Total Project Planning

The difference between the good project manager and the poor project manager is often described in one word: planning. Unfortunately, people have a poor definition of what project planning actually involves. Project planning involves planning for:

• Schedule development

• Budget development

• Project administration (see Section 5.3)

• Leadership styles (interpersonal influences; see Section 5.4)

• Conflict management (see Chapter 7)

The first two items involve the quantitative aspects of planning. Planning for project administration includes the development of the linear responsibility chart.

Although each project manager has the authority and responsibility to establish project policies and procedures, they must fall within the general guidelines established by top management. Guidelines can also be established for planning, scheduling, controlling, and communications.

Linear responsibility charts can result from customer-imposed requirements above and beyond normal operations. For example, the customer may require as part of his quality control requirements that a specific engineer supervise and approve all testing of a certain item, or that another individual approve all data released to the customer over and above program office approval. Customer requirements similar to those identified above require LRCs and can cause disruptions and conflicts within an organization.

Several key factors affect the delegation of authority and responsibility both from upper-level management to project management, and from project management to functional management. These key factors include:

• The maturity of the project management function

• The size, nature, and business base of the company

• The size and nature of the project

• The life cycle of the project

• The capabilities of management at all levels

Once agreement has been reached on the project manager's authority and responsibility, the results may be documented to delineate that role regarding:

• Focal position

• Conflict between the project manager and functional managers

• Influence to cut across functional and organizational lines

• Participation in major management and technical decisions

• Collaboration in staffing the project

• Control over allocation and expenditure of funds

• Selection of subcontractors

• Rights in resolving conflicts

• Input in maintaining the integrity of the project team

• Establishment of project plans

• Provisions for a cost-effective information system for control

• Provisions for leadership in preparing operational requirements

• Maintenance of prime customer liaison and contact

• Promotion of technological and managerial improvements

• Establishment of project organization for the duration

• Elimination of red tape

Documenting the project manager's authority is necessary in some situations because:

• All interfacing must be kept as simple as possible.

• The project manager must have the authority to "force" functional managers to depart from existing standards and possibly incur risk.

• Gaining authority over those elements of a program that are not under the project manager's control is essential. This is normally achieved by earning the respect of the individuals concerned.

• The project manager should not attempt to fully describe the exact authority and responsibilities of the project office personnel or team members. Problem solving rather than role definition should be encouraged.

Although documenting project authority is undesirable, it may be a necessary prerequisite, especially if project initiation and planning require a formal project chart. In such a case, a letter such as that shown in Table 11-6 may suffice.

Power and authority are often discussed as though they go hand in hand. Authority comes from people above you, perhaps by delegation, whereas power comes from people below you. You can have authority without power or power without authority.

table 11 -6. project charter


12 Oak Avenue Cleveland. Ohio -141L4

Tol Distribution

Fryii): L. White. Exicctttive Vice President

Subject: Itoject Ch^ir^-r for the Atnae Projtct

Mr Ruben L- James has been assigned as the Project Manager for the Atme Projed.


Mr. Jartn;s- will be ¡csfmnsthle for ensuring lhat nil key iniLcstcm.i;s arc met within the time. Cost.

J performance constraint nf his pmjeCi. vttiilc ;tdheriii£ to proper quality antral itnndjrdj, KiJithi-ritiorc, the project manager must work closely wilti line managers DO ensure that all assigned renounces, are used efieciivcly and efTicienUy, and thai cite project is properly siaffed. Additionally. the rnanjijjer will he responsible f(?r:

1. All formal communications between ihc customer and coruruelor.

2. Preparation of a pHsjcci plan thai is realistic, an J acceptable by both (he customer andconlrac-inr,

3. Preparation of .all project dala i terns

4. Keeping executive management informed asio project status through weekly {detailed) and itionibty (summary) status riporiittj:-

5. linsurinp ili.ii all functional employees and manager are kept informed as» their r-cMpnnsihil-iiiex mi line pnojeei ami all revisions imposed by the customer or parent organization Comparing actual to predicted cost and pcrff»rmaiKt, and Uking wnwlive aakn when neecs-ivy,

7. Maintaining :i plan that continuously displays the project's lime, cost, and performance a* well a^ resonfie commitments made by the functional managers.


To ensure thai the projeel meets its ohjerti^fi, Mr- Janle* is auihrjrr/cd lo manage the project and issuedirectives in accordance Lothe policies arid procedures section of the company'sPtojecl Maimgemrttt Mnnuot. Additional directives roij be issued ihrou^h ihc office of the executive vice-president.

The piogriLrti manager's authority ,il<o includes:

1. Direct access to ihe Ctj3t0fl»ef on ¿11 matters pertaining to the Acme Project.

2. Direct aeera lo LleeLKHJynamies1 executive managementon all maircrs pertaining ro ihe

Acme PtojCit.

3. Control and distribution of all project dollars, including procurement such thai company and project cash flow limitation ate adhered to

J. To revise the piroject plan as needed, and with customer appr&vnL 5. To icqutre periodic fund ion al statu s rejxuting.

(j. To monitor ihe time, cost, and performance activities in ihc funcOooal <kpaniTients and enswe dui all problem* are promptly identified, reported, and solved.

7. To cut across all Functional lines and to interface with all levels of management as necessary to meet project requirement^.

8. Tu renejjdiiaie wlftl functional managers for changes in personnel assignments.

9. Delejaiin^; responsibilities and authority lo funtriyna] personnel. pmvitJed that the line manager iii lit approval that Ihe employee can handle ihti authonly/Fcspwi-^bility level,

Any question* icgnrdfttg the above policies should be directed iij the undersigned.

L White tsecuiiic Vkrc-Prtsiiietu

In a traditional organizational structure, most individuals maintain position power. The higher up you sit, the more power you have. But in project management, the reporting level of the project might be irrelevant, especially if a project sponsor exists. In project management, the project manager's power base emanates from his

• Expertise (technical or managerial)

• Credibility with employees

• Sound decision-making ability

The last item is usually preferred. If the project manager is regarded as a sound decision maker, then the employees normally give the project manager a great deal or power over them.

Leadership styles refer to the interpersonal influence modes that a project manager can use. Project managers may have to use several different leadership styles, depending on the makeup of the project personnel. Conflict management is important because if the project manager can predict what conflicts will occur and when they are most likely to occur, he may be able to plan for the resolution of the conflicts through project administration.

Figure 11-16 shows the complete project planning phase for the quantitative portions. The object, of course, is to develop a project plan that shows complete distribution of resources and the corresponding costs. The figure represents an iterative process. The project manager begins with a coarse (arrow diagram) network and then decides on the work breakdown structure. The WBS is essential to the arrow diagram and should be constructed so that reporting elements and levels are easily identifiable. Eventually, there will be an arrow diagram and detailed chart for each element in the WBS. If there exists too much detail, the project manager can refine the diagram by combining all logic into one plan and can then decide on the work assignments. There is a risk here that, by condensing the diagrams as much as possible, there may be a loss of clarity. As shown in Figure 1116, all the charts and schedules can be integrated into one summary-level figure. This can be accomplished at each WBS level until the desired plan is achieved.

Finally, project, line, and executive management must analyze other internal and external variables before finalizing these schedules. A partial listing of these variables includes:

• Introduction or acceptance of the product in the marketplace

• Present or planned manpower availability

• Economic constraints of the project

• Degree of technical difficulty

• Manpower availability

• Availability of personnel training

• Priority of the project

In small companies and projects, certain items in Figure 11-16 may be omitted, such as the LRCs.

Figure 11-16. Project planning.
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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