Being Responsible Is About Ownership And Attitude

Judy's project was to modify an accounting program so that it would conform to a new tax law. The work had to be done by the end of the year, because that was when the new law took effect. Judy and two other engineers had been working for several months, and they knew that the planned date was impossible. They also knew, however, that there was no choice, for this was the law. So she blamed Congress and her management for the problem.

Customer Requirements

While you are interviewing the customer about the CAC, it's a good time to validate and expand on the customer's requirements for the final deliverable. Customer requirements include any features and functions of the final deliverable. A feature is a physical characteristic of the final deliverable. An example of a feature for our fulfillment process would be including bar codes on all inventory items. A function is an action or work that the final deliverable will perform. A function of our fulfillment process would be that inventory levels in the accounting program are automatically adjusted.

The Software Quality Challenge

Today, many of the systems on which our lives and livelihoods depend are run by software. Whether we fly in airplanes, file taxes, or wear pacemakers, our safety and well-being depend on software. With each system enhancement, the size and complexity of these systems increase, as does the likelihood of serious problems. Defects in video games, reservations systems, or accounting programs may be inconvenient, but software defects

Accuracy of Estimation

Because accuracy is so important when planning a good project, I normally use both the top-down and bottom-up estimating techniques to evaluate the results I have achieved. If the results are similar, then I know that I'm on the right track. If, however, the results vary considerably, then it means something is wrong, and I may need to review the values again. This time, I will solicit expert judgment by using a certified cost accountant or seasoned project manager to go through the estimation with me.

Formal Project Management Training and Certification

J s with any other professional field, there are organizations, certifications, and career development opportunities that you should be aware of. Accountants have their CPA (Certified Professional Accountant) designation engineers can take tests to become PEs (Professional Engineers) and project managers can look forward to obtaining their PMP (Project Management Professional) status through the Project Management Institute.

Training and Education

Project management has emerged in the past few decades as a distinct professional discipline, to the point where institutions of higher learning currently offer a range of credentials from basic certificates to advanced degrees in project management. This indicates that organizations can pursue such professionalism to enhance their own capability and credibility in project management. To exaggerate the point, would you want a doctor, or an accountant, or an automobile mechanic to work on something you own without the best of credentials Likewise, it better serves the business interests of an organization to avoid relegating its project management practice to untrained individuals.

Determining The Cost Of Personnel Assigned To The Projectgeneral Conditions

The cost of the construction manager's personnel time during the construction phase of the project is usually billed as part of the general conditions for the project. The general conditions for a project can be billed in a variety of ways, similar to the preconstruc-tion costs described previously. The contractual relationship between the owner and construction manager will define how the costs for the project staff will be billed, as well as which costs are considered part of the overhead and fee, and which ones are part of the general conditions. Make sure that you have a firm understanding of the terms of the contract to determine which employees in the home office and their associated expenses can be billed to the project. Many contracts read that only those employees assigned directly to the project on a full time basis at the project site can be reimbursed as part of the general conditions costs. If an employee, such as the project accountant, is working out of the home office...

Site office personnel

A site accountant, often assisted by a pay clerk, handles all cash transactions on site and the local bank account. It is essential to employ experienced persons on this type of work. Even taking the sealed pay packets around to the workers is best done by an experienced pay clerk who knows what care is needed to avoid the upset which occurs if a pay packet 'goes missing'. head office. A materials clerk on site then checks the deliveries against the supplier's invoices and against the original order, certifies the invoice and sends it to head office for payment. This system can only work, of course, if both head office and the site are in the same country. Overseas, the agent has to carry out all the work involved, using sub-agents and accountants or other supporting staff to carry out the work for him.

Analyzing Initial Needs and Requirements

Often you ' l l use a business analyst, one who has expertise in the given business area that wants the project, in order to more fully capture the needs and requirements of the customer. In the IT world, a business analyst is very useful and someone you might consider to be at least a temporary team member in your IT projects. Usually, neither you nor the IT professionals who create the project deliverables can possibly know everything there is to know about every facet of the company. You can' t be an accountant, a marketing expert, and a manufacturing genius. But you might well get a project request from the manufacturing side of the company, so you ' ve got to somehow interpret what the customer is saying into IT dialog in such a way that the deliverables match what the customer really wants. If the language is coming from an area where you' re not an expert, a business analyst who can interface for you is invaluable.

Who Drafts and Controls the Contract

Can the supplier deliver what they promise Will they still be around to support your system in a few years' time Get copies of their last three years' accounts, and get your accountant to look at them. How big is the supplier's organisation Will they be overloaded by your work, and have to grow rapidly to meet your requirements Or are they underworked at present and completely dependent on your custom

Duties And Responsibilities Of The Cmgcs Personnel Assigned To The Project

The CM GC personnel assigned to the project must function as a well-coordinated and integrated team. The actions of each team member affect the rest of the team and the overall project. An item of work budgeted by the estimator must also be included in the overall project schedule by the scheduler. The appropriate subcontractor must be identified to bid and award the work to. The item must be constructed under the management and supervision of the project manager, superintendent, and safety manager. Finally, the work must be invoiced by the project accountant. The following is a list of duties and responsibilities for the various construction managers' personnel who are involved with a construction project during the different phases as just described Accountant The project accountant is the keeper of the books and all costs, and is responsible for developing the periodic billing (requisition) for the project, tracking all payments, disbursing all payments once payments are received...

