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Reference Cross of Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Concepts to Text Topics Chapter 1 Modern Project Management Chapter 8 Scheduling resources and cost 1.2 Project defined 1.3 Project management defined 1.4 Projects and programs (.2) 2.1 The project life cycle (.2.3) App. G.1 The project manager App. G.7 Political and social environments F.1 Integration of project management processes [3.1] 6.5.2 Setting a schedule baseline [8.1.4] Setting a resource schedule Resource leveling 7.2 Setting a cost and time baseline schedule (1.3.5) [8.1.3] Critical chain method Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Reducing Project Duration Leadership Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 1.4 Projects and programs (.2) 1.4.1 Managing the portfolio 1.4.3 Strategy and projects 2.3 Stakeholders and review boards 12.1 RFP's and vendor selection (.3.4.5) SWAT analysis Schedule compression Leadership skills G.1 Project leadership 10.1 Stakeholder management Chapter 11 Teams Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 2.4.1 Organization cultures [G.7] 2.4.2 Organization structure [9.1.3] 9.1.1 Organization charts 1.4.4 Project offices Chapter 4 9.2 Building the team (.1.3) & [3.5.3] [App G.2 Building teams] 9.4 Managing the team 9.3.2 Team building activities 9.2.4 Virtual teams Team performance [] Conflict management Recognition and awards Defining the Project 4.1 Project charter 5.1 Gather requirements 5.2 Defining scope 5.3 Creating a WBS 5.4 Tools and techniques 6.1 Define activities 9.1.2. Responsibility matrixes 10.1 Communication planning (.2.3.4) [App. G-4] Chapter 12 Outsourcing 12.1.1 Procurement requirements [G.8] Contract types Conflict management 12.2.7 The art of negotiating Change requests Chapter 13 Monitoring Progress Chapter 5 Estimating Times and Costs 6.4 Activity duration estimates (.3) 6.4.2 Estimating tools (.1.3.4) 6.3.1 Identifying resources 7.1 Activity cost estimates (. Delphi method Chapter 6 10.5.3 Cost/schedule system (.1) 6.6 .2.1 Time performance Cost baseline development Earned value system (F.4) E.V., performance status report E.V., forecasts EV., to complete index (EAC) Schedule and cost variance Developing a Project Plan 4.2.2 Planning tools 6.2 Sequence activities [1.2] 6.5.1 Bar and milestone charts 6.5.2 Critical path method (.2) Lead and lag activities [6.2.3] F.3 Project duration Chapter 14 Project closure Closure report Organization processes (.5) & [4.5.3 &] 4.6.1 Administrative tasks (.3) & [3.7.1, & 12.4] Lessons learned [] Individual performance appraisals Chapter 7 Managing Risk Chapter 15 Chapter 16 International Projects Oversight 11.1 Risk management process [F.8] 11.2 Identifying risks Impact matrix 11.4 Risk assessment 11.5 Risk responses (.2.1.2) 11.6 Risk register PERT analysis Contingency reserves Change control management G.7 Culture awareness 1.4.4 Project offices 8.1.2 Continuous improvement 5.1 Requirements vs. actual [5.3] Chapter 17 Agile PM Rolling wave This page intentionally left blank Project Management The Managerial Process The McGraw-Hill/Irwin Series Operations and Decision Sciences OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT Beckman and Rosenfield, Operations, Strategy: Competing in the 21st Century, First Edition Benton, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, Second Edition Bowersox, Closs, and Cooper, Supply Chain Logistics Management, Third Edition Brown and Hyer, Managing Projects: A Team-Based Approach, First Edition Burt, Petcavage, and Pinkerton, Supply Management, Eighth Edition Cachon and Terwiesch, Matching Supply with Demand: An Introduction to Operations Management, Second Edition Finch, Interactive Models for Operations and Supply Chain Management, First Edition Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, Service Management: Operations, Strategy, Information Technology, Seventh Edition Gehrlein, Operations Management Cases, First Edition Harrison and Samson, Technology Management, First Edition Hayen, SAP R/3 Enterprise Software: An Introduction, First Edition Hill, Manufacturing Strategy: Text & Cases, Third Edition Hopp, Supply Chain Science, First Edition Hopp and Spearman, Factory Physics, Third Edition Jacobs, Berry, Whybark, and Vollmann Manufacturing Planning & Control for Supply Chain Management, Sixth Edition Jacobs and Chase, Operations and Supply Management: The Core, Second Edition Jacobs and Chase Operations and Supply Management, Thirteenth Edition Jacobs and Whybark, Why ERP? First Edition Larson and Gray, Project Management: The Managerial Process, Fifth Edition Leenders, Johnson, Flynn, and Fearon, Purchasing and Supply Management, Thirteenth Edition Nahmias, Production and Operations Analysis, Sixth Edition Olson, Introduction to Information Systems Project Management, Second Edition Schroeder, Goldstein, Rungtusanatham, Operations Management: Contemporary Concepts and Cases, Fifth Edition Seppanen, Kumar, and Chandra, Process Analysis and Improvement, First Edition Simchi-Levi, Kaminsky, and Simchi-Levi, Designing and Managing the Supply Chain: Concepts, Strategies, Case Studies, Third Edition Sterman, Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for Complex World, First Edition Stevenson, Operations Management, 10th Edition Swink, Melnyk, Cooper, and Hartley, Managing Operations Across the Supply Chain, First Edition Thomke, Managing Product and Service Development: Text and Cases, First Edition Ulrich and Eppinger, Product Design and Development, Fourth Edition Zipkin, Foundations of Inventory Management, First Edition QUANTITATIVE METHODS AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCE Hillier and Hillier, Introduction to Management Science: A Modeling and Case Studies Approach with Spreadsheets, Fourth Edition Stevenson and Ozgur, Introduction to Management Science with Spreadsheets, First Edition Project Management The Managerial Process Fifth Edition Erik W. Larson Oregon State University Clifford F. Gray Oregon State University PROJECT MANAGEMENT: THE MANAGERIAL PROCESS Published by McGraw-Hill/Irwin, a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 10020. Copyright 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written consent of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., including, but not limited to, in any network or other electronic storage or transmission, or broadcast for distance learning. Some ancillaries, including electronic and print components, may not be available to customers outside the United States. This book is printed on acid-free paper. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 WVR/WVR 0 9 8 7 ISBN 978-0-07-340334-2 MHID 0-07-340334-2 Editorial director: Stewart Mattson Publisher: Tim Vertovec Executive editor: Richard T. Hercher, Jr. Developmental editor: Gail Korosa Associate marketing manager: Jaime Halterman Project manager: Harvey Yep Production supervisor: Carol Bielski Designer: Mary Kazak Vander Photo researcher: Jeremy Cheshareck Media project manager: Cathy Tepper Cover image: Veer Images Typeface: 10.5/12 Times Roman Compositor: Aptara, Inc. Printer: Worldcolor Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Larson, Erik W., 1952Project management: the managerial process / Erik W. Larson, Clifford F. Gray. --5th ed. p. cm. --(The McGraw-Hill/Irwin series, operations and decision sciences) Gray's name appears first on the earlier editions. Includes index. ISBN-13: 978-0-07-340334-2 (alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-07-340334-2 (alk. paper) 1. Project management. 2. Time management. 3. Risk management. I. Gray, Clifford F. II. Gray, Clifford F. Project management. III. Title. HD69.P75G72 2011 658.4904--dc22 2009054318 About the Authors Erik W. Larson ERIK W. LARSON is professor of project management at the College of Business, Oregon State University. He teaches executive, graduate, and undergraduate courses on project management, organizational behavior, and leadership. His research and consulting activities focus on project management. He has published numerous articles on matrix management, product development, and project partnering. He has been honored with teaching awards from both the Oregon State University MBA program and the University of Oregon Executive MBA program. He has been a member of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of the Project Management Institute since 1984. In 1995 he worked as a Fulbright scholar with faculty at the Krakow Academy of Economics on modernizing Polish business education. In 2005 he was a visiting professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He received a B.A. in psychology from Claremont McKenna College and a Ph.D. in management from State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a certified project management professional (PMP) and Scrum Master. Clifford F. Gray CLIFFORD F. GRAY is professor emeritus of management at the College of Business, Oregon State University. He continues to teach undergraduate and graduate project management courses overseas and in the United States; he has personally taught more than 100 executive development seminars and workshops. His research and consulting interests have been divided equally between operations management and project management; he has published numerous articles in these areas, plus a text on project management. He has also conducted research with colleagues in the International Project Management Association. Cliff has been a member of the Project Management Institute since 1976 and was one of the founders of the Portland, Oregon, chapter. He was a visiting professor at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. He was the president of Project Management International, Inc. (a training and consulting firm specializing in project management) 19772005. He received his B.A. in economics and management from Millikin University, M.B.A. from Indiana University, and doctorate in operations management from the College of Business, University of Oregon. He is certified Scrum Master. v "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. To my family who have always encircled me with love and encouragement--my parents (Samuel and Charlotte), my wife (Mary), my sons and their wives (Kevin and Dawn, Robert and Sally) and their children (Ryan, Carly, Connor and Lauren). C.F.G. "We must not cease from exploration and the end of all exploring will be to arrive where we begin and to know the place for the first time." T. S. Eliot To Ann whose love and support has brought out the best in me. And, to our girls Mary, Rachel, and Tor-Tor for the joy and pride they give me. Finally, to my muse, Neil, for the faith and inspiration he instills. E.W.L Preface Since you are reading this text, you have made a decision that learning more about project management will have a positive impact for you. You are absolutely right! Project management has become an organization-wide core competency; nearly every manager, regardless of discipline is involved in managing one or more projects. This text is designed to provide project managers and prospective project managers with the knowledge and skills that are transferable across industries and countries. Our motivation for writing this text was to provide students with a holistic, integrative view of project management. A holistic view focuses on how projects contribute to the strategic goals of the organization. The linkages for integration include the process of selecting projects that best support the strategy of a particular organization and that in turn can be supported by the technical and managerial processes made available by the organization to bring projects to completion. The goals for prospective project managers are to understand the role of a project in their organizations and to master the project management tools, techniques, and interpersonal skills necessary to orchestrate projects from start to finish. The role of projects in organizations is receiving increasing attention. Projects are the major tool for implementing and achieving the strategic goals of the organization. In the face of intense, worldwide competition, many organizations have reorganized around a philosophy of innovation, renewal, and organizational learning to survive. This philosophy suggests an organization that is flexible and project driven. Project management has developed to the point where it is a professional discipline having its own body of knowledge and skills. Today it is nearly impossible to imagine anyone at any level in the organization who would not benefit from some degree of expertise in the process of managing projects. Audience This text is written for a wide audience. It covers concepts and skills that are used by managers to propose, plan, secure resources, budget, and lead project teams to successful completions of their projects. The text should prove useful to students and prospective project managers in helping them understand why organizations have developed a formal project management process to gain a competitive advantage. Readers will find the concepts and techniques discussed in enough detail to be immediately useful in new-project situations. Practicing project managers will find the text to be a valuable guide and reference when dealing with typical problems that arise in the course of a project. Managers will also find the text useful in understanding the role of projects in the missions of their organizations. Analysts will find the text useful in helping to explain the data needed for project implementation as well as the operations of inherited or purchased software. Members of the Project Management Institute will find the text is well structured to meet the needs of those wishing to prepare for PMP (Project Management Professional) or CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification exams. The text has indepth coverage of the most critical topics found in PMI's Project Management vii viii Preface Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). People at all levels in the organization assigned to work on projects will find the text useful not only in providing them with a rationale for the use of project management tools and techniques but also because of the insights they will gain on how to enhance their contributions to project success. Our emphasis is not only on how the management process works, but more importantly, on why it works. The concepts, principles, and techniques are universally applicable. That is, the text does not specialize by industry type or project scope. Instead, the text is written for the individual who will be required to manage a variety of projects in a variety of different organizational settings. In the case of some small projects, a few of the steps of the techniques can be omitted, but the conceptual framework applies to all organizations in which projects are important to survival. The approach can be used in pure project organizations such as construction, research organizations, and engineering consultancy firms. At the same time, this approach will benefit organizations that carry out many small projects while the daily effort of delivering products or services continues. Content In this latest edition of the book, we have responded to feedback received from both students and teachers, which is deeply appreciated. As a result of the this feedback, the following changes have been made to the fifth edition: Restructuring of text to include four supplemental chapters that cover topics beyond the project management core. Inclusion of a supplemental chapter on agile project management which has enjoyed success on new product and software development projects. Terms and concepts have been updated to be consistent with the fourth edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (2008). Revised Chapter 14 to include project retrospectives. Chapters 2, 4, 6, 7, and 12, have been updated. New student exercises and cases have been added to most chapters. Answers to selected exercises are now available in Appendix 1 A third major computer exercise has been added to the Appendix 2; The "Snapshot from Practice" boxes feature a number of new examples of project management in action as well as new research highlights that continue to promote practical application of project management. Overall the text addresses the major questions and issues the authors have encountered over their 60 combined years of teaching project management and consulting with practicing project managers in domestic and foreign environments. The following questions represent the issues and problems practicing project managers find consuming most of their effort: What is the strategic role of projects in contemporary organizations? How are projects prioritized? What organizational and managerial styles will improve chances of project success? How do project managers orchestrate the complex network of relationships involving vendors, subcontractors, project team members, senior management, functional managers, and customers that affect project success? What factors contribute to the development of a high-performance project team? What project management system can be set Preface ix up to gain some measure of control? How do managers prepare for a new international project in a foreign culture? How does one pursue a career in project management? Project managers must deal with all these concerns to be effective. All of these issues and problems represent linkages to an integrative project management view. The chapter content of the text has been placed within an overall framework that integrates these topics in a holistic manner. Cases and snapshots are included from the experiences of practicing managers. The future for project managers appears to be promising. Careers will be determined by success in managing projects. Student Learning Aids The text Web site ( includes study outlines, online quizzes, PowerPoint slides, videos, Microsoft Project Video Tutorials and Web links. The trial version of Microsoft Project software is included on its own CD-ROM free with the text. Acknowledgments We would like to thank Richard Bruce, Ottawa University for updating the Test Bank and Online Quizzes; Charlie Cook, University of West Alabama for revising the PowerPoint slides; Oliver F. Lehmann for providing access to PMBOK study questions; and Mink for accuracy checking the text and Instructor's Resource Manual content. Next, it is important to note that the text includes contributions from numerous students, colleagues, friends, and managers gleaned from professional conversations. We want them to know we sincerely appreciate their counsel and suggestions. Almost every exercise, case, and example in the text is drawn from a real-world project. Special thanks to managers who graciously shared their current project as ideas for exercises, subjects for cases, and examples for the text. Shlomo Cohen, John A. Drexler, Jim Moran, John Sloan, Pat Taylor, and John Wold, whose work is printed, are gratefully acknowledged. Special gratitude is due Robert Breitbarth of Interact Management, who shared invaluable insights on prioritizing projects. University students and managers deserve special accolades for identifying problems with earlier drafts of the text and exercises. We are indebted to the reviewers of past editions who shared our commitment to elevating the instruction of project management. The reviewers include Paul S. Allen, Rice University; Denis F. Cioffi, George Washington University; Joseph D. DeVoss, DeVry University; Edward J. Glantz, Pennsylvania State University; Michael Godfrey, University of WisconsinOshkosh; Robert Key, University of Phoenix; Dennis Krumwiede, Idaho State University; Nicholas C. Petruzzi, University of IllinoisUrbana/Champaign; William R. Sherrard, San Diego State University; S. Narayan Bodapati, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville; Warren J. Boe, University of Iowa; Burton Dean, San Jose State University; Kwasi Amoako-Gyampah, University of North CarolinaGreensboro; Owen P. Hall, Pepperdine University; Bruce C. Hartman, University of Arizona; Richard Irving, York University; Robert T. Jones, DePaul University; Richard L. Luebbe, Miami University of Ohio; William Moylan, Lawrence Technological College of Business; Edward Pascal, University of Ottawa; James H. Patterson, Indiana University; Art Rogers, City University; Christy Strbiak, U.S. Air Force x Preface Academy; David A. Vaughan, City University; and Ronald W. Witzel, Keller Graduate School of Management. Nabil Bedewi, Georgetown University; Scott Bailey, Troy University; Michael Ensby, Clarkson University; Eldon Larsen, Marshall University; Steve Machon, DeVry UniversityTinley Park; William Matthews, William Patterson University; Erin Sims, DeVry UniversityPomona; Kenneth Solheim, DeVry UniversityFederal Way; and Oya Tukel, Cleveland State University. In the fifth edition we continue to commit to improving the text content and improving instruction of project management. We are grateful to those reviewers who provided helpful critiques and insights on the fourth edition, which helped us prepare this revision. The reviewers for the fifth edition include. Gregory Anderson, Weber State University; Dana Bachman, Colorado Christian University; Alan Cannon, University of Texas, Arlington; Susan Cholette, San Francisco State; Michael Ensby, Clarkson University; Charles Franz, University of Missouri, Columbia; Raouf Ghattas, DeVry University; Robert Groff, Westwood College; Raffael Guidone, New York City College of Technology; George Kenyon, Lamar University; Elias Konwufine, Keiser University; Rafael Landaeta, Old Dominion University; Muhammad Obeidat, Southern Polytechnic State University; Linda Rose, Westwood College; Oya Tukel, Cleveland State University; and Mahmoud Watad, William Paterson University. We thank you for your many thoughtful suggestions and for making our book better. Of course we accept responsibility for the final version of the text. In addition, we would like to thank our colleagues in the College of Business at Oregon State University for their support and help in completing this project. In particular, we recognize Ray Brooks, Jim Moran and Ping-Hung Hsieh for their helpful advice and suggestions. We also wish to thank the many students who helped us at different stages of this project, most notably Neil Young, Rebecca Keepers, Katherine Knox, Dat Nguyen, Lacey McNeely and Amanda Bosworth. Mary Gray deserves special credit for editing and working under tight deadlines on earlier editions. Special thanks go to Pinyarat Sirisomboonsuk for her help in preparing the last two editions. Finally, we want to extend our thanks to all the people at McGraw-Hill/Irwin for their efforts and support. First, we would like to thank Dick Hercher for continuing to champion and provide editorial direction and guidance, and Gail Korosa, who took over management of the book's development fifth edition. And we would also like to thank Denise Showers, Carol Blelski, Mary Sander, Jeremy Cheshareck, Grey Bates, and Harvey Yep for managing the final production, design, supplement, and media phases of the fifth edition. Erik W. Larson Clifford F. Gray Note to Student You will find the content of this text highly practical, relevant, and current. The concepts discussed are relatively simple and intuitive. As you study each chapter we suggest you try to grasp not only how things work, but why things work. You are encouraged to use the text as a handbook as you move through the three levels of competency: I know. I can do. I can adapt to new situations. Project management is both people and technical oriented. Project management involves understanding the cause-effect relationships and interactions among the sociotechnical dimensions of projects. Improved competency in these dimensions will greatly enhance your competitive edge as a project manager. The field of project management is growing in importance and at an exponential rate. It is nearly impossible to imagine a future management career that does not include management of projects. Rsums of managers will soon be primarily a description of the individual's participation in and contributions to projects. Good luck on your journey through the text and on your future projects. xi Brief Contents Preface vii 2 1. Modern Project Management 13. Progress and Performance Measurement and Evaluation 14. Project Closure 16. Oversight 564 504 532 15. International Projects 452 2. Organization Strategy and Project Selection 22 3. Organization: Structure and Culture 64 4. Defining the Project 100 5. Estimating Project Times and Costs 126 6. Developing a Project Plan 7. Managing Risk 210 252 304 156 17. An Introduction to Agile Project Management 582 18. Project Management Career Paths 602 APPENDIX One Solutions to Selected Exercises 611 Two Computer Project Exercises 625 8. Scheduling Resources and Costs 9. Reducing Project Duration 10. Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 338 11. Managing Project Teams 374 418 12. Outsourcing: Managing Interorganizational Relations GLOSSARY 642 ACRONYMS 651 PROJECT MANAGEMENT EQUATIONS 652 INDEX 653 xii Contents Preface vii Chapter 1 Modern Project Management What Is a Project? 5 The Project Life Cycle 7 The Project Manager 10 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 2 Project Management Structures 65 Organizing Projects within the Functional Organization 66 Organizing Projects as Dedicated Teams 69 Organizing Projects within a Matrix Arrangement 72 Different Matrix Forms 73 64 The Importance of Project Management 10 Project Management Today--An Integrative Approach 13 Integration of Projects with Organizational Strategy 13 Integration of Projects through Portfolio Management 14 Integration of the Process of Implementing Actual Projects 15 What Is the Right Project Management Structure? 77 Organization Considerations Project Considerations 77 77 Organizational Culture 79 Summary 16 What Is Organizational Culture? 79 Identifying Cultural Characteristics 82 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 22 The Strategic Management Process: An Overview 24 Four Activities of the Strategic Management Process 26 Implications of Organizational Culture for Organizing Projects 84 Summary 87 Chapter 4 Defining the Project 100 102 Step 1: Defining the Project Scope 102 Employing a Project Scope Checklist Scenario Planning: A Supplement to Traditional Strategic Planning 30 The Need for an Effective Project Portfolio Management System 32 Problem 1: The Implementation Gap 32 Problem 2: Organization Politics 33 Problem 3: Resource Conflicts and Multitasking Step 2: Establishing Project Priorities 106 Step 3: Creating the Work Breakdown Structure 108 Major Groupings Found in a WBS 108 How WBS Helps the Project Manager 109 WBS Development 109 34 A Portfolio Management System Classification of the Project Financial Criteria 37 Nonfinancial Criteria 39 36 36 Applying a Selection Model 42 Sources and Solicitation of Project Proposals 43 Ranking Proposals and Selection of Projects 44 Step 4: Integrating the WBS with the Organization 113 Step 5: Coding the WBS for the Information System 114 Responsibility Matrices 116 Project Communication Plan 119 Summary 121 Managing the Portfolio System 47 Balancing the Portfolio for Risks and Types of Projects 48 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 126 128 Summary 49 Appendix 2.1: Request for Proposal (RFP) 60 Factors Influencing the Quality of Estimates Estimating Guidelines for Times, Costs, and Resources 129 xiii xiv Contents Top-Down Versus Bottom-Up Estimating 131 Methods for Estimating Project Times and Costs 133 Top-Down Approaches for Estimating Project Times and Costs 133 Bottom-Up Approaches for Estimating Project Times and Costs 137 A Hybrid: Phase Estimating 139 Chapter 7 Managing Risk 210 Risk Management Process 211 Step 1: Risk Identification 213 Step 2: Risk Assessment 216 Probability Analysis 219 Step 3: Risk Response Development Mitigating Risk 219 Avoiding Risk 220 Transferring Risk 221 Retaining Risk 222 219 Level of Detail 141 Types of Costs 142 Refining Estimates 144 Creating a Database for Estimating Summary 147 Appendix 5.1: Learning Curves for Estimating 151 146 Contingency Planning 223 Technical Risks 224 Schedule Risks 225 Cost Risks 226 Funding Risks 226 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 156 Developing the Project Network 157 From Work Package to Network 158 Constructing a Project Network 160 Terminology 160 Two Approaches 160 Basic Rules to Follow in Developing Project Networks 161 Opportunity Management 227 Contingency Funding and Time Buffers Budget Reserves 228 Management Reserves Time Buffers 229 228 227 Activity-on-Node (AON) Fundamentals 161 Network Computation Process 164 Forward Pass--Earliest Times 166 Backward Pass--Latest Times 168 Determining Slack (or Float) 169 Free Slack (Float) 171 Step 4: Risk Response Control 229 Change Control Management 230 Summary 234 Appendix 7.1: PERT and PERT Simulation 242 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 252 Using the Forward and Backward Pass Information 172 Level of Detail for Activities 173 Practical Considerations 173 Network Logic Errors 173 Activity Numbering 174 Use of Computers to Develop Networks 174 Calendar Dates 174 Multiple Starts and Multiple Projects 177 Overview of the Resource Scheduling Problem 253 Types of Resource Constraints 255 Classification of a Scheduling Problem 257 Resource Allocation Methods 257 Assumptions 257 Time-Constrained Project: Smoothing Resource Demand 257 Resource-Constrained Projects 259 Computer Demonstration of ResourceConstrained Scheduling 264 The Impacts of Resource-Constrained Scheduling 270 Extended Network Techniques to Come Closer to Reality 177 Laddering 177 Use of Lags 178 An Example Using Lag Relationships--The Forward and Backward Pass 181 Hammock Activities 183 Splitting Activities 270 Benefits of Scheduling Resources 272 Assigning Project Work 272 Multiproject Resource Schedules 273 Using the Resource Schedule to Develop a Project Cost Baseline 275 Why a Time-Phased Budget Baseline Is Needed Creating a Time-Phased Budget 276 275 Summary 184 Appendix 6.1: Activity-on-Arrow Method 199 Summary 281 Appendix 8.1: The Critical-Chain Approach 295 Contents xv Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration Building High-Performance Project Teams 380 304 305 Rationale for Reducing Project Duration Options for Accelerating Project Completion 307 Options When Resources Are Not Constrained 308 Options When Resources Are Constrained 310 Project CostDuration Graph 313 Explanation of Project Costs 313 Recruiting Project Members 381 Conducting Project Meetings 383 Establishing a Team Identity 387 Creating a Shared Vision 389 Managing Project Reward Systems 391 Orchestrating the Decision-Making Process 393 Managing Conflict within the Project 396 Rejuvenating the Project Team 399 Constructing a Project CostDuration Graph Determining the Activities to Shorten A Simplified Example 316 314 314 Managing Virtual Project Teams Project Team Pitfalls 404 400 Practical Considerations 318 Using the Project CostDuration Graph 318 Crash Times 319 Linearity Assumption 319 Choice of Activities to Crash Revisited 319 Time Reduction Decisions and Sensitivity 320 Groupthink 404 Bureaucratic Bypass Syndrome 404 Team Spirit Becomes Team Infatuation Going Native 405 405 Summary 406 What if Cost, Not Time, Is the Issue? Summary 323 321 Chapter 12 Outsourcing: Managing Interorganizational Relations 418 Outsourcing Project Work 419 Best Practices in Outsourcing Project Work 423 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 338 Managing versus Leading a Project 339 Managing Project Stakeholders 340 Influence as Exchange 344 Task-Related Currencies 345 Position-Related Currencies 346 Inspiration-Related Currencies 346 Relationship-Related Currencies 346 Personal-Related Currencies 347 Well-Defined Requirements and Procedures 423 Extensive Training and Team-Building Activities 424 Well-Established Conflict Management Processes in Place 426 Frequent Review and Status Updates 426 Co-Location When Needed 428 Fair and Incentive-Laden Contracts 429 Long-Term Outsourcing Relationships 430 The Art of Negotiating 431 Social Network Building 347 349 Mapping Dependencies 347 Management by Wandering Around (MBWA) Managing Upward Relations 350 Leading by Example 352 1. Separate the People from the Problem 432 2. Focus on Interests, Not Positions 433 3. Invent Options for Mutual Gain 434 4. When Possible, Use Objective Criteria 434 Dealing with Unreasonable People 435 Ethics and Project Management 355 Building Trust: The Key to Exercising Influence 357 Qualities of an Effective Project Manager Summary 362 A Note on Managing Customer Relations 436 Summary 438 Appendix 12.1: Contract Management 446 359 Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams Chapter 13 Progress and Performance Measurement and Evaluation 452 377 Structure of a Project Monitoring Information System 453 The Project Control Process 454 Monitoring Time Performance 455 374 The Five-Stage Team Development Model Situational Factors Affecting Team Development 378 xvi Contents Development of an Earned Value Cost/Schedule System 458 What Costs Are Included in Baselines? 461 Methods of Variance Analysis 461 Chapter 15 International Projects Environmental Factors Legal/Political 534 Security 535 Geography 536 Economic 536 Infrastructure 538 Culture 538 532 534 Developing a Status Report: A Hypothetical Example 463 Assumptions 463 Baseline Development 463 Development of the Status Report 464 Indexes to Monitor Progress 469 Performance Indexes 469 Project Percent Complete Index 469 Technical Performance Measurement 471 Software for Project Cost/Schedule Systems 471 Additional Earned Value Rules 471 Project Site Selection 540 Cross-Cultural Considerations: A Closer Look 541 Adjustments 542 Working in Mexico 545 Working in France 546 Working in Saudi Arabia 547 Working in China 549 Working in the United States 550 Summary Comments about Working in Different Cultures 552 Culture Shock 553 Coping with Culture Shock 554 Forecasting Final Project Cost 472 Other Control Issues 475 Scope Creep 475 Baseline Changes 477 The Costs and Problems of Data Acquisition 478 Summary 479 Appendix 13.1: The Application of Additional Earned Value Rules 495 Appendix 13.2: Obtaining Project Performance Information from MS Project 501 Selection and Training for International Projects 555 Summary 558 Chapter 14 Project Closure 504 Chapter 16 Oversight 564 Project Oversight 511 565 566 Importance of Oversight to the Project Manager Portfolio Project Management 566 Project Office 566 Phase Gate Methodology 568 Types of Project Closure 506 Wrap-up Closure Activities 507 Creating the Final Report 510 Post-Implementation Evaluation Team Evaluation 511 Individual, Team Member, and Project Manager Performance Reviews 514 Organization Project Management in the Long Run 574 Organization Project Management Maturity 574 The Balanced Scorecard Model 578 Retrospectives 516 Why Retrospectives? 516 Initiating the Retrospective Review 517 Use of an Independent Facilitator 518 Roles of a Facilitator 518 Managing a Retrospective 519 Overseeing a Post-Project Retrospective 520 Utilization of Retrospectives 523 Archiving Retrospectives 523 Concluding Retrospective Notes 524 Summary 579 Chapter 17 An Introduction to Agile Project Management 582 Traditional versus Agile Methods 583 Agile PM 585 Agile PM in Action: Scrum 585 Roles and Responsibilities 589 Scrum Meetings 590 Product and Sprint Backlogs 591 Summary 524 Appendix 14.1: Project Closeout Checklist 526 Appendix 14.2: Euro Conversion--Project Closure Checklist 529 Contents 1 Applying Agile PM to Large Projects Limitations and Concerns 593 Summary 595 592 Chapter 18 Project Management Career Paths Appendix 1: Solutions to Selected Exercises 611 Appendix 2: Computer Project Exercises 625 Glossary Acronyms Index 653 642 651 652 602 Career Paths 603 Temporary Assignments 604 Pursuing a Career 605 Professional Training and Certification 605 Gaining Visibility 606 Mentors 607 Success in Key Projects 608 Summary 608 Project Management Equations C H A P T E R O N E Modern Project Management Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l ona nati nter jects I pro 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career p aths Modern Project Management What Is a Project? The Importance of Project Management Project Management Today--An Integrative Approach Summary Text Overview 2 All of mankind's greatest accomplishments--from building the great pyramids to discovering a cure for polio to putting a man on the moon--began as a project. This is a good time to be reading a book about project management. Business leaders and experts have proclaimed that project management is a strategic imperative. Project management provides people with a powerful set of tools that improves their ability to plan, implement, and manage activities to accomplish specific organizational objectives. But project management is more than just a set of tools; it is a results-oriented management style that places a premium on building collaborative relationships among a diverse cast of characters. Exciting opportunities await people skilled in project management. The project approach has long been the style of doing business in the construction industry, U.S. Department of Defense contracts, and Hollywood as well as big consulting firms. Now project management has spread to all avenues of work. Today, project teams carry out everything from port expansions to hospital restructuring to upgrading information systems. They are creating next generation, fuel efficient vehicles, developing sustainable sources of energy, and exploring the farthest reaches of outer space. The impact of project management is most profound in the electronics industry, where the new folk heroes are young professionals whose Herculean efforts lead to the constant flow of new hardware and software products. Project management is not limited to the private sector. Project management is also a vehicle for doing good deeds and solving social problems. Endeavors such as providing emergency aid to the Gulf Coast devastated by hurricane Katrina, devising a strategy for reducing crime and drug abuse within a city, or organizing a community effort to renovate a public playground would and do benefit from the application of modern project management skills and techniques. Perhaps the best indicator of demand for project management can be seen in the rapid expansion of the Project Management Institute (PMI), a professional organization for project managers. PMI membership has grown from 93,000 in 2002 to more than 270,000 currently. See the PMI Snapshot from Practice for information regarding professional certification in project management. It's nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper or business periodical and not find something about projects. This is no surprise! Approximately $2.5 trillion (about 25 percent of the U.S. gross national product) are spent on projects each year in the United States alone. Other countries are increasingly spending more on projects. Millions of people around the world consider project management the major task in their profession. Project management is not without problems. The Standish Group has tracked the management of information technology (IT) projects since 1994. This firm's periodic landmark reports summarize the continued need for improved project management. For over a decade the Standish Reports of management of IT projects showed improvements. In 1994 approximately 16 percent of IT projects were completed on time, on budget; in 2004 the success rate moved up to 29 percent. 3 4 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded in 1969 as an international society for project managers. Today PMI has members from more than 125 countries and more than 270,000 members. PMI professionals come from virtually every major industry, including aerospace, automotive, business management, construction, engineering, financial services, information technology, pharmaceuticals, health care, and telecommunications. PMI provides certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP)--someone who has documented sufficient project experience, agreed to follow the PMI code of professional conduct, and demonstrated mastery of the field of project management by passing a comprehensive examination. The number of people earning PMP status has grown dramatically in recent years. In 1996 there were fewer than 3,000 certified project management professionals. By the end of 2009 there were more than 350,000 PMPs! The Project Management Institute Just as the CPA exam is a standard for accountants, passing the PMP exam may become the standard for project managers. Some companies are requiring that all their project managers be PMP certified. Moreover, many job postings are restricted to PMPs. Job seekers, in general, are finding that being PMP certified is an advantage in the marketplace. PMI recently added a certification as a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). CAPM is designed for project team members and entry-level project managers, as well as qualified undergraduate and graduate students who want a credential to recognize their mastery of the project management body of knowledge. CAPM does not require the extensive project management experience associated with the PMP. For more details on PMP and CAPM, "google" PMI to find the current Web site for the Project Management Institute. Failed projects also declined from 31 percent in 1994 to 18 percent in 2004. However, the CHAOS Summary 2009 report shows a small decrease in the numbers. This survey report shows only 32 percent of IT projects were delivered on time and within budget. However, 44 percent were "challenged," which means they were late, over budget, and/or missed meeting performance requirements. In addition, 24 percent failed, were cancelled, or never used. Jim Crear, Standish Group CIO, notes this is the highest failure rate in over a decade. The need for elevating performance continues to challenge the project management profession. The waste on failed projects and cost overruns is estimated in the neighborhood of over $150 billion! Most of the people who excel at managing projects never have the title of project manager. They include accountants, lawyers, administrators, scientists, contractors, public health officials, teachers, and community advocates whose success depends upon being able to lead and manage project work. For them project management is not a title but a critical job requirement. It is hard to think of a profession or a career path that would not benefit from being good at managing projects. Not only is project management critical to most careers, the skill set is transferable across most businesses and professions. At its core, project management fundamentals are universal. The same project management methodology that is used to develop a new product can be adapted to create new services, organize events, refurbish aging operations, and so forth. In a world where it is estimated that each person is likely to experience three to four career changes, managing projects is a talent worthy of development. The significance of project management can also be seen in the classroom. Twenty years ago major universities offered one or two classes in project management, primarily for engineers. Today, most universities offer multiple sections of project management classes, with the core group of engineers being supplemented by business students majoring in marketing, management information systems (MIS), and finance, as well as students from other disciplines such as oceanography, health sciences, computer sciences, and liberal arts. These students are finding that their Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 5 exposure to project management is providing them with distinct advantages when it comes time to look for jobs. More and more employers are looking for graduates with project management skills. The logical starting point for developing these skills is understanding the uniqueness of a project and of project managers. What Is a Project? What do the following headlines have in common? Superbowl half-time show scores a touchdown Citywide WiFi system set to go live 1000 acre Wind Farm turns on the juice Apple's new iPhone hits the market City receives stimulus funds to expand light rail system All of these events represent projects. Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photobank via AP Images The Project Management Institute provides the following definition of a project: A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Like most organizational effort, the major goal of a project is to satisfy a customer's need. Beyond this fundamental similarity, the characteristics of a project help differentiate it from other endeavors of the organization. The major characteristics of a project are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. An established objective. A defined life span with a beginning and an end. Usually, the involvement of several departments and professionals. Typically, doing something that has never been done before. Specific time, cost, and performance requirements. First, projects have a defined objective--whether it is constructing a 12-story apartment complex by January 1 or releasing version 2.0 of a specific software 6 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management package as quickly as possible. This singular purpose is often lacking in daily organizational life in which workers perform repetitive operations each day. Second, because there is a specified objective, projects have a defined endpoint, which is contrary to the ongoing duties and responsibilities of traditional jobs. In many cases, individuals move from one project to the next as opposed to staying in one job. After helping to install a security system, an IT engineer may be assigned to develop a database for a different client. Third, unlike much organizational work that is segmented according to functional specialty, projects typically require the combined efforts of a variety of specialists. Instead of working in separate offices under separate managers, project participants, whether they be engineers, financial analysts, marketing professionals, or quality control specialists, work closely together under the guidance of a project manager to complete a project. The fourth characteristic of a project is that it is nonroutine and has some unique elements. This is not an either/or issue but a matter of degree. Obviously, accomplishing something that has never been done before, such as building a hybrid (electric/gas) automobile or landing two mechanical rovers on Mars, requires solving previously unsolved problems and breakthrough technology. On the other hand, even basic construction projects that involve established sets of routines and procedures require some degree of customization that makes them unique. Finally, specific time, cost, and performance requirements bind projects. Projects are evaluated according to accomplishment, cost, and time spent. These triple constraints impose a higher degree of accountability than you typically find in most jobs. These three also highlight one of the primary functions of project management, which is balancing the trade-offs between time, cost, and performance while ultimately satisfying the customer. What a Project Is Not Projects should not be confused with everyday work. A project is not routine, repetitive work! Ordinary daily work typically requires doing the same or similar work over and over, while a project is done only once; a new product or service exists when the project is completed. Examine the list in Table 1.1 that compares routine, repetitive work and projects. Recognizing the difference is important because too often resources can be used up on daily operations which may not contribute to longer range organization strategies that require innovative new products. Program versus Project In practice the terms project and program cause confusion. They are often used synonymously. A program is a group of related projects designed to accomplish a common goal over an extended period of time. Each project within a program has a project manager. The major differences lie in scale and time span. Program management is the process of managing a group of ongoing, interdependent, related projects in a coordinated way to achieve strategic objectives. For TABLE 1.1 Comparison of Routine Work with Projects Routine, Repetitive Work Taking class notes Daily entering sales receipts into the accounting ledger Responding to a supply-chain request Practicing scales on the piano Routine manufacture of an Apple iPod Projects Writing a term paper Setting up a sales kiosk for a professional accounting meeting Developing a supply-chain information system Writing a new piano piece Designing an iPod that is approximately 2 3 4 inches, interfaces with PC, and stores 10,000 songs Wire-tag projects for GE and Wal-Mart Attaching tags on a manufactured product Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 7 example, a pharmaceutical organization could have a program for curing cancer. The cancer program includes and coordinates all cancer projects that continue over an extended time horizon. Coordinating all cancer projects under the oversight of a cancer team provides benefits not available from managing them individually. This cancer team also oversees the selection and prioritizing of cancer projects that are included in their special "Cancer" portfolio. Although each project retains its own goals and scope, the project manager and team are also motivated by the higher program goal. Program goals are closely related to broad strategic organization goals. The Project Life Cycle Another way of illustrating the unique nature of project work is in terms of the project life cycle. Some project managers find it useful to use the project life cycle as the cornerstone for managing projects. The life cycle recognizes that projects have a limited life span and that there are predictable changes in level of effort and focus over the life of the project. There are a number of different life-cycle models in project management literature. Many are unique to a specific industry or type of project. For example, a new software development project may consist of five phases: definition, design, code, integration/test, and maintenance. A generic cycle is depicted in Figure 1.1. The project life cycle typically passes sequentially through four stages: defining, planning, executing, and delivering. The starting point begins the moment the project is given the go-ahead. Project effort starts slowly, builds to a peak, and then declines to delivery of the project to the customer. 1. Defining stage: Specifications of the project are defined; project objectives are established; teams are formed; major responsibilities are assigned. 2. Planning stage: The level of effort increases, and plans are developed to determine what the project will entail, when it will be scheduled, whom it will benefit, what quality level should be maintained, and what the budget will be. FIGURE 1.1 Project Life Cycle Executing Level of effort Planning Defining Closing Start Defining 1. Goals 2. Specifications 3. Tasks 4. Responsibilities Planning 1. Schedules 2. Budgets 3. Resources 4. Risks 5. Staffing Time Executing 1. Status reports 2. Changes 3. Quality 4. Forecasts End Closing 1. Train customer 2. Transfer documents 3. Release resources 4. Evaluation 5. Lessons learned 8 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Project Management in Action: 2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc./Jill Braaten, photographer. Businesses thrive and survive based on their ability to manage projects that produce products and services that meet market needs. Below is a small sample of projects that are important to their company's future. COMPANY: OAKLAND A's BASEBALL TEAM Project: Cisco Stadium In November 2006, the future of the Oakland A's looked bright as the team announced plans to build a new ballpark in Fremont, CA. Upon announcing plans to build a ballpark, the Oakland A's sold the naming rights to the ballpark to Cisco Systems for $4 million/year over 30 years. The ballpark design mimicked classic ballparks of the past, while combining the most advanced technology in the world. Those plans have since been derailed as opposition increased from major retailers and homeowners near the stadium site. It now appears that the A's will have to develop a plan that may lead the team to building the ballpark in Oakland, near the coliseum, or possibly in San Jose, CA. The A's need the new stadium to turn around lagging attendance, which has been at or near the bottom among major league baseball clubs. --BBoA, 2009 COMPANY: NINTENDO Project: Next Generation Nintendo Wii Game Console According to Internet rumors, the new console will be based on entirely new hardware that will pump out HD visuals, contain expanded storage, and run using digitally distributed content rather than physical discs. The new console will expand the capability of Wii's revolutionary handheld pointer device that detects movement in three dimensions. At stake is Nintendo's position in the $10 billion plus gaming industry. --C. Faylor, 2008 3. Executing stage: A major portion of the project work takes place--both physical and mental. The physical product is produced (a bridge, a report, a software program). Time, cost, and specification measures are used for control. Is the project on schedule, on budget, and meeting specifications? What are the forecasts of each of these measures? What revisions/changes are necessary? Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 9 COMPANY: GENERAL MOTORS Project: Chevrolet Volt The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to go on sale in 2011. Unlike most currently available hybrids, the actual propulsion of the Volt is accomplished exclusively by the electric motor, and the internal combustion engine is used as another charging method. What's at stake is the future of GM. With the company's recent emergence from bankruptcy protection, the chief of GM product development, Tom Stephens, pronounced, "We cannot afford to have anything but a hit . . . every launch . . . has to be a home-run." --T. Krisher, 2009 applications available and "significant developer interest" making it a "large enough eco-system" to become a successful platform. Motorola has seen its phone sales plummet in recent years. The company's global market share has declined to 6 percent after commanding 23 percent in 2006. The new phones are seen as a key to Motorola re-establishing itself in the booming smart phone business. --S. Segan, 2009 COMPANY: WARNER BROTHERS Project: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I and Part II The Harry Potter film franchise is the second highest grossing film franchise of all time, with the five films released to date only slightly behind the 22 James Bond films. The adaption of the final novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be split into two films, with Part I scheduled to be released in 2010 and Part II in 2011. The Harry Potter franchise is seen by movie insiders as critical to staving off the general decline in movie attendance due to economic woes and home entertainment systems. --J. Kay, 2009 COMPANY: KOREAN MIDLAND POWER CO Project: World's Largest Tidal Turbine Farm Korean Midland Power Co. has signed an agreement with Lunar Energy, Britain's leading tidal power company, to build a colossal 300 turbine field in the Wando Hoenggan WaterWay off the South Korean coast by 2015. The $800 million plus project is expected to provide 300MW of renewable energy, enough to power 200,000 homes. The project entails installing a series of 60 ft-high tidal turbines in deep ocean water. A 1MW pilot plant would be installed first to evaluate the environmental impact before the full-blown is allowed. If successful, the ecological impact is expected to be much less than conventional tidal barges which destroy bird habitats and hinder the passage of migratory fish such as salmon and eels. --Lunar Energy, 2008 COMPANY: HUMAN GENOMIC SCIENCES Project: Benlysta The new drug, Benlysta, is the first treatment for lupus in decades to show potential far into the testing phase. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own healthy tissue. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, light sensitivity, and rashes. Benlysta targets the specific protein that becomes overactive, causing the body to attack its own organs. At stake is relief for the millions of sufferers of lupus worldwide. --C. Rothman, 2009 COMPANY: MOTOROLA Project: Google Android Smart Phones Motorola is set to release multiple Google Android smart phones at several different price points. According to chief executive Sanjay Jha, Android has over 3,000 third-party 4. Closing stage: Closing includes three activities: delivering the project product to the customer, redeploying project resources, and post-project review. Delivery of the project might include customer training and transferring documents. Redeployment usually involves releasing project equipment/materials to other projects and finding new assignments for team members. Post-project reviews include not only assessing performance but also capturing lessons learned. In practice, the project life cycle is used by some project groups to depict the timing of major tasks over the life of the project. For example, the design team might plan a major commitment of resources in the defining stage, while the quality team would expect their major effort to increase in the latter stages of the project life cycle. Because most organizations have a portfolio of projects going on 10 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management concurrently, each at a different stage of each project's life cycle, careful planning and management at the organization and project levels are imperative. The Project Manager In a small sense project managers perform the same functions as other managers. That is, they plan, schedule, motivate, and control. However, what makes them unique is that they manage temporary, nonrepetitive activities, to complete a fixed life project. Unlike functional managers, who take over existing operations, project managers create a project team and organization where none existed before. They must decide what and how things should be done instead of simply managing set processes. They must meet the challenges of each phase of the project life cycle, and even oversee the dissolution of their operation when the project is completed. Project managers must work with a diverse troupe of characters to complete projects. They are typically the direct link to the customer and must manage the tension between customer expectations and what is feasible and reasonable. Project managers provide direction, coordination, and integration to the project team, which is often made up of part-time participants loyal to their functional departments. They often must work with a cadre of outsiders--vendors, suppliers, subcontractors--who do not necessarily share their project allegience. Project managers are ultimately responsible for performance (frequently with too little authority). They must ensure that appropriate trade-offs are made between the time, cost, and performance requirements of the project. At the same time, unlike their functional counterparts, project managers generally possess only rudimentary technical knowledge to make such decisions. Instead, they must orchestrate the completion of the project by inducing the right people, at the right time, to address the right issues and make the right decisions. While project management is not for the timid, working on projects can be an extremely rewarding experience. Life on projects is rarely boring; each day is different from the last. Since most projects are directed at solving some tangible problem or pursuing some useful opportunity, project managers find their work personally meaningful and satisfying. They enjoy the act of creating something new and innovative. Project managers and team members can feel immense pride in their accomplishment, whether it is a new bridge, a new product, or needed service. Project managers are often stars in their organization and well compensated. Good project managers are always in demand. Every industry is looking for effective people who can get the right things done on time. Clearly, project management is a challenging and exciting profession. This text is intended to provide the necessary knowledge, perspective, and tools to enable students to accept the challenge. The Importance of Project Management Project management is no longer a special-need management. It is rapidly becoming a standard way of doing business. See Snapshot from Practice: Project Management in Action: 2009. An increasing percentage of the typical firm's effort is being devoted to projects. The future promises an increase in the importance and the role of projects in contributing to the strategic direction of organizations. Several reasons why this is the case are briefly discussed below. Compression of the Product Life Cycle One of the most significant driving forces behind the demand for project management is the shortening of the product life cycle. For example, today in high-tech Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 11 industries the product life cycle is averaging 1 to 3 years. Only 30 years ago, life cycles of 10 to 15 years were not uncommon. Time to market for new products with short life cycles has become increasingly important. A common rule of thumb in the world of high-tech product development is that a six-month project delay can result in a 33 percent loss in product revenue share. Speed, therefore, becomes a competitive advantage; more and more organizations are relying on cross-functional project teams to get new products and services to the market as quickly as possible. Knowledge Explosion The growth in new knowledge has increased the complexity of projects because projects encompass the latest advances. For example, building a road 30 years ago was a somewhat simple process. Today, each area has increased in complexity, including materials, specifications, codes, aesthetics, equipment, and required specialists. Similarly, in today's digital, electronic age it is becoming hard to find a new product that does not contain at least one microchip. Product complexity has increased the need to integrate divergent technologies. Project management has emerged as an important discipline for achieving this task. Triple Bottom Line (planet, people, profit) The threat of global warming has brought sustainable business practices to the forefront. Businesses can no longer simply focus on maximizing profit to the detriment of the environment and society. Efforts to reduce carbon imprint and utilize renewable resources are realized through effective project management. The impact of this movement towards sustainability can be seen in changes in the objectives and techniques used to complete projects. See Snapshot from Practice: Dell's Children Becomes World's First "Green" Hospital. Corporate Downsizing The last decade has seen a dramatic restructuring of organizational life. Downsizing (or rightsizing if you are still employed) and sticking to core competencies have become necessary for survival for many firms. Middle management is a mere skeleton of the past. In today's flatter and leaner organizations, where change is a constant, project management is replacing middle management as a way of ensuring that things get done. Corporate downsizing has also led to a change in the way organizations approach projects. Companies outsource significant segments of project work, and project managers have to manage not only their own people but also their counterparts in different organizations. Increased Customer Focus Increased competition has placed a premium on customer satisfaction. Customers no longer simply settle for generic products and services. They want customized products and services that cater to their specific needs. This mandate requires a much closer working relationship between the provider and the receiver. Account executives and sales representatives are assuming more of a project manager's role as they work with their organization to satisfy the unique needs and requests of clients. Increased customer attention has also prompted the development of customized products and services. For example, 10 years ago buying a set of golf clubs was a relatively simple process: You picked out a set based on price and feel. Today, there are golf clubs for tall players and short players, clubs for players who tend to slice the ball and clubs for those who hook the ball, high-tech clubs with the latest metallurgic discovery guaranteed to add distance, and so forth. Project management is critical both to development of customized products and services and to sustaining lucrative relationships with customers. 12 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Dateline 1/7/2009, Austin Texas: Dell Children's Medical Center becomes the first hospital in the world to receive platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. Platinum certification is the highest award granted by the U.S. Green Building Council. Dell Children's occupies nearly one-half million square feet on 32 acres that were once part of Austin's old Mueller Airport. Its environmentally sensitive design not only conserves water and electricity, but positively impacts the hospital's clinical environment by improving air quality, making natural sunlight readily available, and reducing a wide range of pollutants. In order to receive LEED certification, buildings are rated in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and environmental quality. Listed below are some of the accomplishments in each LEED category: Sustainable Site 47,000 tons of Mueller Airport runway material was reused on site. About 40 percent fly ash instead of Portland cement in concrete yields a drop in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking 450 cars off the road. 925 tons of construction waste was recycled on site. Dell Children's Becomes World's First "Green" Hospital* Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation An on-site natural gas turbine supplies all electricity, which is 75 percent more efficient than coal-fired plants. Converted steam energy from a heating/cooling plant supplies all chilled water needs. Indoor Environment Quality and Lighting Most interior spaces are within 32 feet of a window. Motion and natural light sensors shut off unneeded lights. Conservation of Materials and Resources Use of local and regional materials saves fuel for shipping. Special paints and flooring emit low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). "Even before the first plans were drawn up, we set our sight on creating a world-class children's hospital, and becoming the first LEED Platinum hospital in the world was definitely part of that," said Robert Bonar, president and CEO, Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. "Our motivation to pursue LEED Platinum was not just environmental. Being a `green' hospital has profound, measurable effect on healing. What's good for the environment and good for our neighbors is also good for our patients." * Austin Business Journal, 1-11-2009; news/2009/01/08 Water Efficiency and Water Conservation Reclaimed water is used for irrigation; xeriscaped landscaping uses native plants, which require less water. Low-flow plumbing fixtures. Small Projects Represent Big Problems The velocity of change required to remain competitive or simply keep up has created an organizational climate in which hundreds of projects are implemented concurrently. This climate has created a multiproject environment and a plethora of new problems. Sharing and prioritizing resources across a portfolio of projects is a major challenge for senior management. Many firms have no idea of the problems involved with inefficient management of small projects. Small projects typically carry the same or more risk as do large projects. Small projects are perceived as having little impact on the bottom line because they do not demand large amounts of scarce resources and/or money. Because so many small projects are going on concurrently and because the perception of the inefficiency impact is small, measuring inefficiency is usually nonexistent. Unfortunately, many small projects soon add up to large sums of money. Many customers and millions of dollars are lost each year on small projects in product and service organizations. Small projects can represent hidden costs not measured in the accounting system. Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 13 Organizations with many small projects going on concurrently face the most difficult project management problems. A key question becomes one of how to create an organizational environment that supports multiproject management. A process is needed to prioritize and develop a portfolio of small projects that supports the mission of the organization. In summary, there are a variety of environmental forces interacting in today's business world that contribute to the increased demand for good project management across all industries and sectors. Project management appears to be ideally suited for a business environment requiring accountability, flexibility, innovation, speed, and continuous improvement. Project Management Today--An Integrative Approach Competing in a global market influenced by rapid change, innovation, and time to market means organizations manage more and more projects. Some means for coordinating and managing projects in this changing environment is needed. Centralization of project management processes and practices has been the practical outcome. For example, Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel all have over 1,000 projects being implemented concurrently every day of the year across borders and differing cultures. Questions: How do these organizations oversee the management of all these projects? How were these projects selected? How do they ensure performance measurement and accountability? How can project management continually improve? Centralization entails integration of all project processes and practices to improve project management. Integration is designed to improve project management in the whole organization over the long haul. The rationale for integration of project management was to provide senior management with: An overview of all project management activities; A big picture of how organizational resources are being used; An assessment of the risk their portfolio of projects represents; A rough metric for measuring the improvement of managing projects relative to others in the industry; Linkages of senior management with actual project execution management. Full insight of all components of the organization is crucial for aligning internal business resources with the requirements of the changing environment. Integration enables management to have greater flexibility and better control of all project management activities. Operationally, what does project management integration mean? It necessitates combining all of the major dimensions of project management under one umbrella. Each dimension is connected in one seamless, integrated domain. Integration means applying a set of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a collection of projects in order to move the organization toward its strategic goals. This integration movement represents a major thrust of project driven organizations across all industries. See Figure 1.2, Integrated Management of Projects. Integration of Projects with Organizational Strategy Today, projects are the modus operandi for implementing strategy. Yet in some organizations, selection and management of projects often fail to support the strategic 14 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management FIGURE 1.2 Integrated Management of Projects Organizational Culture Environment Strategic Alignment Portfolio Management Project Management plan of the organization. Strategic plans are written by one group of managers, projects selected by another group, and projects implemented by another. These independent decisions by different groups of managers create a set of conditions leading to conflict, confusion, and frequently an unsatisfied customer. Under these conditions, resources of the organization are wasted in non-value-added activities/projects. Since projects are the modus operandi, strategic alignment of projects is of major importance to conserving and effective use of organization resources. Selection criteria need to ensure each project is prioritized and contributes to strategic goals. Anything less is a waste of scarce organizational resources--people, capital, and equipment. Ensuring alignment requires a selection process that is systematic, open, consistent, and balanced. All of the projects selected become part of a project portfolio that balances the total risk for the organization. Management of the project portfolio ensures that only the most valuable projects are approved and managed across the entire organization. Integration of Projects through Portfolio Management The portfolio management domain encompasses project management oversight at the organization level through the project level. Management has the capability to zoom to a wide-angle view or zoom in to a very specific element of a specific project activity or process. Full insight of all components of the organization is crucial for aligning internal business resources with the requirements of the changing environment. Project portfolios are frequently managed by a project office that serves as a bridge between senior management and project managers and teams. The major functions of portfolio management are to Oversee project selection. Monitor aggregate resource levels and skills. Encourage use of best practices. Balance projects in the portfolio in order to represent a risk level appropriate to the organization. Improve communication among all stakeholders. Create a total organization perspective that goes beyond silo thinking. Improve the overall management of projects over time. Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 15 Portfolio management manages the integration of elements of organizational strategy with projects, along with their interdependencies. At the project level, the management of the portfolio is directed toward creation and use of best practices. Integration of the Processes of Implementing Actual Projects Senior management is often involved in selecting projects but seldom involved in implementing them. Implementing the project is the challenge. There are two dimensions within the actual execution of projects (see Figure 1.3, The Technical and Sociocultural Dimensions of the Project Management Process). The first dimension is the technical side of the management process, which consists of the formal, disciplined, purely logical parts of the process. This technical dimension includes planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Clear project scope statements are written to link the project and customer and to facilitate planning and control. Creation of the deliverables and work breakdown structures facilitates planning and monitoring the progress of the project. The work breakdown structure serves as a database that links all levels in the organization, major deliverables, and all work--right down to the tasks in a work package. Effects of project changes are documented and traceable. Thus, any change in one part of the project is traceable to the source by the integrated linkages of the system. This integrated information approach can provide all project managers and the customer with decision information appropriate to their level and needs. A successful project manager will be well trained in the technical side of managing projects. The second and opposing dimension is the sociocultural side of project management. In contrast to the orderly world of project planning, this dimension involves the much messier, often contradictory and paradoxical world of implementation. It centers on creating a temporary social system within a larger organizational environment that combines the talents of a divergent set of professionals working to FIGURE 1.3 The Technical and Sociocultural Dimensions of the Project Management Process Sociocultural Leadership Problem solving Teamwork Negotiation Politics Customer expectations Technical Scope WBS Schedules Resource allocation Baseline budgets Status reports Research Highlight The phrase "works well with others" has long been a staple on grade school report cards; now, in the IT world, it's the No. 1 criterion for management candidates. In a nationwide survey conducted in 1999, 27 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) cited strong interpersonal skills as the single most important quality for reaching management levels. Advanced technical skills came in second, receiving 23 percent of the response. The project was sponsored by RHI Consulting, which provides information technology professionals on a project basis. An independent research firm was hired to administer the survey. Over 1,400 CIOs responded to the questionnaire. Survey respondents were also asked: In 2005, how frequently will employees in your IT department work on project-based teams with members of other departments throughout the company? Their responses: Works Well with Others* Very frequently Somewhat frequently Somewhat infrequently Very infrequently Never 57% 26% 10% 6% 1% Greg Scileppi, RHI Consulting's executive director, recommends that IT professionals develop their interpersonal skills. "The predominance of project teams has created a corresponding need for strong communication and team-player abilities. Technical staff put these skills to test daily as they work with employees at all levels to create and implement IT solutions ranging from simple troubleshooting to corporate web initiatives and system wide upgrades." * Joanita M. Nellenbach, "People Skills Top Technical Knowledge, CIOs Insist," PMNetwork (August 1999), pp. 78. complete the project. See Research Highlight: Works Well with Others. Project managers must shape a project culture that stimulates teamwork and high levels of personal motivation as well as a capacity to quickly identify and resolve problems that threaten project work. This dimension also involves managing the interface between the project and external environment. Project managers have to assuage and shape expectations of customers, sustain the political support of top management, negotiate with their functional counterparts, monitor subcontractors, and so on. Overall, the manager must build a cooperative social network among a divergent set of allies with different standards, commitments, and perspectives. Some suggest that the technical dimension represents the "science" of project management while the sociocultural dimension represents the "art" of managing a project. To be successful, a manager must be a master of both. Unfortunately, some project managers become preoccupied with the planning and technical dimension of project management. Often their first real exposure to project management is through project management software, and they become infatuated with network charts, Gantt diagrams, and performance variances; they attempt to manage a project from a distance. Conversely, there are other managers who manage projects by the "seat of their pants," relying heavily on team dynamics and organizational politics to complete a project. Good project managers balance their attention to both the technical and sociocultural aspects of project management. Summary There are powerful environmental forces contributing to the rapid expansion of project management approaches to business problems and opportunities. A project is defined as a nonroutine, one-time effort limited by time, resources, and performance specifications designed to meet customer needs. One of the distinguishing characteristics of project management is that it has both a beginning and an end and typically consists of four phases: defining, planning, executing, and closing. 16 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 17 Effective project management begins with selecting and prioritizing projects that support the firm's mission and strategy. Successful implementation requires both technical and social skills. Project managers have to plan and budget projects as well as orchestrate the contributions of others. Text Overview This text is written to provide the reader with a comprehensive, integrative understanding of the project management process. The text focuses both on the science of project management and the art of managing projects. Following this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 focuses on how organizations go about evaluating and selecting projects. Special attention is devoted to the importance of linking project selection to the mission and strategy of the firm. The organizational environment in which projects are implemented is the focus of Chapter 3. The discussion of matrix management and other organizational forms is augmented by a discussion of the role the culture of an organization plays in the implementation of projects. The next six chapters focus on developing a plan for the project; after all, project success begins with a good plan. Chapter 4 deals with defining the scope of the project and developing a work breakdown structure (WBS). The challenge of formulating cost and time estimates is the subject of Chapter 5. Chapter 6 focuses on utilizing the information from the WBS to create a project plan in the form of a timed and sequenced network of activities. Risks are a potential threat to project management, and Chapter 7 examines how organizations and managers identify and manage risks associated with project work. Resource allocation is added to the plan in Chapter 8 with special attention devoted to how resource limitations impact the project schedule. After a resource schedule is established, a project time-phased budget is developed. Finally, Chapter 9 examines strategies for reducing ("crashing") project time either prior to the initiation of the project or in response to problems or new demands placed on the project. Chapters 10 through 12 focus on project implementation and the sociocultural side of project management, beginning with Chapter 10, which focuses on the role of the project manager as a leader and stresses the importance of managing project stakeholders within the organization. Chapter 11 focuses on the core project team; it combines the latest information on team dynamics with leadership skills/techniques for developing a high-performance project team. Chapter 12 continues the theme of managing project stakeholders by discussing how to outsource project work and negotiate with contractors, customers, and suppliers. Chapter 13 focuses on the kinds of information managers use to monitor project progress, with special attention devoted to the key concept of earned value. The project life cycle is completed with Chapter 14, which covers closing out a project and the important assessment of performance and lessons learned. Four "supplemental" chapters are included to augment the project management core. Implementation of project management in multicultural, international environments is the subject of Chapter 15. Chapter 16 focuses the need for organizational oversight and how it impacts the management of projects. The emergence of agile project management, a more flexible approach to managing complex projects, is the subject of Chapter 17. Finally, Chapter 18 concludes with coverage of career issues in the field of project management. 18 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management Throughout this text you will be exposed to the major aspects of the project management system. However, a true understanding of project management comes not from knowing what a scope statement is, or the critical path, or partnering with contractors, but from comprehending how the different elements of the project management system interact to determine the fate of a project. If, by the end of this text, you come to appreciate and begin to master both the technical and sociocultural dimensions of project management, you should have a distinct competitive advantage over others aspiring to work in the field of project management. Key Terms Program, 6 Project, 5 Project life cycle, 6 Project Management Professional (PMP), 4 Review Questions 1. Define a project. What are five characteristics that help differentiate projects from other functions carried out in the daily operations of the organization? 2. What are some of the key environmental forces that have changed the way projects are managed? What has been the effect of these forces on the management of projects? 3. Why is the implementation of projects important to strategic planning and the project manager? 4. The technical and sociocultural dimensions of project management are two sides to the same coin. Explain. 5. What is meant by an integrative approach to project management? Why is this approach important in today's environment? 1. Review the front page of your local newspaper, and try to identify all the projects contained in the articles. How many were you able to find? 2. Individually identify what you consider to be the greatest achievements accomplished by mankind in the last five decades. Now share your list with three to five other students in the class, and come up with an expanded list. Review these accomplishments in terms of the definition of a project. What does your review suggest about the importance of project management? 3. Individually identify projects assigned in previous terms. Were both sociocultural and technical elements factors in the success or difficulties in the projects? 4. Check out the Project Management Institute's home page at a. Review general information about PMI as well as membership information. b. See if there is a PMI chapter in your state. If not, where is the closest one? c. Use the search function at the PMI home page to find information on Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). What are the major knowledge areas of PMBOK? d. Explore other links that PMI provides. What do these links tell you about the nature and future of project management? Exercises Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 19 Note: If you have any difficulty accessing any of the Web addresses listed here or elsewhere in the text, you can find up-to-date addresses on the home page of Dr. Erik Larson, coauthor of this text: .htm?UserName=Larson References Ball Parks of Baseball, "Cisco Field," CiscoField.htm (accessed June 2, 2009). Benko, C., and F. W. McFarlan, Connecting the Dots (Boston: HBS Press, 2003). Cohen, D. J., and R. J. Graham, The Project Manager's MBA (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001). Faylor, C., "Next Generation Wii Is Rumored to Hit the Market in 2011," (Oct. 1, 2008). Kay, J., "US Box Office Spellbound by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," (accessed July 15, 2009). Krisher, T., "GM Product Chief Says New Vehicles Must be Hits," www. (accessed July 20, 2009). Larkowski, K., "Standish Group Report Shows Project Success Improves 50 Percent,", 2004, Third Quarter. Lunar Energy, "British Firm Announces World's Largest Tidal Power Development," (March 11, 2008). Peters, T., PM Network, January 2004, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 19. Project Management Institute, Leadership in Project Management Annual (Newton Square, PA: PMI Publishing, 2006). Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), (Newton Square, PA: PMI Publishing 2008). Rothman, C., "Promising New Lupus Drug Stirs Hope for Millions," The StarLedger (July 21, 2009), (accessed July 25, 2009). Sagan, Sascha, "Motorola Hangs Smartphone Future on Android," (April 20, 2009). The Standish Group, CHAOS Summary 2009, pp. 14. Stewart, T. A., "The Corporate Jungle Spawns a New Species: The Project Manager," Fortune (September 1996), pp. 1415. Case A Day in the Life Rachel, the project manager of a large information systems project, arrives at her office early to get caught up with work before her co-workers and project team arrive. However, as she enters the office she meets Neil, one of her fellow project managers, who also wants to get an early start on the day. Neil has just completed a project overseas. They spend 10 minutes socializing and catching up on personal news. It takes Rachel 10 minutes to get to her office and settle in. She then checks her voice mail and turns on her computer. She was at her client's site the day 20 Chapter 1 Modern Project Management before until 7:30 P.M. and has not checked her e-mail or voice mail since 3:30 P.M. the previous day. There are 7 phone messages, 16 e-mails, and 4 notes left on her desk. She spends 15 minutes reviewing her schedule and "to do" lists for the day before responding to messages that require immediate attention. Rachel spends the next 25 minutes going over project reports and preparing for the weekly status meeting. Her boss, who just arrived at the office, interrupts her. They spend 20 minutes discussing the project. He shares a rumor that a team member is using stimulants on the job. She tells him that she has not seen anything suspicious but will keep an eye on the team member. The 9:00 A.M. project status meeting starts 15 minutes late because two of the team members have to finish a job for a client. Several people go to the cafeteria to get coffee and doughnuts while others discuss last night's baseball game. The team members arrive, and the remaining 45 minutes of the progress review meeting surface project issues that have to be addressed and assigned for action. After the meeting Rachel goes down the hallway to meet with Victoria, another IS project manager. They spend 30 minutes reviewing project assignments since the two of them share personnel. Victoria's project is behind schedule and in need of help. They broker a deal that should get Victoria's project back on track. She returns to her office and makes several phone calls and returns several e-mails before walking downstairs to visit with members of her project team. Her intent is to follow up on an issue that had surfaced in the status report meeting. However, her simple, "Hi guys, how are things going?" elicits a stream of disgruntled responses from the "troops." After listening patiently for over 20 minutes, she realizes that among other things several of the client's managers are beginning to request features that were not in the original project scope statement. She tells her people that she will get on this right away. Returning to her office she tries to call her counterpart John at the client firm but is told that he is not expected back from lunch for another hour. At this time, Eddie drops by and says, "How about lunch?" Eddie works in the finance office and they spend the next half hour in the company cafeteria gossiping about internal politics. She is surprised to hear that Jonah Johnson, the director of systems projects, may join another firm. Jonah has always been a powerful ally. She returns to her office, answers a few more e-mails, and finally gets through to John. They spend 30 minutes going over the problem. The conversation ends with John promising to do some investigating and to get back to her as soon as possible. Rachel puts a "Do not disturb" sign on her door, and lies down in her office. She listens to the third and fourth movement of Ravel's string quartet in F on headphones. Rachel then takes the elevator down to the third floor and talks to the purchasing agent assigned to her project. They spend the next 30 minutes exploring ways of getting necessary equipment to the project site earlier than planned. She finally authorizes express delivery. When she returns to her office, her calendar reminds her that she is scheduled to participate in a conference call at 2:30. It takes 15 minutes for everyone to get online. During this time, Rachel catches up on some e-mail. The next hour is spent exchanging information about the technical requirements associated with a new version of a software package they are using on systems projects like hers. Rachel decides to stretch her legs and goes on a walk down the hallway where she engages in brief conversations with various co-workers. She goes out of her Chapter 1 Modern Project Management 21 way to thank Chandra for his thoughtful analysis at the status report meeting. She returns to find that John has left a message for her to call him back ASAP. She contacts John, who informs her that, according to his people, her firm's marketing rep had made certain promises about specific features her system would provide. He doesn't know how this communication breakdown occurred, but his people are pretty upset over the situation. Rachel thanks John for the information and immediately takes the stairs to where the marketing group resides. She asks to see Mary, a senior marketing manager. She waits 10 minutes before being invited into her office. After a heated discussion, she leaves 40 minutes later with Mary agreeing to talk to her people about what was promised and what was not promised. She goes downstairs to her people to give them an update on what is happening. They spend 30 minutes reviewing the impact the client's requests could have on the project schedule. She also shares with them the schedule changes she and Victoria had agreed to. After she says good night to her team, she heads upstairs to her boss's office and spends 20 minutes updating him on key events of the day. She returns to her office and spends 30 minutes reviewing e-mails and project documents. She logs on to the MS project schedule of her project and spends the next 30 minutes working with "what-if " scenarios. She reviews tomorrow's schedule and writes some personal reminders before starting off on her 30-minute commute home. 1. How effectively do you think Rachel spent her day? 2. What does the case tell you about what it is like to be a project manager? C H A P T E R T W O Organization Strategy and Project Selection Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources/costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing project duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 ht Oversig 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career paths Organization Strategy and Project Selection The Strategic Management Process: An Overview Scenario Planning: A Supplement to Traditional Strategic Planning The Need for an Effective Project Portfolio Management System A Portfolio Management System Applying a Selection Model Managing the Portfolio System Summary Appendix 2.1: Request for Proposal (RFP) 22 Strategy is implemented through projects. Every project should have a clear link to the organization's strategy. Strategy is fundamentally deciding how the organization will compete. Organizations use projects to convert strategy into new products, services, and processes needed for success. For example, Intel's major strategy is one of differentiation. Its projects target innovation and time to market. Currently, Intel is directing its strategy toward specialty chips for products other than computers, such as autos, security, cell phones, air controls. Another goal is to reduce project cycle times. Intel, NEC, General Electric, and AT&T have reduced their cycle times by 2050 percent. Projects and project management play the key role in supporting strategic goals. It is vital for project managers to think and act strategically. Aligning projects with the strategic goals of the organization is crucial for project success. Today's economic climate is unprecedented by rapid changes in technology, global competition, and financial uncertainty. These conditions make strategy/project alignment even more essential for success. Every major project needs to have a strong linkage to the strategic plan. Ensuring a strong link between the strategic plan and projects is a difficult task that demands constant attention from top and middle management. The larger and more diverse an organization, the more difficult it is to create and maintain this strong link. Ample evidence still suggests that many organizations have not developed a process that clearly aligns project selection to the strategic plan. The result is poor utilization of the organization's resources--people, money, equipment, and core competencies. Conversely, organizations that have a coherent link of projects to strategy have more cooperation across the organization, perform better on projects, and have fewer projects. How can an organization ensure this link and alignment? The answer requires integration of projects with the strategic plan. Integration assumes the existence of a strategic plan and a process for prioritizing projects by their contribution to the plan. A crucial factor to ensure the success of integrating the plan with projects lies in the creation of a process that is open and transparent for all participants to review. This chapter presents an overview of the importance of strategic planning and the process for developing a strategic plan. Typical problems encountered when strategy and projects are not linked are noted. A generic methodology that ensures integration by creating very strong linkages of project selection and priority to the strategic plan is then discussed. The intended outcomes are clear organization focus, best use of scarce organization resources (people, equipment, capital), and improved communication across projects and departments. 