621 Project Management

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Chapters 1-5, 10-11 (all for the midterm) Will be expanded as the term progresses

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people and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the project

law of reciprocity

The basic principle is that “one good deed deserves another, and likewise, one bad deed deserves another.” The pri- mary way to gain cooperation is to provide resources and services for others in exchange for future resources and services.

social network building

Whose cooperation will we need?
∙ Whose agreement or approval will we need?
∙ Whose opposition would keep us from accomplishing the project?

management by wandering around

an interactive management style, Through face-to-face interactions, project managers are able to stay in touch with what is really going on in the project and build cooperation essential to project success.

Emotional Intelligence

de- scribes the ability or skill to per- ceive, assess, and manage the emotions of oneself and others. Includes Self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy and social skills

Quality of a PM: Proactive

Good project managers take action before it is needed to prevent small concerns from escalating into major problems

Qualities of a PM: Systems thinking

able to take a holistic rather than a reductionist approach to projects. Instead of breaking up a project into individual pieces (planning, budget) and managing it by understanding each part, a systems perspective focuses on trying to understand how relevant project factors collectively interact to produce project outcomes

Leading by Example

A project manager’s behavior symbolizes how other people should work on the proj- ect. Through her behavior a project manager can influence how others act and respond to a variety of issues related to the project.

Task-related currencies

Probably the most significant form of this currency is the ability to respond to subordinates’ requests for additional manpower, money, or time to complete a segment of a project. This kind of currency is also evident in sharing resources with another project manager who is in need

Position-Related Currencies

stems from the manager’s ability to enhance others’ positions within their organization. A project manager can do this by giving someone a chal- lenging assignment that can aid their advancement by developing their skills and abili- ties

Inspiration-Related Currencies

Creating an exciting, bold vision for a project can elicit extraordinary commitment. A variant form of vision is providing an opportunity to do something really well. Being able to take pride in your work often drives many people.

Relationship-Related Currencies

The essence of this form of influence is forming a relationship that transcends normal professional boundaries and extends into the realm of friendship. Such relationships develop by giving personal and emotional backing

Personal-Related Currencies

A project manager can enhance a colleague’s sense of worth by asking for help and seeking opinions, delegating authority over work and allowing individuals to feel comfortable stretching their abilities. This form of currency can also be seen in sincere expressions of gratitude for the contributions of others.

nominal group technique (NGT)

Each member then writes his or her solutions. Next, each member presents his or her solution to the group, and the leader writes these solutions on a chart. No criticism is allowed. This process continues until all of the ideas have been expressed. Each solution then is discussed and clarified by the group

virtual project team

in which the team members are geographically situ- ated so that they may seldom, if ever, meet face-to-face as a team.

dysfunctional conflict vs functional conflict

The distinguishing criterion is how the conflict affects project performance, not how individuals feel. Members can be upset and dissatisfied with the interchange, but as long as the disagreement furthers the objectives of the project, then the conflict is functional.


Here the team generates a list of possible solutions on a flipchart or blackboard. Members are encouraged to “piggyback” on others’ ideas by extending them or combining ideas into a new idea. The object is to create as many alternatives as possible no matter how outlandish they may appear to be.

project vision

involves the less tangible aspects of project performance. It refers to an image a project team holds in common about how the project will look upon completion, how they will work together, and/or how customers will accept the project.

project kick-off meeting

sets the tone for how the team will work together. If it is disorganized, or becomes bogged down with little sense of closure, then this can often become a self- fulfilling prophecy for subsequent group work. On the other hand, if it is crisply run, focus- ing on real issues and concerns in an honest and straightforward manner, members come away excited about being part of the project team.

positive synergy

High-performing teams become champions, create breakthrough products, exceed cus- tomer expectations, and get projects done ahead of schedule and under budget. They are bonded together by mutual interdependency and a common goal or vision. They trust each other and exhibit a high level of collaboration.

team building

The first step is to gather information and make a preliminary diagnosis of team performance. This information is summarized in terms of themes. When everyone has understood the themes, the group ranks them in terms of both their importance and the extent the team has ownership over them


refers to the tendency of members in highly cohesive groups to lose their critical evaluative capabilities. This malady appears when pressures for conformity are combined with an illusion of invincibility to suspend crit- ical discussion of decisions. As a result decisions are made quickly with little consid- eration of alternatives; often the practice leads to fiascoes that, after the fact, appear totally improbable.

Project Offices

in terms of being (1) a weather station (monitors progress)
(2) a control tower (improve project functions)
or (3) a resource pool (helps train PMs)
Each of these models performs a very different function for its organization.

