Category: "Project Management"

Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management

03/28/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Responsibility Assignment Matrix is a good tool to document the level of responsibility of a project member for the project tasks. Utilizing PMI PMBOK™ levels of responsibility in a project, one can think of these levels using the acronym PARIS.
P - Participant; involved, but not at a critical level
A - Accountable; must answer to management for the project task status
R - Review Needed
I - Input Needed
S - Sign Off Required

Below is an example of part of a Responsibility Assignment Matrix:

As part of the Resource Management Plan, update the roles of Responsiblity Assignment Matrix to include names.

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Project Plan

03/26/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

The term Project Plan is often loosely used. In most of our project engagements, we often have to clarify that Project Plan is not just a Microsoft Project Plan. A project plan is a document and is an output of the project planning process. Developing a project plan encompasses everything that is done during project planning.

Some elements that are contained in the project plan are:

  • Scope of the Project
  • History and Background of Project
  • Assumptions
  • Constraints
  • Schedule (here, you can put the MS Project Plan)
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Resource Management
  • Scope Management Plan including escalation procedures
  • Change Management Plan
  • Cost Management Plan - Budget can be included here though some project sponsors do not like the budget exposed for everyone to see
  • Quality Management Plan
  • Communication Management Plan
  • Risk Management Plan

Having a documented Project Plan is essential. If your project does not have one and you are the Project Manager, make one. It will prove useful to you. &#59;D


Effective Project Meetings

03/14/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Project meetings are important in maintaining good communication. The objectives of project meetings are to make decisions and communicate project updates on decisions previously made. Meetings with no clear objectives waste time and money.

The following are some techniques to conduct effective meetings:

  • Have clear objectives for the meeting; define the issues and processes
  • Have an agenda; publish, distribute and follow the agenda
  • Follow a format for conducting the meeting
  • Facilitate the meeting towards making decisions not only towards discussing the problem
  • Listen and foster creative, collaborative thinking and discussion
  • Keep the meeting short; one of our customers calls it part of the 3 B's: "be brilliant, be brief and be seated"
  • Invite only the necessary people
  • Assign someone to take minutes of the meeting; publish the minutes of the meeting

Bagels, muffins and coffee for morning meetings will entice the team to attend the meeting but make it productive not only for the stomachs. &#59;D


Project Management Concept: Scope Planning

03/12/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Part of the Scope Management Process of any project is Scope Planning. Scope Planning documents the project scope. Documenting the project scope is important to ensure that everyone affected by the project is in the same page. Wouldn’t life be easier if the project team works together towards a known goal with known constraints and scope? If the project sponsors are clear about the scope and the associated business benefits, business “buy-in” and support are ensured.

There are two important outputs for the Scope Planning Process. These are the Scope Statement and the Scope Management Plan.

  • Scope Statement

    The Scope Statement provides a common understanding of the project among stakeholders. Some organizations create a separate Scope Statement Document while others make it a part of the Project Charter or Project Plan. The Scope statement should provide the business justification for the project, deliverables, objectives and description of the result of the project. If everyone in the project is clear about the Scope Statement, scope creeps are easier to control.

  • Scope Management Plan

    The Scope Management Plan details how the scope will be defined and managed. It also documents how changes to a scope will be handled. For example, in one of our 90-day data mart project, the scope was defined through a prioritization process of the business needs. This was clearly documented as well as the process in which any scope changes are handled. The business users were happy because they clearly understood the process of how the project was scoped. The users understood what requirements would be met for a particular 90-day increment of the project.

    Creation of a change control board and a change order process are examples of how scope changes are handled. Everyone affected by the project must understand that there is a process and even an associated cost for any scope change. The Scope Management Plan should be part of the Project Plan.


Terms for Measuring Benefits for Projects

01/22/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Have you been in a situtation where you need to justify or quantify benefits for your projects? Here are some terms to help you:

Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR): As the term suggests, it is the ratio of benefits to Cost.
BCR = Benefits/Cost
Example: The projected benefit of an IT project is $1 Million and the cost is $500,000. The BCR= 2.

Opportunity Cost: MSN Money defines Opportunity Cost as "The cost of passing up one investment in favor of another." This concept can be used in measuring benefits for projects by asking "What is the cost of missing out on other opportunities because money was invested in this project?" To be able to show that the Opportunity Cost is small is good because no one wants to miss out on a big opportunity. :P

Return on Investment (ROI): This is a very common term. It is the percentage the shows what return is made for a particular investment. The formula is:
ROI = (benefits - cost) / benefits
Example: An IT project costs $200,000 and the computed benefits of doing this project is $230,000. The computed ROI is 15%

Net Present Value (NPV): Investopedia defines NPV "An approach used in capital budgeting where the present value of cash inflow is subtracted from the present value of cash outflows." This is based on the concept of Present Value (PV). PV according to the definition of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics is the value today of an amount of money in the future. The simplified formula is:
NPV = PV-cost
Example: The IT project has a PV of $500,000 with a cost of $300,000. Then the NPV is $200,000.
To put it in the context of project justification, the bigger the NPV, the better for the project.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR): defines IRR as "The rate of return that would make the present value of future cash flows plus the final market value of an investment or business opportunity equal the current market price of the investment or opportunity." You can refer to Investment FAQ on how to compute for IRR. &#59;D For project justification, the basic concept is, the bigger the IRR, the better.


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This blog contains thoughts that range from non-technical to technical. Its name is derived from "Yakity Blah Blah" a column I once had that discussed a cornucopia of ideas. Who am I? I'm Clarise Z. Doval Santos, providing Project Management and Technical Leadership for data management and analytic, data science, IoT and sensor analytics ecosystems 37.652951177164 -122.490877706959


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