23 24 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection Why Project Managers Need to Understand Strategy Project management historically has been preoccupied solely with the planning and execution of projects. Strategy was considered to be under the purview of senior management. This is old-school thinking. New-school thinking recognizes that project management is at the apex of strategy and operations. Aaron Shenhar speaks to this issue when he states, ". . . it is time to expand the traditional role of the project manager from an operational to a more strategic perspective. In the modern evolving organization, project managers will be focused on business aspects, and their role will expand from getting the job done to achieving the business results and winning in the market place." There are two main reasons why project managers need to understand their organization's mission and strategy. The first reason is so they can make appropriate decisions and adjustments. For example, how a project manager would respond to a suggestion to modify the design of a product to enhance performance will vary depending upon whether his company strives to be a product leader through innovation or to achieve operational excellence through low cost solutions. Similarly, how a project manager would respond to delays may vary depending upon strategic concerns. A project manager will authorize overtime if her firm places a premium on getting to the market first. Another project manager will accept the delay if speed is not essential. J. P. Descamps has observed that project managers who do not understand the role their project plays in accomplishing the strategy of their organization tend to make the following serious mistakes: Focusing on problems or solutions that have low priority strategically Focusing on the immediate customer rather than the whole market place and value chain Overemphasizing technology as an end in and of itself, resulting in projects that wander off pursuing exotic technology that does not fit the strategy or customer need Trying to solve every customer issue with a product or service rather than focusing on the 20 percent with 80 percent of the value (Pareto's Law) Engaging in a never-ending search for perfection that no one except the project team really cares about The second reason project managers need to understand their organization's strategy is so they can be effective project advocates. Project managers have to be able to demonstrate to senior management how their project contributes to their firm's mission. Protection and continued support come from being aligned with corporate objectives. Project managers also need to be able to explain to team members and other stakeholders why certain project objectives and priorities are critical. This is essential for getting buy-in on contentious trade-off decisions. For these reasons project managers will find it valuable to have a keen understanding of strategic management and project selection processes, which are discussed next. The Strategic Management Process: An Overview Strategic management is the process of assessing "what we are" and deciding and implementing "what we intend to be and how we are going to get there." Strategy describes how an organization intends to compete with the resources available in the existing and perceived future environment. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 25 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE INTEL CEO Craig R. Barrett is planning his last hurrah only 15 months before his retirement as chairman of the board. His vision for INTEL is to move beyond computers: think INTEL everywhere. Barrett says, "Everything in the world is going digital." He wants INTEL chips to be the guts of every digital device on the planet--especially in the communications, consumer electronics, and entertainment industries. Think--cell phones, wireless home networks, video players, flat panel TVs--INTEL's expertise fits right in. He is hitting the market today with a chip technology called WiMax "that can be used to deliver high speed Internet access throughout a small city (or 30 miles) for about $100,000, which is about one-tenth the cost of rolling out fiber optic lines today." (A competitor, WiFi, has a range of about 200 feet.) Cable and phone companies are very interested because of low entry costs. Some critics believe Barrett's shotgun approach is too risky. He doesn't see it that way. Rather than following INTEL's past go-it-alone approach to new products, he wants INTEL to forge closer ties with customers by designing products they need rather than designing products no one asked for. He admits going into consumer markets will be a challenge and a half. He intends to provide financial support and cooperation for companies creating new products that will use INTEL chips. Barrett feels the risk of providing financial support for smaller companies creating new products is low, even if some go bust. If most of the new products take off, risk is minimized because their markets will lead to increasing demand for new, larger, and faster PCs where INTEL manufacturing dominates cost. Move Beyond Computers* Courtesy Intel Corporation. Implementing the new vision will not keep INTEL's manufacturing from remaining on the cutting edge. By 2005 five new factories will manufacture 12-inch wafers printed with 90-nanometer circuit lines, just 0.1 percent the width of a human hair. These plants are expected to slash chip costs in half. The mission has been set: Create INTEL chips to meet the need of new digital products. Right or wrong, everyone in the organization knows the game plan and can focus their efforts in this new consumer-oriented direction. Projects related to digital products will be ranked high priority. * Adapted from Cliff Edwards, "What Is CEO Craig Barrett Up To?" Business Week, March 8, 2004, pp. 5664. Two major dimensions of strategic management are responding to changes in the external environment and allocating scarce resources of the firm to improve its competitive position. Constant scanning of the external environment for changes is a major requirement for survival in a dynamic competitive environment. The second dimension is the internal responses to new action programs aimed at enhancing the competitive position of the firm. The nature of the responses depends on the type of business, environment volatility, competition, and the organizational culture. Strategic management provides the theme and focus of the future direction of the organization. It supports consistency of action at every level of the organization. It encourages integration because effort and resources are committed to common goals and strategies. See Snapshot from Practice: Move Beyond Computers. It is a continuous, iterative process aimed at developing an integrated and coordinated long-term plan of action. Strategic management positions the organization to meet the needs and requirements of its customers for the long term. With the 26 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection long-term position identified, objectives are set, and strategies are developed to achieve objectives and then translated into actions by implementing projects. Strategy can decide the survival of an organization. Most organizations are successful in formulating strategies for what course(s) they should pursue. However, the problem in many organizations is implementing strategies--that is, making them happen. Integration of strategy formulation and implementation often does not exist. The components of strategic management are closely linked, and all are directed toward the future success of the organization. Strategic management requires strong links among mission, goals, objectives, strategy, and implementation. The mission gives the general purpose of the organization. Goals give global targets within the mission. Objectives give specific targets to goals. Objectives give rise to formulation of strategies to reach objectives. Finally, strategies require actions and tasks to be implemented. In most cases the actions to be taken represent projects. Figure 2.1 shows a schematic of the strategic management process and major activities required. Four Activities of the Strategic Management Process The typical sequence of activities of the strategic management process is outlined here; a description of each activity then follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. Review and define the organizational mission. Set long-range goals and objectives. Analyze and formulate strategies to reach objectives. Implement strategies through projects. Review and Define the Organizational Mission The mission identifies "what we want to become," or the raison d'tre. Mission statements identify the scope of the organization in terms of its product or service. A written mission statement provides focus for decision making when shared by organizational managers and employees. Everyone in the organization should be keenly aware of the organization's mission. For example, at one large consulting firm, partners who fail to recite the mission statement on demand are required to buy lunch. The mission statement communicates and identifies the purpose of the organization to all stakeholders. Mission statements can be used for evaluating organization performance. Traditional components found in mission statements are major products and services, target customers and markets, and geographical domain. In addition, statements frequently include organizational philosophy, key technologies, public image, and contribution to society. Including such factors in mission statements relates directly to business success. Mission statements change infrequently. However, when the nature of the business changes or shifts, a revised mission statement may be required. For example, Steve Jobs of Apple Computer envisioned the use of computer technology beyond the PC desktop. His mission was to look at computer technology as the vehicle for work and entertainment. As a result he developed the iPod for selling music and masterminded the development of animated movies such as Finding Nemo through the Pixar organization. See the adjacent Apple Snapshot Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 27 FIGURE 2.1 Strategic Management Process 1 External environment-- opportunities and threats Internal environment-- strengths and weaknesses Review/revise mission What are we now? 2 New goals and objectives What do we intend to be? Portfolio of strategic choices 3 Strategy implementation How are we going to get there? Project selection 4 Projects from Practice to find out more about how Apple's mission shapes new product development projects. More specific mission statements tend to give better results because of a tighter focus. Mission statements decrease the chance of false directions by stakeholders. For example, compare the phrasing of the following mission statements: Provide hospital design services. Provide voice/data design services. Provide information technology services. Increase shareholder value. Provide high-value products to our customer. Clearly, the first two statements leave less chance for misinterpretation than the others. A rule-of-thumb test for a mission statement is, if the statement can be anybody's mission statement, it will not provide the guidance and focus intended. The mission sets the parameters for developing objectives. 28 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Apple's Strategy PRNewsFoto/Apple Since Steve Jobs returned to Apple Computer as CEO in 1997, he has been strikingly successful in developing a turnaround strategy that has developed new markets and increased market share. It all begins with strict adherence to the mission statement: Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings. players, digital cameras, PDAs, DV camcorders, and other gadgets to a central computer, known as the digital hub. Development of iTunes allows users to mix and burn CDs from the comfort and ease of their computer. Along with burning CDs, users are able to use iTunes to sync their music files with MP3 players such as iPod. Apple's competitive advantages provide strong support for its product strategies. Some of the more obvious are listed here: Control over both hardware and software--avoids compatibility problems High quality and innovation image Common architecture fits most products and eases development time Free software Ease of use Loyal customer base The thrust of the turnaround strategy includes mass customization and targeting market segments. Apple's primary competitive advantage is that it controls both the hardware and software aspects of most of its products. The vision, coupled with this strong strategic advantage, allows Apple to offer innovation in hardware, software, and Internet offerings. From the vision statement many product strategies have been forthcoming. For example, Jobs first segmented Apple's market into consumer and professional. This segmentation reduces the number of products and sharply targets products to specific end users. Several specific strategies have developed for the consumer market. For example, Jobs believes users should be able to connect their MP3 players, iPods, DVD players, CD For over ten years the string of innovative products from Apple has been spectacular. No end is in sight. Each new product endeavor closely aligns with the mission statement and current strategies. Launching new products in new markets requires executing projects within tight time, cost, and scope constraints. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 29 Set Long-Range Goals and Objectives Objectives translate the organization mission into specific, concrete, measurable terms. Organizational objectives set targets for all levels of the organization. Objectives pinpoint the direction managers believe the organization should move toward. Objectives answer in detail where a firm is headed and when it is going to get there. Typically, objectives for the organization cover markets, products, innovation, productivity, quality, finance, profitability, employees, and consumers. In every case, objectives should be as operational as possible. That is, objectives should include a time frame, be measurable, be an identifiable state, and be realistic. Doran created the memory device shown in Exhibit 2.1, which is useful when writing objectives. Each level below the organizational objectives should support the higherlevel objectives in more detail; this is frequently called cascading of objectives. For example, if a firm making leather luggage sets an objective of achieving a 40 percent increase in sales through a research and development strategy, this charge is passed to the marketing, production, and R&D departments. The R&D department accepts the firm's strategy as their objective, and their strategy becomes the design and development of a new "pull-type luggage with hidden retractable wheels." At this point the objective becomes a project to be implemented--to develop the retractable wheel luggage for market within six months within a budget of $200,000. In summary, organizational objectives drive your projects. Analyze and Formulate Strategies to Reach Objectives Formulating strategy answers the question of what needs to be done to reach objectives. Strategy formulation includes determining and evaluating alternatives that support the organization's objectives and selecting the best alternative. The first step is a realistic evaluation of the past and current position of the enterprise. This step typically includes an analysis of "who are the customers" and "what are their needs as they (the customers) see them." The next step is an assessment of the internal and external environments. What are the internal strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise? Examples of internal strengths or weaknesses could be core competencies, such as technology, product quality, management talent, low debt, and dealer networks. Managers can alter internal strengths and weaknesses. Opportunities and threats usually represent external forces for change such as technology, industry structure, and competition. Competitive benchmarking tools are sometimes used here to assess current and future directions. Opportunities and threats are the flip sides of each other. That is, a threat can be perceived as an opportunity, or vice versa. Examples of perceived external threats could be a slowing of the economy, a maturing life cycle, exchange rates, or government regulation. Typical opportunities are increasing demand, emerging markets, and demographics. Managers or individual firms have EXHIBIT 2.1 Characteristics of Objectives S M A R T Specific Measurable Assignable Realistic Time related Be specific in targeting an objective Establish a measurable indicator(s) of progress Make the objective assignable to one person for completion State what can realistically be done with available resources State when the objective can be achieved, that is, duration 30 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection limited opportunities to influence such external environmental factors; however, in recent years notable exceptions have been new technologies such as Apple using the iPod to create a market to sell music. The keys are to attempt to forecast fundamental industry changes and stay in a proactive mode rather than a reactive one. This assessment of the external and internal environments is known as the SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). From this analysis, critical issues and a portfolio of strategic alternatives are identified. These alternatives are compared with the current portfolio and available resources; strategies are then selected that should support the basic mission and objectives of the organization. Critical analysis of the strategies includes asking questions: Does the strategy take advantage of our core competencies? Does the strategy exploit our competitive advantage? Does the strategy maximize meeting customers' needs? Does the strategy fit within our acceptable risk range? Strategy formulation ends with cascading objectives or projects assigned to lower divisions, departments, or individuals. Formulating strategy might range around 20 percent of management's effort, while determining how strategy will be implemented might consume 80 percent. Implement Strategies through Projects Implementation answers the question of how strategies will be realized, given available resources. The conceptual framework for strategy implementation lacks the structure and discipline found in strategy formulation. Implementation requires action and completing tasks; the latter frequently means mission-critical projects. Therefore, implementation must include attention to several key areas. First, completing tasks requires allocation of resources. Resources typically represent funds, people, management talents, technological skills, and equipment. Frequently, implementation of projects is treated as an "addendum" rather than an integral part of the strategic management process. However, multiple objectives place conflicting demands on organizational resources. Second, implementation requires a formal and informal organization that complements and supports strategy and projects. Authority, responsibility, and performance all depend on organization structure and culture. Third, planning and control systems must be in place to be certain project activities necessary to ensure strategies are effectively performed. Fourth, motivating project contributors will be a major factor for achieving project success. Finally, an area receiving more attention in recent years is prioritizing projects. Although the strategy implementation process is not as clear as strategy formulation, all managers realize that, without implementation, success is impossible. Scenario Planning: A Supplement to Traditional Strategic Planning Overview Given the Flat, Hot, and Crowded world described by author Thomas Friedman, the rate of change is accelerating. Forward strategic planning for a period of the next 510 years has been reduced to the next 24 years. Most planning today represents incremental, tactical planning. The emphasis is on fast payback, internal projects, small teams, daily or weekly status reporting. But how do we ensure we have given serious consideration to the potential environment 510 years out? That is, how might the future unfold: What is the risk of being too late to adapt? How do we plan for the future when we don't know what the future holds? The strategic planning team must address such questions. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 31 With accelerating changes and uncertainty in the world about us, some organizations are forced to supplement strategic planning with the longer view called scenario planning. Scenario planning was popularized by Royal Dutch Shell during the petroleum shortage of 1973. Since then numerous organizations have adapted scenario planning: IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, Weyerhaeuser, US Steel, unions, and numerous governmental agencies. In the words of one executive, "Scenario planning is risk contingency planning, without really moving organizational resources." Scenario Planning Process Scenarios are stories of how we believe things could play out in the longer run. Scenario planning is a structured process of thinking about future possible environments that would have potential high impact to disrupt the way you do business, and then developing potential strategies to compete in these altered environments. Assessing Your Core Business and Industry How will the future unfold for your business? The first step of scenario planning is clarification and agreement on the core business of your organization and the environment in which it exists. What product or service does your organization provide society? How fast is your industry changing? What are the driving environmental forces that can cause your industry to change? How long would it take for your industry to make a major change to a new direction--e.g., technology breakthrough, new legislation, political movement or regulation? Reviewing the core business and drivers up front provides a foundation for thinking about scenarios that can alter the model your organization uses to provide its service or product. Potential Scenarios and Impact With agreement reached on the core business and characteristics of your operating environment, the next step is brainstorming potential global forces that could have a substantial impact and alter the way your organization does business. Typical global forces influencing scenarios are social, technological, environmental, economic, political (STEEP), and global institutions. For example, will the green movement to protect the environment influence the way you do business? Since nearly every country has some commission or agency exploring ways to reduce carbon emissions, many organizations are considering events, movements, and government regulations that could alter the way they operate. New governmental regulations are appearing daily. When might you have to respond by devoting resources to adjust to potential new regulations? With perhaps over 100 potential events identified, the team narrows the list to a small number of events that could alter your current business model. The few remaining potential scenarios (say 24) are evaluated to determine what each scenario means for your organization and to assess how you may address the event if it occurs. For example, what options are available to you? Will the scenario destroy a large segment of your market? Will you need to eat costs to establish a new market? Of the few remaining scenarios, which have the highest chance of occurring? Highest impact? Offering opportunities? What are the underlying causes for each scenario? Potential Strategies Assuming the scenario occurs, what strategy(s) would you use to move the organization to respond to the change? How does the industry make major changes today--in 12 years, 35 years, 610 years? Given your core competencies, is your organization capable of changing to operate in this future environment? How would your competition react to this new scenario? What strategic options would work best for your organization? 32 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection Examples Assume you are a law firm specializing in carbon-free energy. A potential scenario is a new technology developed to store mass amounts of electricity for use when it is needed (imagine a large battery big enough to store enough electricity for a large city). What impact would this have on the wind and solar industries-- consolidation, price wars? How will your business model change? Assume you are a Saudi Arabian or Russian oil company. One scenario is demand for oil dries up and drops to 5 percent of today's demand. Should these companies begin to slowly invest in projects to develop and become experts in alternative energy sources? Another example: Around 1990 IBM changed focus from a hardware/software company to a service focus company. The impetus for the change was recognition that hardware and software products were moving toward "commodities," which typically lead to increased competition and low margins. Generically, the strategies could be categorized as fold up, continue as is, or prepare to make long-term investments that accommodate the risk of the scenario occurring. IBM moved resources to the service side of the business. Better to prepare contingency strategies that can be used as opportunities, rather than react too late. Triggers Finally, scenario planning concludes with identifying early indicators for different scenarios and establishing "triggers" that tell you the event is quickly approaching and detailed strategic planning is needed. What upstream factors and driving forces cause the scenario to move forward (technology, political, economic, and social)? What must come true for the scenario event to materialize and cause you to take action? Summary With the external operating environment changing at an everincreasing rate, traditional strategic planning has been supplemented with scenario planning. Scenario planning has become the leading methodology for imagining how the future will develop and changing organizations accordingly. Scenario planning gets organization stakeholders thinking of the big picture and longer run survivability of the organization--as opposed to maximizing their individual silos. Scenario planning improves the organization's ability to foresee concealed weaknesses and inflexibilities and to adapt to uncertainty and change. It positions the organization to respond to changing forces in the environment by anticipating the kinds of projects that will need to be implemented. For example, since 1974 General Motors and Ford have been threatened with government compliance to increase gas mileage and reduce auto size. Both have tentative plans (projects) for autos that meet the compliance standards of 2009, but it takes time to implement. The Need for an Effective Project Portfolio Management System Implementation of projects without a strong priority system linked to strategy creates problems. Three of the most obvious problems are discussed below. A project portfolio system can go a long way to reduce, or even eliminate, the impact of these problems. Problem 1: The Implementation Gap In organizations with short product life cycles, it is interesting to note that frequently participation in strategic planning and implementation includes participants from all levels within the organization. However, in perhaps 80 percent of the remaining product and service organizations, top management pretty much Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 33 formulates strategy and leaves strategy implementation to functional managers. Within these broad constraints, more detailed strategies and objectives are developed by the functional managers. The fact that these objectives and strategies are made independently at different levels by functional groups within the organization hierarchy causes manifold problems. Some symptoms of organizations struggling with strategy disconnect and unclear priorities are presented here. Conflicts frequently occur among functional managers and cause lack of trust. Frequent meetings are called to establish or renegotiate priorities. People frequently shift from one project to another, depending on current priority. Employees are confused about which projects are important. People are working on multiple projects and feel inefficient. Resources are not adequate. Because clear linkages do not exist, the organizational environment becomes dysfunctional, confused, and ripe for ineffective implementation of organization strategy and, thus, of projects. The implementation gap refers to the lack of understanding and consensus of organization strategy among top and middle-level managers. A scenario the authors have seen repeated several times follows. Top management picks their top 20 projects for the next planning period, without priorities. Each functional department--marketing, finance, operations, engineering, information technology, and human resources--selects projects from the list. Unfortunately independent department priorities across projects are not homogenous. A project that rates first in the IT department can rate 10th in the finance department. Implementation of the projects represents conflicts of interest with animosities developing over organization resources. If this condition exists, how is it possible to effectively implement strategy? The problem is serious. One study found that only about 25 percent of Fortune 500 executives believe there is a strong linkage, consistency, and/or agreement between the strategies they formulate and implementation. In another study of Deloitte Consulting, Jeff MacIntyre reports, "Only 23 percent of nearly 150 global executives considered their project portfolios aligned with the core business." Middle managers considered organizational strategy to be under the purview of others or not in their realm of influence. It is the responsibility of senior management to set policies that show a distinct link between organizational strategy and objectives and projects that implement those strategies. The research of Fusco suggests the implementation gap and prioritizing projects are still overlooked by many organizations. He surveyed 280 project managers and found that 24 percent of their organizations did not even publish or circulate their objectives; in addition, 40 percent of the respondents reported that priorities among competing projects were not clear, while only 17 percent reported clear priorities. Problem 2: Organization Politics Politics exist in every organization and can have a significant influence on which projects receive funding and high priority. This is especially true when the criteria and process for selecting projects are ill-defined and not aligned with the mission of the firm. Project selection may be based not so much on facts and sound reasoning, but rather on the persuasiveness and power of people advocating projects. The term "sacred cow" is often used to denote a project that a powerful, highranking official is advocating. Case in point, a marketing consultant confided that 34 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection he was once hired by the marketing director of a large firm to conduct an independent, external market analysis for a new product the firm was interested in developing. His extensive research indicated that there was insufficient demand to warrant the financing of this new product. The marketing director chose to bury the report and made the consultant promise never to share this information with anyone. The director explained that this new product was the "pet idea" of the new CEO, who saw it as his legacy to the firm. He went on to describe the CEO's irrational obsession with the project and how he referred to it as his "new baby." Like a parent fiercely protecting his child, the marketing director believed that he would lose his job if such critical information ever became known. Having a project sponsor can play a significant role in the selection and successful implementation of product innovation projects. Project sponsors are typically high-ranking managers who endorse and lend political support for the completion of a specific project. They are instrumental in winning approval of the project and in protecting the project during the critical development stage. Savvy project managers recognize the importance of having "friends in higher courts" who can advocate for their case and protect their interests. The significance of corporate politics can be seen in the ill-fated ALTO computer project at Xerox during the mid-1970s. The project was a tremendous technological success; it developed the first workable mouse, the first laser printer, the first userfriendly software, and the first local area network. All of these developments were five years ahead of their nearest competitor. Over the next five years this opportunity to dominate the nascent personal computer market was squandered because of internal in-fighting at Xerox and the absence of a strong project sponsor. Politics can play a role not only in project selection but also in the aspirations behind projects. Individuals can enhance their power within an organization by managing extraordinary and critical projects. Power and status naturally accrue to successful innovators and risk takers rather than to steady producers. Many ambitious managers pursue high-profile projects as a means for moving quickly up the corporate ladder. For example, Lee Iacocca's career was built on successfully leading the design and development of the highly successful Ford Mustang. Managers become heroes by leading projects that contribute significantly to an organization's mission or solve a pressing crisis. Many would argue that politics and project management should not mix. A more proactive response is that projects and politics invariably mix and that effective project managers recognize that any significant project has political ramifications. Likewise, top management needs to develop a system for identifying and selecting projects that reduces the impact of internal politics and fosters the selection of the best projects for achieving the mission and strategy of the firm. Problem 3: Resource Conflicts and Multitasking Most project organizations exist in a multiproject environment. This environment creates the problems of project interdependency and the need to share resources. For example, what would be the impact on the labor resource pool of a construction company if it should win a contract it would like to bid on? Will existing labor be adequate to deal with the new project--given the completion date? Will current projects be delayed? Will subcontracting help? Which projects will have priority? Competition among project managers can be contentious. All project managers seek to have the best people for their projects. The problems of sharing resources and scheduling resources across projects grow exponentially as the num- Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 35 ber of projects rises. In multiproject environments the stakes are higher and the benefits or penalties for good or bad resource scheduling become even more significant than in most single projects. Resource sharing also leads to multitasking. Multitasking involves starting and stopping work on one task to go and work on another project, and then returning to the work on the original task. People working on several tasks concurrently are far less efficient, especially where conceptual or physical shutdown and startup are significant. Multitasking adds to delays and costs. Changing priorities exacerbate the multitasking problems even more. Likewise, multitasking is more evident in organizations that have too many projects for the resources they command. The number of small and large projects in a portfolio almost always exceeds the available resources (typically by a factor of three to four times the available resources). This capacity overload inevitably leads to confusion and inefficient use of scarce organizational resources. The presence of an implementation gap, of power politics, and of multitasking adds to the problem of which projects are allocated resources first. Employee morale and confidence suffer because it is difficult to make sense of an ambiguous system. A multiproject organization environment faces major problems without a priority system that is clearly linked to the strategic plan. In essence, to this point we have suggested that many organizations have no meaningful process for addressing the problems we have described. The first and most important change that will go a long way in addressing these and other problems is the development and use of a meaningful project priority process for project selection. How can the implementation gap be narrowed so that understanding and consensus of organizational strategies run through all levels of management? How can power politics be minimized? Can a process be developed in which projects are consistently prioritized to support organizational strategies? Can the prioritized projects be used to allocate scarce organizational resources--for example, people, equipment? Can the process encourage bottom-up initiation of projects that support clear organizational targets? What is needed is a set of integrative criteria and a process for evaluating and selecting projects that support higher-level strategies and objectives. A single-project priority system that ranks projects by their contribution to the strategic plan would make life easier. Easily said, but difficult to accomplish in practice. Organizations that managed independent projects and allocated resources ad hoc have shifted focus to selecting the right portfolio of projects to achieve their strategic objectives. This is a quickening trend. The advantages of successful project portfolio systems are becoming well recognized in project-driven organizations. See Exhibit 2.2, which lists a few key benefits; the list could easily be extended. A project portfolio system is discussed next with emphasis on selection criteria, which is where the power of the portfolio system is established. EXHIBIT 2.2 Benefits of Project Portfolio Management Builds discipline into project selection process. Links project selection to strategic metrics. Prioritizes project proposals across a common set of criteria, rather than on politics or emotion. Allocates resources to projects that align with strategic direction. Balances risk across all projects. Justifies killing projects that do not support organization strategy. Improves communication and supports agreement on project goals. 36 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection A Portfolio Management System Succinctly put, the aim of portfolio management is to ensure that projects are aligned with strategic goals and prioritized appropriately. As Foti points out, portfolio management asks "What is strategic to our organization?" Portfolio management provides information that allows people to make better business decisions. Since projects clamoring for funding and people usually outnumber available resources, it is important to follow a logical and defined process for selecting the projects to implement. Design of a project portfolio system should include classification of a project, selection criteria depending upon classification, sources of proposals, evaluating proposals, and managing the portfolio of projects. Classification of the Project Many organizations find they have three different kinds of projects in their portfolio: compliance and emergency (must do), operational, and strategic projects. (See Figure 2.2.) Compliance projects are typically those needed to meet regulatory conditions required to operate in a region; hence, they are called "must do" projects. Emergency projects, such as rebuilding a soybean factory destroyed by fire, meet the must do criterion. Compliance and emergency projects usually have penalties if they are not implemented. Operational projects are those that are needed to support current operations. These projects are designed to improve efficiency of delivery systems, reduce product costs, and improve performance. Total quality management (TQM) projects are examples of operational projects. Finally, strategic projects are those that directly support the organization's long-run mission. They frequently are directed toward increasing revenue or market share. Examples of strategic projects are new products, research, and development. For a good, complete discussion on classification schemes found in practice, see Crawford, Hobbs, and Turne. The strategic value of a proposed project must be determined before it can be placed in the project portfolio. Under rare circumstances, there are projects that "must" be selected. These compliance or emergency projects are those that must be implemented or the firm will fail or suffer dire penalties or consequences. For example, a manufacturing plant must install an electrostatic filter on top of a smokestack in six months or close down. EU courts are trying to force Microsoft to open their software architecture to allow competing software firms to be FIGURE 2.2 Portfolio of Projects by Type Compliance (must do) projects Strategic projects Operational projects Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 37 compatible and interact with Microsoft. This decision may become a compliance project for Microsoft. Any project placed in the "must" category ignores other selection criteria. A rule of thumb for placing a proposed project in this category is that 99 percent of the organization stakeholders would agree that the project must be implemented; there is no perceived choice but to implement the project. All other projects are selected using selection criteria linked to organization strategy. Selection Criteria Although there are many criteria for selecting projects, selection criteria are typically identified as financial and nonfinancial. A short description of each is given next, followed by a discussion of their use in practice. Financial Criteria Financial Models For most managers financial criteria are the preferred method to evaluate projects. These models are appropriate when there is a high level of confidence associated with estimates of future cash flows. Two models and examples are demonstrated here--payback and net present value (NPV). Project A has an initial investment of $700,000 and projected cash inflows of $225,000 for 5 years. Project B has an initial investment of $400,000 and projected cash inflows of $110,000 for 5 years. 1. The payback model measures the time it will take to recover the project investment. Shorter paybacks are more desirable. Payback is the simplest and most widely used model. Payback emphasizes cash flows, a key factor in business. Some managers use the payback model to eliminate unusually risky projects (those with lengthy payback periods). The major limitations of payback are that it ignores the time value of money, assumes cash inflows for the investment period (and not beyond), and does not consider profitability. The payback formula is Payback period (yrs) 5 Estimated Project Cost/Annual Savings Exhibit 2.3 compares the payback for Project A and Project B. The payback for Project A is 3.1 years and for Project B is 3.6 years. Using the payback method both projects are acceptable since both return the initial investment in less than five years and have returns on the investment of 32.1 and 27.5 percent. Exhibit 2.3 A presents the net present value model. 2. The net present value (NPV) model uses management's minimum desired rate-of-return (discount rate, for example, 20 percent) to compute the present value of all net cash inflows. If the result is positive (the project meets the minimum desired rate of return), it is eligible for further consideration. If the result is negative, the project is rejected. Thus, higher positive NPV's are desirable. Excel uses this formula n Ft where Project NPV 5 I0 1 a 11 1 k2 t t51 I0 5 Initial investment (since it is an outflow, the number will be negative) Ft 5 Net cash inflow for period t k 5 Required rate of return 38 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection EXHIBIT 2.3 Example Comparing Two Projects Using Payback and Net Present Value Method Exhibit 2.3B presents the NPV model using Microsoft Excel software. The NPV model accepts project A, which has a positive NPV of $54,235. Project B is rejected since the NPV is negative $31,263. Compare the NPV results with the payback results. The NPV model is more realistic because it considers the time value of money, cash flows, and profitability. When using the NPV model, the discount rate (return on investment hurdle rate) can differ for different projects. For example, the expected ROI on strategic projects is frequently set higher than operational projects. Similarly, ROI's can Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 39 differ for riskier versus safer projects. The criteria for setting the ROI hurdle rate should be clear and applied consistently. Unfortunately, pure financial models fail to include many projects where financial return is impossible to measure and/or other factors are vital to the accept or reject decision. One research study by Foti showed that companies using predominantly financial models to prioritize projects yielded unbalanced portfolios and projects that aren't strategically oriented. Other studies make similar claims. Nonfinancial Criteria Financial return, while important, does not always reflect strategic importance. The sixties and seventies saw firms become overextended by diversifying too much. Now the prevailing thinking is that long-term survival is dependent upon developing and maintaining core competencies. Companies have to be disciplined in saying no to potentially profitable projects that are outside the realm of their core mission. This requires other criteria be considered beyond direct financial return. For example, a firm may support projects that do not have high profit margins for other strategic reasons including: To capture larger market share To make it difficult for competitors to enter the market To develop an enabler product, which by its introduction will increase sales in more profitable products To develop core technology that will be used in next-generation products To reduce dependency on unreliable suppliers To prevent government intervention and regulation Less tangible criteria may also apply. Organizations may support projects to restore corporate image or enhance brand recognition. Many organizations are committed to corporate citizenship and support community development projects. Since no single criterion can reflect strategic significance, portfolio management requires multi-criteria screening models. These models often weight individual criteria so those projects that contribute to the most important strategic objectives are given higher consideration. Two Multi-Criteria Selection Models Since no single criterion can reflect strategic significance, portfolio management requires multi-criteria screening models. Two models, the checklist and multiweighted scoring models, are described next. Checklist Models The most frequently used method in selecting projects has been the checklist. This approach basically uses a list of questions to review potential projects and to determine their acceptance or rejection. Several of the typical questions found in practice are listed in Exhibit 2.4. One large, multiproject organization has 250 different questions! A justification of checklist models is that they allow great flexibility in selecting among many different types of projects and are easily used across different divisions and locations. Although many projects are selected using some variation 40 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection EXHIBIT 2.4 Sample Selection Questions Used in Practice Topic Strategy/alignment Driver Success metrics Sponsorship Risk Risk Risk Benefits, value, ROI Benefits, value, ROI Objectives Organization culture Resources Approach Schedule Schedule Training/resources Finance/portfolio Portfolio Portfolio Technology Question What specific organization strategy does this project align with? What business problem does the project solve? How will we measure success? Who is the project sponsor? What is the impact of not doing this project? What is the project risk to our organization? Where does the proposed project fit in our risk profile? What is the value of the project to this organization? When will the project show results? What are the project objectives? Is our organization culture right for this type of project? Will internal resources be available for this project? Will we build or buy? How long will this project take? Is the time line realistic? Will staff training be required? What is the estimated cost of the project? Is this a new initiative or part of an existing initiative? How does this project interact with current projects? Is the technology available or new? of the checklist approach, this approach has serious shortcomings. Major shortcomings of this approach are that it fails to answer the relative importance or value of a potential project to the organization and fails to allow for comparison with other potential projects. Each potential project will have a different set of positive and negative answers. How do you compare? Ranking and prioritizing projects by their importance is difficult, if not impossible. This approach also leaves the door open to the potential opportunity for power plays, politics, and other forms of manipulation. To overcome these serious shortcomings experts recommend the use of a multi-weighted scoring model to select projects, which is examined next. Multi-Weighted Scoring Models A weighted scoring model typically uses several weighted selection criteria to evaluate project proposals. Weighted scoring models will generally include qualitative and/or quantitative criteria. Each selection criterion is asssigned a weight. Scores are assigned to each criterion for the project, based on its importance to the project being evaluated. The weights and scores are multiplied to get a total weighted score for the project. Using these multiple screening criteria, projects can then be compared using the weighted score. Projects with higher weighted scores are considered better. Selection criteria need to mirror the critical success factors of an organization. For example, 3M set a target that 25 percent of the company's sales would come from products fewer than four years old versus the old target of 20 percent. Their priority system for project selection strongly reflects this new target. On the other hand, failure to pick the right factors will render the screening process "useless" in short order. See Snapshot from Practice: Crisis IT. Figure 2.3 represents a project scoring matrix using some of the factors found in practice. The screening criteria selected are shown across the top of the matrix Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 41 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE In May 2007, Frontier Airlines Holdings hired Gerry Coady as chief information officer (CIO). Nearly a year later the airline filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. In an interview Coady describes how he managed IT projects during the bankruptcy and recession crisis of 20082009. Fundamentally, Coady faced a situation of too many projects and too few resources. Coady used a strategy of focusing on reducing the number of projects in the portfolio. He put together a steering committee of senior management that reviewed several hundred projects. The end result was a reduction to less than 30 projects remaining in the portfolio. Crisis IT PRNewsFoto/Genesis, Inc. How Can You Get to a Backlog of over 100 Projects? "There are never enough resources to get everything done." Backlogs build over time. Sacred cow projects get included in the selection system. Projects proposed from people who have left the airline still reside in the project portfolio. Nonvalue-added projects somehow make their way into the project portfolio. Soon the queue gets longer. With everyone in IT working on too many projects concurrently, project completion and productivity are slow. Coady noted that "by the time you get to the 20s the margin of differentiation gets narrower and narrower." Of the remaining projects, project sponsors had to have solid justification why their project is important. Reduction of the number of projects places emphasis on high value projects. What Advice Does Coady Have for Crisis Management? In times of crisis, it is easier to take bold steps to make changes. But you need to have a clear vision of what you should be focusing on with the resources available. Coady suggests, "It comes back to really having a good idea of what the initial business case for a project is and what resources it is consuming, both people and otherwise." Source: Worthen, B., "Crisis IT," The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2009, p-R6. Which Projects Remain? To cut the number of projects, the steering committee used a weighting scheme that reflected the airline's priorities, which were: fly safe, generate revenue, reduce costs, and customer service. The weighting scheme easily weeded out the fluff. FIGURE 2.3 Reduce defects to less than 1% 25% of sales from new products Improve customer loyalty Stay within core competencies Weighted total ROI of 18% plus Strategic fit Project Screening Matrix 2.0 Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 Project 4 Project 5 Project 6 . . . Project n 1 3 9 3 1 6 3.0 8 3 5 0 10 5 Urgency Cr ite ria ight e W 2.0 2 2 2 10 5 0 2.5 6 0 0 0 10 2 1.0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1.0 6 5 2 6 8 2 3.0 5 1 5 0 9 7 66 27 56 32 102 55 5 5 7 0 10 10 8 83 42 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection (e.g., stay within core competencies . . . ROI of 18 percent plus). Management weights each criterion (a value of 0 to a high of, say, 3) by its relative importance to the organization's objectives and strategic plan. Project proposals are then submitted to a project priority team or project office. Each project proposal is then evaluated by its relative contribution/value added to the selected criteria. Values of 0 to a high of 10 are assigned to each criterion for each project. This value represents the project's fit to the specific criterion. For example, project 1 appears to fit well with the strategy of the organization since it is given a value of 8. Conversely, project 1 does nothing to support reducing defects (its value is 0). Finally, this model applies the management weights to each criterion by importance using a value of 1 to 3. For example, ROI and strategic fit have a weight of 3, while urgency and core competencies have weights of 2. Applying the weight to each criterion, the priority team derives the weighted total points for each project. For example, project 5 has the highest value of 102 [(2 3 1) 1 (3 3 10) 1 (2 3 5) 1 (2.5 3 10) 1 (1 3 0) 1 (1 3 8) 1 (3 3 9) 5 102] and project 2 has a low value of 27. If the resources available create a cutoff threshold of 50 points, the priority team would eliminate projects 2 and 4. (Note: Project 4 appears to have some urgency, but it is not classified as a "must" project. Therefore, it is screened with all other proposals.) Project 5 would receive first priority, project n second, and so on. In rare cases where resources are severely limited and project proposals are similar in weighted rank, it is prudent to pick the project placing less demand on resources. Weighted multiple criteria models similar to this one are rapidly becoming the dominant choice for prioritizing projects. At this point in the discussion it is wise to stop and put things into perspective. While selection models like the one above may yield numerical solutions to project selection decisions, models should not make the final decisions--the people using the models should. No model, no matter how sophisticated, can capture the total reality it is meant to represent. Models are tools for guiding the evaluation process so that the decision-makers will consider relevant issues and reach a meeting of the minds as to which projects should be supported and not supported. This is a much more subjective process than calculations suggest. Applying a Selection Model Project Classification It is not necessary to have exactly the same criteria for the different types of projects discussed above (strategic and operations). However, experience shows most organizations use similar criteria across all types of projects, with perhaps one or two criteria specific to the type of project--e.g., strategic breakthrough versus operational. Regardless of criteria differences among different types of projects, the most important criterion for selection is the project's fit to the organization strategy. Therefore, this criterion should be consistent across all types of projects and carry a high priority relative to other criteria. This uniformity across all priority models used can keep departments from suboptimizing the use of organization resources. Anyone generating a project proposal should classify their proposal by type, so the appropriate criteria can be used to evaluate their proposal. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 43 Selecting a Model In the past, financial criteria were used almost to the exclusion of other criteria. However, in the last two decades we have witnessed a dramatic shift to include multiple criteria in project selection. Concisely put, profitability alone is simply not an adequate measure of contribution; however, it is still an important criterion, especially for projects that enhance revenue and market share such as breakthrough R&D projects. Today, senior management is interested in identifying the potential mix of projects that will yield the best use of human and capital resources to maximize return on investment in the long run. Factors such as researching new technology, public image, ethical position, protection of the environment, core competencies, and strategic fit might be important criteria for selecting projects. Weighted scoring criteria seem the best alternative to meet this need. Weighted scoring models result in bringing projects to closer alignment with strategic goals. If the scoring model is published and available to everyone in the organization, some discipline and credibility are attached to the selection of projects. The number of wasteful projects using resources is reduced. Politics and "sacred cow" projects are exposed. Project goals are more easily identified and communicated using the selection criteria as corroboration. Finally, using a weighted scoring approach helps project managers understand how their project was selected, how their project contributes to organization goals, and how it compares with other projects. Project selection is one of the most important decisions guiding the future success of an organization. Criteria for project selection are the area where the power of your portfolio starts to manifest itself. New projects are aligned with the strategic goals of the organization. With a clear method for selecting projects in place, project proposals can be solicited. Sources and Solicitation of Project Proposals As you would guess, projects should come from anyone who believes his or her project will add value to the organization. However, many organizations restrict proposals from specific levels or groups within the organization. This could be an opportunity lost. Good ideas are not limited to certain types or classes of organization stakeholders. Encourage and keep solicitations open to all sources--internal and external sponsors. Figure 2.4A provides an example of a proposal form for an automatic vehicular tracking (Automatic Vehicle Location) public transportation project. Figure 2.4B presents a preliminary risk analysis for a 500-acre wind farm. Many organizations use risk analysis templates to gain a quick insight of a project's inherent risks. This information is useful in balancing the project portfolio and identifying major risks when executing the project. Project risk analysis is the subject of Chapter 7. In some cases organizations will solicit ideas for projects when the knowledge requirements for the project are not available in the organization. Typically, the organization will issue an RFP (Request for Proposal) to contractors/vendors with adequate experience to implement the project. In one example, a hospital published an RFP that asked for a bid to design and build a new operating room that uses the latest technology. Several architecture firms submitted bids to the hospital. The bids for the project were evaluated internally against other potential projects. When the project was accepted as a go, other criteria were used to select the best qualified bidder. See Appendix 2.1 of this chapter for a complete description of requests for proposal (RFP). 44 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection FIGURE 2.4A A Proposal Form for an Automatic Vehicular Tracking (AVL) Public Transportation Project. Date: Jan 22, 2xxx Project classification? Strategic Project Proposal Form Proposal # 11 X Sponsor Compliance J. Moran Infrastructure What business problem does the project solve? Increase customer satisfaction through kiosk and Web site for bus, streetcar, and fast rail Enhance driver and traveler safety Hyperlink to: How does this project align with our organization strategy? Increase customer ridership through better passenger travel planning & scheduling decisions Faster response to accidents What are the major deliverables of the project? GPS vehicle tracking system, Internet access, schedule screen What is the impact of not doing this project? Not meeting ridership goals What are the three major risks for this project? Cost overruns Hacking system Integration of fast rail, bus, and streetcar systems How will we measure success? Increased ridership Customer satisfaction Meeting budget and schedule Yes Yes X X No No Will this project require internal resources? Available? What is the estimated cost of the project? $10 million How long will this project take? Oversight action: Signature XXXXXX Accept 22 X Weeks Return Date: Oct. 7, 2xxx Ranking Proposals and Selection of Projects Culling through so many proposals to identify those that add the most value requires a structured process. Figure 2.5 shows a flow chart of a screening process beginning with the creation of an idea for a project. See template for evaluating contractors in Appendix 2.1. Data and information are collected to assess the value of the proposed project to the organization and for future backup. If the sponsor decides to pursue the project on the basis of the collected data, it is forwarded to the project priority Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 45 FIGURE 2.4B Risk Analysis for a 500-Acre Wind Farm What are the three major risks for this project? 1. Federal incentives curtailed 2. Land use injunction 3. Energy price decrease Risk 1 above Risk 2 above Risk 3 above Risk 1 above Risk 2 above Risk 3 above No .30 .20 .10 1.0 .30 .10 What is the probability of the above risks occuring? 0 to 1.0 none high What is the impact on project success if these risks do occur? 0 to 1.0 none high RESOURCES AVAILABLE? CURRENT PROJECT STATUS Start date STATUS: UPDATE: Start in 3 weeks 2/22/xx Active X Yes Estimated finish date 9/25/xx On-hold PRIORITY TEAM ACTION: DISCOVERY--project not defined OPERATIONAL--proposal not a project X ACCEPTED RETURNED X Duplicate to: Dat Nguyen Project # 676 NEED MORE INFORMATION--to prioritize project COMPLETED project team (or the project office). Note that the sponsor knows which criteria will be used to accept or reject the project. Given the selection criteria and current portfolio of projects, the priority team rejects or accepts the project. If the project is accepted, the priority team sets implementation in motion. Figure 2.6 is a partial example of an evaluation form used by a large company to prioritize and select new projects. The form distinguishes between must and want objectives. If a project does not meet designated "must" objectives, it is not considered and removed from consideration. Organization (or division) objectives have been ranked and weighted by their relative importance--for example, "Improve external customer service" carries a relative weight of 83 when compared to other want objectives. The want objectives are directly linked to objectives found in the strategic plan. 46 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection FIGURE 2.5 Project Screening Process Project proposal idea Data collection and backup Need strategic fit ROI/payback risk Abandon Self-evaluation of project by criteria Pursue Periodic reassessment of priorities Reject Priority team evaluates proposal and reviews portfolio for risk balance Accept Hold for resources Return for more information Assign priority Assign resources Assign project manager Evaluate progress Impact definitions represent a further refinement to the screening system. They are developed to gauge the predicted impact a specific project would have on meeting a particular objective. A numeric scheme is created and anchored by defining criteria. To illustrate how this works, let's examine the $5 million in new sales objective. A "0" is assigned if the project will have no impact on sales or less than $100,000, a "1" is given if predicted sales are more than $100,000 but less than $500,000, a "2" if greater than $500,000. These impact assessments are combined with the relative importance of each objective to determine the predicted overall contribution of a project to strategic objectives. For example, project 26 creates an opportunity to fix field problems, has no effect on sales, and will have major impact on customer service. On these three objectives, project 26 would receive a score of 265 [99 1 0 1 (2 3 83)]. Individual weighted scores are totaled for each project and are used to prioritize projects. Responsibility for Prioritizing Prioritizing can be an uncomfortable exercise for managers. But prioritizing projects is a major responsibility for senior management. Prioritizing means discipline, accountability, responsibility, constraints, reduced flexibility, and loss of power. Top management commitment means more than giving a blessing to the priority system; it means management will have to rank and weigh, in concrete terms, the objectives and strategies they believe to be most critical to the organization. This public declaration of commitment can be risky if the ranked objectives later prove to be poor choices, but setting the course for the organization is Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 47 FIGURE 2.6 Priority Analysis Must objectives All activities meet current legal, safety, and environmental standards All new products will have a complete market analysis Must meet if impacts Yes-Meets objective No-Does not meet obj N/A-No impact Yes-Meets objective No-Does not meet obj N/A-No impact ...26 Project number 27 28 29 n/a yes Want objectives Provides immediate response to field problems Create $5 million in new sales by 20xx Improve external customer service Relative Importance 1-100 Single project impact definitions 0 Does not address 1 = Opportunity to fix 2 Urgent problem 0 < $100,000 1 = $100,000500,000 2 > $500,000 0 Minor impact 1 = Significant impact 2 Major impact Weighted score Weighted score Weighted score Weighted score 99 99 88 0 83 166 Total weighted score Priority top management's job. The good news is, if management is truly trying to direct the organization to a strong future position, a good project priority system supports their efforts and develops a culture in which everyone is contributing to the goals of the organization. Managing the Portfolio System Managing the portfolio takes the selection system one step higher in that the merits of a particular project are assessed within the context of existing projects. At the same time it involves monitoring and adjusting selection criteria to reflect the strategic focus of the organization. This requires constant effort. The priority system can be managed by a small group of key employees in a small organization. Or, in larger organizations, the priority system can be managed by the project office or the enterprise management group. 48 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection Senior Management Input Management of a portfolio system requires two major inputs from senior management. First, senior management must provide guidance in establishing selection criteria that strongly align with the current organization strategies. Second, senior management must annually decide how they wish to balance the available organizational resources (people and capital) among the different types of projects. A preliminary decision of balance must be made by top management (e.g., 20 percent compliance, 50 percent strategic, and 30 percent operational) before project selection takes place, although the balance may be changed when the projects submitted are reviewed. Given these inputs the priority team or project office can carry out its many responsibilities, which include supporting project sponsors and representing the interests of the total organization. The Priority Team Responsibilities The priority team, or project office, is responsible for publishing the priority of every project and ensuring the process is open and free of power politics. For example, most organizations using a priority team or project office use an electronic bulletin board to disperse the current portfolio of projects, the current status of each project, and current issues. This open communication discourages power plays. Over time the priority team evaluates the progress of the projects in the portfolio. If this whole process is managed well, it can have a profound impact on the success of an organization. Constant scanning of the external environment to determine if organizational focus and/or selection criteria need to be changed is imperative! Periodic priority review and changes need to keep current with the changing environment and keep a unified vision of organization focus. Regardless of the criteria used for selection, each project should be evaluated by the same criteria. If projects are classified by must do, operation, and strategic, each project in its class should be evaluated by the same criteria. Enforcing the project priority system is crucial. Keeping the whole system open and aboveboard is important to maintaining the integrity of the system and keeping new, young executives from going around the system. For example, communicating which projects are approved, project ranks, current status of in-process projects, and any changes in priority criteria will discourage people from bypassing the system. Balancing the Portfolio for Risks and Types of Projects A major responsibility of the priority team is to balance projects by type, risk, and resource demand. This requires a total organization perspective. Hence, a proposed project that ranks high on most criteria may not be selected because the organization portfolio already includes too many projects with the same characteristics-- e.g., project risk level, use of key resources, high cost, nonrevenue producing, long durations. Balancing the portfolio of projects is as important as project selection. Organizations need to evaluate each new project in terms of what it adds to the project mix. Short-term needs need to be balanced with long-term potential. Resource usage needs to be optimized across all projects, not just the most important project. Two types of risk are associated with projects. First are risks associated with the total portfolio of projects, which should reflect the organization's risk profile. Second are specific project risks that can inhibit the execution of a project, such as Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 49 Project Portfolio Matrix Technical feasibility (How easy is it?) High Bread and butter FIGURE 2.7 Pearl White elephant Low Oyster Low Net present value given success Commercial potential High schedule, cost, and technical. In this chapter we look only to balancing the organizational risks inherent in the project portfolio, such as market risk, ability to execute, time to market, and technology advances. Project-specific risks will be covered in detail in Chapter 7. David and Jim Matheson studied R&D organizations and developed a matrix that could be used for assessing a project portfolio (see Figure 2.7). The vertical axis the degree of difficulty. The horizontal axis reflects potential commercial value. The grid has four quadrants, each with different project dimensions. Bread and butter projects typically involve evolutionary improvements to current products and services. Examples include software upgrades and manufacturing cost reduction efforts. Pearls represent revolutionary commercial advances using proven technical advances. Examples include next-generation integrated circuit chip and subsurface imaging to locate oil and gas. Oysters involve technological breakthroughs with high commercial payoffs. Examples include embryonic DNA treatments and new kinds of metal alloys. White elephants are projects that at one time showed promise but are no longer viable. Examples include products for a saturated market or a potent energy source with toxic side effects. The Mathesons report that organizations often have too many white elephants and too few pearls and oysters. To maintain strategic advantage they recommend that organizations capitalize on pearls, eliminate or reposition white elephants, and balance resources devoted to bread-and-butter and oyster projects to achieve alignment with overall strategy. Although their research centers on R&D organizations, their observations appear to hold true for all types of project organizations. Summary Multiple competing projects, limited skilled resources, dispersed virtual teams, time to market pressures, and limited capital serve as forces for the emergence of project portfolio management that provides the infrastructure for managing multiple projects and linking business strategy with project selection. The most 50 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection important element of this system is the creation of a ranking system that utilizes multiple criteria that reflect the mission and strategy of the firm. It is critical to communicate priority criteria to all organizational stakeholders so that the criteria can be the source of inspiration for new project ideas. Every significant project selected should be ranked and the results published. Senior management must take an active role in setting priorities and supporting the priority system. Going around the priority system will destroy its effectiveness. The project priority team needs to consist of seasoned managers who are capable of asking tough questions and distinguishing facts from fiction. Resources (people, equipment, and capital) for major projects must be clearly allocated and not conflict with daily operations or become an overload task. The priority team needs to scrutinize significant projects in terms of not only their strategic value but also their fit with the portfolio of projects currently being implemented. Highly ranked projects may be deferred or even turned down if they upset the current balance among risks, resources, and strategic initiatives. Project selection must be based not only on the merits of the specific project but also on what it contributes to the current project portfolio mix. This requires a holistic approach to aligning projects with organizational strategy and resources. The importance of aligning projects with organization strategy cannot be overstated. We have discussed two types of models found in practice. Checklist models are easy to develop and are justified primarily on the basis of flexibility across different divisions and locations. Unfortunately, questionnaire checklist models do not allow comparison of the relative value (rank) of alternative projects in contributing toward organization strategy. The latter is the major reason the authors prefer multi-weighted scoring models. These models keep project selection highly focused on alignment with organization strategy. Weighted scoring models require major effort in establishing the criteria and weights. Key Terms Implementation gap, 33 Net present value, 37 Organization politics, 33 Payback, 30 1. 2. 3. 4. Priority system, 32 Priority team, 42 Project portfolio, 32 Project screening matrix, 41 Sacred cow, 33 Scenario planning, 31 Strategic management process, 26 Review Questions Describe the major components of the strategic management process. Explain the role projects play in the strategic management process. How are projects linked to the strategic plan? The portfolio of projects is typically represented by compliance, strategic, and operations projects. What impact can this classification have on project selection? 5. Why does the priority system described in this chapter require that it be open and published? Does the process encourage bottom-up initiation of projects? Does it discourage some projects? Why? 6. Why should an organization not rely only on ROI to select projects? 7. Discuss the pros and cons of the checklist versus the weighted factor method of selecting projects. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 51 Exercises 1. You manage a hotel resort located on the South Beach on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii. You are shifting the focus of your resort from a traditional fun-inthe-sun destination to eco-tourism. (Eco-tourism focuses on environmental awareness and education.) How would you classify the following projects in terms of compliance, strategic, and operational? a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. Convert the pool heating system from electrical to solar power. Build a 4-mile nature hiking trail. Renovate the horse barn. Replace the golf shop that accidentally burned down after being struck by lightning. Launch a new promotional campaign with Hawaii Airlines. Convert 12 adjacent acres into a wildlife preserve. Update all the bathrooms in condos that are 10 years old or older. Change hotel brochures to reflect eco-tourism image. Test and revise disaster response plan. Introduce wireless Internet service in caf and lounge areas. How easy was it to classify these projects? What made some projects more difficult than others? What do you think you now know that would be useful for managing projects at the hotel? * 2. Two new software projects are proposed to a young, start-up company. The Alpha project will cost $150,000 to develop and is expected to have annual net cash flow of $40,000. The Beta project will cost $200,000 to develop and is expected to have annual net cash flow of $50,000. The company is very concerned about their cash flow. Using the payback period, which project is better from a cash flow standpoint? Why? 3. A five-year project has a projected net cash flow of $15,000, $25,000, $30,000, $20,000, and $15,000 in the next five years. It will cost $50,000 to implement the project. If the required rate of return is 20 percent, conduct a discounted cash flow calculation to determine the NPV. 4. You work for the 3T company, which expects to earn at least 18 percent on its investments. You have to choose between two similar projects. Below is the cash information for each project. Your analysts predict that inflation rate will be a stable 3 percent over the next 7 years. Which of the two projects would you fund if the decision is based only on financial information? Why? Omega Year Y0 Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Y7 Total Inflow 0 0 $ 150,000 220,000 215,000 205,000 197,000 100,000 1,087,000 Outflow $225,000 190,000 0 30,000 0 30,000 0 30,000 505,000 Netflow 2225,000 2190,000 150,000 190,000 215,000 175,000 197,000 70,000 582,000 Alpha Year Y0 Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Y7 Total Inflow 0 $ 50,000 150,000 250,000 250,000 200,000 180,000 120,000 1,200,000 Outflow $300,000 100,000 0 50,000 0 50,000 0 30,000 530,000 Netflow 2300,000 250,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 150,000 180,000 90,000 670,000 * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. 52 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 5.* You are the head of the project selection team at SIMSOX. Your team is considering three different projects. Based on past history, SIMSOX expects at least a rate of return of 20 percent. Your financial advisors predict inflation to remain at 3 percent into the foreseeable future. Given the following information for each project, which one should be SIMSOX first priority? Should SIMSOX fund any of the other projects? If so, what should be the order of priority based on return on investment? Project: Dust Devils Year 0 1 2 3 Investment $500,000 Revenue Stream 0 50,000 250,000 350,000 Project: Ospry Year 0 1 2 3 4 Investment $250,000 Revenue Stream 0 75,000 75,000 75,000 50,000 Project: Voyagers Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 Investment $75,000 Revenue Stream 0 15,000 25,000 50,000 50,000 150,000 6. You are the head of the project selection team at Broken Arrow records. Your team is considering three different recording projects. Based on past history, Broken Arrow expects at least a rate of return of 20 percent. Your financial advisors predict inflation to remain at 2 percent into the foreseeable future. Given the following information for each project, which one should be Broken Arrow's first priority? Should Broken Arrow fund any of the other projects? If so, what should be the order of priority based on return on investment? Recording Project: Time Fades Away Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 Investment $600,000 Revenue Stream 0 600,000 75,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 53 Recording Project: On the Beach Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 Investment $400,000 Revenue Stream 0 400,000 100,000 25,000 20,000 10,000 Recording Project: Tonight's the Night Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 Investment $200,000 Revenue Stream 0 200,000 125,000 75,000 20,000 10,000 7. The Custom Bike Company has set up a weighted scoring matrix for evaluation of potential projects. Below are three projects under consideration. a. Using the scoring matrix below, which project would you rate highest? Lowest? b. If the weight for "Strong Sponsor" is changed from 2.0 to 5.0, will the project selection change? What are the three highest weighted project scores with this new weight? c. Why is it important that the weights mirror critical strategic factors? Project Screening Matrix Supports business strategy 10% of sales from new products Strong sponsor Fill market gap Competition 2.0 Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 Project 4 Project 5 9 3 6 1 3 5.0 5 7 8 0 10 4.0 2 2 2 5 10 3.0 0 0 3 10 1 1.0 2 5 6 6 8 3.0 5 1 8 9 0 References Adler, P. S., et al, "Getting the Most Out of Your Product Development Process," Harvard Business Review, vol. 74 (2), pp. 13452. Benko, C., and F. W. McFarlan, Connecting the Dots: Aligning Projects With Objectives in Unpredictable Times (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2003). Weighted total Urgency Cr ite ria ight e W 54 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection Bigelow, D., "Want to Ensure Quality? Think Project Portfolio Management," PM Network, vol. 16 (1) April 2002, pp. 1617. Boyer, C., "Make Profit Your Priority," PM Network, vol. 15 (10) October 2003, pp. 3742. Cohen, D., and R. Graham, The Project Manager's MBA (San Francisco: JosseyBass, 2001), pp. 5859. Crawford, L., B. Hobbs, and J. R. Turne, "Aligning Capability with Strategy: Categorizing of Projects to Do the Right Projects and Do Them Right," Project Management Journal, vol. 37 (2) June 2006, pp. 3850. Descamps, J. P., "Mastering the Dance of Change: Innovation as a Way of Life," Prism, Second Quarter, 1999, pp. 6167. Doran, G. T., "There's a Smart Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives," Management Review, November 1981, pp. 3536. Floyd, S. W., and B. Woolridge, "Managing Strategic Consensus: The Foundation of Effectiveness Implementation," Academy of Management Executives, vol. 6 (4) 1992, pp. 2739. Foti, R., "Louder Than Words," PM Network, December 2002, pp. 2229. Frank, L., "On Demand," PM Network, vol. 18 (4) April 2004, pp. 5862. Friedman, Thomas L., Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008). Fusco, J. C., "Better Policies Provide the Key to Implementing Project Management," Project Management Journal, vol. 28 (3) 1997, pp. 3841. Helm, J., and K. Remington, "Effective Project Sponsorship: An Evaluation of the Executive Sponsor in Complex Infrastructure Projects by Senior Project Managers," Project Management Journal, vol. 36 (1) September 2005, pp. 5161. Hutchens, G., "Doing the Numbers," PM Network, vol. 16 (4) March 2002, p. 20. Johnson, R. E., "Scrap Capital Project Evaluations," Chief Financial Officer, May 1998, p. 14. Kaplan, R. S., and D. P. Norton, "The Balanced Scorecard--Measures That Drive Performance," Harvard Business Review, JanuaryFebruary 1992, pp. 7379. Kenny, J., "Effective Project Management for Strategic Innovation and Change in an Organizational Context," Project Management Journal, vol. 34 (1) 2003, pp. 4553. Kharbanda, O. P., and J. K. Pinto, What Made Gertie Gallop: Learning from Project Failures (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1996), pp. 10611, 26383. Korte, R. F., and T. J. Chermack, "Changing Organizational Culture with Scenario Planning," Futures, vol. 39 (6) August 2007, pp. 64556. Leifer, R., C. M. McDermott, G. C. O'Connor, L. S. Peters, M. Price, and R. W. Veryzer, Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000). MacIntyre, J., PM Network, vol. 20 (11) November 2006, pp. 3235. Matheson, D., and J. Matheson, The Smart Organization (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1998), pp. 20309. Milosevic, D. Z., and S. Srivannaboon, "A Theoretical Framework for Aligning Project Management with Business Strategy," Project Management Journal, vol. 37 (3) August 2006, pp. 98110. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 55 Morris, P. W., and A. Jamieson, "Moving from Corporate Strategy to Project Strategy," Project Management Journal, vol. 36 (4) December 2005, pp. 518. Raskin, P., et al, Great Transitions: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead, retrieved 6-3-08. See Schwartz, Peter, and Doug Randall, "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its Implications for United States National Security," Global Business Network, Inc., October 2003. Shenhar, A., "Strategic Project Leadership: Focusing Your Project on Business Success," Proceedings of the Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium, San Antonio, Texas, October 310, 2002, CD. Woodward, H., "Winning in a World of Limited Project Spending," Proceedings of the Project Management Institute Global Congress North America, Baltimore, Maryland, September 1812, 2003, CD. Case Hector Gaming Company Hector Gaming Company (HGC) is an educational gaming company specializing in young children's educational games. HGC has just completed their fourth year of operation. This year was a banner year for HGC. The company received a large influx of capital for growth by issuing stock privately through an investment banking firm. It appears the return on investment for this past year will be just over 25 percent with zero debt! The growth rate for the last two years has been approximately 80 percent each year. Parents and grandparents of young children have been buying HGC's products almost as fast as they are developed. Every member of the 56-person firm is enthusiastic and looking forward to helping the firm grow to be the largest and best educational gaming company in the world. The founder of the firm, Sally Peters, has been written up in Young Entrepreneurs as "the young entrepreneur to watch." She has been able to develop an organization culture in which all stakeholders are committed to innovation, continuous improvement, and organization learning. Last year, 10 top managers of HGC worked with McKinley Consulting to develop the organization's strategic plan. This year the same 10 managers had a retreat in Aruba to formulate next year's strategic plan using the same process suggested by McKinley Consulting. Most executives seem to have a consensus of where the firm should go in the intermediate and long term. But there is little consensus on how this should be accomplished. Peters, now president of HGC, feels she may be losing control. The frequency of conflicts seems to be increasing. Some individuals are always requested for any new project created. When resource conflicts occur among projects, each project manager believes his or her project is most important. More projects are not meeting deadlines and are coming in over budget. Yesterday's management meeting revealed some top HGC talent have been working on an international business game for college students. This project does not fit the organization vision or market niche. At times it seems everyone is marching to his or her own drummer. Somehow more focus is needed to ensure everyone agrees on how strategy should be implemented, given the resources available to the organization. 56 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection Yesterday's meeting alarmed Peters. These emerging problems are coming at a bad time. Next week HGC is ramping up the size of the organization, number of new products per year, and marketing efforts. Fifteen new people will join HGC next month. Peters is concerned that policies be in place that will ensure the new people are used most productively. An additional potential problem looms on the horizon. Other gaming companies have noticed the success HGC is having in their niche market; one company tried to hire a key product development employee away from HGC. Peters wants HGC to be ready to meet any potential competition head on and to discourage any new entries into their market. Peters knows HGC is project driven; however, she is not as confident that she has a good handle on how such an organization should be managed--especially with such a fast growth rate and potential competition closer to becoming a reality. The magnitude of emerging problems demands quick attention and resolution. Peters has hired you as a consultant. She has suggested the following format for your consulting contract. You are free to use another format if it will improve the effectiveness of the consulting engagement. What is our major problem? Identify some symptoms of the problem. What is the major cause of the problem? Provide a detailed action plan that attacks the problem. Be specific and provide examples that relate to HGC. Case Film Prioritization The purpose of this case is to give you experience in using a project priority system that ranks proposed projects by their contribution to the organization's objectives and strategic plan. COMPANY PROFILE The company is the film division for a large entertainment conglomerate. The main office is located in Anaheim, California. In addition to the feature film division, the conglomerate includes theme parks, home videos, a television channel, interactive games, and theatrical productions. The company has been enjoying steady growth over the past 10 years. Last year total revenues increased by 12 percent to $21.2 billion. The company is engaged in negotiations to expand its theme park empire to mainland China and Poland. The film division generated $274 million in revenues, which was an increase of 7 percent over the past year. Profit margin was down 3 percent to 16 percent because of the poor response to three of the five major film releases for the year. COMPANY MISSION The mission for the firm: Our overriding objective is to create shareholder value by continuing to be the world's premier entertainment company from a creative, strategic, and financial standpoint. Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 57 The film division supports this mission by producing four to six high-quality, family entertainment films for mass distribution each year. In recent years, the CEO of the company has advocated that the firm take a leadership position in championing environmental concerns. COMPANY "MUST" OBJECTIVES Every project must meet the must objectives as determined by executive management. It is important that selected film projects not violate such objectives of high strategic priority. There are three must objectives: 1. All projects meet current legal, safety, and environmental standards. 2. All film projects should receive a PG or lower advisory rating. 3. All projects should not have an adverse effect on current or planned operations within the larger company. COMPANY "WANT" OBJECTIVES Want objectives are assigned weights for their relative importance. Top management is responsible for formulating, ranking, and weighting objectives to ensure that projects support the company's strategy and mission. The following is a list of the company's want objectives: 1. Be nominated for and win an academy award for Best Picture of the Year. 2. Create at least one new animated character each year that can star in a cartoon or TV series. 3. Generate additional merchandise revenue (action figures, dolls, interactive games, music CDs). 4. Raise public consciousness about environmental issues and concerns. 5. Generate profit in excess of 18 percent. 6. Advance the state of the art in film animation, and preserve the firm's reputation. 7. Provide the basis for the development of a new ride at a company-owned theme park. ASSIGNMENT You are a member of the priority team in charge of evaluating and selecting film proposals. Use the provided evaluation form to formally evaluate and rank each proposal. Be prepared to report your rankings and justify your decisions. Assume that all of the projects have passed the estimated hurdle rate of 14 percent ROI. In addition to the brief film synopsis, the proposals include the following financial projections of theater and video sales: 80 percent chance of ROI, 50 percent chance of ROI, and 20 percent chance of ROI. For example, for proposal #1 (Dalai Lama) there is an 80 percent chance that it will earn at least 8 percent return on investment (ROI), a 50-50 chance the ROI will be 18 percent, and a 20 percent chance that the ROI will be 24 percent. FILM PROPOSALS PROJECT PROPOSAL 1: MY LIFE WITH DALAI LAMA An animated, biographical account of the Dalai Lama's childhood in Tibet based on the popular children's book Tales from Nepal. The Lama's life is told through 58 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection the eyes of "Guoda," a field snake, and other local animals who befriend the Dalai and help him understand the principles of Buddhism. Probability ROI 80% 8% 50% 18% 20% 24% PROJECT PROPOSAL 2: HEIDI A remake of the classic children's story with music written by award-winning composers Syskle and Obert. The big-budget film will feature top-name stars and breathtaking scenery of the Swiss Alps. Probability ROI 80% 2% 50% 20% 20% 30% PROJECT PROPOSAL 3: THE YEAR OF THE ECHO A low-budget documentary that celebrates the career of one of the most influential bands in rock-and-roll history. The film will be directed by new-wave director Elliot Cznerzy and will combine concert footage and behind-the-scenes interviews spanning the 25-year history of the rock band the Echos. In addition to great music, the film will focus on the death of one of the founding members from a heroin overdose and reveal the underworld of sex, lies, and drugs in the music industry. Probability ROI 80% 12% 50% 14% 20% 18% PROJECT PROPOSAL 4: ESCAPE FROM RIO JAPUNI An animated feature set in the Amazon rainforest. The story centers around Pablo, a young jaguar who attempts to convince warring jungle animals that they must unite and escape the devastation of local clear cutting. Probability ROI 80% 15% 50% 20% 20% 24% PROJECT PROPOSAL 5: NADIA! The story of Nadia Comaneci, the famous Romanian gymnast who won three gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. The low-budget film will document her life as a small child in Romania and how she was chosen by Romanian authorities to join their elite, state-run, athletic program. The film will highlight how Nadia maintained her independent spirit and love for gymnastics despite a harsh, regimented training program. Probability ROI 80% 8% 50% 15% 20% 20% Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 59 PROJECT PROPOSAL 6: KEIKO--ONE WHALE OF A STORY The story of Keiko, the famous killer whale, will be told by an imaginary offspring Seiko, who in the distant future is telling her children about their famous grandfather. The big-budget film will integrate actual footage of the whale within a realistic animated environment using state-of-the-art computer imagery. The story will reveal how Keiko responded to his treatment by humans. Probability ROI 80% 6% 50% 18% 20% 25% Project Priority Evaluation Form Must objectives Meets all safety and environmental standards PG or G rating Must meet if impacts Y = yes N = no N/A = not applicable Y = yes N = no N/A = not applicable Y = yes N = no N/A = not applicable Single project impact definitions 0 = No potential 1 = Low potential 2 = High potential 0 = No potential 1 = Low potential 2 = High potential 0 = No potential 1 = Low potential 2 = High potential 0 = No potential 1 = Low potential 2 = High potential 0 < 18% 1 = 1822% 2 > 22% 0 = No impact 1 = Some impact 2 = Great impact 0 = No potential 1 = Low potential 2 = High potential Total weighted score Priority 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 No adverse effect on other operations Want objectives Be nominated for Best Picture of the Year Create a new, major animated character Generate additional merchandise Raise environmental concerns Generate profit greater than 18% Advance state of film animation Provide basis for new theme ride Relative Importance 1100 Weighted Weighted Weighted Weighted Weighted Weighted Weighted Score Score Score Score Score Score Score 60 20 10 55 70 40 10 60 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection PROJECT 7: GRAND ISLAND The true story of a group of junior-high biology students who discover that a fertilizer plant is dumping toxic wastes into a nearby river. The moderate-budget film depicts how students organize a grassroots campaign to fight local bureaucracy and ultimately force the fertilizer plant to restore the local ecosystem. Probability ROI 80% 9% 50% 15% 20% 20% Appendix 2.1 Request for Proposal (RFP) Once an organization selects a project, the customer or project manager is frequently responsible for developing a request for proposal (RFP) for the project or sections of the project. The responsible project manager will require input data from all stakeholders connected to the activities covered in the RFP. The RFP will be announced to external contractors/vendors with adequate experience to implement the project. For example, government projects frequently advertise with a "request for proposal" to outside contractors for roads, buildings, airports, military hardware, space vehicles. Similarly, businesses use RFPs to solicit bids for building a clean room, developing a new manufacturing process, delivering software for insurance billing, conducting a market survey. In all of these examples, requirements and features must be in enough detail that contractors have a clear description of the final deliverable that will meet the customer's needs. In most cases the RFP also specifies an expected format for the contractor's bid proposal so the responses of different contractors can be fairly evaluated. Although we typically think of RFPs for external contractors, in some organizations RFPs are used internally; that is, the organization sends out an RFP to different divisions or departments. The content of the RFP is extremely important. In practice, the most common error is to offer an RFP that lacks sufficient detail. This lack of detail typically results in conflict issues, misunderstandings, often legal claims between the contractor and owner, and, in addition, an unsatisfied customer. All RFPs are different, but the outline in Figure A2.1 is a good starting point for the development of a detailed RFP. Each step is briefly described next. FIGURE A2.1 Request for Proposal 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Summary of needs and request for action Statement of work (SOW) detailing the scope and major deliverables Deliverable specifications/requirements, features, and tasks Responsibilitiesvendor and customer Project schedule Costs and payment schedule Type of contract Experience and staffing Evaluation criteria Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 61 1. Summary of needs and request for action. The background and a simple description of the final project deliverable are given first. For example, through simulated war games, the U.S. Navy has found their giant warships of the past are too vulnerable against today's technology (an example is the Silkworm antiship missiles). In addition, the Navy's mission has shifted to supporting ground forces and peacekeeping missions, which require getting closer to shore. As a result, the Navy is revamping ships for near-shore duty. The Navy will select three designs for further refinement from the responses to its RFP. In general, it is expected that the new ship will be capable of at least 55 knots, measure between 80 and 250 feet in length, and be fitted with radar absorbing panels to thwart guided missiles. 