Quiz 9: Project Management


The project management process encompasses three major processes-planning, scheduling, and control. Project planning tools include a scope statement, which is a document that provides an understanding, justification, and expected result of a project; a statement of work, which is a written description of the objectives of a project; a work breakdown structure (WBS), which breaks down a project into components, subcomponents, activities, and tasks; an organizational breakdown structure (OBS), which shows which organizational units are responsible for work items; and a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), which shows who is responsible for the work in a project. Project plans generally include the following basic elements: objectives, project scope, contract requirements, schedules, resources, personnel, control, and risk and problem analysis.

Global projects involving companies and team members from different countries have grown as a result of increased information and communication technology. While a globally diverse project team can have advantages, issues can arise that affect project work and the success of the project. English is generally accepted and used globally to conduct business, so language will not necessarily be an issue. Instead, issues may arise from things such as differing attitudes toward work and vacation time, differing management styles, and differing ways of addressing problems. Or some people may simply have trouble working with others from different cultures. Whatever the issues, identifying and addressing these issues in a global project group is critical for project management and for achieving project success.

Project scheduling involves determining the start and finish times of various project activities, and is typically the most critical element in the project management process because often the single most important criterion for the success of a project is that it be finished on time. The basic steps in project scheduling are: Step 1: Define the activities that must be performed to complete the project. Step 2: Sequence the activities in the order in which they must be completed. Step 3: Estimate the time required to complete each activity. Step 4: Develop the schedule based on this sequencing and time estimates of the activities. A Gantt chart (also called a bar chart), which was developed by Henry Gantt, a pioneer in the field of industrial engineering, has been a popular project scheduling tool since its inception and is still widely used today. It is a graph or bar chart with a bar for each project activity that shows the passage of time. The project manager can use the chart to monitor the progress of the activities and see which ones are ahead of schedule and which ones are behind schedule.