Project Management System

While new product development is often an open-ended process, the company must have a system in place for making new product decisions. A company can lose control of new product development projects unless there is a working and integrated project management system in place. New products raise critical risks and decision options during development and are frequently open-ended until development is nearly completed; therefore, control and analysis must be integrated into the process at every key juncture.

Project integration management, or integrated program and project management as it is sometimes called, involves selecting, coordinating, and synchronizing projects in a company or agency so that all the key factors for success are optimized. Program managers see both the big picture and the details of program and project work, all at the same time. The project review process is set up so that management can make go or no-go decisions at each key transition point from one phase to another.

Integration involves analyzing project business value at the high level, mobilizing team performance and dynamics, monitoring projects to ensure midstream adjustment and project recovery, resolving technical, resource, and interpersonal conflicts at every level, managing program interfaces and multitasking, identifying organizational constraints and exploiting them, keeping tabs on accountability, and reporting to avoid ethical and waste problems. In an integrated project organization, program and project managers:

■ See projects as capital investments made by the organization to achieve corporate business strategy and competitive advantage

■ Analyze a portfolio of candidate projects using net present value techniques in combination with risk assessment and other tools

■ "Read" team dynamics as they relate to team leadership, motivation, effectiveness, the decision-making process, and conflict resolution

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■ Formulate and evaluate alternative completion plans to optimize program quality, cost, and schedule. Select and apply appropriate project planning and tracking tools as well as project management leadership skills to recover the program

■ Develop the appropriate program interface event management plan to integrate and manage the projects effectively, and resolve any complexities that result from multi-tasking within the networks or on the part of the project manager

■ Plan the development and implementation of suitable project management systems and methodologies to support multiple projects. Identify best practices that lead to effective program management

■ Develop and manage an integrated program schedule. This includes the elements of the schedule, types of schedules, schedule development, and the processes of schedule management

■ Work with the structures of schedules based on the Integrated Master Plan (IMP), Integrated Master Schedule (IMS), supplier data integration, and the overall influences of the WBS

■ Establish requirements and make the "make/buy" decision. The make/buy decision determines whether the product will be made by the company or bought from a supplier

■ Work with networking basics and critical path tools (critical path identifies the linkage of interdependent tasks in a project that will take the longest time to complete, e.g., any delay in the critical path delays the project as a whole)

■ Work with integrated product and process teams (IPT), their outputs, and their relationships to each other. They also recognize key product and process team tasks and their relationships in a program schedule, and are able to analyze the performance aspects of an IPT

■ Work to transition from Integrated Master Plan to the Integrated Master Schedule

■ Manage the integration of production recurring schedules with the nonrecurring program level schedules

■ Manage reporting of integrated schedule data to customers

■ Understand when and where to use Earned Value Management (EVM), and how this system is used to benefit the project management effort

■ Design and manage an Assignment Matrix (RAM)

■ Serve as an effective cost account manager, and understand how cost accounting supports the cost account manager

■ Provide a working level definition of a project/program baseline schedule to include the basic objectives of that schedule

■ Implement the planning and budgeting process within the resource loading activities of the schedule integration process

■ Produce a variance analysis report, and understand the process of arriving at the conclusions cited in the report

■ Define and integrate risk management, and elaborate on the process of risk analysis and risk management

■ Provide the definition for low risk, medium risk, and high risk while being able to integrate the likelihood of the occurrence with the consequences of the occurrences onto the tailored risk grid, and incorporate necessary mitigating elements

Reviewing the current state of project management literature, it could be argued that the word "integration" is used in so many different contexts and applications that its usefulness is in question. Engineers integrate products and systems; managers integrate and coordinate their organizations; and planners integrate their plans. Yet, despite its prolific use, the term still defines a critical aspect of successful organizations, projects, and teams—working together toward program and project objectives. The integration of product and system means that the components come together to produce product performance and customer satisfaction. They come together because people make them come together; integration just doesn't happen, it must be proactively encouraged by the participants in the program management process.

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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