2. Statement of work (SOW) detailing the scope and major deliverables. For example, if the project involves a market research survey, the major deliverables could be design, data collection, data analysis, and providing recommendations by February 21, 2011, for a cost not to exceed $300,000. 3. Deliverable specifications/requirements, features, and tasks. This step should be very comprehensive so bid proposals from contractors can be validated and later used for control. Typical specifications cover physical features such as size, quantity, materials, speed, and color. For example, an IT project might specify requirements for hardware, software, and training in great detail. Tasks required to complete deliverables can be included if they are known. 4. Responsibilities--vendor and customer. Failing to spell out the responsibilities for both parties is notorious for leading to serious problems when the contractor implements the project. For example, who pays for what? (If the contractor is to be on site, will the contractor be required to pay for office space?) What are the limits and exclusions for the contractor? (For example, who will supply test equipment?) What communication plan will be used by the contractor and owner? If escalation of an issue becomes necessary, what process will be used? How will progress be evaluated? Well-defined responsibilities will avoid many unforeseen problems later. 5. Project schedule. This step is concerned with getting a "hard" schedule which can be used for control and evaluating progress. Owners are usually very demanding in meeting the project schedule. In today's business environment, time-to-market is a major "hot button" that influences market share, costs, and profits. The schedule should spell out what, who, and when. 6. Costs and payment schedule. The RFP needs to set out very clearly how, when, and the process for determining costs and conditions for progress payments. 7. Type of contract. Essentially there are two types of contracts--fixed-price and cost-plus. Fixed-price contracts agree on a price or lump sum in advance, and it remains as long as there are no changes to the scope provisions of the agreement. This type is preferred in projects that are well defined with predictable costs and minimal risks. The contractor must exercise care estimating cost because any underestimating of costs will cause the contractor's profit to be reduced. In cost-plus contracts the contractor is reimbursed for all or some of the expenses incurred during performance of the contract. This fee is negotiated in advance and usually involves a percent of total costs. "Time and materials" plus a profit factor are typical of cost-plus contracts. Both types of contracts can include incentive clauses for superior performance in time and cost, or in some cases, penalties--for example, missing the opening date of a new sports stadium. 62 Chapter 2 Organization Strategy and Project Selection 8. Experience and staffing. The ability of the contractor to implement the project may depend on specific skills; this necessary experience should be specified, along with assurance such staff will be available for this project. 9. Evaluation criteria. The criteria for evaluating and awarding the project contract should be specified. For example, selection criteria frequently include methodology, price, schedule, and experience; in some cases these criteria are weighted. Use of the outline in Figure A2.1 will help to ensure key items in the proposal are not omitted. A well-prepared RFP will provide contractors with sufficient guidelines to prepare a proposal that clearly meets the project and customer's needs. SELECTION OF CONTRACTOR FROM BID PROPOSALS Interested contractors respond to project RFPs with a written bid proposal. It is likely that several contractors will submit bid proposals to the customer. The final step in the RFP process is to select the contractor who best meets the requirements requested in the RFP. The selection criteria given in the RFP are used to evaluate which contractor is awarded the contract to implement the project. Losing contractors should be given an explanation of the key factors that led to the selection of the winning contractor/vendor; appreciation for their participation and effort should be acknowledged. See Figure A2.2, Contractor Evaluation Template, adapted from one used in practice. FIGURE A2.2 Contractor Evaluation Template Contractor Evaluation Template Contractor qualifications Technical skills available Understanding of contract and conditions Financial strength to implement project Understanding of proposal specifications Innovativeness and originality of proposal Reputation for delivering on time and budget Price Total Maximum Weight Weight 5 10 Weight 5 20 Weight 5 5 Weight 5 15 Weight 5 10 Weight 5 5 Weight 5 15 Weight 5 20 100 Proposal 1 Proposal 2 Proposal 3 Proposal 4 This page intentionally left blank C H A P T E R T H R E E Organization: Structure and Culture Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career paths Organization: Structure and Culture Project Management Structures What Is the Right Project Management Structure? Organizational Culture Implications of Organizational Culture for Organizing Projects Summary 64 Matrix management works, but it sure is difficult at times. All matrix managers must keep up their health and take Stress-Tabs. --A Project Manager Once management approves a project then the question becomes, how will the project be implemented? This chapter examines three different project management structures used by firms to implement projects: functional organization, dedicated project teams, and matrix structure. Although not exhaustive, these structures and their variant forms represent the major approaches for organizing projects. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these structures are discussed as well as some of the critical factors that might lead a firm to choose one form over others. Whether a firm chooses to complete projects within the traditional functional organization or through some form of matrix arrangement is only part of the story. Anyone who has worked for more than one organization realizes that there are often considerable differences in how projects are managed within certain firms with similar structures. Working in a matrix system at AT&T is different from working in a matrix environment at Hewlett-Packard. Many researchers attribute these differences to the organizational culture at AT&T and HewlettPackard. A simple explanation of organizational culture is that it reflects the "personality" of an organization. Just as each individual has a unique personality, so each organization has a unique culture. Toward the end of this chapter, we examine in more detail what organizational culture is and the impact that the culture of the parent organization has on organizing and managing projects. Both the project management structure and the culture of the organization constitute major elements of the environment in which projects are implemented. It is important for project managers and participants to know the "lay of the land" so that they can avoid obstacles and take advantage of pathways to complete their projects. Project Management Structures A project management system provides a framework for launching and implementing project activities within a parent organization. A good system appropriately balances the needs of both the parent organization and the project by defining the interface between the project and parent organization in terms of authority, allocation of resources, and eventual integration of project outcomes into mainstream operations. Many business organizations have struggled with creating a system for organizing projects while managing ongoing operations. One of the major reasons for this 65 66 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture FIGURE 3.1 Functional Organizations Project coordination Delta Manufacturing, Inc. President Human resources Marketing Engineering Electronics engineering Software engineering Mechanical engineering Design Customer service Domestic sales International sales struggle is that projects contradict fundamental design principles associated with traditional organizations. Projects are unique, one-time efforts with a distinct beginning and end. Most organizations are designed to efficiently manage ongoing activities. Efficiency is achieved primarily by breaking down complex tasks into simplified, repetitive processes, as symbolized by assembly-line production methods. Projects are not routine and therefore can be like ducks out of water in these work environments. With this in mind, we will start the discussion of project management structures. Organizing Projects within the Functional Organization One approach to organizing projects is to simply manage them within the existing functional hierarchy of the organization. Once management decides to implement a project, the different segments of the project are delegated to the respective functional units with each unit responsible for completing its segment of the project (see Figure 3.1). Coordination is maintained through normal management channels. For example, a tool manufacturing firm decides to differentiate its product line by offering a series of tools specially designed for left-handed individuals. Top management decides to implement the project, and different segments of the project are distributed to appropriate areas. The industrial design department is responsible for modifying specifications to conform to the needs of left-handed users. The production department is responsible for devising the means for producing new tools according to these new design specifications. The marketing department is responsible for gauging demand and price as well as identifying distribution outlets. The overall project will be managed within the normal hierarchy, with the project being part of the working agenda of top management. The functional organization is also commonly used when, given the nature of the project, one functional area plays a dominant role in completing the project Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 67 Finance and administration Manufacturing Procurement Purchasing Receiving and inspection Fabrication Assembly Testing Production scheduling or has a dominant interest in the success of the project. Under these circumstances, a high-ranking manager in that area is given the responsibility of coordinating the project. For example, the transfer of equipment and personnel to a new office would be managed by a top-ranking manager in the firm's facilities department. Likewise, a project involving the upgrading of the management information system would be managed by the information systems department. In both cases, most of the project work would be done within the specified department and coordination with other departments would occur through normal channels. There are advantages and disadvantages for using the existing functional organization to administer and complete projects. The major advantages are the following: 1. No Change. Projects are completed within the basic functional structure of the parent organization. There is no radical alteration in the design and operation of the parent organization. 2. Flexibility. There is maximum flexibility in the use of staff. Appropriate specialists in different functional units can temporarily be assigned to work on the project and then return to their normal work. With a broad base of technical personnel available within each functional department, people can be switched among different projects with relative ease. 3. In-Depth Expertise. If the scope of the project is narrow and the proper functional unit is assigned primary responsibility, then in-depth expertise can be brought to bear on the most crucial aspects of the project. 4. Easy Post-Project Transition. Normal career paths within a functional division are maintained. While specialists can make significant contributions to projects, their functional field is their professional home and the focus of their professional growth and advancement. 68 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture FIGURE 3.2 Dedicated Project Team Zeus Electronics, Inc. President Human resources Marketing Engineering Just as there are advantages for organizing projects within the existing functional organization, there are also disadvantages. These disadvantages are particularly pronounced when the scope of the project is broad and one functional department does not take the dominant technological and managerial lead on the project: 1. Lack of Focus. Each functional unit has its own core routine work to do; sometimes project responsibilities get pushed aside to meet primary obligations. This difficulty is compounded when the project has different priorities for different units. For example, the marketing department may consider the project urgent while the operations people considered it only of secondary importance. Imagine the tension if the marketing people have to wait for the operations people to complete their segment of the project before they proceed. 2. Poor Integration. There may be poor integration across functional units. Functional specialists tend to be concerned only with their segment of the project and not with what is best for the total project. 3. Slow. It generally takes longer to complete projects through this functional arrangement. This is in part attributable to slow response time--project information and decisions have to be circulated through normal management channels. Furthermore, the lack of horizontal, direct communication among functional groups contributes to rework as specialists realize the implications of others' actions after the fact. Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 69 Finance and administration Manufacturing Procurement Project manager Project team 4. Lack of Ownership. The motivation of people assigned to the project can be weak. The project may be seen as an additional burden that is not directly linked to their professional development or advancement. Furthermore, because they are working on only a segment of the project, professionals do not identify with the project. Lack of ownership discourages strong commitment to project-related activities. Organizing Projects as Dedicated Teams At the other end of the structural spectrum is the creation of dedicated project teams. These teams operate as separate units from the rest of the parent organization. Usually a full-time project manager is designated to pull together a core group of specialists who work full time on the project. The project manager recruits necessary personnel from both within and outside the parent company. The subsequent team is physically separated from the parent organization and given marching orders to complete the project (see Figure 3.2). The interface between the parent organization and the project teams will vary. In some cases, the parent organization maintains a tight rein through financial controls. In other cases, firms grant the project manager maximum freedom to get the project done as he sees fit. Lockheed Martin has used this approach to develop next-generation jet airplanes. See Snapshot from Practice: Skunk Works. 70 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE In project management folklore, skunk works is code for a small, dedicated team assigned to a breakthrough project. The first skunk works was created more than a half a century ago by Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson at Lockheed Aerospace Corporation. Kelly's project had two objectives: 1) to create a jet fighter, the Shooting Star, and 2) to do it as fast as possible. Kelly and a small band of engineering mavericks operated as a dedicated team unencumbered by red tape and the bureaucratic delays of the normal R&D process. The name was coined by team member Irvin Culver after the moonshine brewery deep in the forest in the popular cartoon strip Lil'Abner. The homemade whisky was euphemistically called kickapoo joy juice. The project was a spectacular success. In just 43 days, Johnson's team of 23 engineers and teams of support personnel put together the first American fighter to fly at more than 500 miles per hour. Lockheed has continued to use Skunk Works to develop a string of high speed jets, including the F117 Stealth Fighter. Lockheed Martin has an official Skunk Works division. Their charter is: The Skunk Works is a concentration of a few good people solving problems far in advance--and at a fraction of Skunk Works at Lockheed Martin* Courtesy of Lockheed Martin. the cost--by applying the simplest, most straightforward methods possible to develop and produce new products. * J. Miller, Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works (New York: Speciality Publications, 1996). In the case of firms where projects are the dominant form of business, such as a construction firm or a consulting firm, the entire organization is designed to support project teams. Instead of one or two special projects, the organization consists of sets of quasi-independent teams working on specific projects. The main responsibility of traditional functional departments is to assist and support these project teams. For example, the marketing department is directed at generating new business that will lead to more projects, while the human resource department is responsible for managing a variety of personnel issues as well as recruiting and training new employees. This type of organization is referred to in the literature as a Projectized Organization and is graphically portrayed in Figure 3.3. It is important to note that not all projects are dedicated project teams; personnel can work part-time on several projects. As in the case of functional organization, the dedicated project team approach has strengths and weaknesses. The following are recognized as strengths: 1. Simple. Other than taking away resources in the form of specialists assigned to the project, the functional organization remains intact with the project team operating independently. 2. Fast. Projects tend to get done more quickly when participants devote their full attention to the project and are not distracted by other obligations and duties. Furthermore, response time tends to be quicker under this arrangement because Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 71 FIGURE 3.3 Projectized Organization Structure Central Engineering Systems, Inc. President Marketing Human resources Other projects Finance and administration Legal Other projects Alpha Project Project Manager Beta Project Project Manager Engineering Electrical Mechanical Software Manufacturing Fabrication Assembly Test Procurement Engineering Systems Hardware Software Manufacturing Assembly Test Subcontractors Subcontractor X Subcontractor Y Subcontractor Z Procurement most decisions are made within the team and are not deferred up the hierarchy. 3. Cohesive. A high level of motivation and cohesiveness often emerges within the project team. Participants share a common goal and personal responsibility toward the project and the team. 4. Cross-Functional Integration. Specialists from different areas work closely together and, with proper guidance, become committed to optimizing the project, not their respective areas of expertise. In many cases, the project team approach is the optimum approach for completing a project when you view it solely from the standpoint of what is best for completing the project. Its weaknesses become more evident when the needs of the parent organization are taken into account: 1. Expensive. Not only have you created a new management position (project manager), but resources are also assigned on a full-time basis. This can result in duplication of efforts across projects and a loss of economies of scale. 2. Internal Strife. Sometimes dedicated project teams take on an entity of their own and a disease known as projectitis develops. See Snapshot from Practice: Projectitis--The Dark Side. A strong wethey divisiveness emerges between the project team and the parent organization. This divisiveness can undermine not only the integration of the eventual outcomes of the project into mainstream 72 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE One of the advantages of creating dedicated project teams is that project participants from different functional areas can develop into a highly cohesive work team that is strongly committed to completing the project. While such teams often produce Herculean efforts in pursuit of project completion, there is a negative dimension to this commitment that is often referred to in the literature as projectitis. A wethey attitude can emerge between project team members and the rest of the organization. The project team succumbs to hubris and develops a holierthan-thou attitude that antagonizes the parent organization. People not assigned to the project become jealous of the attention and prestige being showered on the project team, especially when they believe that it is their hard work that is financing the endeavor. The tendency to assign project teams exotic titles such as "Silver Bullets" and "Tiger Teams," as well as give them special perks, tends to intensify the gap between the project team and the parent organization. Such appears to have been the case with Apple's highly successful Macintosh development team. Steve Jobs, who at the time was both the chairman of Apple and the project manager for the Mac team, pampered his team with perks including at-the-desk massages, coolers stocked with freshly squeezed orange juice, a Bosendorfer grand piano, and firstclass plane tickets. No other employees at Apple got to travel Projectitis: The Dark Side to Project Teams* first class. Jobs considered his team to be the elite of Apple and had a tendency to refer to everyone else as "Bozos" who "didn't get it." Engineers from the Apple II division, which was the bread and butter of Apple's sales, became incensed with the special treatment their colleagues were getting. One evening at Ely McFly's, a local watering hole, the tensions between Apple II engineers seated at one table and those of a Mac team at another boiled over. Aaron Goldberg, a long-time industry consultant, watched from his barstool as the squabbling escalated. "The Mac guys were screaming, `We're the future!' The Apple II guys were screaming, `We're the money!' Then there was a geek brawl. Pocket protectors and pens were flying. I was waiting for a notebook to drop, so they would stop and pick up the papers." Although comical from a distance, the discord between the Apple II and Mac groups severely hampered Apple's performance during the 1980s. John Sculley, who replaced Steve Jobs as chairman of Apple, observed that Apple had evolved into two "warring companies" and referred to the street between the Apple II and Macintosh buildings as "the DMZ" (demilitarized zone). * J. Carlton, Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders (New York: Random House, 1997), pp. 1314; J. Sculley, Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple . . . A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), pp. 27079. operations but also the assimilation of project team members back into their functional units once the project is completed. 3. Limited Technological Expertise. Creating self-contained teams inhibits maximum technological expertise being brought to bear on problems. Technical expertise is limited somewhat to the talents and experience of the specialists assigned to the project. While nothing prevents specialists from consulting with others in the functional division, the wethey syndrome and the fact that such help is not formally sanctioned by the organization discourage this from happening. 4. Difficult Post-Project Transition. Assigning full-time personnel to a project creates the dilemma of what to do with personnel after the project is completed. If other project work is not available, then the transition back to their original functional departments may be difficult because of their prolonged absence and the need to catch up with recent developments in their functional area. Organizing Projects within a Matrix Arrangement One of the biggest management innovations to emerge in the past 30 years has been the matrix organization. Matrix management is a hybrid organizational form in which a horizontal project management structure is "overlaid" on the normal functional hierarchy. In a matrix system, there are usually two chains of command, Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 73 one along functional lines and the other along project lines. Instead of delegating segments of a project to different units or creating an autonomous team, project participants report simultaneously to both functional and project managers. Companies apply this matrix arrangement in a variety of different ways. Some organizations set up temporary matrix systems to deal with specific projects, while "matrix" may be a permanent fixture in other organizations. Let us first look at its general application and then proceed to a more detailed discussion of finer points. Consider Figure 3.4. There are three projects currently under way: A, B, and C. All three project managers (PM A-C) report to a director of project management, who supervises all projects. Each project has an administrative assistant, although the one for project C is only part time. Project A involves the design and expansion of an existing production line to accommodate new metal alloys. To accomplish this objective, project A has assigned to it 3.5 people from manufacturing and 6 people from engineering. These individuals are assigned to the project on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on the project's needs during various phases of the project. Project B involves the development of a new product that requires the heavy representation of engineering, manufacturing, and marketing. Project C involves forecasting changing needs of an existing customer base. While these three projects, as well as others, are being completed, the functional divisions continue performing their basic, core activities. The matrix structure is designed to optimally utilize resources by having individuals work on multiple projects as well as being capable of performing normal functional duties. At the same time, the matrix approach attempts to achieve greater integration by creating and legitimizing the authority of a project manager. In theory, the matrix approach provides a dual focus between functional/ technical expertise and project requirements that is missing in either the project team or functional approach to project management. This focus can most easily be seen in the relative input of functional managers and project managers over key project decisions (see Table 3.1). Different Matrix Forms In practice there are really different kinds of matrix systems, depending on the relative authority of the project and functional managers. Here is a thumbnail sketch of the three kinds of matrices: Weak matrix--This form is very similar to a functional approach with the exception that there is a formally designated project manager responsible for coordinating project activities. Functional managers are responsible for TABLE 3.1 Division of Project Manager and Functional Manager Responsibilities in a Matrix Structure Project Manager What has to be done? When should the task be done? How much money is available to do the task? How well has the total project been done? Negotiated Issues Who will do the task? Where will the task be done? Why will the task be done? Is the task satisfactorily completed? Functional Manager How will it be done? How will the project involvement impact normal functional activities? How well has the functional input been integrated? 74 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture FIGURE 3.4 Matrix Organization Structure Human resources Zeta Manufacturing, Inc. President Director of projects Engineering Project administration Design engineering Electronics engineering Software engineering Mechanical engineering Technical documentation Project A project manager 1 Project A team 2 1 2 1 Project B project manager 1 Project B team 3 1 1 1 1 Project C project manager 1/2 Project C team 1 managing their segment of the project. The project manager basically acts as a staff assistant who draws the schedules and checklists, collects information on status of work, and facilitates project completion. The project manager has indirect authority to expedite and monitor the project. Functional managers call most of the shots and decide who does what and when the work is completed. Balanced matrix--This is the classic matrix in which the project manager is responsible for defining what needs to be accomplished while the functional managers are concerned with how it will be accomplished. More specifically, the project manager establishes the overall plan for completing the project, integrates the contribution of the different disciplines, sets schedules, and monitors progress. The functional managers are responsible for assigning personnel and executing their segment of the project according to the standards and schedules set by the project manager. The merger of "what and how" requires both parties to work closely together and jointly approve technical and operational decisions. Strong matrix--This form attempts to create the "feel" of a project team within a matrix environment. The project manager controls most aspects of the project, including scope trade-offs and assignment of functional personnel. The project manager controls when and what specialists do and has final say on major project decisions. The functional manager has title over her people and is Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 75 Finance Manufacturing Marketing Assembly Testing Quality Customer service Domestic sales International sales 2 1/2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1/2 2 2 consulted on a need basis. In some situations a functional manager's department may serve as a "subcontractor" for the project, in which case they have more control over specialized work. For example, the development of a new series of laptop computers may require a team of experts from different disciplines working on the basic design and performance requirements within a project matrix arrangement. Once the specifications have been determined, final design and production of certain components (i.e., power source) may be assigned to respective functional groups to complete. Matrix management both in general and in its specific forms has unique strengths and weaknesses. The advantages and disadvantages of matrix organizations in general are noted below, while only briefly highlighting specifics concerning different forms: 1. Efficient. Resources can be shared across multiple projects as well as within functional divisions. Individuals can divide their energy across multiple projects on an as-needed basis. This reduces duplication required in a projectized structure. 2. Strong Project Focus. A stronger project focus is provided by having a formally designated project manager who is responsible for coordinating and integrating contributions of different units. This helps sustain a holistic approach to problem solving that is often missing in the functional organization. 76 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 3. Easier Post-Project Transition. Because the project organization is overlaid on the functional divisions, specialists maintain ties with their functional group, so they have a homeport to return to once the project is completed. 4. Flexible. Matrix arrangements provide for flexible utilization of resources and expertise within the firm. In some cases functional units may provide individuals who are managed by the project manager. In other cases the contributions are monitored by the functional manager. The strengths of the matrix structure are considerable. Unfortunately, so are the potential weaknesses. This is due in large part to the fact that a matrix structure is more complicated and the creation of multiple bosses represents a radical departure from the traditional hierarchical authority system. Furthermore, one does not install a matrix structure overnight. Experts argue that it takes 35 years for a matrix system to fully mature. So many of the problems described below represent growing pains. 1. Dysfunctional Conflict. The matrix approach is predicated on tension between functional managers and project managers who bring critical expertise and perspectives to the project. Such tension is viewed as a necessary mechanism for achieving an appropriate balance between complex technical issues and unique project requirements. While the intent is noble, the effect is sometimes analogous to opening Pandora's box. Legitimate conflict can spill over to a more personal level, resulting from conflicting agendas and accountabilities. Worthy discussions can degenerate into heated arguments that engender animosity among the managers involved. 2. Infighting. Any situation in which equipment, resources, and people are being shared across projects and functional activities lends itself to conflict and competition for scarce resources. Infighting can occur among project managers, who are primarily interested in what is best for their project. 3. Stressful. Matrix management violates the management principle of unity of command. Project participants have at least two bosses--their functional head and one or more project managers. Working in a matrix environment can be extremely stressful. Imagine what it would be like to work in an environment in which you are being told to do three conflicting things by three different managers. 4. Slow. In theory, the presence of a project manager to coordinate the project should accelerate the completion of the project. In practice, decision making can get bogged down as agreements have to be forged across multiple functional groups. This is especially true for the balanced matrix. When the three variant forms of the matrix approach are considered, we can see that advantages and disadvantages are not necessarily true for all three forms of matrix. The Strong matrix is likely to enhance project integration, diminish internal power struggles, and ultimately improve control of project activities and costs. On the downside, technical quality may suffer because functional areas have less control over their contributions. Finally, projectitis may emerge as the members develop a strong team identity. The Weak matrix is likely to improve technical quality as well as provide a better system for managing conflict across projects because the functional manager assigns personnel to different projects. The problem is that functional control is often maintained at the expense of poor project integration. The Balanced matrix Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 77 can achieve better balance between technical and project requirements, but it is a very delicate system to manage and is more likely to succumb to many of the problems associated with the matrix approach. What Is the Right Project Management Structure? There is growing empirical evidence that project success is directly linked to the amount of autonomy and authority project managers have over their projects. However, most of this research is based on what is best for managing specific projects. It is important to remember what was stated in the beginning of the chapter-- that the best system balances the needs of the project with those of the parent organization. So what project structure should an organization use? This is a complicated question with no precise answers. A number of issues need to be considered at both the organization and project level. Organization Considerations At the organization level, the first question that needs to be asked is how important is project management to the success of the firm? What percentage of core work involves projects? If over 75 percent of work involves projects, then an organization should consider a fully projectized organization. If an organization has both standard products and projects, then a matrix arrangement would appear to be appropriate. If an organization has very few projects, then a less formal arrangement is probably all that is required. Dedicated teams could be created on an as-needed basis and the organization could outsource project work. A second key question is resource availability. Remember, matrix evolved out of the necessity to share resources across multiple projects and functional domains while at the same time creating legitimate project leadership. For organizations that cannot afford to tie up critical personnel on individual projects, a matrix system would appear to be appropriate. An alternative would be to create a dedicated team but outsource project work when resources are not available internally. Within the context of the first two questions, an organization needs to assess current practices and what changes are needed to more effectively manage projects. A strong project matrix is not installed overnight. The shift toward a greater emphasis on projects has a host of political implications that need to be worked through, requiring time and strong leadership. For example, we have observed many companies that make the transition from a functional organization to a matrix organization begin with a weak functional matrix. This is due in part to resistance by functional and department managers toward transferring authority to project managers. With time, these matrix structures eventually evolve into a project matrix. Many organizations have created Project Management Offices to support project management efforts. See Snapshot from Practice: POs: Project Offices. Project Considerations At the project level, the question is how much autonomy the project needs in order to be successfully completed. Hobbs and Mnard identify seven factors that should influence the choice of project management structure: Size of project. Strategic importance. 78 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Project offices (POs) were originally developed as a response to the poor track record many companies had in completing projects on time, within budget, and according to plan. They were often established to help matrix systems mature into more effective project delivery platforms. Today, POs come in many different shapes and forms. One interesting way of classifying POs was set forth by Casey and Peck, who describe certain POs in terms of being (1) a weather station, (2) a control tower, or (3) a resource pool. Each of these models performs a very different function for its organization. Weather Station. The primary function of the weather station PO is to track and monitor project performance. It is typically created to satisfy top management's need to stay on top of the portfolio of projects under way in the firm. Staff provides an independent forecast of project performance. The questions answered for specific projects include: How are our projects progressing? Which ones are on track? Which ones are not? POs: Project Offices How are we doing in terms of cost? Which projects are over or under budget? What are the major problems confronting projects? Are contingency plans in place? What can the organization do to help the project? Control Tower. The primary function of the control tower PO is to improve project execution. It considers project management as a profession to be protected and advanced. Staff at the PO identify best practices and standards for project management excellence. They work as consultants and trainers to support project managers and their teams. Resource Pool. The goal of the resource pool PO is to provide the organization with a cadre of trained project managers and professionals. It operates like an academy for continually upgrading the skills of a firm's project professionals. In addition to training, this kind of PO also serves to elevate the stature of project management within the organization. Source: W. Casey and W. Peck, "Choosing the Right PMO Setup," PM Network, vol. 15, no. 2(2001), pp. 4047. Novelty and need for innovation. Need for integration (number of departments involved). Environmental complexity (number of external interfaces). Budget and time constraints. Stability of resource requirements. The higher the levels of these seven factors, the more autonomy and authority the project manager and project team need to be successful. This translates into using either a dedicated project team or a project matrix structure. For example, these structures should be used for large projects that are strategically critical and are new to the company, thus requiring much innovation. These structures would also be appropriate for complex, multidisciplinary projects that require input from many departments, as well as for projects that require constant contact with customers to assess their expectations. Dedicated project teams should also be used for urgent projects in which the nature of the work requires people working steadily from beginning to end. Many firms that are heavily involved in project management have created a flexible management system that organizes projects according to project requirements. For example, Chaparral Steel, a mini-mill that produces steel bars and beams from scrap metal, classifies projects into three categories: advanced development, platform, and incremental. Advanced development projects are high-risk endeavors involving the creation of a breakthrough product or process. Platform projects are medium-risk projects involving system upgrades that yield new products and processes. Incremental projects are low-risk, short-term projects that involve minor adjustments in existing products and processes. At any point in time, Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 79 Chaparral might have 4050 projects underway, of which only one or two are advanced, three to five are platform projects, and the remainder are small, incremental projects. The incremental projects are almost all done within a weak matrix with the project manager coordinating the work of functional subgroups. A strong matrix is used to complete the platform projects, while dedicated project teams are typically created to complete the advanced development projects. More and more companies are using this "mix and match" approach to managing projects. Organizational Culture The decision for combining a discussion of project management structures and organizational cultures in this chapter can be traced to a conversation we, the authors, had with two project managers who work for a medium-sized information technology firm. The managers were developing a new operating platform that would be critical to the future success of their company. When they tried to describe how this project was organized, one manager began to sketch out on a napkin a complicated structure involving 52 different teams, each with a project leader and a technical leader! In response to our further probing to understand how this system worked, the manager stopped short and proclaimed, "The key to making this structure work is the culture in our company. This approach would never work at company Y, where I worked before. But because of our culture here we are able to pull it off." This comment, our observations of other firms, and research suggest there is a strong connection between project management structure, organizational culture, and project success. We have observed organizations successfully manage projects within the traditional functional organization because the culture encouraged cross-functional integration. Conversely we have seen matrix structures break down because the culture of the organization did not support the division of authority between project managers and functional managers. We have also observed companies relying on independent project teams because the dominant culture would not support the innovation and speed necessary for success. What Is Organizational Culture? Organizational culture refers to a system of shared norms, beliefs, values, and assumptions which binds people together, thereby creating shared meanings. This system is manifested by customs and habits that exemplify the values and beliefs of the organization. For example, egalitarianism may be expressed in the informal dress worn at a high-tech firm. Conversely, mandated uniforms at a department store reinforce respect for the hierarchy. Culture reflects the personality of the organization and, similar to an individual's personality, can enable us to predict attitudes and behaviors of organizational members. Culture is also one of the defining aspects of an organization that sets it apart from other organizations even in the same industry. Research suggests that there are 10 primary characteristics which, in aggregate, capture the essence of an organization's culture: 1. Member identity--the degree to which employees identify with the organization as a whole rather than with their type of job or field of professional expertise. 2. Team emphasis--the degree to which work activities are organized around groups rather than individuals. 80 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 3. Management focus--the degree to which management decisions take into account the effect of outcomes on people within the organization. 4. Unit integration--the degree to which units within the organization are encouraged to operate in a coordinated or interdependent manner. 5. Control--the degree to which rules, policies, and direct supervision are used to oversee and control employee behavior. 6. Risk tolerance--the degree to which employees are encouraged to be aggressive, innovative, and risk seeking. 7. Reward criteria--the degree to which rewards such as promotion and salary increases are allocated according to employee performance rather than seniority, favoritism, or other nonperformance factors. 8. Conflict tolerance--the degree to which employees are encouraged to air conflicts and criticisms openly. 9. Means versus end orientation--the degree to which management focuses on outcomes rather than on techniques and processes used to achieve those results. 10. Open-systems focus--the degree to which the organization monitors and responds to changes in the external environment. As shown in Figure 3.5, each of these dimensions exists on a continuum. Assessing an organization according to these 10 dimensions provides a composite picture of the organization's culture. This picture becomes the basis for feelings of shared understanding that the members have about the organization, how things are done, and the way members are supposed to behave. Culture performs several important functions in organizations. An organization's culture provides a sense of identity for its members. The more clearly an organization's shared perceptions and values are stated, the more strongly people can identify with their organization and feel a vital part of it. Identity generates FIGURE 3.5 Key Dimensions Defining an Organization's Culture Job Individual Task Independent Loose Low Performance Low Means Internal 1. Member identity 2. Team emphasis 3. Management focus 4. Unit integration 5. Control 6. Risk tolerance 7. Reward criteria 8. Conflict tolerance 9. Means-ends orientation 10. Open-system focus Organization Group People Interdependent Tight High Other High Ends External Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 81 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Microsoft Corporation is the leading computer software company in the world. Microsoft's success stems in part from a corporate culture that supports teams of software developers to create and refine new products. No matter how big the project--even a complex one such as the development of the successful Windows 2000 operating system--the project is broken down into small parts that can be handled by teams of about 12 developers. The segment of the project each team is assigned is further subdivided so that each developer is assigned a specific part of the project to work on. Developers with greater experience are given more responsibilities than new members of the team, but the entire team knows that project success depends on the sum of their individual inputs. Team members provide considerable support for each other. It is not uncommon to see two team members hunched over a computer screen trying to solve a problem. Team members can also be stern critics if a team member fails to perform at an acceptable level. Developers are granted considerable autonomy in performing their work. At the same time, behavior at Microsoft is governed by a shared work culture that almost everyone follows. One set of informal rules governs the basic issue of working hours. Developers are free to adopt whatever work schedule suits them. If a developer has a sudden insight at midnight, it is not unusual for people to work until dawn. Likewise, if a developer's child is sick, the developer can stay Software Development Teams at Microsoft* AP Photo/Alyssa Hurst home to take care of the child, and do makeup work at some other time. Along with these "rules" on flexible working hours, almost all developers abide by another norm: They put in the hours necessary to get the job done, even if it requires staying up all night to work on a particularly difficult part of a program. * K. Rebello, "Inside Microsoft," Business Weekly, July 15, 1996, pp. 5667; B. Filipczak "Beyond the Gates of Microsoft," Training, September 1992, pp. 3744. commitment to the organization and reasons for members to devote energy and loyalty to the organization. A second important function is that culture helps legitimize the management system of the organization. Culture helps clarify authority relationships. It provides reasons why people are in a position of authority and why their authority should be respected. Most importantly, organizational culture clarifies and reinforces standards of behavior. Culture helps define what is permissible and inappropriate behavior. These standards span a wide range of behavior from dress code and working hours to challenging the judgment of superiors and collaborating with other departments. Ultimately, culture helps create social order within an organization. Imagine what it would be like if members didn't share similar beliefs, values, and assumptions--chaos! The customs, norms, and ideals conveyed by the culture of an organization provide the stability and predictability in behavior that is essential for an effective organization. See Snapshot from Practice: Software Development Teams at Microsoft for an example of this. 82 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture Although our discussion of organizational culture may appear to suggest one culture dominates the entire organization, in reality this is rarely the case. "Strong" or "thick" are adjectives used to denote a culture in which the organization's core values and customs are widely shared within the entire organization. Conversely, a "thin" or "weak" culture is one that is not widely shared or practiced within a firm. Even within a strong organizational culture, there are likely to be subcultures often aligned within specific departments or specialty areas. As noted earlier in our discussion of project management structures, it is not uncommon for norms, values, and customs to develop within a specific field or profession such as marketing, finance, or operations. People working in the marketing department may have a different set of norms and values than those working in finance. Countercultures sometimes emerge within organizations that embody a different set of values, beliefs, and customs--often in direct contradiction with the culture espoused by top management. How pervasive these subcultures and countercultures are affect the strength of the culture of the organization and the extent to which culture influences members' actions and responses. Identifying Cultural Characteristics Deciphering an organization's culture is a highly interpretative, subjective process that requires assessment of both current and past history. The student of culture cannot simply rely on what people report about their culture. The physical environment in which people work, as well as how people act and respond to different events that occur, must be examined. Figure 3.6 contains a worksheet for diagnosing FIGURE 3.6 Organizational Culture Diagnosis Worksheet Power Corp. I. Physical Characteristics: Architecture, office layout, dcor, attire Corporate HQ is 20 story modern building--president on top floor. Offices are bigger in the top floors than lower floors. Formal business attire (white shirts, ties, power suits, . . . ). Power appears to increase the higher up you are. II. Public Documents: Annual reports, internal newsletters, vision statements At the heart of the Power Corp. way is our vision . . . to be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership, and performance. Integrity. We are honest with others and ourselves. We meet the highest ethical standards in all business dealings. We do what we say we will do. III. Behavior: Pace, language, meetings, issues discussed, decision-making style, communication patterns, rituals Hierarchical decision-making, pace brisk but orderly, meetings start on time and end on time, subordinates choose their words very carefully when talking to superiors, people rarely work past 6:00 P.M., president takes top performing unit on a boat cruise each year . . . IV. Folklore: Stories, anecdotes, heroines, heroes, villains Young project manager was fired after going over his boss's head to ask for additional funds. Stephanie C. considered a hero for taking complete responsibility for a technical error. Jack S. was labeled a traitor for joining chief competitor after working for Power Corp. for 15 years. Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 83 the culture of an organization. Although by no means exhaustive, the checklist often yields clues about the norms, customs, and values of an organization: 1. Study the physical characteristics of an organization. What does the external architecture look like? What image does it convey? Is it unique? Are the buildings and offices the same quality for all employees? Or are modern buildings and fancier offices reserved for senior executives or managers from a specific department? What are the customs concerning dress? What symbols does the organization use to signal authority and status within the organization? These physical characteristics can shed light on who has real power within the organization, the extent to which the organization is internally differentiated, and how formal the organization is in its business dealings. 2. Read about the organization. Examine annual reports, mission statements, press releases, and internal newsletters. What do they describe? What principles are espoused in these documents? Do the reports emphasize the people who work for the organization and what they do or the financial performance of the firm? Each emphasis reflects a different culture. The first demonstrates concern for the people who make up the company. The second may suggest a concern for results and the bottom line. 3. Observe how people interact within the organization. What is their pace--is it slow and methodical or urgent and spontaneous? What rituals exist within the organization? What values do they express? Meetings can often yield insightful information. Who are the people at the meetings? Who does the talking? To whom do they talk? How candid is the conversation? Do people speak for the organization or for the individual department? What is the focus of the meetings? How much time is spent on various issues? Issues that are discussed repeatedly and at length are clues about the values of the organization's culture. 4. Interpret stories and folklore surrounding the organization. Look for similarities among stories told by different people. The subjects highlighted in recurring stories often reflect what is important to an organization's culture. For example, many of the stories that are repeated at Versatec, a Xerox subsidiary that makes graphic plotters for computers, involve their flamboyant cofounder, Renn Zaphiropoulos. According to company folklore, one of the very first things Renn did when the company was formed was to assemble the top management team at his home. They then devoted the weekend to handmaking a beautiful teak conference table around which all future decisions would be made. This table came to symbolize the importance of teamwork and maintaining high standards of performance, two essential qualities of the culture at Versatec. Try to identify who the heroes and villains are in the folklore company. What do they suggest about the culture's ideals? Returning to the Versatec story, when the company was eventually purchased by Xerox many employees expressed concern that Versatec's informal, play hard/work hard culture would be overwhelmed by the bureaucracy at Xerox. Renn rallied the employees to superior levels of performance by arguing that if they exceeded Xerox's expectations they would be left alone. Autonomy has remained a fixture of Versatec's culture long after Renn's retirement. It is also important to pay close attention to the basis for promotions and rewards. What do people see as the keys to getting ahead within the organization? What contributes to downfalls? These last two questions can yield important insights into the qualities and behaviors which the organization honors as well 84 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture as the cultural taboos and behavioral land mines that can derail a career. For example, one project manager confided that a former colleague was sent to project management purgatory soon after publicly questioning the validity of a marketing report. From that point on, the project manager was extra careful to privately consult the marketing department whenever she had questions about their data. With practice an observer can assess how strong the dominant culture of an organization is and the significance of subcultures and countercultures. Furthermore, learners can discern and identify where the culture of an organization stands on the 10 cultural dimensions presented earlier and, in essence, begin to build a cultural profile for a firm. Based on this profile, conclusions can be drawn about specific customs and norms that need to be adhered to as well as those behaviors and actions that violate the norms of a firm. Implications of Organizational Culture for Organizing Projects Project managers have to be able to operate in several, potentially diverse, organizational cultures. First, they have to interact with the culture of their parent organization as well as the subcultures of various departments (e.g., marketing, accounting). Second, they have to interact with the project's client or customer organizations. Finally, they have to interact in varying degrees with a host of other organizations connected to the project. These organizations include suppliers and vendors, subcontractors, consulting firms, government and regulatory agencies, and, in many cases, community groups. Many of these organizations are likely to have very different cultures. Project managers have to be able to read and speak the culture they are working in to develop strategies, plans, and responses that are likely to be understood and accepted. Still, the emphasis of this chapter is on the relationship between organizational culture and project management structure, and it is necessary to defer further discussion of these implications until Chapters 1012, which focus on leadership, team building, and outsourcing. Earlier we stated that we believe there are strong relationships among project management structure, organizational culture, and successful project management. To explore these relationships further, let us return to the dimensions that can be used to characterize the culture of an organization. When examining these dimensions we could hypothesize that certain aspects of the culture of an organization would support successful project management while other aspects would deter or interfere with effective management. Figure 3.7 attempts to identify which cultural characteristics create an environment conducive to completing most complex projects involving people from different disciplines. Note that, in many cases, the ideal culture is not at either extreme. For example, a fertile project culture would likely be one in which management balances its focus on the needs of both the task and the people. An optimal culture would balance concern with output (ends) and processes to achieve those outcomes (means). In other cases, the ideal culture would be on one end of a dimension or the other. For example, because most projects require collaboration across disciplines, it would be desirable that the culture of the organization emphasize working in teams and identifying with the organization, not just the professional domain. Likewise it is important that the culture support a certain degree of risk taking and a tolerance for constructive conflict. Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 85 FIGURE 3.7 Cultural Dimensions of an Organization Supportive of Project Management Job Individual Task Independent Loose Low Performance Low Means Internal 1. Member identity 2. Team emphasis 3. People focus 4. Unit integration 5. Control 6. Risk tolerance 7. Reward criteria 8. Conflict tolerance 9. Means-ends orientation 10. Open-system focus Organization Group People Interdependent Tight High Other High Ends External One organization that appears to fit this ideal profile is 3M. 3M has received acclaim for creating an entrepreneurial culture within a large corporate framework. The essence of its culture is captured in phrases that have been chanted often by 3Mers throughout its history: "Encourage experimental doodling." "Hire good people and leave them alone." "If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need." Freedom and autonomy to experiment are reflected in the "15 percent rule," which encourages technical people to spend up to 15 percent of their time on projects of their own choosing and initiative. This fertile culture has contributed to 3M's branching out into more than 60,000 products and 35 separate business units. The metaphor we choose to describe the relationship between organizational culture and project management is that of a riverboat trip. Culture is the river and the project is the boat. Organizing and completing projects within an organization in which the culture is conducive to project management is like paddling downstream: much less effort is required. In many cases, the current can be so strong that steering is all that is required. Such is the case for projects that operate in a project-friendly environment where team-work and cross-functional cooperation are the norms, where there is a deep commitment to excellence, and where healthy conflict is voiced and dealt with quickly and effectively. Conversely, trying to complete a project in a toxic culture is like paddling upstream: much more time, effort, and attention are needed to reach the destination. This would be the situation in cultures that discourage teamwork and cooperation, that have a low tolerance for conflict, and where getting ahead is based less on performance and more on cultivating favorable relationships with superiors. In such cases, the project manager and her people not only have to overcome the natural obstacles of the project but also have to overcome the prevailing negative forces inherent in the culture of the organization. The implications of this metaphor are important. Greater project authority and time are necessary to complete projects that encounter a strong, negative cultural current. Conversely, less formal authority and fewer dedicated resources are Research Highlight 86 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture The Secret of Success* depending upon the project. For example, it is common for a senior engineer to be the manager of one project and a researcher on another that is led by his or her subordinate. In essence one must "boss" his or her own boss. At first glance this formal structure should create destructive tensions. However, Rizova argues that the organizational culture of the lab is the glue that keeps things running smoothly. She described a culture in which the social norms of cooperation, respect, and civility are upheld and reproduced. It is a culture characterized by trust and a strong drive toward superior individual and organizational learning and achievement. The culture is captured in the comments of researchers: That is one of the nicest things around here. Your opinions are listened to. Superiors consider our advice. You will find that most of the projects here are a team effort. What I like most is the positive thinking and the "whatever it takes" attitude. Personality conflicts can be devastating. Here everyone helps you and supports you. There is no "I" in the word team. Very friendly environment. . . . I met new people and learned a lot from them. They do not mind sharing their expertise. * Polly S. Rizova, The Secret of Success: The Double Helix of Formal and Informal Structures in an R&D Laboratory. Stanford, CA: (Stanford University Press, 2007.) In The Secret of Success: The Double Helix of Formal and Informal Structures in an R&D Laboratory Polly Rizova revealed the results of a year-long investigation into the inner workings of a Fortune 500 R&D Lab. Through interviews with key participants and analysis of social networking data, Rizova assessed the efficacy of six high-tech development projects. Four critical success factors emerged from her research. One element that is crucial to success is a heavy reliance on open and unrestricted patterns of communication, coupled with a low degree of formal reporting. In other words, team members freely interacted with each other regardless of title, experience, or discipline. A second key is having individuals on the project who are highly respected across the laboratory for their exceptional technical skills and experience. Similarly, it is also vital to have individuals involved in the project who are highly respected for their organizational expertise and experience. Having both "technical stars" and "organizational stars" on the project team were essential to success. The final factor is a strong and sustained support for the project from the company's corporate management. What's more, her analysis revealed interactive nature of the four conditions; namely that no one condition was likely to produce successful outcomes on its own, but only when put together in a way in which they reinforce each other. Here the culture of the laboratory was seen as the key catalyst. Rizova describes a matrix system in which people work on multiple projects simultaneously but with a different wrinkle. Individuals occupy different positions and play different roles needed to complete projects in which the cultural currents generate behavior and cooperation essential to project success. The key issue is the degree of interdependency between the parent organization and the project team. In cases where the prevalent organizational culture supports the behaviors essential to project completion, a weaker, more flexible project management structure can be effective. For example, one of the major reasons Chaparral Steel is able to use a functional matrix to successfully complete incremental projects is that its culture contains strong norms for cooperation. See the Research Highlight: The Secret of Success for another example of how culture supports successful project management. When the dominant organization culture inhibits collaboration and innovation, it is advisable to insulate the project team from the dominant culture. Here it becomes necessary to create a self-sufficient project team. If a dedicated project team is impossible because of resource constraints, then at least a project matrix should be used where the project manager has dominant control over the project. In both cases, the managerial strategy is to create a distinct team subculture in which a new set of norms, customs, and values evolve that will be conducive to project completion. 86 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 87 Under extreme circumstances this project culture could even represent a counterculture in that many of the norms and values are the antithesis of the dominant, parent culture. Such was the case when IBM decided to develop their personal computer quickly in 1980. They knew that the project could get bogged down by the overabundance of computer knowledge and bureaucracy in the company. They also realized that they would have to work closely with suppliers and make use of many non-IBM parts if they were to get to the market quickly. This was not the IBM way at the time, so IBM established the PC project team in a warehouse in Boca Raton, Florida, far from corporate headquarters and other corporate development facilities that existed within the organization. Summary This chapter examined two major characteristics of the parent organization that affect the implementation and completion of projects. The first is the formal structure of the organization and how it chooses to organize and manage projects. Although the individual project manager may have very little say as to how the firm chooses to manage projects, he or she must be able to recognize the options available as well as the inherent strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. Three basic project management structures were described and assessed as to their weaknesses and strengths. Only under unique circumstances can a case be made for managing a project within the normal functional hierarchy. When thinking only in terms of what is best for the project, the creation of an independent project team is clearly favored. However, the most effective project management system appropriately balances the needs of the project with those of the parent organization. Matrix structures emerged out of the parent organization's need to share personnel and resources across multiple projects and operations while creating legitimate project focus. The matrix approach is a hybrid organizational form that combines elements of both the functional and project team forms in an attempt to realize the advantages of both. The second major characteristic of the parent organization that was discussed in this chapter is the concept of organizational culture. Organizational culture is the pattern of beliefs and expectations shared by an organization's members. Culture includes the behavioral norms, customs, shared values, and the "rules of the game" for getting along and getting ahead within the organization. It is important for project managers to be "culture sensitive" so that they can develop appropriate strategies and responses and avoid violating key norms that would jeopardize their effectiveness within the organization. The interaction between project management structure and organizational culture is a complicated one. We have suggested that in certain organizations, culture encourages the implementation of projects. In this environment the project management structure used plays a less decisive role in the success of the project. Conversely, for other organizations in which the culture stresses internal competition and differentiation, just the opposite may be true. The prevailing norms, customs, and attitudes inhibit effective project management, and the project management structure plays a more decisive role in the successful implementation of projects. At a minimum, under adverse cultural conditions, the project manager needs to have significant authority over the project team; under more extreme conditions firms should use dedicated project teams to complete critical projects. In both 88 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture cases, the managerial strategy should be to insulate project work from the dominant culture so that a more positive "subculture" can emerge among project participants. The project management structure of the organization and the culture of the organization are major elements of the environment in which a project is initiated. Subsequent chapters will examine how project managers and professionals work within this environment to successfully complete projects. Key Terms Balanced matrix, 74 Dedicated project team, 69 Matrix, 72 Organizational culture, 79 Projectitis, 72 Projectized organization, 70 Project office (PO), 78 Strong matrix, 74 Weak matrix, 73 Review Questions 1. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the functional, matrix, and dedicated team approaches to managing projects? 2. What distinguishes a weak matrix from a strong matrix? 3. Under what conditions would it be advisable to use a strong matrix instead of a dedicated project team? 4. How can project management offices (POs) support effective project management? 5. Why is it important to assess the culture of an organization before deciding what project management structure should be used to complete a project? 6. Other than culture, what other organizational factors should be used to determine which project management structure should be used? 7. What do you believe is more important for successfully completing a project-- the formal project management structure or the culture of the parent organization? 1. Going to college is analogous to working in a matrix environment in that most students take more than one class and must distribute their time across multiple classes. What problems does this situation create for you? How does it affect your performance? How could the system be better managed to make your life less difficult and more productive? 2. You work for LL Company, which manufactures high-end optical scopes for hunting rifles. LL Company has been the market leader for the past 20 years and has decided to diversify by applying its technology to develop a top-quality binocular. What kind of project management structure would you recommend they use for this project? What information would you like to have to make this recommendation, and why? 3. You work for Barbata Electronics. Your R&D people believe they have come up with an affordable technology that will double the capacity of existing MP3 players and uses audio format that is superior to MP3. The project is code named KYSO (Knock Your Socks Off). What kind of project management structure would you recommend they use for the KYSO project? What information would you like to have to make this recommendation and why? Exercises Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 89 4. This chapter discussed the role of values and beliefs in forming an organization's culture. The topic of organization culture is big business on the Internet. Many companies use their Web pages to describe their mission, vision, and corporate values and beliefs. There also are many consulting firms that advertise how they help organizations to change their culture. The purpose of this exercise is for you to obtain information pertaining to the organizational culture for two different companies. You can go about this task by very simply searching on the key words "organizational culture" or "corporate vision and values." This search will identify numerous companies for you to use to answer the following questions. You may want to select companies that you would like to work for in the future. a. What are the espoused values and beliefs of the companies? b. Use the worksheet in Figure 3.6 to assess the Web page. What does the Web page reveal about the culture of this organization? Would this culture be conducive to effective project management? 5. Use the cultural dimensions listed in Figure 3.5 to assess the culture of your school. Instead of employees, consider students, and instead of management, use faculty. For example, member identity refers to the degree to which students identify with the school as a whole rather than their major or option. Either as individuals or in small groups rate the culture of your school on the 10 dimensions. a. What dimensions were easy to evaluate and which ones were not? b. How strong is the culture of your school? c. What functions does the culture serve for your school? d. Do you think the culture of your school is best suited to maximizing your learning? Why or why not? e. What kind of projects would be easy to implement in your school and what kind of projects would be difficult given the structure and culture of your school? Explain your answer. 6. You work as an analyst in the marketing department for Springfield International (SI). SI uses a weak matrix to develop new services. Management has created an extremely competitive organizational culture that places an emphasis upon achieving results above everything else. One of the project managers that you have been assigned to help has been pressuring you to make his project your number one priority. He also wants you to expand the scope of your work on his project beyond what your marketing manager believes is necessary or appropriate. The project manager is widely perceived as a rising star within SI. Up to now you have been resisting the project manager's pressure and complying with your marketing manager's directives. However, your most recent interchange with the project manager ended by his saying, "I'm not happy with the level of help I am getting from you and I will remember this when I become VP of Marketing." How would you respond and why? References Block, T. R., and J. D. Frame, The Project Office--A Key to Managing Projects Effectively (Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Publications, 1998). Block, T. 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C., Implementation of Project Management (Upper Darby, PA: Project Management Institute, 1981). Youker, R., "Organizational Alternatives for Project Management," Project Management Quarterly, vol. 8 March 1977, pp. 2433. 92 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture Case Moss and McAdams Accounting Firm Bruce Palmer had worked for Moss and McAdams (M&M) for six years and was just promoted to account manager. His first assignment was to lead an audit of Johnsonville Trucks. He was quite pleased with the five accountants who had been assigned to his team, especially Zeke Olds. Olds was an Army vet who returned to school to get a double major in accounting and computer sciences. He was on top of the latest developments in financial information systems and had a reputation for coming up with innovative solutions to problems. M&M was a well-established regional accounting firm with 160 employees located across six offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The main office, where Palmer worked, was in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In fact, one of the founding members, Seth Moss, played briefly for the hometown NFL Packers during the late 1950s. M&M's primary services were corporate audits and tax preparation. Over the last two years the partners decided to move more aggressively into the consulting business. M&M projected that consulting would represent 40 percent of their growth over the next five years. M&M operated within a matrix structure. As new clients were recruited, a manager was assigned to the account. A manager might be assigned to several accounts, depending on the size and scope of the work. This was especially true in the case of tax preparation projects, where it was not uncommon for a manager to be assigned to 8 to 12 clients. Likewise, senior and staff accountants were assigned to multiple account teams. Ruby Sands was the office manager responsible for assigning personnel to different accounts at the Green Bay office. She did her best to assign staff to multiple projects under the same manager. This wasn't always possible, and sometimes accountants had to work on projects led by different managers. M&M, like most accounting firms, had a tiered promotion system. New CPAs entered as junior or staff accountants. Within two years, their performance was reviewed and they were either asked to leave or promoted to senior accountant. Sometime during their fifth or sixth year, a decision was made to promote them to account manager. Finally, after 10 to 12 years with the firm, the manager was considered for promotion to partner. This was a very competitive position. During the last five years, only 20 percent of account managers at M&M had been promoted to partner. However, once a partner, they were virtually guaranteed the position for life and enjoyed significant increases in salary, benefits, and prestige. M&M had a reputation for being a results-driven organization; partner promotions were based on meeting deadlines, retaining clients, and generating revenue. The promotion team based its decision on the relative performance of the account manager in comparison to his or her cohorts. One week into the Johnsonville audit, Palmer received a call from Sands to visit her office. There he was introduced to Ken Crosby, who recently joined M&M after working nine years for a Big 5 accounting firm. Crosby was recruited to manage special consulting projects. Sands reported that Crosby had just secured a major consulting project with Springfield Metals. This was a major coup for the firm: M&M had competed against two Big 5 accounting firms for the project. Sands went on to explain that she was working with Crosby to put together his team. Crosby insisted that Zeke Olds be assigned to his team. Sands told him that Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 93 this would be impossible because Olds was already assigned to work on the Johnsonville audit. Crosby persisted, arguing that Olds's expertise was essential to the Springfield project. Sands decided to work out a compromise and have Olds split time across both projects. At this time Crosby turned to Palmer and said, "I believe in keeping things simple. Why don't we agree that Olds works for me in the mornings and you in the afternoons. I'm sure we can work out any problems that come up. After all, we both work for the same firm." SIX WEEKS LATER Palmer could scream whenever he remembered Crosby's words, "After all, we both work for the same firm." The first sign of trouble came during the first week of the new arrangement when Crosby called, begging to have Olds work all of Thursday on his project. They were conducting an extensive client visit, and Olds was critical to the assessment. After Palmer reluctantly agreed, Crosby said he owed him one. The next week when Palmer called Crosby to request that he return the favor, Crosby flatly refused and said any other time but not this week. Palmer tried again a week later and got the same response. At first Olds showed up promptly at 1:00 P.M. at Palmer's office to work on the audit. Soon it became a habit to show up 30 to 60 minutes late. There was always a good reason. He was in a meeting in Springfield and couldn't just leave, or an urgent task took longer than planned. One time it was because Crosby took his entire team out to lunch at the new Thai restaurant--Olds was over an hour late because of slow service. In the beginning Olds would usually make up the time by working after hours, but Palmer could tell from conversations he overheard that this was creating tension at home. What probably bothered Palmer the most were the e-mails and telephone calls Olds received from Crosby and his team members during the afternoons when he was supposed to be working for Palmer. A couple of times Palmer could have sworn that Olds was working on Crosby's project in his (Palmer's) office. Palmer met with Crosby to talk about the problem and voice his complaints. Crosby acted surprised and even a little bit hurt. He promised things would change, but the pattern continued. Palmer was becoming paranoid about Crosby. He knew that Crosby played golf with Olds on the weekends and could just imagine him badmouthing the Johnsonville project and pointing out how boring auditing work was. The sad fact was that there probably was some truth to what he was saying. The Johnsonville project was getting bogged down, and the team was slipping behind schedule. One of the contributing factors was Olds's performance. His work was not up to its usual standards. Palmer approached Olds about this, and Olds became defensive. Olds later apologized and confided that he found it difficult switching his thinking from consulting to auditing and then back to consulting. He promised to do better, and there was a slight improvement in his performance. The last straw came when Olds asked to leave work early on Friday so that he could take his wife and kids to a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game. It turned out Springfield Metals had given Crosby their corporate tickets, and he decided to treat his team with box seats right behind the Brewers dugout. Palmer hated to do it, but he had to refuse the request. He felt guilty when he overheard Olds explaining to his son on the telephone why they couldn't go to the game. 94 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture Palmer finally decided to pick up the phone and request an urgent meeting with Sands to resolve the problem. He got up enough nerve and put in the call only to be told that Sands wouldn't be back in the office until next week. As he put the receiver down, he thought maybe things would get better. TWO WEEKS LATER Sands showed up unexpectedly at Palmer's office and said they needed to talk about Olds. Palmer was delighted, thinking that now he could tell her what had been going on. But before he had a chance to speak, Sands told him that Olds had come to see her yesterday. She told him that Olds confessed that he was having a hard time working on both Crosby's and Palmer's projects. He was having difficulty concentrating on the auditing work in the afternoon because he was thinking about some of the consulting issues that had emerged during the morning. He was putting in extra hours to try to meet both of the projects' deadlines, and this was creating problems at home. The bottom line was that he was stressed out and couldn't deal with the situation. He asked that he be assigned full-time to Crosby's project. Sands went on to say that Olds didn't blame Palmer, in fact he had a lot of nice things to say about him. He just enjoyed the consulting work more and found it more challenging. Sands concluded by saying, "We talked some more and ultimately I agreed with him. I hate to do this to you, Bruce, but Olds is a valuable employee, and I think this is the best decision for the firm." 1. If you were Palmer at the end of the case, how would you respond? 2. What, if anything, could Palmer have done to avoid losing Olds? 3. What advantages and disadvantages of a matrix type organization are apparent from this case? 4. What could the management at M&M do to more effectively manage situations like this? Case ORION Systems (A)* The office erupted into cheers when it was announced over the PA system that ORION had just been awarded the government contract to build the next generation of high-speed, light-rail trains. Everyone came over to shake Mike Rosas's hand and congratulate him. It was well known that Rosas would be the project manager for this important project, which would be code named Jaguar. Once the celebration subsided, Rosas gazed out the window and thought about what he had just gotten himself into. The Jaguar project would be a high-profile project that would affect procurement of future contracts with the government. Increased competition had raised performance expectations regarding completion time, quality, reliability, and cost. He knew that major changes in how ORION organized and managed projects would be necessary to meet the expectations of the Jaguar project. * Prepared by Shlomo Cohen. Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 95 PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT ORION ORION was a division of a large aerospace company with 7,000 employees. ORION evolved from a project organization into a matrix structure to conserve costs and better utilize limited resources. At any point in time, ORION could be working on three to five large projects such as the Jaguar project and 30 to 50 smaller projects. Project managers negotiated personnel assignments with the VP of operations, who ultimately decided project assignments. It was not uncommon for an engineer to be working on two to three projects during a week. Figure C3.1 portrays how new-product development projects were organized at ORION. Project management was limited only to the design and development of the new product. Once the final design and prototype were completed, they were turned over to manufacturing for production and delivery to the customer. A fourperson management team oversaw the completion of the project and their responsibilities are briefly described here: Project manager--responsible for all aspects of design and development of the product. Planning and control manager--responsible for building an overall project network, scheduling, managing the budget, controlling and evaluating the design and development program, and preparing status reports. Electronics system engineer--responsible for providing technical expertise on electronic systems issues. Mechanics system engineer--responsible for providing technical expertise on mechanical system issues. The core work was completed by 12 to 20 design teams. Each team had a leader, who was responsible for designing, developing, building, and testing a specific FIGURE C3.1 Organization of Product Development Projects at ORION Project manager Deputy planning and control management Electronics system engineer Mechanics system engineer Team leader Team leader Team leader Team leader 96 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture FIGURE C3.2 Traditional Master Plan at ORION Activities/time Design reviews Design and development Production and delivery ILS SDR PDR CDR 57 years TRR PRR 14 years Laboratory tests Environmental tests Build production line and test equipment Documentation and training program Production and delivery Training subsystem of the product. The size of individual teams varied from 5 to 15 engineers, depending on the scope of their work. These engineers split time across multiple projects. Design engineers ran the show at ORION, and manufacturing, marketing, and other groups were expected to follow their lead. The special status of the design engineers was reinforced by the fact that they were actually paid on higher pay curves than the manufacturing engineers. The overall product development and manufacturing process is captured in the master plan chart (Figure C3.2). New-product design and development evolves around five major reviews: system design review (SDR), preliminary design review (PDR), critical design review (CDR), test readiness review (TRR), and production readiness review (PRR). Design and development work begins within the laboratory and progresses to field tests of specific subsystems and ultimately final product prototypes. Once completed, the design and prototype are turned over to manufacturing, which begins building the production line for the new product. Manufacturing also develops the necessary test equipment to confirm that manufactured components perform correctly. During this time, integrated logistical support (ILS) teams prepare product documentation, users' manuals, maintenance programs, and training programs for the customers who will be using the product. It typically takes ORION six to seven years to develop and manufacture a product such as the Jaguar. ORION just completed a major assessment of how projects are managed. Below is a brief description of some of the major problems that were identified: Higher than expected production costs. Once products were developed, there was a tendency for them to be "thrown over the wall" to manufacturing to produce. Very little design for manufacturability was done, and the production ramp was complicated, inefficient, and stressful to the people in the plant. Quality concerns. Increased competition had raised customer expectations with regard to quality. Customers expected fewer defects and longer replacement schedules. ORION had a tendency to deal with quality issues after the fact, initiating quality improvements after the production process was set up. Not enough attention was devoted to incorporating quality considerations into the original design of products. Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 97 Problems with customer support. User manuals and technical documentation sometimes failed to address all of a customer's concerns, and the follow-up training was not always adequately prepared. These problems contributed to increased costs in customer service and a decline in customer satisfaction. Lack of strong project ownership. While everyone accepted that a matrix arrangement was the only way to accommodate all the projects at ORION, the shifting back and forth of personnel across multiple projects took its toll on the progress of individual projects. Members often failed to identify with individual projects and develop the sense of excitement that contributed to superior performance. The shuffling of personnel slowed down progress because additional time had to be devoted to bringing returning members up to speed on current developments. Scope creep. ORION was renowned for its engineering prowess. However, there was a tendency for design engineers to get so absorbed with the science of the project that they lost focus on the practical considerations. This led to costly delays and sometimes design modifications that were inconsistent with customer requirements. Rosas was aware of these and other concerns as he sat down with his staff to figure out the best way to organize the new Jaguar project. 