PMBOK 1. Project Management Overview

1.1  Purpose

The purpose of this series of posts is to provide an abbreviation of the PMBOK and to serve as a reference library to standardized project management tools and processes.

  • Standard is a formal document that describes established norms, methods, processes and practices for the corresponding domain.

PMBOK provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts.  It also defines the project management lifecycle and its related processes and the project lifecycle.

PMBOK included generally recognized best practices.

  • Generally recognized – It is acceptable for most projects most of the times. There is consensus about its value and usefulness.
  • Best practice – includes knowledge, skills, tools and techniques. Its application and enhance chances of success of many projects. Not applied all the time to all projects.       The organization can choose as appropriate to specific projects.
  • Regulations are mandatory, a project can pick between standards but apply fully, and organizations can choose to apply best practices as appropriate to a project.
  • A Project is used to achieve organizational strategy related to: market demand, strategic opportunity, customer requests, technological advancement, legal requirements to increasing business value.

1.2  What is a Project

  • A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique or improve an existing Product, Service, Result
    • o Temporary – It must have a start and completion
    • o Unique – It is different in a distinguishing way from all similar products, services, results
  • A project is a project and not a product.  It is a series of actions that produce the required goal
  • Subprojects are smaller portions of an overall project created when a project is divided into more meaningful components.
  • Programs are grouped under portfolios and comprise of sub-programs, projects or other supporting activities managed in a coordinated way to achieve benefits not available managing them individually.
  • A Portfolio refers to a collection of projects, programs, sub-portfolios and operations managed to achieve strategic objectives.  Individual projects can be part of a portfolio.  Projects and programs are linked to the organizations strategic plan as part of its portfolio

1.3  What is Project Management per PMBOK

  • Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques (best practices) to complete project activities that meet specific project requirements.
  • Under PMBOK, project management is divided into 47 distinct processes that are categorized into 5 process groups:
    1. Initiating
    2. Planning
    3. Executing
    4. Monitoring & Controlling
    5. Closing
  • Project management system is a collections of processes, tools, techniques, and resources to manage projects
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors refer to what the organization is like.  Elements that are out of control of a project manger.
  • Organizational process assets refers to how an organization approaches projects.  These are tools, techniques that the organization offers to run a project.
  • Socio-Economic Influences refers to factors outside of the enterprise environment such as regulations, international culture and economic conditions.
  • What makes a project successful: Within time, within budget, within scope and meeting customer satisfaction.  These makes up the Triple Constraint model:
    1. Time
    2. Cost (resource)
    3. Scope
  • Managing a project typically includes 5 major disciplines:
    1. Identifying requirements
    2. Addressing needs, concerns and expectations of stakeholders during planning
    3. Setting up meetings and active communications with stakeholders
    4. Manage stakeholders to meet project requirements and deliverables
    5. Balancing (Six) competing project constraints:
      1. Scope
      2. Quality
      3. Schedule
      4. Budget
      5. Resource
      6. Risk
  • The relationship between these constraints works such that if one of the constraints changes at least one of the other is likely to get affected
  • Progressive elaboration means that due to potential changes in the project, the project planning is an iterative activity and project plan evolves with changes and more details
  • Product Lifecycle is a sequence of phases a product or services goes through from conception to retirement
  • Project Lifecycle is a sequence of phases of project to meet project requirements
    1. Predictive also known as fully plan-driven. Scope, time and cost determined as early in the project life cycle as practically possible.
    2. Interactive and Incremental.  Project phases (also called iterations) intentionally repeat one or more project activities as understanding of the product increases. Iterations develop the product through a series of repeated cycles, while increments successively add to the functionality of the product.
    3. Adaptive also known as change-driven or agile.  Respond to high levels of change and ongoing stakeholder involvement.  Adaptive methods are also iterative and incremental, but differ in that iterations are very rapid – usually with a duration of 2 to 4 weeks and are fixed in time and cost.
      • Projects occur within the larger product or services lifecycle as means of enhancing or transition of the product or service.
      • Code of ethics covers
        • Responsibility
        • Respect
        • Fairness
        • Honesty
        • Project Management Responsibilities in Code of Ethics
        • Insure individual integrity
        • Contribute to PM knowledge base
        • Enhance professional competence
        • Balance stakeholder interest
        • Interact with stakeholders in professional and cooperative manner

1.4  Relationship between Portfolio, Program, Project and Operational Projects

  • They all have to align with organizational strategies
  • Portfolio management selects, prioritizes projects or programs and provides resources
  • Program management harmonizes projects and program components to realize specified benefits
  • Project management develops and implements plans to achieve specific scope of program or portfolio it is subjected to
  • Operational project management facilitates portfolio, program, project management through organizational enablers including tools, processes, resources etc.
Organizational Project Management
  Project Program Portfolio
Scope Defined objective.  Scope elaborates through the cycle. Larger scope.  Provide more significant benefit. Organizational scope that changes with strategic objectives.
Change Accept, manage, control change through change management processes. Accept and manage change from both inside and outside the program. Continuously monitor internal and external change at organizational level.
Planning Progressively elaborate high level details into detail plans. Create high-level plans to guide detail planning. Conduct planning, communication and maintain processes at organizational level.
Management Manage project staff to meet project objectives. Manage program staff and project managers and provide overall leadership. Manage portfolio and portfolio management, program management, project management staff that report on aggregate portfolio.
Success Measured by project quality, timelines, budget, customer satisfaction. Measured by degree to which program satisfied and meets objectives. Measured by aggregate performance and benefits realized from the portfolio.
Monitoring Monitor and control the work, objectives and results involved in delivering a project (product, services). Monitor progress of program components to ensure overall goals, schedules, budgets. Monitor strategic changes, aggregate resource allocation, risks of portfolio.
Table 1.1

