May 4, 2012

PM0011 [Project Planning & Scheduling] Set1 Q2

Q.2 Describe all the project management knowledge areas.

The PMBOK teaches an approach towards project management that is recognized internationally. It can be applied to all types of projects, such as engineering, construction and software. The PMBOK divides the knowledge into Project Management Knowledge Areas, an approach that considers work as if it were being accomplished by processes.

The nine areas are:
  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Human Resource Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Risk Management

1. Project Integration Management: The processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate process and project management activities within the Project Management Group are included in the Project Integration Management Knowledge Area. Characteristics of unification, consolidation, articulation and integrative actions crucial to project completion fall within the context of integration.

Decisions related to choices such as, concentration of resources, coordination of work efforts, and anticipating potential problems are addressed under integration. Other considerations including the balancing of competing objectives and the exploration of alternative actions are also within the domain of integration. Real world applications involving coordinated efforts of Project Integration Management components are seldom clearly defined by boundaries. A certain amount of overlap is to be expected. The interaction of these individual processes requires effective integration in Project Management.

There is no single way to manage a project. Experienced Project Management practitioners apply their knowledge, skills, and processes uniquely to each situation, depending on its circumstances, variables, and objectives. The mere fact that a particular process or technique was not utilized in a project does not mean that it was not considered. On the contrary, Project Integration Management and Team Management are charged with assessing the applicability of all processes and the level of implementation of those deemed appropriate to the success of the project when formulating the overall Project Integration Management Plan.

2. Project Scope Management: The project scope management plan refers specifically to the input/output mechanism that consists of a formalized document that is used for the purposes of detailing exactly how the project scope will be defined, what means will be undertaken to develop the project scope, how the project scope will ultimately be verified, and exactly how any and all components of the work breakdown structure will be ultimately created and defined.

The project scope management plan also will provide information and assistance in determining exactly how the actual scope of the project will ultimately be controlled in the management process by the project management team and or the project management team leader. The actual project scope management plan, as with most project management components, can be a very formally written document, or it can also be a much more informally written document. The detail level can vary wildly as well, depending on exactly what the needs of the project dictate.

3. Project Time Management: Project time management refers to a component of overall project management in which a timeline is analyzed and developed for the completion of a project or deliverable. Project time management consists of six different components or steps.
    1. Activity Definition- Identifying and scheduling different components of the project management sequence that are required for completion of project deliverables.
    2. Activity Sequencing- The process of project time management that defines the order in which deliverables must be completed.
    3. Activity Resource Estimating- Indentifying and defining the types and quantities of resources and materials required to complete a deliverable.
    4. Activity Duration Estimating- Identifying and estimating the timeline for completion of durables.
    5. Schedule Development- the analysis of the order of activities, timelines, resources, and schedule barriers to develop a project schedule.
    6. Schedule Control- Project management intervention to mitigate changes to the product schedule.
The project time management process is dynamic and may require input from several different teams each with individual project time management process in order to integrate the various interdependent component parts of the project to achieve the project deliverable(s). The processes are recurrent within each work package of the project and occur at least once within the project as a whole. This process is called the Develop Project Management Plan process. The output from this integrated team effort is called the schedule management plan and is a subset of the overall project management plan.

4. Project Cost Management: Project cost management is keeping your project within its defined budget. It is also an essential part of project management.

Cost estimating, cost budgeting, and cost control are three cost related processes that interact with each other and with other areas of project management. All of these processes require effort and a working knowledge of the cost of things. Depending on the complexity of the project they can require more than one person, and they may occur more than once during the life of a project.

Project cost management can be very simple, or extremely complex. If scrimping in one part of the project will increase, say, a maintenance cost after the end of the project, then that maintenance cost should be included in the project cost management strategy. This approach is sometimes` called life-cycle costing, and can reduce the cost of a project and improve the quality of the deliverable. But Project management should also consider what the project stakeholders think about the cost of the project. They will measure cost in different ways and at different times. Like looking at a brick from a different angle.

Cost estimating and cost budgeting are two different processes, but are often closely linked. On small projects they are often done by the same person because of this. Influencing cost is easiest early in the project, so it is important to define the budget in the scope of your project at the beginning. This includes creating a cost management plan, which has many benefits.