1. What recommendations would you make to Rosas about organizing the Jaguar project, and why? 2. How would you change the organizational chart and master plan to reflect these changes? Case ORION Systems (B) ROSAS'S PLAN Rosas and his staff worked hard over the past week to develop a plan to establish a new standard for completing projects at ORION. The Jaguar project management team will be expanded to seven managers, who will be responsible for overseeing the completion of the project from design to delivery to the customer. A brief description of the responsibilities for the three new positions follows (see Figure C3.3): Production manager--responsible for raising production issues during the design phase; responsible for building and managing the production line. ILS (integrated logistical support) manager--responsible for all activities that require project/customer support after delivery including customer training, documentation, and equipment testing. QA (quality assurance) manager--responsible for implementing a quality program that will enhance the reliability, availability, and maintainability of the product. These seven managers (the three just described plus the four discussed in Part A) will coordinate the completion of the project and see that their respective 98 Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture FIGURE C3.3 Proposed Project Organization for the Jaguar Project Project manager Deputy production manager Deputy planning and control management Electronics system engineer Mechanics system engineer QA manager ILS manager Team leader Team leader Team leader Team leader disciplines are factored into all major decisions. Rosas, as project manager, will work toward achieving consensus, but he will have the authority to intervene and make decisions if necessary. The core work will be completed by 35 teams. Each team will have a "leader," who will be responsible for designing, developing, building, and testing a specific subsystem of the project. They will also be responsible for the quality and productivity of the subsystems and for doing the work on time and within budget. Individual teams will consist of 5 to 12 members, and Rosas insists that at least half of each team be assigned to work full time on the project. This will help ensure continuity and enhance commitment to the project. The second key feature to the plan is the development of the overall master plan for the project. This involves abandoning the traditional sequential approach to product development and adopting a concurrent engineering approach to the project (see Figure C3.4). Once the system design is reviewed and approved, different teams will begin working within the laboratory to design, develop, and test specific subsystems and components. Soon after this has begun the ILS team will start gathering information and preparing product documentation. Once the PDR is completed, the production teams will begin designing the necessary production lines. The CDR will include not only resolution of major technical questions but also a plan for manufacturing. Once the CDR is completed, project teams will begin field tests under a variety of different environmental conditions according to government specifications. Subsequent design refinements will be closely coordinated with manufacturing and ILS teams so that, ideally, ORION will be ready to begin producing the Jaguar upon completion of the PRR. Chapter 3 Organization: Structure and Culture 99 FIGURE C3.4 Jaguar Master Plan Activities/time Design reviews Design and development Production and delivery ILS SDR PDR 34 years CDR TRR PRR 14 years Laboratory tests Environmental tests Production and delivery Training Build production line and test equipment Documentation/training program Rosas believes that the phasing of the production and documentation work alongside the core development work will accelerate project completion, reduce production costs, and contribute to customer satisfaction. 1. What are the major changes between this plan and the way ORION has managed projects in the past? 2. How well do you believe these changes deal with the problems identified in Part A? 3. Who is likely to support this plan? Who is not likely to support this plan? C H A P T E R F O U R Defining the Project Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career p aths Defining the Project Step 1: Defining the Project Scope Step 2: Establishing Project Priorities Step 3: Creating the Work Breakdown Structure Step 4: Integrating the WBS with the Organization Step 5: Coding the WBS for the Information System Responsibility Matrices Project Communication Plan Summary 100 Select a dream Use your dream to set a goal Create a plan Consider resources Enhance skills and abilities Spend time wisely Start! Get organized and go . . . it is one of those acro-whatevers, said Pooh.* Project managers in charge of a single small project can plan and schedule the project tasks without much formal planning and information. However, when the project manager must manage several small projects or a large complex project, a threshold is quickly reached in which the project manager can no longer cope with the detail. This chapter describes a disciplined, structured method for selectively collecting information to use through all phases of the project life cycle, to meet the needs of all stakeholders (e.g., customer, project manager), and to measure performance against the strategic plan of the organization. The method suggested is a selective outline of the project called the work breakdown structure. The early stages of developing the outline serve to ensure that all tasks are identified and that participants of the project have an understanding of what is to be done. Once the outline and its detail are defined, an integrated information system can be developed to schedule work and allocate budgets. This baseline information is later used for control. With the work of the project defined through the work breakdown structure, the chapter concludes with the process of creating a communication plan used to help coordinate project activities and follow progress. The five generic steps described herein provide a structured approach for collecting the project information necessary for developing a work breakdown structure. These steps and the development of project networks found in the next chapters all take place concurrently, and several iterations are typically required to develop dates and budgets that can be used to manage the project. The old saying "We can control only what we have planned" is true; therefore, defining the project is the first step. * Roger E. Allen and Stephen D. Allen, Winnie-the-Pooh on Success (New York: Penguin, 1997), p. 10. 101 102 Chapter 4 Defining the Project Step 1: Defining the Project Scope Defining the project scope sets the stage for developing a project plan. Project scope is a definition of the end result or mission of your project--a product or service for your client/customer. The primary purpose is to define as clearly as possible the deliverable(s) for the end user and to focus project plans. As fundamental and essential as scope definition appears, it is frequently overlooked by project leaders of well-managed, large corporations. Research clearly shows that a poorly defined scope or mission is the most frequently mentioned barrier to project success. In a study involving more than 1,400 project managers in the United States and Canada, Gobeli and Larson found that approximately 50 percent of the planning problems relate to unclear definition of scope and goals. This and other studies suggest a strong correlation between project success and clear scope definition. The scope document directs focus on the project purpose throughout the life of the project for the customer and project participants. The scope should be developed under the direction of the project manager and customer. The project manager is responsible for seeing that there is agreement with the owner on project objectives, deliverables at each stage of the project, technical requirements, and so forth. For example, a deliverable in the early stage might be specifications; for the second stage, three prototypes for production; for the third, a sufficient quantity to introduce to market; and finally, marketing promotion and training. Your project scope definition is a document that will be published and used by the project owner and project participants for planning and measuring project success. Scope describes what you expect to deliver to your customer when the project is complete. Your project scope should define the results to be achieved in specific, tangible, and measurable terms. Employing a Project Scope Checklist Clearly, project scope is the keystone interlocking all elements of a project plan. To ensure that scope definition is complete, you may wish to use the following checklist: Project Scope Checklist 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Project objective Deliverables Milestones Technical requirements Limits and exclusions Reviews with customer 1. Project objective. The first step of project scope definition is to define the overall objective to meet your customer's need(s). For example, as a result of extensive market research a computer software company decides to develop a program that automatically translates verbal sentences in English to Russian. The project should be completed within three years at a cost not to exceed Chapter 4 Defining the Project 103 $1.5 million. Another example is to design and produce a completely portable, hazardous waste, thermal treatment system in 13 months at a cost not to exceed $13 million. The project objective answers the questions of what, when, and how much. 2. Deliverables. The next step is to define major deliverables--the expected outputs over the life of the project. For example, deliverables in the early design phase of a project might be a list of specifications. In the second phase deliverables could be software coding and a technical manual. The next phase could be to test prototypes. The final phase could be final tests and approved software. 3. Milestones. A milestone is a significant event in a project that occurs at a point in time. The milestone schedule shows only major segments of work; it represents first, rough-cut estimates of time, cost, and resources for the project. The milestone schedule is built using the deliverables as a platform to identify major segments of work and an end date--for example, testing complete and finished by July 1 of the same year. Milestones should be natural, important control points in the project. Milestones should be easy for all project participants to recognize. 4. Technical requirements. More frequently than not, a product or service will have technical requirements to ensure proper performance. For example, a technical requirement for a personal computer might be the ability to accept 120-volt alternating current or 240-volt direct current without any adapters or user switches. Another well-known example is the ability of 911 emergency systems to identify the caller's phone number and location of the phone. Examples from information systems projects include speed and capacity of database systems and connectivity with alternative systems. For understanding the importance of key requirements, see Snapshot from Practice: Big Bertha. 5. Limits and exclusions. The limits of scope should be defined. Failure to do so can lead to false expectations and to expending resources and time on the wrong problem. Examples of limits are: local air transportation to and from base camps will be outsourced; system maintenance and repair will be done only up to one month after final inspection; client will be billed for additional training beyond that prescribed in the contract. Exclusions further define the boundary of the project by stating what is not included. Examples include: data will be collected by the client, not the contractor; a house will be built, but no landscaping or security devices added; software will be installed, but no training given. 6. Reviews with customer. Completion of the scope checklist ends with a review with your customer--internal or external. The main concern here is the understanding and agreement of expectations. Is the customer getting what he or she desires in deliverables? Does the project definition identify key accomplishments, budgets, timing, and performance requirements? Are questions of limits and exclusions covered? Clear communication in all these issues is imperative to avoid claims or misunderstanding. Scope definition should be as brief as possible but complete; one or two pages are typical for small projects. See Snapshot from Practice: Scope Statement on page 105. 104 Chapter 4 Defining the Project SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Big Bertha II versus the USGA's COR Requirement* Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images In 1991 Callaway Golf Equipment introduced their Big Bertha driver and revolutionized the golf equipment business. Big Bertha--named after the World War I German long-distance cannon--was much larger than conventional woods and lacked a hosel (the socket in the head of the club into which the shaft is inserted) so that the weight could be better distributed throughout the head. This innovative design gave the clubhead a larger sweet spot, which allowed a player to strike the golf ball off-center and not suffer much loss in distance or accuracy. Callaway has maintained its preeminent position in the golf industry by utilizing space-age technology to extend the accuracy and distance of golf equipment. In 2000 Callaway introduced the Big Bertha ERC II forged titanium driver. The driver was technologically superior to any driver on the market. However, there was one big problem. The new version of Bertha did not conform to the coefficient of restitution (COR) requirement established by the United States Golf Association (USGA). As a result it was barred from use by golfers in North America who intended to play by USGA's Rules of Golf. The USGA believed that the rapid technological advances in golf equipment made by Callaway Golf and other golf manufacturers were threatening the integrity of the game. Players were hitting balls so much farther and straighter that golf courses around the world were being redesigned to make them longer and more difficult. So in 1998 the USGA established performance thresholds for all new golf equipment. In order to prevent manufacturers from developing more powerful clubs, the USGA limited the COR of new golf equipment to 0.83. The COR was calculated by firing a golf ball at a driver out of a cannon-like machine at 109 miles per hour. The speed that the ball returned to the cannon could not exceed 83 percent of its initial speed (90.47 mph). The USGA called the ratio of incoming to outgoing velocity the coefficient of restitution (COR). The intent of the USGA COR threshold was to limit the distance that golf balls could be hit since studies indicated that 0.01 increase in COR resulted in two extra yards of carry. The Big Bertha ERC II's COR was 0.86. After numerous efforts to get USGA to change its technical requirements, Callaway's engineers went back to the drawing board and in 2002 introduced Great Big Bertha II, which conformed to USGA's 0.83 COR restriction. * John E. Gamble. "Callaway Golf Company: Sustaining Advantage in a Changing Industry," in A. A. Thompson, J. E. Gamble, and A. J. Strickland, Strategy: Winning in the Marketplace, Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2004, pp. C204C228. Chapter 4 Defining the Project 105 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE PROJECT OBJECTIVE To construct a high-quality, custom home within five months at cost not to exceed $350,000. Scope Statement 3. Exterior wall insulation must meet an "R" factor of 21. 4. Ceiling insulation must meet an "R" factor of 38. 5. Floor insulation must meet an "R" factor of 25. 6. Garage will accommodate two large-size cars and one 20-foot Winnebago. 7. Structure must pass seismic stability codes. DELIVERABLES A 2,200-square-foot, 2-bath, 3-bedroom, finished home. A finished garage, insulated and sheetrocked. Kitchen appliances to include range, oven, microwave, and dishwasher. High-efficiency gas furnace with programmable thermostat. LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS 1. The home will be built to the specifications and design of the original blueprints provided by the customer. 2. Owner responsible for landscaping. 3. Refrigerator is not included among kitchen appliances. 4. Air conditioning is not included but prewiring is included. 5. Contractor reserves the right to contract out services. 6. Contractor responsible for subcontracted work. 7. Site work limited to Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. MILESTONES 1. Permits approved--March 5 2. Foundation poured--March 14 3. Drywall in. Framing, sheathing, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical inspections passed--May 25 4. Final inspection--June 7 TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS 1. Home must meet local building codes. 2. All windows and doors must pass NFRC class 40 energy ratings. CUSTOMER REVIEW John and Joan Smith The checklist on page 102103 is generic. Different industries and companies will develop unique checklists and templates to fit their needs and specific kinds of projects. Many companies engaged in contracted work refer to scope statements as statements of work (SOW). Other organizations use the term project charter. However, the term project charter has emerged to have a special meaning in the world of project management. A project charter refers to a document that authorizes the project manager to initiate and lead the project. This document is issued by upper management and provides the project manager with written authority to use organizational resources for project activities. Often the charter will include a brief scope description as well as such items as risk limits, customer needs, spending limits, and even team composition. Many projects suffer from scope creep, which is the tendency for the project scope to expand over time--usually by changing requirements, specifications, and priorities. Scope creep can be reduced by carefully writing your scope statement. A scope statement that is too broad is an invitation for scope creep. Scope creep can have a positive or negative effect on the project, but in most cases scope creep means added costs and possible project delays. Changes in requirements, specifications, and priorities frequently result in cost overruns and delays. Examples are abundant--Denver airport baggage handling system; Boston's new freeway system ("The Big Dig"); China's fast train in Shanghai; and the list goes on. On software development projects, scope creep is manifested in bloated products in which added functionality undermines ease of use. 106 Chapter 4 Defining the Project If the project scope needs to change, it is critical to have a sound change control process in place that records the change and keeps a log of all project changes. The log identifies the change, impact, and those responsible for accepting or rejecting a proposed change. Change control is one of the topics of Chapter 7. Project managers in the field constantly suggest that dealing with changing requirements is one of their most perplexing problems. Step 2: Establishing Project Priorities Quality and the ultimate success of a project are traditionally defined as meeting and/or exceeding the expectations of the customer and/or upper management in terms of cost (budget), time (schedule), and performance (scope) of the project (see Figure 4.1). The interrelationship among these criteria varies. For example, sometimes it is necessary to compromise the performance and scope of the project to get the project done quickly or less expensively. Often the longer a project takes, the more expensive it becomes. However, a positive correlation between cost and schedule may not always be true. Other times project costs can be reduced by using cheaper, less efficient labor or equipment that extends the duration of the project. Likewise, as will be seen in Chapter 9, project managers are often forced to expedite or "crash" certain key activities by adding additional labor, thereby raising the original cost of the project. One of the primary jobs of a project manager is to manage the trade-offs among time, cost, and performance. To do so, project managers must define and understand the nature of the priorities of the project. They need to have a candid discussion with the project customer and upper management to establish the relative importance of each criterion. For example, what happens when the customer keeps adding requirements? Or if, midway through the project, a trade-off must be made between cost and expediting, which criterion has priority? One technique found in practice that is useful for this purpose is completing a priority matrix for the project to identify which criterion is constrained, which should be enhanced, and which can be accepted: Constrain. The original parameter is fixed. The project must meet the completion date, specifications and scope of the project, or budget. Enhance. Given the scope of the project, which criterion should be optimized? In the case of time and cost, this usually means taking advantage of opportunities to either reduce costs or shorten the schedule. Conversely, with regard to performance, enhancing means adding value to the project. FIGURE 4.1 Project Management Trade-offs Scope Quality Cost Time Chapter 4 Defining the Project 107 FIGURE 4.2 Project Priority Matrix Constrain Time Performance Cost Enhance Accept Accept. For which criterion is it tolerable not to meet the original parameters? When trade-offs have to be made, is it permissible for the schedule to slip, to reduce the scope and performance of the project, or to go over budget? Figure 4.2 displays the priority matrix for the development of a new wireless modem. Because time to market is important to sales, the project manager is instructed to take advantage of every opportunity to reduce completion time. In doing so, going over budget is acceptable though not desirable. At the same time, the original performance specifications for the modem as well as reliability standards cannot be compromised. Priorities vary from project to project. For example, for many software projects time to market is critical, and companies like Microsoft may defer original scope requirements to later versions in order to get to the market first. Alternatively, for special event projects (conferences, parades, tournaments) time is constrained once the date has been announced, and if the budget is tight, the project manager will compromise the scope of the project in order to complete the project on time. Some would argue that all three criteria are always constrained and that good project managers should seek to optimize each criterion. If everything goes well on a project and no major problems or setbacks are encountered, their argument may be valid. However, this situation is rare, and project managers are often forced to make tough decisions that benefit one criterion while compromising the other two. The purpose of this exercise is to define and agree on what the priorities and constraints of the project are so that when "push comes to shove," the right decisions can be made. There are likely to be natural limits to the extent managers can constrain, optimize, or accept any one criterion. It may be acceptable for the project to slip one month behind schedule but no further or to exceed the planned budget by as much as $20,000. Likewise, it may be desirable to finish a project a month early, but after that cost conservation should be the primary goal. Some project managers document these limits as part of creating the priority matrix. In summary, developing a decision priority matrix for a project before the project begins is a useful exercise. It provides a forum for clearly establishing priorities with customers and top management so as to create shared expectations and avoid misunderstandings. The priority information is essential to the planning process, where adjustments can be made in the scope, schedule, and budget allocation. 108 Chapter 4 Defining the Project Finally, the matrix is useful midway in the project for approaching a problem that must be solved. One caveat must be mentioned; during the course of a project, priorities may change. The customer may suddenly need the project completed one month sooner, or new directives from top management may emphasize cost saving initiatives. The project manager needs to be vigilant in order to anticipate and confirm changes in priorities and make appropriate adjustments. Step 3: Creating the Work Breakdown Structure Major Groupings Found in a WBS Once the scope and deliverables have been identified, the work of the project can be successively subdivided into smaller and smaller work elements. The outcome of this hierarchical process is called the work breakdown structure (WBS). The WBS is a map of the project. Use of WBS helps to assure project managers that all products and work elements are identified, to integrate the project with the current organization, and to establish a basis for control. Basically, the WBS is an outline of the project with different levels of detail. Figure 4.3 shows the major groupings commonly used in the field to develop a hierarchical WBS. The WBS begins with the project as the final deliverable. FIGURE 4.3 Hierarchical Breakdown of the WBS Level 1 Hierarchical breakdown Project Description Complete project 2 Deliverable Major deliverables 3 Subdeliverable Supporting deliverables 4 Lowest subdeliverable Lowest management responsibility level 5 Cost account* Grouping of work packages for monitoring progress and responsibility Identifiable work activities Work package * This breakdown groups work packages by type of work within a deliverable and allows assignment of responsibility to an organizational unit. This extra step facilitates a system for monitoring project progress (discussed in Chapter 13). Chapter 4 Defining the Project 109 Major project work deliverables/systems are identified first; then the subdeliverables necessary to accomplish the larger deliverables are defined. The process is repeated until the subdeliverable detail is small enough to be manageable and where one person can be responsible. This subdeliverable is further divided into work packages. Because the lowest subdeliverable usually includes several work packages, the work packages are grouped by type of work--for example, hardware, programming, testing. These groupings within a subdeliverable are called cost accounts. This grouping facilitates a system for monitoring project progress by work, cost, and responsibility. How WBS Helps the Project Manager The WBS defines all the elements of the project in a hierarchical framework and establishes their relationships to the project end item(s). Think of the project as a large work package that is successively broken down into smaller work packages; the total project is the summation of all the smaller work packages. This hierarchical structure facilitates evaluation of cost, time, and technical performance at all levels in the organization over the life of the project. The WBS also provides management with information appropriate to each level. For example, top management deals primarily with major deliverables, while first-line supervisors deal with smaller subdeliverables and work packages. Each item in the WBS needs a time and cost estimate. With this information it is possible to plan, schedule, and budget your project. The WBS also serves as a framework for tracking cost and work performance. As the WBS is developed, organizational units and individuals are assigned responsibility for executing work packages. This integrates the work and the organization. In practice, this process is sometimes called the organization breakdown structure (OBS), which will be further discussed later in the chapter. Use of the WBS provides the opportunity to "roll up" (sum) the budget and actual costs of the smaller work packages into larger work elements so that performance can be measured by organizational units and work accomplishment. The WBS can also be used to define communication channels and assist in understanding and coordinating many parts of the project. The structure shows the work and organizational units responsible and suggests where written communication should be directed. Problems can be quickly addressed and coordinated because the structure integrates work and responsibility. WBS Development Figure 4.4 on page 112 shows a simplified WBS for development of a new personal computer project. At the top of the chart (level 1) is the project end item-- a deliverable product or service. Note how the levels of the structure can represent information for different levels of management. For example, level 1 information represents the total project objective and is useful to top management; levels 2, 3, and 4 are suitable for middle management; and level 5 is for first-line managers. Level 2 shows a partial list of deliverables necessary to develop the personal computer. One deliverable is the disk storage unit (shaded), which is made up of three subdeliverables--external USB, optical, and hard disks. Finally, the hard disk requires four subdeliverables--motor, circuit board, chassis frame, and read/write head. These subdeliverables represent the lowest manageable elements 110 Chapter 4 Defining the Project SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE On July 27, 2012, the London Olympic Games will start. Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the Olympics' project client, makes it clear: "Not starting on that day is not an option. The London 2012 Olympic Games deadline is 100 percent fixed!" This is the mandate for both the general contractors and the information services (IS) teams. Each must meet the schedule while contributing to the overall objectives of the Olympic team. PA Photos/Landov 2012 Olympic Project Team Objectives: To stage the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games: 27 July12 August, 2012; To deliver an Olympic park and related venues; To maximize economic, social, health, and environmental benefits for London and for the UK; To provide sustained improvement in UK sports pre and post games; of the project. Each subdeliverable requires work packages that will be completed by an assigned organizational unit. Each deliverable will be successively divided in this manner. It is not necessary to divide all elements of the WBS to the same level. The lowest level of the WBS is called a work package. Work packages are shortduration tasks that have a definite start and stop point, consume resources, and represent cost. Each work package is a control point. A work package manager is Chapter 4 Defining the Project 111 To ensure the venues are used for something useful post games. Below is the initial timeline for the 2012 Olympic event: 2006: Set foundations 2007: Strategic planning 2008: Review all past Olympics 2010: Operational planning 2011: Test events 2012: Operational readiness 2013: Close down Source: Physical facilities and information services are two of the major areas that need massive coordination and represent a sizable part of the total budget. London 2012 will be the sixth Olympic Games that Atos Origin will design, build and operate the IS infrastructure. Michele Hyron, their chief integrator responsible for the event's information systems, will be overseeing one of the biggest information technology projects ever. She is a seasoned Olympics project manager who has served as IS operations manager in previous Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing. By examining the processes and lessons learned in the earlier games, she hopes past mistakes can be avoided. For example, from the Beijing games four lessons learned were better training of support staff, freezing design four months before games, isolating IT from the Internet, and better planning. Hyron carries over about 40 to 50 percent of systems planning from one Olympics to the next, and then adjusts to local conditions. Hyron has designed and is building fully redundant systems for 2012 that will be used for two years of testing of over 1,000 scenarios to study how the systems and technical personnel respond. Test scenarios might include a security breach, a fire in a living facility, staff contracting food poisoning, and events delayed. Physical facilities and logistics are equally as important as IS infrastructure. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) selected EDAW Consortium to design a master plan for the Olympic Park's infrastructure, including utilities, waterways, landscape, platforms for the site, roads, and bridges. A 500-acre Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, will be the epicenter of the Games. The Olympic Stadium will house the 80,000-seat coliseum as well as the aquatics center that has two pools and a diving pool. A Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) will carry a high-speed shuttle service between central London and the Olympic Park in just seven minutes. This link will also connect with service to continental Europe. Transportation to the Olympics will be supported with improved underground services. Planners expect to have a train arriving at the Olympic Park every 15 seconds. There will be 20 km of new roads and more than 30 new bridges to connect the Olympic Park with nearby communities. Prime Minister Gordon Brown estimates that nearly 30,000 workers will build the Olympic Park and Olympic Village. From the outset, cost estimating has been a challenge. When London announced its bid for the 2012 Games, the estimated cost for the games was 4 billion. By 2007 the estimated costs climbed to 9.325 billion. In mid-2009, 500 industry professionals estimate the costs will rise to 11.6 billion. Some estimates have run as high as 12.6 billion. The National Audit Office study identified two major problems with the Olympic Games project: no one single individual is in charge and there is no proper budget. In addition, the committee offered the following suggestions: (a) clarify key deliverables and expected costs, (b) establish a baseline for budget control, and (c) manage both contingency and project funds more rigorously. The Olympics Games are often called "the greatest show on earth." For the project managers of the 2012 Olympics, there are many challenges and opportunities to be addressed before the Games are over. responsible for seeing that the package is completed on time, within budget, and according to technical specifications. Practice suggests a work package should not exceed 10 workdays or one reporting period. If a work package has a duration exceeding 10 days, check or monitoring points should be established within the duration, say, every three to five days, so progress and problems can be identified before too much time has passed. Each work package of the WBS should be as independent of other packages of the project as possible. No work package is described in more than one subdeliverable of the WBS. 112 Chapter 4 Defining the Project FIGURE 4.4 Work Breakdown Structure Level 1 Personal computer prototype More items 2 Vendor, software, applications ~ 3 Mouse, keyboard, voice ~ External USB ~ 4 Optical ~ ROM ~ Lowest manageable subdeliverables Motor Circuit board WP-1 CB WP-2 CB WP-3 CB WP-4 CB WP-5 CB WP-6 CB WP-7 CB Chassis frame WP-1 CF WP-2 CF WP-3 CF Read/write head WP-1 RWH WP-2 RWH WP-3 RWH WP-4 RWH WP-5 RWH RAM ~ I/O ~ File ~ Utilities ~ Hard Disk storage units Internal memory unit Microprocessor unit BIOS (basic input/output system) 5 WP-1 M Work packages There is an important difference from start to finish between the last work breakdown subdeliverable and a work package. Typically, a work breakdown subdeliverable includes the outcomes of more than one work package from perhaps two or three departments. Therefore, the subdeliverable does not have a duration of its own and does not consume resources or cost money directly. (In a sense, of course, a duration for a particular work breakdown element can be derived from identifying which work package must start first [earliest] and which package will be the latest to finish; the difference from start to finish becomes the duration for the subdeliverable.) The higher elements are used to identify deliverables at different phases in the project and to develop status reports during the execution stage of the project life cycle. Thus, the work package is the basic unit used for planning, scheduling, and controlling the project. To review, each work package in the WBS 1. 2. 3. 4. Defines work (what). Identifies time to complete a work package (how long). Identifies a time-phased budget to complete a work package (cost). Identifies resources needed to complete a work package (how much). Chapter 4 Defining the Project 113 5. Identifies a single person responsible for units of work (who). 6. Identifies monitoring points for measuring progress (how well). Creating a WBS from scratch can be a daunting task. Project managers should take advantage of relevant examples from previous projects to begin the process. WBSs are products of group efforts. If the project is small, the entire project team may be involved breaking down the project into its components. For large, complex projects, the people responsible for the major deliverables are likely to meet to establish the first two levels of deliverables. In turn, further detail would be delegated to the people responsible for the specific work. Collectively this information would be gathered and integrated into a formal WBS by a project support person. The final version would be reviewed by the inner echelon of the project team. Relevant stakeholders (most notably customers) would be consulted to confirm agreement and revise when appropriate. Project teams developing their first WBS frequently forget that the structure should be end-item, output oriented. First attempts often result in a WBS that follows the organization structure--design, marketing, production, finance. If a WBS follows the organization structure, the focus will be on the organization function and processes rather than the project output or deliverables. In addition, a WBS with a process focus will become an accounting tool that records costs by function rather than a tool for "output" management. Every effort should be made to develop a WBS that is output oriented in order to concentrate on concrete deliverables. See Snapshot from Practice: Creating a WBS for more advice on creating a WBS. This process is discussed next. Step 4: Integrating the WBS with the Organization The WBS is used to link the organizational units responsible for performing the work. In practice, the outcome of this process is the organization breakdown structure (OBS). The OBS depicts how the firm has organized to discharge work responsibility. The purposes of the OBS are to provide a framework to summarize organization unit work performance, identify organization units responsible for work packages, and tie the organizational unit to cost control accounts. Recall, cost accounts group similar work packages (usually under the purview of a department). The OBS defines the organization subdeliverables in a hierarchical pattern in successively smaller and smaller units. Frequently, the traditional organization structure can be used. Even if the project is completely performed by a team, it is necessary to break down the team structure for assigning responsibility for budgets, time, and technical performance. As in the WBS, the OBS assigns the lowest organizational unit the responsibility for work packages within a cost account. Herein lies one major strength of using WBS and OBS; they can be integrated as shown in Figure 4.5. The intersection of work packages and the organizational unit creates a project control point (cost account) that integrates work and responsibility. The intersection of the WBS and OBS represents the set of work packages necessary to complete the subdeliverable located immediately above and the organizational unit on the left responsible for accomplishing the packages at the intersection. Later we will use the intersection as a cost account for management control of projects. For example, the circuit 114 Chapter 4 Defining the Project SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Figure 4.4 represents the classic WBS in which the project is broken down to the lowest manageable deliverable and subsequent work packages. Many situations do not require this level of detail. This begs the questions of how far you should break down the work. There is no set answer to this question. However, here are some tips given by project managers: Break down the work until you can do an estimate that is accurate enough for your purposes. If you are doing a ballpark estimate to see if the project is worthy of serious consideration, you probably do not need to break it down beyond major deliverables. On the other hand, if you are pricing a project to submit a competitive bid, then you are likely to go down to the work package level. The WBS should conform to how you are going to schedule work. For example, if assignments are made in terms of days, then tasks should be limited as best as possible to one day or more to complete. Conversely, if hours are the smallest unit for scheduling, then work can be broken down to onehour increments. Final activities should have clearly defined start/end events. Avoid open-ended tasks like "research" or "market analysis." Take it down to the next level in which deliverables/ outcomes are more clearly defined. Instead of ending with market analysis include items such as identify market share, list user requirements, or write a problem statement. If accountability and control are important, then break the work down so that one individual is clearly responsible Creating a WBS for the work. For example, instead of stopping at product design, take it to the next level and identify specific components of the design (i.e., electrical schematics, power source, etc.) that different individuals will be responsible for creating. The bottom line is that the WBS should provide the level of detail needed to manage the specific project successfully. board element requires completion of work packages whose primary responsibility will include the design, production, test, and software departments. Control can be checked from two directions--outcomes and responsibility. In the execution phase of the project, progress can be tracked vertically on deliverables (client's interest) and tracked horizontally by organization responsibility (management's interest). Step 5: Coding the WBS for the Information System Gaining the maximum usefulness of a breakdown structure depends on a coding system. The codes are used to define levels and elements in the WBS, organization elements, work packages, and budget and cost information. The codes allow reports to be consolidated at any level in the structure. The most commonly used scheme in practice is numeric indention. An example for the FIGURE 4.5 Integration of WBS and OBS Level 1 Personal computer prototype 1.0 1.2 Vendor, software, applications ~ 3 1.3 Mouse, keyboard, voice ~ 1.1 Disk storage units 1.4 Microprocessor unit 1.4.1 1.1.1 External USB ~ 4 1.1.2 Optical ~ 1.1.3 Hard Internal memory unit ROM ~ 5 Lowest manageable subdeliverables Motor Circuit board Cost account Cost account Cost account Cost account Cost account Cost account Cost account Chassis frame 1.4.2 BIOS (basic input/output system) I/O ~ File ~ More items 2 RAM ~ Utilities ~ Read/write head Cost account number Design Manufacturing Production Organization Test Purchasing Software Work packages WP1. WP1. WP1. Budget by period Time 115 116 Chapter 4 Defining the Project new computer project and the "Disk storage units" in Figure 4.5 is presented here: 1.0 Computer project 1.1 Disk storage units 1.1.1 External USB 1.1.2 Optical 1.1.3 Hard Motor Sourcing work package ? ? Read/write head Cost account Cost account WP WP WP Cost account ? ? ? etc. Note the project identification is 1.0. Each successive indention represents a lower element or work package. Ultimately the numeric scheme reaches down to the work package level, and all tasks and elements in the structure have an identification code. The "cost account" is the focal point because all budgets, work assignments, time, cost, and technical performance come together at this point. This coding system can be extended to cover large projects. Additional schemes can be added for special reports. For example, adding a "23" after the code could indicate a site location, an elevation, or a special account such as labor. Some letters can be used as special identifiers such as "M" for materials or "E" for engineers. You are not limited to only 10 subdivisions (09); you can extend each subdivision to large numbers--for example, .1.99 or .1 .9999. If the project is small, you can use whole numbers. The following example is from a large, complex project: 3R2237A2P2233.6 where 3R identifies the facility, 237A represents elevation and the area, P2 represents pipe two inches wide, and 33.6 represents the work package number. In practice most organizations are creative in combining letters and numbers to minimize the length of WBS codes. Responsibility Matrices In many cases, the size and scope of the project do not warrant an elaborate WBS or OBS. One tool that is widely used by project managers and task force leaders of small projects is the responsibility matrix (RM). The RM (sometimes Chapter 4 Defining the Project 117 FIGURE 4.6 Responsibility Matrix for a Market Research Project Project Team Task Identify target customers Develop draft questionnaire Pilot-test questionnaire Finalize questionnaire Print questionnaire Prepare mailing labels Mail questionnaires Receive and monitor returned questionnaires Input response data Analyze results Prepare draft of report Prepare final report Richard R R R Dan S S R S Dave S S S S R R R S Linda S Elizabeth R R R R S S S S S S R R = Responsible S = Supports/assists called a linear responsibility chart) summarizes the tasks to be accomplished and who is responsible for what on a project. In its simplest form an RM consists of a chart listing all the project activities and the participants responsible for each activity. For example, Figure 4.6 illustrates an RM for a market research study. In this matrix the R is used to identify the committee member who is responsible for coordinating the efforts of other team members assigned to the task and making sure that the task is completed. The S is used to identify members of the five-person team who will support and/or assist the individual responsible. Simple RMs like this one are useful not only for organizing and assigning responsibilities for small projects but also for subprojects of large, more complex projects. More complex RMs not only identify individual responsibilities but also clarify critical interfaces between units and individuals that require coordination. For example, Figure 4.7 is an RM for a larger, more complex project to develop a new piece of automated equipment. Notice that within each cell a numeric coding scheme is used to define the nature of involvement on that specific task. Such an RM extends the WBS/OBS and provides a clear and concise method for depicting responsibility, authority, and communication channels. Responsibility matrices provide a means for all participants in a project to view their responsibilities and agree on their assignments. They also help clarify the extent or type of authority exercised by each participant in performing an activity in which two or more parties have overlapping involvement. By using an RM and by defining authority, responsibility, and communications within its framework, the relationship between different organizational units and the work content of the project is made clear. 118 FIGURE 4.7 Responsibility Matrix for the Conveyor Belt Project Organization Deliverables Architectural designs Hardware specifications Kernel specifications Utilities specifications Hardware design Disk drivers Memory management Operating system documentation Prototypes Integrated acceptance test Design 1 2 1 2 1 3 1 2 5 5 Development Documentation 2 1 3 1 3 1 3 2 2 2 3 1 4 2 1 3 1 3 3 5 1 2 3 4 5 3 4 5 Responsible Support Consult Notification Approval Assembly Testing 2 2 3 3 3 Purchasing Quality Assur. 3 3 Manufacturing 3 3 Chapter 4 Defining the Project 119 Project Communication Plan Once the project deliverables and work are clearly identified, following up with an internal communication plan is vital. Stories abound of poor communication as a major contributor to project failure. Having a robust communications plan can go a long way toward mitigating project problems and can ensure that customers, team members, and other stakeholders have the information to do their jobs. The communication plan is usually created by the project manager and/or the project team in the early stage of project planning. Communication is a key component in coordinating and tracking project schedules, issues, and action items. The plan maps out the flow of information to different stakeholders and becomes an integral part of the overall project plan. The purpose of a project communication plan is to express what, who, how, and when information will be transmitted to project stakeholders so schedules, issues, and action items can be tracked. Project communication plans address the following core questions: What information needs to be collected and when? Who will receive the information? What methods will be used to gather and store information? What are the limits, if any, on who has access to certain kinds of information? When will the information be communicated? How will it be communicated? Developing a communication plan that answers these questions usually entails the following basic steps: 1. Stakeholder analysis. Identify the target groups. Typical groups could be the customer, sponsor, project team, project office, or anyone who needs project information to make decisions and/or contribute to project progress. 2. Information needs. What information is pertinent to stakeholders who contribute to the project's progress? For example, top management needs to know how the project is progressing, whether it is encountering critical problems, and the extent to which project goals are being realized. This information is required so that they can make strategic decisions and manage the portfolio of projects. Project team members need to see schedules, task lists, specifications, and the like, so they know what needs to be done next. External groups need to know any changes in the schedule and performance requirements of the components they are providing. Frequent information needs found in communication plans are: Project status reports Changes in scope Gating decisions Action items Deliverable issues Team status meetings Accepted request changes Milestone reports 3. Sources of information. When the information needs are identified, the next step is to determine the sources of information. That is, where does the information reside? How will it be collected? For example, information relating to the milestone report, team meetings, and project status meetings would be found in the minutes and reports of various groups. 120 Chapter 4 Defining the Project 4. Dissemination modes. In today's world, traditional status report meetings are being supplemented by e-mail, teleconferencing, Lotus Notes, SharePoint, and a variety of database sharing programs to circulate information. In particular, many companies are using the Web to create a "virtual project office" to store project information. Project management software feeds information directly to the Web site so that different people have immediate access to relevant project information. In some cases, appropriate information is routed automatically to key stakeholders. Backup paper hardcopy to specific stakeholders is still critical for many project changes and action items. 5. Responsibility and timing. Determine who will send out the information. For example, a common practice is to have secretaries of meetings forward the minutes or specific information to the appropriate stakeholders. In some cases the responsibility lies with the project manager or project office. Timing and frequency of distribution appropriate to the information need to be established. The advantage of establishing a communication plan is that instead of responding to information requests, you are controlling the flow of information. This reduces confusion and unnecessary interruptions, and it can provide project managers greater autonomy. Why? By reporting on a regular basis how things are going and what is happening, you allow senior management to feel more comfortable about letting the team complete the project without interference. See Figure 4.8 for a sample Shale Oil Research Project Communication Plan. FIGURE 4.8 Shale Oil Research Project Communication Plan What Information Target Audience Senior management and project manager Staff and customer Project manager and project office Staff and customer When? Method of Communication E-mail and hardcopy E-mail and hardcopy E-mail Provider Milestone report Project status reports & agendas Team status reports Issues report Escalation reports Outsourcing performance Accepted change requests Oversight gate decisions Bimonthly Project office Weekly Project manager Weekly Team recorder Weekly When needed Bimonthly E-mail Meeting and hardcopy Meeting E-mail and hardcopy E-mail meeting report Team recorder Staff and customer Project manager Staff and customer Project office, senior mgmt., customer, staff, and project mgr. Senior management and project manager Project manager Design department Oversight group or project office Anytime As required Chapter 4 Defining the Project 121 The importance of establishing up-front a plan for communicating important project information cannot be overstated. Many of the problems that plague a project can be traced back to insufficient time devoted to establishing a well-grounded internal communication plan. Summary The project scope definition, priorities, and breakdown structure are the keys to nearly every aspect of managing the project. The scope definition provides focus and emphasis on the end item(s) of the project. Establishing project priorities allows managers to make appropriate trade-off decisions. The structure helps ensure all tasks of the project are identified and provides two views of the project--one on deliverables and one on organization responsibility. The WBS avoids having the project driven by organization function or by a finance system. The structure forces attention to realistic requirements of personnel, hardware, and budgets. Use of the structure provides a powerful framework for project control that identifies deviations from plan, identifies responsibility, and spots areas for improved performance. No well-developed project plan or control system is possible without a disciplined, structured approach. The WBS, OBS, and cost account codes provide this discipline. The WBS will serve as the database for developing the project network which establishes the timing of work, people, equipment, and costs. In small projects responsibility matrices may be used to clarify individual responsibility. Clearly defining your project is the first and most important step in planning. The absence of a clearly defined project plan consistently shows up as the major reason for project failures. Whether you use a WBS or responsibility matrix will depend primarily on the size and nature of your project. Whatever method you use, definition of your project should be adequate to allow for good control as the project is being implemented. Follow-up with a clear communication plan for coordinating and tracking project progress will help keep important stakeholders informed and avoid some potential problems. Key Terms Cost account, 113 Milestone, 103 Organization breakdown structure (OBS), 113 Priority matrix, 106 Project charter, 105 Responsibility matrix, 116 Scope creep, 105 Scope statement, 105 Work breakdown structure (WBS), 108 Work package, 110 Review Questions 1. What are the six elements of a typical scope statement? 2. What questions does a project objective answer? What would be an example of a good project objective? 3. What does it mean if the priorities of a project include: Time-constrain, Scopeaccept, and Cost-enhance? 4. What kinds of information are included in a work package? 5. When would it be appropriate to create a responsibility matrix rather than a full-blown WBS? 6. How does a communication plan benefit management of projects? 122 Chapter 4 Defining the Project Exercises 1. You are in charge of organizing a dinner-dance concert for a local charity. You have reserved a hall that will seat 30 couples and have hired a jazz combo. a. Develop a scope statement for this project that contains examples of all the elements. Assume that the event will occur in 4 weeks and provide your best guess estimate of the dates for milestones. b. What would the priorities likely be for this project? 2. In small groups, identify real life examples of a project that would fit each of the following priority scenarios: a. Time-constrain, Scope-enhance, Cost-accept b. Time-accept, Scope-constrain, Cost-accept c. Time-constrain, Scope-accept, Cost-enhance 3. Develop a WBS for a project in which you are going to build a bicycle. Try to identify all of the major components and provide three levels of detail. 4. You are the father or mother of a family of four (kids ages 13 and 15) planning a weekend camping trip. Develop a responsibility matrix for the work that needs to be done prior to starting your trip. 5. Develop a WBS for a local stage play. Be sure to identify the deliverables and organizational units (people) responsible. How would you code your system? Give an example of the work packages in one of your cost accounts. Develop a corresponding OBS which identifies who is responsible for what. 6. Use an example of a project you are familiar with or are interested in. Identify the deliverables and organizational units (people) responsible. How would you code your system? Give an example of the work packages in one of your cost accounts. 7. Develop a communication plan for an airport security project. The project entails installing the hardware and software system that (1) scans a passenger's eyes, (2) fingerprints the passenger, and (3) transmits the information to a central location for evaluation. 8. Go to an Internet search engine (e.g., Google) and type in "project communication plan." Check three or four that have ".gov" as their source. How are they similar or dissimilar? What would be your conclusion concerning the importance of an internal communication plan? 9. Your roommate is about to submit a scope statement for a spring concert sponsored by the entertainment council at Western Evergreen State University (WESU). WESU is a residential university with over 22,000 students. This will be the first time in six years since WESU sponsored a spring concert. The entertainment council has budgeted $40,000 for the project. The event is to occur on June 5th. Since your roommate knows you are taking a class on project management she has asked you to review her scope statement and make suggestions for improvement. She considers the concert a resume-building experience and wants to be as professional as possible. Below is a draft of her scope statement. What suggestions would you make and why? WESU Spring Music Concert Project Objective To organize and deliver a 6-hour music concert Deliverables Concert security Contact local newspapers and radio stations Chapter 4 Defining the Project 123 Separate beer garden Six hours of musical entertainment Design a commemorative concert t-shirt Local sponsors Food venues Event insurance Safe environment Secure all permissions and approvals Sign big-name artist Contact secondary artists Secure vendor contracts Advertising campaign Plan set-up Concert Clean-up Professional sound stage and system At least five performing acts Restroom facilities Parking Compliance with WESU and city requirements/ordinances Seating capacity for 8,000 students. Performers are responsible for travel arrangement to and from WESU. Performers must provide own liability insurance. Performers and security personnel will be provided lunch and dinner on the day of the concert. Vendors contribute 25 percent of sales to concert fund. Concert must be over at 12:15 A.M. Milestones 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Technical Requirements Limits and Exclusions Customer Review: WESU References Ashley, D. B., et al., "Determinants of Construction Project Success," Project Management Journal, 18 (2) June 1987, p. 72. Chilmeran, A. H., "Keeping Costs on Track," PM Network, 19 (2) 2004, pp. 4551. Gobeli, D. H., and E. W. Larson, "Project Management Problems," Engineering Management Journal, 2, 1990, pp. 3136. Ingebretsen, M., "Taming the Beast," PM Network, July 2003, pp. 3035. Katz, D. M., "Case Study: Beware `Scope Creep' on ERP Projects,", March 27, 2001. Kerzner, H., Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, 8th ed. (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2003). Lewis, J. P., Project Planning, Scheduling and Controlling, 3rd ed. (Burr Ridge, IL: McGraw-Hill, 2000). Luby, R. E., D. Peel, and W. Swahl, "Component-Based Work Breakdown Structure," Project Management Journal, 26 (2) December 1995, pp. 3844. Murch, R., Project Management: Best Practices for IT Professionals (Upper Darby, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001). Pinto, J. K., and D. P. Slevin, "Critical Success Factors Across the Project Life Cycle," Project Management Journal, 19 (3) June 1988, p. 72. 124 Chapter 4 Defining the Project Pitagorsky, G., "Realistic Project Planning Promotes Success," Engineer's Digest, 29 (1) 2001. PMI Standards Committee, Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute, 2000). Posner, B. Z., "What It Takes to Be a Good Project Manager," Project Management Journal, 18 (1) March 1987, p. 52. Raz, T., and S. Globerson, "Effective Sizing and Content Definition of Work Packages," Project Management Journal, 29 (4) 1998, pp. 1723. Tate, K., and K. Hendrix, "Chartering IT Projects," Proceedings, 30th Annual, Project Management Institute (Philadelphia, PA. 1999), CD. Zimmerman, E., "Preventing Scope Creep," Manage, February 2000. Case Manchester United Soccer Club Nicolette Larson was loading the dishwasher with her husband, Kevin, and telling him about the first meeting of the Manchester United Tournament Organizing Committee. Nicolette, a self-confessed "soccer mom," had been elected tournament director and was responsible for organizing the club's first summer tournament. Manchester United Soccer Club (MUSC) located in Manchester, New Hampshire, was formed in 1992 as a way of bringing recreational players to a higher level of competition and preparing them for the State Olympic Development Program and/or high school teams. The club currently has 24 boys and girls (ranging in age from under 9 to 16) on teams affiliated with the Hampshire Soccer Association and the Granite State Girls Soccer League. The club's board of directors decided in the fall to sponsor a summer invitational soccer tournament to generate revenue. Given the boom in youth soccer, hosting summer tournaments has become a popular method for raising funds. MUSC teams regularly compete in three to four tournaments each summer at different locales in New England. These tournaments have been reported to generate between $50,000 and $70,000 for the host club. MUSC needs additional revenue to refurbish and expand the number of soccer fields at the Rock Rimmon soccer complex. Funds would also be used to augment the club's scholarship program, which provides financial aid to players who cannot afford the $450 annual club dues. Nicolette gave her husband a blow-by-blow account of what transpired during the first tournament committee meeting that night. She started the meeting by having everyone introduce themselves and by proclaiming how excited she was that the club was going to sponsor its own tournament. She then suggested that the committee brainstorm what needed to be done to pull off the event; she would record their ideas on a flipchart. What emerged was a free-for-all of ideas and suggestions. One member immediately stressed the importance of having qualified referees and spent several minutes Chapter 4 Defining the Project 125 describing in detail how his son's team was robbed in a poorly officiated championship game. This was followed by other stories of injustice on the soccer field. Another member suggested that they needed to quickly contact the local colleges to see if they could use their fields. The committee spent more than 30 minutes talking about how they should screen teams and how much they should charge as an entry fee. An argument broke out over whether they should reward the winning teams in each age bracket with medals or trophies. Many members felt that medals were too cheap, while others thought the trophies would be too expensive. Someone suggested that they seek local corporate sponsors to help fund the tournament. The proposed sale of tournament T-shirts and sweatshirts was followed by a general critique of the different shirts parents had acquired at different tournaments. One member advocated that they recruit an artist he knew to develop a unique silk-screen design for the tournament. The meeting adjourned 30 minutes late with only half of the members remaining until the end. Nicolette drove home with seven sheets of ideas and a headache. As Kevin poured a glass of water for the two aspirin Nicolette was about to take, he tried to comfort her by saying that organizing this tournament would be a big project not unlike the projects he works on at his engineering and design firm. He offered to sit down with her the next night and help her plan the project. He suggested that the first thing they needed to do was to develop a WBS for the project. 1. Make a list of the major deliverables for the project and use them to develop a draft of the work breakdown structure for the tournament that contains at least three levels of detail. What are the major deliverables associated with hosting an event such as a soccer tournament? 2. How would developing a WBS alleviate some of the problems that occurred during the first meeting and help Nicolette organize and plan the project? 3. Where can Nicolette find additional information to help her develop a WBS for the tournament? 4. How could Nicolette and her task force use the WBS to generate cost estimates for the tournament? Why would this be useful information? C H A P T E R F I V E Estimating Project Times and Costs Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career p aths Estimating Project Times and Costs Factors Influencing the Quality of Estimates Estimating Guidelines for Times, Costs, and Resources Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Estimating Methods for Estimating Project Times and Costs Level of Detail Types of Costs Refining Estimates Creating a Database for Estimating Summary Appendix 5.1: Learning Curves for Estimating 126 Project estimation is indeed a yardstick for project cost control. And if the yardstick is faulty, you start on the "wrong foot." . . . we exhort you not to underestimate the estimate.* Given the urgency to start work on the project, managers sometimes minimize or avoid the effort to follow through on estimating project time and cost. This attitude is a huge mistake and costly. There are important reasons to make the effort and incur the cost of estimating for your project. Exhibit 5.1 summarizes some key reasons. Estimating is the process of forecasting or approximating the time and cost of completing project deliverables. Estimating processes are frequently classified as top-down and bottom-up. Top-down estimates are usually done by senior management. Management will often derive estimates from analogy, group consensus, or mathematical relationships. Bottom-up estimates are typically performed by the people who are doing the work. Their estimates are based on estimates of elements found in the work breakdown structure. All project stakeholders prefer accurate cost and time estimates, but they also understand the inherent uncertainty in all projects. Inaccurate estimates lead to false expectations and consumer dissatisfaction. Accuracy is improved with greater effort, but is it worth the time and cost--estimating costs money! Project estimating becomes a trade-off, balancing the benefits of better accuracy against the costs for securing increased accuracy. EXHIBIT 5.1 Why Estimating Time and Cost Are Important Estimates are needed to support good decisions. Estimates are needed to schedule work. Estimates are needed to determine how long the project should take and its cost. Estimates are needed to determine whether the project is worth doing. Estimates are needed to develop cash flow needs. Estimates are needed to determine how well the project is progressing. Estimates are needed to develop time-phased budgets and establish the project baseline. * O. P. Kharbanda and J. K. Pinto. What Made Gertie Gallop: Learning from Project Failures (New York: Von Nostrand Reinhold, 1996), p 73. 127 128 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs Cost, time, and budget estimates are the lifeline for control; they serve as the standard for comparison of actual and plan throughout the life of the project. Project status reports depend on reliable estimates as the major input for measuring variances and taking corrective action. Ideally, the project manager, and in most cases the customer, would prefer to have a database of detailed schedule and cost estimates for every work package in the project. Regrettably, such detailed data gathering is not always possible or practical and other methods are used to develop project estimates. Factors Influencing the Quality of Estimates A typical statement in the field is the desire to "have a 95 percent probability of meeting time and cost estimates." Past experience is a good starting point for developing time and cost estimates. But past experience estimates must almost always be refined by other considerations to reach the 95 percent probability level. Factors related to the uniqueness of the project will have a strong influence on the accuracy of estimates. Project, people, and external factors all need to be considered to improve quality of estimates for project times and costs. Planning Horizon The quality of the estimate depends on the planning horizon; estimates of current events are close to 100 percent accurate but are reduced for more distant events. The accuracy of time and cost estimates should improve as you move from the conceptual phase to the point where individual work packages are defined. Project Duration Time to implement new technology has a habit of expanding in an increasing, nonlinear fashion. Sometimes poorly written scope specifications for new technology result in errors in estimating times and costs. Long-duration projects increase the uncertainty in estimates. People The people factor can also introduce errors in estimating times and cost. For example, accuracy of estimates depends on the skills of the people making the estimates. A close match of people skills to the task will influence productivity and learning time. Similarly, whether members of the project team have worked together before on similar projects will influence the time it takes to coalesce into an effective team. Sometimes factors such as staff turnover can influence estimates. It should be noted that adding new people to a project increases time spent communicating. Typically, people have only five to six productive hours available for each working day; the other hours are taken up with indirect work, such as meetings, paperwork, answering e-mail. Project Structure and Organization Which project structure is chosen to manage the project will influence time and cost estimates. One of the major advantages of a dedicated project team discussed earlier is the speed gained from concentrated focus and localized project decisions. This speed comes at an additional cost of tying up personnel full time. Conversely, projects operating in a matrix environment may reduce costs by more efficiently Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 129 sharing personnel across projects but may take longer to complete since attention is divided and coordination demands are higher. Padding Estimates In some cases people are inclined to pad estimates. For example, if you are asked how long it takes you to drive to the airport, you might give an average time of 30 minutes, assuming a 50/50 chance of getting there in 30 minutes. If you are asked the fastest you could possibly get there, you might reduce the driving time to 20 minutes. Finally, if you are asked how long the drive would take if you absolutely had to be there to meet with the president, it is likely you would increase the estimate to say 50 minutes to ensure not being late. In work situations where you are asked for time and cost estimates, most of us are inclined to add a little padding to increase the probability and reduce the risk of being late. If everyone at all levels of the project adds a little padding to reduce risk, the project duration and cost are seriously overstated. This phenomenon causes some managers or owners to call for a 1015 percent cut in time and/or cost for the project. Of course the next time the game is played, the person estimating cost and/or time will pad the estimate to 20 percent or more. Clearly such games defeat chances for realistic estimates, which is what is needed to be competitive. Organization Culture Organization culture can significantly influence project estimates. In some organizations padding estimates is tolerated and even privately encouraged. Other organizations place a premium on accuracy and strongly discourage estimating gamesmanship. Organizations vary in the importance they attach to estimates. The prevailing belief in some organizations is that detailed estimating takes too much time and is not worth the effort or that it's impossible to predict the future. Other organizations subscribe to the belief that accurate estimates are the bedrock of effective project management. Organization culture shapes every dimension of project management; estimating is not immune to this influence. Other Factors Finally, nonproject factors can impact time and cost estimates. For example, equipment down-time can alter time estimates. National holidays, vacations, and legal limits can influence project estimates. Project priority can influence resource assignment and impact time and cost. Project estimating is a complex process. The quality of time and cost estimates can be improved when these variables are considered in making the estimates. Estimates of time and cost together allow the manager to develop a time-phased budget, which is imperative for project control. Before discussing macro and micro estimating methods for times and costs, a review of estimating guidelines will remind us of some of the important "rules of the game" that can improve estimating. Estimating Guidelines for Times, Costs, and Resources Managers recognize time, cost, and resource estimates must be accurate if project planning, scheduling, and controlling are to be effective. However, there is substantial evidence suggesting poor estimates are a major contributor to projects that have failed. Therefore, every effort should be made to see that initial estimates are as accurate as possible since the choice of no estimates leaves a great deal to 130 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs luck and is not palatable to serious project managers. Even though a project has never been done before, a manager can follow seven guidelines to develop useful work package estimates. 1. Responsibility. At the work package level, estimates should be made by the person(s) most familiar with the task. Draw on their expertise! Except for supertechnical tasks, those responsible for getting the job done on schedule and within budget are usually first-line supervisors or technicians who are experienced and familiar with the type of work involved. These people will not have some preconceived, imposed duration for a deliverable in mind. They will give an estimate based on experience and best judgment. A secondary benefit of using those responsible is the hope they will "buy in" to seeing that the estimate materializes when they implement the work package. If those involved are not consulted, it will be difficult to hold them responsible for failure to achieve the estimated time. Finally, drawing on the expertise of team members who will be responsible helps to build communication channels early. 2. Use several people to estimate. It is well known that a cost or time estimate usually has a better chance of being reasonable and realistic when several people with relevant experience and/or knowledge of the task are used. True, people bring different biases based on their experience. But discussion of the individual differences in their estimate leads to consensus and tends to eliminate extreme estimate errors. This approach is similar to the Delphi estimating method, which can also be used. 3. Normal conditions. When task time, cost, and resource estimates are determined, they are based on certain assumptions. Estimates should be based on normal conditions, efficient methods, and a normal level of resources. Normal conditions are sometimes difficult to discern, but it is necessary to have a consensus in the organization as to what normal conditions mean in this project. If the normal workday is eight hours, the time estimate should be based on an eight-hour day. Similarly, if the normal workday is two shifts, the time estimate should be based on a two-shift workday. Any time estimate should reflect efficient methods for the resources normally available. The time estimate should represent the normal level of resources-- people or equipment. For example, if three programmers are available for coding or two road graders are available for road construction, time and cost estimates should be based on these normal levels of resources unless it is anticipated the project will change what is currently viewed as "normal." In addition, possible conflicts in demand for resources on parallel or concurrent activities should not be considered at this stage. The need for adding resources will be examined when resource scheduling is discussed in a later chapter. 4. Time units. Specific time units to use should be selected early in the development phase of the project network. All task time estimates need consistent time units. Estimates of time must consider whether normal time is represented by calendar days, workdays, workweeks, person days, single shift, hours, minutes, etc. In practice the use of workdays is the dominant choice for expressing task duration. However, in projects such as a heart transplant operation, minutes probably would be more appropriate as a time unit. One such project that used minutes as the time unit was the movement of patients from an old hospital to an elegant new one across town. Since there were several life-endangering moves, minutes were used to ensure patient safety so proper emergency life-support systems would be available if needed. The point is, network analysis requires a standard unit of time. When computer programs allow more than one option, some notation should be Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 131 made of any variance from the standard unit of time. If the standard unit of time is a five-day workweek and the estimated activity duration is in calendar days, it must be converted to the normal workweek. 5. Independence. Estimators should treat each task as independent of other tasks that might be integrated by the WBS. Use of first-line managers usually results in considering tasks independently; this is good. Top managers are prone to aggregate many tasks into one time estimate and then deductively make the individual task time estimates add to the total. If tasks are in a chain and performed by the same group or department, it is best not to ask for all the time estimates in the sequence at once to avoid the tendency for a planner or a supervisor to look at the whole path and try to adjust individual task times in the sequence to meet an arbitrary imposed schedule or some rough "guesstimate" of the total time for the whole path or segment of the project. This tendency does not reflect the uncertainties of individual activities and generally results in optimistic task time estimates. In summary, each task time estimate should be considered independently of other activities. 6. Contingencies. Work package estimates should not include allowances for contingencies. The estimate should assume normal or average conditions even though every work package will not materialize as planned. For this reason top management needs to create an extra fund for contingencies that can be used to cover unforeseen events. 7. Adding risk assessment to the estimate helps to avoid surprises to stakeholders. It is obvious some tasks carry more time and cost risks than others. For example, a new technology usually carries more time and cost risks than a proven process. Simply identifying the degree of risk lets stakeholders consider alternative methods and alter process decisions. A simple breakdown by optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic for task time could provide valuable information regarding time and cost. See Chapter 7 for further discussion of project risk. Where applicable, these guidelines will greatly help to avoid many of the pitfalls found so often in practice. Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Estimating Since estimating efforts cost money, the time and detail devoted to estimating is an important decision. Yet, when estimating is considered, you as a project manager may hear statements such as these: Rough order of magnitude is good enough. Spending time on detailed estimating wastes money. Time is everything; our survival depends on getting there first! Time and cost accuracy is not an issue. The project is internal. We don't need to worry about cost. The project is so small, we don't need to bother with estimates. Just do it. We were burned once. I want a detailed estimate of every task by the people responsible. However, there are sound reasons for using top-down or bottom-up estimates. Table 5.1 depicts conditions that suggest when one approach is preferred over another. 132 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs TABLE 5.1 Conditions for Preferring Top-Down or Bottom-Up Time and Cost Estimates Condition Strategic decision making Cost and time important High uncertainty Internal, small project Fixed-price contract Customer wants details Unstable scope Top-Down Estimates X Bottom-Up Estimates X X X X X X Top-down estimates usually are derived from someone who uses experience and/or information to determine the project duration and total cost. These estimates are sometimes made by top managers who have very little knowledge of the processes used to complete the project. For example, a mayor of a major city making a speech noted that a new law building would be constructed at a cost of $23 million and would be ready for occupancy in two and one-half years. Although the mayor probably asked for an estimate from someone, the estimate could have come from a luncheon meeting with a local contractor who wrote an estimate (guesstimate) on a napkin. This is an extreme example, but in a relative sense this scenario is frequently played out in practice. See Snapshot from Practice: Council Fumes, for another example of this. But the question is, do these estimates represent low-cost, efficient methods? Do the top-down estimates of project time and cost become a self-fulfilling prophecy in terms of setting time and cost parameters? If possible and practical, you want to push the estimating process down to the work package level for bottom-up estimates that establish low-cost, efficient methods. This process can take place after the project has been defined in detail. Good sense suggests project estimates should come from the people most knowledgeable about the estimate needed. The use of several people with relevant experience with the task can improve the time and cost estimate. The bottom-up approach at the work package level can serve as a check on cost elements in the WBS by rolling up the work packages and associated cost accounts to major deliverables. Similarly, resource requirements can be checked. Later, the time, resource, and cost estimates from the work packages can be consolidated into time-phased networks, resource schedules, and budgets that are used for control. The bottom-up approach also provides the customer with an opportunity to compare the low-cost, efficient method approach with any imposed restrictions. For example, if the project completion duration is imposed at two years and your bottom-up analysis tells you the project will take two and one-half years, the client can now consider the trade-off of the low-cost method versus compressing the project to two years--or in rare cases canceling the project. Similar trade-offs can be compared for different levels of resources or increases in technical performance. The assumption is any movement away from the low-cost, efficient method will increase costs--e.g., overtime. The preferred approach in defining the project is to make rough top-down estimates, develop the WBS/OBS, make bottom-up estimates, develop schedules and budgets, and reconcile differences between topdown and bottom-up estimates. Hopefully, these steps will be done before final negotiation with either an internal or external customer. In conclusion, the ideal approach is for the project manager to allow enough time for both the top-down Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 133 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Portland, Oregon's, Willamette riverfront development has exploded with seven condominium towers and a new health sciences center under construction. The health science complex is to be linked with Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), which is high on a nearby hill, with an aerial cable tram. The aerial tram linking the waterfront district to OHSU is to support the university expansion, to increase biotechnology research, and to become Portland's icon equivalent to Seattle's Space Needle. All of the hype turned south when news from a hearing suggested that the real budget for the tram construction, originally estimated at $15 million, is going to be about $55$60 million, nearly triple the original estimate. The estimate could even go higher. Commissioners want to find out why city staff knowingly relied on flawed estimates. Mike Lindberg, president of the nonprofit Aerial Transportation Inc., acknowledged "the $15 million number was not a good number. It was simply a guesstimate." * The Oregonian, January 13, 2006, by Frank Ryan, pages A1 and A14, and April 2, 2006, page A1. Council Fumes as Tram Tale Unfolds* Commissioner Erik Sten said, "Those numbers were presented as much more firm than they appear to have been. . . . It appears the actual design wasn't costed out. That's pretty shoddy." and bottom-up estimates to be worked out so a complete plan based on reliable estimates can be offered to the customer. In this way false expectations are minimized for all stakeholders and negotiation is reduced. Methods for Estimating Project Times and Costs Top-Down Approaches for Estimating Project Times and Costs At the strategic level top-down estimating methods are used to evaluate the project proposal. Sometimes much of the information needed to derive accurate time and cost estimates is not available in the initial phase of the project--for example, design is not finalized. In these situations top-down estimates are used until the tasks in the WBS are clearly defined. Consensus Methods This method simply uses the pooled experience of senior and/or middle managers to estimate the total project duration and cost. This typically involves a meeting where experts discuss, argue, and ultimately reach a decision as to their best guess estimate. Firms seeking greater rigor will use the Delphi Method to make these macro estimates. See Snapshot from Practice: The Delphi Method. It is important to recognize that these first top-down estimates are only a rough cut and typically occur in the "conceptual" stage of the project. The 134 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Originally developed by the RAND Corporation in 1969 for technological forecasting, the Delphi Method is a group decision process about the likelihood that certain events will occur. The Delphi Method makes use of a panel of experts familiar with the kind of project in question. The notion is that wellinformed individuals, calling on their insights and experience, are better equipped to estimate project costs/times than theoretical approaches or statistical methods. Their responses to estimate questionnaires are anonymous, and they are provided with a summary of opinions. Experts are then encouraged to reconsider, and if appropriate, to change their previous estimate in light of the replies of other experts. After two or three rounds it is believed that the group will converge toward the "best" response through The Delphi Method this consensus process. The midpoint of responses is statistically categorized by the median score. In each succeeding round of questionnaires, the range of responses by the panelists will presumably decrease and the median will move toward what is deemed to be the "correct" estimate. One distinct advantage of the Delphi Method is that the experts never need to be brought together physically. The process also does not require complete agreement by all panelists, since the majority opinion is represented by the median. Since the responses are anonymous, the pitfalls of ego, domineering personalities, and the "bandwagon or halo effect" in responses are all avoided. On the other hand, future developments are not always predicted correctly by iterative consensus nor by experts, but at times by creative, "off the wall" thinking. top-down estimates are helpful in initial development of a complete plan. However, such estimates are sometimes significantly off the mark because little detailed information is gathered. At this level individual work items are not identified. Or, in a few cases, the top-down estimates are not realistic because top management "wants the project." Nevertheless, the initial top-down estimates are helpful in determining whether the project warrants more formal planning, which would include more detailed estimates. Be careful that macro estimates made by senior managers are not dictated to lower level managers who might feel compelled to accept the estimates even if they believe resources are inadequate. Although your authors prefer to avoid the top-down approach if possible, we have witnessed surprising accuracy in estimating project duration and cost in isolated cases. Some examples are building a manufacturing plant, building a distribution warehouse, developing air control for skyscraper buildings, and road construction. However, we have also witnessed some horrendous miscalculations, usually in areas where the technology is new and unproven. Top-down methods can be useful if experience and judgment have been accurate in the past. Ratio Methods Top-down methods (sometimes called parametric) usually use ratios, or surrogates, to estimate project times or costs. Top-down approaches are often used in the concept or "need" phase of a project to get an initial duration and cost estimate for the project. For example, contractors frequently use number of square feet to estimate the cost and time to build a house; that is, a house of 2,700 square feet might cost $160 per square foot (2,700 feet 3 $160 per foot equals $432,000). Likewise, knowing the square feet and dollars per square foot, experience suggests it should take approximately 100 days to complete. Two other common examples of top-down cost estimates are the cost for a new plant estimated by capacity size, or a software product estimated by features and complexity. Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 135 Apportion Methods This method is an extension to the ratio method. Apportionment is used when projects closely follow past projects in features and costs. Given good historical data, estimates can be made quickly with little effort and reasonable accuracy. This method is very common in projects that are relatively standard but have some small variation or customization. Anyone who has borrowed money from a bank to build a house has been exposed to this process. Given an estimated total cost for the house, banks and the FHA (Federal Housing Authority) authorize pay to the contractor by completion of specific segments of the house. For example, foundation might represent 3 percent of the total loan, framing 25 percent, electric, plumbing and heating 15 percent, etc. Payments are made as these items are completed. An analogous process is used by some companies that apportion costs to deliverables in the WBS--given average cost percentages from past projects. Figure 5.1 presents an example similar to one found in practice. Assuming the total project cost is estimated, using a top-down estimate, to be $500,000, the costs are apportioned as a percentage of the total cost. For example, the costs apportioned to the "Document" deliverable are 5 percent of the total, or $25,000. The subdeliverables "Doc-1 and Doc-2" are allocated 2 and 3 percent of the total--$10,000 and $15,000, respectively. Function Point Methods for Software and System Projects In the software industry, software development projects are frequently estimated using weighted macro variables called "function points" or major parameters such as number of inputs, number of outputs, number of inquiries, number of data files, and number of interfaces. These weighted variables are adjusted for a complexity factor and added. The total adjusted count provides the basis for estimating the labor effort and cost for a project (usually using a regression formula derived from data of past projects). This latter method assumes adequate historical data by type of software project for the industry--for example, MIS systems. In the FIGURE 5.1 Apportion Method of Allocating Project Costs Using the Work Breakdown Structure Total project cost $500,000 Design 20% 100,000 Program 30% 150,000 Test 40% 200,000 Document 5% 25,000 Produce CD 5% 25,000 D-1 10% 50,000 D-2 10% 50,000 P-1 20% 100,000 P-2 5% 25,000 P-3 5% 25,000 Doc-1 2% 10,000 Doc-2 3% 15,000 CD-1 5% 25,000 T-1 10% 50,000 T-2 10% 50,000 T-3 20% 100,000 136 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs TABLE 5.2 Simplified Basic Function Point Count Process for a Prospective Project or Deliverable Element Number of inputs Number of outputs Number of inquiries Number of files Number of interfaces Low _____ 3 2 1 _____ 3 3 1 _____ 3 2 1 _____ 3 5 1 _____ 3 5 1 Complexity Weighting Average _____ 3 3 1 _____ 3 6 1 _____ 3 4 1 _____ 3 8 1 _____ 3 10 1 High _____ 3 4 _____ 3 9 _____ 3 6 _____ 3 12 _____ 3 15 Total 5 _____ 5 _____ 5 _____ 5 _____ 5 _____ U.S. software industry, one-person month represents on average five function points. A person working one month can generate on average (across all types of software projects) about five function points. Of course each organization needs to develop its own average for its specific type of work. Such historical data provide a basis for estimating the project duration. Variations of this top-down approach are used by companies such as IBM, Bank of America, Sears Roebuck, HP, AT&T, Ford Motors, GE, DuPont and many others. See Table 5.2 and Table 5.3 for a simplified example of function point count methodology. From historical data the organization developed the weighting scheme for complexity found in Table 5.2. Function points are derived from multiplying the number of kinds of elements by weighted complexity. Table 5.3 shows the data collected for a specific task or deliverable: Patient Admitting and Billing--the number of inputs, outputs, inquiries, files, and interfaces along with the expected complexity rating. Finally, the application of the element count is applied and the function point count total is 660. Given this count and the fact that one-person month has historically been equal to 5 function points, the job will require 132 person months (660/5 5 132). Assuming you have 10 programmers who can work on this task, the duration would be TABLE 5.3 Example: Function Point Count Method 15 5 10 30 20 Software Project 13: Patient Admitting and Billing Inputs Outputs Inquiries Files Interfaces Rated complexity as low Rated complexity as average Rated complexity as average Rated complexity as high Rated complexity as average Application of Complexity Factor Element Inputs Outputs Inquiries Files Interfaces Count 15 5 10 30 20 Low 32 3 6 3 4 3 12 3 10 Total Average High Total 5 30 5 30 5 40 5 360 5 200 660 (2) (6) (4) (12) (10) Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 137 approximately 13 months. The cost is easily derived by multiplying the labor rate per month times 132 person months. For example, if the monthly programmer rate is $4,000, then the estimated cost would be $528,000 (132 3 4,000). Although function point metrics are useful, their accuracy depends on adequate historical data, currency of data, and relevancy of the project/deliverable to past averages. Learning Curves Some projects require that the same task, group of tasks, or product be repeated several times. Managers know intuitively that the time to perform a task improves with repetition. This phenomenon is especially true of tasks that are labor intensive. In these circumstances the pattern of improvement phenomenon can be used to predict the reduction in time to perform the task. From empirical evidence across all industries, the pattern of this improvement has been quantified in the learning curve (also known as improvement curve, experience curve, and industrial progress curve), which is described by the following relationship: Each time the output quantity doubles, the unit labor hours are reduced at a constant rate. In practice the improvement ratio may vary from 60 percent, representing very large improvement, to 100 percent, representing no improvement at all. Generally, as the difficulty of the work decreases the expected improvement also decreases and the improvement ratio that is used becomes greater. One significant factor to consider is the proportion of labor in the task in relation to machine-paced work. Obviously, a lower percentage of improvement can occur only in operations with high labor content. Appendix 5.1 at the end of the chapter provides a detailed example of how the improvement phenomenon can be used to estimate time and cost for repetitive tasks. The main disadvantage of top-down approaches to estimating is simply that the time and cost for a specific task are not considered. Grouping many tasks into a common basket encourages errors of omission and the use of imposed times and costs. Micro estimating methods are usually more accurate than macro methods. Bottom-Up Approaches for Estimating Project Times and Costs Template Methods If the project is similar to past projects, the costs from past projects can be used as a starting point for the new project. Differences in the new project can be noted and past times and costs adjusted to reflect these differences. For example, a ship repair drydock firm has a set of standard repair projects (i.e., templates for overhaul, electrical, mechanical) that are used as starting points for estimating the cost and duration of any new project. Differences from the appropriate standardized project are noted (for times, costs, and resources) and changes are made. This approach enables the firm to develop a potential schedule, estimate costs, and develop a budget in a very short time span. Development of such templates in a database can quickly reduce estimate errors. 