Respond to two students discussion post. Just type the paragraph under the discussion. It doesn’t have to be in essay form.
Also, make sure that your response(s) are substantial and at least 100 words. In your responses, you must include connections to course learning objectives.
Discussion Post #1
In module four, the required reading from Fundamentals of Project Management covers chapter nine and ten. Chapter nine is named Project Control and Evaluation and Change Control Process is chapter ten. The control in project control is the ability to compare your plan to your progress and if a deviation occurs, you may take corrective action. “Ultimately, the only way to control a project is for every member of the project team to be in control of his own work.” (Heagney, pg. 114). He gives five required conditions for team members to achieve self-control. First, what they are supposed to do needs to be defined as well as the purpose. Next, they need a personal plan to complete the work. They also need adequate skills and tools or the proper tools and training need to be provided. They should receive feedback from their completed work to see progress. The last condition is knowledge of their authority so they can take action when a deviation occurs. A project control system’s goal is the achievement of the mission by focusing on the objectives. This becomes a monitoring system if corrective action is not taken based on data of deviation from the plan. Project review meetings help improve performance and keep the project on track. A project evaluation’s purpose is to provide lessons learned. Heagney lists some reasons for review periodically. These are to improve performance, ensure quality, find problems early in project, identify different methods of management for other projects, inform clients, and reaffirm commitment to the project. When conducting a project process review, an independent examiner is needed, goal is to learn instead of blame, and results should be published.
Chapter ten is about the change control process. Plans change, so if the plan is not current, there is no plan. When issues are found, the plans have to change because the process will not be relevant. Heagney talks about six steps in change control process. These steps included entering information into a change control log, deciding if the change should be processed, submitting recommendations for approval, updating plan, distributing plan, and tracking progress on revised plan (Heaney, pg. 129). One of the key points to remember is “Change must be controlled and communicated” (Heagney, pg. 139). Change has to be communicated so it is not a surprise and to be able to learn from it.
The video WASA speaks about scope creep with a story of a Swedish war ship which was being made from the king’s orders. He kept wanting the ship to be bigger, have more cannons, and to be built quicker although he kept adding to the scope of the project and said the budget did not matter. It is the project manager’s duty to fight scope creep and to balance the cost, time, scope triangle.
The assigned readings in this module covered chapters 9 and 10. Chapter 9 focuses on project control and evaluation. With control being emphasized in this chapter, we were given two definitions of control. The second definition is more important for a project manager. “Control is the act of comparing progress to plan so that corrective action can be taken when a deviation from planned performance occurs“ (Heagney, Pg. 114). Information management systems were mentioned as the primary ingredient in control and it is necessary to have the information to achieve control of projects. There are five basic conditions that team members must have to achieve self-control. The five conditions are: “1. A clear definition of what they are supposed to be doing, with the purpose stated 2. A personal plan for how to do the required work 3. Skills and resources adequate to the task 4. Feedback on progress that comes directly from the work itself 5. A clear definition of their authority to take corrective action when there is a deviation from the plan (and it cannot be zero!)” (Heagney, Pg. 114-115). Control should focus on the objectives of the project. Control should also focus on a response when deviations occur. Project managers should be cautious and not panic which could result in micromanaging a project team. The project team will usually implement countermeasures that will solve deviations. Chapter 10 focused on the change control process. “The change control process establishes the stability necessary for you to manage the multitude of changes that affect the project throughout its life cycle” (Heagney, Pg. 125). When change control occurs, the project plan must be revised and the stakeholders must be given a copy of the revised plan. Emphasis has also been placed on managing control change and providing the information to stakeholders because the change can affect time, scope, and money. These elements (time, scope, and money) are part of the triple constraints triangle. Change control process varies however, Heagney provided six in this chapter.
Key points to remember from this module are 1. The only way a project is really in control is if all team members are in control of their own work and 2. Change must be controlled and communicated. Project members must remember that there are two definitions of control. The important definition to follow is that team members are in control of their own work. Project managers must project their projects by not micromanaging their team members. Any time there is a change in the project plan. Project plans must be updated and project stakeholders must be notified and involved in the change. Changes in project plans affect the triple constraints triangle.
The WASA video was directly related to managing change control. The king of Sweden continued to change the scope of the project without regard to the ability of the project manager nor the time allotted for the project. The changes to scope caused an imbalance in the triple constraints triangle. The change in scope also affected the unlimited money of the budget. Time was pushed so far behind, that the ship was tested and ultimately resulted in the death of 53 sailors. This history lesson reminds project managers to maintain control of the project and that change control is a very important element in project success.