Student Name: Ciaran Walshe Student number: C12459032 Project ManagementPRJM4000 Course code:DT111-4 Task No.2 “What Successful ProjectManagers Do.” Submission date: 30/11/2017 Word Count: 3,455 Dublin Institute ofTechnology Table of Contents Questions Details: 2 How is the management of large complex projects changing?.. 2 Do you agree with the three key findings; 2 Discuss the four roles of the Project Manager role in more detail; 2 Bibliography/ References. 2 Appendices.
2 Questions Details:1. Howis the management of large complex projects changing?A. Relate the article to the Irish constructionsector and give some practical examples with appropriately referenced material.
2. Doyou agree with the three key findings;A. Today’s successful project managers oftencombine elements of traditional and agile approaches to Project management.
B. They cope with uncertainty by developing bothdetailed short-term plans with firm commitments and tentative longer-term plans.C. Project Managers are designing project reviewprocesses that foster learning.
3. Discussthe four roles of the Project Manager role in more detail;A. Develop collaboration.
B. Integrate planning and review with learning.C.
Prevent major disruptions.D. Maintainforward momentum. How is the management of large complex projects changing?- Relate the article to the Irish constructionsector and give some practical examples with appropriately referenced material.The management of projects withinthe construction industry has always assume to be that of a traditionalapproach but this method has proved to be sometimes ineffective in large,complex projects where difficult and expensive elements within the project areessential to the finished facility.
In traditional approach to managing suchprojects would be to re-design the project or to exclude the element in the designstage. A more suitable approach to management of such projects has been the useof an agile project management which has developed and proved beneficialthrough the information technology companies, allowing agility and flexibilityto react to change in a project.The traditional approach to aproject is broken into three distinctive stages; planning, design andconstruction. This which involves very disciplined and deliberate planning andcontrol methods. With this approach, distinct project life cycle phases areeasily recognizable. Tasks are completed one after another in an orderlysequence, requiring a significant part of the project to be planned up front.For example, in a construction project, “theteam needs to determine requirements, design and plan for the entire building,and not just incremental components, in order to understand the full scope ofthe effort.
” (Hass, 2007)The approach to large, complexprojects has now develop to incorporate elements of agile project managementalong with the traditional three stage traditional process. Agile approach isnot the silver bullet to all construction project problems but it allows forchange throughout the project duration and flexibility which will help save onthe project developing major variations. Incorporating agile management techniques into projects fosters a focuson the benefits of each feature. In traditional project management, the teamsstrive to finish the project on time and under budget and often lose sight ofthe overall benefits the entire effort is intended to bring the organization.It’s important to remember the strategy the project is expected to advance aswell as the total cost of ownership and not just the project costs. In thisway, the benefits of the project will be obvious, whether the team isconstructing a building or developing a new business solution.
In general project teams now onlarge complex developments in the construction industry are more team focusedin order for the project to be delivered on time avoiding any majordisruptions. This means that the parties to the project may be teams thatalready know each other or have previous experience working together. This willensure an element of trust between the group allowing the project developmentsto flow more smoothly and constant communication and teamwork to an effectivestandard.Project’s success is largelybased on the effectiveness of constant communication between members of theproject team.
This can be done by placing the project team in the same locationin order for them to work as a team to the best of their ability, solvingproblems as a team as some members may be of more expertise than others.The agile approach also allowsfor more of a flexiable approach in the development of a project where whenissues arise that a solution may be found in good time ensuring that theproject doesn’t run over time and have major cost implications on the project.An example of this regarding the irish construction industry is a developmentof a large apartment complex being constructed in Rathgar, Dublin by CairnHomes PLC. The development was constructed up as far as the basement and firstfloor.
They came across an issue regarding the possibility of dampness in thebasement due to the land and its ability to drain heavy rain fall. The solutionwhich didn’t have any major cost implications on the project was to leave gapsin the walls to allow a natural airflow through the basement carpark.In Agile development, all the keyteam members are co-located, including the customers preferably in a work room.
This approach greatly increases the quality of coordination and communication.However, this may represent a significant cultural change for IT developers. Intraditional development methods, the developers typically work independently,and rarely interact with the customer until the solution is fully developed.Since project managers are responsible for building a high performing team,they need to ensure everyone is working well together and that they have beenassigned developers who truly can work in this collaborative manner. Do youagree with the three key findings;A.
Today’ssuccessful project managers often combine elements of traditional and agileapproaches to Project management.In today’s construction industryon large complex projects it is agreeable that project managers combine bothelements of traditional project management and that of elements of the agileproject management in order to deliver projects on time and to the client’s aimand budget. As projects in the modern world become more complex and include thepotential risk of more disruptions and challenges.Traditional project managementinvolves very disciplined and deliberate planning and control methods. With thisapproach, distinct project life cycle phases are easily recognizable. Tasks arecompleted one after another in an orderly sequence, requiring a significantpart of the project to be planned up front.