138 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs Parametric Procedures Applied to Specific Tasks Just as parametric techniques such as cost per square foot can be the source of top-down estimates, the same technique can be applied to specific tasks. For example, as part of an MS Office conversion project, 36 different computer workstations needed to be converted. Based on past conversion projects, the project manager determined that on average one person could convert three workstations per day. Therefore the task of converting the 36 workstations would take three technicians four days [(36/3)/3]. Similarly, to estimate the wallpapering allowance on a house remodel, the contractor figured a cost of $5 per square yard of wallpaper and $2 per yard to install it, for a total cost of $7. By measuring the length and height of all the walls she was able to calculate the total area in square yards and multiply it by $7. Range Estimating When do you use range estimating? Range estimating works best when work packages have significant uncertainty associated with the time or cost to complete. If the work package is routine and carries little uncertainty, using a person most familiar with the work package is usually the best approach. They know from experience or know where to find the information to estimate work package durations and costs. However, when work packages have significant uncertainty associated with the time or cost to complete, it is a prudent policy to require three time estimates--low, average, and high (borrowed off of PERT methodology that uses probability distributions). The low to high give a range within which the average estimate will fall. Determining the low and high estimates for the activity is influenced by factors such as complexity, technology, newness, familiarity. How do you get the estimates? Since range estimating works best for work packages that have significant uncertainty, having a group determine the low, average, and high cost or duration gives best results. Group estimating tends to refine extremes by bringing more evaluative judgments to the estimate and potential risks. The judgment of others in a group helps to moderate extreme perceived risks associated with a time or cost estimate. Involving others in making activity estimates gains buy in and credibility to the estimate. Figure 5.2 presents an abridged estimating template using three time estimates for work packages developed by a cross functional group(s) of project stakeholders. The group estimates show the low, average, and high for each work package. The Risk Level column is the group's independent assessment of the degree of confidence that the actual time will be very close to the estimate. In a sense this number represents the group's evaluation of many factors (e.g., complexity, technology) that might impact the average time estimate. In our example, the group feels work packages 104, 108, 110, 111, and 114 have a high chance that the average time may vary from expected. Likewise, the group's confidence feels the risk of work packages 102, 105 and 112 not materializing as expected is low. How do you use the estimate? Group range estimating gives the project manager and owner an opportunity to assess the confidence associated with project times (and/or costs). The approach helps to reduce surprises as the project progresses. The range estimating method also provides a basis for assessing risk, managing resources, and determining the project contingency fund. (See Chapter 7 for a discussion of contingency funds.) Range estimating is popular in software and new product projects where up-front requirements are fuzzy and not well known. Group range estimating is often used with phase estimating, which is discussed next. Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 139 FIGURE 5.2 Range Estimating Template A Hybrid: Phase Estimating This approach begins with a top-down estimate for the project and then refines estimates for phases of the project as it is implemented. Some projects by their nature cannot be rigorously defined because of the uncertainty of design or the final product. Although rare, such projects do exist. These projects are often found in aerospace projects, IT projects, new technology projects, and construction projects where design is incomplete. In these projects, phase or life-cycle estimating is frequently used. Phase estimating is used when an unusual amount of uncertainty surrounds a project and it is impractical to estimate times and costs for the entire project. Phase estimating uses a two-estimate system over the life of the project. A detailed estimate is developed for the immediate phase and a macro estimate is made for the remaining phases of the project. Figure 5.3 depicts the phases of a project and the progression of estimates over its life. For example, when the project need is determined, a macro estimate of the project cost and duration is made so analysis and decisions can be made. Simultaneously a detailed estimate is made for deriving project specifications and a macro FIGURE 5.3 Phase Estimating over Project Life Cycle Phase 1 2 3 4 5 Need 1 Specifications 2 Design 3 Produce 4 Deliver 5 Macro estimate Detailed estimate Macro estimate Detailed estimate Macro estimate Detailed estimate Macro estimate Detailed estimate 140 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The smaller the element of a work package, the more accurate the overall estimate is likely to be. The extent of this improvement varies by type of project. The table below is developed to reflect this observation. For example, information technology projects that determine their time and cost estimates in the conceptual stage can expect their "actuals" to err up to 200 percent over cost and duration and, Estimate Accuracy perhaps, as much as 30 percent under estimates. Conversely, estimates for buildings, roads, etc., made after the work packages are clearly defined, have a smaller error in actual costs and times of 15 percent over estimate and 5 percent less than estimate. Although these estimates vary by project, they can serve as ballpark numbers for project stakeholders selecting how project time and cost estimates will be derived. Time and Cost Estimate Accuracy by Type of Project Bricks and Mortar Conceptual stage Deliverables defined Work packages defined 160% to 230% 130% to 215% 115% to 25% Information Technology 1200% to 230% 1100% to 215% 150% to 2 5% estimate for the remainder of the project. As the project progresses and specifications are solidified, a detailed estimate for design is made and a macro estimate for the remainder of the project is computed. Clearly, as the project progresses through its life cycle and more information is available, the reliability of the estimates should be improving. Phase estimating is preferred by those working on projects where the final product is not known and the uncertainty is very large--for example, the integration of wireless phones and computers. The commitment to cost and schedule is only necessary over the next phase of the project and commitment to unrealistic future schedules and costs based on poor information is avoided. This progressive macro/ micro method provides a stronger basis for using schedule and cost estimates to manage progress during the next phase. Unfortunately your customer--internal or external--will want an accurate estimate of schedule and cost the moment the decision is made to implement the project. Additionally, the customer who is paying for the project often perceives phase estimating as a blank check because costs and schedules are not firm over most of the project life cycle. Even though the reasons for phase estimating are sound and legitimate, most customers have to be sold on its legitimacy. A major advantage for the customer is the opportunity to change features, re-evaluate, or even cancel the project in each new phase. In conclusion, phase estimating is very useful in projects that possess huge uncertainties concerning the final nature (shape, size, features) of the project. See Figure 5.4 for a summary of the differences between top-down and bottom-up estimates. Obtaining accurate estimates is a challenge. Committed organizations accept the challenge of coming up with meaningful estimates and invest heavily in developing their capacity to do so. Accurate estimates reduce uncertainty and support a discipline for effectively managing projects. Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 141 FIGURE 5.4 Top-Down and Bottom-Up Estimates Top-Down Estimates Intended Use Feasibility/conceptual phase Rough time/cost estimate Fund requirements Resource capacity planning Preparation Cost 1/10 to 3/10 of a percent of total project cost Accuracy Minus 20%, to plus 60% Method Consensus Ratio Apportion Function point Learning curves Bottom-Up Estimates Intended Use Budgeting Scheduling Resource requirements Fund timing Preparation Cost 3/10 of a percent to 1.0 percent of total project cost Accuracy Minus 10%, to plus 30% Method Template Parametric WBS packages Range estimates Level of Detail Level of detail is different for different levels of management. At any level the detail should be no more than is necessary and sufficient. Top management interests usually center on the total project and major milestone events that mark major accomplishments--e.g., "Build Oil Platform in the North Sea" or "Complete Prototype." Middle management might center on one segment of the project or one milestone. First-line managers' interests may be limited to one task or work package. One of the beauties of WBS is the ability to aggregate network information so each level of management can have the kind of information necessary to make decisions. Getting the level of detail in the WBS to match management needs for effective implementation is crucial, but the delicate balance is difficult to find. See Snapshot from Practice: Level of Detail. The level of detail in the WBS varies with the complexity of the project; the need for control; the project size, cost, duration; and other factors. If the structure reflects excessive detail, there is a tendency to break the work effort into department assignments. This tendency can become a barrier to success, since the emphasis will be on departmental outcomes rather than on deliverable outcomes. Excessive detail also means more unproductive paperwork. Note that if the level of the WBS is increased by one, the number of cost accounts may increase geometrically. On the other hand, if the level of detail is not adequate, an organization unit may find the structure falls short of meeting its needs. Fortunately, the WBS has built-in flexibility. Participating organization units may expand their portion of the structure to meet their special needs. For example, the engineering department may wish to further break their work on a deliverable into smaller packages by electrical, civil, and mechanical. Similarly, the marketing department may wish to break their new product promotion into TV, radio, periodicals, and newspapers. 142 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Practicing project managers advocate keeping the level of detail to a minimum. But there are limits to this suggestion. One of the most frequent errors of new project managers is to forget that the task time estimate will be used to control schedule and cost performance. A frequent rule of thumb used by practicing project managers says that a task duration should not exceed 5 workdays or at the most 10 workdays, if workdays are the time units used for the project. Such a rule probably will result in a more detailed network, but the additional detail pays off in controlling schedule and cost as the project progresses. Suppose the task is "build prototype computer-controlled conveyor belt," the time estimate is 40 workdays, and the budget $300,000. It may be better to divide the task into seven or eight smaller tasks for control purposes. If one of the smaller tasks gets behind because of problems or a poor time estimate, it will be possible to take corrective action quickly and avoid delaying successive tasks and the project. If the single Level of Detail--Rule of Thumb task of 40 workdays is used, it is possible that no corrective action would be taken until day 40, since many people have a tendency to "wait and see" or avoid admitting they are behind or passing on bad news; the result may mean far more than 5 days behind schedule. The 5- to 10-day rule of thumb applies to cost and performance goals. If using the rule of thumb suggested above results in too many network tasks, an alternative is available, but it has conditions. The activity time can be extended beyond the 5- to 10-day rule only IF control monitoring checkpoints for segments of the task can be established so clear measures of progress can be identified by a specific percent complete. This information is invaluable to the control process of measuring schedule and cost performance--for example, payments for contract work are paid on "percent complete" basis. Defining a task with clear definable start and end points and intermediate points enhances the chances of early detection of problems, corrective action, and on-time project completion. Types of Costs Assuming work packages are defined, detailed cost estimates can be made. Here are typical kinds of costs found in a project: 1. Direct costs a. Labor b. Materials c. Equipment d. Other 2. Direct project overhead costs 3. General and administrative (G&A) overhead costs The total project cost estimate is broken down in this fashion to sharpen the control process and improve decision making. Direct Costs These costs are clearly chargeable to a specific work package. Direct costs can be influenced by the project manager, project team, and individuals implementing the work package. These costs represent real cash outflows and must be paid as the project progresses; therefore, direct costs are usually separated from overhead costs. Lower-level project rollups frequently include only direct costs. Direct Project Overhead Costs Direct overhead rates more closely pinpoint which resources of the organization are being used in the project. Direct project overhead costs can be tied to project deliverables or work packages. Examples include the salary of the project manager and temporary rental space for the project team. Although overhead is not an Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 143 FIGURE 5.5 Contract Bid Summary Costs Direct costs Direct overhead Total direct costs G&A overhead (20%) Total costs Profit (20%) Total bid $80,000 $20,000 $100,000 $20,000 $120,000 $24,000 $144,000 immediate out-of-pocket expense, it is real and must be covered in the long run if the firm is to remain viable. These rates are usually a ratio of the dollar value of the resources used--e.g., direct labor, materials, equipment. For example, a direct labor burden rate of 20 percent would add a direct overhead charge of 20 percent to the direct labor cost estimate. A direct charge rate of 50 percent for materials would carry an additional 50 percent charge to the material cost estimate. Selective direct overhead charges provide a more accurate project (job or work package) cost, rather than using a blanket overhead rate for the whole project. General and Administrative (G&A) Overhead Costs These represent organization costs that are not directly linked to a specific project. These costs are carried for the duration of the project. Examples include organization costs across all products and projects such as advertising, accounting, and senior management above the project level. Allocation of G&A costs varies from organization to organization. However, G&A costs are usually allocated as a percent of total direct cost, or a percent of the total of a specific direct cost such as labor, materials, or equipment. Given the totals of direct and overhead costs for individual work packages, it is possible to cumulate the costs for any deliverable or for the entire project. A percentage can be added for profit if you are a contractor. A breakdown of costs for a proposed contract bid is presented in Figure 5.5. Perceptions of costs and budgets vary depending on their users. The project manager must be very aware of these differences when setting up the project budget and when communicating these differences to others. Figure 5.6 depicts these FIGURE 5.6 Three Views of Cost $6,000 5,000 4,000 Costs 3,000 2,000 Committed Actual cost Scheduled budget Project duration 1,000 144 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs different perceptions. The project manager can commit costs months before the resource is used. This information is useful to the financial officer of the organization in forecasting future cash outflows. The project manager is interested in when the budgeted cost is expected to occur, and when the budgeted cost actually is charged (earned); the respective timings of these two cost figures are used to measure project schedule and cost variances. Refining Estimates As described earlier in Chapter 4, detailed work package estimates are aggregated and "rolled up" by deliverable to estimate the total direct cost of the project. Similarly, estimated durations are entered into the project network to establish the project schedule and determine the overall duration of the project. Experience tells us that for many projects the total estimates do not materialize and the actual costs and schedule of some projects significantly exceed original work package based estimates. See Snapshot from Practice: How Do You Estimate the Cost of a Nuclear Power Plant? for a dramatic example of this. In order to compensate for the problem of actual cost and schedule exceeding estimates, some project managers adjust total costs by some multiplier (i.e., total estimated costs 3 1.20). The practice of adjusting original estimates by 20 or even 100 percent begs the question of why, after investing so much time and energy on detailed estimates, could the numbers be so far off ? There are a number of reasons for this, most of which can be traced to the estimating process and the inherent uncertainty of predicting the future. Some of these reasons are discussed below. Interaction costs are hidden in estimates. According to the guidelines, each task estimate is supposed to be done independently. However, tasks are rarely completed in a vacuum. Work on one task is dependent upon prior tasks, and the hand-offs between tasks require time and attention. For example, people working on prototype development need to interact with design engineers after the design is completed, whether to simply ask clarifying questions or to make adjustments in the original design. Similarly, the time necessary to coordinate activities is typically not reflected in independent estimates. Coordination is reflected in meetings and briefings as well as time necessary to resolve disconnects between tasks. Time, and therefore cost, devoted to managing interactions rises exponentially as the number of people and different disciplines involved increases on a project. Normal conditions do not apply. Estimates are supposed to be based on normal conditions. While this is a good starting point, it rarely holds true in real life. This is especially true when it comes to the availability of resources. Resource shortages, whether in the form of people, equipment, or materials, can extend original estimates. For example, under normal conditions four bulldozers are typically used to clear a certain site size in five days, but the availability of only three bulldozers would extend the task duration to eight days. Similarly, the decision to outsource certain tasks can increase costs as well as extend task durations since time is added to acclimating outsiders to the particulars of the project and the culture of the organization. Things go wrong on projects. Design flaws are revealed after the fact, extreme weather conditions occur, accidents happen, and so forth. Although you shouldn't plan for these risks to happen when estimating a particular task, the likelihood and impact of such events need to be considered. Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 145 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE O. P. Kharbanda in his book (co-authored with Jeffrey Pinto) What Made Gertie Gallop: Learning from Project Failures makes the important point that estimating is as much an art as a skill. For example, early in his career (1960s), he was involved with the fabrication of a nuclear reactor in India at a time when the local facilities were not geared for such sophisticated jobs. Having had no experience in building complex equipment with (almost) unheard of tolerances and precision, it was virtually impossible to create a reasonable advance estimate of the cost. The estimators did the best they could, then added a little more than normal margin before quoting a price to the client. Soon after, O. P. happened to attend a week-long international nuclear power conference that included stalwarts in How Do You Estimate the Cost of a Nuclear Power Plant? this field from all over the world. About midweek, he was fortunate to come face-to-face with the chief engineer of the company that had supplied the first reactor to India, identical in design to the one his company had recently bid on. This was the chance of a lifetime to finally get the inside information on accurate cost estimating. In fact, the expert confessed that his company lost "their shirt" on the Indian reactor. Then in reply to the innocent question, "How do you estimate a nuclear reactor?" the expert answered with cool confidence, "Do your normal cautious estimating, add more than normal margin and then after a short pause, double it!" O. P. confessed that in their ignorance, they had skipped the last vital step, but this short, casual conversation proved most valuable. "We were forewarned, we took it seriously, and got forearmed. It saved us several millions of dollars." Changes in project scope and plans. As one gets further and further into the project, a manager obtains a better understanding of what needs to be done to accomplish the project. This may lead to major changes in project plans and costs. Likewise, if the project is a commercial project, changes often have to be made midstream to respond to new demands by the customer and/or competition. Unstable project scopes are a major source of cost overruns. While every effort should be made up front to nail down the project scope, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so in our rapidly changing world. The reality is that for many projects not all of the information needed to make accurate estimates is available, and it is impossible to predict the future. The dilemma is that without solid estimates, the credibility of the project plan is eroded. Deadlines become meaningless, budgets become rubbery, and accountability becomes problematic. Challenges similar to those described above will influence the final time and cost estimates. Even with the best estimating efforts, it may be necessary to revise estimates based on relevant information prior to establishing a baseline schedule and budget. Effective organizations adjust estimates of specific tasks once risks, resources, and particulars of the situation have been more clearly defined. They recognize that the rolled up estimates generated from a detailed estimate based on the WBS are just the starting point. As they delve further into the project-planning process, they make appropriate revisions both in the time and cost of specific activities. They factor the final assignment of resources into the project budget and schedule. For example, when they realize that only three instead of four bulldozers are available to clear a site, they adjust both the time and cost of that activity. They adjust estimates to account for specific actions to mitigate potential risks on the project. For example, to reduce the chances of design code errors, they would add the cost of independent testers to the schedule and budget. Finally, organizations adjust estimates to take into account abnormal conditions. For 146 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs example, if soil samples reveal excessive ground water, then they adjust foundation costs and times. There will always be some mistakes, omissions, and adjustments that will require additional changes in estimates. Fortunately every project should have a change management system in place to accommodate these situations and any impact on the project baseline. Change management and contingency funds will be discussed later in Chapter 7. Creating a Database for Estimating The best way to improve estimates is to collect and archive data on past project estimates and actuals. Saving historical data--estimates and actuals--provides a knowledge base for improving project time and cost estimating. Creating an estimating database is a "best practice" among leading project management organizations. Some organizations have large estimating departments of professional estimators--e.g., Boeing, Kodak, IBM--that have developed large time and cost databases. Others collect these data through the project office. This database approach allows the project estimator to select a specific work package item from the database for inclusion. The estimator then makes any necessary adjustments concerning the materials, labor, and equipment. Of course any items not found in the database can be added to the project--and ultimately to the database if desired. Again, the quality of the database estimates depends on the experience of the estimators, but over time the data quality should improve. Such structured databases serve as feedback for estimators and as benchmarks for cost and time for each project. In addition, comparison of estimate and actual for different projects can suggest the degree of risk inherent in estimates. See Figure 5.7 for the structure of a database similar to those found in practice. FIGURE 5.7 Estimating Database Templates Operation processes MIS Hardware Risk analysis Estimating database Product production Documentation Programming EXAMPLE 1. Estimated & actuals on A. Labor B. Materials C. Equipment 2. Benchmarking ratios 3. Code of accounts Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 147 Summary Quality time and cost estimates are the bedrock of project control. Past experience is the best starting point for these estimates. The quality of estimates is influenced by other factors such as people, technology, and downtimes. The key for getting estimates that represent realistic average times and costs is to have an organization culture that allows errors in estimates without incriminations. If times represent average time, we should expect that 50 percent will be less than the estimate and 50 percent will exceed the estimate. The use of teams that are highly motivated can help in keeping task times and costs near the average. For this reason, it is crucial to get the team to buy into time and cost estimates. Using top-down estimates is good for initial and strategic decision making or in situations where the costs associated with developing better estimates have little benefit. However, in most cases the bottom-up approach to estimating is preferred and more reliable because it assesses each work package, rather than the whole project, section, or deliverable of a project. Estimating time and costs for each work package facilitates development of the project schedule and a time-phased budget, which are needed to control the project as it is implemented. Using the estimating guidelines will help eliminate many common mistakes made by those unacquainted with estimating times and costs for project control. Establishing a time and cost estimating database fits well with the learning organization philosophy. The level of time and cost detail should follow the old saying of "no more than is necessary and sufficient." Managers must remember to differentiate between committed outlays, actual costs, and scheduled costs. It is well known that upfront efforts in clearly defining project objectives, scope, and specifications vastly improve time and cost estimate accuracy. Finally, how estimates are gathered and how they are used can affect their usefulness for planning and control. The team climate, organization culture, and organization structure can strongly influence the importance attached to time and cost estimates and how they are used in managing projects. Key Terms Apportionment, 135 Bottom-up estimates, 132 Delphi Method, 134 Direct costs, 142 Function points, 135 Learning curves, 137 Overhead costs, 142 Padding estimates, 129 Phase estimating, 139 Range estimating, 138 Ratio methods, 134 Template method, 137 Time and cost databases, 146 Top-down estimates, 132 Review Questions 1. Why are accurate estimates critical to effective project management? 2. How does the culture of an organization influence the quality of estimates? 3. What are the differences between bottom-up and top-down estimating approaches? Under what conditions would you prefer one over the other? 4. What are the major types of costs? Which costs are controllable by the project manager? 1. Mrs. Tolstoy and her husband, Serge, are planning their dream house. The lot for the house sits high on a hill with a beautiful view of the Appalachian Mountains. The plans show the size of the house to be 2,900 square feet. The average price for a lot and house similar to this one has been $120 per square foot. Fortunately, Serge is a retired plumber and feels he can save money Exercises 148 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs by installing the plumbing himself. Mrs. Tolstoy feels she can take care of the interior decorating. The following average cost information is available from a local bank that makes loans to local contractors and disperses progress payments to contractors when specific tasks are verified as complete. 24% Excavation and framing complete 8% Roof and fireplace complete 3% Wiring roughed in 6% Plumbing roughed in 5% Siding on 17% Windows, insulation, walks, plaster, and garage complete 9% Furnace installed 4% Plumbing fixtures installed 10% Exterior paint, light fixtures installed, finish hardware installed 6% Carpet and trim installed 4% Interior decorating 4% Floors laid and finished a. What is the estimated cost for the Tolstoy's house if they use contractors to complete all of the house? b. Estimate what the cost of the house would be if the Tolstoys use their talents to do some of the work themselves. 2. Below is a project WBS with cost apportioned by percents. If the total project cost is estimated to be $600,000, what are the estimated costs for the following deliverables? a. Design? b. Programming? c. In-house testing? What weaknesses are inherent in this estimating approach? EXERCISE 5.3 WBS Figure Router systems project Cost: $600,000 Definition 10% Design 40% Implementation 50% Objectives 4% Requirements 6% In-house testing 40% Customer testing & review 10% Inputs 3% Outputs 3% Files 4% Interfaces 10% Programming 20% 3. Firewall Project XT. Using the "complexity weighting" scheme shown in Exercise 5.3 and the function point complexity weighted table shown below, Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 149 estimate the total function point count. Assume historical data suggest five function points equal one person a month and six people can work on the project. Complexity Weight Table Number of inputs Number of outputs Number of inquires Number of files Number of interfaces 10 20 10 30 50 Rated complexity low Rated complexity average Rated complexity average Rated complexity high Rated complexity high a. What is the estimated project duration? b. If 20 people are available for the project, what is the estimated project duration? c. If the project must be completed in six months, how many people will be needed for the project? References Dalkey, N. C., D. L. Rourke, R. Lewis, and D. Snyder, Studies in the Quality of Life: Delphi and Decision Making (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1972). Gray, N. S., "Secrets to Creating the Elusive `Accurate Estimate,' " PM Network, 15 (8) August 2001, p. 56. Jeffery, R., G. C. Low, and M. Barnes, "A Comparison of Function Point Counting Techniques," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 19 (5) 1993, pp. 52932. Jones, C., Applied Software Measurement (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991). Jones, C., Estimating Software Costs (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998). Kharbanda, O. P., and J. K. Pinto, What Made Gertie Gallop: Learning from Project Failures (New York: Von Nostrand Reinhold, 1996). Magne, E., K. Emhjellenm, and P. Osmundsen, "Cost Estimation Overruns in the North Sea," Project Management Journal 34 (1) 2003, pp. 2329. McLeod, G., and D. Smith, Managing Information Technology Projects (Cambridge, MA: Course Technology, 1996). Milosevic, D. Z., Project Management ToolBox (Upper Saddle River, NJ: John Wiley, 2003), p. 229. Pressman, R. S., Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach, 4th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997). Symons, C. R., "Function Point Analysis: Difficulties and Improvements," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 14 (1) 1988, pp. 211. Case Sharp Printing, AG Three years ago the Sharp Printing (SP) strategic management group set a goal of having a color laser printer available for the consumer and small business market for less than $200. A few months later the senior management met off-site to 150 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs discuss the new product. The results of this meeting were a set of general technical specifications along with major deliverables, a product launch date, and a cost estimate based on prior experience. Shortly afterward, a meeting was arranged for middle management explaining the project goals, major responsibilities, the project start date, and importance of meeting the product launch date within the cost estimate. Members of all departments involved attended the meeting. Excitement was high. Although everyone saw the risks as high, the promised rewards for the company and the personnel were emblazoned in their minds. A few participants questioned the legitimacy of the project duration and cost estimates. A couple of R&D people were worried about the technology required to produce the high-quality product for less than $200. But given the excitement of the moment, everyone agreed the project was worth doing and doable. The color laser printer project was to have the highest project priority in the company. Lauren was selected to be the project manager. She had 15 years of experience in printer design and manufacture, which included successful management of several projects related to printers for commercial markets. Since she was one of those uncomfortable with the project cost and time estimates, she felt getting good bottom-up time and cost estimates for the deliverables was her first concern. She quickly had a meeting with the significant stakeholders to create a WBS identifying the work packages and organizational unit responsible for implementing the work packages. Lauren stressed she wanted time and cost estimates from those who would do the work or were the most knowledgeable, if possible. Getting estimates from more than one source was encouraged. Estimates were due in two weeks. The compiled estimates were placed in the WBS/OBS. The corresponding cost estimate seemed to be in error. The cost estimate was $1,250,000 over the senior management estimate; this represents about a 20 percent overrun! The time estimate from the developed project network was only four months over the top management time estimate. Another meeting was scheduled with the significant stakeholders to check the estimates and to brainstorm for alternative solutions; the cost and time estimates appeared to be reasonable. Some of the suggestions for the brainstorming session are listed below. Change scope. Outsource technology design. Use the priority matrix (found in Chapter 4) to get top management to clarify their priorities. Partner with another organization or build a research consortium to share costs and to share the newly developed technology and production methods. Cancel the project. Commission a break-even study for the laser printer. Very little in the way of concrete savings was identified, although there was consensus that time could be compressed to the market launch date, but at additional costs. Lauren met with the marketing (Connor), production (Kim), and design (Gage) managers who yielded some ideas for cutting costs, but nothing significant enough to have a large impact. Gage remarked, "I wouldn't want to be the one to deliver Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 151 the message to top management that their cost estimate is $1,250,000 off! Good luck, Lauren." 1. At this point, what would you do if you were the project manager? 2. Was top management acting correctly in developing an estimate? 3. What estimating techniques should be used for a mission critical project such as this? Appendix 5.1 Learning Curves for Estimating A forecast estimate of the time required to perform a work package or task is a basic necessity for scheduling the project. In some cases, the manager simply uses judgment and past experience to estimate work package time, or may use historical records of similar tasks. Most managers and workers intuitively know that improvement in the amount of time required to perform a task or group of tasks occurs with repetition. A worker can perform a task better/quicker the second time and each succeeding time she/he performs it (without any technological change). It is this pattern of improvement that is important to the project manager and project scheduler. This improvement from repetition generally results in a reduction of labor hours for the accomplishment of tasks and results in lower project costs. From empirical evidence across all industries, the pattern of this improvement has been quantified in the learning curve (also known as improvement curve, experience curve, and industrial progress curve), which is described by the following relationship: Each time the output quantity doubles, the unit labor hours are reduced at a constant rate. For example, assume that a manufacturer has a new contract for 16 prototype units and a total of 800 labor hours were required for the first unit. Past experience has indicated that on similar types of units the improvement rate was 80 percent. This relationship of improvement in labor hours is shown below: Unit 1 2 4 8 16 800 3 .80 5 640 3 .80 5 512 3 .80 5 410 3 .80 5 Labor Hours 800 640 512 410 328 By using Table A5.1 unit values, similar labor hours per unit can be determined. Looking across the 16 unit level and down the 80 percent column, we find a ratio of .4096. By multiplying this ratio times the labor hours for the first unit, we obtained the per unit value: .4096 3 800 5 328 hours or 327.68 152 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs TABLE A5.1 Learning Curves Unit Values Units 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 25 30 35 40 45 50 60 70 80 90 100 120 140 160 180 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 600 700 800 900 1,000 1,200 1,400 1,600 1,800 2,000 2,500 3,000 60% 1.0000 .6000 .4450 .3600 .3054 .2670 .2383 .2160 .1980 .1832 .1602 .1430 .1296 .1188 .1099 .1025 .0961 .0933 .0815 .0728 .0660 .0605 .0560 .0489 .0437 .0396 .0363 .0336 .0294 .0262 .0237 .0218 .0201 .0171 .0149 .0133 .0121 .0111 .0103 .0090 .0080 .0073 .0067 .0062 .0054 .0048 .0044 .0040 .0037 .0031 .0027 65% 1.0000 .6500 .5052 .4225 .3678 .3284 .2984 .2746 .2552 .2391 .2135 .1940 .1785 .1659 .1554 .1465 .1387 .1353 .1208 .1097 .1010 .0939 .0879 .0785 .0713 .0657 .0610 .0572 .0510 .0464 .0427 .0397 .0371 .0323 .0289 .0262 .0241 .0224 .0210 .0188 .0171 .0157 .0146 .0137 .0122 .0111 .0102 .0095 .0089 .0077 .0069 70% 1.0000 .7000 .5682 .4900 .4368 .3977 .3674 .3430 .3228 .3058 .2784 .2572 .2401 .2260 .2141 .2038 .1949 .1908 .1737 .1605 .1498 .1410 .1336 .1216 .1123 .1049 .0987 .0935 .0851 .0786 .0734 .0691 .0655 .0584 .0531 .0491 .0458 .0431 .0408 .0372 .0344 .0321 .0302 .0286 .0260 .0240 .0225 .0211 .0200 .0178 .0162 75% 1.0000 .7500 .6338 .5625 .5127 .4754 .4459 .4219 .4017 .3846 .3565 .3344 .3164 .3013 .2884 .2772 .2674 .2629 .2437 .2286 .2163 .2060 .1972 .1828 .1715 .1622 .1545 .1479 .1371 .1287 .1217 .1159 .1109 .1011 .0937 .0879 .0832 .0792 .0758 .0703 .0659 .0624 .0594 .0569 .0527 .0495 .0468 .0446 .0427 .0389 .0360 80% 1.0000 .8000 .7021 .6400 .5956 .5617 .5345 .5120 .4930 .4765 .4493 .4276 .4096 .3944 .3812 .3697 .3595 .3548 .3346 .3184 .3050 .2936 .2838 .2676 .2547 .2440 .2349 .2271 .2141 .2038 .1952 .1879 .1816 .1691 .1594 .1517 .1453 .1399 .1352 .1275 .1214 .1163 .1119 .1082 .1020 .0971 .0930 .0895 .0866 .0606 .0760 85% 1.0000 .8500 .7729 .7225 .6857 .6570 .6337 .6141 .5974 .5828 .5584 .5386 .5220 .5078 .4954 .4844 .4747 .4701 .4505 .4345 .4211 .4096 .3996 .3829 .3693 .3579 .3482 .3397 .3255 .3139 .3042 .2959 .2887 .2740 .2625 .2532 .2454 .2387 .2329 .2232 .2152 .2086 .2029 .1980 .1897 .1830 .1773 .1725 .1683 .1597 .1530 90% 1.0000 .9000 .8462 .8100 .7830 .7616 .7439 .7290 .7161 .7047 .6854 .6696 .6561 .6445 .6342 .6251 .6169 .6131 .5963 .5825 .5708 .5607 .5518 .5367 .5243 .5137 .5046 .4966 .4830 .4718 .4623 .4541 .4469 .4320 .4202 .4105 .4022 .3951 .3888 .3782 .3694 .3620 .3556 .3499 .3404 .3325 .3258 .3200 .3149 .3044 .2961 95% 1.0000 .9500 .9219 .9025 .8877 .8758 .8659 .8574 .8499 .8433 .8320 .8226 .8145 .8074 .8012 .7955 .7904 .7880 .7775 .7687 .7611 .7545 .7486 .7386 .7302 .7231 .7168 .7112 .7017 .6937 .6869 .6809 .6757 .6646 .5557 .6482 .6419 .6363 .6314 .6229 .6158 .6098 .6045 .5998 .5918 .5850 .5793 .5743 .5698 .5605 .5530 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 153 That is, the 16th unit should require close to 328 labor hours, assuming an 80 percent improvement ratio. Obviously, a project manager may need more than a single unit value for estimating the time for some work packages. The cumulative values in Table A5.2 provide factors for computing the cumulative total labor hours of all units. In the previous example, for the first 16 units, the total labor hours required would be 800 3 8.920 5 7,136 hours By dividing the total cumulative hours (7,136) by the units, the average unit labor hours can be obtained: 7,136 labor hours/16 units 5 446 average labor hours per unit Note how the labor hours for the 16th unit (328) differs from the average for all 16 units (446). The project manager, knowing the average labor costs and processing costs, could estimate the total prototype costs. (The mathematical derivation of factors found in Tables A5.1 and A5.2 can be found in Jelen, F. C. and J. H. Black, Cost and Optimization Engineering, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983.) FOLLOW-ON CONTRACT EXAMPLE Assume the project manager gets a follow-on order of 74 units; how should she estimate labor hours and cost? Going to the cumulative Table A5.2 we find at the 80 percent ratio and 90 total units intersection--a 30.35 ratio. 800 3 30.35 5 24,280 labor hours for 90 units Less previous 16 units 5 7,136 Total follow-on order 5 17,144 labor hours 17,144/74 equals 232 average labor hours per unit Labor hours for the 90th unit can be obtained from Table A5.1: .2349 3 800 5 187.9 labor hours. (For ratios between given values, simply estimate.) Exercise A5.1 Norwegian Satellite Development Company Cost Estimates for World Satellite Telephone Exchange Project NSDC has a contract to produce eight satellites to support a worldwide telephone system (for Alaska Telecom, Inc.) that allows individuals to use a single, portable telephone in any location on earth to call in and out. NSDC will develop and produce the eight units. NSDC has estimated that the R&D costs will be NOK (Norwegian Krone) 12,000,000. Material costs are expected to be NOK 6,000,000. They have estimated the design and production of the first satellite will require 100,000 labor hours and an 80 percent improvement curve is expected. 154 Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs TABLE A5.2 Learning Curves Cumulative Values Units 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 25 30 35 40 45 50 60 70 80 90 100 120 140 160 180 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 600 700 800 900 1,000 1,200 1,400 1,600 1,800 2,000 2,500 3,000 60% 1.000 1.600 2.045 2.405 2.710 2.977 3.216 3.432 3.630 3.813 4.144 4.438 4.704 4.946 5.171 5.379 5.574 5.668 6.097 6.478 6.821 7.134 7.422 7.941 8.401 8.814 9.191 9.539 10.16 10.72 11.21 11.67 12.09 13.01 13.81 14.51 15.14 15.72 16.26 17.21 18.06 18.82 19.51 20.15 21.30 22.32 23.23 24.06 24.83 26.53 27.99 65% 1.000 1.650 2.155 2.578 2.946 3.274 3.572 3.847 4.102 4.341 4.780 5.177 5.541 5.879 6.195 6.492 6.773 6.909 7.540 8.109 8.631 9.114 9.565 10.39 11.13 11.82 12.45 13.03 14.16 15.08 15.97 16.79 17.55 19.28 20.81 22.18 23.44 24.60 25.68 27.67 29.45 31.09 32.60 34.01 36.59 38.92 41.04 43.00 44.84 48.97 52.62 70% 1.000 1.700 2.268 2.758 3.195 3.593 3.960 4.303 4.626 4.931 5.501 6.026 6.514 6.972 7.407 7.819 8.213 8.404 9.305 10.13 10.90 11.62 12.31 13.57 14.74 15.82 16.83 17.79 19.57 21.20 22.72 24.14 25.48 28.56 31.34 33.89 36.26 38.48 40.58 44.47 48.04 51.36 54.46 57.40 62.85 67.85 72.49 76.85 80.96 90.39 98.90 75% 1.000 1.750 2.384 2.946 3.459 3.934 4.380 4.802 5.204 5.589 6.315 6.994 7.635 8.245 8.828 9.388 9.928 10.19 11.45 12.72 13.72 14.77 15.78 17.67 19.43 21.09 22.67 24.18 27.02 29.67 32.17 34.54 36.80 42.08 46.94 51.48 55.75 59.80 63.68 70.97 77.77 84.18 90.26 96.07 107.0 117.2 126.8 135.9 144.7 165.0 183.7 80% 1.000 1.800 2.502 3.142 3.738 4.299 4.834 5.346 5.839 6.315 7.227 8.092 8.920 9.716 10.48 11.23 11.95 12.31 14.02 15.64 17.19 18.68 20.12 22.87 25.47 27.96 30.35 32.65 37.05 41.22 45.20 49.03 52.72 61.47 69.66 77.43 84.85 91.97 98.85 112.0 124.4 136.3 147.7 158.7 179.7 199.6 218.6 236.8 254.4 296.1 335.2 85% 1.000 1.850 2.623 3.345 4.031 4.688 5.322 5.936 6.533 7.116 8.244 9.331 10.38 11.41 12.40 13.38 14.33 14.80 17.09 19.29 21.43 23.50 25.51 29.41 33.17 36.80 40.32 43.75 50.39 56.78 62.95 68.95 74.79 88.83 102.2 115.1 127.6 139.7 151.5 174.2 196.1 217.3 237.9 257.9 296.6 333.9 369.9 404.9 438.9 520.8 598.9 90% 1.000 1.900 2.746 3.556 4.339 5.101 5.845 6.574 7.290 7.994 9.374 10.72 12.04 13.33 14.64 15.86 17.10 17.71 20.73 23.67 26.54 29.37 32.14 37.57 42.87 48.05 53.14 58.14 67.93 77.46 86.80 95.96 105.0 126.9 148.2 169.0 189.3 209.2 228.8 267.1 304.5 341.0 376.9 412.2 481.2 548.4 614.2 678.8 742.3 897.0 1047. 95% 1.000 1.950 2.872 3.774 4.662 5.538 6.404 7.261 8.111 8.955 10.62 12.27 13.91 15.52 17.13 18.72 20.31 21.10 25.00 28.86 32.68 36.47 40.22 47.65 54.99 62.25 69.45 76.59 90.71 104.7 118.5 132.1 145.7 179.2 212.2 244.8 277.0 309.0 340.6 403.3 465.3 526.5 587.2 647.4 766.6 884.2 1001. 1116. 1230. 1513. 1791. Chapter 5 Estimating Project Times and Costs 155 Skilled labor cost is NOK 300 per hour. Desired profit for all projects is 25 percent of total costs. A. B. C. D. How many labor hours should the eighth satellite require? How many labor hours for the whole project of eight satellites? What price would you ask for the project? Why? Midway through the project your design and production people realize that a 75 percent improvement curve is more appropriate. What impact does this have on the project? E. Near the end of the project Deutsch Telefon AG has requested a cost estimate for four satellites identical to those you have already produced. What price will you quote them? Justify your price. C H A P T E R S I X Developing a Project Plan Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career p aths Developing a Project Plan Developing the Project Network From Work Package to Network Constructing a Project Network Activity-on-Node (AON) Fundamentals Network Computation Process Using the Forward and Backward Pass Information Level of Detail for Activities Practical Considerations Extended Network Techniques to Come Closer to Reality Summary Appendix 6.1: Activity-on-Arrow Method 156 I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who. Rudyard Kipling Developing the Project Network The project network is the tool used for planning, scheduling, and monitoring project progress. The network is developed from the information collected for the WBS and is a graphic flow chart of the project job plan. The network depicts the project activities that must be completed, the logical sequences, the interdependencies of the activities to be completed, and in most cases the times for the activities to start and finish along with the longest path(s) through the network--the critical path. The network is the framework for the project information system that will be used by the project managers to make decisions concerning project time, cost, and performance. Developing the project networks takes time for someone or some group to develop; therefore, they cost money! Are networks really worth the struggle? The answer is definitely yes, except in cases where the project is considered trivial or very short in duration. The network is easily understood by others because the network presents a graphic display of the flow and sequence of work through the project. Once the network is developed, it is very easy to modify or change when unexpected events occur as the project progresses. For example, if materials for an activity are delayed, the impact can be quickly assessed and the whole project revised in only a few minutes with the computer. These revisions can be communicated to all project participants quickly (for example, via e-mail or project Web site). The project network provides other invaluable information and insights. It provides the basis for scheduling labor and equipment. It enhances communication that melds all managers and groups together in meeting the time, cost, and performance objectives of the project. It provides an estimate of project duration rather than picking a project completion date from a hat or someone's preferred date. The network gives the times when activities can start and finish and when they can be delayed. It provides the basis for budgeting the cash flow of the project. It identifies which activities are "critical" and, therefore, should not be delayed if the project is to be completed as planned. It 157 158 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan highlights which activities to consider if the project needs to be compressed to meet a deadline. There are other reasons project networks are worth their weight in gold. Basically, project networks minimize surprises by getting the plan out early and allowing corrective feedback. A commonly heard statement from practitioners is that the project network represents three-quarters of the planning process. Perhaps this is an exaggeration, but it signals the perceived importance of the network to project managers in the field. From Work Package to Network Project networks are developed from the WBS. The project network is a visual flow diagram of the sequence, interrelationships, and dependencies of all the activities that must be accomplished to complete the project. An activity is an element in the project that consumes time--for example, work or waiting. Work packages from the WBS are used to build the activities found in the project network. An activity can include one or more work packages. The activities are placed in a sequence that provides for orderly completion of the project. Networks are built using nodes (boxes) and arrows (lines). The node depicts an activity, and the arrow shows dependency and project flow. Integrating the work packages and the network represents a point where the management process often fails in practice. The primary explanations for this failure are that (1) different groups (people) are used to define work packages and activities and (2) the WBS is poorly constructed and not deliverable/output oriented. Integration of the WBS and project network is crucial to effective project management. The project manager must be careful to guarantee continuity by having some of the same people who defined the WBS and work packages develop the network activities. Networks provide the project schedule by identifying dependencies, sequencing, and timing of activities, which the WBS is not designed to do. The primary inputs for developing a project network plan are work packages. Remember, a work package is defined independently of other work packages, has definite start and finish points, requires specific resources, includes technical specifications, and has cost estimates for the package. However, dependency, sequencing, and timing of each of these factors are not included in the work package. A network activity can include one or more work packages. Figure 6.1 shows a segment of the WBS example from Chapter 4 and how the information is used to develop a project network. The lowest level deliverable in Figure 6.1 is "circuit board." The cost accounts (design, production, test, software) denote project work, organization unit responsible, and timephased budgets for the work packages. Each cost account represents one or more work packages. For example, the design cost account has two work packages (D-1-1 and D-1-2)--specifications and documentation. The software and production accounts also have two work packages. Developing a network requires sequencing tasks from all work packages that have measurable work. Figure 6.1 traces how work packages are used to develop a project network. You can trace the use of work packages by the coding scheme. For example, Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 159 FIGURE 6.1 WBS/Work Packages to Network Lowest element O r g a n i z a t i o n U n i t s Circuit board Design cost account Production cost account Test cost account Software cost account Design WP D-1-1 Specifications WP D-1-2 Documentation Production WP P-10-1 Proto 1 WP P-10-2 Final Proto 2 Test systems WP T-13-1 Test Software WP S-22-1 Software preliminary WP S-22-2 Software final version Activity network for circuit board work packages B A D -1-1 D -1-2 P -10-1 D P -10-2 C S -22-1 F S -22-2 K T -13-1 B A Specifications and documentation 2 Proto 1 5 D Final proto 2 4 F Final software 2 K Test 3 C Software preliminary 3 activity A uses work packages D-1-1 and D-1-2 (specifications and documentation), while activity C uses work package S-22-1. This methodology of selecting work packages to describe activities is used to develop the project network, which sequences and times project activities. Care must be taken to include all work packages. The manager derives activity time estimates from the task times in the work package. For example, activity B (proto 1) requires five weeks to complete; activity K (test) requires three weeks to complete. After computing the activity early and late times, the manager can schedule resources and time-phase budgets (with dates). 160 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan Constructing a Project Network Terminology Every field has its jargon that allows colleagues to communicate comfortably with each other about the techniques they use. Project managers are no exception. Here are some terms used in building project networks. Activity. For project managers, an activity is an element of the project that requires time. It may or may not require resources. Typically an activity consumes time--either while people work or while people wait. Examples of the latter are time waiting for contracts to be signed, materials to arrive, drug approval by the government, budget clearance, etc. Activities usually represent one or more tasks from a work package. Descriptions of activities should use a verb/noun format: for example, develop product specifications. Merge activity. This is an activity that has more than one activity immediately preceding it (more than one dependency arrow flowing to it). Parallel activities. These are activities that can take place at the same time, if the manager wishes. However, the manager may choose to have parallel activities not occur simultaneously. Path. A sequence of connected, dependent activities. Critical path. When this term is used, it means the path(s) with the longest duration through the network; if an activity on the path is delayed, the project is delayed the same amount of time. Event. This term is used to represent a point in time when an activity is started or completed. It does not consume time. Burst activity. This activity has more than one activity immediately following it (more than one dependency arrow flowing from it). Two Approaches The two approaches used to develop project networks are known as activity-onnode (AON) and activity-on-arrow (AOA). Both methods use two building blocks-- the arrow and the node. Their names derive from the fact that the former uses a node to depict an activity, while the second uses an arrow to depict an activity. From the first use of these two approaches in the late 1950s, practitioners have offered many enhancements; however, the basic models have withstood the test of time and still prevail with only minor variations in form. In practice, the activity-on-node (AON) method has come to dominate most projects. Hence, this text will deal primarily with AON. However, for those who find their organization using the activity-on-arrow (AOA) approach, the chapter includes an appendix demonstrating AOA methods (Appendix 6.1). There are good reasons for students of project management to be proficient in both methods. Different departments and organizations have their "favorite" approaches and are frequently loyal to software that is already purchased and being used. New employees or outsiders are seldom in a position to govern choice of method. If subcontractors are used, it is unreasonable to ask them to change their whole project management system to conform to the approach you are using. The point is, a project manager should feel comfortable moving among projects that use either AON or AOA. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 161 Basic Rules to Follow in Developing Project Networks The following eight rules apply in general when developing a project network: 1. Networks flow typically from left to right. 2. An activity cannot begin until all preceding connected activities have been completed. 3. Arrows on networks indicate precedence and flow. Arrows can cross over each other. 4. Each activity should have a unique identification number. 5. An activity identification number must be larger than that of any activities that precede it. 6. Looping is not allowed (in other words, recycling through a set of activities cannot take place). 7. Conditional statements are not allowed (that is, this type of statement should not appear: If successful, do something; if not, do nothing). 8. Experience suggests that when there are multiple starts, a common start node can be used to indicate a clear project beginning on the network. Similarly, a single project end node can be used to indicate a clear ending. Read the Snapshot from Practice: The Yellow Sticky Approach (page 165) to see how these rules are used to create project networks. Activity-on-Node (AON) Fundamentals The wide availability of personal computers and graphics programs has served as an impetus for use of the activity-on-node (AON) method (sometimes called the precedence diagram method). Figure 6.2 shows a few typical uses of building blocks for the AON network construction. An activity is represented by a node (box). The node can take many forms, but in recent years the node represented as a rectangle (box) has dominated. The dependencies among activities are depicted by arrows between the rectangles (boxes) on the AON network. The arrows indicate how the activities are related and the sequence in which things must be accomplished. The length and slope of the arrow are arbitrary and set for convenience of drawing the network. The letters in the boxes serve here to identify the activities while you learn the fundamentals of network construction and analysis. In practice, activities have identification numbers and descriptions. There are three basic relationships that must be established for activities included in a project network. The relationships can be found by answering the following three questions for each activity: 1. Which activities must be completed immediately before this activity? These activities are called predecessor activities. 2. Which activities must immediately follow this activity? These activities are called successor activities. 3. Which activities can occur while this activity is taking place? This is known as a concurrent or parallel relationship. Sometimes a manager can use only questions 1 and 3 to establish relationships. This information allows the network analyst to construct a graphic flow chart of the sequence and logical interdependencies of project activities. 162 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE 6.2 Activity-on-Node Network Fundamentals A B C (A) A is preceded by nothing B is preceded by A C is preceded by B Y X Z Y and Z are preceded by X Y and Z can begin at the same time, if you wish (B) X is a burst activity J K L M J, K, & L can all begin at the same time, if you wish (they need not occur simultaneously) but All (J, K, L) must be completed before M can begin (C) M is a merge activity X Z Z is preceded by X and Y Y AA (D) AA is preceded by X and Y Figure 6.2A is analogous to a list of things to do where you complete the task at the top of the list first and then move to the second task, etc. This figure tells the project manager that activity A must be completed before activity B can begin, and activity B must be completed before activity C can begin. Figure 6.2B tells us that activities Y and Z cannot begin until activity X is completed. This figure also indicates that activities Y and Z can occur concurrently or simultaneously if the project manager wishes; however, it is not a necessary condition. For example, pouring a concrete driveway (activity Y) can take place while landscape planting (activity Z) is being accomplished, but land clearing (activity X) must be completed before activities Y and Z can start. Activities Y and Z are considered parallel activities. Parallel paths allow concurrent effort, which may shorten time to do a series of activities. Activity X is sometimes referred to as a burst activity because more than one arrow bursts from the node. The number of arrows indicates how many activities immediately follow activity X. Figure 6.2C shows us activities J, K, and L can occur simultaneously if desired, and activity M cannot begin until activities J, K, and L are all completed. Activities J, K, and L are parallel activities. Activity M is called a merge activity because more than one activity must be completed before M can begin. Activity M could also be called a milestone--a significant accomplishment. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 163 TABLE 6.1 Network Information Activity A B C D E F G H KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department Description Application approval Construction plans Traffic study Service availability check Staff report Commission approval Wait for construction Occupancy Preceding Activity None A A A B, C B, C, D F E, G In Figure 6.2D, activities X and Y are parallel activities that can take place at the same time; activities Z and AA are also parallel activities. But activities Z and AA cannot begin until activities X and Y are both completed. Given these fundamentals of AON, we can practice developing a simple network. Remember, the arrows can cross over each other (e.g., Figure 6.2D), be bent, or be any length or slope. Neatness is not a criterion for a valid, useful network--only accurate inclusion of all project activities, their dependencies, and time estimates. Information for a simplified project network is given in Table 6.1. This project represents a new business center that is to be developed and the work and services the county engineering design department must provide as it coordinates with other groups--such as the business center owners and contractors. Figure 6.3 shows the first steps in constructing the AON project network from the information in Table 6.1. We see that activity A (application approval) has nothing preceding it; therefore, it is the first node to be drawn. Next, we note that activities B, C, and D (construction plans, traffic study, and service availability check) are all preceded by activity A. We draw three arrows and connect them to activities B, C, and D. This segment shows the project manager that activity A FIGURE 6.3 Koll Business Center--Partial Network KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department B Construction plans A Application approval C Traffic study D Service availability check 164 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE 6.4 Koll Business Center--Complete Network KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department B Construction plans E Staff report H Occupancy A Application approval C Traffic study F Commission approval G Wait construction D Service availability check must be completed before activities B, C, and D can begin. After A is completed, B, C, and D can go on concurrently, if desired. Figure 6.4 shows the completed network with all of the activities and precedences depicted. At this point our project network presents us with a graphic map of the project activities with sequences and dependencies. This information is tremendously valuable to those managing the project. However, estimating the duration for each activity will further increase the value of the network. A realistic project plan and schedule require reliable time estimates for project activities. The addition of time to the network allows us to estimate how long the project will take. When activities can or must start, when resources must be available, which activities can be delayed, and when the project is estimated to be complete are all determined from the times assigned. Deriving an activity time estimate necessitates early assessment of resource needs in terms of material, equipment, and people. In essence the project network with activity time estimates links planning, scheduling, and controlling of projects. Network Computation Process Drawing the project network places the activities in the right sequence for computing start and finish times of activities. Activity time estimates are taken from the task times in the work package and added to the network (review Figure 6.2). Performing a few simple computations allows the project manager to complete a process known as the forward and backward pass. Completion of the forward and backward pass will answer the following questions: Forward Pass--Earliest Times 1. How soon can the activity start? (early start--ES) 2. How soon can the activity finish? (early finish--EF) 3. How soon can the project be finished? (expected time--TE) Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 165 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The Yellow Sticky Approach (for Constructing a Project Network) In practice small project networks (25 to 100 activities) are frequently developed using yellow Post-it stickers. The meeting requirements and process for the project team are described herein. The following are the requirements for such a project: 1. Project team members and a facilitator. 2. One yellow sticker (3 3 4 inches or larger) for each activity with the description of the activity printed on the sticker. 3. Erasable whiteboard with marker pen (a long, 4-foot-wide piece of butcher paper can be used in place of the whiteboard). All of the yellow stickers are placed in easy view of all team members. The team begins by identifying those activity stickers that have no predecessors. Each of these activity stickers is then attached to the whiteboard. A start node is drawn, and a dependency arrow is connected to each activity. Given the initial network start activities, each activity is examined for immediate successor activities. These activities are attached to the whiteboard and dependency arrows drawn. This process is continued until all of the yellow stickers are attached to the whiteboard with dependency arrows. (Note: The process can be reversed, beginning with those activities that have no successor activities and connecting them to a project end node. The predecessor activities are selected for each activity and attached to the whiteboard with dependency arrows marked.) When the process is complete, the dependencies are recorded in the project software, which develops a computerdesigned network along with the critical path(s) and early, late, and slack times. This methodology sensitizes team members early to the interdependencies among activities of the project. But more importantly, the methodology empowers team members by giving them input to the important decisions that they must implement later. Backward Pass--Latest Times 1. How late can the activity start? (late start--LS) 2. How late can the activity finish? (late finish--LF) 3. Which activities represent the critical path (CP)? This is the longest path in the network which, when delayed, will delay the project. 4. How long can the activity be delayed? (slack or float--SL) 166 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan TABLE 6.2 Network Information Activity A B C D E F G H KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department Description Application approval Construction plans Traffic study Service availability check Staff report Commission approval Wait for construction Occupancy Preceding Activity None A A A B, C B, C, D F E, G Activity Time 5 15 10 5 15 10 170 35 The terms in parentheses represent the acronyms used in most texts and computer programs and by project managers. The forward and backward pass process is presented next. Forward Pass--Earliest Times The forward pass starts with the first project activity(ies) and traces each path (chain of sequential activities) through the network to the last project activity(ies). As you trace along the path, you add the activity times. The longest path denotes the project completion time for the plan and is called the critical path (CP). Table 6.2 lists the activity times in workdays for the Koll Business Center example we used for drawing a network. Figure 6.5 shows the network with the activity time estimate found in the node (see "DUR" for duration in the legend). For example, activity A has an activity duration of 5 workdays, and activity G has a duration of 170 workdays. The forward pass begins with the project start time, which is usually time zero. (Note: Calendar times can be computed for the project later in the planning phase.) In our Koll Business Center example, the early start time for the first activity (activity A) is zero. This time is found in the upper left corner of the activity A node in Figure 6.6. The early finish for activity A is 5 (ES 1 DUR 5 EF or 0 1 5 5 5). Next, we see that activity A is the predecessor for activities B, C, and D. Therefore, the earliest these activities can begin is the instant in time when activity A is completed; this time is 5 workdays. You can now see in Figure 6.6 that activities B, C, and D can all start the moment activity A is complete and, therefore, have an early start (ES) of 5. Using the formula ES 1 DUR 5 EF, the early finish (EF) times for activities B, C, and D are 20, 15, and 10. What is the ES for activity E, then, which is a merge activity? Is it 15 or 20? The answer is 20 because all activities immediately preceding activity E (B and C) must be completed before activity E can begin. Because activity B will take the longest to complete, it controls the ES of activity E. The same process is used for determining the ES for activity F. It is preceded by activities B, C, and D. The controlling early finish (EF) time is activity B, which has the longer early finish (20 versus 15 and 10) of the immediate predecessors (activities B, C, and D) of activity F. Stated differently, the forward pass assumes every activity will start the instant in time when the last of its predecessors is finished. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 167 FIGURE 6.5 Activity-on-Node Network B Construction plans 15 E Staff report 15 H Occupancy A Application approval 5 C Traffic study 10 F Commission approval 10 G Wait for construction 170 35 Legend ES SL LS ID EF D Service check 5 Description DUR EF LF KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department FIGURE 6.6 Activity-on-Node Network Forward Pass 5 B 20 20 15 20 E 35 Construction plans 15 Staff report 15 35 200 H 235 Occupancy 200 0 A 5 5 C 15 20 15 10 20 F 30 30 G 200 35 235 Application approval 5 Traffic study 10 Commission approval 10 Wait for construction 170 Legend ES SL LS ID EF 5 D 10 Description DUR EF LF Service check 5 KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department 168 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan The forward pass requires that you remember just three things when computing early activity times: 1. You add activity times along each path in the network (ES 1 DUR 5 EF). 2. You carry the early finish (EF) to the next activity where it becomes its early start (ES), unless 3. The next succeeding activity is a merge activity. In this case you select the largest early finish number (EF) of all its immediate predecessor activities. In our example in Figure 6.6, the EF for activity F (30) is carried to activity G, where it becomes its ES (30). We see activity H is a merge activity and therefore find the largest EF of its immediate predecessors (activities E and G). In this case, the choice is between the EF times of 35 and 200; the choice for the ES of activity H is 200. The EF for activity H (235) becomes the earliest the project can be expected to be completed (TE) under normal conditions. The three questions derived from the forward pass have been answered; that is, early start (ES), early finish (EF), and the project duration (TE) times have been computed. The backward pass is the next process to learn. Backward Pass--Latest Times The backward pass starts with the last project activity(ies) on the network. You trace backward on each path subtracting activity times to find the late start (LS) and finish times (LF) for each activity. Before the backward pass can be computed, the late finish for the last project activity(ies) must be selected. In early planning stages, this time is usually set equal to the early finish (EF) of the last project activity (or in the case of multiple finish activities, the activity with the largest EF). In some cases an imposed project duration deadline exists, and this date will be used. Let us assume for planning purposes we can accept the EF project duration (TE) equal to 235 workdays. The LF for activity H becomes 235 workdays (EF 5 LF) (see Figure 6.7). The backward pass is similar to the forward pass; you need to remember three things: 1. You subtract activity times along each path starting with the project end activity (LF 2 DUR 5 LS). 2. You carry the LS to the next preceding activity to establish its LF, unless 3. The next preceding activity is a burst activity; in this case you select the smallest LS of all its immediate successor activities to establish its LF. Let's apply these rules to our Koll Business Center example. Beginning with activity H (occupancy) and an LF of 235 workdays, the LS for activity H is 200 workdays (LF 2 DUR 5 LS or 235 2 35 5 200). The LS for activity H becomes the LF for activities E and G. The LS for activities E and G becomes 185 (200 2 15 5 185) and 30 workdays (200 2 170 5 30), respectively. Next, the LS for activity G becomes the LF for activity F, and its LS becomes 20. At this point we see that activities B and C are burst activities that tie to activities E and F. The late finish for activity B is controlled by the LS of activities E and F. The LS for activity E is 185 days and for activity F, 20 days. Follow the arrows backward from activities E and F to activity B. Note that LS times for activities E and F have been placed to the right of the node so you can select the smallest time--20 days. The latest activity B can finish is 20 days, or activity F will be delayed and hence the project. The LF for Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 169 FIGURE 6.7 Activity-on-Node Network Backward Pass B Construction plans 5 15 20 20 185 185 E Staff report 185 15 200 H Occupancy F 20 A Application approval 0 5 5 10 5 C Traffic study 10 10 20 G Wait for construction 30 170 200 200 35 235 Commission approval 20 10 30 15 Legend ES SL LS ID EF 20 D Service check 15 5 20 Description DUR LS LF KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department activity C is identical to activity B because it is also controlled by the LS of activities E and F. Activity D simply picks up its LF from activity F. By computing the LS (LF 2 DUR 5 LS) for activities B, C, and D, we can determine the LF for activity A, which is a burst activity. You see that the finish of activity A is controlled by activity B, which has the smallest LS of activities B, C, and D. Because the LS for activity B is time period 5, the LF for activity A is 5, and its LS is time period zero. The backward pass is complete, and the latest activity times are known. Determining Slack (or Float) When the forward and backward passes have been computed, it is possible to determine which activities can be delayed by computing "slack" or "float." Total slack tells us the amount of time an activity can be delayed and not delay the project. Stated differently, total slack is the amount of time an activity can exceed its early finish date without affecting the project end date or an imposed completion date. Total slack or float for an activity is simply the difference between the LS and ES (LS 2 ES 5 SL) or between LF and EF (LF 2 EF 5 SL). For example, in Figure 6.8 the slack for activity C is 5 days, for activity D is 10 days, and for activity G is zero. If slack of one activity in a path is used, the ES for all activities that follow in the chain will be delayed and their slack reduced. Use of total slack must be coordinated with all participants in the activities that follow in the chain. After slack for each activity is computed, the critical path(s) is (are) easily identified. When the LF 5 EF for the end project activity, the critical path can be identified as those activities that also have LF 5 EF or a slack of zero (LF 2 EF 5 0 170 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE 6.8 Activity-on-Node Network with Slack 5 0 5 B 20 185 20 15 20 165 185 20 185 E 35 Construction plans 15 20 Staff report 15 200 35 200 0 200 H 235 Occupancy 35 235 0 0 0 A 5 10 5 5 5 10 C 15 20 15 20 10 20 0 20 F 30 30 0 30 G 200 200 Application approval 5 5 Traffic study 10 20 Commission approval 10 30 Wait for construction 170 200 15 Legend ES SL LS LS ID EF 5 10 D 10 20 Description 15 DUR EF LF Service check 5 20 KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department or LS 2 ES 5 0). The critical path is the network path(s) that has (have) the least slack in common. This awkward arrangement of words is necessary because a problem arises when the project finish activity has an LF that differs from the EF found in the forward pass--for example, an imposed duration date. If this is the case, the slack on the critical path will not be zero; it will be the difference between the project EF and the imposed LF of the last project activity. For example, if the EF for the project is 235 days, but the imposed LF or target date is set at 220 days, all activities on the critical path would have a slack of minus 15 days. Of course, this would result in a late start of 215 days for the first project activity--a good trick if the project is to start now. Negative slack occurs in practice when the critical path is delayed. In Figure 6.8 the critical path is marked with dashed arrows and nodes--activities A, B, F, G, and H. Delay of any of these activities will delay the total project by the same number of days. Critical activities typically represent about 10 percent of the activities of the project. Therefore, project managers pay close attention to the critical path activities to be sure they are not delayed. See Snapshot from Practice: The Critical Path. We use the term sensitivity to reflect the likelihood the original critical path(s) will change once the project is initiated. Sensitivity is a function of the number of critical or near-critical paths. A network schedule that has only one critical path and noncritical activities that enjoy significant slack would be labeled insensitive. Conversely, a sensitive network would be one or more than critical paths and/or noncritical activities with very little slack. Under these circumstances the original critical path is much more likely to change once work gets under way on the project. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 171 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The critical path method (CPM) has long been considered the "Holy Grail" of project management. Here are comments made by veteran project managers when asked about the significance of the critical path in managing projects: I try to make it a point whenever possible to put my best people on critical activities or on those activities that stand the greatest chance of becoming critical. I pay extra attention when doing risk assessment to identifying those risks that can impact the critical path, either directly or indirectly, by making a noncritical activity so late that it becomes critical. When I've got money to spend to reduce risks, it usually gets spent on critical tasks. I don't have time to monitor all the activities on a big project, but I make it a point to keep in touch with the people who are working on critical activities. When I have the time, they are the ones I visit to find out firsthand how things are going. It's amazing how much more I can find The Critical Path out from talking to the rank and file who are doing the work and by reading the facial expressions of people--much more than I can gain from a number-driven status report. When I get calls from other managers asking to "borrow" people or equipment, I'm much more generous when it involves resources from working on noncritical activities. For example, if another project manager needs an electrical engineer who is assigned to a task with five days of slack, I'm willing to share that engineer with another project manager for two to three days. The most obvious reason the critical path is important is because these are the activities that impact completion time. If I suddenly get a call from above saying they need my project done two weeks earlier than planned, the critical path is where I schedule the overtime and add extra resources to get the project done more quickly. In the same way, if the project schedule begins to slip, it's the critical activities I focus on to get back on schedule. How sensitive is the Koll Business Center schedule? Not very, since there is only one critical path and each of the three noncritical activities have significant slack when compared to the estimated duration. Project managers assess the sensitivity of their network schedules to determine how much attention they should devote to managing the critical path. Free Slack (Float) Free slack (FS) is unique. It is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying any immediately following (successor) activity. Or, free slack is the amount of time an activity can exceed its early finish date without affecting the early start date of any successor(s). Free slack can never be negative. Only activities that occur at the end of a chain of activities, where you have a merge activity, can have free slack. Since the Koll Business Center project does not work well to demonstrate free slack, see Figure 6.9. In Figure 6.9 activity 6 has free slack of 15, while activities 2 and 3 do not. In this case, activity 6 is the last activity in the upper path, and it merges to activity 7. Hence, to delay activity 6 up to 15 time units does not delay any following activities and requires no coordination with managers of other activities. Conversely, if either activity 2 or 3 is delayed, the managers of following activities need to be notified that the slack has been used so they can adjust their start schedules. For example, if activity 2 is delayed 5 time units, the activity 2 manager should notify those in charge of the following activities (3 and 6) their slack has been reduced to 10 time units. Free slack for activity 6 is also reduced to 10 units. Free slack occurs at the last activity in a chain of activities. In many situations the "chain" can have only one link. Activity 4 in Figure 6.9 is an example. 172 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE 6.9 Free Slack Example 2 2 3 3 15 18 3 7 7 15 22 6 15 Free Slack Example 15 17 Assign team 1 18 Code software 4 22 Test software 8 30 TS = 15 FS = 0 0 0 0 1 2 TS = 15 FS = 0 2 18 20 4 12 TS = 15 FS = 15 30 0 30 7 35 Define requirements 2 2 Build & test hardware 10 30 Test network 5 35 Legend ES SL LS ID EF TS = 18 FS = 18 2 0 2 5 30 Description DUR LF Develop network 28 30 TS = total slack FS = free slack It has free slack of 18 time units. Note that it needs no coordination with other activities--unless a delay exceeds the slack of 18 time units. For a more typical example, imagine a chain of 20 activities. Except for the last activity in the chain, delaying any of the other 19 activities requires notifying the managers of the remaining activities in the chain that you will be late. Again, note that total slack is for the whole path. Thus, if all the slack is used on the second activity in the 20-activity chain, the remaining activities in the chain will have zero slack. The slack is not available for use by the other managers affected; it is gone! Using the Forward and Backward Pass Information Returning to the Koll Business Center project network in Figure 6.8, what does a slack of 10 workdays for activity D (Service check, refer to Figure 6.8) mean for the project manager? In this specific case it means activity D can be delayed 10 days. In a larger sense the project manager soon learns that slack is important because it allows flexibility in scheduling scarce project resources--personnel and equipment-- that are used on more than one parallel activity or another project. Knowing the four activity times of ES, LS, EF, and LF is invaluable for the planning, scheduling, and controlling phases of the project. The ES and LF tell the project manager the time interval in which the activity should be completed. For example, activity E (Staff report) must be completed within the time interval 20 and 200 workdays; the activity can start as early as day 20 or finish as late as day 200. Conversely, activity F (Commission approval), must start on day 20, or the project will be delayed. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 173 When the critical path is known, it is possible to tightly manage the resources of the activities on the critical path so no mistakes are made that will result in delays. In addition, if for some reason the project must be expedited to meet an earlier date, it is possible to select those activities, or combination of activities, that will cost the least to shorten the project. Similarly, if the critical path is delayed and the time must be made up by shortening some activity or activities on the critical path to make up any negative slack, it is possible to identify the activities on the critical path that cost the least to shorten. If there are other paths with very little slack, it may be necessary to shorten activities on those paths also. Level of Detail for Activities Time-phasing work and budgets of the project mandate careful definition of the activities that make up the project network. Typically an activity represents one or more tasks from a work package. How many tasks you include in each activity sets the level of detail. In some cases it is possible to end up with too much information to manage, and this can result in increased overhead costs. Managers of small projects have been able to minimize the level of detail by eliminating some of the preliminary steps to drawing networks. Larger firms also recognize the cost of information overload and are working to cut down the level of detail in networks and in most other dimensions of the project. Practical Considerations Network Logic Errors Project network techniques have certain logic rules that must be followed. One rule is that conditional statements such as "if test successful build proto, if failure redesign" are not permitted. The network is not a decision tree; it is a project plan that we assume will materialize. If conditional statements were allowed, the forward and backward pass would make little sense. Although in reality a plan seldom materializes as we expect in every detail, it is a reasonable initial assumption. You shall see that once a network plan is developed, it is an easy step to make revisions to accommodate changes. Another rule that defeats the project network and computation process is looping. Looping is an attempt by the planner to return to an earlier activity. Recall that the activity identification numbers should always be higher for the activities following an activity in question; this rule helps to avoid the illogical precedence relationships among the activities. An activity should only occur once; if it is to occur again, the activity should have a new name and identification number and should be placed in the right sequence on the network. Figure 6.10 shows an illogical loop. If this loop were allowed to exist, this path would perpetually repeat itself. Many computer programs catch this type of logic error. FIGURE 6.10 Illogical Loop A B C 174 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan Activity Numbering Each activity needs a unique identification code--usually a number. In practice very elegant schemes exist. Most schemes number activities in ascending order, that is, each succeeding activity has a larger number so that the flow of the project activities is toward project completion. It is customary to leave gaps between numbers (1, 5, 10, 15 . . .). Gaps are desirable so you can add missing or new activities later. Because it is nearly impossible to draw a project network perfectly, numbering networks is frequently not done until after the network is complete. In practice you will find computer programs that accept numeric, alphabetic, or a combination of activity designations. Combination designations are often used to identify cost, work skill, departments, and locations. As a general rule, activity numbering systems should be ascending and as simple as possible. The intent is to make it as easy as you can for project participants to follow work through the network and locate specific activities. Use of Computers to Develop Networks All of the tools and techniques discussed in this chapter can be used with computer software currently available. Two examples are shown in Figures 6.11 and 6.12. Figure 6.10 presents a generic AON computer output for the Air Control project. The critical path is identified by the unshaded nodes (activities 1, 4, 6, 7, and 8). The activity description is shown on the top line of the activity node. The activity identification and duration are found on the right side of the node. The early start and early finish are on the left side of the node. The project starts on January 1 and is planned to finish February 14. Figure 6.12 presents an early start Gantt chart. Bar charts are popular because they present an easy-to-understand, clear picture on a time-scaled horizon. They are used during planning, resource scheduling, and status reporting. The format is a two-dimensional representation of the project schedule, with activities down the rows and time across the horizontal axis. In this computer output the shaded bars represent the activity durations. The extended lines from the bars represent slack. For example, "software development" has a duration of 18 time units (shaded area of the bar) and 20 days slack (represented by the extended line). The bar also indicates the activity has an early start of January 3, would end January 20, but can finish as late as February 9 because it has 20 days of slack. When calendar dates are used on the time axis, Gantt charts provide a clear overview of the project schedule and can be often found posted on the walls of project offices. Unfortunately, when projects have many dependency relationships, the dependency lines soon become overwhelming and defeat the simplicity of the Gantt chart. Project management software can be a tremendous help in the hands of those who understand and are familiar with the tools and techniques discussed in this text. However, there is nothing more dangerous than someone using the software with little or no knowledge of how the software derives its output. Mistakes in input are very common and require someone skilled in the concepts, tools, and information system to recognize that errors exist so false actions are avoided. Calendar Dates Ultimately you will want to assign calendar dates to your project activities. If a computer program is not used, dates are assigned manually. Lay out a calendar of workdays (exclude nonworkdays), and number them. Then relate the calendar workdays to the workdays on your project network. Most computer programs will FIGURE 6.11 Air Control Project--Network Diagram Order review ID: 1 Start: 1/1 Dur: 2 days Finish: 1/2 Res: Order vendor parts ID: 2 Start: 1/3 Dur: 15 days Finish: 1/17 Res: Produce other standard parts ID: 3 Start: 1/3 Dur: 10 days Finish: 1/12 Res: Design custom parts ID: 4 Start: 1/3 Dur: 13 days Finish: 1/15 Res: Software development ID: 5 Start: 1/3 Dur: 18 days Finish: 1/20 Res: Manufacture custom hardware ID: 6 Start: 1/16 Dur: 15 days Finish: 1/30 Res: Test Start: 2/10 Finish: 2/14 Res: Assemble Start: 1/31 Finish: 2/9 Res: ID: 7 Dur: 10 days ID: 8 Dur: 5 days 175 176 FIGURE 6.12 Air Control Project--Gantt Chart ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Duration 2 days 15 days 10 days 13 days 18 days 15 days 10 days 5 days Task Name Order review Order vendor parts Produce other standard parts Design custom parts Software development Manufacture custom hardware Assemble Test Start Tue 1/1 Thu 1/3 Thu 1/3 Thu 1/3 Thu 1/3 Wed 1/16 Thu 1/31 Sun 2/10 Finish Wed 1/2 Thu 1/17 Sat 1/12 Tue 1/15 Sun 1/20 Wed 1/30 Sat 2/9 Thu 2/14 Late Start Tue 1/1 Wed 1/16 Mon 1/21 Thu 1/3 Wed 1/23 Wed 1/16 Thu 1/31 Sun 2/10 1st Half Late Finish Free Slack Total Slack 12/23 12/30 1/6 Wed 1/2 0 days 0 days Wed 1/30 13 days 13 days Wed 1/30 18 days 18 days Tue 1/15 0 days 0 days Sat 2/9 20 days 20 days Wed 1/30 0 days 0 days Sat 2/9 0 days 0 days Thu 2/14 0 days 0 days 1/13 1/20 1/27 2/3 2/10 2/17 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 177 assign calendar dates automatically after you identify start dates, time units, nonworkdays, and other information. Multiple Starts and Multiple Projects Some computer programs require a common start and finish event in the form of a node--usually a circle or rectangle--for a project network. Even if this is not a requirement, it is a good idea because it avoids "dangler" paths. Dangler paths give the impression that the project does not have a clear beginning or ending. If a project has more than one activity that can begin when the project is to start, each path is a dangler path. The same is true if a project network ends with more than one activity; these unconnected paths are also called danglers. Danglers can be avoided by tying dangler activities to a common project start or finish node. When several projects are tied together in an organization, using a common start and end node helps to identify the total planning period of all projects. Use of pseudo or dummy wait activities from the common start node allows different start dates for each project. Extended Network Techniques to Come Closer to Reality The method for showing relationships among activities in the last section is called the finish-to-start relationship because it assumes all immediate preceding connected activities must be completed before the next activity can begin. In an effort to come closer to the realities of projects, some useful extensions have been added. The use of laddering was the first obvious extension practitioners found very useful. Laddering The assumption that all immediate preceding activities must be 100 percent complete is too restrictive for some situations found in practice. This restriction occurs most frequently when one activity overlaps the start of another and has a long duration. Under the standard finish-to-start relationship, when an activity has a long duration and will delay the start of an activity immediately following it, the activity can be broken into segments and the network drawn using a laddering approach so the following activity can begin sooner and not delay the work. This segmenting of the larger activity gives the appearance of steps on a ladder on the network, thus the name. The classic example used in many texts and articles is laying pipe, because it is easy to visualize. The trench must be dug, pipe laid, and the trench refilled. If the pipeline is one mile long, it is not necessary to dig one mile of trench before the laying of pipe can begin or to lay one mile of pipe before refill can begin. Figure 6.13 shows how these overlapping activities might appear in an AON network using the standard finish-to-start approach. FIGURE 6.13 Example of Laddering Using Finish-to-Start Relationship Trench 1/3 Trench 1/3 Lay pipe 1/3 Trench 1/3 Lay pipe 1/3 Refill 1/3 AON network Lay pipe 1/3 Refill 1/3 Refill 1/3 178 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan Use of Lags The use of lags has been developed to offer greater flexibility in network construction. A lag is the minimum amount of time a dependent activity must be delayed to begin or end. The use of lags in project networks occurs for two primary reasons: 1. When activities of long duration delay the start or finish of successor activities, the network designer normally breaks the activity into smaller activities to avoid the long delay of the successor activity. Use of lags can avoid such delays and reduce network detail. 