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Project Management

1. Explain the role that projects play in the strategic management process – why should every project manager understand their organization’s vision, mission, and strategy? Every project manager should have a handle on the organization’s vision, mission and strategy to be able to forge better plans and goals for the company, keeping in mind the limited / unlimited resources, human resources and the ever changing external environment around them. It keeps the company on an even keel with its internal and external competitors.

2. Describe an approach to identifying and managing risk in a multi-project environment? One approach may be Scenario Analysis where multiple analyses or alternative ways are listed and and weighed. Any identified event that may trigger an unwanted scenario is labeled as a risk and is quelled either by eliminating it, mitigating it, outsourcing it, or accepting and budgeting it accordingly. 3. Explain the benefit of controlling project processes and project resources through a centralized Project Management Office (PMO).

PMOs help in the streamlining of resources, provide structure for practices of management, and allows companies to closely monitor project expenses and progress of the projects being undertaken by the company. 4. Describe the process and importance of developing a WBS for a project. A Work Breakdown Structure allows the managers to get a bird’s eye view of the impending work at hand and all the related processes involved. It allows for the efficient organization of resources like capital, manpower, and equipment as well as external variables towards the timely completion of the work.

5. Describe a method that senior managers can use to prioritize projects. One method that managers may use is Capital Allocation (a quantitative method) where potential projects are weighed against their individual costs and benefits such as costs of not doing the project, benefits stretched over time, or future project costs. 6. What type of work is not suitable to be managed using a formal Project Management System? Give an example. Tasks that take only a few weeks to complete is a waste of time and resources if they are managed by a formal Project Management System.

An example would be planning a small soiree of 50 for guests of a company executive can be handled by a small administrative team in conjunction with coordinating with outside contacts. 7. Describe the benefits using a formal Earned Value Management System (EVMS) and the Critical Path Method (CPM) in a multiple project environment. EVMS measures progress in a multiple project environment objectively. It combines measurements of schedule, scope and cost in one integrated system.

CPM allows managers to prioritize activities calculated by this particular mathematical algorithm, allowing for fast tracking of projects where parallel projects are run simultaneously. 8. Top-down (macro) estimates are made by top management and bottom-up (micro) estimates are made by those responsible for completing the work packages – give an example of where one method might be preferable to use over the other. Estimates made by top management are usually skewed to favor the company more than its people.

Micro estimates are more preferable or rather more realistically put when input by the individuals with actual hands-on experience of the project / work. 9. Differentiate between a project manager and a functional manager. A project manager is usually the person who is the functional manager’s boss. The functional manager, meanwhile, is a person who is in charge of a group in actual production of a product or a group performing a specific type of service.

10. Why is a Project Charter important? It is important to be able to see what lies ahead in every project, to map it into every detail and make sure that each kink is ironed out as the job enfolds. The project charter is like a map, a schedule, a budget, a guide from beginning to completion. Bibliography Meredith, Jack R and Mantel, Samuel J. Jr. Project Management: A Managerial Approach. New York: Wiley. 2005.

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