Organizational culture

refers to a system of shared norms, beliefs, values, and assumptions which binds people together, thereby creating shared meanings. This system is manifested by customs and habits that exemplify the values and beliefs of the organization

projectized organization

In the case of firms where projects are the dominant form of business, such as a con- struction firm or a consulting firm, the entire organization is designed to support project teams. Instead of one or two special projects, the organization consists of sets of quasi- independent teams working on specific projects


management is a hybrid organizational form in which a horizontal project management structure is “overlaid” on the normal functional hier- archy. In a matrix system, there are usually two chains of command, one along func- tional lines and the other along project lines. Instead of delegating segments of a project to different units or creating an autonomous team, project participants report simultaneously to both functional and project managers

dedicated project team

These teams operate as separate units from the rest of the parent organization. Usually a full-time project manager is designated to pull together a core group of specialists who work full time on the project. The project manager recruits necessary personnel from both within and outside the parent company. The subsequent team is physically separated from the parent organization and given marching orders to complete the project


a group of related projects designed to accomplish a common goal over an extended period of time


a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result

Project Life Cycle

Defining, planning, executing, closing. This is a generic example as some other projects have other stages (like software development has testing as a phase). Effort generally builds over the course of the project and declines when closing the project.

Project Management Professional

someone who has documented sufficient project experience, agreed to follow the PMI code of professional conduct, and demonstrated mastery of the field of project management by passing a comprehensive examination

Cost Account

When you take an Organization Breakdown Structure and Work Breakdown Structure and put them together. “the integration of WBS and OBS.” Integrates work a responsibility


a significant event in a project that occurs at a point in time. Milestones should be natural, important control points in the project. Milestones should be easy for all project participants to recognize.

Organization Breakdown Structure

depicts how the firm has organized to discharge work responsibility. Meant to provide a framework to summarize organization unit work performance, organization units responsible for work packages, tie organization unit to cost control accounts

Priority Matrix

identifies which criterion is constrained, which should be enhanced, which accepted, in a project.

Process Breakdown Structure

Similar to the WBS, but WBS is best suited for design and build projects that have tangible outcomes (e.g. offshore mining/ new car). The PBS is more suited for less tangible, process-oriented project. E.g.: software:

Project Charter

a document that authorizes the project manager to initiate and lead the project. Issued by upper management. Use organization resources for project. Brief scope descriptions, risk limit, business case, spending limits, and team composition

Responsibility Matrix

summarizes tasks to be accomplished/ who is responsible for what on a project. Simplest form: chart listing all project activities and participants responsible for each activity

Scope Creep

tendency for project scope to expand over time, adding aspects of a project that were not in the original plan/charter

Scope Statement

: defines project objective, deliverables, milestones, technical requirements, limits and exclusions (of scope), and review of customer (internal or external)- getting what she wanted

WBS Dictionary

appendix of terms in a WBS

Work Breakdown Structure

Work of the project is subdivided into smaller and smaller work elements. Helps assure project managers that product and work elements are identified, integrate project with current organization, and establish basis for control

Work Package

Lowest level of WBS. Short direction tasks that have a definite start and stop point, consume resources, and represent cost. Example:
1. Defines work (what)
2. Identifies time to complete a work package (how long)
3. Identifies a time-phased budget to complete a work package (cost)
4. Identifies resources needed to complete a work package (how much)
5. Identifies a single person responsible for units of work (who)
6. Identifies monitoring points for measuring progress (how well)

Implementation Gap

refers to the lack of understanding and consensus of organization strategy among top and middle-level managers. Because clear linkages do not exist, the organization environment becomes dysfunctional, confused, and ripe for ineffective implementation of organization strategy and, thus, of projects.

Net Present Value

: The Net present value model uses management’s minimum desired rate-of-return (discount rate, for example, 20 percent) to compute the present value of all net cash inflows. (Therefore higher NPVs are desirable)

Organization Politics

politics that exist in every organization that can have a significant influence on which projects receive funding and have high priority. This is especially true when the criteria and process for selecting projects are ill-defined and not aligned with the mission of the firm. (Example: are they laid-back and let managers do what they see fit? Are breakout project groups acceptable? Is it a competitive environment?)


the payback model is financial criteria used to evaluate projects. It measures the time it will take to recover the project investment. Shorter paybacks are more desirable. Payback is the simplest and most widely used model

Priority System

ranking system for relatively contribute/value of each project. having this in place can help reduce issues like implementation gap, lack of resources, sacred cows, etc because then the most important projects are prioritized before the less important ones.

Priority Team

Project proposals are then submitted to a project priority team or project office. Each project proposal is then evaluated by its relative contribution/value added to the selected criteria. Values of 0 to a high 10 are assigned to each criterion for each project.

Project Portfolio

A set of project proposals, projects, programs, sub-portfolios and operations managed together to achieve an organisation's strategic objectives.

Project Sponsor

typically high-ranking managers who endorse and lend political support for the completion of a specific project. They are instrumental in winning approval of the project and in protecting the project during the critical development stage.

Sacred Cow

a project that a powerful, high-ranking official is advocating. Insufficient demand to warrant the financing of this new project, yet they are kept around to keep a high-ranking person happy

Strategic Management

the process of assessing ‘what we are’ and deciding and implementing ‘what we intend to be and how we are going to get there.’ Strategy describes how an organization intends to compete with the resources available in the existing and perceived future environment.