2. Lags can be used to constrain the start and finish of an activity. The most commonly used relationship extensions are start-to-start, finish-to-finish, and combinations of these two. These relationship patterns are discussed in this section. Finish-to-Start Relationship The finish-to-start relationship represents the typical, generic network style used in the early part of the chapter. However, there are situations in which the next activity in a sequence must be delayed even when the preceding activity is complete. For example, removing concrete forms cannot begin until the poured cement has cured for two time units. Figure 6.14 shows this lag relationship for AON networks. Finish-to-start lags are frequently used when ordering materials. For example, it may take 1 day to place orders but take 19 days to receive the goods. The use of finish-to-start allows the activity duration to be only 1 day and the lag 19 days. This approach ensures the activity cost is tied to placing the order only rather than charging the activity for 20 days of work. This same finish-to-start lag relationship is useful to depict transportation, legal, and mail lags. The use of finish-to-start lags should be carefully checked to ensure their validity. Conservative project managers or those responsible for completion of activities have been known to use lags as a means of building in a "slush" factor to reduce the risk of being late. A simple rule to follow is that the use of finish-tostart lags must be justified and approved by someone responsible for a large section of the project. The legitimacy of lags is not usually difficult to discern. The legitimate use of the additional relationship shown can greatly enhance the network by more closely representing the realities of the project. Start-to-Start Relationship An alternative to segmenting the activities as we did earlier is to use a start-tostart relationship. Typical start-to-start relationships are shown in Figure 6.15. Figure 6.15A shows the start-to-start relationship with zero lag, while Figure 6.15B shows the same relationship with a lag of five time units. It is important to note that the relationship may be used with or without a lag. If time is assigned, it is usually shown on the dependency arrow of an AON network. In Figure 6.15B, activity Q cannot begin until five time units after activity P begins. This type of relationship typically depicts a situation in which you can perform a portion of one activity and begin a following activity before completing FIGURE 6.14 Finish-to-Start Relationship X Lag 19 Y Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 179 FIGURE 6.15 Start-to-Start Relationship Activity M A Activity P B Activity N Lag 5 Activity Q the first. This relationship can be used on the pipe-laying project. Figure 6.16 shows the project using an AON network. The start-to-start relationship reduces network detail and project delays by using lag relationships. It is possible to find compression opportunities by changing finish-to-start relations to start-to-start relationships. A review of finish-to-start critical activities may point out opportunities that can be revised to be parallel by using start-tostart relationships. For example, in place of a finish-to-start activity "design house, then build foundation," a start-to-start relationship could be used in which the foundation can be started, say, five days (lag) after design has started--assuming the design of the foundation is the first part of the total design activity. This startto-start relationship with a small lag allows a sequential activity to be worked on in parallel and to compress the duration of the critical path. This same concept is frequently found in projects in which concurrent engineering is used to speed completion of a project. Concurrent engineering, which is highlighted in the Snapshot from Practice: Concurrent Engineering, basically breaks activities into smaller segments so that work can be done in parallel and the project expedited. Start-tostart relationships can depict the concurrent engineering conditions and reduce network detail. Of course, the same result can be accomplished by breaking an activity into small packages that can be implemented in parallel, but this latter approach increases the network and tracking detail significantly. FIGURE 6.16 Use of Lags to Reduce Detail Trench 1 mile Lag 3 Lay pipe 1 mile Lag 3 Refill 1 mile 180 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE In the old days, when a new product development project was initiated by a firm, it would start its sequential journey in the research and development department. Concepts and ideas would be worked out and the results passed to the engineering department, which sometimes reworked the whole product. This result would be passed to manufacturing, where it might be reworked once more in order to ensure the product could be manufactured using existing machinery and operations. Quality improvements were initiated after the fact once defects and improvement opportunities were discovered during production. This sequential approach to product development required a great deal of time, and it was not uncommon for the final Concurrent Engineering* product to be totally unrecognizable when compared to original specifications. Given the emphasis on speed to the market, companies have abandoned the sequential approach to product development and have adopted a more holistic approach titled concurrent engineering. In a nutshell, concurrent engineering entails the active involvement of all the relevant specialty areas throughout the design and development process. The traditional chainlike sequence of finish-to-start relationships is replaced by a series of start-to-start lag relationships as soon as meaningful work can be initiated for the next phase. Figure 6.17 summarizes the dramatic gains in time to market achieved by this approach. FIGURE 6.17 New Product Development Process Traditional Sequential Approach Product planning Systems engineering Engineering design & development Procurement Manufacturing & production Quality assurance Release Concurrent Engineering Approach Quality assurance Release Manufacturing & production Procurement Engineering design & development Systems engineering Product planning Time For example, this approach was used by Chrysler Corporation to design its new line of SC cars including the popular Neon sedan. From the very beginning specialists from marketing, engineering, design, manufacturing, quality assurance, and other relevant departments were involved in every stage of the project. Not only did the project meet all of its objectives, it was completed six months ahead of schedule. * O. Suris, "Competitors Blinded by Chrysler's Neon," The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 1994. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 181 FIGURE 6.18 Finish-to-Finish Relationship Prototype Lag 4 Testing Finish-to-Finish Relationship This relationship is found in Figure 6.18. The finish of one activity depends on the finish of another activity. For example, testing cannot be completed any earlier than four days after the prototype is complete. Note that this is not a finish-tostart relationship because the testing of subcomponents can begin before the prototype is completed, but four days of "system" testing is required after the prototype is finished. Start-to-Finish Relationship This relationship represents situations in which the finish of an activity depends on the start of another activity. For example, system documentation cannot end until three days after testing has started (see Figure 6.19). Here all the relevant information to complete the system documentation is produced after the first three days of testing. Combinations of Lag Relationships More than one lag relationship can be attached to an activity. These relationships are usually start-to-start and finish-to-finish combinations tied to two activities. For example, debug cannot begin until two time units after coding has started. Coding must be finished four days before debug can be finished (see Figure 6.20). An Example Using Lag Relationships--The Forward and Backward Pass The forward and backward pass procedures are the same as explained earlier in the chapter for finish-to-start relationships (without lags). The modifying technique lies in the need to check each new relationship to see if it alters the start or finish time of another activity. FIGURE 6.19 Start-to-Finish Relationship Testing System documentation Lag 3 FIGURE 6.20 Combination Relationships Code Lag 2 Lag 4 Debug 182 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE 6.21 Network Using Lags 0 0 0 A Design system 5 5 5 10 5 12 17 F System documentation 3 20 0 20 12 Lag 2 4 16 E Test system 2 18 0 18 Lag 2 3 Lag 3 0 3 Legend ES SL LS ID Description Duration B Order hardware 1 4 0 4 Lag 4 8 0 8 C Install hardware 2 10 0 10 10 0 10 D Install software 6 16 0 16 Lag 2 EF SL LF An example of the outcome of the forward and backward pass is shown in Figure 6.21. Order hardware depends upon the design of the system (start-to-start). Three days into the design of the system (activity A), it is possible to order the required hardware (activity B). It takes four days after the order is placed (activity B) for the hardware to arrive so it can begin to be installed (activity C). After two days of installing the software system (activity D), the testing of the system can begin (activity E). System testing (activity E) can be completed two days after the software is installed (activity D). Preparing system documentation (activity F) can begin once the design is completed (activity A), but it cannot be completed until two days after testing the system (activity E). This final relationship is an example of a finish-to-finish lag. Note how an activity can have a critical finish and/or start. Activities E and F have critical finishes (zero slack), but their activity starts have 4 and 12 days of slack. It is only the finish of activities E and F that are critical. Conversely, activity A has zero slack to start but has five days of slack to finish. The critical path follows activity start and finish constraints that occur due to the use of the additional relationships available and the imposed lags. You can identify the critical path in Figure 6.21 by following the dashed line on the network. If a lag relationship exists, each activity must be checked to see if the start or finish is constrained. For example, in the forward pass the EF of activity E (test system) (18) is controlled by the finish of activity D (install software) and the lag of two time units (16 1 lag 2 5 18). Finally, in the backward pass, the LS of activity A (design system) is controlled by activity B (order hardware) and the lag relationship to activity A (3 2 3 5 0). Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 183 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Hammock activities are frequently used to identify the use of fixed resources or costs over a segment of the project. Typical examples of hammock activities are inspection services, consultants, or construction management services. A hammock activity derives its duration from the time span between other activities. For example, a special color copy machine is needed for a segment of a tradeshow publication project. A hammock activity can be used to indicate the need for this resource and to apply costs over this segment of the project. This hammock is linked from the start of the first activity in the segment that uses Hammock Activities the color copy machine to the end of the last activity that uses it. The hammock duration is simply the difference between the EF for the last activity and the ES of the first activity. The duration is computed after the forward pass and hence has no influence on other activity times. Figure 6.22 provides an example of a hammock activity used in a network. The duration for the hammock activity is derived from the early start of activity B and the early finish of activity F; that is, the difference between 13 and 5, or 8 time units. The hammock duration will change if any ES or EF in the chain-sequence changes. Hammock activities are very useful in assigning and controlling indirect project costs. FIGURE 6.22 Hammock Activity Example 6 0 6 5 11 C 11 11 0 11 10 21 E 21 0 0 0 A 5 5 0 B 6 6 8 D 10 10 8 F 13 21 0 H 25 5 5 5 1 6 14 4 18 18 3 21 21 4 25 Legend ES SL LS ID EF 5 G Hammock 8 13 Description Dur. LF Another major use of hammock activities is to aggregate sections of a project. This is similar to developing a subnetwork, but the precedence is still preserved. This approach is some- times used to present a "macro network" for upper management levels. Using a hammock activity to group activities can facilitate getting the right level of detail for specific sections of a project. Hammock Activities Another of the extended techniques uses a hammock activity. This type of activity derives its name because it spans over a segment of a project. The hammock activity duration is determined after the network plan is drawn. The Snapshot from Practice: Hammock Activities describes how the hammock activity is used. 184 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan Summary Many project managers feel the project network is their most valuable exercise and planning document. Project networks sequence and time-phase the project work, resources, and budgets. Work package tasks are used to develop activities for networks. Every project manager should feel comfortable working in an AON environment. The AON method uses nodes (boxes) for activities and arrows for dependencies. The forward and backward passes establish early and late times for activities. Although most project managers use computers to generate networks and activity times, they find a keen understanding of network development and the ability to compute activity times is invaluable in the field. Computers break down; input errors give false information; some decisions must be made without computer "what if " analysis. Project managers who are well acquainted with network development and AON methods and who are able to compute activity times will encounter fewer problems than project managers less well acquainted. Project networks help to ensure there are no surprises. Several extensions and modifications have been appended to the original AON method. Lags allow the project planner to more closely replicate the actual conditions found in practice. The use of lags can result in the start or finish of an activity becoming critical. Some computer software simply calls the whole activity critical rather than identifying the start or finish as being critical. Caution should be taken to ensure that lags are not used as a buffer for possible errors in estimating time. Finally, hammock activities are useful in tracking costs of resources used for a particular segment of a project. Hammock activities can also be used to reduce the size of a project network by grouping activities for simplification and clarity. All of the discussed refinements to the original AON methodology contribute toward better planning and control of projects. Key Terms Activity, 161 Activity-on-arrow (AOA), 160 Activity-on-node (AON), 160 Burst activity, 160 Concurrent engineering, 179 Critical path, 160 Early and late times, 159 Gantt chart, 174 Hammock activity, 183 Lag relationship, 178 Merge activity, 160 Parallel activity, 160 Sensitivity, 170 Slack/float--total and free, 169, 171 Review Questions 1. How does the WBS differ from the project network? 2. How are WBS and project networks linked? 3. Why bother creating a WBS? Why not go straight to a project network and forget the WBS? 4. Why is slack important to the project manager? 5. What is the difference between free slack and total slack? 6. Why are lags used in developing project networks? 7. What is a hammock activity, and when is it used? Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 185 Exercises Creating a Project Network 1. Here is a work breakdown structure for a wedding. Use the method described in the Snapshot from Practice: The Yellow Sticky Approach to create a network for this project. Note: Do not include summary tasks in the network (i.e., 1.3, Ceremony, is a summary task; 1.2, Marriage license, is not a summary task). Do not consider who would be doing the task in building the network. For example, do not arrange "hiring a band" to occur after "florist" because the same person is responsible for doing both tasks. Focus only on technical dependencies between tasks. Hint: Start with the last activity (wedding reception), and work your way back to the start of the project. Build the logical sequence of tasks by asking the following question: In order to have or do this, what must be accomplished immediately before this? Once completed, check forward in time by asking this question: Is this task(s) the only thing that is needed immediately before the start of the next task? Work Breakdown Structure 1. Wedding project 1.1 Decide on date 1.2 Marriage license 1.3 Ceremony 1.3.1 Rent church 1.3.2 Florist 1.3.3 Create/print programs 1.3.4 Hire photographer 1.3.5 Wedding ceremony 1.4 Guests 1.4.1 Develop guest list 1.4.2 Order invitations 1.4.3 Address and mail invitations 1.4.4 Track RSVPs 1.5 Reception 1.5.1 Reserve reception hall 1.5.2 Food and beverage Choose caterer Decide on menu Make final order 1.5.3 Hire band 1.5.4 Decorate reception hall 1.5.5 Wedding reception 186 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan Drawing AON Networks 2. Draw a project network from the following information. What activity(s) is a burst activity? What activity(s) is a merge activity? ID A B C D E Description Survey site Install drainage Install power lines Excavate site Pour foundation Predecessor None A A B, C D 3.* Draw a project network from the following information. What activity(s) is a burst activity? What activity(s) is a merge activity? ID A B C D E F G Description Identify topic Research topic Draft paper Edit paper Create graphics References Final draft Predecessor None A B C C C D, E, F 4. Draw a project network from the following information. What activity(s) is a burst activity? What activity(s) is a merge activity? ID A B C D E F G H Description Contract signed Survey designed Target market identified Data collection Develop presentation Analyze results Demographics Presentation Predecessor None A B B, C B D C E, F, G 5. Draw a project network from the following information. What activity(s) is a burst activity? What activity(s) is a merge activity? ID A B C D E F G H Description Order review Order standard parts Produce standard parts Design custom parts Software development Manufacture custom parts Assemble Test Predecessor None A A A A C, D B, F E, G * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 187 AON Network Times 6. From the following information, develop an AON project network. Complete the forward and backward pass, compute activity slack, and identify the critical path. How many days will the project take? ID A B C D E Description Survey site Install drainage Install power lines Excavate site Pour foundation Predecessor None A A B, C D Time 2 5 3 4 3 7. The project information for the custom order project of the Air Control Company is presented here. Draw a project network for this project. Compute the early and late activity times and the slack times. Identify the critical path. ID A B C D E F G H Activity Order review Order standard parts Produce standard parts Design custom parts Software development Manufacture custom hardware Assemble Test Predecessor None A A A A C, D B, F E, G Time 2 15 10 13 18 15 10 5 8. You have signed a contract to build a garage for the Simpsons. You will receive a $500 bonus for completing the project within 15 working days. The contract also contains a penalty clause in which you will lose $100 for each day the project takes longer than 15 working days. Draw a project network given the information below. Complete the forward and backward pass, compute the activity slack, and identify the critical path. Do you expect to receive a bonus or a penalty on this project? Time (days) 3 4 4 1 1 3 2 1 2 1 ID A B C D E F G H I J Description Pour foundation Erect frame Roof Windows Doors Electrical Rough-in frame Door opener Paint Cleanup Predecessor None A B B B B C, D, E, F E, F G, H I 188 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 9. You are creating a customer database for the Modesto Nuts minor league baseball team. Draw a project network given the information below. Complete the forward and backward pass, compute activity slack, and identify the critical path. How long will this project take? How sensitive is the network schedule? Calculate the free slack and total slack for all noncritical activities. Time (days) 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 ID A B C D E F G H I J K L Description Systems design Subsystem A design Subsystem B design Subsystem C design Program A Program B Program C Subsystem A test Subsystem B test Subsystem C test Integration Integration test Predecessor None A A A B C D E F G H, I, J K 10. J. Wold, project manager of Print Software, Inc., wants you to prepare a project network; compute the early, late, and slack activity times; determine the planned project duration; and identify the critical path. His assistant has collected the following information for the Color Printer Drivers Software Project: ID A B C D E F G H I J K L Description External specifications Review design features Document new features Write software Program and test Edit and publish notes Review manual Alpha site Print manual Beta site Manufacture Release and ship Predecessor None A A A B C D E, F G H, I J K Time 8 2 3 60 60 2 2 20 10 10 12 3 11.* A large eastern city is requesting federal funding for a park-and-ride project. One of the requirements in the request application is a network plan for the design phase of the project. Catherine Walker, the chief engineer, wants you to develop a project network plan to meet this requirement. She has gathered * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 189 the activity time estimates and their dependencies shown here. Show your project network with the activity early, late, and slack times. Mark the critical path. ID A B C D E F G H I J Description Survey Soils report Traffic design Lot layout Approve design Illumination Drainage Landscape Signing Bid proposal Predecessor None A A A B, C, D E E E E F, G, H, I Time 5 20 30 5 80 15 30 25 20 10 12. You are creating a customer database for Winston-Salem Warthogs minor league baseball team. Draw a project network given the information below. Complete the forward and backward pass, compute activity slack, and identify the critical path. How long will this project take? How sensitive is the network schedule? Calculate the free slack and total slack for all noncritical activities. ID A B C D E F G H I J K L Description Systems design Subsystem A design Subsystem B design Subsystem C design Program A Program B Program C Subsystem A test Subsystem B test Subsystem C test Integration Integration test Predecessor None A A A B C D E F G H, I, J K Time (days) 2 1 2 1 2 10 2 1 1 1 2 1 13.* You are completing a group term paper. Given the project network that follows, complete the forward and backward pass, compute activity slack, and * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. 190 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan identify the critical path. Use this information to create a Gantt chart for the project. Be sure to show slack for noncritical activities. Group Term Paper D Edit paper 2 A Identify topic 1 B Research topic 5 C Draft paper 3 E Create graphics 1 F References EF 1 G Final draft 1 Legend ES SL LS ID Description DUR LF Identify topic Research topic Draft paper Edit paper Create graphics References Final Draft 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 14. You are conducting a market research project for FUN Inc. Given the project network that follows, complete the forward and backward pass, compute activity slack, and identify the critical path. Use this information to create a Gantt chart for the project. Be sure to show slack for noncritical activities. B Survey designed 2 A Contract signed 3 C Target market ID 3 D Data collection 7 E Develop presentation 2 F Analyze results 2 G Demographics 2 ES SL LS Legend ID EF H Presentation 1 Contract signed Survey designed Target market ID Data collection Develop presentation Analyze results Demographics Presentation 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Description DUR LF Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 191 Computer Exercises 15. The planning department of an electronics firm has set up the activities for developing and production of a new MP3 Player. Given the information below, develop a project network using Microsoft Project. Assume a five-day workweek and the project starts on January 4, 2010. Activity ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Description Staff Develop market program Select channels of distribution Patent Pilot production Test market Ad promotion Set up for production Activity Predecessor None 1 1 1 1 5 2 4, 6 Activity Time (weeks) 2 3 8 12 4 4 4 16 The project team has requested that you create a network for the project, and determine if the project can be completed in 45 weeks. 16. Using Microsoft Project, set up the network and determine the critical path for Phase 1 of the project. The project workweek will be 5 days (M--F). Whistler Ski Resort Project Given the coming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, BC, Canada, and the fact that the number of skiing visitors to Whistler has been increasing at an exciting rate, the Whistler Ski Association has been considering construction of another ski lodge and ski complex. The results of an economic feasibility study just completed by members of the staff show that a winter resort complex near the base of Whistler Mountain could be a very profitable venture. The area is accessible by car, bus, train, and air. The board of directors has voted to build the ten-million dollar complex recommended in the study. Unfortunately, due to the short summer season, the complex will have to be built in stages. The first stage (year 1) will contain a day lodge, chair lift, rope tow, generator house (for electricity), and a parking lot designed to accommodate 400 cars and 30 buses. The second and third stages will include a hotel, ice rink, pool, shops, two additional chair lifts, and other attractions. The board has decided that stage one should begin no later than April 1 and be completed by October 1, in time for the next skiing season. You have been assigned the task of project manager, and it is your job to coordinate the ordering of materials and construction activities to ensure the project's completion by the required date. After looking into the possible sources of materials, you are confronted with the following time estimates. Materials for the chair lift and rope tow will take 30 days and 12 days, respectively, to arrive once the order is submitted. Lumber for the day lodge, generator hut, and foundations will take 9 days to arrive. The electrical and plumbing materials for the day lodge will take 12 days to arrive. The generator will take 12 days to arrive. Before actual construction can begin on the various facilities, a road to the site must be built; this will take 6 days. As soon as the road is in, clearing can begin concurrently on the sites of the day lodge, generator house, chair lift, and rope tow. It is estimated that the clearing task at each site will take 6 days, 3 days, 36 days, and 6 days, respectively. The clearing of the main ski slopes can begin after the area for the chair lift has been cleared; this will take 84 days. 192 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan The foundation for the day lodge will take 12 days to complete. Construction of the main framework will take an additional 18 days. After the framework is completed, electrical wiring and plumbing can be installed concurrently. These should take 24 and 30 days, respectively. Finally, the finishing construction on the day lodge can begin; this will take 36 days. Installation of the chair lift towers (67 days) can begin once the site is cleared, lumber delivered, and the foundation completed (6 days). Also, when the chair lift site has been cleared, construction of a permanent road to the upper towers can be started; this will take 24 days. While the towers are being installed, the electric motor to drive the chair lift can be installed; the motor can be installed in 24 days. Once the towers are completed and the motor installed, it will take 3 days to install the cable and an additional 12 days to install the chairs. Installation of the towers for the rope tow can begin once the site is cleared and the foundation is built and poured; it takes 4 days to build the foundation, pour the concrete and let it cure, and 20 days to install the towers for the rope tow. While the towers are being erected, installation of the electric motor to drive the rope tow can begin; this activity will take 24 days. After the towers and motor are installed, the rope tow can be strung in 1 day. The parking lot can be cleared once the rope tow is finished; this task will take 18 days. The foundation for the generator house can begin at the same time as the foundation for the lodge; this will take 6 days. The main framework for the generator house can begin once the foundation is completed; framing will take 12 days. After the house is framed, the diesel generator can be installed in 18 days. Finishing construction on the generator house can now begin and will take 12 more days. Assignment: 1. Identify the critical path on your network. 2. Can the project be completed by October 1? Optical Disk Preinstallation Project 17. The optical disk project team has started gathering the information necessary to develop the project network--predecessor activities and activity times in weeks. The results of their meeting are found in the following table. Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Description Define scope Define customer problems Define data records and relationships Mass storage requirements Consultant needs analysis Prepare installation network Estimate costs and budget Design section "point" system Write request proposal Compile vendor list Prepare mgmt. control system Prepare comparison report Compare system "philosophies" Duration 6 3 5 5 10 3 2 1 5 3 5 5 3 Predecessor None 1 1 2, 3 2, 3 4, 5 4, 5 4, 5 4, 5 4, 5 6, 7 9, 10 8, 12 continued Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 193 Activity 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Description Compare total installation Compare cost of support Compare customer satisfaction level Assign philosophies points Assign installation cost Assign support cost Assign customer satisfaction points Select best system Order system Duration 2 3 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 Predecessor 8, 12 8, 12 8, 12 13 14 15 16 11, 17, 18, 19, 20 21 The project team has requested that you create a network for the project, and determine if the project can be completed in 45 weeks. Lag Exercises 18. From the following information, draw the project network. Compute the early, late, and slack times for each activity. Identify the critical path. (Hint: Draw the finish-to-start relationships first.) Finish-to-Start Predecessor None A A B B D C F Finish-to-Start Lag 0 0 0 5 0 0 10 0 Additional Lag Relationships None None Start-finish C to D Start-start D to E Finish-finish D to E Finish-finish E to F None Finish-finish G to F None ID A B C D E F G H Duration 5 10 15 5 20 15 10 20 Lag 0 0 20 5 25 0 0 10 0 19. Given the following information, draw the project network. Compute the early, late, and slack times for the project network. Which activities on the critical path have only the start or finish of the activity on the critical path? Finish-to-Start Predecessor None A A A B C D F None E G, H Finish-to-Start Lag 0 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 Additional Lag Relationships None None Finish-finish C to F None Finish-finish E to G None Start-start G to H None Finish-finish I to J None ID A B C D E F G H I J Duration 2 4 6 8 18 2 5 5 14 15 Lag 0 0 7 0 9 10 0 5 0 194 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 20.* Given the information in the following lag exercises, compute the early, late, and slack times for the project network. Which activities on the critical path have only the start or finish of the activity on the critical path? B Lag 5 4 2 Lag 7 A C F Lag 5 I K E Lag 10 H Lag 8 5 2 Legend ES SL LS DUR ID EF SL LF 8 Lag 4 D 7 4 3 G Lag 10 J Lag 8 7 9 4 21. Given the network below, compute the early, late, and slack time for each activity. B E H 5 Lag 3 A C Lag 2 1 3 2 3 G Lag 4 4 J 2 Lag 3 D Lag 2 Legend ES SL LS DUR ID EF SL LF Lag 5 2 5 4 F I The ES for Activity C is The LS for Activity E is The LS for Activity G is The slack for the start of Activity G is The slack for the start of Activity B is The slack for the start of Activity E is The slack for the finish of Activity H is The slack for the finish of Activity F is The slack for the finish of Activity G is * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 195 CyClon Project 22. The CyClon project team has started gathering information necessary to develop a project network-predecessor activities and activity time in days. The results of their meeting are found in the following table: Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Description CyClon Project Design Procure prototype parts Fabricate parts Assemble prototype Laboratory test Field test Adjust design Order stock components Order custom components Assemble test production unit Test unit Document results Duration 10 10 8 4 7 10 6 10 15 10 5 3 Predecessor 2 2 3, 4 5 6 7 8 8 9, 10 11 12 Part A. Create a network based on the above information. How long will the project take? What is the critical path? Part B. Upon further review the team recognizes that they missed three finish-tostart lags. Procure prototype parts will involve only 2 days of work but it will take 8 days for the parts to be delivered. Likewise, Order stock components will take 2 days of work and 8 days for delivery and Order custom components 2 days of work and 13 days for delivery. Reconfigure the CyClon schedule by entering the three finish-to-start lags. What impact did these lags have on the original schedule? On the amount of work required to complete the project? Part C. Management is still not happy with the schedule and wants the project completed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, they are not willing to approve additional resources. One team member pointed out that the network contained only finish-to-start relationships and that it might be possible to reduce project duration by creating start-to-start lags. After much deliberation the team concluded that the following relationships could be converted into start-to-start lags: Procure prototype parts could start 6 days after the start of Design. Fabricate parts could start 9 days after the start of Design. Laboratory test could begin 1 day after the start of Assemble prototype. Field test could start 5 days after the start of Laboratory test. Adjust design could begin 7 days after the start of Field test. Order stock and Order custom components could begin 5 days after Adjust design. Test unit could begin 9 days after the start of Assemble test production unit. Document results could start 3 days after the start of Test unit. Reconfigure the CyClon schedule by entering all nine start-to-start lags. What impact did these lags have on the original schedule (Part A)? How long will the project take? Is there a change in the critical path? Is there a change in the sensitivity of the network? Why would management like this solution? 196 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan Case Advantage Energy Technology Data Center Migration* Brian Smith, network administrator at Advanced Energy Technology (AET), has been given the responsibility of implementing the migration of a large data center to a new office location. Careful planning is needed because AET operates in the highly competitive petroleum industry. AET is one of five national software companies that provide an accounting and business management package for oil jobbers and gasoline distributors. A few years ago, AET jumped into the "application service provider" world. Their large data center provides clients with remote access to AET's complete suite of application software systems. Traditionally, one of AET's primary competitive advantages has been the company's trademark IT reliability. Due to the complexity of this project, Brian will have to use a parallel method of implementation. Although this will increase project costs, a parallel approach is essential if reliability is not to be compromised. Currently, AET's data center is located on the second floor of a renovated old bank building in downtown Corvallis, Oregon. The company is moving to a new, one-level building located in the recently developed industrial complex at the Corvallis International Airport. On February 1, Brian is formally assigned the task by the Vice-President of Operations, Dan Whitmore, with the following guidelines: From start to finish, it is anticipated the entire project will take three to four months to complete. It is essential that AET's 235 clients suffer no downtime. Whitmore advises Brian to come back to the Executive Committee on February 15, with a presentation on the scope of the project that includes costs, "firstcut" timeline, and proposed project team members. Brian had some preliminary discussions with some of AET's managers and directors from each of the functional departments and then arranged for a full-day scope meeting on February 4 with a few of the managers and technical representatives from operations, systems, facilities, and applications. The scope team determined the following: Three to four months is a feasible project timeline and first-cut cost estimate is $80,000$90,000 (this includes the infrastructure upgrade of the new site). Critical to the "no-downtime" requirement is the need to completely rely on AET's remote disaster recovery "hot" site for full functionality. Brian will serve as project manager of a team consisting of one team member each from facilities, operations/systems, operations/telecommunications, systems & applications, and customer service. Brian's Executive Committee report was positively received and, after a few modifications and recommendations, he was formally charged with responsibility for the project. Brian recruited his team and scheduled their first team meeting (March 1) as the initial task of his project planning process. * Prepared by James Moran, a project management instructor at the College of Business, Oregon State University. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 197 Once the initial meeting is conducted Brian can hire the contractors to renovate the new data center. During this time Brian will figure out how to design the network. Brian estimates that screening and hiring a contractor will take about one week and that the network design will take about two weeks. The new center requires a new ventilation system. The manufacturer's requirements include an ambient temperature of 67 degrees to keep all of the data servers running at optimal speeds. The ventilation system has a lead time of three weeks. Brian will also need to order new racks to hold the servers, switches, and other network devices. The racks have a two-week delivery time. The data center supervisor requested that Brian replace all of the old power supplies and data cables. Brian will need to order these as well. Because Brian has a great relationship with the vendor, they guarantee that it will take only one week lead time for the power supplies and the data cables. Once the new ventilation system and racks arrive, Brian can begin installing them. It will take one week to install the ventilation system and three weeks to install the racks. The renovation of the new data center can begin as soon as the contractors have been hired. The contractors tell Brian that construction will take 20 days. Once the construction begins and before Brian installs the ventilation system and racks, the city inspector must approve the construction of the raised floor. The city inspector will take two days to approve the infrastructure. After the city inspection and after the new power supplies and cables have arrived, Brian can install the power supplies and run the cables. Brian estimates that it will take five days to install the power supplies and one week to run all of the data cables. Before Brian can assign an actual date for taking the network off line and switching to the hot remote site, he must get approval from each of the functional units ("Switchover Approval"). Meetings with each of the functional units will require one week. During this time he can initiate a power check to ensure that each of the racks has sufficient voltage. This will require only one day. Upon completion of the power check, he can take one week to install his test servers. The test servers will test all of the primary network functions and act as a safeguard before the network is taken off line. The batteries must be charged, ventilation installed, and test servers up and running before management can be assured that the new infrastructure is safe, which will take two days. Then they will sign off the Primary Systems check, taking one day of intense meetings. They will also set an official date for the network move. Brian is happy that everything has gone well thus far and is convinced that the move will go just as smoothly. Now that an official date is set, the network will be shut down for a day. Brian must move all of the network components to the new data center. Brian will do the move over the weekend--two days--when user traffic is at low point. ASSIGNMENT 1. Generate a priority matrix for AET's system move. 2. Develop a WBS for Brian's project. Include duration (days) and predecessors. 3. Using a project planning tool, generate a network diagram for this project. (Note: Base your plan on the following guidelines: eight-hour days, seven-day weeks, no holiday breaks, March 1, 2010, is the project start date.) 198 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan Case Greendale Stadium Case The G&E Company is preparing a bid to build the new 47,000 seat Greendale baseball stadium. The construction must start July 1, 2011, and be completed in time for the start of the 2014 season. A penalty clause of $100,000 per day of delay beyond May 20, 2014, is written into the contract. Ben Keith, the president of the company, expressed optimism at obtaining the contract and revealed that the company could net as much as $2 million on the project. He also said if they are successful, the prospects for future projects are quite good since there is a projected renaissance in building classic ball parks with modern luxury boxes. ASSIGNMENT Given the information provided in Table 6.3, construct a network schedule for the stadium project and answer the following questions: 1. Will the project be able to be completed by the May 20 deadline? How long will it take? 2. What is the critical path for the project? 3. Based on the schedule would you recommend that G&E pursue this contact? Why? Include a one-page Gantt chart for the stadium schedule. TABLE 6.3 Greendale Stadium Case ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Activity Baseball Stadium Clear stadium site Demolish building Set up construction site Drive support piling Pour lower concrete bowl Pour main concourse Install playing field Construct upper steel bowl Install seats Build luxury boxes Install jumbotron Stadium infrastructure Construct steel canopy Light installation Build roof supports Construct roof Install roof tracks Install roof Inspection Duration 70 days 30 days 70 days 120 days 120 days 120 days 90 days 120 days 140 days 90 days 30 days 120 days 75 days 30 days 90 days 180 days 90 days 90 days 20 days Predecessor(s) -- 2 3 2 5 3,6 3,6 3,6 7,9 7,9 7,9 7,9 10 14 6 16 16 17,18 8,11,13,15,19 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 199 CASE APPENDIX: TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE GREENDALE BASEBALL STADIUM The baseball stadium is an outdoor structure with a retractable roof. The project begins with clearing the site, an activity that lasts 70 days. Once the site is clear, work can start simultaneously on the structure itself and demolishing an adjacent building site. This demolition is necessary to create a construction stage for storing materials and equipment. It will take 30 days to demolish the buildings and another 70 days to set up the construction site. The work on the stadium begins by driving 160 support pilings, which will take 120 days. Next comes the pouring of the lower concrete bowl (120 days). Once this is done and the construction site has been set up, then the pouring of the main concourse (120 days), the installation of the playing field (90 days), and the construction of the upper steel bowl can occur (120 days). Once the concourse and upper bowl are completed, work can start simultaneously on building the luxury boxes (90 days), installing the seats (140 days), installing the jumbotron (30 days), and installing stadium infrastructure (120 days) which includes: bathrooms, lockers, restaurants, etc. Once the seats are installed then the steel canopy can be constructed (75 days) followed by the installation of the lights (30 days). The retractable roof represents the most significant technical challenge to the project. Building the roof track supports (90 days) can begin after the lower concrete bowl is constructed. At this time the dimensions of the roof can be finalized and the construction of the roof at a separate site can begin (180 days). After the roof supports are completed then the roof tracks can be installed (90 days). Once the tracks and the roof are completed then the roof can be installed and made operational (90 days). Once all activities are completed it will take 20 days to inspect the stadium. For purposes of this case assume the following: 1. The following holidays are observed: January 1, Memorial Day (last Monday in May), July 4th, Labor Day (first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November), December 25 and 26. 2. If a holiday falls on a Saturday then Friday will be given as an extra day off, and if it falls on a Sunday then Monday will be given as a day off. 3. The construction crew work Monday through Friday. Appendix 6.1 Activity-on-Arrow Method DESCRIPTION The activity-on-arrow (AOA) approach also uses the arrow and node as network building blocks. However, in this approach the arrow represents an individual project activity that requires time. The length and slope of the arrow have no significance. The node represents an event; it is usually presented as a small circle. Events represent points in time but do not consume time. Each activity on the network 200 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE A6.1 AOA Network Building Blocks Activity Event 79 Install software 80 has a start and end event node. For example, if the activity were "install software," the start event could be "start installing software" and the end event could be "finish software installation." Event nodes are numbered with the start node having a smaller number than the end event node (see Figure A6.1). These two numbers are used to identify the activity start node to finish node (7980). As we shall see shortly, an event node can serve as a start or end node for one or more activities, and an end event node can serve as a start node for one or more activities that immediately follow. Figure A6.2 illustrates several methods for showing AOA activity relationships in a project network. Figure A6.2A simply tells the project manager that activity X must be completed before activity Y can begin. Activity X can also be identified as activity 1011. Note that event 11 is the finish event for activity X and the start event for activity Y. All AOA networks use this method to link activities and establish dependencies among activities. Figure A6.2B tells us that activities R, S, and T are parallel, that is, independent, and can occur concurrently if the project manager wishes; however, activities R, S, and T must all be completed before activity U can begin. Observe how event 20 is a common ending event for activities R, S, and T and the start event for activity U. Figure A6.2C shows that activity M must be completed before activities N and O can begin. When activity M is complete, activities N and O are considered independent and can occur simultaneously if you wish. Event 54 is called a burst event because more than one activity arrow leaves (bursts from) it. Figure A6.2D tells us activity E and F can go on together, but both must be completed before activities G and H can begin. Event 23 is both a merge event and a burst event. Theoretically, an event is unlimited in the number of activities (arrows) that can lead into (merge) or out of (burst from) it. Figure A6.2E illustrates parallel paths AC and BD. Activity A must precede activity C and B precede D. Paths AC and BD are independent of each other. Let us apply these fundamentals to the simple Koll Business Center project. DESIGN OF AN AOA PROJECT NETWORK You are now ready to use the information in Table A6.1 to draw an AOA network of the Koll Business Center. From the information given, the first four activities can be drawn as shown in Figure A6.3. Activity A (12) (Application approval) must be completed before activities B (24), C (23), and D (25) can begin. At this point we run into a problem common in AOA networks. Activity E is preceded by activities B and C. The natural inclination is to draw your activity arrows for B and C from event 2 straight to event 4, which is the beginning event for activity E. However, the result would be that activities B and C would both have the same identification numbers (24). In cases like this where two or more activities are parallel and have the same start and finish nodes, a dummy activity is Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 201 FIGURE A6.2 Activity-on-Arrow Network Fundamentals 10 X 11 Y 12 (A) Y is preceded by X 5 10 15 S T R 20 U 25 U is preceded by R, S, T R, S, T can occur concurrently, if you wish (B) N 54 O 79 (C) 21 E F 19 23 24 E and F must precede G and H H 28 (D) 62 A 64 C 66 E and F can occur together, if you wish G and H can occur together, if you wish 75 50 M N and O are preceded by M When M is complete, N and O can occur concurrently, if you wish G A must precede C B must precede D Path AC is independent of path BD (E) 76 B 77 D 78 TABLE A6.1 Network Information Activity A B C D E F G H Description KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department Preceding Activity None A A A B, C B, C, D F E, G Activity Time 5 15 10 5 15 10 170 35 Application approval Construction plans Traffic study Service availability check Staff report Commission approval Wait for construction Occupancy 202 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE A6.3 Partial Koll Business Center AOA Network B Construction plans A Application approval C Traffic study D Service availability check 4 1 2 3 5 inserted to ensure each activity has its unique identification number. A dummy activity is depicted by a dashed arrow and its duration is zero. The dummy activity could be inserted before or after either activity B or C as shown in Figure A6.4 (see parts A through D). In Figure A6.4E we placed it after activity C with its own identification of X or 34. Activity F in Figure A6.4E denotes another network problem in which activity dependencies exist but it is not convenient to connect the activities. In this case, the dummy activity can be used to maintain the logic of the network dependencies. Activity F is preceded by activities B, C, and D. Dummy activity Y (45) is necessary because activity B precedes both E and F. The dummy activity maintains the intended logic and sequence. Dummy activity 35 can be removed because it is redundant; that is, its removal does not change the intended relationships--the end event 4 precedes activity F. Typically, the first pass in drawing your network will include many dummy activities. After several passes forward and backward through the network, you will find ways to remove some of the dummy activities that are there solely to maintain logic. However, when two or more parallel activities have the same beginning and ending event nodes, dummy activities cannot be avoided. Figure A6.5 has a completed network for the Koll design project. In this simple project network no activity networks cross over each other, a situation which is very rare. Remember the length and slope of the arrows is arbitrary. The activity durations are included and found below the arrows, near the middle. You should work through the AOA network exercises before moving to the next section. Your familiarity with the activity/event approach will help your initial understanding of the forward and backward pass on an AOA network. Forward Pass--Earliest Times The forward pass in AOA uses the same concepts found in the AON procedure. The major difference lies in recognition and use of events to set early and late start and finish times for activities. Figure A6.6 shows the Koll design project with all the activity durations and early start and finish times. Also near each event is a box that will allow us to record event times and slack. In the field this box is sometimes called a "T-box" because the shape within the box forms the letter T. There are many variations of the T-box found in the field, but they all use the basic T format. The forward pass starts with the first activity(ies) and traces each path through the network. As in AON, you add (cumulate) the activity times along the path. When you come to a merge event, you select the largest early finish (EF) of all the activities merging to that event. Let's work through Figure A6.6. Event 1 is the project start Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 203 FIGURE A6.4 Partial AOA Koll Business Center Network 1 A 2 (A) 3 B 1 A 2 (B) 4 B 1 A 2 X E C 3 (C) 4 B 1 A 2 C E X 3 D 5 (D) 4 B 1 A 2 C D (E) X 3 ? C X 4 E 3 X C B 4 E E Y 5 F event; therefore, the earliest that event can occur is time zero. This early event time for event 1 is placed in the lower left side of the event box. The early event time is also the ES for any activity bursting from an event. Therefore, the zero in the box for event 1 is also the early start for activity A. The early finish for activity A is 5 workdays (ES 1 DUR 5 EF or 0 1 5 5 5). The EF for the activity is placed at the head of the arrow. The earliest event 2 can occur is the instant activity A is complete, which is 5 workdays; therefore, this time is placed in the lower left T-box of event 2. Again, note that the early event time is also the ES for any activity using the event as a start event. Hence, the ES for activities B, C, and D is 5 workdays. The EF for activity B is 20 (ES 1 DUR 5 EF), for activity C is 15, and for activity D is 10. (See the head of 204 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE A6.5 Activity-on-Arrow Network 4 B 15 1 A 5 2 C 10 3 X 0 Y E 15 5 F 10 6 G 170 7 H 35 8 0 D Legend Activity Duration 5 KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department FIGURE A6.6 Activity-on-Arrow Network Forward Pass 20 20 5 1 A 5 5 2 C 10 B 15 15 3 15 X 0 0 4 Y 20 10 E 15 5 F 10 30 6 35 G 200 170 7 H 35 235 8 0 Legend Slack E L (=ES) (=LF) EF 15 D 5 20 30 200 235 235 KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department the arrow for each activity.) The ES for the dummy activity (34) is 15, and its EF is 15 (15 1 0 5 15). Although the dummy activity has zero duration, it must be included in the forward and backward pass computations. At this point you must determine the early event times for events 4 and 5. Both are merge events that require selection among activities merging into these events. Event 4 has B and X, the dummy activity (34). The largest EF for these two activities (20 and 15) is 20, which controls the early event time for event 4. Similarly, event 5 is controlled by activities D and Y. Because activity Y has the largest early finish (20 versus 10 workdays for activity D), it establishes the early event time for event 5 and activity F. Times are cumulated until merge event 7. The EFs for activities E and G are 35 and 200 workdays, respectively. Thus, event 7 and activity H have early times of 200 workdays. The early finish for the project is 235 workdays. Assuming we accept this planned duration of 235 days for the project, the LF for event 8 becomes 235 days, and you are ready to compute the backward pass. Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 205 Backward Pass--Latest Times The backward pass procedure is similar to that used in the AON procedure. You start with the last project event node(s) and subtract activity times along each path (LF 2 DUR 5 LS) until you reach a burst event. When this happens, you pick the smallest LS of all the activities bursting from the event; this number denotes the latest that event can occur and not delay the project. Let's trace the backward pass for part of the Koll design project. Figure A6.7 displays the late times for the events and activities. The late start for activity H is 200 days (LF 2 DUR 5 LS or 235 2 35 5 200). This time is found at the tail of the arrow. Because event 7 is not a burst event, the late start for activity H becomes the late time for event 7. This procedure continues until you reach event 4, which is a burst event. The LS for activity E is 185 and for activity Y is 20. The smallest time is 20 days and is the late time for event 4. The next burst event is event 2. Here the LS for activities B, C, and D are 5, 10, and 15 days, respectively. Activity B controls the late event time for event 2, which is 5 workdays. The late event time is also the LF for any activity using the event as an end event. For example, the late time for event 7 is 200 workdays; thus, activities E and G can finish no later than day 200, or the project will be delayed. With the backward pass complete, the slack and critical path can be identified. Figure A6.8 presents the completed network. The event slack is entered above the T in the event box. Activity slack is the difference between LS and ES or LF and EF. For example, the slack for activity E is 165 days--LS 2 ES (185 2 20 5 165) or LF 2 EF (200 2 35 5 165). What are the slack values for activities B, C, and D? The answers are zero workdays (5 2 5 5 0 or 20 2 20 5 0), 5 workdays (10 2 5 5 5 or 20 2 15 5 5), and 10 workdays (15 2 5 5 10 or 20 2 10 5 10), respectively. The critical path is A, B, Y, F, G, H. Compare the networks found in Figure A6.8 and in chapter text Figure 6.8 to see the differences between the AOA and AON methods. As in the AON method, FIGURE A6.7 Activity-on-Arrow Network Backward Pass 20 4 5 1 0 A 5 2 B 15 C 10 3 X 185 20 Y 0 5 E 15 20 F 10 6 30 G 170 7 200 H 35 0 0 Legend Slack E L (=ES) (=LF) LS EF D 5 KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department 20 20 30 200 235 235 235 8 5 10 0 20 15 206 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan FIGURE A6.8 Activity-on-Arrow Network Backward Pass, Forward Pass, and Slack 0 20 0 5 1 0 A 5 0 0 0 Legend Slack E L (=ES) (=LF) LS EF 15 D 5 KOLL BUSINESS CENTER County Engineers Design Department 20 4 185 20 Y 0 20 10 5 E 15 20 F 10 0 30 6 35 30 G 200 170 7 200 H 35 0 235 235 235 8 20 5 5 10 15 C 10 B 15 3 X 15 5 2 0 20 5 20 20 0 20 30 30 0 200 200 if the early and late time for the end project event are the same (L 5 E or LF 5 EF), the slack on the critical path will be zero. If the times are not the same, the slack on the critical path will equal the difference (L 2 E or LF 2 EF). Computer-Generated Networks Figure A6.9 presents a generic AOA computer output for the custom order project. AOA networks identify activities by the beginning and ending nodes--for example, the software development activity is identified as activity 26. Its duration is 18 time units; ES 5 2; EF 5 20; LS 5 22; and LF 5 40 time units. The critical FIGURE A6.9 Air Control, Inc. Custom Order Project--AOA Network Diagram Software development 2 22 Order vendor parts Order review 0 0 2 2 2 2 15 10 15 17 30 4 Manufacture custom hardware 15 15 30 15 30 18 20 40 1 2 Produce standard parts 2 15 12 15 5 Assemble 30 30 10 40 40 6 Test 40 40 5 45 45 7 Design custom parts 2 2 13 15 15 Legend 3 DUR ES EF LS LF Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 207 path is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. Compare the AOA computer output in Figure A6.9 with the AON computer output in chapter Figure 6.11. Bar charts are identical to those developed for AON networks; see chapter Figure 6.12. CHOICE OF METHOD--AON OR AOA Your choice of method depends on the importance of various advantages and disadvantages of each method. Table A6.2 will assist you in making your choice. TABLE A6.2 Comparison of AON and AOA Methods AON Method Advantages 1. No dummy activities are used. 2. Events are not used. 3. AON is easy to draw if dependencies are not intense. 4. Activity emphasis is easily understood by first-level managers. 5. The CPM approach uses deterministic times to construct networks. Disadvantages 1. Path tracing by activity number is difficult. If the network is not available, computer outputs must list the predecessor and successor activities for each activity. 2. Network drawing and understanding are more difficult when dependencies are numerous. AOA Method Advantages 1. Path tracing is simplified by activity/event numbering scheme. 2. AOA is easier to draw if dependencies are intense. 3. Key events or milestones can easily be flagged. Disadvantages 1. Use of dummy activities increases data requirements. 2. Emphasis on events can detract from activities. Activity delays cause events and projects to be late. SUMMARY In AOA networks, dummy activities meet two needs. First, when two parallel activities have the same start and end nodes, a dummy must be inserted to give each activity a unique identification number (see activity X in Figure A6.8). Next, dummy activities can be used to clarify dependency relationships (see activity Y in Figure A6.8). Dummy activities are very useful when activity dependencies are far apart on the network. In AOA networks the early event time is the ES for any activity emanating from the event. Conversely, the late event time is the LF for any activity merging to the event. The major advantage of the AOA method is the avoidance of having to list all the predecessor and successor activities for each activity in the network so activity sequence and dependency can be traced when a network is not available or shows incomplete information. Computer output is reduced manyfold. REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. How do the building blocks of AON and AOA differ? 2. What are the purposes of dummy or pseudo activities? 3. How do activities differ from events? 208 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan APPENDIX EXERCISES 1. Use the information found in the text exercises 3 and 4 (page 186) to draw AOA networks. 2. Use the information found in the text exercise 11 to draw an AOA network. Include the activity times and event nodes on the network as shown in Figure A6.5. 3. Given the project network that follows, compute the early, late, and slack times for the project. Be sure to show the early finish and late start times on your network. 2 A 5 1 B 10 3 C 15 D 10 4 20 F 6 0 H 5 I G 20 7 8 15 Legend Slack E L (=ES) (=LF) LS EF E 5 5 4. Given the project network that follows, compute the early, late, and slack times for the project. Be sure to show the early finish and late start times on your network. 3 7 B F 20 15 G 6 8 30 H 25 D I 10 J 10 11 1 A 5 2 C 30 5 E 80 5 Legend Slack E L (=ES) (=LF) LS EF 4 20 9 Chapter 6 Developing a Project Plan 209 5. Given the project network that follows, complete the bar chart for this project. Use the time-line to align your bars. Be sure to use the legend to show slack for noncritical activities. 2 1 2 4 3 3 4 2 6 1 3 4 5 Legend Activity time Slack Activity 12 Activity 13 Activity 14 Activity 26 Activity 35 Activity 45 Activity 56 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 6. Given the project network that follows, draw a bar chart for this project. Use the timeline to align your bars. Be sure to show slack for noncritical activities. 2 2 1 3 1 3 3 5 4 2 6 3 4 4 Legend Activity time Slack Activity 12 Activity 13 Activity 14 Activity 25 Activity 35 Activity 46 Activity 56 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 C H A P T E R S E V E N Managing Risk Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career p aths Managing Risk Risk Management Process Step 1: Risk Identification Step 2: Risk Assessment Step 3: Risk Response Development Opportunity Management Contingency Planning Contingency Funding and Time Buffers Step 4: Risk Response Control Change Control Management Summary Appendix 7.1: PERT and PERT Simulation 210 You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is. Will Rogers Every project manager understands risks are inherent in projects. No amount of planning can overcome risk, or the inability to control chance events. In the context of projects, risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on project objectives. A risk has a cause and, if it occurs, a consequence. For example, a cause may be a flu virus or change in scope requirements. The event is that team members get stricken with the flu or the product has to be redesigned. If either of these uncertain events occurs, it will impact the cost, schedule, and quality of the project. Some potential risk events can be identified before the project starts--such as equipment malfunction or change in technical requirements. Risks can be anticipated consequences, like schedule slippages or cost overruns. Risks can be beyond imagination like the 2008 financial meltdown. While risks can have positive consequences such as unexpected price reduction in materials, the focus of this chapter is on what can go wrong and the risk management process. Risk management attempts to recognize and manage potential and unforeseen trouble spots that may occur when the project is implemented. Risk management identifies as many risk events as possible (what can go wrong), minimizes their impact (what can be done about the event before the project begins), manages responses to those events that do materialize (contingency plans), and provides contingency funds to cover risk events that actually materialize. For a humorous, but ultimately embarrassing example of poor risk management see Snapshot from Practice: Giant Popsicle Gone Wrong. Risk Management Process Figure 7.1 presents a graphic model of the risk management challenge. The chances of a risk event occurring (e.g., an error in time estimates, cost estimates, or design technology) are greatest in the concept, planning, and start-up phases of the project. The cost impact of a risk event in the project is less if the event occurs earlier rather than later. The early stages of the project represent the period when the opportunity for minimizing the impact or working around a potential risk exists. Conversely, as the project passes the halfway implementation mark, the cost of a risk event occurring increases rapidly. For example, the risk event of a design flaw occurring after a prototype has been made has a greater cost or time impact than if the event occurred in the start-up phase of the project. Clearly, identifying project risk events and deciding a response 211 212 Chapter 7 Managing Risk SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE An attempt to erect the world's largest Popsicle in New York City ended with a scene straight out of a disaster film, but much stickier. The 25-foot-tall, 171/2-ton treat of frozen juice melted faster than expected, flooding Union Square in downtown Manhattan with kiwi-strawberryflavored fluid. Bicyclists wiped out in the stream of goo. Pedestrians slipped. Traffic was, well, frozen. Firefighters closed off several streets and used hoses to wash away the thick, sweet slime. The Snapple Company, a leading maker of soft beverages, had been trying to promote a new line of frozen treats by setting a record for the world's largest Popsicle, but called off the stunt before the frozen giant was pulled fully upright by a construction crane. Authorities said they were worried the 21/2-story popsicle would collapse. Organizers were not sure why it melted so quickly. "We planned for it. We just didn't expect for it to happen so fast," Giant Popsicle Gone Wrong* Zuma Press, Inc. said Snapple spokeswoman Lauren Radcliffe. She said the company would offer to pay the city for the clean-up costs. * Associated Press, June 23, 2005. before the project begins is a more prudent approach than not attempting to manage risk. The cost of mismanaged risk control early on in the project is magnified by the ill-fated 1999 NASA Mars Climate Orbiter. Investigations revealed that Lockheed Martin botched the design of critical navigation software. While flight computers on the ground did calculations based on pounds of thrust per second, the FIGURE 7.1 Risk Event Graph Risk High Cost High Cost to fix risk event Chances of risks occurring Low Defining Planning Executing Project Life Cycle Delivering Low Chapter 7 Managing Risk 213 FIGURE 7.2 The Risk Management Process spacecraft's computer software used metric units called newtons. Analyze the project to identify A check to see if the values were sources of risk compatible was never done. "Our check and balances Known risks processes did not catch an error like this that should have been Step 2 Risk Assessment caught," said Ed Weiler, NASA's New risks Assess risks in terms of: associate administrator for space Severity of impact science. "That is the bottom line. Likelihood of occurring Controllability Processes that were in place were not followed." (Orlando Sentinel, Risk assessment 1999.) After the nine-month journey to the Red Planet the $125 milStep 3 Risk Response Development lion probe approached Mars at New risks Develop a strategy to reduce too low an altitude and burned up possible damage in the planet's atmosphere. Develop contingency plans Risk management is a proactive approach rather than reactive. Risk management plan It is a preventive process designed to ensure that surprises are reStep 4 Risk Response Control duced and that negative conseNew risks Implement risk strategy quences associated with Monitor and adjust plan for undesirable events are minimized. new risks Change management It also prepares the project manager to take action when a time, cost, and/or technical advantage is possible. Successful management of project risk gives the project manager better control over the future and can significantly improve chances of reaching project objectives on time, within budget, and meeting required technical (functional) performance. The sources of project risks are unlimited. There are sources external to the organization, such as inflation, market acceptance, exchange rates, and government regulations. In practice, these risk events are often referred to as "threats" to differentiate them from those that are not within the project manager's or team's responsibility area. (Later we will see budgets for such risk events are placed in a "management reserve" contingency budget.) Since such external risks are usually considered before the decision to go ahead with the project, they will be excluded from the discussion of project risks. However, external risks are extremely important and must be addressed. The major components of the risk management process are depicted in Figure 7.2. Each step will be examined in more detail in the remainder of the chapter. Step 1 Risk Identification Step 1: Risk Identification The risk management process begins by trying to generate a list of all the possible risks that could affect the project. Typically the project manager pulls together, during the planning phase, a risk management team consisting of core team members and other relevant stakeholders. The team uses brainstorming and other problem identifying techniques to identify potential problems. Participants are encouraged to keep an open mind and generate as many probable risks as possible. 214 Chapter 7 Managing Risk FIGURE 7.3 The Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS) Project Technical External Organizational Project Management Requirements Subcontractors and suppliers Project dependencies Estimating Technology Regulatory Resources Planning Complexity and interfaces Performances and reliability Market Funding Controlling Customer Prioritization Communication Quality Weather More than one project has been bushwhacked by an event that members thought was preposterous in the beginning. Later during the assessment phase, participants will have a chance to analyze and filter out unreasonable risks. One common mistake that is made early in the risk identification process is to focus on objectives and not on the events that could produce consequences. For example, team members may identify failing to meet schedule as a major risk. What they need to focus on are the events that could cause this to happen (i.e., poor estimates, adverse weather, shipping delays, etc.). Only by focusing on actual events can potential solutions be found. Organizations use risk breakdown structures (RBSs) in conjunction with work breakdown structures (WBSs) to help management teams identify and eventually analyze risks. Figure 7.3 provides a generic example of an RBS. The focus at the beginning should be on risks that can affect the whole project as opposed to a specific section of the project or network. After the macro risks have been identified, specific areas can be checked. An effective tool for identifying specific risks is the work breakdown structure. Use of the RBS reduces the chance a risk event will be missed. On large projects multiple risk teams are organized around specific deliverables and submit their risk management reports to the project manager. A risk profile is another useful tool. A risk profile is a list of questions that address traditional areas of uncertainty on a project. These questions have been developed and refined from previous, similar projects. Figure 7.4 provides a partial example of a risk profile. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 215 FIGURE 7.4 Partial Risk Profile for Product Development Project Technical Requirements Are the requirements stable? Design Does the design depend on unrealistic or optimistic assumptions? Testing Will testing equipment be available when needed? Development Is the development process supported by a compatible set of procedures, methods, and tools? Schedule Is the schedule dependent upon the completion of other projects? Budget How reliable are the cost estimates? Quality Are quality considerations built into the design? Management Do people know who has authority for what? Work Environment Do people work cooperatively across functional boundaries? Staffing Is staff inexperienced or understaffed? Customer Does the customer understand what it will take to complete the project? Contractors Are there any ambiguities in contractor task definitions? Good risk profiles, like RBSs, are tailored to the type of project in question. For example, building an information system is different from building a new car. They are organization specific. Risk profiles recognize the unique strengths and weaknesses of the firm. Finally, risk profiles address both technical and management risks. For example, the profile shown in Figure 7.4 asks questions about design (Does the design depend upon unrealistic assumptions?) and work environment (Do people cooperate across functional boundaries?). Risk profiles are generated and maintained usually by personnel from the project office. They are updated and refined during the postproject audit (see Chapter 14). These profiles, when kept up to date, can be a powerful resource in the risk management process. The collective experience of the firm's past projects resides in their questions. Historical records can complement or be used when formal risk profiles are not available. Project teams can investigate what happened on similar projects in the past to identify potential risks. For example, a project manager can check the ontime performance of selected vendors to gauge the threat of shipping delays. IT project managers can access "best practices" papers detailing other companies' experiences converting software systems. Inquiries should not be limited to recorded data. Savvy project managers tap the wisdom of others by seeking the advice of veteran project managers. The risk identification process should not be limited to just the core team. Input from customers, sponsors, subcontractors, vendors, and other stakeholders should be solicited. Relevant stakeholders can be formally interviewed or included on the risk management team. Not only do these players have a valuable perspective, but by involving them in the risk management process they also become more committed to project success. One of the keys to success in risk identification is attitude. While a "can do" attitude is essential during implementation, project managers have to encourage 216 Chapter 7 Managing Risk critical thinking when it comes to risk identification. The goal is to find potential problems before they happen. The RBS and risk profiles are useful tools for making sure no stones are left unturned. At the same time, when done well the number of risks identified can be overwhelming and a bit discouraging. Initial optimism can be replaced with griping and cries of "what have we gotten ourselves into?" It is important that project managers set the right tone and complete the risk management process so members regain confidence in themselves and the project. Step 2: Risk Assessment Step 1 produces a list of potential risks. Not all of these risks deserve attention. Some are trivial and can be ignored, while others pose serious threats to the welfare of the project. Managers have to develop methods for sifting through the list of risks, eliminating inconsequential or redundant ones and stratifying worthy ones in terms of importance and need for attention. Scenario analysis is the easiest and most commonly used technique for analyzing risks. Team members assess the significance of each risk event in terms of: Probability of the event. Impact of the event. Simply stated, risks need to be evaluated in terms of the likelihood the event is going to occur and the impact or consequences of its occurrence. The risk of a project manager being struck by lightning at a work site would have major negative impact on the project, but the likelihood is so low it is not worthy of consideration. Conversely, people do change jobs, so an event like the loss of key project personnel would have not only an adverse impact but also a high likelihood of occurring in some organizations. If so, then it would be wise for that organization to be proactive and mitigate this risk by developing incentive schemes for retaining specialists and/or engaging in cross-training to reduce the impact of turnover. The quality and credibility of the risk analysis process requires that different levels of risk probabilities and impacts be defined. These definitions vary and should be tailored to the specific nature and needs of the project. For example, a relatively simple scale ranging from "very unlikely" to "almost certainly" may suffice for one project, whereas another project may use more precise numerical probabilities (e.g., 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, . . .). Impact scales can be a bit more problematic since adverse risks affect project objectives differently. For example, a component failure may cause only a slight delay in project schedule but a major increase in project cost. If controlling cost is a high priority, then the impact would be severe. If, on the other hand, time is more critical than cost, then the impact would be minor. Because impact ultimately needs to be assessed in terms of project priorities, different kinds of impact scales are used. Some scales may simply use rank-order descriptors, such as "low," "moderate," "high," and "very high," whereas others use numeric weights (e.g., 110). Some may focus on the project in general while others focus on specific project objectives. The risk management team needs to establish up front what distinguishes a 1 from a 3 or "moderate" impact from "severe" impact. Figure 7.5 provides an example of how impact scales could be defined given the project objectives of cost, time, scope, and quality. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 217 FIGURE 7.5 Defined Conditions for Impact Scales of a Risk on Major Project Objectives (Examples for negative impacts only) Relative or Numerical Scale Project Objective Cost 1 Very Low Insignificant cost increase 2 Low < 10% cost increase 3 Moderate 1020% cost increase 4 High 2040% cost increase 5 Very High > 40% cost increase Time Insignificant time increase < 5% time increase 510% time increase 1020% time increase > 20% time increase Scope Scope decrease barely noticeable Minor areas of scope affected Major areas of scope affected Scope reduction unacceptable to sponsor Quality reduction unacceptable to sponsor Project end item is effectively useless Project end item is effectively useless Quality Quality degradation Only very demanding applications are barely noticeable affected Quality reduction requires sponsor approval Documentation of scenario analyses can be seen in various risk assessment forms used by companies. Figure 7.6 is a partial example of a risk assessment form used on an IS project involving the upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7. Notice that in addition to evaluating the severity and probablity of risk events the team also assesses when the event might occur and its detection difficulty. Detection difficulty is a measure of how easy it would be to detect that the event was going to occur in time to take mitigating action, that is, how much warning would we have? So in the Windows 7 conversion example, the detection scale would range from 5 5 no warning to 1 5 lots of time to react. Often organizations find it useful to categorize the severity of different risks into some form of risk assessment matrix. The matrix is typically structured around the impact and likelihood of the risk event. For example, the risk matrix FIGURE 7.6 Risk Assessment Form Risk Event Interface problems System freezing User backlash Hardware malfunctioning Likelihood 4 2 4 1 Impact 4 5 3 5 Detection Difficulty 4 5 3 5 When Conversion Start-up Postinstallation Installation 218 Chapter 7 Managing Risk FIGURE 7.7 Risk Severity Matrix 5 Red zone (major risk) 4 Likelihood User Interface backlash problems 3 Yellow zone (moderate risk) 2 System freezing Hardware malfunctioning 1 2 3 Impact 4 5 1 Green zone (minor risk) presented in Figure 7.7 consists of a 5 3 5 array of elements with each element representing a different set of impact and likelihood values. The matrix is divided into red, yellow, and green zones representing major, moderate, and minor risks, respectively. The red zone is centered on the top right corner of the matrix (high impact/high likelihood), while the green zone is centered on the bottom left corner (low impact/low likelihood). The moderate risk, yellow zone extends down the middle of the matrix. Since impact is generally considered more important than likelihood (a 10 percent chance of losing $1,000,000 is usually considered a more severe risk than a 90 percent chance of losing $1,000), the red zone (major risk) extends farther down the high impact column. Using the Windows 7 project again as an example, interface problems and system freezing would be placed in the red zone (major risk), while user backlash and hardware malfunctioning would be placed in the yellow zone (moderate risk). The risk severity matrix provides a basis for prioritizing which risks to address. Red zone risks receive first priority followed by yellow zone risks. Green zone risks are typically considered inconsequential and ignored unless their status changes. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) extends the risk severity matrix by including ease of detection in the equation: Impact 3 Probability 3 Detection 5 Risk Value Each of the three dimensions is rated according to a five-point scale. For example, detection is defined as the ability of the project team to discern that the risk event is imminent. A score of 1 would be given if even a chimpanzee could spot the risk coming. The highest detection score of 5 would be given to events that could only be discovered after it is too late (i.e., system freezing). Similar anchored scales would be applied for severity of impact and the probability of the event occurring. The weighting of the risks is then based on their overall score. For example, a risk Chapter 7 Managing Risk 219 with an impact in the "1" zone with a very low probability and an easy detection score might score a 1 (1 3 1 3 1 5 1). Conversely, a high-impact risk with a high probability and impossible to detect would score 125 (5 3 5 3 5 5 125). This broad range of numerical scores allows for easy stratification of risk according to overall significance. No assessment scheme is absolutely foolproof. For example, the weakness of the FMEA approach is that a risk event rated Impact 5 1, Probability 5 5, and Detection 5 5 would receive the same weighted score as an event rated Impact 5 5, Probability 5 5, and Detection 5 1! This underscores the importance of not treating risk assessment as simply an exercise in mathematics. There is no substitute for thoughtful discussion of key risk events. Probability Analysis There are many statistical techniques available to the project manager that can assist in assessing project risk. Decision trees have been used to assess alternative courses of action using expected values. Statistical variations of net present value (NPV) have been used to assess cash flow risks in projects. Correlations between past projects' cash flow and S-curves (cumulative project cost curve--baseline-- over the life of the project) have been used to assess cash flow risks. PERT (program evaluation and review technique) and PERT simulation can be used to review activity and project risk. PERT and related techniques take a more macro perspective by looking at overall cost and schedule risks. Here the focus is not on individual events but on the likelihood the project will be completed on time and within budget. These methods are useful in assessing the overall risk of the project and the need for such things as contingency funds, resources, and time. The use of PERT simulation is increasing because it uses the same data required for PERT, and software to perform the simulation is readily available. Basically PERT simulation assumes a statistical distribution (range between optimistic and pessimistic) for each activity duration; it then simulates the network (perhaps over 1,000 simulations) using a random number generator. The outcome is the relative probability, called a criticality index, of an activity becoming critical under the many different, possible activity durations for each activity. PERT simulation also provides a list of potential critical paths and their respective probabilities of occurring. Having this information available can greatly facilitate identifying and assessing schedule risk. (See Appendix 7.1 at the end of this chapter for a more detailed description and discussion.) Step 3: Risk Response Development When a risk event is identified and assessed, a decision must be made concerning which response is appropriate for the specific event. Responses to risk can be classified as mitigating, avoiding, transferring, sharing, or retaining. Mitigating Risk Reducing risk is usually the first alternative considered. There are basically two strategies for mitigating risk: (1) reduce the likelihood that the event will occur and/ or (2) reduce the impact that the adverse event would have on the project. Most risk teams focus first on reducing the likelihood of risk events since, if successful, this may eliminate the need to consider the potentially costly second strategy. 220 Chapter 7 Managing Risk Testing and prototyping are frequently used to prevent problems from surfacing later in a project. An example of testing can be found in an information systems project. The project team was responsible for installing a new operating system in their parent company. Before implementing the project, the team tested the new system on a smaller isolated network. By doing so they discovered a variety of problems and were able to come up with solutions prior to implementation. The team still encountered problems with the installation but the number and severity were greatly reduced. Often identifying the root causes of an event is useful. For example, the fear that a vendor will be unable to supply customized components on time may be attributable to (1) poor vendor relationships, (2) design miscommunication, and (3) lack of motivation. As a result of this analysis the project manager may decide to take his counterpart to lunch to clear the air, invite the vendor to attend design meetings, and restructure the contract to include incentives for on-time delivery. Other examples of reducing the probability of risks occurring are scheduling outdoor work during the summer months, investing in up-front safety training, and choosing high-quality materials and equipment. When the concerns are that duration and costs have been underestimated, managers will augment estimates to compensate for the uncertainties. It is common to use a ratio between old and new project to adjust time or cost. The ratio typically serves as a constant. For example, if past projects have taken 10 minutes per line of computer code, a constant of 1.10 (which represents a 10 percent increase) would be used for the proposed project time estimates because the new project is more difficult than prior projects. An alternative mitigation strategy is to reduce the impact of the risk if it occurs. For example, a bridge-building project illustrates risk reduction. A new bridge project for a coastal port was to use an innovative, continuous cement-pouring process developed by an Australian firm to save large sums of money and time. The major risk was that the continuous pouring process for each major section of the bridge could not be interrupted. Any interruption would require that the whole cement section (hundreds of cubic yards) be torn down and started over. An assessment of possible risks centered on delivery of the cement from the cement factory. Trucks could be delayed, or the factory could break down. Such risks would result in tremendous rework costs and delays. Risk was reduced by having two additional portable cement plants built nearby on different highways within 20 miles of the bridge project in case the main factory supply was interrupted. These two portable plants carried raw materials for a whole bridge section, and extra trucks were on immediate standby each time continuous pouring was required. Similar risk reduction scenarios are apparent in system and software development projects where parallel innovation processes are used in case one fails. The Dome to Dust Snapshot from Practice details the steps Controlled Demolition took to minimize damage when they imploded the Seattle Kingdome. Avoiding Risk Risk avoidance is changing the project plan to eliminate the risk or condition. Although it is impossible to eliminate all risk events, some specific risks may be avoided before you launch the project. For example, adopting proven technology instead of experimental technology can eliminate technical failure. Choosing an Australian supplier as opposed to an Indonesian supplier would virtually eliminate the chance that political unrest would disrupt the supply of critical materials. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 221 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE On March 26, 2000, the largest concrete domed structure in the world was reduced to a pile of rubble in a dramatic implosion lasting less than 20 seconds. According to Mark Loizeaux, whose Maryland-based Controlled Demolition Inc. was hired to bring the 24-year-old Seattle Kingdome down, "We don't blow things up. We use explosives as an engine, but gravity is the catalyst that will bring it down." Destroying the Kingdome was the most complicated of the 7,000 demolitions Loizeaux's company has undertaken. Nearly three months of preparations were needed to implode the dome at a total cost of $9 million. The Kingdome was considered to be one of the strongest structures in the world containing over 25,000 tons of concrete with each of its 40 vaulted ribs incorporating seven lengths of two-and-one-quarter-inch reinforcing steel bar. Strands of orange detonating cord--basically dynamite in a string that explodes at the lightning pace of 24,000 feet per second-- connected six pielike divisions of the Kingdome to a nearby control center. Throughout each section, Controlled Demolition workers drilled nearly 1,000 holes and packed them with high-velocity gelatin explosives the size of hot dogs. Large charges were placed about one-third of the way up each dome rib, smaller charges were put farther up the ribs. When the detonation button was pushed, blasting caps set off a chain reaction of explosions in each section reducing the stadium to rubble. While the actual implosion was a technical tour-de-force, risk management was a critical part of the project's success. To minimize damage to surrounding buildings, the explosive charges were wrapped in a layer of chain-link fencing covered with thick sheets of geotextile polypropylene fabric to contain flying concrete. Nearby buildings were protected in various manners depending on the structure and proximity to the Dome. Measures included sealing air-handling units, From Dome to Dust* Getty Images taping seams on doors and windows, covering floors and windows with plywood and draping reinforced polyethylene sheeting around the outside. To help absorb the impact, air-conditioning units removed from the interior were stacked with other material to create a barrier around the perimeter of the work area. Hundreds of police officers and security personnel were used to cordon off an area extending roughly 1,000 feet from the Dome from overzealous spectators. Traffic was closed for a larger area. Accommodations were provided for people and pets who lived within the restricted zone. Eight water trucks, eight sweeper units, and more than 100 workers were deployed immediately after the blast to control dust and begin the cleanup. As a side note, one-third of the concrete will be crushed and used in the foundation of a new $430 million outdoor football stadium which is being built in its place. The rest of the concrete will be carted away and used in roadbeds and foundations throughout the Seattle area. * New York Times--Sunday Magazine (March 19, 2000); Seattle Times (March 27, 2000) Web site. See the WAP versus JAVA Snapshot from Practice to see how Ellipsus Systems avoided a potentially critical technical risk. Transferring Risk Passing risk to another party is common; this transfer does not change risk. Passing risk to another party almost always results in paying a premium for this exemption. Fixed-price contracts are the classic example of transferring risk from an owner to a contractor. The contractor understands his or her firm will pay for any risk event that materializes; therefore, a monetary risk factor is added to the contract bid price. Before deciding to transfer risk, the owner should decide which party can best control activities that would lead to the risk occurring. Also, is the 222 Chapter 7 Managing Risk SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Ellipsus Systems, AB, located in Vaxjo, Sweden, is a software design company whose products link corporate computer systems to mobile phones. Critical to the company's success is making the right technology decisions, especially around the standards and protocols its software uses. As wireless and mobile devices continue to take hold, there are two major emerging technical standards. One standard is WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). The second standard, Java, is based on Internet programming standards created by Sun Microsystems. Rikard Kjellberg, one of Ellipsus's founders, was facing a conundrum: which standard to use? In one, Java was dominant; in the other, WAP was dominant. WAP was first to market. It generated huge excitement, and as Nokia prepared to launch the first wireless phone in late 1999, engineers across Europe left secure jobs to form WAP start-ups. At the same WAP or JAVA?