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Master of Business Administration - MBA Semester 2 MB 0049 - Project Management (4 credits) (Book ID:B1632 ) ASSIGNMENT- Set 1 Q1.

Describe the project planning process and explain it in detail.


Answer: Project planning is an essential part of project management. Successful completion of a project is heavily dependent on effective planning. A project plan allows you to complete a project within a specified timeline and a specified budget. Project planning is fundamental in order to avoid failure and disappointment. In project management, effective planning is absolutely required if the individual or group wishes to deliver a finished project on time and on budget. A project schedule will provide all involved with an outline and detailed activities to minimize risk to the final result and delivery. The basics you will get from the schedule include how long the project or any single stage within it will take. But a good schedule should also inform you of the following particulars: a) Who is accountable for each aspect of the project b) The approach chosen to target the problem with c) Major deliverables from the project d) Exact timing of key decisions and points for review Every successful project delivers your future organization and helps it to accomplish its strategic goals. If organizations must flourish and keep up with competitive, its members must be effective at project management. Appropriate, careful planning will ensure that projects will not overrun deadlines and/or pile on unexpected costs. Such a situation would only endanger the anticipated corporate benefits of the organization. The project schedule is the framework on which the actual resource plans and cost breakdowns are mapped. It makes explicit each stage and activity, which combine to form the entire project. This greater visibility encourages accurate real time status reports and analyses from multiple perspectives. So the ability to build and manage a project schedule is a top priority if one needs to succeed at ones project. Another immense benefit to planning is that in case a problem arises, it functions as an alarm mechanism. At such a point risk management and going through contingencies for various scenarios can occur in order to restrict the damage or compromise resulting from the problem. One final word of advice, though: a good plan is also a flexible one, so dont be too preoccupied with maintaining its rigid form all through the duration of the project. To establish and operate an effective organization, all managers perform several major functions or activities. These functions enable managers to create a positive work environment and to provide the opportunities and incentives .The key management functions include planning, organizing, directing, controlling. Each of these functions are critical to the success of any manager and organizations. Planning is the process of analyzing the situation, determining the goals/ objectives that will be pursued in the future, And deciding in advance the actions that will be taken to achieve the goals.

The following are the steps involved in PLANNING PROCESS

1. Reviewing the current operation situation. 2. Conducting the current operation strengths/ weaknesses. 3. Studying the External environmental factors affecting the operation. 4. Studying the expectations of the operations. 5. Determine the opportunities for improvements/growth and negatives constraints. 6. Based on the above analyses, determine the goals and objectives for the operation for the future period. 7. Based on the objectives, determine your strategy how you are going to achieve the objectives. 8. Based on the strategy, determine the action plans that have to be implemented. 9. Your action plan will determine the resources required manpower, finance and materials 10. Finally a system to monitor the plan / its progress.

Q2. a. Explain the life cycle of a project

Answer:-

The Five Steps in the PM Life Cycle

No matter what project it is that youre preparing for, the project management life cycle can assist you and your team in narrowing the project's focus, keeping it's objectives in order and finishing the project on time, on budget and with a minimum of headaches.Every project management life cycle contains five steps: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring/Control and Closure. No one step is more important than the other and each step plays a crucial role in getting your project off the ground, through the race, down the stretch and across the finish line. 1) Initiation In this first step you provide an over-view of the project in addition to the strategy you plan on using in order to achieve the desired results. During the Initiation phase youll appoint a project manager who in turn - based on his or her experience and skills - will select the required team members. And lest you think you need to be a Bill Gates or Donald Trump in order to see your project take on a life of its own, fear not: there are some great to get you through the Initiation phase of the project management life cycle. 2)Planning The all-important second step of any successful project management life cycle is planning and should include a detailed breakdown and assignment of each task of your project from beginning to end. The Planning Phase will also include a risk assessment in addition to defining the criteria needed for the successful completion of each task. In short, the working process is defined, stake holders are identified and reporting frequency and channels explained. 3 & 4) Execution & Control Steps Three and Four take you into deeper water. When it comes to the project management cycle, execution and control just may be the most important of the five steps in that it ensures project activities are properly executed and controlled. During the Execution and Control phases, the planned solution is implemented to solve the problem specified in the project's requirements. In product and system development, a design resulting in a specific set of product requirements is created. This convergence is measured by prototypes, testing, and reviews. As the Execution and Control phases progress, groups across the organization become more deeply involved in planning for the final testing, production, and support. 5) Closure By the time you reach Step Five - Closure - the project manager should be tweaking the little things to ensure that the project is brought to its proper conclusion. The Closure phase is typically highlighted by a written formal project review report which contains the following elements: a formal acceptance of the final product (by the client), Weighted Critical Measurements (a match between the initial requirements laid out by the client against the final delivered product), lessons learned, project resources, and a formal project closure notification to higher management.

