The purpose of this section is to address the 5 Process groups and the Project Team. This portion of the lecture will address the 5 process groups.
The 5 process groups are listed below
1. Initiating: Begins with the project; Processes are performed in the Initiating process group to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project
2. Planning: Processes in the Planning group establish the scope of the project and define the course of action required to attain the project's objectives
3. Executing: Processes in the Executing group are performed to complete the work as specified in the Project Management Plan
4. Monitoring & Controlling: Processes track, review and regulate the progress and performance of the project.
5. Closing: Ends the project; Processes are performed to formally the close the project or a phase
All of these five process groups have individual processes that collectively make up the group. The process groups are overlapping activities that occur throughout the project. The process groups are independent of application areas. Please take note that Process groups are not project phases. (JustgetPMP.com, 2011)
The five process groups are way to understand the flow of the project. It is important to understand that the process is not necessarily the stage of the project.
SA - South Africa's Leading Accountancy Journal www.accountancysa.org.za
A project may have different activities that run concurrent to each other along the process. Other activities of the project may run sequentially where one piece of the project must be completed before the next activity can begin. A good project manager is able to determine the sequence of activities and the process they reside in.
Confusing? This is in part a rationale for the 5 process groups. The processes serve as a guideline to how a project is progressing. This approach is a powerful and dynamic tool that can be adjusted to individual micro and macro projects.
Let’s take a closer look.
This is the early investigation process as to if the project should be considered. For instance, if a senior leader went to a conference (or read a new management book) that motivated them to take on a new project for organizational change and effectiveness, this would be the time to explore the feasibility and viability of such an undertaking. If a manager had visited a business site that was making significant advances in their organization and wanted to roll this out to his whole group, this would be the time to explore this option before the commitment level begins which requires more time, cost or resources.
The initiation process looks at the initial cursory issues of benefits and payoff. Questions to be asked would include issues of ROI and payback periods. For instance, what is the ROI on this project? If it will cost 2 Million over a 12 month process, in order to provide a return of 3 Million over an 18 month period - is this feasible or would another project yield a higher rate of return in the short term and/or the long term?
Let me give you an example. A discussion arose in a team meeting that a monitoring application was not synchronizing well with a records management application. The team lead suggested to the manager to have the software developer add a field that would populate providing the necessary information based on the set parameters from the monitoring application. This should reduce the time necessary to make the entries and reduce the error margin by human intervention or inverted information.
On the surface this looked to be a reasonable request. The manager took the request to the software developer of the records management application. The organization returned a project cost of $65,000 to make the change and a 6 month waiting period to complete the request.
Now, add to this project one that was already scheduled. The manager’s group was scheduled for a newer release of the records management application in three months. About every 90-180, new versions of the software were released in order to maintain controls in light with technology advances. If the manager made the request to be made in the iteration that was just now going into the planning stages and would be released in about 9 months, the integration would be minimal as to cost. What would you do as the manager? What decision would you make?
The planning process is all about the Ws: What, where, why, when, what, and how. This lays out the plan and three main steps of the process (Planning, Executing, and Controlling) that will continue to interact with each other until either the project is ready for closure, the project is terminated, or the project fails. Ideally, the processes are working in conjunction to each other in order to achieve the desired results. In reality if the planning is not complete and the process is lacking, then the project can quickly be put in jeopardy or danger of being shut down.
Here's an example.
Consider a project that was the "brainchild" of a senior leader. He began the project but did not fully commit to it. This project is on a "limited success model". Once the senior leader loses interest or if a road block is encountered, this project could be shutdown, taking a significant amount of an organizations time, money, and resources with it. The project without adequate planning can be expedited to a point--after that the efforts are fruitless as to the original purpose. Perhaps the original purpose is not far removed from what is now the current project being developed, that it is better to cut the losses then release this product and suffer the fallout.
Here's a word of caution.
Many organizations will not want to wait on a comprehensive planning process. The results of Planning are not quickly seen and in business results count. If the planning process is shortcut, the foundation of the project may be compromised. The adequate assessments and resources are to be developed during the planning process. If the commitments are not there, then the project may not be a timely and wise investment for the business at the time.
Here is another example:
Two projects are being considered by the senior leadership at a local university. Both projects are designed to improve organizational effectiveness—as is necessary for continued accreditation. Both projects involve training and development across the organizational footprint. One project will be Computer Based Training that employees will be allowed to complete at their leisure within the set timeframe. The training program will offer 25 different “seminars” that the employee may choose 2 of 5 tracks (5 classes per track), thereby having to complete 10 courses to achieve two specialty certifications. Participants will complete a self-paced online quiz that they can take as many times as necessary until they pass.
This project is estimated to cost 1.5 Million and take approximately 12 months to complete. The trainings are literally in a box and ready to be set up.
The second project is a blend of in service trainings given in the seminar room. Along with each live session is homework to solidify the information and provide accountability to the attendees while providing valid metrics back to the senior leadership. The seminar series will be offered for 1 month in 10 different locations across the organization to save on employee travel.
One Seminar will be in the area for a week. An employee goes for 1 day, any day of the week. If they miss a portion one day due to a work related issue, they can complete the missing portion another day. They have the following week to complete the homework assignments that include practical exercises, germane to the work. This project is projected with a 12 month duration and will cost 2 million dollars. As a member of the senior leadership team which would bring the better value for the investment? Which will likely bring a better return?
