Book Image

Effective Project Management - Eighth Edition

By : Robert K. Wysocki
Book Image

Effective Project Management - Eighth Edition

By: Robert K. Wysocki

Overview of this book

There are so many things that can fail in a project. Failure to complete on time or maybe failure to stay under budget. Many projects fail to deliver a viable product that satisfies the needs of the customer. These and a multitude of other failures are usually the results of poor project management. Although there are many methods for managing projects, most are inadequately understood. Effective Project Management, Eighth Edition will teach you to use the most up-to-date tools and methods for project management. The book begins by explaining the project management landscape by answering questions, such as ‘what is a project’ and ‘what is a collaborative project team’. Then you’ll learn about traditional project management and its fundamentals as most would understand it from casual conversations and experiences. The final chapters give an in?depth presentation of the contemporary world of project management and five PMLC models, including hybrid project management. By the end of the book, you’ll have learned several techniques and best practices to successfully manage your project and avoid pitfalls.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)
End User License Agreement
APPENDIX A: Terms and Acronyms
APPENDIX C: Case Study: Pizza Delivered Quickly (PDQ)
APPENDIX D: Cited References

Unique Value Propositions

Unique Value Propositions (UVP) are a new feature of EPM8e. One of the benefits of an active consulting business is that I learn as much or even more than my clients learn. Through the years I have discovered more effective ways of doing project management in the ever‐changing complex project world. I share these with you in EPM8e. The uniqueness comes from the fact that you will not find them elsewhere. They are client inspired, home grown, and battle tested.

I have not only found value in using them with my clients but they will also have value for the educator and trainer. Since they are new and may be disruptive of some practices, they are a good source of team exercises and Chapter Discussion Questions. I hope you find value just as I have found value.

Here is a brief summary of nine UVPs. The details are in the chapters.

Co‐Manager Model

For several years the Standish Group has listed lack of user involvement as one of the major reasons for projects failing or being challenged. Despite the importance of user involvement to project success, nothing much has been done to correct this problem—until now. EPM8e advocates and defines a collaborative model for project success that is based on a Co‐Manager model (Figure 1).

ECPM Framework Co-Manager Model with arrows from sponsor to process and product co-manager, to development and client team leaders, to development and client team members. Sponsor is linked to project executive.

Figure 1: The ECPM Framework Co‐Manager model

One manager is a process expert (the typical project manager) and the other manager is a product expert from the client side (much like the Product Owner in a Scrum project). Together they equally share decision making, authority, and responsibility for the project. This is a strong foundation for a collaborative environment and meaningful client involvement.

See Chapter 4, “What Is a Collaborative Project Team?”

Integrated Continuous Improvement Process

Since the complex project is high risk and the project management process to find a solution may be unique, there is a high likelihood that improvements can be made to both process and product. Such is the justification for an improvement program that can function in real time. So, the recommendation is to design a program that can run in parallel with the project. Figure 2 is the best one I have developed. It has several benefits:

Flow diagram of the integrated continuous improvement process, from “DOI #1 - #6 performance audit” to “Create a customized version…,” to ideation, set-up, and execution phases, and back to “DOI #1 - #6 performance audit.”

Figure 2: Integrated Continuous Improvement Process

  • It is lean and responsive
  • It is managed as a project portfolio
  • It does not use project team resources
  • It integrates into any phase‐based model
  • It is designed to quickly provide feedback

Requirements Elicitation

In the complex project landscape complete requirements are seldom known at the outset but must be discovered and learned through some type of iterative process. Guessing is not acceptable in these high‐risk projects. EPM8e introduces a two‐phased elicitation process. In the first phase a set of necessary and sufficient requirements are defined. These must be present in any acceptable solution. The Requirements Breakdown Structure (RBS) is discovered through iteration.

See Chapter 6, “How to Scope a TPM Project,” and Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework.”

Scope Triangle

The “Iron Triangle” has served the needs of the traditional project quite well for many years but lacks the breadth and depth needed in the complex project landscape. EPM8e has a six‐variable “Scope Triangle” (Figure 3).

Schematic displaying a triangle labeled scope and quality with sides labeled time, cost, and resource availability. The triangle is enclosed by a box with corners labeled risk.

Figure 3: The Scope Triangle

Risk affects all five of the variables and must be managed. The other five variables form an interdependent set that defines a system in balance. Changes to one or more of the variables requires adjustments to one or more of the others in order to restore balance to the Scope Triangle. This acts as a decision model and problem‐solving tool for managing complex projects.

See Chapter 6, “How to Scope a TPM Project.”

Project Set‐up Phase

Unique projects require unique management models. EPM8e includes a Set‐up phase for the design of these unique management models. The design is based on:

  • The physical and behavioral characteristics of the project
  • The organizational culture and environment of the project
  • The dynamic conditions of the product supply and demand markets
  • The custom design of the project management approach specific to the needs of the project using a vetted portfolio of tools, template, and processes

See Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework.”

Project Scope Bank

The Scope Bank is the only depository of the ideas for improving the solution. It will contain the updated RBS, new functionality, processes, or features not yet integrated into the solution. All of the ideas for solution enhancement are held for further consideration and prioritization. At any point in time the Scope Bank will contain the following:

  • List of learning and discovery from prior cycles
  • Change requests not yet incorporated
  • Current prioritized requirements
  • The known RBS decomposition
  • Prioritized Probative Swim Lanes not yet acted upon
  • Prioritized Integrative Swim Lanes not yet acted upon

This is a knowledge base upon which all cycle planning is done.

See Chapter 9, “How to Execute a TPM Project,” and Chapter 12, “Agile Complex Project Management Models,” and Chapter 13, “Extreme Project Management Models.”

Probative Swim Lanes

EPM8e has incorporated several “lean” processes and practices. This is particularly useful in the complex project landscape where risk is high whenever goal and solution are not clearly defined. My objective with these lean processes and practices is to minimize the resources spent following dead end paths. So the strategy is to spend the minimum on an unsubstantiated idea. If it shows promise, spend a little more and continue this approach until a solution component is found or the idea doesn't show promise.

See Chapter 12, “Agile Complex Project Management Models,” and Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework.”

Bundled Change Management

In the complex project landscape frequent change is the strength of the project management model. That is the only way that the final solution can emerge. That is on the positive side. On the negative side is that processing frequent change is a resource hog especially as it requires team members to spend time away from their assigned project work to analyze and process these requests. The Bundled Change Management Process is a Lean process and protects project team resources (Figure 4).

Flow diagram of the bundled change management process, from submit change request to add change request…, to analyze impact study, and to select approved changes for next cycle (accept) and back to add change request….

Figure 4: Bundled Change Management Process

See Chapter 8, “How to Launch a TPM Project,” and Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework.”

Vetted Portfolio

The portfolio of vetted tools, templates, and processes has been designed to meet the specific needs of complex project management. Think of it as the food stuff pantry of the chef. To that end here is a list of its contents:

  • Bodies of knowledge (PMBOK®, IIBA, IPMA, etc.)
  • A specific portfolio of PMLC Model Templates
  • Customized reports
  • Business process models
  • Earned Value Analysis
  • Process improvement program
  • Professional development program
  • Problem solving and decision making processes
  • Conflict resolution and prioritization models
  • Organizational tools, templates, and processes

Note that the list includes published standards, commonly used processes, and items designed by the organization itself.