The Project Management Cycle saves time and keeps everyone on the team focused. Fortunately, modern technology provides a variety of templates that will take you from start-to-finish, which makes the Project Management Cycle user friendly no matter what your level of management experience!

b. Describe the need for feasibility studies Answer:A feasibility study is an evaluation and analysis of the potential of the proposed project which is based on extensive investigation and research to give full comfort to the decisions makers. Feasibility studies aim to objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of an existing business or proposed venture, opportunities and threats as presented by the environment, the resources required to carry through, and ultimately the prospects for success. In its simplest terms, the two criteria to judge feasibility are cost required and value to be attained. As such, a well-designed feasibility study should provide a historical background of the business or project, description of the product or service, accounting statements, details of the operations and management, marketing research and policies, financial data, legal requirements and tax obligations. Generally, feasibility studies precede technical development and project implementation. Conducting a feasibility study is a good business practice. If you examine successful businesses, you will find that they did not go into a new business venture without first thoroughly examining all of the issues and assessing the probability of business success.Below are other reasons to conduct a feasibility study.

Needs & Importances of feasibility studies



Gives focus to the project and outline alternatives. Narrows business alternatives Identifies new opportunities through the investigative process. Identifies reasons not to proceed. Enhances the probability of success by addressing and mitigating factors early on that could affect the project. Provides quality information for decision making. Provides documentation that the business venture was thoroughly investigated. Helps in securing funding from lending institutions and other monetary sources. Helps to attract equity investment. The feasibility study is a critical step in the business assessment process. If properly conducted, it may be the best investment you ever made.

Q3. Describe the CPM model. Explain network cost system Answer:Introduction to Network Analysis of Projects and CPM
The Critical Path Method (CPM) is one of several related techniques for doing project planning. CPM is for projects that are made up of a number of individual "activities." If some of the activities require other activities to finish before they can start, then the project becomes a complex web of activities.

CPM can help you figure out:

how long your complex project will take to complete which activities are "critical," meaning that they have to be done on time or else the whole project will take longer

If you put in information about the cost of each activity, and how much it costs to speed up each activity, CPM can help you figure out:

whether you should try to speed up the project, and, if so, what is the least costly way to speed up the project.

Activities
An activity is a specific task. It gets something done. An activity can have these properties:

names of any other activities that have to be completed before this one can start a projected normal time duration

If you want to do a speedup cost analysis, you also have to know these things about each activity:

a cost to complete a shorter time to complete on a crash basis the higher cost of completing it on a crash basis

CPM analysis starts after you have figured out all the individual activities in your project.

Model:-

Network cost system :- BROAD CONTENTS- Cost Management, Cost Control, Management Cost and,
Control System (MCCS), Understanding Control, Operating Cycle, Cost Account Codes ,Budgets

It is widely used in business today and is the process whereby companies use cost accounting to report or control various costs of doing business. Cost Management generally describes approach and activities of managers in short range and long range planning and cost decisions that incorporate value for customer and lower costs of product and services. Manager make decisions on amount and kind of material used, changes of plant processes,changes in product designs and information from accounting system helps managers make such decisions, but information and accounting system not cost management project cost management broad focus includes continuous control of costs. Planning and cost is usually linked with revenue and profit planning. Cost control- Cost control is not only "monitoring" of costs and recording perhaps massive quantities of data, but also analyzing of the data in order to take corrective action before it is too late. Cost control should be performed by all personnel who incur costs, not merely the project office. Cost control implies good cost management, which must include: Cost estimating, Cost accounting, Project cash flow, Company cash flow, Direct labor costing, Overhead rate costing, Others, such as incentives, penalties, and profit-sharing.

