network?

The WBS differs from the project network because the project network is a tool used for planning, scheduling, and monitoring project progress.  It is developed from the information collected for the WBS and is a graphic flow chart of the project job plan.  The network is the framework for the project information system that will be sued by the project managers to make decisions concerning project time, cost, and performance. 


2.      Why bother creating a WBS?  Why not go straight to a project network and forget the WBS?

You should create a WBS because they are used to build the activies in the project network.  An activity can include one or more work packages.  The activities are placed in a sequence that provides for orderly completion of the project.  Networks are built using nodes and arrows.  The nodes depicts an activity and the arrow shows dependency and project flow. 

3.      Why is slack important to the project manager?

Slack is important to the project manager because total slack tells the amount of time an activity can be delayed and yet not delay the project.  Free slack is that changes in start and finish times for the free slack activity requires less coordination with other participants in the project and give the project manager more flexibility than total slack.


4.      What is the difference between free slack and total slack?

The difference between free and total slack is total slack is the amount of time an activity can be delayed and not affect the project duration where as free slack is the maximum amount of time an activity can be delayed from its early start without affecting the early start of any activity immediately following it.

5.      Network terminology:

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The six elements of a typical scope statement are:

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