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PM Milestone Project Management Templates

PM Milestone Project Management Templates

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Project completed Figure 2: Capita) project progress prior to PM&C

Responding to these factors, Heublein's corporate management called for a program to improve execution of capital projects by implementing PM&C. Responsibility for this program was placed with the Corporate Facilities and Manufacturing Department, which, in addition to reviewing all Capital Appropriation Requests, provided technical consulting services to the corporation.

Feasibility Study

Lacking specialized expertise in project management, the Director of Facilities and Manufacturing Planning decided to use a consultant in the field. Interviewing of three consultants was undertaken to select one who had the requisite knowledge, compatibility with the style and goals of the firm, and the ability to communicate to all levels and types of managers. The latter requirement was important because of the diversity of the engineering department structures and personnel involved. The first author was selected as the consultant.

With the consultant selected, an internal program manager for PM&C was selected. The deferral of this choice until after selection of the consultant was deliberate, to allow for development of interest and enthusiasm among candidates for this position and so that both the selected individual and the selection committee would have a clear picture of the nature of the program. A program manager was chosen from the corporate staff (the second author).

Having the key staff in place, ground rules were established as follows:

The PM&C program would be developed internally to tailor it to the specific needs of the Groups. A "canned" or packaged system would limit this flexibility, which was deemed essential in this application of project management principles.

The directors of the engineering departments of each of the Groups were to be directly involved in both the design and implementation of the PM&C system in total and for their particular Group. This would assure the commitment to its success that derives from ownership and guarantees that those who know the needs best determine the nature of the system. To meet the above two ground rules, a thorough fundamental education in the basic principles of project management would be given to all involved in the system design.

The emphasis was to be project planning as opposed to project control. The purpose of PM&C was to achieve better performance on projects, not catch mistakes after they have occurred. Success was the goal, rather than accountability or identification of responsibility for failure.

Program Design

The option of defining a uniform PM&C system, to be imposed on all engineering departments by corporate mandate was rejected. The diversity of projects put the weight in favor of individual systems, provided planning and control was such that success of the projects was facilitated. The advantage to corporate staff of uniform planning and reporting was given second place to accommodation of the unique needs of each Group and the wholehearted commitment of each en gineering manager to the effective use of the adopted system. Thus, a phased implementation of PM&C within Heublein was planned in advance. These phases were:

Phase 1. Educational overview for engineering department managers. A three-day seminar with two top-level educational objectives: (1) comprehension by participants of a maximal set of project management principles and (2) explanation of the corporate objectives and recommended approach for any PM&C system. Despite some expressed initial concern, the response to this session was positive. It was correctly perceived as the first step in a sincere attempt by corporate management to develop a jointly defined PM&C system that would be useful to the managers of projects, rather than to satisfy a corporate reporting need.

Phase II. PM&C system design. A "gestation period" of three weeks was deliberately introduced between Phases 1 and II to allow for absorption, discussion, and review of the project management principles and objectives by the engineering department managers. At the end of this period a session was called for the explicit purpose of defining the system. The session was chaired by the consultant, a deliberate choice to achieve the "lightning rod" effect whereby any negative concern was directed to an outsider. Also, the consultant—as an outsider—could criticize and comment in ways that should not be done by the engineering department managers who will have long-term working relationships among each other. It was agreed in advance that a consensus would be sought to the greatest possible extent, avoiding any votes on how to handle particular issues which leaves the "nay" votes feeling that their interests have been overridden by the majority. If consensus could not be achieved, then the issue would be sidestepped to be deferred for later consideration-, if sufficiently important then a loint solution could be developed outside the session without the pressure of a fixed closing time. The dynamics of this design session included the develop-m®nt of consensus statements which were displayed on overhead transparencies to be worked into shape. As soon as this was acceptable to the Group as a whole, one of two attending stenographers would record the agreement, leave the room and return later w'th a typed version for group consideration. The use °f two group stenographers assured that one was al-Ways in attendance. The enthusiasm expressed by the engineering department managers for this meeting was high.

Phase 111. Project plan development. The output of Phase 11 (the set of consensus conclusions) represented both guidelines and specific conclusions concerning the nature of a PM&C system. Recognizing that the PM&C program will be viewed as a model project and that it should be used as such, serving as an example of what is desired, the program manager prepared a project plan for the PM&C program. The remainder of this paper is primarily concerned with the discussion of this plan, both as an example of how to introduce a PM&C system and how to make a project plan. The plan discussed in this paper and illustrated in Figures 3 to 11 is the type of plan that is now required before any capital project may be submitted to the approval process at Heublein. Phase IV. Implementation. With the plan developed in Phase III approved, it was possible to move ahead with implementation. Implementation was in accordance with the plan discussed in the balance of this paper. Evaluation of the results was considered a part of this implementation.

Project Plan

A feature of the guidelines developed by the engineering managers in Phase II was that a "menu" of component parts of a project plan was to be established in the corporate PM&C system, and that elements of this menu were to be chosen to fit the situational or corporate tracking requirements. The menu is:

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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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