Project Management Processes and Knowledge Areas: Visual Presentation Assessment 3 Answer
About the Organization
For the purpose of this assignment, the selected organization is a small public sector company in the defense sector and the relevant industry is education. The organization was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in XXXX. Currently, the organization is active in three locations and has 10 permanent employees.
The organization is relatively new and keen to expand and hence, it has a high risk appetite. However, various environmental and other factors that are dynamic in nature need to be factored in so that the growth is not hampered.
Royal Defence is responsible for:
- Planning, directing, coordinating and managing educational programs on behalf of Department of Defence
- Professional development support to schools and/or teachers
- Appropriation of resources to various schools
The risk appetite of the organization is high as it is in expansion mode. Currently, it is operating from three locations and wants to cover more geography so as to streamline the educational program content all over the country. This requires the company to be dynamic in nature such that it can adapt to changing environment quickly. At the same time, education of children being a sensitive department where programs need to be selected with utmost care, it is of prime importance that the company follows strict policies and guidelines so as to ensure good quality programs are selected for the children such that they aid in their overall personality development. This needs the company to have clear instructions and set list of tasks. At the same time, company needs to evaluate its programs continuously so that improvements can be introduced in a timely manner.
Project Management Institute (PMI)
As well known, PMI is the world’s leading association for project management. It is a not-for-profit organization with more than 370,000 certified professionals in over 180 countries. The credential holders and members count is over 500,000.
The reason for such large numbers is the credibility that this institute enjoys due to globally-recognized standards and practices, intensive research curriculum, and various development opportunities that a professional can be part of. The institute offers Project Management Professional (PMP) credential which is internationally recognized certification in the field of project management.
The PMP certified professionals are widely sought after in various types of organizations, be it, government, commercial organization or any other type of organization. This is because these organizations intend to maximize the success rate of their projects and standardize processes by leveraging expertise of the PMP certified professionals.
- Agile: As the name suggests, this technique involves focusing on small tasks that should be finished effectively and quickly. If a particular technique does not work, then it demands to change and adapt for further iterations. Hence, it focuses on quick adaptability (or flexibility) as against rigid rules. Though flexibility is good and changes need adaptation, the evaluation at various stages may slow down the entire process. Further, a little planning ahead of the project helps to put the overall picture in perspective for all the participants and cannot be fully ignored to focus only on smaller tasks.
- Scrum: Similar to Agile, the focus is on sticking to timelines while attaining set objective. Hence, a small team of people divides allocated work in various periodic milestones. A Scrum Master leads the daily discussion regarding work status and works to remove obstacles that teams are facing so that the milestones are achieved in timely manner. It is appropriate for environments where creative products are churned out such that employees may lose track of time in a bid to be more creative. The discussions help them to identify bottlenecks that are removed by Scrum Master such that team stays on time. Due to periodic evaluation, the team stays flexible and adapts quickly.
- Kanban: It is a Japanese word that means ‘board’. The technique is a visual technique where entire project and related tasks are presented on a board in various stages, such as, finished tasks, pending tasks, in progress tasks and so on. The tasks themselves are moved on the board as per the status and give an immediate visual on overall status and areas where project is lagging behind. This can be used for rectification purpose as well. The technique allows flexibility and is a visual method that is easily understood. However, the focus is on tasks rather than overall project and strategy that may have to be done in addition to the technique. Hence, it may not be suitable for very complex projects.
- Six Sigma: Originally developed by Motorola Company, the technique involves elimination of ‘defects’ through continuous process improvement efforts. More than a technique, it is a philosophy that focuses on improvement to attain highest possible level of quality through disciplined method relying on historical data. It involves steps such as, define, measure, analyze, improve and control.
- Waterfall: In contrast to Agile, Waterfall focuses on planning and listing down various components of a project. Then, the steps can be performed in the listed order, one-by-one. This is a method which allows team to be meticulous but if one task fails, then the remaining tasks will get adversely impacted and there may be no scope to go back and rectify it without impacting the entire project. It is appropriate for environments where expensive, physical products are being manufactured or made and require meticulous planning and step-by-step instructions to be followed.
