The EPM Structure Is Not the Goal

Enterprise project management means aligning your project resources to accomplish your organizational goals as efficiently as possible. The four components of EPM are the means for reaching the goal, but they are not themselves the goal. As we examine each of the four components in greater detail in the following sections below, bear in mind that our organizations do not exist to fund EPM tools or processes nor even to accomplish projects. It works the other way around. The tools, people,...

Publish A Project Charter

In the early 1970s a television show began each episode with Jim Phelps, ably played by Peter Graves, accepting a dangerous, secret assignment for his team of espionage agents. Sometimes on an airplane, other times in a restaurant or at a newspaper stand, Phelps received a plain manila envelope containing photographs and a cassette tape. After describing the mission, the voice on the cassette always ended with the famous line, This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. We knew the extent of...

Planning Step Five Assign And Level Resources

The goal of resource leveling is to optimize the use of people and equipment assigned to the project. It begins with the assumption that, whenever possible, it is most productive to have consistent, continuous use of the fewest resources possible. In other words, it seeks to avoid repeatedly adding and removing resources time and again throughout the project. Resource leveling is the last step in creating a realistic schedule. It confronts the reality of limited people and equipment and adjusts...

Increase Productivity by Using Experts from Outside the Firm

The same logic for the last alternative applies here, except that this option seeks to pull in the best people from outside the firm. Whether you hire individual people as contract labor or engage a firm to perform specialized tasks, the process is similar Use the work breakdown structure to identify the best application of their talents and manage them like one of the team. Positive. Some work is so specialized that it doesn't pay to have qualified people on staff do it. The additional costs...

Eric Verzuh

Eric Verzuh is president of The Versatile Company, a project management training and consulting firm based in Seattle, Washington. His company trains thousands of professionals every year in the fundamentals of successful project management including how to get the most out of Microsoft Project. Versatile's consulting practice focuses on helping firms establish consistent, practical methods for managing their projects and implementing Microsoft's enterprise project management solution. The...

Notes

Atul Gawande, The Mop Up, New Yorker (January 12, 2004). 2. Project Management Institute and PMI web site (www.pmi.org). 3. Jeanette Cabanis, Envisioning the Next Century, PMNetwork (September 1997). 4. Thomas A. Stewart, Planning a Career in a World Without Managers, Fortune (March 20, 1995). 5. PM Network (September 1997), p. 31. 6. Bossidy, Larry, et al., Execution The Discipline of Getting Things Done (New York Crown Business, 2002), p. 8. 7. Robert Cooper, Stage Gate New Product...

Defining Enterprise Project Concept Management

Enterprise project management (EPM) is the conscious integration of processes, technology, organization structure, and people in order to align strategy with the execution of projects. Figure 13.1 illustrates all the components of EPM. The structural components of EPM enable the three tiers of management that is possible when EPM exists. We will describe the model briefly here, then delve into each element in greater detail later in the chapter. The three tiers of management in the EPM model...

The Process of Resource Leveling

It is important to remember how we are defining the term resources. Resources are the people, equipment, and raw materials that go into the project. Resource leveling focuses only on the people and equipment the materials needed for the project are dictated by the specifications. Resource leveling begins with the initial schedule and work package resource requirements (see Table 7.1). The leveling follows a four-step process 1. Forecast the resource requirements throughout the project for the...

Active Listening

The term active listening implies that listening to others and actually understanding their intended message requires effort and skill. When you consider some of the naturally occurring obstacles to listening, it is easy to understand why. Physical distractions, such as a hot, stuffy conference room, telephones, or a computer screen with an e-mail in-box, can take our attention away from a speaker. Knowledge of a subject matter gives us preconceived ideas about what the speaker is saying....

Gantt Charts and Time Scaled Networks

The network diagram is essential in calculating the schedule, but it can be terribly difficult to decipher on a large project. Thankfully, there are two very good alternatives, which display both the schedule information and the task relationships. Gantt charts, named after Henry Gantt, who developed them in the early 1900s, have become the most common method for displaying a project schedule. Figure 7.9 is a Gantt chart for the home landscape project. It...

Fast Foundation In Project Management

Project control can feel like juggling. The templates and checklist you find on the next several pages provide the basis for a structured, systematic approach to staying in control of the project. 1. The kickoff checklist is a guide for putting all the pieces in place as you put the project in motion. 2. Use the task assignment to make sure each team member clearly understands his or her responsibility. 3. The meeting agenda is structured to help you prepare for a meeting and take useful...

EPM Technology Capability

EPM has a broad scope, which includes successfully managing individual projects, understanding relationships among projects, and selecting and monitoring projects based on their fit with strategic goals. The following list categorizes eight common capabilities of EPM technology as they relate to the discipline of project management. 1. Project management. From the work breakdown structure to the resource-leveled project schedule, individual projects need a detailed plan that integrates cost,...

The Work Breakdown Structure Is Critical

The secret to making earned value work is in the work breakdown structure (WBS). Each task on the WBS must be a discrete task that meets these criteria It must have defined start and finish dates. The task must produce a tangible outcome whose completion can be objectively assessed. Costs must be assigned to the task, even if they are only labor costs. If you've applied the guidelines in Chapter 6, your WBS will probably enable easy earned value reporting. The problem occurs when the WBS...

Critical Path

When the initial schedule has been calculated, the project schedule begins to take shape. One of the key features of the initial schedule is the critical path. The term critical path is one of the most widely used and most widely misunderstood of all project management terms. But the concept is simple The critical path is defined as all of the tasks with zero or negative float. When outlined on a network diagram, the critical path is the longest path through the network. (The critical path is...

Introduction

As I prepared to write this chapter I received an e-mail that ended this way I have recently changed job focus. I work part-time from home while caring for my six-week-old girl. Parenthood has consumed more of my personal resources than I budgeted. Consequently, I am behind schedule on this project. This new father is not only learning about the demands of parenthood, he has aptly summed up a dilemma of life limited resources. Whatever we do, we are faced with limited time, limited money, and a...

Balancing At The Enterprise Level

Enterprise-level balancing mainly confronts the constraints of insufficient equipment, personnel, and budget. At the enterprise level, the firm decides which projects to pursue, given finite resources. Making these decisions requires accurate estimates of individual project resources, costs, and schedules (see the discussion on program management in Chapter 13). Choosing between projects is difficult there will always be important ones that don't make the cut. While it might be tempting to do...

Defining The Work Breakdown Concept Structure

The work breakdown structure identifies all the tasks in a project in fact, a WBS is sometimes referred to simply as a task list. It turns one large, unique, perhaps mystifying, piece of work the project into many small, manageable tasks. The WBS uses outputs from project definition and risk management and identifies the tasks that are the foundation for all subsequent planning (see Figure 6.1) Work breakdown structures can be set up in either graphic or outline form (see Figures 6.2 and 6.3)....

Team Listening Skills

When teams form around common challenges and overcome them with creativity and perseverance, strong communication skills are at work. In such a dynamic problem-solving environment, no communication skill is more important than listening, because it is through listening that we gain the value of another person's insight. In addition, effective listening builds trust and demonstrates respect during the give-and-take of creativity. As I work to understand your idea, I show you respect that builds...

Maintaining the Strategic Vision

While team members focus on the near-term problems and tasks, the project leader maintains a steady focus on the final outcome of the project and the path toward the goal. This steady focus informs our actions as we engage in day-to-day activities with the team, ensuring that tasks are performed and problems solved in the context of the overall goals of the project. The science of project management makes an obvious contribution to this leadership responsibility as the statement of work, the...