Q4. Explain the project cost estimate and budgets Answer: Cost Estimate and Budgets:
Cost of a project can be estimated in a number of ways. In Lesson 5, we discussed the top-down and bottom-up approach to identifying tasks to complete the WBS. Project managers often take similar approaches to estimating costs. Top-down estimates can be made by project managers by looking at similar projects already completed. It is important to identify any differences between the current project and the analogous project to fine-tune estimates. Bottom-up estimates would look at individual tasks from the WBS and attempt to assign costs to each. This procedure is more time consuming, and should include input from the team members who perform these tasks. A special category of bottom-up estimating is parametric modeling. Parametric modeling attempts to determine the monetary rate or efficiency with which tasks will be completed, then uses these variables to estimate the total cost. For example, if a project involved collecting GIS data on 100,000 parcels to populate a geodatabase, a project manager might have an employee collect data on 10, determine how much time and associated cost was spent, and multiply results by 10,000. Here, a key assumption is that the parameters are based on a cost of a representative sample of work. Cost per line of code written, polygon digitized, or sample collected can also be parameters entered into a model. Some pilot projects are designed to define parameters for input into cost (or time) estimates for much larger projects. Pilot projects are generally completed before and smaller in scope than subsequent projects. Cost estimates are summary figures for a project. Cost budgets allocate portions of the total to individual tasks. These tasks or work items are the output of the WBS process. Cost budgets can be used in ways that cost estimates cannot. They can identify individual tasks that are over estimates, focusing cost control management within the project. Because tasks in the WBS are also tied to a calendar, cost budgets also allow costs to be easily tracked over time. A measure of total cost of a project over time is referred to as the cost baseline. 2.2 Overview of the Cost Estimating Process Model Traditionally, cost estimates are produced by gathering input, developing the cost estimate and its documentation, and generating necessary output. Figure 2-1 depicts the cost estimating process model, which should be similar for cost estimates at various points within the project life cycle. The scope of work, schedule, risk management plan, and peer review interact to influence the cost estimating process and techniques used to develop the output. These process interactionsinputs, processes (tools and techniques), and outputsare used by the Project Management Institute and others to depict the transfer of information between steps in a knowledge area such as cost estimating.

Q5.a. Discuss the relationship between project manager and line manager.
Answer:- Main difference between project management and line (general) management is the former one has a
limited life time. It goes through a certain life cycle of proposal, approval, scheduling,implementation and completion. Project management operates within structures which exist only for the life of the project with fuzzy lines of authority. It is about innovation. Project management involves very high risk complex processes with new concepts and technologies that often have no precedents. Example would be project management of implementation of a new computer system in the company. Line management is an ongoing, repetitive process and with no concept of beginning or ending. It is responsible for managing the status quo, and authority is predefined by the management structure of the company. The tasks are described as maintenance. Example would be maintenance of functionality of computer systems within the company. Usually project managers are also line managers, which means they are line managers of some department in the company and also they manage projects which might involve other department staff and resources for the duration of the project.