Executing is where the "rubber meets the road." This is where concept and planning meet reality and application. Development of resources, teams, the different micro components that will make the macro project possible are all in the works during this phase.
Scheduling was a part of the planning process. During execution the schedule comes to life. Now, the project manager will see if the guidelines were realistic. They will understand the challenges and risks that were not visible before.
Executing aligns with the next process of monitoring and controlling. Resource development means getting the right resources in time, on time, until the process can be satisfactorily completed. If the resources are not currently available, this is the time to get these issues worked out as they should have been back in the planning stages.
Here's an example of resource scheduling.
A project that had a specialty resource made available for a distinct period of time can be sabotaged by project setbacks that push the schedule back. The annual organizational leadership conference that is a highlight of the training year brings all the leaders from across the organization to address issues that concern small and large sections of the organization. There are general and breakout sessions at this 4 day conference that address critical areas to get “everybody in the room” There are trainings and seminars with key leaders, planning sessions, and several keynote speakers, that are brought in throughout this event.
The CEO is coming in to address the company employees. He was originally scheduled for the second night of the conference before he went off to meet with the European divisions. Due to a scheduling mix up, He needs to be scheduled for Lunch the second day. Ordinarily this would not be an issue and the flexibility would be built into his schedule.
However, this year the event coordinators were able to bring in Brian Tracy a powerful and dynamic speaker as the keynote speaker. His only available slot during the conference dates are lunch on Day 2 when he was originally scheduled. If he is moved, he will not be able to attend the event. Due to the error being on the organization’s side, he is to be compensated his $100,000 fee regardless. As an event coordinator what do you do? The CEO is a necessary part of the convention. Organizations that have consistently worked with Mr. Tracy experience a 30-45% increase in productivity and profitability in the first 90 days after time with him.
Managing and controlling the project may seem like the busy work part of the project. Often this can be where some of the greatest challenges are noticed. Continued assessment of risk, milestones, budget, personnel, and performance is ongoing. If the assessments and adjustments are not made, a project can quickly go off track. Control and management is the time when the team, at all levels, needs to be firing on all cylinders in order to stay on scope and complete the project. This is where the jigsaw pieces of a project come together.
A project team that has been developing the computer based homework system as part of the Organizational Effectiveness Training System, has stayed on budget and on schedule according to the Team Lead. The PM has not validated the milestones other than reviewing the submitted reports by the Team Lead. The schedule date to begin the compilation of the different aspects of the project has come. As the developers and teams come together and assemble the different components, it is discovered the homework system cannot speak to the other components or draw information on the database servers. The System Administrator and Project Manager begin investigating the problem. Soon they are calling in the Team Lead. The parameters were thoroughly laid out at the beginning of the project. The system was to be run through SQL and Microsoft servers running Windows Server 2012. The Team Lead and his team built the system to run on Server 2003 for backwards compatibility. The decision for 2012 was due to new IPv6 compatibility.
Where is the breakdown? Was it the PM, the Team Lead, the System Admin? Were the parameters not clear? The project has encountered a significant setback that will impact available resources and scheduling, costing the organization hundreds of thousands per day in delays. A successful project just became a white elephant unless some rapid corrections can be made. Monitoring the controls along the way can reduce or eliminate many of these issues.
The closing process is the final part of the process, yet often is the transition into new initiations. This is the time where the final product is presented for final acceptance, approval, and sign off. There are several variables at stake here. If the product has not been thoroughly tested, surprises can occur; this is not usually a good thing. Know the product before presenting it to the end client whether in house or an external client.
It is during the final presentations that recommendations and findings can be made as to future projects that would improve the end product or compliment the advances now made. The rapport established with the leaders or the client can make a remarkable difference as to continued contracts and new opportunities.
There has been considerable information shared in this lecture. It is important to gain these concepts and understand the processes in order to be an effective Project Manager. Review Wysocki and the PMBOK in these areas to lay a very solid foundation in which to build your knowledge. This is also an important area that you may need to seek additional resources beyond that of the course materials. The processes and what they represent are the meat of Project Management.
See you online.
Fauzi, A. (2011). Never ape an ape manxaioza. Retrieved on May 14, 2013 from http://www.justgetpmp.com/2011/01/what-are-5-process-groups.html
Aryatha, K. (2012). What is PMBOK? Retrieved on May 14, 2013 from karyatha.blogspot.com
SA. (2010). 5 Process Group. Retrieved on May 14, 2013 from www.accountancy
· Developing the Process
This week is an extension of week one.
You will take the presented project that you submitted in Week 1 and develop the processes for your project.
Use the five processes that we discussed in the lecture this week or you may choose a different set of processes that you have experience with as a project manager.
In your paper, it is imperative that you support and defend the processes you choose as to how they are the best fit and best practices for your project.
The assignment submission should be 750 - 1000 words of text. A minimum of two external sources must be used in conjunction with the course materials. Only one may be found on the internet (not Wikipedia). The other must be found in the Grantham University online library. Please use the correct APA format consistently throughout this assignment. Only the body of the paper will count towards the page requirement. Please include a title page. Please see rubric below.
- 6 years ago