Earned Value Equations for Variances and Indexes

8 In 1967, the earned value standard was under the executive control of the DoD comptroller (the chief accountant) because it was seen chiefly as a financial reporting tool. Not until 1989 did the executive control pass to the systems acquisition chief in the Pentagon, thereby recognizing the importance of the tool to the overall management of the project.

Cost Management The Weakest Link

Ask those same dozen project management experts about cost and you might get 15 opinions. First of all, many project management applications mainly ignore cost. And those that do consider cost have varied motives and objectives. Second, cost is usually the domain of the firm's financial staff, rather than that of the project managers. Frankly, financial managers and project managers are from two different worlds. Without favoring either group, I can say that generally they have a different view of what has to be managed, how to manage it, and how structured they are in performing their duties. Furthermore, if we also define project management as attempting to satisfy the wishes of all the stakeholders, we will find that the accountant stakeholders have a different definition of success from the other stakeholders. The second is that the accountants (financial analysts, bean counters, finance managers, whatever you want to call them) would never pass control or even share control of...

Developing Reliable Task Durations

The accountant can provide durations for tasks such as forecasting financial returns, setting up the accounting system, and obtaining needed insurance. Team members ready to work on the project can also provide duration estimates for tasks based on their previous experience as well as their projection of how long they expect the tasks to take for this particular project. Expert judgment If you don't have a team in place yet from whom you can get durations, or if you want reliable input from impartial specialists in the field, you might call upon experts such as consultants, professional associations, or industry groups. These can help you establish task durations.

Implementing Project Management Software Packages

While selecting appropriate software packages is important, it is more critical to successfully implement these packages. This section discusses the differences between project management software, process management software, and time accounting software, and then examines various methods for implementing these packages. It also discusses the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, and outlines a process for successful implementation.

The Project Balance Sheet

We now consider the insights about the business learned from the accounting balance sheet that will provide a quantitative framework for the project manager. First we direct our attention to the three elements that are necessary to form a balance sheet. To charter the project, business sponsors assign resources and state the required project returns needed for the business. Project returns are both functional and financial. Any one of the business value models we have discussed could be used to form the sponsor's view of the project. Sponsor-invested resources correspond roughly to the capital or equity investments on the accountant's balance sheet. As many companies are measured by the returns earned on the capital employed, so it is with projects. We will discuss in subsequent chapters that a project metric in wide use is the concept of economic value add (EVA). In effect, EVA demands positive returns on capital employed. Second, the project manager is entrusted with resources owned...

The Project Announcement Meeting

Example An accounting manager was assigned the project of setting priorities for automation. The task included interviewing the heads of each department and recommending routines that should be given priority. But the department managers were not advised of the project. The accountant found these managers to be defensive and suspicious they weren't sure whose idea the project was, the accountant's or top management's. A great deal of effort went into explanation, and the project proved difficult to complete. This project could have been executed more efficiently if an initial meeting had been called. The accountant and each department manager should have been invited, as well as the executive who made the assignment.

Accounting methods

But the agent will also need to open a local bank account, into which head office transfer funds for a variety of cash payments - for fuel for vehicles, a variety of consumables and for the wages of labour taken on by the agent. These payments have to be handled by the site accountant and his pay clerk on site. The paysheets are made up by the pay clerk on the basis of time sheets sent in to him by the men on site, the section foremen or gangers certifying the timesheets of men working under them. From time to time an accountant from head office may visit the site to audit the local paysheets and cash disbursements by the agent. On overseas projects the large sums of money which have to be expended locally mean that a fully staffed accountant's office, under the charge of an experienced site accountant, will need to be set up.

Key Issues Matrix

Ing equipment, instrumentation, electrical but also for safety and the project management by myself. I felt that my project management also had to be subjected to auditing. I wanted the best auditor available in order to learn as much as possible. This was the former Moerdijk plant manager, who was also a seasoned project manager. Together with an experienced project accountant, he investigated during three intensive days how Arjen and I had managed the project. An extremely useful learning experience not only for me, but also for the auditor himself. He used the audit to prepare himself and make a plan for the Oman LNG project of which he was the project manager and Chiyoda later became the main contractor. In view of that connection, Chiyoda was pleased having him as an auditor to whom they could show their performance. So, the audit was good for Chiyoda, good for the auditors, and good for me. A win-win situation created by a non-defensive attitude towards audits. I also insisted...

Package Types

Project management-related software tools are generally divided into the three categories of project management software, process management software, and time accounting software. Project management software packages perform scheduling, as well as limited project tracking. They do this by allowing project managers to enter project WBSs, assign inter-task dependencies, allocate resources, and assign effort work estimates for each task. Once these basics are entered, the tool calculates and displays the project schedule, often graphically, via either Gantt charts or PERT CPM (program evaluation and review technique critical path method) network charts. The third type of project management-related software is time accounting software. These packages allow individuals and project managers to charge actual hours back to project tasks. They do so by creating online and hardcopy time sheets, listing each team member's tasks. The team member then keeps track of the hours spent on each task,...

Financial Statements

Finance officers have long-established standards for reporting the numbers. The general body of knowledge for accounting standards is contained in the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), published and maintained by the accounting industry. Within your business, the controller (comptroller, if you are in the government) is the chief accountant. The controller interprets and applies the GAAP to the specifics of your company. The neat thing about these statements is that they actually all play together, something engineers and project professionals would call system integration, but accountants would call balance or reconciliation. Even though one statement may measure flow and another may measure a value at a point in time, over the life of the project an entry on any one of these statements has a corresponding response on another statement. Collectively, and with their risk-adjusted partners, net present value and economic value add, the project financial statements...