PM Milestone Project Management Templates

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5-1 A project manager finds that he does not have direct reward power over salaries, bonuses, work assignments, or project funding for members of the project team with whom he interfaces. Does this mean that he is totally deficient in reward power? Explain your answer.

5-2 For each of the remarks made below, what types of interpersonal influences could exist?

a. "I've had good working relations with department X. They like me and I like them. I can usually push through anything ahead of schedule."

b. A research scientist was temporarily promoted to project management for an advanced state-of-the-art effort. He was overheard making the following remark to a team member: "I know it's contrary to department policy, but the test must be conducted according to these criteria or else the results will be meaningless."

5-3 Do you agree or disagree that scientists and engineers are likely to be more creative if they feel that they have sufficient freedom in their work? Can this condition backfire?

5-4 Should the amount of risk and uncertainty in the project have a direct bearing on how much authority is granted to a project manager?

5-5 Some projects are directed by project managers who have only monitoring authority. These individuals are referred to as influence project managers. What kind of projects would be under their control? What organizational structure might be best for this?

5-6 As a project nears termination, the project manager may find that the functional people are more interested in finding a new role for themselves than in giving their best to the current situation. How does this relate to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and what should the project manager do?

5-7 Richard M. Hodgetts ("Leadership Techniques in the Project Organization," Academy of Management Journal, June 1968, pp. 211-219) conducted a survey on aerospace, chemical, construction, and state government workers as to whether they would rate the following leadership techniques as very important, important, or not important:

• Negotiation

• Personality and/or persuasive ability

• Competence

• Reciprocal favors

How do you think each industry answered the questionnaires?

5-8 Robert D. Doering ("An Approach Toward Improving the Creative Output of Scientific Task Teams," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, February 1973, pp. 29-31, © 1973 IEEE) commented that:

The team leader's role is crucial. He is directly involved and must know the individual team members well, not only in terms of their technical capabilities but also in terms of how they function when addressing a problem as part of a group. The technical competence of a potential team member can usually be determined from information about previous assignments, but it is not so easy to predict and control the individual's interaction within and with a new group, since it is related to the psychological and social behavior of each of the other members of the group as a whole. What the leader needs is a tool to measure and characterize the individual members so that he can predict their interactions and structure his task team accordingly.

Is such a test possible for people working in a project environment? Are there any project organizational forms that would be conducive for such testing?

5-9 Project managers consider authority and funding as being very important in gaining support. Functional personnel, however, prefer friendship and work assignments. How can these two outlooks be related to the theories of Maslow and McGregor?

5-10 Lloyd A. Rogers ("Guidelines for Project Management Teams," Industrial Engineering, December 1974, p. 12. Published and copyright 1974 by the Institute of Industrial Engineers, 25 Technology Park, Norcross, GA 30092, 770-449-0461) has commented that:

The technical planners, whether they are engineers or systems analysts, must be experts at designing the system, but seldom do they recognize the need to "put on another hat" when system design specifications are completed and design the project control or implementation plan. If this it not done, setting a project completion target date or a set of management checkpoint milestones is done by guesswork at best. Management will set the checkpoint milestones, and the technical planners will hope they can meet the schedule.

How can this planning problem be effectively resolved on a continuing basis?

5-11 What kind of working relationships would result if the project manager had more reward power than the functional managers?

5-12 For each of the following remarks, state the possible situation and accompanying assumptions that you would make.

a. "A good project manager should manage by focusing on keeping people happy."

b. "A good project manager must be willing to manage tension."

c. "The responsibility for the success or failure rests with upper-level management. This is their baby."

d. Remarks by functional employee: "What if I fail on this project? What can he (the project manager) do to me?"

5-13 Can each of the following situations lead to failure?

a. Lack of expert power b. Lack of referent power c. Lack of reward and punishment power d. Not having sufficient authority

5-14 One of your people comes into your office and states that he has a technical problem and would like your assistance by making a phone call.

a. Is this managing or doing?

b. Does your answer depend on who must be called? (That is, is it possible that authority relationships may have to be considered?)

5-15 On the LRC, can we structure the responsibility column to primary and secondary responsibilities?

5-16 Discuss the meaning of each of the two poems listed below:

We shall have to evolve Problem solvers galore Since each problem they solve Creates ten problems more.

Author unknown

Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water Jack fell down and broke his crown And Jill came tumbling after.

Jack could have avoided this awful lump

By seeking alternative choices Like installing some pipe and a great big pump And handing Jill the invoices.17

5-17 What is the correct way for a project manager to invite line managers to attend team meetings?

5-18 Can a project manager sit and wait for things to happen, or should he cause things to happen?

5-19 The company has just hired a fifty-four-year-old senior engineer who holds two masters degrees in engineering disciplines. The engineer is quite competent and has worked well as a loner for the past twenty years. This same engineer has just been assigned to the R&D phase of your project. You, as project manager or project engineer, must make sure that this engineer works as a team member with other functional employees, not as a loner. How do you propose to accomplish this? If the individual persists in wanting to be a loner, should you fire him?

5-20 Suppose the linear responsibility chart is constructed with the actual names of the people involved, rather than just their titles. Should this chart be given to the customer?

5-21 How should a functional manager handle a situation where the project manager:

a. Continually cries wolf concerning some aspect of the project when, in fact, the problem either does not exist or is not as severe as the project manager makes it out to be?

b. Refuses to give up certain resources that are no longer needed on the project?

5-22 How do you handle a project manager or project engineer who continually tries to "bite off more than he can chew?" If he were effective at doing this, at least temporarily, would your answer change?

5-23 A functional manager says that he has fifteen people assigned to work on your project next week (according to the project plan and schedule). Unfortunately, you have just learned that the prototype is not available and that these fifteen people will have nothing to do. Now what? Who is at fault?

5-24 Manpower requirements indicate that a specific functional pool will increase sharply from eight to seventeen people over the next two weeks and then drop back to eight people. Should you question this?

5-25 Below are several sources from which legal authority can be derived. State whether each source provides the project manager with sufficient authority from which he can effectively manage the project.

a. The project or organizational charter b. The project manager's position in the organization

17. Stacer Holcomb, OSD (SA), as quoted in The C/E Newsletter, publication of the cost effectiveness section of the Operations Research Society of America, Vol. 2, No. 1, January 1967.

c. The job description and specifications for project managers d. Policy documents e. The project manager's "executive" rank f. Dollar value of the contract g. Control of funds

5-26 Is this managing or doing?18

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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