* time some negative perceptions were developing about systems based on the WAP standard. Due to the slow response time, a Swedish newspaper ran a story titled "WAP is Crap." Java, on the other hand, had yet to establish itself with no commercial handsets available at the time. Kjellberg's solution was to have projects in his company's portfolio based on both standards. Ellipsus built early prototypes of both systems and took them to a trade show, with both systems sitting side by side. "We knew within an hour which way to go," says Douglas Davies, the COO. Ellipsus began securing million dollar contracts to supply its Java-based system to leading U.S. operators. * David Pringle, "How the U.S. Took the Wireless Lead Away from Europe," The Wall Street Journal Europe, 20 February 2002 http://www. (accessed 10, November 2003). contractor capable of absorbing the risk? Clearly identifying and documenting responsibility for absorbing risk is imperative. Another more obvious way to transfer risk is insurance. However, in most cases this is impractical because defining the project risk event and conditions to an insurance broker who is unfamiliar with the project is difficult and usually expensive. Of course, low-probability and high-consequence risk events such as acts of God are more easily defined and insured. Performance bonds, warranties, and guarantees are other financial instruments used to transfer risk. On large, international construction projects like petrochemical plants and oil refineries, host countries are insisting on contracts that enforce Build-Own-OperateTransfer (BOOT) provisions. Here the prime project organization is expected not only to build the facility, but also to take over ownership until its operation capacity has been proven and all the debugging has occurred before final transfer of ownership to the client. In such cases, the host country has transferred financial risk of ownership until the project has been completed and capabilities proven. Retaining Risk In some cases a conscious decision is made to accept the risk of an event occurring. Some risks are so large it is not feasible to consider transferring or reducing the event (e.g., an earthquake or flood). The project owner assumes the risk because the chance of such an event occurring is slim. In other cases risks identified in the budget reserve can simply be absorbed if they materialize. The risk is retained by developing a contingency plan to implement if the risk materializes. In a few cases a risk event can be ignored and a cost overrun accepted should the risk event occur. The more effort given to risk response before the project begins, the better the chances are for minimizing project surprises. Knowing that the response to a risk event will be retained, transferred, or mitigated greatly reduces stress and uncertainty. Again, control is possible with this structured approach. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 223 Contingency Planning A contingency plan is an alternative plan that will be used if a possible foreseen risk event becomes a reality. The contingency plan represents actions that will reduce or mitigate the negative impact of the risk event. A key distinction between a risk response and a contingency plan is that a response is part of the actual implementation plan and action is taken before the risk can materialize, while a contingency plan is not part of the initial implementation plan and only goes into effect after the risk is recognized. Like all plans, the contingency plan answers the questions of what, where, when, and how much action will take place. The absence of a contingency plan, when a risk event occurs, can cause a manager to delay or postpone the decision to implement a remedy. This postponement can lead to panic, and acceptance of the first remedy suggested. Such after-the-event decision making under pressure can be potentially dangerous and costly. Contingency planning evaluates alternative remedies for possible foreseen events before the risk event occurs and selects the best plan among alternatives. This early contingency planning facilitates a smooth transition to the remedy or work-around plan. The availability of a contingency plan can significantly increase the chances for project success. Conditions for activating the implementation of the contingency plan should be decided and clearly documented. The plan should include a cost estimate and identify the source of funding. All parties affected should agree to the contingency plan and have authority to make commitments. Because implementation of a contingency plan embodies disruption in the sequence of work, all contingency plans should be communicated to team members so that surprise and resistance are minimized. Here is an example: A high-tech niche computer company intends to introduce a new "platform" product at a very specific target date. The project's 47 teams all agree delays will not be acceptable. Their contingency plans for two large component suppliers demonstrate how seriously risk management is viewed. One supplier's plant sits on the San Andreas Fault, which is prone to earthquakes. The contingency plan has an alternative supplier, who is constantly updated, producing a replica of the component in another plant. Another key supplier in Toronto, Canada, presents a delivery risk on their due date because of potential bad weather. This contingency plan calls for a chartered plane (already contracted to be on standby) if overland transportation presents a delay problem. To outsiders these plans must seem a bit extreme, but in high-tech industries where time to market is king, risks of identified events are taken seriously. Risk response matrices such as the one shown in Figure 7.8 are useful for summarizing how the project team plans to manage risks that have been identified. Again, the Windows 7 project is used to illustrate this kind of matrix. The first step is to identify whether to reduce, share, transfer, or accept the risk. The team decided to reduce the chances of the system freezing by experimenting with a prototype of the system. Prototype experimentation not only allows them to identify and fix conversion "bugs" before the actual installation, but it also yields information that could be useful in enhancing acceptance by end-users. The project team is then able to identify and document changes between the old and new system that will be incorporated in the training the users receive. The risk of equipment malfunctioning is transferred by choosing a reliable supplier with a strong warranty program. The next step is to identify contingency plans in case the risk still occurs. For example, if interface problems prove insurmountable, then the team would attempt a work-around until vendor experts arrived to help solve the problem. If 224 Chapter 7 Managing Risk FIGURE 7.8 Risk Response Matrix Risk Event Interface problems System freezing User backlash Equipment malfunctions Response Mitigate: Test prototype Mitigate: Test prototype Mitigate: Prototype demonstration Mitigate: Select reliable vendor Transfer: Warranty Contingency Plan Work around until help comes Reinstall OS Increase staff support Order replacement Trigger Not solved within 24 hours Still frozen after one hour Call from top management Equipment fails Who Is Responsible Nils Emmylou Eddie Jim the system freezes after installation, the team will first try to reinstall the software. If user dissatisfaction is high, then the IS department will provide more staff support. If the team is unable to get reliable equipment from the original supplier, then it will order a different brand from a second dealer. The team also needs to discuss and agree what would "trigger" implementation of the contingency plan. In the case of the system freezing, the trigger is not being able to unfreeze the system within one hour or, in the case of user backlash, an angry call from top management. Finally, the individual responsible for monitoring the potential risk and initiating the contingency plan needs to be assigned. Smart project managers establish protocols for contingency responses before they are needed. For an example of the importance of establishing protocols see the Risk Management at the Top of the World Snapshot from Practice on page 225. Some of the most common methods for handling risk are discussed here. Technical Risks Technical risks are problematic; they can often be the kind that cause the project to be shut down. What if the system or process does not work? Contingency or backup plans are made for those possibilities that are foreseen. For example, Carrier Transicold was involved in developing a new Phoenix refrigeration unit for truck-trailer applications. This new unit was to use rounded panels made of bonded metals, which at the time was new technology for Transicold. Furthermore, one of its competitors had tried unsuccessfully to incorporate similar bonded metals in their products. The project team was eager to make the new technology work, but it wasn't until the very end of the project that they were able to get the new adhesives to bond adequately to complete the project. Throughout the project, the team maintained a welded-panel fabrication approach just in case they were unsuccessful. If this contingency approach had been needed, it would have increased production costs, but the project still would have been completed on time. In addition to backup strategies, project managers need to develop methods to quickly assess whether technical uncertainties can be resolved. The use of sophisticated CAD programs has greatly helped resolve design problems. At the same time, Smith and Reinertsen, in their book Developing Products in Half the Time, argue that there is no substitute for making something and seeing how it works, feels, or looks. They suggest that one should first identify the high-risk technical areas, then build models or design experiments to resolve the risk as quickly as possible. By isolating and testing the key technical questions early on in a project, Chapter 7 Managing Risk 225 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer's gripping account of an ill-fated attempt to climb Mount Everest in which six climbers died, provides testimony to the risks of extreme mountain climbing. Thirteen days after the tragedy, David Breashears successfully led a film crew to the summit. Their footage can be seen in the spectacular IMAX film, Everest. Accounts of Mount Everest expeditions provide insights into project risk management. First, most climbers spend more than three weeks acclimating their bodies to high-altitude conditions. Native Sherpas are used extensively to carry supplies and set up each of the four base camps that will be used during the final stages of the climb. To reduce the impact of hypoxia, lightheadness, and disorientation caused by shortage of oxygen, most climbers use oxygen masks and bottles during the final ascent. If lucky enough not to be one of the first expeditions of the season, the path to the summit should be staked out and roped by previous climbers. Climbing guides receive last-minute weather reports by radio to confirm whether the weather conditions warrant the risk. Finally, for added insurance, most climbers join their Sherpas in an elaborate puja ritual intended to summon the divine support of the gods before beginning their ascent. All of these efforts pale next to the sheer physical and mental rigors of making the final climb from base camp IV to the summit. This is what climbers refer to as the "death zone" because beyond 26,000 feet the mind and body begin to quickly deteriorate despite supplemental oxygen. Under fair conditions it takes around 18 hours to make the round-trip to the top and back to the base camp. Climbers leave as early as 1:00 A.M. in order to make it back before night falls and total exhaustion sets in. The greatest danger in climbing Mount Everest is not reaching the summit but making it back to the base camp. One out of every five climbers who make it to the summit dies during their descent. The key is establishing a contingency plan in case the climbers encounter hard going or the weather changes. Guides establish a predetermined turnaround time (i.e., 2:00 P.M.) to ensure a safe return no matter how close the Risk Management at the Top of the World* Bobby Model/National Geographic Stock climbers are to the summit. Accepting the time takes tremendous discipline. One who was caught up by time was solo climber Goran Krupp. He turned back 1,000 feet from the top after bicycling 8,000 miles from Stockholm to Katmandu! Many lives have been lost by failing to adhere to the turnback time and pushing forward to the summit. As one climber put it, "With enough determination, any bloody idiot can get up the hill. The trick is to get back down alive." * Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air (New York: Doubleday, 1997), p. 190; Broughton Coburn, Everest: Mountain without Mercy (New York: National Geographic Society, 1997). project feasibility can be quickly determined and necessary adjustments made such as reworking the process or in some cases closing down the project. Schedule Risks Often organizations will defer the threat of a project coming in late until it surfaces. Here contingency funds are set aside to expedite or "crash" the project to get it back on track. Crashing, or reducing project duration, is accomplished by shortening (compressing) one or more activities on the critical path. This comes 226 Chapter 7 Managing Risk with additional costs and risk. Techniques for managing this situation are discussed in Chapter 9. Some contingency plans can avoid costly procedures. For example, schedules can be altered by working activities in parallel or using startto-start lag relationships. Also, using the best people for high-risk tasks can relieve or lessen the chance of some risk events occurring. Cost Risks Projects of long duration need some contingency for price changes--which are usually upward. The important point to remember when reviewing price is to avoid the trap of using one lump sum to cover price risks. For example, if inflation has been running about 3 percent, some managers add 3 percent for all resources used in the project. This lump-sum approach does not address exactly where price protection is needed and fails to provide for tracking and control. On cost sensitive projects, price risks should be evaluated item by item. Some purchases and contracts will not change over the life of the project. Those that may change should be identified and estimates made of the magnitude of change. This approach ensures control of the contingency funds as the project is implemented. Funding Risks What if the funding for the project is cut by 25 percent or completion projections indicate that costs will greatly exceed available funds? What are the chances of the project being canceled before completion? Seasoned project managers recognize that a complete risk assessment must include an evaluation of funding supply. This is especially true for publicly funded projects. Case in point was the ill-fated RAH-66 Comanche helicopter which was being developed for the U.S. Army by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and Boeing Co. Eight billion dollars had been invested to develop a new age combat and reconnaissance helicopter, when in February 2004, the Defense Department recommended that the project be canceled. The cancellation reflected a need to cut costs and a switch toward using unmanned aircraft for surveillance as well as attack missions. Just as government projects are subject to changes in strategy and political agenda, business firms frequently undergo changes in priorities and top management. The pet projects of the new CEO replace the pet projects of the former CEO. Resources become tight and one way to fund new projects is to cancel other projects. Severe budget cuts or lack of adequate funding can have a devastating effect on a project. Typically, when such a fate occurs, there is a need to scale back the scope of the project to what is possible. "All-or-nothing projects" are ripe targets to budget cutters. This was the case of the Comanche helicopter once the decision was made to move away from manned reconnaissance aircraft. Here the "chunkability" of the project can be an advantage. For example, freeway projects can fall short of the original intentions but still add value for each mile completed. On a much smaller scale, similar funding risks may exist for more mundane projects. For example, a building contractor may find that due to a sudden downturn in the stock market the owners can no longer afford to build their dream house. Or an IS consulting firm may be left empty handed when a client files for bankruptcy. In the former case the contractor may have as a contingency selling the house on the open market, while unfortunately the consulting firm will have to join the long line of creditors. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 227 Opportunity Management For the sake of brevity, this chapter has focused on negative risks--what can go wrong on a project. There is a flip side--what could go right on a project? This is commonly referred to as a positive risk or opportunity. An opportunity is an event that can have a positive impact on project objectives. For example, unusually favorable weather can accelerate construction work, or a drop in fuel prices may create savings that could be used to add value to a project. Essentially the same process that is used to manage negative risks is applied to positive risks. Opportunities are identified, assessed in terms of likelihood and impact, responses are determined, and even contingency plans and funds can be established to take advantage of the opportunity if it occurs. The major exception between managing negative risks and opportunity is in the responses. The project management profession has identified four different types of response to an opportunity: Exploit. This tactic seeks to eliminate the uncertainty associated with an opportunity to ensure that it definitely happens. Examples include assigning your best personnel to a critical burst activity to reduce the time to completion or revising a design to enable a component to be purchased rather than developed internally. Share. This strategy involves allocating some or all of the ownership of an opportunity to another party who is best able to capture the opportunity for the benefit of the project. Examples include establishing continuous improvement incentives for external contractors or joint ventures. Enhance. Enhance is the opposite of mitigation in that action is taken to increase the probability and/or the positive impact of an opportunity. Examples include choosing site location based on favorable weather patterns or choosing raw materials that are likely to decline in price. Accept. Accepting an opportunity is being willing to take advantage of it if it occurs, but not taking action to pursue it. While it is only natural to focus on negative risks, it is sound practice to engage in active opportunity management as well. Contingency Funding and Time Buffers Contingency funds are established to cover project risks--identified and unknown. When, where, and how much money will be spent is not known until the risk event occurs. Project "owners" are often reluctant to set up project contingency funds that seem to imply the project plan might be a poor one. Some perceive the contingency fund as an add-on slush fund. Others say they will face the risk when it materializes. Usually such reluctance to establish contingency reserves can be overcome with documented risk identification, assessment, contingency plans, and plans for when and how funds will be disbursed. The size and amount of contingency reserves depend on uncertainty inherent in the project. Uncertainty is reflected in the "newness" of the project, inaccurate time and cost estimates, technical unknowns, unstable scope, and problems not anticipated. In practice, contingencies run from 1 to 10 percent in projects similar to past projects. However, in unique and high-technology projects it is not uncommon to find contingencies running in the 20 to 60 percent range. Use and rate of consumption of reserves must be closely monitored and controlled. Simply picking a 228 Chapter 7 Managing Risk percentage of the baseline, say, 5 percent, and calling it the contingency reserve is not a sound approach. Also, adding up all the identified contingency allotments and throwing them into one pot is not conducive to sound control of the reserve fund. In practice, the contingency reserve fund is typically divided into budget and management reserve funds for control purposes. Budget reserves are set up to cover identified risks; these reserves are those allocated to specific segments or deliverables of the project. Management reserves are set up to cover unidentified risks and are allocated to risks associated with the total project. The risks are separated because their use requires approval from different levels of project authority. Because all risks are probabilistic, the reserves are not included in the baseline for each work package or activity; they are only activated when a risk occurs. If an identified risk does not occur and its chance of occurring is past, the fund allocated to the risk should be deducted from the budget reserve. (This removes the temptation to use budget reserves for other issues or problems.) Of course if the risk does occur, funds are removed from the reserve and added to the cost baseline. It is important that contingency allowances be independent of the original time and cost estimates. These allowances need to be clearly distinguished to avoid time and budget game playing. Budget Reserves These reserves are identified for specific work packages or segments of a project found in the baseline budget or work breakdown structure. For example, a reserve amount might be added to "computer coding" to cover the risk of "testing" showing a coding problem. The reserve amount is determined by costing out the accepted contingency or recovery plan. The budget reserve should be communicated to the project team. This openness suggests trust and encourages good cost performance. However, distributing budget reserves should be the responsibility of both the project manager and the team members responsible for implementing the specific segment of the project. If the risk does not materialize, the funds are removed from the budget reserve. Thus, budget reserves decrease as the project progresses. Management Reserves These reserve funds are needed to cover major unforeseen risks and, hence, are applied to the total project. For example, a major scope change may appear necessary midway in the project. Because this change was not anticipated or identified, it is covered from the management reserve. Management reserves are established after budget reserves are identified and funds established. These reserves are independent of budget reserves and are controlled by the project manager and the "owner" of the project. The "owner" can be internal (top management) or external to the project organization. Most management reserves are set using historical data and judgments concerning the uniqueness and complexity of the project. Placing technical contingencies in the management reserve is a special case. Identifying possible technical (functional) risks is often associated with a new, untried, innovative process or product. Because there is a chance the innovation may not work out, a fallback plan is necessary. This type of risk is beyond the control of the project manager. Hence, technical reserves are held in the management reserve and controlled by the owner or top management. The owner and project manager decide when the contingency plan will be implemented and the reserve funds used. It is assumed there is a high probability these funds will never be used. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 229 TABLE 7.1 Contingency Fund Estimate (Thousands of Dollars) Activity Design Code Test Subtotal Management reserve Total Budget Baseline $500 900 20 $1,420 -- $1,420 Budget Reserve $15 80 2 $97 -- $97 Project Budget $515 980 22 $1,517 50 $1,567 Table 7.1 shows the development of a contingency fund estimate for a hypothetical project. Note how budget and management reserves are kept separate; control is easily tracked using this format. Time Buffers Just as contingency funds are established to absorb unplanned costs, managers use time buffers to cushion against potential delays in the project. And like contingency funds, the amount of time is dependent upon the inherent uncertainty of the project. The more uncertain the project the more time should be reserved for the schedule. The strategy is to assign extra time at critical moments in the project. For example, buffers are added to A. activities with severe risks. B. merge activities that are prone to delays due to one or more preceding activities being late. C. noncritical activities to reduce the likelihood that they will create another critical path. D. activities that require scarce resources to ensure that the resources are available when needed. In the face of overall schedule uncertainty, buffers are sometimes added to the end of the project. For example, a 300-working-day project may have a 30-day project buffer. While the extra 30 days would not appear on the schedule, it is available if needed. Like management reserves, this buffer typically requires the authorization of top management. A more systematic approach to buffer management is discussed in the Chapter 8 Appendix on critical chain project management. Step 4: Risk Response Control Typically the results of the first three steps of the risk management process are summarized in a formal document often called the risk register. A risk register details all identified risks, including descriptions, category, and probability of occurring, impact, responses, contingency plans, owners, and current status. The register is the backbone for the last step in the risk management process: risk control. Risk control involves executing the risk response strategy, monitoring triggering events, initiating contingency plans, and watching for new risks. Establishing a change management system to deal with events that require formal changes in the scope, budget, and/or schedule of the project is an essential element of risk control. Project managers need to monitor risks just like they track project progress. Risk assessment and updating needs to be part of every status meeting and 230 Chapter 7 Managing Risk progress report system. The project team needs to be on constant alert for new, unforeseen risks. Management needs to be sensitive that others may not be forthright in acknowledging new risks and problems. Admitting that there might be a bug in the design code or that different components are not compatible reflects poorly on individual performance. If the prevailing organizational culture is one where mistakes are punished severely, then it is only human nature to protect oneself. Similarly, if bad news is greeted harshly and there is a propensity to "kill the messenger," then participants will be reluctant to speak freely. The tendency to suppress bad news is compounded when individual responsibility is vague and the project team is under extreme pressure from top management to get the project done quickly. Project managers need to establish an environment in which participants feel comfortable raising concerns and admitting mistakes. The norm should be that mistakes are acceptable, hiding mistakes is intolerable. Problems should be embraced not denied. Participants should be encouraged to identify problems and new risks. Here a positive attitude by the project manager toward risks is a key. On large, complex projects it may be prudent to repeat the risk identification/ assessment exercise with fresh information. Risk profiles should be reviewed to test to see if the original responses held true. Relevant stakeholders should be brought into the discussion and the risk register needs to be updated. While this may not be practical on an ongoing basis, project managers should touch base with them on a regular basis or hold special stakeholder meetings to review the status of risks on the project. A second key for controlling the cost of risks is documenting responsibility. This can be problematic in projects involving multiple organizations and contractors. Responsibility for risk is frequently passed on to others with the statement, "That is not my worry." This mentality is dangerous. Each identified risk should be assigned (or shared) by mutual agreement of the owner, project manager, and the contractor or person having line responsibility for the work package or segment of the project. It is best to have the line person responsible approve the use of budget reserve funds and monitor their rate of usage. If management reserve funds are required, the line person should play an active role in estimating additional costs and funds needed to complete the project. Having line personnel participate in the process focuses attention on the management reserve, control of its rate of usage, and early warning of potential risk events. If risk management is not formalized, responsibility and responses to risk will be ignored--it is not my area. The bottom line is that project managers and team members need to be vigilant in monitoring potential risks and identify new land mines that could derail a project. Risk assessment has to be part of the working agenda of status meetings and when new risks emerge they need to be analyzed and incorporated into the risk management process. Change Control Management A major element of the risk control process is change management. Every detail of a project plan will not materialize as expected. Coping with and controlling project changes present a formidable challenge for most project managers. Changes come from many sources such as the project customer, owner, project manager, Chapter 7 Managing Risk 231 FIGURE 7.9 Change Control Process Change Originates team members, and occurrence of risk events. Most changes easily fall into three categories: 1. Scope changes in the form of design or additions represent big changes; for example, customer requests for a new feature or a redesign that will improve the product. 2. Implementation of contingency plans, when risk events occur, represent changes in baseline costs and schedules. 3. Improvement changes suggested by project team members represent another category. Because change is inevitable, a well-defined change review and control process should be set up early in the project planning cycle. Change management systems involve reporting, controlling, and recording changes to the project baseline. (Note: Some organizations consider change control systems part of configuration management.) In practice most change management systems are designed to accomplish the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Identify proposed changes. List expected effects of proposed change(s) on schedule and budget. Review, evaluate, and approve or disapprove changes formally. Negotiate and resolve conflicts of change, conditions, and cost. Communicate changes to parties affected. Assign responsibility for implementing change. Adjust master schedule and budget. Track all changes that are to be implemented. Change Request Submitted Review Change Request Approved ? Yes Update Plan of Record No Distribute for Action As part of the project communication plan, stakeholders define up front the communication and decision-making process that will be used to evaluate and accept changes. The process can be captured in a flow diagram like the one presented in Figure 7.9. On small projects this process may simply entail approval of a small group of stakeholders. On larger projects more elaborate decision-making processes are established, with different processes being used for different kinds of change. For example, changes in performance requirements may require multiple sign-offs, including the project sponsor and client, while switching suppliers may be authorized by the project manager. Regardless of the nature of the project, the goal is to establish the process for introducing necessary changes in the project in a timely and effective manner. Of particular importance is assessing the impact of the change on the project. Often solutions to immediate problems have adverse consequences on other aspects of a project. For example, in overcoming a problem with the exhaust system for a hybrid automobile, the design engineers contributed to the prototype exceeding weight parameters. It is important that the implications of changes are assessed by people with appropriate expertise and perspective. On construction projects this is often the responsibility of the architecture firm, while "software architects" perform a similar function on software development efforts. Organizations use change request forms and logs to track proposed changes. An example of a simplified change request form is depicted in Figure 7.10. Typically change request forms include a description of the change, the impact of not approving the change, the impact of the change on project scope/schedule/cost, and defined signature paths for review as well as a tracking log number. 232 Chapter 7 Managing Risk FIGURE 7.10 Sample Change Request Project name Irish/Chinese culture exchange Request number 12 Originator Jennifer McDonald Project sponsor Irish embassy Date June 6, 2xxx Change requested by Chinese culture office Description of requested change 1. Request river dancers to replace small Irish dance group. 2. Request one combination dance with river dancers and China ballet group. Reason for change River dancers will enhance stature of event. The group is well known and loved by Chinese people. Areas of impact of proposed changedescribe each on separate sheet X Scope Schedule Disposition Approve X Approve as amended Disapprove Deferred Sign-off Approvals Project manager William O'Mally Project sponsor Kenneth Thompson Date June 12, 2xxx Date June 13, 2xxx Date June 18, 2xxx Date X X Cost Risk Priority Emergency Urgent Low X Funding Source Mgmt. reserve Budget reserve Customer Other Other Project customer Hong Lee Other An abridged version of a change request log for a construction project is presented in Figure 7.11. These logs are used to monitor change requests. They typically summarize the status of all outstanding change requests and include such useful information as source and date of the change, document codes for related information, cost estimates, and the current status of the request. Every approved change must be identified and integrated into the plan of record through changes in the project WBS and baseline schedule. The plan of record is the current official plan for the project in terms of scope, budget, and schedule. The plan of record serves as a change management benchmark for future change requests as well as the baseline for evaluating project progress. If the change control system is not integrated with the WBS and baseline, project plans and control will soon self-destruct. Thus, one of the keys to a successful Chapter 7 Managing Risk 233 FIGURE 7.11 Change Request Log Owner Requested Change Status Report--Open Items Reference Document Dates Date Rec'd Date Submit Amount 188,129 ASI 56 1/5/2008 3/30/2008 9,308 Status OPEN APPROVED Comments FUNDING FROM OTHER SOURCE OSU--Weatherford Rc# 51 52 Description Sewer work offset Stainless Plates at restroom Shower Valves Waterproofing Options Change Electrical floor box spec change VE Option for Style and rail doors Pressure Wash C tower Fire Lite glass in stairs Cyber Caf added tele/OFOI equipment Additional Dampers in C wing Revise Corridor ceilings 53 54 ASI 77 RFI 113 1/13/2008 12/5/2008 3/29/2008 169,386 2,544 OPEN SUBMIT 55 Door samples Owner request Owner request ASI 65 1/14/2008 220,000 ROM 56 57 58 3/15/2008 3/30/2008 14,861 8,000 SUBMIT QUOTE APPROVED ROM BASED ON FIRELITE NT 1/30/2008 3/29/2008 4,628 59 60 ASI 68 ASI 72 2/4/2008 2/13/2008 3/29/2008 3/31/2008 1,085 3,755 SUBMIT SUBMIT OPEN--Requires estimate ROM--Rough order magnitude QUOTE--Subcontractor quotes SUBMIT--RC letter submitted APPROVED--RC letter approved REVISE--RC letter to be reviewed ASI--Architect's supplemental instructions RFI--Request for information change control process is document, document, document! The benefits derived from change control systems are the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Inconsequential changes are discouraged by the formal process. Costs of changes are maintained in a log. Integrity of the WBS and performance measures is maintained. Allocation and use of budget and management reserve funds are tracked. Responsibility for implementation is clarified. Effect of changes is visible to all parties involved. Implementation of change is monitored. Scope changes will be quickly reflected in baseline and performance measures. Clearly, change control is important and requires that someone or some group be responsible for approving changes, keeping the process updated, and communicating changes to the project team and relevant stakeholders. Project control depends heavily on keeping the change control process current. This historical record can be used for satisfying customer inquiries, identifying problems in post-project audits, and estimating future project costs. 234 Chapter 7 Managing Risk Summary To put the processes discussed in this chapter in proper perspective one should recognize that the essence of project management is risk management. Every technique in this book is really a risk management technique. Each in its own way tries to prevent something bad from happening. Project selection systems try to reduce the likelihood that projects will not contribute to the mission of the firm. Project scope statements, among other things, are designed to avoid costly misunderstandings and reduce scope creep. Risk breakdown structures reduce the likelihood that some vital part of the project will be omitted or that the budget estimates are unrealistic. Teambuilding reduces the likelihood of dysfunctional conflict and breakdowns in coordination. All of the techniques try to increase stakeholder satisfaction and increase the chances of project success. From this perspective managers engage in risk management activities to compensate for the uncertainty inherent in project management and that things never go according to plan. Risk management is proactive not reactive. It reduces the number of surprises and leads to a better understanding of the most likely outcomes of negative events. Although many managers believe that in the final analysis, risk assessment and contingency depend on subjective judgment, some standard method for identifying, assessing, and responding to risks should be included in all projects. The very process of identifying project risks forces some discipline at all levels of project management and improves project performance. Contingency plans increase the chance that the project can be completed on time and within budget. Contingency plans can be simple "work-arounds" or elaborate detailed plans. Responsibility for risks should be clearly identified and documented. It is desirable and prudent to keep a reserve as a hedge against project risks. Budget reserves are linked to the WBS and should be communicated to the project team. Control of management reserves should remain with the owner, project manager, and line person responsible. Use of contingency reserves should be closely monitored, controlled, and reviewed throughout the project life cycle. Experience clearly indicates that using a formal, structured process to handle possible foreseen and unforeseen project risk events minimizes surprises, costs, delays, stress, and misunderstandings. Risk management is an iterative process that occurs throughout the lifespan of the project. When risk events occur or changes are necessary, using an effective change control process to quickly approve and record changes will facilitate measuring performance against schedule and cost. Ultimately successful risk management requires a culture in which threats are embraced not denied and problems are identified not hidden. Key Terms Avoiding risk, 220 Budget reserve, 228 Change management system, 231 Contingency plan, 223 Management reserve, 228 Mitigating risk, 219 Opportunity, 227 Retaining Risk, 222 Risk, 211 Risk breakdown structure (RBS), 214 Risk register, 229 Risk profile, 214 Risk severity matrix, 218 Scenario analysis, 216 Time buffer, 229 Transferring risk, 221 Chapter 7 Managing Risk 235 Review Questions 1. Project risks can/cannot be eliminated if the project is carefully planned. Explain. 2. The chances of risk events occurring and their respective costs increasing change over the project life cycle. What is the significance of this phenomenon to a project manager? 3. What is the difference between avoiding a risk and accepting a risk? 4. What is the difference between mitigating a risk and contingency planning? 5. Explain the difference between budget reserves and management reserves. 6. How are the work breakdown structure and change control connected? 7. What are the likely outcomes if a change control process is not used? Why? 8. What are the major differences between managing negative risks versus positive risks (opportunities)? 1. Gather a small team of students. Think of a project most students would understand; the kinds of tasks involved should also be familiar. Identify and assess major and minor risks inherent to the project. Decide on a response type. Develop a contingency plan for two to four identified risks. Estimate costs. Assign contingency reserves. How much reserve would your team estimate for the whole project? Justify your choices and estimates. 2. You have been assigned to a project risk team of five members. Because this is the first time your organization has formally set up a risk team for a project, it is hoped that your team will develop a process that can be used on all future projects. Your first team meeting is next Monday morning. Each team member has been asked to prepare for the meeting by developing, in as much detail as possible, an outline that describes how you believe the team should proceed in handling project risks. Each team member will hand out their proposed outline at the beginning of the meeting. Your outline should include but not be limited to the following information: a. Team objectives. b. Process for handling risk events. c. Team activities. d. Team outputs. 3. The Manchester United Soccer Tournament project team (review the Manchester United case at the end of Chapter 4) has identified the following potential risks to their project: a. Referees failing to show up at designated games. b. Fighting between teams. c. Pivotal error committed by a referee that determines the outcome of a game. d. Abusive behavior along the sidelines by parents. e. Inadequate parking. f. Not enough teams sign up for different age brackets. g. Serious injury. How would you recommend that they respond (i.e., avoid, accept, . . .) to these risks and why? 4. Search the World Wide Web (WWW) using the key words: "best practices, project management." What did you find? How might this information be useful to a project manager? Exercises 236 Chapter 7 Managing Risk References Atkinson, W., "Beyond the Basics," PM Network, May 2003, pp. 3843. Baker, B., and R. Menon, "Politics and Project Performance: The Fourth Dimension of Project Management," PM Network, 9 (11) November 1995, pp. 1621. Carr, M. J., S. L. Konda, I. Monarch, F. C. Ulrich, and C. F. Walker, "Taxonomy-Based Risk Identification," Technical Report CMU/SEI-93-TR 6, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 1993. Ford, E. C., J. Duncan, A. G. Bedeian, P. M. Ginter, M. D. Rousculp, and A. M. Adams, "Mitigating Risks, Visible Hands, Inevitable Disasters, and Soft Variables: Management Research that Matters to Managers," Academy of Management Executive, 19 (4) November 2005, pp. 2438. Graves, R., "Qualitative Risk Assessment," PM Network, 14 (10) October 2000, pp. 6166. Gray, C. F., and R. Reinman, "PERT Simulation: A Dynamic Approach to the PERT Technique," Journal of Systems Management, March 1969, pp. 1823. Hamburger, D. H., "The Project Manager: Risk Taker and Contingency Planner," Project Management Journal, 21 (4) 1990, pp. 1116. Hulett, D. T., "Project Schedule Risk Assessment," Project Management Journal, 26 (1) 1995, pp. 2131. Ingebretson, M., "In No Uncertain Terms," PM Network, 2002, pp. 2832. Levine, H. A., "Risk Management for Dummies: Managing Schedule, Cost and Technical Risk, and Contingency," PM Network, 9 (10) October 1995, pp. 3133. "Math Mistake Proved Fatal to Mars Orbiter," The Orlando Sentinel, November 23, 1999. Pavlik, A., "Project Troubleshooting: Tiger Teams for Reactive Risk Management," Project Management Journal, 35 (4) December 2004, pp. 514. Pinto, J. K., Project Management: Achieving Competitive Advantage (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2007). Pritchard, C. L., "Advanced Risk--How Big Is Your Crystal Ball?" Proceedings of the 31st Annual Project Management Institute 2000 Seminars and Symposium, (Houston, TX, 2000) CD, pp. 93336. Project Management Body of Knowledge (Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute, 2008), pp. 273312. Schuler, J. R., "Decision Analysis in Projects: Monte Carlo Simulation," PM Network, 7 (1) January 1994, pp. 3036. Smith, P. G., and G. M. Merritt, Proactive Risk Management: Controlling Uncertainty in Product Development (New York: Productivity Press, 2002). Smith, P. G., and D. G. Reinertsen, Developing Products in Half the Time (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995). Chapter 7 Managing Risk 237 Case Alaska Fly-Fishing Expedition* You are sitting around the fire at a lodge in Dillingham, Alaska, discussing a fishing expedition you are planning with your colleagues at Great Alaska Adventures (GAA). Earlier in the day you received a fax from the president of BlueNote, Inc. The president wants to reward her top management team by taking them on an all-expense-paid fly-fishing adventure in Alaska. She would like GAA to organize and lead the expedition. You have just finished a preliminary scope statement for the project (see below). You are now brainstorming potential risks associated with the project. 1. Brainstorm potential risks associated with this project. Try to come up with at least five different risks. 2. Use a risk assessment form similar to Figure 7.6 to analyze identified risks. 3. Develop a risk response matrix similar to Figure 7.8 to outline how you would deal with each of the risks. PROJECT SCOPE STATEMENT PROJECT OBJECTIVE To organize and lead a five-day fly-fishing expedition down the Tikchik River system in Alaska from June 21 to 25 at a cost not to exceed $27,000. DELIVERABLES Provide air transportation from Dillingham, Alaska, to Camp I and from Camp II back to Dillingham. Provide river transportation consisting of two eight-man drift boats with outboard motors. Provide three meals a day for the five days spent on the river. Provide four hours fly-fishing instruction. Provide overnight accommodations at the Dillingham lodge plus three fourman tents with cots, bedding, and lanterns. Provide four experienced river guides who are also fly fishermen. Provide fishing licenses for all guests. MILESTONES 1. 2. 3. 4. 1. 2. 3. 4. Contract signed January 22. Guests arrive in Dillingham June 20. Depart by plane to Base Camp I June 21. Depart by plane from Base Camp II to Dillingham June 25. Fly in air transportation to and from base camps. Boat transportation within the Tikchik River system. Digital cellular communication devices. Camps and fishing conform to state of Alaska requirements. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS * This case was prepared with the assistance of Stuart Morigeau. 238 Chapter 7 Managing Risk LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS 1. Guests are responsible for travel arrangements to and from Dillingham, Alaska. 2. Guests are responsible for their own fly-fishing equipment and clothing. 3. Local air transportation to and from base camps will be outsourced. 4. Tour guides are not responsible for the number of King Salmon caught by guests. CUSTOMER REVIEW The president of BlueNote, Inc. Case Silver Fiddle Construction You are the president of Silver Fiddle Construction (SFC), which specializes in building high-quality, customized homes in the Grand Junction, Colorado, area. You have just been hired by the Czopeks to build their dream home. You operate as a general contractor and employ only a part-time bookkeeper. You subcontract work to local trade professionals. Housing construction in Grand Junction is booming. You are tentatively scheduled to complete 11 houses this year. You have promised the Czopeks that the final costs will range from $450,000 to $500,000 and that it will take five months to complete the house once groundbreaking has begun. The Czopeks are willing to have the project delayed in order to save costs. You have just finished a preliminary scope statement for the project (see below). You are now brainstorming potential risks associated with the project. 1. Identify potential risks associated with this project. Try to come up with at least five different risks. 2. Use a risk assessment form similar to Figure 7.6 to analyze identified risks. 3. Develop a risk response matrix similar to Figure 7.8 to outline how you would deal with each of the risks. PROJECT SCOPE STATEMENT PROJECT OBJECTIVE To construct a high-quality, custom home within five months at a cost not to exceed $500,000. DELIVERABLES A 2,500-square-foot, 21y2-bath, 3-bedroom, finished home. A finished garage, insulated and sheetrocked. Kitchen appliances to include range, oven, microwave, and dishwasher. High-efficiency gas furnace with programmable thermostat. MILESTONES 1. Permits approved July 5. 2. Foundation poured July 12. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 239 3. "Dry in"--framing, sheathing, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical inspections-- passed September 25. 4. Final inspection November 7. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Home must meet local building codes. All windows and doors must pass NFRC class 40 energy ratings. Exterior wall insulation must meet an "R" factor of 21. Ceiling insulation must meet an "R" factor of 38. Floor insulation must meet an "R" factor of 25. Garage will accommodate two cars and one 28-foot-long Winnebago. Structure must pass seismic stability codes. LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS 1. The home will be built to the specifications and design of the original blueprints provided by the customer. 2. Owner is responsible for landscaping. 3. Refrigerator is not included among kitchen appliances. 4. Air conditioning is not included, but house is prewired for it. 5. SFC reserves the right to contract out services. CUSTOMER REVIEW "Bolo" and Izabella Czopek. Case Peak LAN Project Peak Systems is a small, information systems consulting firm located in Meridian, Louisiana. Peak has just been hired to design and install a local area network (LAN) for the city of Meridian's social welfare agency. You are the manager for the project, which includes one Peak professional and two interns from a local university. You have just finished a preliminary scope statement for the project (see below). You are now brainstorming potential risks associated with the project. 1. Identify potential risks associated with this project. Try to come up with at least five different risks. 2. Use a risk assessment form similar to Figure 7.6 to analyze identified risks. 3. Develop a risk response matrix similar to Figure 7.8 to outline how you would deal with each of the risks. PROJECT SCOPE STATEMENT PROJECT OBJECTIVE To design and install a local area network (LAN) within one month with a budget not to exceed $90,000 for the Meridian Social Service Agency. 240 Chapter 7 Managing Risk DELIVERABLES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Twenty workstations and twenty laptop computers. Server with dual-core processors. Two color laser printers. Windows 2008 R2 server and workstation operating system (Vista/Windows 7). Four hours of introduction training for client's personnel. Sixteen hours of training for client network administrator. Fully operational LAN system. Hardware January 22. Setting users' priority and authorization January 26. In-house whole network test completed February 1. Client site test completed February 2. Training completed February 16. MILESTONES TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS 1. Workstations with 17-inch flat panel monitors, dual-core processors, 2 GB RAM, 8X DVD1RW, wireless card, Ethernet card, 80 GB hard drive. 2. Laptops with 12-inch display monitor, dual-core processors, 2GB RAM, 8X DVD1RW, wireless card, Ethernet card, 60 GB hard drive and weigh less than 41y2 lbs. 3. Wireless network interface cards and Ethernet connections. 4. System must support Windows Vista/Windows 7 platforms. 5. System must provide secure external access for field workers. LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS 1. System maintenance and repair only up to one month after final inspection. 2. Warranties transferred to client. 3. Only responsible for installing software designated by the client two weeks before the start of the project. 4. Client will be billed for additional training beyond that prescribed in the contract. CUSTOMER REVIEW Director of the city of Meridian's Social Service Agency. Case XSU Spring Concert You are a member of the X State University (XSU) student body entertainment committee. Your committee has agreed to sponsor a spring concert. The motive behind this concert is to offer a safe alternative to Hasta Weekend. Hasta Weekend is a spring event in which students from XSU rent houseboats and engage in Chapter 7 Managing Risk 241 heavy partying. Traditionally this occurs during the last weekend in May. Unfortunately, the partying has a long history of getting out of hand, sometimes leading to fatal accidents. After one such tragedy last spring, your committee wants to offer an alternative experience for those who are eager to celebrate the change in weather and the pending end of the school year. You have just finished a preliminary scope statement for the project (see below). You are now brainstorming potential risks associated with the project. 1. Identify potential risks associated with this project. Try to come up with at least five different risks. 2. Use a risk assessment form similar to Figure 7.6 to analyze identified risks. 3. Develop a risk response matrix similar to Figure 7.8 to outline how you would deal with each of the risks. PROJECT SCOPE STATEMENT PROJECT OBJECTIVE To organize and deliver an eight-hour concert at Wahoo Stadium at a cost not to exceed $50,000 on the last Saturday in May. DELIVERABLES Local advertising. Concert security. Separate Beer Garden. Eight hours of music and entertainment. Food venues. Souvenir concert t-shirts. Secure all licenses and approvals. Secure sponsors. MILESTONES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Secure all permissions and approvals by January 15. Sign big-name artist by February 15. Complete artist roster by April 1. Secure vendor contracts by April 15. Setup completed on May 27. Concert on May 28. Cleanup completed by May 31. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Professional sound stage and system. At least one big-name artist. At least seven performing acts. Restroom facilities for 10,000 people. Parking available for 1,000 cars. Compliance with XSU and city requirements/ordinances. 242 Chapter 7 Managing Risk LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS 1. Performers responsible for travel arrangements to and from XSU. 2. Vendors contribute a set percentage of sales. 3. Concert must be over by 11:30 P.M. CUSTOMER REVIEW The president of XSU student body. Appendix 7.1 PERT and PERT Simulation PERT--PROGRAM EVALUATION AND REVIEW TECHNIQUE In 1958 the Special Office of the Navy and the Booze, Allen, and Hamilton consulting firm developed PERT (program evaluation and review technique) to schedule the more than 3,300 contractors of the Polaris submarine project and to cover uncertainty of activity time estimates. PERT is almost identical to the critical path method (CPM) technique except it assumes each activity duration has a range that follows a statistical distribution. PERT uses three time estimates for each activity. Basically, this means each activity duration can range from an optimistic time to a pessimistic time, and a weighted average can be computed for each activity. Because project activities usually represent work, and because work tends to stay behind once it gets behind, the PERT developers chose an approximation of the beta distribution to represent activity durations. This distribution is known to be flexible and can accommodate empirical data that do not follow a normal distribution. The activity durations can be skewed more toward the high or low end of the data range. Figure A7.1A depicts a beta distribution for activity durations that is skewed toward the right and is representative of work that tends to stay late once it is behind. The distribution for the project duration is represented by a normal (symmetrical) distribution shown in Figure A7.1B. The project distribution represents the sum of the weighted averages of the activities on the critical path(s). Knowing the weighted average and variances for each activity allows the project planner to compute the probability of meeting different project durations. FolFIGURE A7.1 Activity and Project Frequency Distributions ACTIVITY PROJECT a m (A) b TE (B) Chapter 7 Managing Risk 243 low the steps described in the hypothetical example given next. (The jargon is difficult for those not familiar with statistics, but the process is relatively simple after working through a couple of examples.) The weighted average activity time is computed by the following formula: te 5 where a 1 4m 1 b 6 (7.1) te 5 weighted average activity time a 5 optimistic activity time (1 chance in 100 of completing the activity earlier under normal conditions) b 5 pessimistic activity time (1 chance in 100 of completing the activity later under normal conditions) m 5 most likely activity time When the three time estimates have been specified, this equation is used to compute the weighted average duration for each activity. The average (deterministic) value is placed on the project network as in the CPM method and the early, late, slack, and project completion times are computed as they are in the CPM method. The variability in the activity time estimates is approximated by the following equations: Equation 7.2 represents the standard deviation for the activity. Equation 7.3 represents the standard deviation for the project. Note the standard deviation of the activity is squared in this equation; this is also called variance. This sum includes only activities on the critical path(s) or path being reviewed. st 5 a e E b2a b 6 e (7.2) (7.3) sT 5 2s2 t Finally, the average project duration (TE) is the sum of all the average activity times along the critical path (sum of te), and it follows a normal distribution. Knowing the average project duration and the variances of activities allows the probability of completing the project (or segment of the project) by a specific time to be computed using standard statistical tables. The equation below (Equation 7.4) is used to compute the "Z" value found in statistical tables (Z 5 number of standard deviations from the mean), which, in turn, tells the probability of completing the project in the time specified. Z5 where TE 5 critical path duration TS 5 scheduled project duration Z 5 probability (of meeting scheduled duration) found in statistical Table A7.2 TS 2 TE 2s2 t (7.4) e A HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE USING THE PERT TECHNIQUE The activity times and variances are given in Table A7.1. The project network is presented in Figure A7.2. This figure shows the project network as AOA and AON. The AON network is presented as a reminder that PERT can use AON networks as well as AOA. 244 Chapter 7 Managing Risk TABLE A7.1 Activity Times and Variances Activity 12 23 24 35 45 56 a 17 6 16 13 2 2 m 29 12 19 16 5 5 b 47 24 28 19 14 8 te 30 13 20 16 6 5 [(b a)/6]2 25 9 4 1 4 1 FIGURE A7.2 Hypothetical Network 13 30 3 16 59 56 20 6 AOA Network 1 2 5 5 6 TE = 64 4 AON Network 30 B 43 43 D 59 13 0 A 30 30 30 C 50 16 59 F 64 59 56 50 E 56 5 64 TE = 64 20 6 The expected project duration (TE) is 64 time units; the critical path is 1-2-3-5-6. With this information, the probability of completing the project by a specific date can easily be computed using standard statistical methods. For example, what is the probability the project will be completed before a scheduled time (TS) of 67? The normal curve for the project would appear as shown in Figure A7.3. Using the formula for the Z value, the probability can be computed as follows: Z5 5 5 TS 2 TE 2s2 te 67 2 64 225 1 9 1 1 1 1 13 236 5 10.50 P 5 0.69 Chapter 7 Managing Risk 245 FIGURE A7.3 Possible Project Durations TS = 67 TE = 64 Reading from Table A7.2, a Z value of 10.5 gives a probability of 0.69, which is interpreted to mean there is a 69 percent chance of completing the project on or before 67 time units. Conversely, the probability of completing the project by time period 60 is computed as follows: Z5 5 60 2 64 225 1 9 1 1 1 1 24 236 5 20.67 P < 0.26 From Table A7.2, a Z value of 20.67 gives an approximate probability of 0.26, which is interpreted to mean there is about a 26 percent chance of completing the project on or before 60 time units. Note that this same type of calculation can be made for any path or segment of a path in the network. TABLE A7.2 Z Values and Probabilities Z Value 23.0 22.8 22.6 22.4 22.2 22.0 21.8 21.6 21.4 21.2 21.0 20.8 20.6 20.4 20.2 Probability .001 .003 .005 .008 .014 .023 .036 .055 .081 .115 .159 .212 .274 .345 .421 Z Value 10.0 10.2 10.4 10.6 10.8 11.0 11.2 11.4 11.6 11.8 12.0 12.2 12.4 12.6 12.8 Probability .500 .579 .655 .726 .788 .841 .885 .919 .945 .964 .977 .986 .992 .995 .997 246 Chapter 7 Managing Risk When such probabilities are available to management, trade-off decisions can be made to accept or reduce the risk associated with a particular project duration. For example, if the project manager wishes to improve the chances of completing the project by 64 time units, at least two choices are available. First, management can spend money up front to change conditions that will reduce the duration of one or more activities on the critical path. A more prudent, second alternative would be to allocate money to a contingency fund and wait to see how the project is progressing as it is implemented. EXERCISES 1. Given the project information below, what is the probability of completing the National Holiday Toy project in 93 time units? Act. ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Description Design package Design product Build package Secure patent Build product Paint Test market Predecessor Optm. (a) None 1 1 2 2 3, 4, 5 6 6 16 4 21 17 4 13 Most likely (m) 12 19 7 30 29 7 16 Pess. (b) 24 28 10 39 47 10 19 Act time te Variance [(b 2 a)/6]2 Critical 2. The Global Tea and Organic Juice companies have merged. The following information has been collected for the "Consolidation Project." Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Description Codify accounts File articles of unification Unify price and credit policy Unify personnel policies Unify data processing Train accounting staff Pilot run data processing Calculate P & L and balance sheet Transfer real property Train salesforce Negotiate with unions Determine capital needs Explain personnel policies Secure line of credit End Predecessor None None None None 1 1 5 6, 7 2 3 4 8 11 9, 12 10, 12, 14 a opt 16 30 60 18 17 4 12 6 18 20 40 11 14 13 0 m ml 19 30 72 27 29 7 15 12 27 35 55 20 23 16 0 b pess 28 30 90 30 47 10 18 24 30 50 100 29 26 19 0 1. Compute the expected time for each activity. 2. Compute the variance for each activity. Chapter 7 Managing Risk 247 3. Compute the expected project duration. 4. What is the probability of completing the project by day 112? Within 116 days? 5. What is the probability of completing "Negotiate with Unions" by day 90? 3. The expected times and variances for the project activities are given below. What is the probability of completing the project in 25 periods? ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Description Pilot production Select channels of distrib. Develop mktg. program Test market Patent Full production Ad promotion Release Predecessor None None None 1 1 4 3 2,5,6,7 te 6 7 4 4 10 16 3 2 Variance [(b 2 a)/6]2 3 4 2 2 5 10 2 1 Case International Capital, Inc.--Part A International Capital, Inc. (IC), is a small investment banking firm that specializes in securing funds for small- to medium-sized firms. IC is able to use a standardized project format for each engagement. Only activity times and unusual circumstances change the standard network. Beth Brown has been assigned to this client as project manager partner and has compiled the network information and activity times for the latest client as follows: Activity A B C D E F G H I J K Description Start story draft using template Research client firm Create "due diligence" rough draft Coordinate needs proposal with client Estimate future demand and cash flows Draft future plans for client company Create and approve legal documents Integrate all drafts into first-draft proposal Line up potential sources of capital Check, approve, and print final legal proposal Sign contracts and transfer funds Immediate Predecessor -- -- A, B C C E C D, F, G G, F H I, J 248 Chapter 7 Managing Risk Time in Workdays Activity A B C D E F G H I J K Optimistic 4 2 2 16 6 1 4 2 5 2 17 Most Likely 7 4 5 19 9 7 10 5 8 5 29 Pessimistic 10 8 8 28 24 13 28 14 17 8 45 MANAGERIAL REPORT Brown and other broker partners have a policy of passing their plan through a project review committee of colleagues. This committee traditionally checks that all details are covered, times are realistic, and resources are available. Brown wishes you to develop a report that presents a planned schedule and expected project completion time in workdays. Include a project network in your report. The average duration for a sourcing capital project is 70 workdays. IC partners have agreed it is good business to set up projects with a 95 percent chance of attaining the plan. How does this project stack up with the average project? What would the average have to be to ensure a 95 percent chance of completing the project in 70 workdays? Case Advantage Energy Technology Data Center Migration--Part B In Chapter 6, Brian Smith, network administrator at Advanced Energy Technology (AET), was given the responsibility of implementing the migration of a large data center to a new office location. Careful planning was needed because AET operates in the highly competitive petroleum industry. AET is one of five national software companies that provide an accounting and business management package for oil jobbers and gasoline distributors. A few years ago, AET jumped into the "application service provider" world. Their large data center provides clients with remote access to AET's complete suite of application software systems. Traditionally, one of AET's primary competitive advantages has been the company's trademark IT reliability. Due to the complexity of this project, the Executive Committee insisted that preliminary analysis of the anticipated completion date be conducted. Brian compiled the following information, in preparation for some PERT analysis: Chapter 7 Managing Risk 249 Time in Workdays Task Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 AET DATA CENTER MIGRATION Team meeting Hire contractors Network design Ventilation system Order ventilation system Install ventilation system New racks Order new racks Install racks Power supplies and cables Order power supplies & cables Install power supplies Install cables Renovation of data center City inspection Switchover Meetings Facilities Operations/systems Operations/telecommunications Systems & applications Customer service Power check Install test servers Management safety check Primary systems check Set date for move Complete move Optimistic Dur. 54 0.5 6 12 -- 18 5 -- 13 17 -- 6 5 6 19 1 -- 7 5 6 7 5 0.5 5 1 1.5 1 1 Most Likely Dur. 68 1 7 14 -- 21 7 -- 14 21 -- 7 5 8 20 2 -- 8 7 7 7 6 1 7 2 2 1 2 Pessimistic Dur. 92 1.5 8 16 -- 30 9 -- 21 25 -- 8 11 10 27 3 -- 9 9 8 13 13 1.5 9 3 2.5 1 3 Immediate Predecessor Critical Path 2 2 -- 2 6 -- 2 9 -- 2 12, 16 12, 16 3, 4 3, 7, 10 -- 14 14 14 14 14 13, 14, 15 2, 3, 18, 19, 20, 21 7, 23, 24 25 26 27 1. Based on these estimates and the resultant expected project duration of 69 days, the executive committee wants to know what is the probability of completing the project before a scheduled time (TS) of 68 days? 2. The significance of this project has the executive committee very concerned. The committee has decided that more analysis of the duration of each activity is needed. Prior to conducting that effort, they asked Brian to calculate what the expected project duration would have to be to ensure a 93 percent chance of completion within 68 days. ADVANTAGE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY (AET)-- ACCOUNTS PAYABLE SYSTEM The AET sales department has been concerned about a new start-up company that is about to release an accounts payable system. Their investigation indicates that this new package will provide features which will seriously compete with AET's current Accounts Payable system and some cases, exceed what AET offers. 250 Chapter 7 Managing Risk Tom Wright, senior applications developer at AET, has been given the responsibility of analyzing, designing, developing, and delivering a new accounts payable system (A/P) for AET customers. Complicating the issue is the concern of the sales department about AET's recent inability to meet promised delivery dates. They have convinced CEO (Larry Martain) that a significant marketing effort will have to be expended to convince the clients they should wait for the AET product rather than jump to a package provided by a new entry to the petroleum software business. Companion to this effort is the importance of the performance of the software development group. Consequently, Tom has decided to take the following action: tighten up the estimating effort by his developers; incorporate some new estimating procedures; and use some PERT techniques to generate probabilities associated with his delivery dates. Tom's planning team made a first-cut at the set of activities and associated durations: Time in Workdays Task Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ACCOUNTS PAYABLE SYSTEM Planning meeting Team assignments Program specification Customer requirements Feasibility study Systems analysis Prelim budget & schedule Functional specification Prelim design Configuration & perf needs Hardware requirements System specification Detailed design Program specification Programming--first phase Documentation Prototype Development User testing & feedback Programming--second phase Beta testing Final documentation pkg Training pkg Product release Optimistic Dur. 1 3 8 3 6 1 3 10 3 4 5 12 8 27 14 5 12 10 18 9 4 3 Most Likely Dur. 1 4 10 5 8 2 5 12 4 6 7 14 10 32 16 7 14 12 20 10 5 5 Pessimistic Dur. 2 5 12 7 10 3 7 14 5 8 9 16 12 37 18 9 16 14 22 11 6 7 Immediate Predecessor Critical Path 2 3 5 5 7 7 9 10 11 10 12, 13 14 15 10 16 19 16 21 17, 20 21SS, 23 22, 23, 24 SS 5 Start to Start lag 3. Based on these estimates and the critical path, the project duration is estimated at 149 days. But, an AET salesperson in the Southeast Region has discovered that the competing A/P package (with significant improvements) is scheduled for delivery in approximately 145 days. The sales force is very anxious to beat Chapter 7 Managing Risk 251 that delivery time. The executive committee asks Tom for an estimated probability of reducing his expected project duration by two days. 4. The executive committee is advised by Tom that after all the estimating was completed, he determined that one of his two critical systems analysts might have to move out of the area for critical family reasons. Tom is still very confident that with some staff rearrangements, assistance from a subcontractor, and some "hands on" activities on his part he can still meet the original delivery date, based on 149 days. This news is very disconcerting to the committee and the sales staff. At this point, the committee decides that based on the most recent delivery performance of AET, a modified, comfortable delivery date should be communicated to AET clients--one that Tom and his staff are very likely to meet. Consequently, Tom is asked to calculate what the expected project duration would have to be to ensure a 98 percent chance of completion within 160 days--that is a "published, drop dead date" that can be communicated to the clients. C H A P T E R E I G H T Scheduling Resources and Costs Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career paths Scheduling Resources and Costs Overview of the Resource Scheduling Problem Types of Resource Constraints Classification of a Scheduling Problem Resource Allocation Methods Computer Demonstration of Resource-Constrained Scheduling Splitting Activities Benefits of Scheduling Resources Assigning Project Work Multiproject Resource Schedules Using the Resource Schedule to Develop a Project Cost Baseline Summary Appendix 8.1: The Critical-Chain Approach 252 Project network times are not a schedule until resources have been assigned. Cost estimates are not a budget until they have been time-phased. We have consistently stressed that up-front planning results in big payoffs. For those who have diligently worked through the earlier planning processes chapters, you are nearly ready to launch your project. This chapter completes the final two planning tasks that become the master plan for your project--resource and cost scheduling. (See Figure 8.1.) This process uses the resource schedule to assign time-phased costs that provide the project budget baseline. Given this time-phased baseline, comparisons can be made with actual and planned schedule and costs. This chapter first discusses the process for developing the project resource schedule. This resource schedule will be used to assign the time-phased budgeted values to create a project budget baseline. There are always more project proposals than there are available resources. The priority system needs to select projects that best contribute to the organization's objectives, within the constraints of the resources available. If all projects and their respective resources are computer scheduled, the feasibility and impact of adding a new project to those in process can be quickly assessed. With this information the project priority team will add a new project only if resources are available to be formally committed to that specific project. This chapter examines methods of scheduling resources so the team can make realistic judgments of resource availability and project durations. The project manager uses the same schedule for implementing the project. If changes occur during project implementation, the computer schedule is easily updated and the effects easily assessed. Overview of the Resource Scheduling Problem After staff and other resources were assigned to her project, a project manager listed the following questions that still needed to be addressed: Will the assigned labor and/or equipment be adequate and available to deal with my project? Will outside contractors have to be used? FIGURE 8.1 Project Planning Process Scope/WBS Network Resource and Cost Scheduling Master Plan Risk 253 254 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs Do unforeseen resource dependencies exist? Is there a new critical path? How much flexibility do we have in using resources? Is the original deadline realistic? Clearly, this project manager has a good understanding of the problems she is facing. Any project scheduling system should facilitate finding quick, easy answers to these questions. The planned network and activity project duration times found in previous chapters fail to deal with resource usage and availability. The time estimates for the work packages and network times were made independently with the implicit assumption that resources would be available. This may or may not be the case. If resources are adequate but the demand varies widely over the life of the project, it may be desirable to even out resource demand by delaying noncritical activities (using slack) to lower peak demand and, thus, increase resource utilization. This process is called resource smoothing. On the other hand, if resources are not adequate to meet peak demands, the late start of some activities must be delayed, and the duration of the project may be increased. This process is called resource-constrained scheduling. One research study of more than 50 projects by Woodworth and Willie found that planned project network durations were increased 38 percent when resources were scheduled. The consequences of failing to schedule limited resources are costly and project delays usually manifest themselves midway in the project when quick corrective action is difficult. An additional consequence of failing to schedule resources is ignoring the peaks and valleys of resource usage over the duration of the project. Because project resources are usually overcommitted and because resources seldom line up by availability and need, procedures are needed to deal with these problems. This chapter addresses methods available to project managers for dealing with resource utilization and availability through resource leveling and resource-constrained scheduling. Up to now the start and sequence of activities has been based solely on technical or logical considerations. For example, a project network for framing a house might show three activities in a sequence: (1) pour foundation, (2) build frame, and (3) cover roof. A network for a new software project could place the activities in the network, as a sequence of (1) design, (2) code, and (3) test. In other words, you cannot logically perform activity 2 until 1 is completed, and so on. The project network depicts technical constraints. (See Figure 8.2A). The network assumes the personnel and equipment are available to perform the required work. This is often not the case! The absence or shortage of resources can drastically alter technical constraints. A project network planner may assume adequate resources and show activities occurring in parallel. However, parallel activities hold potential for resource conflicts. For example, assume you are planning a wedding reception that includes four activities--(1) plan, (2) hire band, (3) decorate hall, and (4) purchase refreshments. Each activity takes one day. Activities 2, 3, and 4 could be done in parallel by different people. There is no technical reason or dependency of one on another (see Figure 8.2B). However, if one person must perform all activities, the resource constraint requires the activities be performed in sequence or series. Clearly the consequence is a delay of these activities and a very different set of network relationships (see Figure 8.2C). Note that the resource dependency takes priority over Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 255 FIGURE 8.2 Constraint Examples Technical constraints Start (A) Start Resource constraints Purchase refreshments (B) Plan Decorate hall Hire band Reception Design Code Test End Pour Frame Roof End (C) Plan Hire band Decorate hall Purchase refreshments Reception the technological dependency but does not violate the technological dependency; that is, hire, decorate, and purchase may now have to take place in sequence rather than concurrently, but they must all be completed before the reception can take place. The interrelationships and interactions among time and resource constraints are complex for even small project networks. Some effort to examine these interactions before the project begins frequently uncovers surprising problems. Project managers who do not consider resource availability in moderately complex projects usually learn of the problem when it is too late to correct. A deficit of resources can significantly alter project dependency relationships, completion dates, and project costs. Project managers must be careful to schedule resources to ensure availability in the right quantities and at the right time. Fortunately, there are computer software programs that can identify resource problems during the early project planning phase when corrective changes can be considered. These programs only require activity resource needs and availability information to schedule resources. See the Snapshot from Practice: Working in Tight Places for a third constraint that impinges on project schedules. Types of Resource Constraints Resources are people, equipment, and material that can be drawn on to accomplish something. In projects the availability or unavailability of resources will often influence the way projects are managed. 1. People. This is the most obvious and important project resource. Human resources are usually classified by the skills they bring to the project--for example, 256 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE In rare situations, physical factors cause activities that would normally occur in parallel to be constrained by contractual or environmental conditions. For example, in theory the renovation of a sailboat compartment might involve four to five tasks that can be done independently. However, since space allows only one person to work at one time, all tasks have to be performed sequentially. Likewise, on a mining project it may be physically possible for only two miners to work in a shaft at a time. Another example would be the erection of a communication tower and nearby groundwork. For safety considerations, the contract prohibits groundwork within 2,000 feet of the tower construction. The procedures for handling physical factors are similar to those used for resource constraints. Working in Tight Places Digital Vision/PunchStock programmer, mechanical engineer, welder, inspector, marketing director, supervisor. In rare cases some skills are interchangeable, but usually with a loss of productivity. The many differing skills of human resources add to the complexity of scheduling projects. 2. Materials. Project materials cover a large spectrum: for example, chemicals for a scientific project, concrete for a road project, survey data for a marketing project. Material availability and shortages have been blamed for the delay of many projects. When it is known that a lack of availability of materials is important and probable, materials should be included in the project network plan and schedule. For example, delivery and placement of an oil rig tower in a Siberian oil field has a very small time window during one summer month. Any delivery delay means a one-year, costly delay. Another example in which material was the major resource scheduled was the resurfacing and replacement of some structures on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Work on the project was limited to the hours between midnight and 5:00 A.M. with a penalty of $1,000 per minute for any work taking place after 5:00 A.M. Scheduling the arrival of replacement structures was an extremely important part of managing the fivehour work-time window of the project. Scheduling materials has also become important in developing products where time-to-market can result in loss of market share. 3. Equipment. Equipment is usually presented by type, size, and quantity. In some cases equipment can be interchanged to improve schedules, but this is not typical. Equipment is often overlooked as a constraint. The most common oversight is to assume the resource pool is more than adequate for the project. For example, if a project needs one earthmoving tractor six months from now and the organization owns four, it is common to assume the resource will not delay the pending project. However, when the earthmoving tractor is due on-site in six Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 257 months, all four machines in the pool might be occupied on other projects. In multiproject environments it is prudent to use a common resource pool for all projects. This approach forces a check of resource availability across all projects and reserves the equipment for specific project needs in the future. Recognition of equipment constraints before the project begins can avoid high crashing or delay costs. Classification of a Scheduling Problem Most of the scheduling methods available today require the project manager to classify the project as either time constrained or resource constrained. Project managers need to consult their priority matrix (see Figure 4.2) to determine which case fits their project. One simple test to determine if the project is time or resource constrained is to ask, "If the critical path is delayed, will resources be added to get back on schedule?" If the answer is yes, assume the project is time constrained; if no, assume the project is resource constrained. A time-constrained project is one that must be completed by an imposed date. If required, resources can be added to ensure the project is completed by a specific date. Although time is the critical factor, resource usage should be no more than is necessary and sufficient. A resource-constrained project is one that assumes the level of resources available cannot be exceeded. If the resources are inadequate, it will be acceptable to delay the project, but as little as possible. In scheduling terms, time constrained means time (project duration) is fixed and resources are flexible, while resource constrained means resources are fixed and time is flexible. Methods for scheduling these projects are presented in the next section. Resource Allocation Methods Assumptions Ease of demonstrating the allocation methods available requires some limiting assumptions to keep attention on the heart of the problem. The rest of the chapter depends entirely on the assumptions noted here. First, splitting activities will not be allowed. This means once an activity is placed in the schedule, assume it will be worked on continuously until it is finished; hence, an activity cannot be started, stopped for a period of time, and then finished. Second, the level of resources used for an activity cannot be changed. These limiting assumptions do not exist in practice, but simplify learning. It is easy for new project managers to deal with the reality of splitting activities and changing the level of resources when they meet them on the job. Time-Constrained Projects: Smoothing Resource Demand Scheduling time-constrained projects focuses on resource utilization. When demand for a specific resource type is erratic, it is difficult to manage, and utilization may be very poor. Practitioners have attacked the utilization problem using resource leveling techniques that balance demand for a resource. 258 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs Basically, all leveling techniques delay noncritical activities by using positive slack to reduce peak demand and fill in the valleys for the resources. An example will demonstrate the basic procedure for a time-constrained project. See Figure 8.3. For the purpose of demonstration, the Botanical Garden project uses only one resource (backhoes); all backhoes are interchangeable. The top bar chart shows the activities on a time scale. The dependencies are shown with the vertical connecting arrows. The horizontal arrows following activities represent activity slack (for example, irrigation requires six days to complete and has six days slack). The number of backhoes needed for each task is shown in the shaded activity FIGURE 8.3 Botanical Garden Design Layout & scarify Walkways Lighting Irrigation Fence & walls Planting 0 4 1 Bh 3 1 Bh Number of 2 backhoes required 1 2 Bh 2 Bh 1 Bh 0 4 3 Smoothed number of backhoes 2 required 1 1 Bh 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 1 Bh 2 Bh 2 Bh 1 Bh 3 Bh 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 3 Bh 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 1 Bh 2 Bh 3 Bh 20 22 24 26 28 30 2 Bh 1 Bh 1 Bh Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 259 duration block (rectangle). After the land has been scarified and the plan laid out, work can begin on the walkways, irrigation, and fencing and retaining walls simultaneously. The middle chart shows the resource profile for the backhoes. For periods 4 through 10, four backhoes are needed. Because this project is declared time constrained, the goal will be to reduce the peak requirement for the resource and thereby increase the utilization of the resource. A quick examination of the ES (early start) resource load chart suggests only two activities have slack that can be used to reduce the peak--fence and walls provide the best choice for smoothing the resource needs. Another choice could be irrigation, but it would result in an up and down resource profile. The choice will probably center on the activity that is perceived as having the least risk of being late. The smoothed resource loading chart shows the results of delaying the fence and walls activity. Note the differences in the resource profiles. The important point is the resources needed over the life of the project have been reduced from four to three (25 percent). In addition the profile has been smoothed, which should be easier to manage. The Botanical Garden project schedule reached the three goals of smoothing: The peak of demand for the resource was reduced. Resources over the life of the project have been reduced. The fluctuations in resource demand were minimized. The latter improves the utilization of resources. Backhoes are not easily moved from location to location. There are costs associated with changing the level of resources needed. The same analogy applies to the movement of people back and forth among projects. It is well known that people are more efficient if they can focus their effort on one project rather than multitasking their time among, say, three projects. The downside of leveling is a loss of flexibility that occurs from reducing slack. The risk of activities delaying the project also increases because slack reduction can create more critical activities and/or near-critical activities. Pushing leveling too far for a perfectly level resource profile is risky. Every activity then becomes critical. The Botanical Garden example gives a sense of the time-constrained problem and the smoothing approach. However, in practice the magnitude of the problem is very complex for even small projects. Manual solutions are not practical. Fortunately, the software packages available today have very good routines for leveling project resources. Typically, they use activities that have the most slack to level project resources. The rationale is those activities with the most slack pose the least risk. Although this is generally true, other risk factors such as reduction of flexibility to use reassigned resources on other activities or the nature of the activity (easy, complex) are not addressed using such a simple rationale. It is easy to experiment with many alternatives to find the one that best fits your project and minimizes risk of delaying the project. Resource-Constrained Projects When the number of people and/or equipment is not adequate to meet peak demand requirements and it is impossible to obtain more, the project manager faces a resource-constrained problem. Something has to give. The trick is to prioritize and allocate resources to minimize project delay without exceeding the resource limit or altering the technical network relationships. 260 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs The resource scheduling problem is a large combinatorial one. This means even a modest-size project network with only a few resource types might have several thousand feasible solutions. A few researchers have demonstrated optimum mathematical solutions to the resource allocation problem but only for small networks and very few resource types. The massive data requirements for larger problems make pure mathematical solutions (e.g., linear programming) impractical. An alternative approach to the problem has been the use of heuristics (rules of thumb) to solve large combinatorial problems. These practical decision or priority rules have been in place for many years. Heuristics do not always yield an optimal schedule, but they are very capable of yielding a "good" schedule for very complex networks with many types of resources. The efficiency of different rules and combinations of rules has been well documented. However, because each project is unique, it is wise to test several sets of heuristics on a network to determine the priority allocation rules that minimize project delay. The computer software available today makes it very easy for the project manager to create a good resource schedule for the project. A simple example of the heuristic approach is illustrated here. Heuristics allocate resources to activities to minimize project delay; that is, heuristics prioritize which activities are allocated resources and which activities are delayed when resources are not adequate. The parallel method is the most widely used approach to apply heuristics, which have been found to consistently minimize project delay over a large variety of projects. The parallel method is an iterative process that starts from the beginning of project time and, when resources needed exceed the resources available, retains activities first by the priority rules: 1. Minimum slack. 2. Smallest duration. 3. Lowest activity identification number. Those not able to be scheduled without delaying others are pushed out farther in time. However, do not attempt to move activities that have already started. When considering activities not to delay, consider the resources each activity uses. In any period when two or more activities require the same resource, the priority rules are applied. For example, if in period 5 three activities are eligible to start (i.e., have the same ES) and require the same resource, the first activity placed in the schedule would be the activity with the least slack (rule 1). However, if all activities have the same slack, the next rule would be invoked (rule 2), and the activity with the smallest duration would be placed in the schedule first. In very rare cases, when all eligible activities have the same slack and the same duration, the tie is broken by the lowest activity identification number (rule 3), since each activity has a unique ID number. When a resource limit has been reached, the early start (ES) for succeeding activities not yet in the schedule will be delayed (and all successor activities not having free slack) and their slack reduced. In subsequent periods the procedure is repeated until the project is scheduled. The procedure is demonstrated next; see Figure 8.4. The shaded areas in the resource loading chart represent the "scheduling interval" of the time-constrained schedule (ES through LF). You can schedule the resource any place within the interval and not delay the project. Scheduling the activity beyond the LF will delay the project. