Along with having the skill, knowledge, tools, and techniques required to manage projects effectively, project managers should be effective managers and leaders. Think about the managers and leaders that you have interacted with throughout your life. Reflect on what made those people “good” or “poor” managers and leaders.
Describe a leader you have encountered in life who was particularly effective. What made them more than just a manager? What qualities did they possess that stood out as particularly effective to you?
When responding to your peers, think about how their experiences are similar to experiences in your life. What qualities did the leaders they have described share with particularly effective leaders in your life? How were the leaders they described different from your experiences?
II. Assignment Details
The manner in which an organization or project team is structured can have a great impact on determining a project’s success or failure. Likewise, the culture of an organization can either help or hinder project success. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different project management structures, how organizational culture affects those structures, and selecting the right structure for the project help the project manager start with a solid foundation for project success.
The project management structures examined in this unit are the following:
The matrix structure is further divided into the weak, balanced, and strong.
Describe your current or former work organization. Does the organization operate under 1 of the project management structures? Discuss how well-suited this structure was for what the organization was trying to achieve.
III. Assignment Details
Projects are chosen to be part of an organizational portfolio based on their ability to help the organization achieve its goals. Once chosen, it is important that projects are successful, or an organization may not meet those goals. Research shows that the leading cause of failed projects is poorly defined scope (Larson & Gray, 2021). Clearly defining the complete scope of the project is the first step toward project success.
Reflect on a time in your life or within your workplace when you or your organization took on a project. Discuss what criteria were applied in deciding whether or not to proceed with the project and what role having a clear understanding of the scope of the project had in its success or failure.
IV. Assignment Details
Gantt charts and earned value management (EVM) are frequently used in project management. When properly used, they can provide project managers with information about how the project is progressing. Early warning signs provide project managers with a means to help get their projects back on track. Although Gantt charts and earned value calculations can be created and performed in Microsoft Excel, many project management software suites can provide users with enhanced tools for simplifying these tasks. Some of the most popular project management software suites are as follows:
• Microsoft Project
Select 1 of the software suites from the list above or choose your favorite (if not listed). Describe and discuss the following points about the software:
• Cost, features, and rating
• Strengths and weaknesses
• Your impression
V. Assignment Details
Projects may be audited at any point in the life cycle. Even after projects are closed, it is common for an audit to be performed to ensure that all closure activities were completed. Unfortunately, audits are often viewed negatively as a process designed to catch the team doing something wrong.
Describe the purpose of an audit. How can the audit experience be viewed as positive?
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