- PMBOK: Conceptualized by the PMI, it stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge that categorizes any project into conception/initiation, planning, execution, performance and monitoring. The PMI guide on the method provides best practices and guidelines for each of these phases.
Appropriate PM Methodology
The main responsibility of the organization involves management of educational programs & developmental support. The appropriate PM methodology will be either Agile methodology
- this technique involves focusing on small tasks that should be finished effectively and quick
- Its incremental development rather than entire system at once.
- It focuses on quick adaptability (or flexibility) as against rigid rules
Streamlining the educational program content all over the country requires the company to be dynamic in nature such that it can adapt to changing environment quickly. At the same time, education of children being a sensitive department where programs need to be selected with utmost care, it is of prime importance that the company follows strict policies and guidelines so as to ensure good quality programs are selected for the children such that they aid in their overall personality development. This needs the company to have clear instructions and set list of tasks. At the same time, company needs to evaluate its programs continuously so that improvements can be introduced in a timely manner.
Benefits of PM
As discussed earlier also, applying various project management techniques, as appropriate, leads to multiple benefits for the organization. Some of the major benefits drawn through project management implementation are:
- Alignment of project goals to organizational goals: Through standardized practices for various projects in an organization, project management ensures that the major organizational objectives and those of a particular project are in alignment with each other and are not conflicting in nature. This ensures efficient attainment of objectives.
- Increased success rate of projects: Any project that is undertaken demands allocation of various resources and this is done at initial stages itself. Hence, it is critical to ensure that these resources are appropriated in an efficient manner. Through project management, this can be done in a streamlined manner by tracking and monitoring various stages of a project and corresponding resource allocations. Any deviations can be rectified in a timely manner that, in turn, will ensure better chances of project’s success and that too, well within budget.
- Project Management related skills and competence improves consistently: Through application of project management techniques and practices, the managers of the organizations get an opportunity to hone their skills which can be further used for betterment of the organization.
- Standards and templates developed can be used repeatedly for similar projects, leading to consistency and higher efficiency
- Higher client satisfaction: An organization that implements project management techniques is bound to have higher client satisfaction levels as the clients are assured of organizations reliability and accuracy as well as ability to work within budgets and deliver on time. The standardized practices lend credibility to the organization.
Disadvantages of not using PM
- Lack of focus: An organization that does not implement project management techniques will not be able to maximize efficiency in selecting projects as the organizational goals are not in tandem with those of various projects. This dilutes the focus from core objectives of the company.
- No rigorous criteria, leading to bias: Since the process of project selection is not streamlined due to lack of standardized practices, the selection of projects is done basis various emotions and bias rather than an objective decision.
- Wrong or low values projects selected: Another pitfall of not using standardised practices for project selection is that random projects will be selected for various reasons. These projects may not be the best choice for the organisation and hence will perform below average or will fail.
- Resources misappropriation: As discussed earlier, any project demands various resources to be allocated in initial stages itself. If the selected project itself is ineffective or not monitored properly, it will lead to wastage of allocated resources that could have been used more efficiently in some other department.
- Poor performance and high risk of failure: As can be seen from above factors, a project not selected in a proper manner, or not monitored in a proper manner is at a much higher risk of failing.
Process of Agile methodology
It has six steps
1.Plan- Plan the overall task or activity
2.Design-designing of the task or activity
3.Develop- Implemenation of task
4.Test- Test the performance with standard performance
5. Release- Measure the results from the actual vs. standard performance
6.Feedback- Giving feedback to concern stakeholders about the results.
Impact on organization project
- Agile methodology wil accelerates Royal Defense business value at initial phase due to conitnous monitoring
- Agile methodology ensure continuous feedback and planning which will ensure value maximization
- All stakeholders interact with each other which will enhance educators’ engagement.
- educators’ engagements are critical success factors as educators are real pillars who will determine the effectiveness of overall project. Hence, if they are not engaged in project, it can hamper the performance of organization.
Maturity level-There are five maturity levels are defined.
- Ad hoc- No intial process
- Abbrevetied- Basic project management process are defined
- Organized- Processed are documented and standardized
- Managed-Product and process are understood in quantititaive terms
- Optimized-Continous process improvement
Our organization is 2nd maturity level. As, it is new organization. IT follows the basic PM process to track cost, schedule and functionality