The first difference between these two is that line or middle management is mainly about operational and to a lesser extent about tactical management. Operational management is about managing daily activities. Tactical management is the "layer" between operational and strategic management; "How do we get there," is one of the questions the tactical manager is dealing with. In that sense, the project manager of program manager for who manages various projects, is the tactical manager. He or she is concerned with the issue of transforming the organization to its future form. The operational manager addresses most of its energy to directing people. Motivating, delegating, controlling, etc. in order to perform activities and gain results. On the short term the other resource categories are fixed. The project of program manager is concerned with planning. How to prepare for the near future and reserve resources for doing this. One important issue that is just rising between these two (operational and tactical) management areas; "should we close the shop during this period?" and "What will the client notice?" The dilemma is that in order to serve future clients you need to invest and focus on the long term that might impact the current performance. Clients will

notice this...Another important issues between these two is that the operational management receives most of the information. Information that is required for longer term projections and planning. But also information that is volatile.

b. What are the strategies used to reduce risk?. AnswerIntroduction: Risk is inevitable in a business organization when undertaking projects. However, the project manager needs to ensure that risks are kept to a minimal. Risks can be mainly between two types; negative impact risk and positive impact risk. Not all the time would project managers be facing negative impact risks as there are positive impact risks too. Once the risk has been identified, project managers need to come up with a mitigation plan or any other solution to counter attack the risk.

Project Risk Management : Managers can plan their strategy based on four steps of risk management which prevails in an organization. Following are the steps to manage risks effectively in an organization.

Risk Identification, Risk Quantification, Risk Response, Risk Monitoring and Control

Risk Identification: Managers face many difficulties when it comes to identifying and naming the risks that occur when undertaking projects. These risks could be resolved through structured or unstructured brainstorming or strategies. It's important to understand that risks pertaining to the project can only be handled by the project manager and other stakeholders of the project. Risks, such as operational or business risks will be handled by the relevant teams. The risks that often impact a project are supplier risk, resource risk, and budget risk. Supplier risk would refer to risks that can occur in case the supplier is not meeting the timeline to supply the resources required. Resource risk occurs when the human resource used in the project is not enough or not skilled enough. Budget risk would refer to risks that can occur if the costs are more than what was budgeted. Risk Quantification: Using the matrix, the project manager can categorize the risk into four categories as Low, Medium, High, and Critical. The probability of occurrence and the impact on the project are the two parameters used for placing the risk in the matrix categories. As an example, if a risk occurrence is low (probability = 2) and it has the highest impact (impact = 4), the risk can be categorized as 'High' Risk Response : When it comes to risk management, it depends on the project manager to choose strategies that will reduce the risk to minimal. Project managers can choose between the four risk response strategies which are outlined below.
1. 2. 3. 4. Risks can be avoided Pass on the risk Take corrective measures to reduce the impact of risks Acknowledge the risk

Risk Monitoring and Control: Risks can be monitored on a continuous basis to check if any change is made. New risks can be identified through the constant monitoring and assessing mechanisms.

Q6. Discuss the concept of quality and project quality management. Answer:- The knowledge area of project quality management includes the organizational processes that determine
quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities. The PMBOK identifies three processes for quality management:

Quality Planning, Quality Assurance, Quality Control

Quality Planning-A good quality plan starts with a clear definition of the goal of the project. What is the product or deliverable supposed to accomplish? What does it look like? What is it supposed to do? How do you measure customer satisfaction? How do you determine whether or not the project was successful?

Answering these questions and others will help you identify and define quality goals, allowing you to discuss the approach and plans needed to achieve those goals. This includes assessing the risks to success, setting high standards, documenting everything, and defining the methods and tests to achieve, control, predict and verify success. Be sure to include quality management tasks in the project plan and delegate these tasks to work groups and/or individuals who will report and track quality metrics.

Quality Assurance-Quality assurance tests use a system of metrics to determine whether or not the quality plan is proceeding in an acceptable manner. By using both qualitative and quantitative metrics, you can effectively measure project quality with customer satisfaction. These tests or quality audits will help you predict and verify the achievement of goals and identify need for corrective actions. Additionally, quality assurance tests will help you map quality metrics to quality goals, allowing you to report on the status of quality at periodic project review meetings.

Quality Control-Quality control involves operational techniques meant to ensure quality standards. This includes identifying, analyzing, and correcting problems. While quality assurance occurs before a problem is identified, quality control is reactionary and occurs after a problem has been identified. Quality control monitors specific project outputs and determines compliance with applicable standards. It also identifies project risk factors, their mitigation, and looks for ways to prevent and eliminate unsatisfactory performance.