CompTIA Exam Objectives Covered in this Chapter

■ 3.1 Identify the following as tasks that should be accomplished on a weekly basis in the course of tracking an "up and running" project.

o Explain the rationale for performing these tasks and explain how to adapt these tasks to different situations:

o Check the project' s scope status to determine "in scope" versus "out of scope" status of project elements o Check the evolution and status of project deliverables o Check the project schedule o Analyze variances (deviations from plan) by comparing "estimated" to "actual" resource time expenditures, dollar expenditures, and elapsed duration of activities o Handle scope changes, if needed o List, track, and try to resolve open issues o Report project status o Look for opportunities to and "push" for close-out of activities and sign-off of deliverables o Decide whether it' s necessary to kill the project, then do so if appropriate

■ 3.2 Given an approved project and a significant budget increase in one area of the project (for example: excessive overtime, purchased items more expensive than anticipated, etc.), do the following:

o Clearly identify the reason for and the size of the increase o Identify options for absorbing part of all of the increase in the overall budget (if any) o Identify stakeholders that must be notified or give approval and develop a plan for advising them of the change, the rationale for the change, and the consequences if not approved

■ 3.3 Given a scenario in which a vendor requests a two-week delay in delivering its product, explain how to do the following:

o Negotiate a lesser delay by identifying things the vendor might do to improve its schedule o Clearly identify the impact of the negotiated delivery on the project scope o Present this impact to the appropriate stakeholders

■ 3.4 Given a scenario in which there is a disagreement between a vendor and your project team, identify methods for resolving the problem.

■ 3.5 Identify issues to consider when trying to rebuild active project support from a wavering executive (e.g., the need to identify the source of doubts, interpersonal communications skills that might be employed, the need to act without creating negative impact, the need to identify and utilize various allies and influences, etc.). Given a scenario involving a wavering executive, choose an appropriate course of action.

■ 3.6 Identify issues to consider when trying to get approval of a changed project plan that is still within expected budget, but has a schedule that extends outside of the original scope (e.g., the need to know and understand the proposed changes, the need to be able to justify and sell the changes, the need for alternative courses of action if the plan isn't accepted, etc.) o Given a scenario involving a new project with an extended schedule, choose an appropriate course of action.

■ 3.7 Define and explain the function of the following financial management variables: the cost performance index (CPI), schedule performance (SPI), cost variance (CV), schedule variance (SV), percent spent, percent complete, and the to-complete performance index (TCPI).

o Explain how to track the financial performance of a project, given the financial management baseline for a project, using these variables.

What are the five most dangerous jobs on earth? If you said snake handler, coal miner, river raft guide, electricity lineman, and project manager, you'd at least have gotten one of the five correct. Project management is all about controlling the issues that come up during the project and managing them without someone killing you or you killing someone in the process. This chapter talks about issue tracking and all the things associated with it—things like schedule and budget overruns, project delays, vendor disagreements, and waffling project sponsors. We'll also touch on the "rocket science" portion of project management: financial variables.

Note If we were using the PACE methodology, we would now be in the controlling phase. In the IPECC methodology, we would now be toggling back and forth between the executing and controlling phases.

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