For example, in a constructionproject, the team needs to determine requirements, design and plan for theentire building, and not just incremental components, in order to understandthe full scope of the effort.The Agile approach consists ofmany rapid iterative planning and development cycles, allowing a project teamto constantly evaluate the evolving product and obtain immediate feedback fromusers or stakeholders. The team learns and improves the product, as well astheir working methods, from each successive cycle. After a streamlinedplanning, requirements definition and solution design phase is completed to getthe project underway, iterations of more detailed planning, requirements,design, build and test take place in waves. This approach allows for immediatemodifications of the product as requirements come into view. Agile managementrequires a dedicated full-time project team that includes a customer or enduser, where team members work from the same location.
(Hass, 2007) B. Theycope with uncertainty by developing both detailed short-term plans with firmcommitments and tentative longer-term plans.I agree that this is the best method for the project team toact against uncertainty is to develop the project using short term plans whichcan be broken down into individual packages or milestones that when are giventhe best degree of focus and attention can be achieved to the best of ability,whichin turn contributes to the end goal and larger plan of the project.This practise greatly reduces complexity, because it allowsthe team to focus on one feature and only one feature at a time. For example, oneteam is working on a certain and that’s the team’s only focus.
They don’tconcern themselves about any of the other features. It is the business analystand project manager who ensure the next feature in the backlog is truly thenext priority, based on business value and risk. Typically, high-riskcomponents or core infrastructure pieces are built first, and then everythingelse is prioritized based on business value.
The goal is to buildthe feature driven components with only a one-way dependency to the coresystem; therefore, specialized components are independent of each other and canbe created in any order or even in parallel.C. ProjectManagers are designing project review processes that foster learning.The idea that projects managers are designing a reviewprocess for post contract reviewing is also a definite procedure that is takingplace on large complex projects. In order to review what they achieve to asatisfactory degree ad what elements araise that they could have done better onin the course of the project.This review processes will allow project teams to learn fromthere experience and give them the upper hand when it comes the next project.
Aftereach cycle, the team holds a lessons learned session to determine what they cando better on the next iteration. As the team learns, it adapts how the membersare working together to continuously improve team performance.Evidence that this process that has been effective onproject teams is that on these large complex project, the project manager willdo the best of their ability to use the same project team as before as not onlydo they know that the team work together but also that the team have pastexperience and will recognise risks and matters in good time.
An example of this in regards to the construction industryis the use of Mercury Engineering on all developments and projects that havebeen undertook in Intel.Discuss thefour roles of the Project Manager role in more detail;A. Develop collaboration.”Projects success relies on collaboration among all teammembers to deliver the results, capture candid feedback and implement learningson the next iteration of the solution.
” (Hass, 2007) This is one of thestrengths of agile project management is constant feedback and improvement. It is this constant collaboration among theproject team and with the customer that promotes project success.It is the role of the project manager to ensure that theteam tasked with this project have the capability and desire to work togetherand achieve the same goals. It is vital that this team are willing to worktogether or the project has no chance of success as this can be seen in theexample of the three mars exploration missions, where the out of the threeprojects that had the same guiding principles and of comparable scope only oneproject “Pathfinder” was a success due to the teams openness and trust that hadbeen developed. (Laufer, et al., 2015)Ensuring that all parties to the project are communicatingefficiently and that they are kept up-to-date by each other throughout thecourse of the project. The project manager must organise frequent on-goingmeetings and constant methods of communication. Such as in the article “WIRE failed because could not or would notcommunicate well with each other…individuals… simply were uncomfortableallowing others to see their work” (Laufer, et al.
, 2015).It is also the role of the project manager to create theright environment for all parties of the project team to work together anddevelop the project. The most efficient way for this to work is to place allparties of the project team in the same office or environment so that workingtogether is easier as people can discuss matters face-to-face on an on-goingbasis, an aspect that may be described as “wisdom of words” as a group viewinga problem is more effective than just an individual, cutting out time wastingand also improving trust and practicality as matters are dealt with there andthen and solutions found quickly.
This may be as simple as creating an officefacility on-site for a sub-contractor on a large construction project. (Lester, 2014) B. Integrate planning and review with learning.The project manager’s roleregarding planning and reviewing stages of the project is one of more detailedand needs more attention on large complex projects as planning for unexpectedevents needs to be taken board. So planning is done on a short term basis withlong term end goals being set also.”Project managers faced with unexpected events employ a “rolling wave”approach to planning.” (Laufer, et al.