5. Project Quality Management: Project Quality Management is a critical aspect of the performing organization, and integral to project management. It includes the processes and activities that determine the quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities necessary to assure that project requirements are met. Project Quality Management implements the organization’s Quality Management System via policies, procedures, and continuous improvement activities, as appropriate. Processes critical to the Quality Management System include Quality Planning, Quality Assurance, and Quality Control.

Quality Planning is an integral part of project management. It identifies relevant quality standards and determines how they can best be satisfied.

Quality Assurance ensures that project management utilizes the quality processes needed to meet project requirements in a planned and systematic manner.

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.

In summary, Project Quality Management is the foundation for the organization’s products and services.

6. Project Human Resource Management: It involves organizing and managing a project team. The team is usually made up of people with specific skills and responsibilities. The project team, also known as project staff, should be involved in plans and decision making from the beginning of the project. Team members should feel invested in the outcome of the project. This will increase loyalty and commitment to project goals and objectives. The number of team members and their responsibilities can change as the project develops.

The project management team also called the core, executive, or leadership team, is responsible for project planning, controlling, and closing and takes directives from the project team. Smaller project responsibilities can be shared by the team or designated by the project manager. The project management team and the project sponsor work together to secure funding, simplify scope questions, and influencing team members.

Project human resource management processes include human resource planning, acquiring the project team, developing the project team and managing the team. Processes are used multiple times, usually occurring at least once in a project or several times in different phases if the project is made up of many phases. In reality, processes intersect with each other and with other phases and are not as definite and concrete as illustrated here.

Project human resource management planning may be required if more experienced members are added to the team. The project management team should also prepare for risk management and changes to project duration.

7. Project Communications Management: Project Communications ManagementProject Communications Management plays a key role in keeping all members of the project management team on the same page. Without communication among all team members and project stakeholders there can be a breakdown in processes which could have a negative impact on the final product.

The project manager must know the communication processes involved in effective project management. First of all there should be planning to determine what information needs to be communicated to all stakeholders in the project. Next, that information must be made readily available to the stakeholders and generated in a timely fashion. Performance must also be accounted for by reporting the project status, measuring progress and forecasting. Finally, communication with project stakeholders must be managed so that all requirements are met and issues are promptly resolved. Interactions and overlap among the communication processes are inevitable and expected throughout all phases of project management.

Project Communications Management can be broken down into essential knowledge and skills as follows:
  • Managing a meeting by having an agenda as well as resolving conflict
  • Writing style to be used
  • Method of communication; written or oral, informal memo or formal report, face-to-face or email, all of which are dependent on the situation at hand
  • Techniques for presentation including whether to use visual aids and effective use of body language
  • Possible barriers or feedback loops that influence communication
There are also several key components in project communication management which should be considered. Encoding or translation makes sure everyone understands what is said. The output of that encoding is the message which is conveyed through a medium. Interference with the message is called noise and finally, the message must be decoded to have meaning for all involved.

8. Project Risk Management: Project Risk Management is a branch of the discipline of project management that deals with identifying and mitigating risk on a project. The desired outcome of risk management is to increase the probability and maximize the result of positive events. There are six steps to the project risk management process, and these steps are repeated over the course of the entire project.
Risk Management Planning-The process of analysis and decision making with regards to the best address, plan, and implement the risk management activities of a project.

Risk Identification- Assessment of the risk susceptibilities of a project and conveying their traits.

Qualitive Risk Analysis- The process by which risks on a given project are given ranking with regard to their potential occurrence and impact on a project.
Quantitive Risk Analysis- The numerical assessment of the impact of overall risk on a project.

Risk Response Planning-A phase of project management that concerns planning interventions to reduce the risk to a project when faced with an adverse event.

Risk Monitoring and Control-The dynamic and ongoing process of project risk management that notes risk occurrence, assesses the effect of risk, noting new risks, intervention with risk response plans, and assessing their outcomes across the duration of a project.

Risk management may involves the interaction of team members from other work groups to evaluate individual work packages and implement measures to reduce risk to the deliverables as a whole.

Risk is any element of uncertainty that may have a positive or negative impact upon project management such as time to completion, amount of resources, or cost.

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