1.4.1       Program Management

  • A group of related projects subprograms and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefit not received by managing individually.
  • May include work outside the scope of discrete projects
  • Project related through a common outcome or a collective capability
  • Focus on project interdependencies and help determine an optimal approach.
    • o Resource constraints
    • o Organizational direction that commonly affects projects objectives
    • o Shared governance for issues and changes

1.4.2       Portfolio Management

  • Projects, programs, subprograms, and operations to achieve strategic objectives
  • Projects and programs may not be interdependent or related
  • Could include centralized management of one or more portfolios
  • Project and programs are reviewed and prioritized and management of portfolio is consistent with strategic objectives

1.4.3       Project and Strategic Planning

  • Projects utilised as a means to directly or indirectly reach strategic objectives driven by: market, customer, business, social, environment, technology, legal etc.

1.4.4       Project Management Office

  • PMO standardizes project related governance and facilitates sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and best practices
  • The responsibilities can range from providing PM support functionality to being responsible for direct project management
  • Supportive PMO provides templates, best practices, access to training, lessons learned.  Provide a project repository and low degree of control
  • Controlling PMO provides support that requires compliance of framework, methodologies using specific templates and tools. Moderate degree of control
  • Directive PMO directly manages the project. High degree of control
  • Liaise between portfolio, program and projects and corporate strategic objectives and measurement systems (BSCs)
  • Projects managed in a PMO may not be related
  • Primary functions of a PMO include;
    1. Standardize the project related governance
    2. Facilitate sharing resources, tools, methodologies across all projects
    3. Identify and develop methodologies, beast practices, standards
    4. Coaching, mentoring, training
    5. Monitoring compliance to standards
    6. Develop and manage project templates, policies, procedures
    7. Centralize coordinate communication of and between projects
    8. Oversee management of projects and programs
  • Difference between PM and PMO objectives may include:
    1. PM focuses on specific project objectives, PMO manages major scope changes to achieve business objectives
    2. PM controls project resources, PMO optimizes organizational resources across all projects
    3. PM manages constraints of specific projects, PMO manages standards, methodologies, metrics and interdependence of projects

1.5  Relationship between Project Management and Operations Management

  • Operations is an organizational function that produces the same product or repetitive results
  • Operations Management involves Business Process Management running day-to-day business and achieving strategic and tactical goals
  • Projects are more temporary in nature and can help achieve operational goals when aligned
  • Operations are ongoing in nature and perform same set of repeated tasks

1.5.1       Operations and Project Management

  • Changes in operations can be project especially if they are tied to new product and services
  • Project can intersect with operations at:
    • o Closeout phase of a project to transition to operations
    • o Developing new product, services that will become part of operations
    • o Changing or improving operations
  • At each intersection point deliverables and knowledge are transferred from projects to operations
  • This can be done by project resources transfer to operations at the end or operations resources transfer to project at the beginning
  • Operations management:
    • o Outside the scope of Project Management
    • o Deals with ongoing production of goods and delivery of services
    • o Ensures business operations continuity
    • o Manages and optimizes processes
  • Important to have OM as a stakeholder in all phases of the project to avoid unnecessary issues and ensure efficient transfer
  • Operations needs should be recognized by PM as part of stakeholder register
  • Operations stakeholders could include:
    • o Production, Services, Sales, Helpdesk etc.

1.5.2       Organization and Project Management

  • Project objectives and activities need to be aligned with top level organization strategic goals and objectives
  • If there is a change in the organization then the project objectives and activities need to be realigned
  • Project Based Organizations (PBOs) are temporary organizations and systems created to deliver a project
  • PBOs are measured solely by the objectives and final results of a project and can introduce focus and efficiency
  • PBOs do a majority of their work as a project as opposed to a functional approach
  • It is possible that PBOs have a functional support area or are nested as a subsidiary of a larger corporation
  • Organizational governance can impose constraints on a project.  Particularly if the delivery of a projected is strictly tied to the governance
  • Success of a project may be judged on how well the project and its outcome supports the organizational governance
  • It is the responsibility of the project sponsor and/or program/portfolio manager to align the project with organizational strategic goals and identify conflicts
  • It is the project managers responsibility to document these conflicts as early in the project as possible
  • In some cases development of an organizational strategy is the goal of the project

1.6  Business Value

  • Structured project management increases business value by applying structured tools and processes to increase the likelihood of success and through creating new products and services as outcomes of the project.
  • Business value of an organization consists of the total sum of tangible and intangible elements:
    • o Tangible: Hard assets, monitory assets, fixtures, stocks etc.
    • o Intangible: Goodwill, brand recognition, public benefit etc.
  • Use of portfolio, program and project management is to bridge the gap between strategic planning and successfully realizing increase in business value

1.7  Role of a Project Manager

  • Project Manager leads the team responsible for achieving the project objectives
  • Functional Manager is responsible for providing oversight of a functional or a business unit
  • Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring ongoing business operations

1.7.1       Responsibilities and Competence

  • In order to be effective a PM needs to have the following competence:
    • o Area specific skills
    • o General management skills related to planning, organizing, staffing
    • o Knowledge: What the Project Manager knows about project management
    • o Performance: What a Project Manager is able to accomplish while applying project management knowledge
    • o Personal: How a PM behaves when performing project related activities including: communicating, negotiating, problem solving, influencing etc.

1.7.2       Interpersonal Skill

  • It is important for a PM to have a balance of ethical, interpersonal and conceptual skills
  • Interpersonal skills include: Leadership, Teambuilding, Motivation, Influence etc.

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