, 2015)So this means that the project manager has to plan theproject to a more precise degree and giving themselves more flexability to workwith disruptions , firm commitments cannot be made on the basis of volatileinformation. Details of the project and matters cannot be taken for as accurateand they must allow for the worst case scenario.”They develop plans in waves as the project unfolds and informationbecomes more reliable” (Laufer, et al., 2015)The project manager also can usethis rolling wave approach to review the previous project or stage and see asto what they can improve their methods of management and construction process. Aftereach cycle, the team holds a lessons learned session to determine what they cando better on the next iteration. As the team learns, it adapts how the membersare working together to continuously improve team performance. It is the projectmanager’s responsibility to plan out a timeline of the overall project, givingthem a deadline or completion date which must be met in order for the projectto be achieved within budget. Using an agile approach to this is to plan shortdeadlines that must be met in order for the project to be on-track.
C. Preventmajor disruptions.It is the project manager’sresponsibility to plan out a timeline of the overall project, giving them adeadline or completion date which must be met in order for the project to beachieved within budget. Using an agile approach to this is to plan shortdeadlines that must be met in order for the project to be on-track.
Examples ofinstruments that can be used by the project manager are the critical pathprogramme and earned value.The critical path is a timelineof the events of a project and the order that they run in, giving the projectmanager the deadlines of each interim stage and the most days they can affordto focus on each stage. The critical path also outlines which projects sectionsare vital to be completed on time in order for the project to proceed. The project manager must all takeresponsibility to plan the day-to-day development of a project and plan aroundany major disruptions that may cause a delay in the construction process. This maymean the implementation of changes to allow the project to stay on track. One example of a project wheredisruptions were caused that could have been avoided had the project managerhad a greater outlook on the current events and surroundings is that of theSusquehanna International Headquarter which is located in the IFSC in Dublincity centre. The disruption here was that on two occasions when the site hadorganised for a crane to set up and lift on-site had to be cancelled due to thedisruptions to the road outside of the site due to the visiting of the Queen ofGreat Britain and also on a later occasion the visiting of US president BarackObama.
These two disruptions could have been avoided with a more precise effortin planning. (McCarthy, 2017)D. Maintain forward momentum.”In working to maintain a foreword momentum,the manager seeks to avoid stalemate” (Laufer, et al., 2015)It is vitalto a construction project and to other industry projects that forward momentumis maintained at all times in order for the project to be a success. Althoughproblems will arise during the course of a project, the most important factoris how quickly they are dealt with and progression can continue. As regardsto the role of the project manager in the situation of maintaining forwardmomentum it is important that they show leadership and initiative to findsolutions and maintain progress, creating a team environment that can act fastand find a solution.
The projectmanager’s role in this situation is to always be aware to what is the currentsituation and daily procedures on site. Being aware of what is currently goingon on-site is crucial in order to maintain momentum as they should be able tosee the potential risks and factors that may cause a delay.The projectmanager needs to be available and approachable on a construction project as toany issues or queries the personnel or sub-contractors have, being approachablewill cut out the majority of issues that may arise due to uncertainty.
The mostvital element that will ensure the continuous forward momentum is the communication.It is good practise for a project manager to liase with all members of aproject team on a daily basis in order to consult any problems that they may behaving along with clarifying any instructions from the client. The benefits ofthis not only being the avoidance of mistakes but also the effect it has on theteam regards bonding and efficiency. As discussed in matt’s situation regardthe ten minute tool box meetings, “As aresult, these meetings turned out very valuable for sustaining teamwork”.
(Laufer, et al., 2015)Bibliography/ References Bibliography Baker, B., Murphy, D. & Fisher, D., 1983. Factors Affecting Project Success.
In: Project Management Handbook. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, pp. 669-685. Hass, K. B.
, 2007. The Blending of Traditional and Agile Project Management. Online Available at: chelsoftusa.com/upload/3/4/1/3/34136265/agile_well_explained.
pdf Accessed 26 November 2017. Laufer, A., Hoffman, E., Russell, J.
S. & Cameron, W. S., 2015. What Successful Project Managers Do. MIT Sloan- Management Review, Issue Spring 2015, p.
45. Lester, A., 2014.
Project Management, Planning and Control. 6th ed. London: Elsevier. McCarthy, A.
, 2017. Cogent Associates- Class guest speaker Interview (November 2017). Moran, J. & Brightman, B., 2001. Leading organisational change. In: Career Development international.
111-118. Tuman, G., 1983. Development and Implementation of Effective Project Management Information and Control Systems. In: V. Nostrand, ed. Project Management Handbook.
New York: Reinhold Co., pp. 495-532.