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 261 The Parallel Method: Period Action See Figure 8.4 01 12 23 Only activity 1 is eligible. It requires 2 programmers. Load activity 1 into schedule. No activities are eligible to be scheduled. Activities 2, 3, and 4 are eligible to be scheduled. Activity 3 has the least slack (0)-- apply rule 1. Load Activity 3 into schedule. Activity 2 is next with slack of 2; however, activity 2 requires 2 programmers and only 1 is available. Delay activity 2. Update: ES 5 3, slack 5 1. The next eligible activity is activity 4, since it only requires 1 programmer. Load activity 4 into schedule. See Figure 8.5 34 45 56 67 78 89 910 1011 1112 1213 Activity 2 is eligible but exceeds limit of 3 programmers in pool. Delay activity 2. Update: ES 5 4, slack 5 0. Activity 2 is eligible but exceeds limit of 3 programmers in pool. Delay activity 2. Update: ES 5 5, LF 5 11, slack 5 21. Delay activity 7. Update: ES 5 11, LF 5 13, slack 5 21. Activity 2 is eligible but exceeds limit of 3 programmers in pool. Delay activity 2. Update: ES 5 6, LF 5 12, slack 5 22. Delay activity 7. Update: ES 5 12, LF 5 14, slack 5 22. Activities 2, 5, and 6 are eligible with slack of 22, 2, and 0, respectively. Load activity 2 into schedule (rule 1). Because activity 6 has 0 slack, it is the next eligible activity. Load activity 6 into schedule (rule 1). The programmer limit of 3 is reached. Delay activity 5. Update: ES 5 7, slack 5 1. Limit is reached. No programmers available. Delay activity 5. Update: ES 5 8, slack 5 0. Limit is reached. No programmers available. Delay activity 5. Update: ES 5 9, LF 5 11, slack 5 21. Limit is reached. No programmers available. Delay activity 5. Update: ES 5 10, LF 5 12, slack 5 22. Activity 5 is eligible. Load activity 5 into schedule. (Note: Activity 6 does not have slack because there are no programmers available-- 3 maximum.) No eligible activities. Activity 7 is eligible. Load activity 7 into schedule. The programmers are limited to three. Follow the actions described in Figures 8.4 and 8.5. Note how the limit of three programmers starts to delay the project. Observe how it is necessary to update each period to reflect changes in activity early start and slack times so the heuristics can reflect changing priorities. When using the parallel scheduling method, the network in Figure 8.5 on page 263 reflects the new schedule date of 14 time units, rather than the time-constrained 262 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs FIGURE 8.4 Resource-Constrained Schedule through Period 23 2 2 4 2 2P 6 8 2 10 6 2 0 0 0 1 2P 2 2 0 2 2 0 2 3 2P 4 6 0 6 6 0 2 6 8 4 1P 2 4 6 10 6 6 1P 4 10 0 10 Legend ES ID EF 8 5 1P 2 8 2 10 10 0 10 7 1P 2 12 0 12 SL RES SL LS DUR LF ES resource load chart ID RES DUR ES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2P 2P 2P 1P 1P 1P 1P 2 6 4 2 2 4 2 0 2 2 2 6 6 10 LF 2 10 6 10 10 10 12 SL 0 0 2 0 6 2 0 0 2P 2P 5P 5P 4P 4P 4P 4P 1P 1P 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1P 1 1P 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Total resource load Resource-constrained schedule through period 23 ID RES DUR ES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2P 2P 2P 1P 1P 1P 1P 2 6 4 2 2 4 2 0 2 3 LF 2 10 6 10 10 10 12 SL 0 0 2 1 2 1 2 X 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 2 2 6 6 10 0 6 2 0 0 2P 3P 2P 3P Total resource load Resource available 3P 3P 3P 3P 2P 3P 2P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 263 FIGURE 8.5 Resource-Constrained Schedule through Period 56 Resource-constrained schedule through period 56 ID RES DUR ES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2P 2P 2P 1P 1P 1P 1P 2 6 4 2 2 4 LF SL 0 2 1 2 X 2 1 X 2 1 X 2 X 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 0 2 0 2 3 4 1011 2 1 0 5 6 12 -1 -2 2 2 6 6 6 10 10 10 0 6 2 0 2 1011 1213 0 -1 12 14 -2 Total resource load 2P Resource available 3P X 2P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 2P 3P 2P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P X 3P Final resource-constrained schedule ID RES DUR ES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2P 2P 2P 1P 1P 1P 1P 2 6 4 2 2 4 2 0 LF 2 SL 0 0 2 1 2 X 2 1 X 2 1 X 2 SL X 2 SL X 1 X 1 X 1 X 1 X 2P 3P 2P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 2P 3P 2P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P 3P X 3P 3P 1 1P 3P 1 1P 3P 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 2 3 4 1011 2 1 0 5 6 12 -1 -2 2 6 0 6 2 6 2 6 7 8 1011 2 1 0 9 10 12 -1 -2 6 10 0 1011 1213 0 -1 12 14 -2 Total resource load Resource available 6 0 6 2 2P 6 12 0 12 New, resource scheduled network 10 0 5 1P 2 12 0 12 12 0 7 1P 2 14 0 14 0 0 0 1 2P 2 2 0 2 2 0 2 3 2P 4 6 0 6 10 6 0 6 1P 4 10 0 10 12 2 2 4 4 1P 2 4 2 6 6 Legend ES ID EF SL RES SL LS DUR LF 264 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs project duration of 12 time units. The network has also been revised to reflect new start, finish, and slack times for each activity. Note that activity 6 is still critical and has a slack of 0 time units because no resources are available (they are being used on activities 2 and 5). Compare the slack for each activity found in Figures 8.4 and 8.5; slack has been reduced significantly. Note that activity 4 has only 2 units of slack rather than what appears to be 6 slack units. This occurs because only three programmers are available, and they are needed to satisfy the resource requirements of activities 2 and 5. Note that the number of critical activities (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7) has increased from four to six. This small example demonstrates the scenario of scheduling resources in real projects and the resulting increase in the risk of being late. In practice this is not a trivial problem! Managers who fail to schedule resources usually encounter this scheduling risk when it is too late to work around the problem, resulting in a project delay. Since manually using the parallel method is impractical on real-world projects because of size, project managers will depend on software programs to schedule project resources. Computer Demonstration of Resource-Constrained Scheduling Fortunately, project management software is capable of assessing and resolving complicated resource-constrained schedules using heuristics similar to what was described above. We will use the EMR project to demonstrate how this is done using MS Project. It is important to note that the software is not "managing" the project. The software is simply a tool the project manager uses to view the project from different perspectives and conditions. See the Snapshot from Practice on page 271 for more tips on assessing resource problems. EMR is the name given to the development of a handheld electronic medical reference guide to be used by emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Figure 8.6 contains a time-limited network for the design phase of the project. For the purpose of this example, we assume that only design engineers are required for the tasks and that the design engineers are interchangeable. The number of engineers required to perform each task is noted in the network, where 500 percent means five design engineers are needed for the activity. For example, activity 5, feature specs, requires four design engineers (400 percent). The project begins January 1, and ends February 14, a duration of 45 workdays. The calendar for the project has been set up to work seven days a week so the reader can trace and more easily see the results and impacts of resources--similar to manual solutions present in chapter exercises. The time-limited (constrained) bar chart for the project is shown in Figure 8.7. This bar chart incorporates the same information used to develop the project network, but presents the project in the form of a bar chart along a time line. Finally, a resource usage chart is presented for a segment of the project-- January 15 to January 23; see Figure 8.8A. Observe that the time-limited project requires 21 design engineers on January 18 and 19 (168 hrs/8 hrs per engineer 5 21 engineers). This segment represents the peak requirement for design engineers for the project. However, due to the shortage of design engineers and commitments to other projects, only eight engineers can be assigned to the project. This creates overallocation problems more clearly detailed in Figure 8.8B, which is a resource FIGURE 8.6 EMR Project Network View Schedule before Resources Leveled Voice recognition SW ID: 6 Start: 1/18 Dur: 10 days Finish: 1/27 Res: Design Engineers [400%] Internal specs ID: 3 Start: 1/6 Dur: 12 days Finish: 1/17 Res: Design Engineers [500%] Case ID: 7 Start: 1/18 Dur: 4 days Finish: 1/21 Res: Design Engineers [200%] Screen ID: 8 Start: 1/18 Dur: 2 days Finish: 1/19 Res: Design Engineers [300%] Architectural decisions ID: 2 Start: 1/1 Dur: 5 days Finish: 1/5 Res: Design Engineers [500%] External specs ID: 4 Start: 1/6 Dur: 7 days Finish: 1/12 Res: Design Engineers [400%] Database ID: 9 Start: 1/16 Dur: 25 days Finish: 2/9 Res: Design Engineers [400%] Microphone-soundcard ID: 10 Start: 1/16 Dur: 5 days Finish: 1/20 Res: Design Engineers [200%] Feature specs ID: 5 Start: 1/6 Dur: 10 days Finish: 1/15 Res: Design Engineers [400%] EMR project Start: 1/1 Finish: 2/14 Comp: 0% Digital devices ID: 11 Start: 1/16 Dur: 7 days Finish: 1/22 Res: Design Engineers [300%] Computer I/O ID: 12 Start: 1/16 Dur: 5 days Finish: 1/20 Res: Design Engineers [300%] Review design ID: 13 Start: 2/10 Dur: 5 days Finish: 2/14 Res: Design Engineers [500%] ID: 1 Dur: 45 days 265 266 FIGURE 8.7 EMR Project before Resources Added ID Task Name 1 EMR project 2 Architectural decisions 3 Internal specs 4 External specs 5 Feature specs 6 Voice recognition SW 7 Case 8 Screen 9 Database 10 Microphone-soundcard 11 Digital devices 12 Computer I/O 13 Review design Start Tue 1/1 Tue 1/1 Sun 1/6 Sun 1/6 Sun 1/6 Fri 1/18 Fri 1/18 Fri 1/18 Wed 1/16 Wed 1/16 Wed 1/16 Wed 1/16 Sun 2/10 Finish Thu 2/14 Sat 1/5 Thu 1/17 Sat 1/12 Tue 1/15 Sun 1/27 Mon 1/21 Sat 1/19 Sat 2/9 Sun 1/20 Tue 1/22 Sun 1/20 Thu 2/14 Late Start Tue 1/1 Tue 1/1 Sat 1/19 Thu 1/24 Sun 1/6 Thu 1/31 Wed 2/6 Fri 2/8 Wed 1/16 Tue 2/5 Sun 2/3 Tue 2/5 Sun 2/10 January February Late Finish Free Slack Total Slack 27 29 31 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 Thu 2/14 0 days 0 days Sat 1/5 0 days 0 days Wed 1/30 0 days 13 days Wed 1/30 5 days 18 days Tue 1/15 0 days 0 days Sat 2/9 13 days 13 days Sat 2/9 19 days 19 days Sat 2/9 21 days 21 days Sat 2/9 0 days 0 days Sat 2/9 20 days 20 days Sat 2/9 18 days 18 days Sat 2/9 20 days 20 days Thu 2/14 0 days 0 days Task Critical task Slack Summary Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 267 FIGURE 8.8A EMR Project--Time-Constrained Resource Usage View, January 1523 Jan 15 T Design engineers 3,024 hrs 72h 200 hrs Architectural decisions 480 hrs 40h Internal specs 224 hrs External specs 320 hrs 32h Feature specs 320 hrs Voice recognition SW 64 hrs Case 48 hrs Screen 800 hrs Database 80 hrs Microphone-soundcard 168 hrs Digital devices 120 hrs Computer I/O 200 hrs Review design Resource Name Work W 136h 40h T 136h 40h F 168h S 168h S 144h Jan 21 M 104h T 88h W 64h 32h 16h 24h 24h 32h 16h 24h 24h 32h 16h 24h 32h 16h 24h 24h 32h 16h 24h 32h 16h 24h 24h 32h 16h 32h 16h 24h 24h 32h 16h 32h 24h 32h 32h 32h 24h 32h FIGURE 8.8B Resource Loading Chart for EMR Project, January 1523 2,500% 2,000% 1,500% 1,000% 500% Peak Units 900% 1,700% 1,700% 2,100% 2,100% 1,800% 1,300% 1,100% Overallocated: Allocated: 800% Design Engineers loading chart for design engineers. Notice that the peak is 21 engineers and the limit of 8 engineers is shown by the gray shaded area. To resolve this problem we use the "leveling" tool within the software and first try to solve the problem by leveling only within slack. This solution would preserve the original finish date. However, as expected, this does not solve all of the allocation problems. The next option is to allow the software to apply scheduling heuristics and level outside of slack. The new schedule is contained in the revised, resource-limited network chart presented in Figure 8.9. The resource-limited project network indicates the project duration has now been extended to 2/26, or 57 workdays (versus 45 days time limited). The critical path is now 2, 3, 9, 13. Figure 8.10 presents the project bar chart and the results of leveling the project schedule to reflect the availability of only eight design engineers. The application of the heuristics can be seen in the scheduling of the internal, external, and feature FIGURE 8.9 EMR Project Network View Schedule after Resources Leveled EMR project Start: 1/1 Finish: 2/26 Comp: 0% ID: 1 Dur: 57 days Voice recognition SW ID: 6 Start: 2/2 Dur: 10 days Finish: 2/11 Res: Design Engineers [400%] Internal specs ID: 3 Start: 1/16 Dur: 12 days Finish: 1/27 Res: Design Engineers [500%] Case ID: 7 Start: 2/12 Dur: 4 days Finish: 2/15 Res: Design Engineers [200%] Screen ID: 8 Start: 2/16 Dur: 2 days Finish: 2/17 Res: Design Engineers [300%] Architectural decisions ID: 2 Start: 1/1 Dur: 5 days Finish: 1/5 Res: Design Engineers [500%] External specs ID: 4 Start: 1/6 Dur: 7 days Finish: 1/12 Res: Design Engineers [400%] Database ID: 9 Start: 1/28 Dur: 25 days Finish: 2/21 Res: Design Engineers [400%] Microphone-soundcard ID: 10 Start: 1/16 Dur: 5 days Finish: 1/20 Res: Design Engineers [200%] Feature specs ID: 5 Start: 1/6 Dur: 10 days Finish: 1/15 Res: Design Engineers [400%] Digital devices ID: 11 Start: 1/26 Dur: 7 days Finish: 2/1 Res: Design Engineers [300%] Computer I/O ID: 12 Start: 1/21 Dur: 5 days Finish: 1/25 Res: Design Engineers [300%] Review design ID: 13 Start: 2/22 Dur: 5 days Finish: 2/26 Res: Design Engineers [500%] 268 FIGURE 8.10 EMR Project Resources Leveled ID Task Name 1 EMR project 2 Architectural decisions 3 Internal specs 4 External specs 5 Feature specs 6 Voice recognition SW 7 Case 8 Screen 9 Database 10 Microphone-soundcard 11 Digital devices 12 Computer I/O 13 Review design Start Tue 1/1 Tue 1/1 Wed 1/16 Sun 1/6 Sun 1/6 Sat 2/2 Tue 2/12 Sat 2/16 Mon 1/28 Wed 1/16 Sat 1/26 Mon 1/21 Fri 2/22 Finish Thu 2/26 Sat 1/5 Sun 1/27 Sat 1/12 Tue 1/15 Mon 2/11 Fri 2/15 Sun 2/17 Thu 2/21 Sun 1/20 Fri 2/1 Fri 1/25 Tue 2/26 Late Start Tue 1/1 Tue 1/1 Sun 1/20 Fri 1/25 Sun 1/6 Tue 2/12 Mon 2/18 Wed 2/20 Mon 1/28 Sun 2/17 Fri 2/15 Sun 2/17 Fri 2/22 January February Late Finish Free Slack Total Slack 27 29 31 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 Tue 2/26 0 days 0 days 5 Sat 1/5 0 days 0 days 5 Thu 1/31 0 days 4 days 4 Thu 1/31 15 days 19 days Tue 1/15 0 days 0 days 4 4 Thu 2/21 10 days 10 days 2 Thu 2/21 6 days 6 days Thu 2/21 4 days 4 days 4 Thu 2/21 0 days 0 days 4 2 Thu 2/21 32 days 32 days Thu 2/21 20 days 20 days 3 Thu 2/21 27 days 27 days 3 Tue 2/26 0 days 0 days 5 Task Critical task Slack Summary 269 270 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs specification activities. All three activities were originally scheduled to start immediately after activity 1, architectural decisions. This is impossible, since the three activities collectively require 14 engineers. The software chooses to schedule activity 5 first because this activity is on the original critical path and has zero slack (heuristic rule # 1). Next, and concurrently, activity 4 is chosen over activity 3 because activity 4 has a shorter duration (heuristic rule # 2); internal specs, activity 3, is delayed due to the limitation of 8 design engineers. Notice that the original critical path no longer applies because of the resource dependencies created by having only eight design engineers. See Figure 8.9 for the original planned critical path. Compare the bar chart in Figure 8.10 with the time-limited bar chart in Figure 8.7. For example, note the different start dates for activity 8 (screen). In the time-limited plan (Figure 8.7), the start date for activity 8 is 1/18, while the start date in the resource limited schedule (Figure 8.10) is 2/16, almost a month later! While resource bar graphs are commonly used to illustrate overallocation problems, we prefer to view resource usage tables like the one presented in Figure 8.8A. This table tells you when you have an overallocation problem and identifies activities that are causing the overallocation. The Impacts of Resource-Constrained Scheduling Like leveling schedules, the limited resource schedule usually reduces slack, reduces flexibility by using slack to ensure delay is minimized, and increases the number of critical and near-critical activities. Scheduling complexity is increased because resource constraints are added to technical constraints; start times may now have two constraints. The traditional critical path concept of sequential activities from the start to the end of the project is no longer meaningful. The resource constraints can break the sequence and leave the network with a set of disjointed critical activities. Conversely, parallel activities can become sequential. Activities with slack on a time-constrained network can change from critical to noncritical. Splitting Activities Splitting tasks is a scheduling technique used to get a better project schedule and/or to increase resource utilization. A planner splits the continuous work included in an activity by interrupting the work and sending the resource to another activity for a period of time and then having the resource resume work on the original activity. Splitting can be a useful tool if the work involved does not include large start-up or shutdown costs--for example, moving equipment from one activity location to another. The most common error is to interrupt "people work," where there are high conceptual start-up and shutdown costs. For example, having a bridge designer take time off to work on the design problem of another project may cause this individual to lose four days shifting conceptual gears in and out of two activities. The cost may be hidden, but it is real. Figure 8.11 depicts the nature of the splitting problem. The original activity has been split into three separate activities: A, B, and C. The shutdown and start-up times lengthen the time for the original activity. Some have argued that the propensity to deal with resource shortages by splitting is a major reason why projects fail to meet schedule. We agree. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 271 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE One of the strengths of today's project management software is the ability to identify and provide options for resolving resource allocation problems. A project manager who uses MS Project to plan projects shared with us the following checklist for dealing with resource conflicts after preliminary assignment of resources has been made. 1. Assess whether you have overallocation problems (see Red in the resource sheet view.) 2. Identify where and when conflicts occur by examining the resource usage view. 3. Resolve the problem by a. Replacing overallocated resources with appropriate resources that are available. Then ask if this solves the problem. If not: b. Use the leveling tool and choose the level within slack option. Assessing Resource Allocation i Does this solve the problem? (Are resources still overallocated?) ii Check the sensitivity of the network and ask if this is acceptable. If not: c. Consider splitting tasks. i Make sure to readjust task durations to take into account additional start-up and shutdown time. 4. If 3 does not work then either: a. Use level tool default option and ask if you can live with the new completion date. If not: b. Negotiate for additional resources to complete the project. If not possible c. Consider reducing project scope to meet deadline. While this checklist makes specific references to MS Project, the same steps can be used with most project management software. Planners should avoid the use of splitting as much as possible, except in situations where splitting costs are known to be small or when there is no alternative for resolving the resource problem. Computer software offers the splitting option for each activity; use it sparingly. See Snapshot from Practice: Assessing Resource Allocation. FIGURE 8.11 Splitting Activities Activity duration without splitting Activity A Activity B Activity C Activity duration split into three segments--A, B, C Activity A Activity B Activity C Shutdown Start-up Activity duration split with shutdown and start-up 272 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE A major segment of work in managing U.S. Forest Service (USFS) forests is selling mature timber to logging companies that harvest the timber under contract conditions monitored by the Service. The proceeds are returned to the federal government. The budget allocated to each forest depends on the twoyear plan submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Olympic Forest headquarters in Olympia, Washington, was developing a two-year plan as a basis for funding. All of the districts in the forest submitted their timber sale projects (numbering more than 50) to headquarters, where they were compiled and aggregated into a project plan for the whole forest. The first computer run was reviewed by a small group of senior managers to determine if the plan was reasonable and "doable." Management was pleased and relieved to note all projects appeared to be doable in the two-year time frame until a question was raised concerning the computer printout. "Why U.S. Forest Service Resource Shortage are all the columns in these projects labeled `RESOURCE' blank?" The response from an engineer was, "We don't use that part of the program." The discussion that ensued recognized the importance of resources in completing the two-year plan and ended with a request to "try the program with resources included." The new output was startling. The two-year program turned into a threeand-a-half-year plan because of the shortage of specific labor skills such as road engineer and environmental impact specialist. Analysis showed that adding only three skilled people would allow the two-year plan to be completed on time. In addition, further analysis showed hiring only a few more skilled people, beyond the three, would allow an extra year of projects to also be compressed into the two-year plan. This would result in additional revenue of more than $3 million. The Department of Agriculture quickly approved the requested extra dollars for additional staff to generate the extra revenue. Benefits of Scheduling Resources It is important to remember that, if resources are truly limited and activity time estimates are accurate, the resource-constrained schedule will materialize as the project is implemented--not the time-constrained schedule! Therefore, failure to schedule limited resources can lead to serious problems for a project manager. The benefit of creating this schedule before the project begins leaves time for considering reasonable alternatives. If the scheduled delay is unacceptable or the risk of being delayed too high, the assumption of being resource constrained can be reassessed. Cost-time trade-offs can be considered. In some cases priorities may be changed. See Snapshot from Practice: U.S. Forest Service Resource Shortage. Resource schedules provide the information needed to prepare time-phased work package budgets with dates. Once established, they provide a quick means for a project manager to gauge the impact of unforeseen events such as turnover, equipment breakdowns, or transfer of project personnel. Resource schedules also allow project managers to assess how much flexibility they have over certain resources. This is useful when they receive requests from other managers to borrow or share resources. Honoring such requests creates goodwill and an "IOU" that can be cashed in during a time of need. Assigning Project Work When making individual assignments, project managers should match, as best they can, the demands and requirements of specific work with the qualifications and experience of available participants. In doing so, there is a natural tendency to assign the best people the most difficult tasks. Project managers need to be careful not to overdo this. Over time these people may grow to resent the fact that they Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 273 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Eric Schmidt, after a successful career at Sun Microsystems, took over struggling Novell, Inc., and helped turn it around within two years. One of the keys to his success is his ability to manage the technical wizards who develop the sophisticated systems, hardware, and software that are the backbone of electronically driven companies. He uses the term "geek" (and he can, since he is one, with a Ph.D. in computer science) to describe this group of technologists who rule the cyberworld. Schmidt has some interesting ideas about assigning geeks to projects. He believes that putting geeks together in project teams with other geeks creates productive peer pressure. Geeks care a great deal about how other geeks perceive them. They are good at judging the quality of technical work and are quick to praise as well as criticize each other's work. Some Managing Geeks* geeks can be unbearably arrogant, but Schmidt claims that having them work together on projects is the best way to control them--by letting them control each other. At the same time, Schmidt argues that too many geeks spoil the soup. By this he means that, when there are too many geeks on a development team, there is a tendency for intense technical navel gazing. Members lose sight of deadlines, and delays are inevitable. To combat this tendency, he recommends using geeks only in small groups. He urges breaking up large projects into smaller, more manageable projects so that small teams of geeks can be assigned to them. This keeps the project on time and makes the teams responsible to each other. * Mitchel Russ, "How to Manage Geeks," Fast Company (June 1999), pp. 17580. are always given the toughest assignments. At the same time, less experienced participants may resent the fact that they are never given the opportunity to expand their skill/knowledge base. Project managers need to balance task performance with the need to develop the talents of people assigned to the project. Project managers not only need to decide who does what but who works with whom. A number of factors need to be considered in deciding who should work together. First, to minimize unnecessary tension, managers should pick people with compatible work habits and personalities but who complement each other (i.e., one person's weakness is the other person's strength). For example, one person may be brilliant at solving complex problems but sloppy at documenting his or her progress. It would be wise to pair this person with an individual who is good at paying attention to details. Experience is another factor. Veterans should be teamed up with new hires--not only so they can share their experience but also to help socialize the newcomers to the customs and norms of the organization. Finally, future needs should be considered. If managers have some people who have never worked together before but who have to later on in the project, they may be wise to take advantage of opportunities to have these people work together early on so that they can become familiar with each other. Finally, see the Snapshot in Practice: Managing Geeks for some interesting thoughts about how Novell, Inc., puts together teams. Multiproject Resource Schedules For clarity we have discussed key resource allocation issues within the context of a single project. In reality resource allocation generally occurs in a multiproject environment where the demands of one project have to be reconciled with the needs of other projects. Organizations must develop and manage systems for efficiently allocating and scheduling resources across several projects with different priorities, resource requirements, sets of activities, and risks. The system must be dynamic and capable of accommodating new projects as well as reallocating resources once 274 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs project work is completed. While the same resource issues and principles that apply to a single project also apply to this multiproject environment, application and solutions are more complex, given the interdependency among projects. The following lists three of the more common problems encountered in managing multiproject resource schedules. Note that these are macro manifestations of single-project problems that are now magnified in a multiproject environment: 1. Overall schedule slippage. Because projects often share resources, delays in one project can have a ripple effect and delay other projects. For example, work on one software development project can grind to a halt because the coders scheduled for the next critical task are late in completing their work on another development project. 2. Inefficient resource utilization. Because projects have different schedules and requirements, there are peaks and valleys in overall resource demands. For example, a firm may have a staff of 10 electricians to meet peak demands when, under normal conditions, only 5 electricians are required. 3. Resource bottlenecks. Delays and schedules are extended as a result of shortages of critical resources that are required by multiple projects. For example, at one Lattice Semiconductor facility, project schedules were delayed because of competition over access to test equipment necessary to debug programs. Likewise, several projects at a U.S. forest area were extended because there was only one silviculturist on the staff. To deal with these problems, more and more companies create project offices or departments to oversee the scheduling of resources across multiple projects. One approach to multiple project resource scheduling is to use a first comefirst served rule. A project queue system is created in which projects currently underway take precedence over new projects. New project schedules are based on the projected availability of resources. This queuing tends to lead to more reliable completion estimates and is preferred on contracted projects that have stiff penalties for being late. The disadvantages of this deceptively simple approach are that it does not optimally utilize resources or take into account the priority of the project. See the Snapshot from Practice: Multiple Project Resource Scheduling. Many companies utilize more elaborate processes for scheduling resources to increase the capacity of the organization to initiate projects. Most of these methods approach the problem by treating individual projects as part of one big project and adapting the scheduling heuristics previously introduced to this "megaproject." Project schedulers monitor resource usage and provide updated schedules based on progress and resource availability across all projects. One major improvement in project management software in recent years is the ability to prioritize resource allocation to specific projects. Projects can be prioritized in ascending order (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, . . .), and these priorities will override scheduling heuristics so that resources go to the project highest on the priority list. (Note: This improvement fits perfectly with organizations that use project priority models similar to those described in Chapter 2.) Centralized project scheduling also makes it easier to identify resource bottlenecks that stifle progress on projects. Once identified, the impact of the bottlenecks can be documented and used to justify acquiring additional equipment, recruiting critical personnel, or delaying the project. Finally, many companies are using outsourcing as a means for dealing with their resource allocation problems. In some cases, a company will reduce the number of projects they have to manage internally to only core projects and outsource Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 275 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The case for a central source to oversee project resource scheduling is well known by practitioners. Here is a synopsis of a conversation with one middle manager. Interviewer: Congratulations on acceptance of your multiproject scheduling proposal. Everyone tells me you were very convincing. Middle Manager: Thanks. Gaining acceptance was easy this time. The board quickly recognized we have no choice if we are to keep ahead of competition by placing our resources on the right projects. Interviewer: Have you presented this to the board before? Middle Manager: Yes, but not this company. I presented the same spiel to the firm I worked for two years ago. For their annual review meeting I was charged to present a proposal suggesting the need and benefits of central capacity resource planning for managing the projects of the firm. I tried to build a case for bringing projects under one umbrella to standardize practices and to forecast and assign key people Multiple Project Resource Scheduling to mission critical projects. I explained how benefits such as resource demands will be aligned with mission critical projects, proactive resource planning, and a tool for catching resource bottlenecks and resolving conflicts. Almost everyone agreed the idea was a good one. I felt good about the presentation and felt confident something was going to happen. But the idea never really got off the ground; it just faded into the sunset. With hindsight, managers really did not trust colleagues in other departments, so they only gave half-hearted support to central resource planning. Managers wanted to protect their turf and ensure that they would not have to give up power. The culture there was simply too inflexible for the world we live in today. They are still struggling with constant conflicts among projects. I'm glad I made the switch to this firm. The culture here is much more team-oriented. Management is committed to improving performance. noncritical projects to contractors and consulting firms. In other cases, specific segments of projects are outsourced to overcome resource deficiencies and scheduling problems. Companies may hire temporary workers to expedite certain activities that are falling behind schedule or contract project work during peak periods when there are insufficient internal resources to meet the demands of all projects. The ability to more efficiently manage the ebbs and flows of project work is one of the major driving forces behind outsourcing today. Using the Resource Schedule to Develop a Project Cost Baseline Once resource assignments have been finalized we are able to develop a baseline budget schedule for the project. Using your project schedule, you can time-phase work packages and assign them to their respective scheduled activities to develop a budget schedule over the life of your project. Understanding the reason for timephasing your budget is very important. Without a time-phased budget good project schedule and cost control are impossible. Why a Time-Phased Budget Baseline Is Needed The need for a time-phased budget baseline is demonstrated in the following scenario. The development of a new product is to be completed in 10 weeks at an estimated cost of $400,000 per week for a total cost of $4 million. Management wants a status report at the end of five weeks. The following information has been collected: Planned costs for the first five weeks are $2,000,000. Actual costs for the first five weeks are $2,400,000. 276 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs How are we doing? It would be easy to draw the conclusion there is a $400,000 cost overrun. But we really have no way of knowing. The $400,000 may represent money spent to move the project ahead of schedule. Assume another set of data at the end of five weeks: Planned costs for the first five weeks are $2,000,000. Actual costs for the first five weeks are $1,700,000. Is the project costing $300,000 less than we expected? Perhaps. But the $300,000 may represent the fact that the project is behind schedule and work has not started. Could it be the project is behind schedule and over cost? We cannot tell from these data. The many systems found in the real world that use only planned funds (a constant burn rate) and actual costs can provide false and misleading information. There is no way to be certain how much of the physical work has been accomplished. These systems do not measure how much work was accomplished for the money spent! Hence, without time-phasing cost to match your project schedule, it is impossible to have reliable information for control purposes. Creating a Time-Phased Budget By using information from your WBS and resource schedule, you can create a time-phased cost baseline. Remember from the WBS for the PC Project in Chapters 4 and 5 we integrated the WBS and OBS organization breakdown structure so the work packages could be tracked by deliverable and organization responsible. See Figure 8.12 for an example of the PC Prototype Project arranged by deliverable and organization unit responsible. For each intersection point of the WBS/ OBS matrix, you see work package budgets and the total cost. The total cost at each intersection is called a cost or control account. For example, at the intersection of the Read/write head deliverable and the Production department we see there are three work packages with a total budget of $200,000. The sum of all cost accounts in a column should represent the total costs for the deliverable. Conversely, the sum of the cost accounts in a row should represent the costs or budget for the organizational unit responsible to accomplish the work. You can continue to "roll up" costs on the WBS/OBS to total project costs. This WBS provides the information you can use to time phase work packages and assign them to their respective scheduled activities over the life of the project. Recall, from the development of your work breakdown structure for each work package, the following information needed to be developed: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Define work (what). Identify time to complete a work package (how long). Identify a time-phased budget to complete a work package (cost). Identify resources needed to complete a work package (how much). Identify a single person responsible for units of work (who). Identify monitoring points for measuring progress (how well). Number three, time-phasing the work package, is critical for the final step of creating your budget baseline. The process of time-phasing work packages, which is illustrated next, is demonstated in Figure 8.13. The work package has a duration of three weeks. Assuming labor, materials, and equipment are tracked separately, the work package costs for labor are distributed over the three weeks as they are expected to occur--$40,000, $30,000, and $50,000 for each week, respectively. When Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 277 FIGURE 8.12 Direct Labor Budget Rollup ($000) Disk storage units $5,160 External USB 500 ~ Optical 3,000 ~ Hard disks 1,660 Total budget for cost account Work package budget Design 600 Production 650 Test 220 Purchasing 10 Software 180 Motor 10 Circuit board 1,000 150 150 140 260 120 300 400 120 Chassis frame 50 Read/write head 600 300 10 20 20 50 130 40 30 100 300 200 100 Manufacturing 1,250 Organization $1,660 10 10 50 130 180 Summarize by organizational units the three-week work package is placed in the network schedule, the costs are distributed to the time-phased budget for the same three scheduled weeks. Fortunately, most single WPs become an activity and the process of distributing costs is relatively simple. That is, the relationship is one-for-one. Such budget timing is directly from the work package to the activity. FIGURE 8.13 Time-Phased Work Package Budget (labor cost only) Work Package Description Work Package ID Deliverable Time-Phased Work Package Budget Labor cost only Test Page Project Date Estimator 1 of PC Prototype 3/24/xx CEG $120,000 1 Circuit board Test weeks Responsible organization unit Work Package Duration 3 Total labor cost Time-Phased Labor Budget ($000) Work Resource Package Code Quality testers Labor rate $xxxx/ week 1 $40 2 $30 Work Periods--Weeks 3 4 $50 5 Total $120 Summarize by deliverables 278 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs FIGURE 8.14 Two Time-Phased Work Packages (labor cost only) Time-Phased Work Package Budget Labor cost only Work Package Description Software Page Project Date Estimator Total labor cost 1 of PC Prototype 3/24/xx LGG $180,000 1 Work Package ID and Deliverable Circuit board Responsible organization unit Software Work Package Duration 4 weeks Time-Phased Labor Budget ($000) Work Package Code Integration Labor Resource rate $2,000/ Program'rs week System/ $2,500/ program'rs week Total $20 $15 1 $20 2 $15 Work Periods--Weeks 3 4 $15 $60 $75 $70 $70 5 Total $50 $130 $180 In a few instances an activity will include more than one work package, where the packages are assigned to one responsible person or department and deliverable. In this case the work packages are consolidated into one activity. As seen in Figure 8.14, this activity includes two WPs. The first, WP- (Code), is distributed over the first three weeks. The second, WP- (Integration), is sequenced over weeks 3 and 4. The actvity duration is four weeks. When the activity is placed in the schedule, the costs are distributed starting with the schedule start--$20,000, $15,000, $75,000, and $70,000, respectively. These time-phased budgets for work packages are lifted from your WBS and are placed in your project schedule as they are expected to occur over the life of the project. The outcome of these budget allocations is the project cost baseline (also called planned value--PV), which is used to determine cost and schedule variances as the project is implemented. Figure 8.15 shows the Patient Entry Project network schedule, which is used to place the time-phased work packages' budgets in the baseline. Figure 8.16 presents the project time-phased budget for the Patient Entry Project and the cumulative graph of the project budget baseline. In this figure you can see how the timephased work package costs were placed into the network and how the cumulative project budget graph for a project is developed. Notice that costs do not have to be distributed linearly, but the costs should be placed as you expect them to occur. You have now developed complete time and cost plans for your project. These project baselines will be used to compare planned schedule and costs using an integrative system called earned value. The application and use of project baselines to measure performance are discussed in detail in Chapter 13. With your project budget baseline established, you are also able to generate cash flow statements for your project like the one presented in Figure 8.17. Such statements prepare the firm to cover costs over the lifespan of the project. Finally, with resource assignments finalized you are able to generate resource usage schedules for your project (see Figure 8.18). These schedules map out the full deployment of personnel and equipment and can be used to generate individual work schedules. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 279 FIGURE 8.15 Patient Entry Project Network Patient Entry System Project (Weeks) 1 2 3 2 3 3 2 5 5 9 Design entry forms 2 5 Collect trial data 6 11 9 2 8 10 Merge data & codes 1 12 0 0 0 1 1 1 4 5 3 4 4 4 8 6 7 11 Design data system 1 Legend 1 Establish entry codes 3 8 Establish acct. codes 3 11 12 0 9 14 Test system 2 14 ES SL LS ID EF 1 0 1 4 6 6 0 6 7 12 12 Activity description DUR LF Get RFP bids 5 6 Program system 6 12 FIGURE 8.16 Patient Entry TimePhased Work Packages Assigned ($000) ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Dur. 1 2 3 5 6 3 6 1 2 Task Design data system Design entry forms Establish entry codes Get RFP bids Collect trial data Establish account codes Program system Merge data & codes Test system Week total Cumulative Week Budget 0 5 4 6 3 6 5 12 4 7 52 5 5 60 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 4 2 4 4 3 3 52 4 1 1 6 11 4 15 3 18 3 21 4 25 4 29 1 30 5 35 6 41 0 41 4 45 4 49 Cumulative Baseline Budget (PV) 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 280 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs FIGURE 8.17 CEBOO Project Monthly Cash Flow Statement CEBOO Project Hardware Hardware specifications Hardware design Hardware documentation Prototypes Order GXs Assemble preproduction models Operating system Kernel specifications Drivers OC drivers Serial VO drivers Memory management Operating system documentation Network interface Utilities Utilities specifications Routine utilities Complex utilities Utilities documentation Shell System integration Architectural decisions Integration first phase System H/S test Project documentation Integration acceptance test Total January February March April May June July $11,480.00 $24,840.00 $3,360.00 $23,120.00 $29,920.00 $14,960.00 $14,080.00 $24,320.00 $5,320.00 $9,880.00 $3,360.00 $12,320.00 $11,760.00 $12,880.00 $10,240.00 $21,760.00 $8,400.00 $5,760.00 $7,680.00 $21,120.00 $17,920.00 $20,160.00 $10,560.00 $20,400.00 $37,200.00 $44,960.00 $48,240.00 $55,120.00 $80,400.00 $56,240.00 $23,440.00 FIGURE 8.18 CEBOO Project Weekly Resource Usage Schedule I. Suzuki Hardware specifications Hardware design Hardware documentation Operating system documentation Utilities documentation Architectural decisions J. Lopez Hardware specifications Hardware design Prototypes Kernel specifications Utilities specifications Architectural decisions Integration first phase J.J. Putz Hardware documentation Kernel specifications Operating system documentation Utilities documentetion Project documentation R. Sexon Hardware specifications Prototypes Assemble preproduction models OC drivers Complex utilities Integration first phase System H/S test Integration acceptance test 12/30 24 hrs 1/6 40 hrs 1/13 40 hrs 1/20 40 hrs 24 hrs 1/27 40 hrs 40 hrs 2/03 40 hrs 40 hrs 24 hrs 24 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 16 hrs 40 hrs 12 hrs 12 hrs 40 hrs 20 hrs 20 hrs 40 hrs 20 hrs 20 hrs 24 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 16 hrs 24 hrs 24 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 24 hrs 24 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs 40 hrs Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 281 Summary Usage and availability of resources are major problem areas for project managers. Attention to these areas in developing a project schedule can point out resource bottlenecks before the project begins. Project managers should understand the ramifications of failing to schedule resources. The results of resource scheduling are frequently significantly different from the results of the standard CPM method. With the rapid changes in technology and emphasis on time-to-market, catching resource usage and availability problems before the project starts can save the costs of crashing project activities later. Any resource deviations from plan and schedule that occur when the project is being implemented can be quickly recorded and the effect noted. Without this immediate update capability, the real negative effect of a change may not be known until it happens. Tying resource availability to a multiproject, multiresource system supports a project priority process that selects projects by their contribution to the organization's objectives and strategic plan. Assignment of individuals to projects may not fit well with those assigned by computer software routines. In these cases overriding the computer solution to accommodate individual differences and skills is almost always the best choice. The project resource schedule is important because it serves as your time baseline, which is used for measuring time differences between plan and actual. The resource schedule serves as the basis for developing your time-phased project cost budget baseline. The baseline (planned value, PV) is the sum of the cost accounts, and each cost account is the sum of the work packages in the cost account. Remember, if your budgeted costs are not time-phased, you really have no reliable way to measure performance. Although there are several types of project costs, the cost baseline is usually limited to direct costs (such as labor, materials, equipment) that are under the control of the project manager; other indirect costs can be added to project costs separately. Key Terms Heuristic, 260 Leveling, 258 Planned value (PV), 278 Resource-constrained projects, 257 1. 2. 3. 4. Resource Smoothing, 254 Splitting, 270 Time-constrained projects, 257 Time-phased budget baseline, 253 Review Questions How does resource scheduling tie to project priority? How does resource scheduling reduce flexibility in managing projects? Present six reasons scheduling resources is an important task. How can outsourcing project work alleviate the three most common problems associated with multiproject resource scheduling? 5. Explain the risks associated with leveling resources, compressing or crashing projects, and imposed durations or "catch-up" as the project is being implemented. 6. Why is it critical to develop a time-phased baseline? 282 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs Exercises 1. Given the network plan that follows, compute the early, late, and slack times. What is the project duration? Using any approach you wish (e.g., trial and error), develop a loading chart for resources, Electrical Engineers (EE), and resource, Mechanical Engineers (ME). Assume only one of each resource exists. Given your resource schedule, compute the early, late, and slack times for your project. Which activities are now critical? What is the project duration now? Could something like this happen in real projects? 0 1 EE 2 4 EE 1 5 ME 6 0 Start 2 EE 4 6 ME 2 End Plan Schedule 0 3 ME 3 7 EE 4 Develop a loading schedule for each resource below. (Figure 8.3) EE ME 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Fill in the times below for a resource activity schedule. LS EF LF SL ID/RES ES 1-EE 2-EE 3-ME 4-EE 5-ME 6-ME 7-EE SL Legend ES ID EF SL LS DUR LF Resource 2. Given the network plan that follows, compute the early, late, and slack times. What is the project duration? Using any approach you wish (e.g., trial and error), develop a loading chart for resources Carpenters (C) and Electricians (E). Assume only one Carpenter is available and two Electricians are available. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 283 Given your resource schedule, compute the early, late, and slack times for your project. Which activities are now critical? What is the project duration now? 2 C 0 1 C 3 3 C 1 Develop a loading schedule for each resource below. Carpenter Electrician 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 4 4 E 3 6 C 5 2-E 5 2 Plan 9 10 11 12 13 14 Schedule Fill in the times below for a resource activity schedule. ID/RES ES LS EF LF SL 1-C 2-C 3-C 4-E 5-2-E 6-C Legend ES SL ID EF SL LS DUR LF Resource 3. Compute the early, late, and slack times for the activities in the network that follows, assuming a time-constrained network. Which activities are critical? What is the time-constrained project duration? Note: Recall, in the schedule resource load chart the time-constrained scheduling interval (ES through LF) has been shaded. Any resource scheduled beyond the shaded area will delay the project. Assume you have only three resources and you are using a computer that uses software that schedules projects by the parallel method and following heuristics. Schedule only one period at a time! Minimum slack Smallest duration Lowest identification number 284 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs Keep a log of each activity change and update you make each period--e.g., period 01, 12, 23, etc. (Use a format similar to the one on page 261.) The log should include any changes or updates in ES and slack times each period, activities scheduled, and activities delayed. (Hint: Remember to maintain the technical dependencies of the network.) Use the resource load chart to assist you in scheduling (see pages 262263--Figures 8.4 and 8.5). List the order in which you scheduled the activities of the project. Which activities of your schedule are now critical? Recompute your slack for each activity given your new schedule. What is the slack for activity 1? 4? 5? 0 1 2 3 4 1 0 2 1 4 6 6 2 Legend ES SL ID EF SL 5 2 3 0 3 1 5 4 LS DUR LF Resource Scheduled resource load chart with ES and slack updates ID RES DUR ES 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 4 3 0 0 0 4 5 10 LF SL 0 4 4 6 10 10 13 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Resources scheduled Resources available 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 285 4.* You have prepared the following schedule for a project in which the key resources is a tractor. There are three tractors available to the project. Activities A and D require one tractor to complete while activities B, C, E and F require 2 tractors. Develop a resource-constrained schedule in the loading chart that follows. Use the parallel method and heuristics given. Be sure to update each period as the computer would do. Record the early start (ES), late finish (LF) and slack (SL) for the new schedule. 4 2 0 1 1 A 1 4 4 1 5 5 0 0 0 0 B 2 5 5 0 5 5 2 7 ID RES DUR ES A B C D E F 1 2 2 1 2 2 4 5 4 5 3 2 5 6 C 2 4 8 2 10 Legend ES ID EF SL D 1 5 10 0 10 10 0 10 F 2 2 12 0 12 SL LS DUR LF Resource E 2 3 8 2 10 1 2 3 Use the following heuristics: Minimum slack Smallest duration Lowest identification number 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 LF SL 0 Resources scheduled Resources available 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 *The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix 1. 286 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 5. Develop a resource schedule in the loading chart that follows. Use the parallel method and heuristics given. Be sure to update each period as the computer would do. Note: activities 2, 3, 5, and 6 use two of the resource skills. Three of the resource skills are available. How has slack changed for each activity? Has the risk of being late changed? How? 1 3 0 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 0 0 0 3 2 2 3 3 0 3 3 2 5 3 4 3 2 4 5 3 8 4 1 5 8 0 8 8 0 8 6 2 2 10 0 10 Legend 5 2 3 6 2 8 ES ID EF SL RES SL LS DUR LF Use the following heuristics: Minimum slack Smallest duration Lowest identification number List the order in which your activities are scheduled /_____ /_____ /_____ / /_____ /_____ /_____ / ID 1 2 3 4 5 6 RES DUR ES 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 3 4 5 3 2 0 0 1 3 LF 3 3 8 8 SL 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Resources scheduled Resources available 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 What is the schedule slack for 1____, 3____, and 4_____? Which activities are critical now? ___ __________________ 6. You have prepared the following schedule for a project in which the key resource is a backhoe. This schedule is contingent on having 3 backhoes. You receive a call from your partner, Brooker, who desperately needs 1 of your Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 287 backhoes. You tell Brooker you would be willing to let him have the backhoe if you are still able to complete your project in 11 months. Develop a resource schedule in the loading chart that follows to see if it is possible to complete the project in 11 months with only 2 backhoes. Be sure to record the order in which you schedule the activities using scheduling heuristics. Activities 5 and 6 require 2 backhoes, while activities 1, 2, 3, and 4 require 1 backhoe. No splitting of activities is possible. Can you say yes to Brooker's request? 0 4 4 1 1 1 1 4 5 2 3 4 1 2 4 3 7 7 0 3 0 5 2 4 7 0 7 7 6 2 2 9 0 9 Legend ES SL ID EF SL 0 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 3 5 0 0 0 3 1 3 3 0 3 3 LS DUR LF Resource Schedule the resource load chart with ES and Slack updates ID RES DUR ES 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 3 2 4 2 0 0 0 2 3 7 LF SL 0 5 3 3 7 7 9 4 1 0 3 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Resources scheduled Resources available 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 7. You are one of three carpenters assigned to complete a short construction project. Right before the start of the project, one of your fellow carpenters was hospitalized and will not be available to work on the project. Develop a resource-constrained schedule in the loading chart that follows to see how long the project will take with only 2 carpenters. Be sure to record the order in which you schedule the activities using the scheduling heuristics. 288 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs Activities A, B, C, D, E, G, and H require 2 carpenters to complete. Activity F requires only 1 carpenter. No splitting of activities is possible. You will receive a bonus if the project is completed within 15 days. Should you start planning how you will spend your bonus? 2 2 0 0 0 A 2 2 2 0 2 2 0 2 4 B 2 1 3 2 5 5 0 D 2 1 6 0 6 6 0 6 E 2 2 8 0 8 8 0 8 G 2 2 10 0 10 C 2 3 5 0 5 5 6 1 7 F 1 3 9 1 10 Legend ES ID EF SL 10 0 10 H 2 2 12 0 12 Use the following heuristics: Minimum slack Smallest duration Lowest identification number SL LS DUR LF Resource ID RES DUR ES A B C D E F G H 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 3 1 2 3 2 2 LF SL 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Resources scheduled Resources available 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 *The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix 1. 8. Given the time-phased work packages, complete the baseline budget form for the project. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 289 Time-phased budget ($ 000) Week Task Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 Activity 4 Activity 5 Total Cumulative Budget 0 4 6 10 8 3 31 4 1 2 3 4 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9. Given the time-phased work packages and network, complete the baseline budget form for the project. Market Survey Project WBS Work Package Cost by Week WP Design WP Survey WP Report 4 2 3 5 2 3 2 4 2 4 4 5 Project Network 0 0 0 1 3 3 2 Survey 6 3 Report 3 Design 3 3 Time-Phased Budget Task Design Survey Report Total Cumulative Budget 0 11 21 8 40 4 1 5 2 2 3 4 5 Week 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 290 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 10.* Given the time-phased work packages and network, complete the baseline budget form for the project. 4 2 0 1 1 4 A 4 1 5 5 0 0 0 0 5 B 5 0 5 5 2 7 et Bu C 8 2 Legend ES ID EF SL 6 4 10 D 10 0 10 0 10 F 12 0 SL LS DUR LF 5 5 10 2 12 E 8 2 Cost by Week A B 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 C D E F 10 8 12 6 8 20 10 4 12 2 8 20 10 8 12 2 12 10 4 12 2 6 8 3 4 10 ID A B C D E F Total dg 0 1 2 3 40 32 48 18 28 40 206 Cumulative *The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix 1. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 291 11. Given the time-phased work packages and network, complete the baseline budget form for the project. Soccer Toy Project 3 Order parts 2 0 1 Design prototype 2 Legend ES SL LS ID 2 Build prototype 3 4 Prepare production 4 6 Assemble & test 2 7 Launch EF 5 Prepare marketing 5 1 Description DUR LF Soccer Toy Project Cost by Week ($000) 1 Design prototype Build prototype Order parts Prepare production Prepare marketing Assemble & test Launch 12 10 5 16 6 18 12 Time-phased Budget ($000) ud ge 2 12 10 5 10 6 18 22 0 10 3 4 5 16 6 12 Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Design prototype Build prototype Order parts Prepare prod'n Prepare market'g Assemble & test Launch Total 0 Cumulative B 24 30 10 64 30 36 12 206 t 292 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 12. The National Oceanic Research Institute is planning a research study on global warming in Antarctica. The 16-month network schedule is presented below. It is followed by budgets for each activity. Create a time-phased budget for the research project in the form provided. Global Warming Antarctic Research Project Months.... ($000) 7 6 13 G 9 Plane transportation 2 15 5 2 7 C Hire staff 7 7 2 F 10 10 2 12 K 13 15 0 15 L 16 Purchase clothing Ship supplies Travel 2 9 9 3 12 3 15 1 16 0 0 0 A 3 3 0 3 B 5 7 6 13 E Train 8 14 0 14 J 15 Preliminary plan Detail plan Test equipment 3 3 2 5 1 14 1 15 5 0 5 D 6 6 0 6 H 11 11 0 11 I 14 Select equipment Get custom equipment Additional equipment 1 6 5 11 3 14 Global Warming Antarctic Research Project Activity Time Phased Work Packages by Month ($000) Task A B C D E F G H I J K L Preliminary plan Detail plan Hire staff Select equipment Train Purchase clothing Plane transportation Get custom equipment Additional equipment Test equipment Ship all supplies Travel Total budget Duration 3 2 2 1 1 3 2 5 3 1 5 1 Budget 3 2 4 5 3 9 60 36 20 6 15 9 172 0 1 1 4 5 3 3 5 5 10 6 3 9 3 0 0 9 0 55 5 5 10 5 10 6 6 1 1 1 2 1 3 4 5 6 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 293 References Arrow, K. J., and L. Hurowicz, Studies in Resource Allocation Process (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997). Brucker, P., A. Drexl, R. Mohring, L. Newmann, and E. Pesch, "Resourceconstrained Project Scheduling: Notation, Classification, Models and Methods," European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 112, 1999, pp. 342. Burgess, A. R., and J. B. Kellebrew, "Variations in Activity Level on Cyclical Arrow Diagrams," Journal of Industrial Engineering, Vol. 13, MarchApril 1962, pp. 7683. Charnes, A., and W. W. Cooper, "A Network Interpretation and Direct Sub Dual Algorithm for Critical Path Scheduling," Journal of Industrial Engineering, JulyAugust 1962. Demeulemeester, E. L., and W. S. Herroelen, Project Scheduling: A Research Handbook (Norwell, Mass: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002). Fendly, L. G., "Towards the Development of a Complete Multi Project Scheduling System," Journal of Industrial Engineering, Vol. 19, 1968, pp. 50515. Reinersten, D., "Is It Always a Bad Idea to Add Resources to a Late Project?" Electric Design, October 30, 2000, pp. 1718. Talbot, B. F., and J. H. Patterson, "Optimal Methods for Scheduling Under Resource Constraints," Project Management Journal, December 1979. Wiest, J. D., "A Heuristic Model for Scheduling Large Projects with Unlimited Resources," Management Science, Vol. 18, February 1967, pp. 35977. Woodworth, B. M., and C. J. Willie, "A Heuristic Algorithm for Resource Leveling in Multiproject, Multiresource Scheduling," Decision Sciences, Vol. 6, July 1975, pp. 52540. Woodworth, B. M., and S. Shanahan, "Identifying the Critical Sequence in a Resource Constrained Project," International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 6, 1988, pp. 8996. Case Power Train, Ltd. We have smashing systems for reporting, tracking, and controlling costs on design projects. Our planning of projects is better than any I have seen at other companies. Our scheduling seemed to serve us well when we were small and we had only a few projects. Now that we have many more projects and schedule using multiproject software, there are too many occasions when the right people are not assigned to the projects deemed important to our success. This situation is costing us big money, headaches, and stress! Claude Jones, VP, Design and Operations HISTORY Power Train, Ltd. (PT), was founded in 1970 by Daniel Gage, a skilled mechanical engineer and machinist. Prior to founding PT he worked for three years as design engineer for a company that designed and built transmissions for military tanks 294 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs and trucks. It was a natural transition for Dan to start a company designing and building power trains for farm tractor companies. Today, Dan is no longer active in the management of PT but is still revered as its founder. He and his family still own 25 percent of the company, which went public in 1998. PT has been growing at a 6 percent clip for the last five years but expects industry growth to level off as supply exceeds demand. Today, PT continues its proud tradition of designing and building the best-quality power trains for manufacturers of farm tractors and equipment. The company employs 178 design engineers and has about 1,800 production and support staff. Contract design projects for tractor manufacturers represent a major portion of PT's revenue. At any given time, about 45 to 60 design projects are going on concurrently. A small portion of their design work is for military vehicles. PT only accepts military contracts that involve very advanced, new technology and are cost plus. A new phenomenon has attracted management of PT to look into a larger market. Last year a large Swedish truck manufacturer approached PT to consider designing power trains for its trucks. As the industry consolidates, the opportunities for PT should increase because these large firms are moving to more outsourcing to cut infrastructure costs and stay very flexible. Only last week a PT design engineer spoke to a German truck manufacturing manager at a conference. The German manager was already exploring outsourcing of drive trains to Porsche and was very pleased to be reminded of PT's expertise in the area. A meeting is set up for next month. CLAUDE JONES Claude Jones joined PT in 1999 as a new MBA from the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a mechanical engineer for U.K. Hydraulics for five years prior to returning to school for the MBA. "I just wanted to be part of the management team and where the action is." Jones moved quickly through the ranks. Today he is the vice president of design and operations. Sitting at his desk, Jones is pondering the conflicts and confusion that seem to be increasing in scheduling people to projects. He gets a real rush at the thought of designing power trains for large trucks; however, given their current project scheduling problems, a large increase in business would only compound their problems. Somehow these conflicts in scheduling have to be resolved before any serious thought can be given to expanding into design of power transmissions for truck manufacturers. Jones is thinking of the problems PT had in the last year. The MF project is the first to come to mind. The project was not terribly complex and did not require their best design engineers. Unfortunately, the scheduling software assigned one of the most creative and expensive engineers to the MF project. A similar situation, but reversed, happened on the Deer project. This project involved a big customer and new hydrostatic technology for small tractors. In this project the scheduling software assigned engineers who were not familiar with small tractor transmissions. Somehow, thinks Jones, the right people need to be scheduled to the right projects. Upon reflection, this problem with scheduling has been increasing since PT went to multiproject scheduling. Maybe a project office is needed to keep on top of these problems. A meeting with the information technology team and software vendors was positive but not very helpful because these people are not really into detailed scheduling problems. The vendors provided all sorts of evidence suggesting the heuristics used--least slack, shortest duration, and identification number--are absolutely efficient in scheduling people and minimizing project delays. One project Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 295 software vendor, Lauren, kept saying their software would allow PT to customize the scheduling of projects and people to almost any variation selected. Lauren repeated over and over, "If the standard heuristics do not meet your requirements, create your own heuristics that do." Lauren even volunteered to assist in setting up the system. But she is not willing to spend time on the problem until PT can describe to her exactly what criteria will be used (and their sequence) to select and schedule people to projects. WHAT NEXT? Potential expansion into the truck power train business is not feasible until the confusion in project scheduling is solved or reduced significantly. Jones is ready to tackle this problem, but he is not sure where to start. Appendix 8.1 The Critical-Chain Approach In practice, project managers carefully manage slack on sensitive resource-limited projects. If possible, they will add slack at the end of the project by committing to a completion date that goes beyond the scheduled date. For example, the plans say the project should be completed on April 1, although the official completion date is May 1. Other managers take a more aggressive approach to managing slack within the schedule. They use an early start schedule and prohibit use of slack on any activity or work package to be used unless authorized by the project manager. Progress by percent complete and by remaining time are carefully monitored. Activities that are beating estimated completion times are reported so that succeeding activities can start ahead of schedule. This ensures that the time gained is used to start a succeeding activity earlier and time is not wasted. The overall intent is to create and save slack as a time buffer to complete the project early or to cover delay problems that may creep up on critical activities or paths. Eliyahu Goldratt, who championed the "theory of constraints" in his popular book The Goal, advocates an alternative approach to managing slack. He has coined the term "critical-chain" to recognize that the project network may be constrained by both resource and technical dependencies. Each type of constraint can create task dependencies, and in the case of resource constraints, new task dependencies can be created! Remember how resource constraints shifted the critical path? If not, visit Figure 8.5 again. The critical chain refers to the longest string of dependencies that exist on the project. Chain is used instead of path, since the latter tends to be associated with just technical dependencies not resource dependencies. Goldratt uses the critical chain concept to develop strategies for accelerating the completion of projects. These strategies are based on his observations about time estimates of individual activities. TIME ESTIMATES Goldratt argues that there is a natural tendency for people to add safety (just-in-case) time to their estimations. It is believed that those who estimate activity times provide an estimate that has about an 80 to 90 percent chance of being completed on or before the estimated time. Hence, the median time (50/50 chance) is overestimated by 296 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs approximately 30 to 40 percent. For example, a programmer may estimate that there is a 50/50 chance that he can complete an activity in six days. However, to ensure success and to protect against potential problems, he adds three days of safety time and reports that it will take nine days to complete the task. In this case the median (50/50) time is overestimated by approximately 50 percent. He now has a 50/50 chance of completing the project three days ahead of the schedule. If this hidden contingency is pervasive across a project, then most activities in theory should be completed ahead of schedule. Not only do workers add safety, but project managers like to add safety to ensure that they will be able to bring the project in ahead of schedule. They will add a month to a nine-month project to cover any delays or risks that might spring up. This situation raises an interesting paradox: Why, if there is a tendency to overestimate activity durations, and add safety to the end of a project, do so many projects come in behind schedule? Critical-Chain Project Management (CCPM) offers several explanations: Parkinson's law: Work fills the time available. Why hustle to complete a task today when it isn't due until tomorrow? Not only will the pace of work be dictated by deadline, but workers will take advantage of perceived free time to catch up on other things. This is especially true in matrix environments where workers will use this time to clear work backlog on other projects and duties. Self-protection: Participants fail to report early finishes out of fear that management will adjust their future standards and demand more next time. For example, if a team member estimates that a task will take seven days and delivers it in five, the next time he is asked for an estimate, the project manager may want to trim the estimate based on past performance. Peer pressure may also be a factor here: to avoid being labeled a "rate buster," members may not report early finishes. Dropped baton: Goldratt uses the metaphor of project as relay race to illustrate the impact of poor coordination. Just as a runner's time is lost if the next runner is not ready to receive the baton, so is the time gained from completing a task early lost if the next group of people are not ready to receive the project work. Poor communication and inflexible resource schedules prevent progress from occurring. Excessive multitasking: The norm in most organizations is to have project personnel work on several projects, activities, or assignments at the same time. This leads to costly interruptions and excessive task splitting. As pointed out on p. 270, this adds time to each activity. When looked at in isolation the time loss may seem minimal, but when taken as a whole the transition costs can be staggering. Resource bottlenecks: In multiproject organizations projects are frequently delayed because test equipment or other necessary resources are tied up on other project work. Student syndrome (procrastination): Goldratt asserts that just as students delay writing a term paper until the last minute, workers delay starting tasks when they perceive that they have more than enough time to complete the task. The problem with delaying the start of a task is that obstacles are often not detected until the task is under way. By postponing the start of the task, the opportunity to cope with these obstacles and complete the task on time is compromised. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 297 CRITICAL-CHAIN IN ACTION CCPM's solution to reducing project time overruns is to insist on people using the "true 50/50" activity time estimates (rather than estimates which have an 80 to 90 percent chance of being completed before the estimated time); the 50/50 estimates result in a project duration about one-half the low risk of 80 to 90 percent estimates. This requires a corporate culture which values accurate estimates and refrains from blaming people for not meeting deadlines. According to CCPM, using 50/50 estimates will discourage Parkinson's law, the student syndrome, and self-protection from coming into play because there is less "free time" available. Productivity will be increased as individuals try to meet tighter deadlines. Similarly, the compressed time schedule reduces the likelihood of the dropped baton effect. CCPM recommends inserting time buffers into the schedule to act as "shock absorbers" to protect the project completion date against task durations taking longer than the 50/50 estimate. The rationale is that by using 50/50 estimates you are in essence taking out all of the "safety" in individual tasks. CCPM also recommends using portions of this collective safety strategically by inserting time buffers where potential problems are likely to occur. There are three kinds of buffers in CCPM: Project buffer: First, since all activities along the critical chain have inherent uncertainty that is difficult to predict, project duration is uncertain. Therefore, a project time buffer is added to the expected project duration. CCPM recommends using roughly 50 percent of the aggregate safety. For example, if the modified schedule reduces the project duration by 20 days from 50 to 30, then a 10-day project buffer would be used. Feeder buffers: Buffers are added to the network where noncritical paths merge with the critical chain. These buffers protect the critical chain from being delayed. Resource buffers: Time buffers are inserted where scarce resources are needed for an activity. Resource time buffers come in at least two forms. One form is a time buffer attached to a critical resource to ensure that the resource is on call and available when needed. This preserves the relay race. The second form of time buffer is added to activities preceding the work of a scarce resource. This kind of buffer protects against resource bottlenecks by increasing the likelihood that the preceding activity will be completed when the resource is available. All buffers reduce the risk of the project duration being late and increase the chance of early project completion. CRITICAL-CHAIN VERSUS TRADITIONAL SCHEDULING APPROACH To illustrate how CCPM affects scheduling let's compare it with the traditional approach to project scheduling. We will first resolve resource problems the way described in Chapter 8 and then the CCPM method. Figure A8.1A shows the planned Air Control project network without any concern for resources. That is, activities are assumed to be independent and resources will be made available and/or are interchangeable. Figure A8.1B depicts the bar chart for the project. The dark blue bars represent the durations of critical activities; the light blue bars represent the durations of noncritical activities; the bars represent slack. Note that the duration is 45 days and the critical path is represented by activities 1, 4, 6, 7, and 8. 298 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs FIGURE A8.1A Air Control Project: Time Plan without Resources Order vendor parts Early start: 2 ID: 2 Early finish: 17 Dur: 15 days Assemble Early start: 30 ID: 7 Early finish: 40 Dur: 10 days Order review Early start: 0 ID: 1 Early finish: 2 Dur: 2 days Produce std. parts Early start: 2 ID: 3 Early finish: 20 Dur: 18 days Design custom parts Early start: 2 ID: 4 Early finish: 15 Dur: 13 days Manufacture custom parts Early start: 15 ID: 6 Early finish: 30 Dur: 15 days Test Early start: 40 ID: 8 Early finish: 45 Dur: 5 days Software development Early start: 2 ID: 5 Early finish: 20 Dur: 18 days Project duration 45 days FIGURE A8.1B Air Control Project: Time Plan without Resources 1 Order review 2 2 Order vendor parts 15 3 Produce std. parts 18 4 Design cust. parts 13 5 Software developm't 18 6 Mfgr. cust. parts 15 7 Assemble 10 8 Test 5 0 5 10 Critical 15 20 25 30 35 Slack 40 45 50 Noncritical Parallel activities hold potential for resource conflicts. This is the case in this project. Ryan is the resource for activities 3 and 6. If you insert Ryan in the bar chart in Figure A8.1B for activities 3 and 6, you can see activity 3 overlaps activity 6 by five days--an impossible situation. Because Ryan cannot work two activities simultaneously and no other person can take his place, a resource dependency exists. The result is that two activities (3 and 6) that were assumed to be independent now become dependent. Something has to give! Figure A8.2A shows the Air Control project network with the resources included. A pseudodashed arrow has been added to the network to indicate the resource dependency. The bar chart in Figure A8.2B reflects the revised schedule resolving the overallocation of Ryan. Given the new schedule, slack for some activities has changed. More importantly, the critical path has changed. It is now 1, 3, 6, 7, 8. The resource schedule shows the new project duration to be 50 days rather than 45 days. Now let's apply the CCPM approach to the Air Control project. Figure A8.3 details many of the changes. First, notice that task estimates now represent Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 299 FIGURE A8.2A Air Control Project: Schedule with Resources Limited Order vendor parts Early start: 2 ID: 2 Early finish: 17 Dur: 15 days Res: Carly Produce std. parts Early start: 2 ID: 3 Early finish: 20 Dur: 18 days Res: Ryan Design custom parts Early start: 2 ID: 4 Early finish: 15 Dur: 13 days Res: Lauren Software development Early start: 2 ID: 5 Early finish: 20 Dur: 18 days Res: Connor Assemble Early start: 35 ID: 7 Early finish: 45 Dur: 10 days Res: Dawn Order review Early start: 0 ID: 1 Early finish: 2 Dur: 2 days Res: Ryan Manufacture custom parts Early start: 20 ID: 6 Early finish: 35 Dur: 15 days Res: Ryan Test Early start: 45 ID: 8 Early finish: 50 Dur: 5 days Res: Kevin Project duration 50 days FIGURE A8.2B Air Control Project: Schedule with Resources Limited 1 Order review 2 2 Order vendor parts 15 3 Produce std. parts 18 4 Design cust. parts 13 5 Software developm't 18 6 Mfgr. cust. parts 15 7 Assemble 10 8 Test 5 0 Ryan Carly Ryan Lauren Connor Ryan Dawn Kevin 5 10 Critical 15 20 25 30 35 Slack 40 45 50 Noncritical FIGURE A8.3 Air Control Project: CCPM Network Order vendor parts 8 Produce std. parts Order review 1 8 Design cust. parts 7 Software dev. 10 Feeder buffer FB Task DUR Critical chain FB FB Assemble 6 Mfgr. cust. parts 8 FB Test 3 Project buffer 300 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs FIGURE A8.4 Air Control Project Gantt Chart: CCPM Network Activity 1. Order review 2. Order vendor parts 3. Produce std. parts 4. Design cust. parts 5. Software dev. 6. Mfgr. cust. parts 7. Assemble 8. Test DUR 1 8 8 7 10 8 6 3 LS 0 7 1 1 11 11 18 24 LF 1 15 9 8 21 19 24 27 Buffer 0 3 0 3 3 0 0 12 0 5 10 15 20 25 Buffer 30 35 40 Activity approximations of the 50/50 rule. Second, observe that not all of the activities on the critical chain are technically linked. Manufacture custom parts is included because of previously defined resource dependency. Third, a project time buffer is added at the end of schedule. Finally, feeder buffers are inserted at each point where a noncritical activity merges with the critical chain. The impact the CCPM approach has on the project schedule can best be seen in the Gantt chart presented in Figure A8.4. Notice first the late start times for each of the three noncritical activities. For example, under the critical path method, order vendor parts and software development would be scheduled to begin immediately after the order review. Instead they are scheduled later in the project. Three-day feeder buffers have been added to each of these activities to absorb any delays that might occur in these activities. Finally, instead of taking 50 days the project is now estimated to take only 27 days with a 10-day project buffer! This example provides an opportunity for explaining the differences between buffers and slack. Slack is spare time inherent in the schedule of noncritical activities and can be determined by differences between the early start and late start of a specific activity. Buffers, on the other hand, are dedicated time blocks reserved to cover most likely contingencies and are monitored closely so, if they are not needed, subsequent activities can proceed on schedule. Buffers are needed in part because the estimates are based on 50/50 approximations, and therefore roughly half of the activities will take longer than planned. To protect against these extended activity durations, buffers are inserted to minimize the impact on the schedule. Buffers are not part of the project schedule and are used only when sound management dictates it. While not depicted in the figures, an example of a resource buffer would be to add six days to Ryan's schedule (remember he is the critical resource that caused the schedule to be extended). This would ensure that he could continue to work on the project beyond the 18th day in case either produce standard parts and/or manufacture custom parts takes longer than planned. Progress on these two tasks would be monitored closely, and his schedule would be adjusted accordingly. Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 301 FIGURE A8.5 Project Control-- Buffer Management Region III Region II Watch & Plan Region I OK Act 100% Full buffer time left 0% No buffer time left CCPM AND SPLITTING TASKS Buffers do not address the insidious effects of pervasive task splitting, especially in a multiproject environment where workers are juggling different project assignments. CCPM has three recommendations that will help to reduce the impact of splitting activities: 1. Reduce the number of projects so people are not assigned to as many projects concurrently. 2. Control start dates of projects to accommodate resource shortages. Don't start projects until sufficient resources are available to work full time on the project. 3. Contract (lock in) for resources before the project begins. MONITORING PROJECT PERFORMANCE The CCPM method uses buffers to monitor project time performance. Remember that as shown in Figure A8.3 a project buffer is used to insulate the project against delays along the critical chain. For monitoring purposes, this buffer is typically divided into three zones--OK, Watch and Plan, and Act, respectively (see Figure A8.5). As the buffer begins to decrease and moves into the second zone, alarms are set off to seek corrective action. To be truly effective, buffer management requires comparing buffer usage with actual progress on the project. For example, if the project is 75 percent complete and you have only used 50 percent of the project buffer, then the project is in pretty good shape. Conversely, if the project is only 25 percent complete and 50 percent of the buffer has already been used, you are in trouble and corrective action is needed. A method for estimating percentage complete is described in Chapter 13. THE CCPM METHOD TODAY CCPM has generated considerable debate within the project management community. While sound in theory, support at this time is limited but growing. For example, Harris Semiconductor was able to build a new automated wafer fabrication facility within 13 months using CCPM methods when the industry standard for such a facility is 2636 months. The Israeli aircraft industry has used CCPM techniques to reduce average maintenance work on aircraft from two months to two weeks. The U.S. Air Force and Navy as well as Boeing, Lucent Technologies, Intel, GM, and 3M are applying critical-chain principles to their multi-project environments. CCPM is not without critics. First, CCPM does not address the biggest cause of project delays, which is an ill-defined and unstable project scope. Second, some critics challenge Goldratt's assumptions about human behavior. They question 302 Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs the tendency of experts to pad estimates and that employees act deliberately against the organization for their own interest and benefit. They also object to the insinuation that trained professionals would exhibit the student syndrome habits. Third, evidence of success is almost exclusively anecdotal and based on single case studies. The lack of systematic evidence raises questions about generalizability of application. CCPM may prove to work best for only certain kinds of projects. One of the keys to implementing CCPM is the culture of the organization. If the organization honors noble efforts that fail to meet estimates as it does efforts that do meet estimates, then greater acceptance will occur. Conversely, if management treats honest failure differently from success, then resistance will be high. Organizations adopting the CCPM approach have to invest significant energy to obtaining "buy-in" on the part of all participants to its core principles and allaying the fears that this system may generate. APPENDIX SUMMARY Regardless of where one stands in the debate, the CCPM approach deserves credit for bringing resource dependency to the forefront, highlighting the modern ills of multitasking, and forcing us to rethink conventional methods of project scheduling. APPENDIX REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. Explain how time is wasted in management of projects. 2. Distinguish between project and feeder buffers. 3. Buffers are not the same as slack. Explain. APPENDIX EXERCISES 1. Check out the Goldratt Institute's homepage at for current information on the application of critical-chain techniques to project management. 2. Apply critical-chain scheduling principles to the Print Software, Inc., project presented in Chapter 6 on page . Revise the estimated time durations by 50 percent except round up the odd time durations (i.e., 3 becomes 4). Draw a CCPM network diagram similar to the one contained in Figure A8.3 for the Print Software project as well as a Gantt chart similar to Figure A8.4. How would these diagrams differ from the ones generated using the traditional scheduling technique? Case The CCPM Dilemma Pinyarat worked in the IT department of a diversified IT firm. She was describing the firm's early encounters with critical chain scheduling to a friend in another IT firm. Three years ago management decided to add 10 percent time to all activity estimates because almost all projects were coming in late. One thought was people were simply working too hard and needed some relief. This approach did not work! Projects still came in late. Next, management decided to take away the extra time for activities and add 10 percent for project estimates to ensure project durations Chapter 8 Scheduling Resources and Costs 303 would be met. Again, nothing improved and projects continued to come in late. Recently, the firm hired a consultant who promoted critical chain scheduling, which was implemented for all projects in her division. Almost all failed to perform. Pinyarat explained, "The estimates were basically impossible. The activity durations got squeezed down to less than the 50 percent guideline. We were late on nearly every task. In addition, I was not allowed to put in a big enough project buffer, which only added to projects being late. One colleague who was working on six projects gave up and quit; he said he was killing himself and saw no hope of things getting better. My projects are not the only ones having big problems. Some people had no idea why anyone would use CCPM scheduling. To quote one of my best programmers: `They ask for an estimate and then they cut it 50 percent or more. What kind of game is this? Apparently they don't trust us." A week later, to Pinyarat's surprise, she was called to the IT manager's office. Pinyarat imagined numerous bad scenarios of how the meeting would go--even to the remote possibility of being fired! The manager wanted the division to straighten out their project management practices and stop this business of nearly all IT projects being late. There are rumors of cleaning house or outsourcing IT work. The manager believed Pinyarat, who passed the PMP exam, had the best chance of turning things around. He said, "Pinyarat, I'm nearing the desperate level; top management is reaching the end of the rope with our division. We need to turn this around for both our sakes. Give me a plan that I can sponsor within the week." Pinyarat explained to her friend a few of her ideas--like squeezing estimates too far. But she said she would take any ideas she can get from anyone. Give Pinyarat a report that identifies the key problems and a plan of action she can present to her sponsor. Limit your report to 800 words or less. APPENDIX REFERENCES Goldratt, Critical Chain (Great Barrington, MA: North River Press, 1997). Herroelen, W., R. Leus, and E. Demeulemeester, "Critical Chain Project Scheduling: Do Not Oversimplify," Project Management Journal, Vol. 33 (4), 2002, pp. 4860. Leach, L. P., "Critical Chain Project Management," Proceedings of 29th Annual Project Management Institute, 1998, Seminars and Symposium (Newtown, PA: Project Management Institute, 1998), pp. 123944. Levine, H. A., "Shared Contingency: Exploring the Critical Chain," PM Network, October 1999, pp. 3538. Newbold, R. C., Project Management in the Fast Lane: Applying the Theory of Constraints (Boca Raton, FL: St. Lucie Press, 1998). Noreen, E., D. Smith, and J. Mackey, The Theory of Constraints and Its Implication for Management Accounting (Great Barrington, MA: North River Press, 1995). Raz, T., R. Barnes, and D. Dvir, "A Critical Look at Critical Chain Project Management," Project Management Journal, December 2003, pp. 2432. Sood, S., "Taming Uncertainty: Critical-Chain Buffer Management Helps Minimize Risk in the Project Equation," PM Network, March 2003, pp. 5759. Zalmanson, E., "Readers Feedback," PM Network, Vol. 15 (1), 2001, p. 4. C H A P T E R N I N E Reducing Project Duration Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career p aths Reducing Project Duration Rationale for Reducing Project Duration Options for Accelerating Project Completion Project CostDuration Graph Constructing a Project CostDuration Graph Practical Considerations What if Cost, Not Time, Is the Issue? Summary 304 In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed. --Ralph Waldo Emerson Imagine the following scenarios: --After finalizing your project schedule, you realize the estimated completion date is two months beyond what your boss publicly promised an important customer. --Five months into the project, you realize that you are already three weeks behind the drop-dead date for the project. --Four months into a project top management changes its priorities and now tells you that money is not an issue. Complete the project ASAP! What do you do? This chapter addresses strategies for reducing project duration either prior to setting the baseline for the project or in the midst of project execution. Choice of options is based on the constraints surrounding the project. Here the project priority matrix introduced in Chapter 4 comes into play. For example, there are many more options available for reducing project time if you are not resource constrained than if you cannot spend more than your original budget. We will begin first by examining the reasons for reducing project duration followed by a discussion of different options for accelerating project completion. The chapter will conclude with the classic time-cost framework for selecting which activities to "crash." Crash is a term that has emerged in the Project Management lexicon for shortening the duration of an activity or project beyond when it can be normally done. Rationale for Reducing Project Duration There are many good reasons for attempting to reduce the duration of a project. One of the more important reasons today is time to market. Intense global competition and rapid technological advances have made speed a competitive advantage. To succeed, companies have to spot new opportunities, launch project teams, and bring new products or services to the marketplace in a flash. Perhaps in no industry does speed matter as much as in the electronics industry. For example, a rule of thumb for moderate- to high-technology firms is that a six-month delay in bringing a product to market can result in a loss of market share of about 35 percent. In these cases, high-technology firms typically assume that the time savings and avoidance of lost profits are worth any additional costs to reduce time without any formal analysis. See the Snapshot from Practice: Cell-Phone Wars for more on this. Business survival depends not only upon rapid innovation but also adaptability. Global recession and energy crises have stunned the business world, and those 305 306 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Cell-Phone Wars* Courtesy of Apple Inc. Speed has been critical in business ever since the California Gold Rush. The cell-phone industry is a good example of an intensely competitive business that places a premium on speed and innovation. On July, 2008 Apple released iPhone 3G with a faster interface and a sleek design. Then on November 21, 2008, Research in Motion (RIM) released their new Blackberry phone--Storm. Gone were the buttons; the Blackberry Storm had a fully incorporated touch screen to compete with the iPhone. Soon thereafter, Google entered the fray with its ambitious G-1 phone that has both a touch screen and a flip out keyboard as well as a tracking ball for surfing the Web. "It's like having a popular nightclub. You have to keep opening new ones. To stay cool, you have to speed up," says Michael Greeson, president of market researcher Diffusion Group, Inc. In order to survive, RIM, Nokia, and other cell-phone manufacturers have become masters at project management. They have been able to cut the market release time of new phones from 1218 months to 69 months. What is at stake is over 500 million in forecasted sales of new cell phones each year. * Steve Hamm, "Is Your Company Fast Enough?" BusinessWeek, March 27, 2006, pp. 6876. Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 307 companies that survive will be those that can quickly adapt to new challenges. This requires speedy project management! For example, the fate of U.S. auto industry depends in part on how quickly they shift their efforts to develop fuel efficient, alternative forms of transportation. Another common reason for reducing project time occurs when unforeseen delays--for example, adverse weather, design flaws, and equipment breakdown-- cause substantial delays midway in the project. Getting back on schedule usually requires compressing the time on some of the remaining critical activities. The additional costs of getting back on schedule need to be compared with the consequences of being late. This is especially true when time is a top priority. Incentive contracts can make reduction of project time rewarding--usually for both the project contractor and owner. For example, a contractor finished a bridge across a lake 18 months early and received more than $6 million for the early completion. The availability of the bridge to the surrounding community 18 months early to reduce traffic gridlock made the incentive cost to the community seem small to users. In another example, in a continuous improvement arrangement, the joint effort of the owner and contractor resulted in early completion of a river lock and a 50/50 split of the savings to the owner and contractor. See Snapshot from Practice: Northridge Earthquake for a situation in which a contractor went to great lengths to complete a project as quickly as possible. "Imposed deadlines" is another reason for accelerating project completion. For example, a politician makes a public statement that a new law building will be available in two years. Or the president of a software company remarks in a speech that new advanced software will be available in one year. Such statements too often become imposed project duration dates--without any consideration of the problems or cost of meeting such a date. The project duration time is set while the project is in its "concept" phase before or without any detailed scheduling of all the activities in the project. This phenomenon occurs very frequently in practice! Unfortunately, this practice almost always leads to a higher cost project than one that is planned using low-cost and detailed planning. In addition, quality is sometimes compromised to meet deadlines. More important, these increased costs of imposed duration dates are seldom recognized or noted by project participants. Sometimes very high overhead costs are recognized before the project begins. In these cases it is prudent to examine the direct costs of shortening the critical path versus the overhead cost savings. Usually there are opportunities to shorten a few critical activities at less than the daily overhead rate. Under specific conditions (which are not rare), huge savings are possible with little risk. Finally there are times when it is important to reassign key equipment and/or people to new projects. Under these circumstances, the cost of compressing the project can be compared with the opportunity costs of not releasing key equipment or people. Options for Accelerating Project Completion Managers have several effective methods for crashing specific project activities when resources are not constrained. Several of these are summarized below. 308 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE On January 17, 1994, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Los Angeles basin, near suburban Northridge, causing 60 deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars in property damage. Nowhere was the destructive power of nature more evident than in the collapsed sections of the freeway system that disrupted the daily commute of an estimated 1 million Los Angelenos. The Northridge earthquake posed one of the greatest challenges to the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) in its nearly 100-year history. To expedite the recovery process, Governor Pete Wilson signed an emergency declaration allowing CalTrans to streamline contracting procedures and offer attractive incentives for completing work ahead of schedule. For each day that the schedule was beaten, a sizable bonus was to be awarded. Conversely, for each day over the deadline, the contractor would be penalized the same amount. The amount ($50,000 to $200,000) varied depending on the importance of the work. The incentive scheme proved to be a powerful motivator for the freeway reconstruction contractors. C. C. Myers, Inc., of Rancho Cordova, California, won the contract for the reconstruction of the Interstate 10 bridges. Myers pulled out all stops to finish the project in a blistering 66 days--a whopping 74 days ahead of schedule--and earning a $14.8 million bonus! Myers took every opportunity to save time and streamline operations. They greatly expanded the workforce. For example, 134 ironworkers were employed instead of the normal 15. Special lighting equipment was set up so that work could be performed around the clock. Likewise, the sites were prepared and special materials were used so that work could continue despite inclement weather that would normally shut down construction. The work was scheduled much like an assembly line so that critical activities were followed by the next critical activity. A generous incentive scheme was devised to reward teamwork and reach milestones early. Responding to the Northridge Earthquake* David Butow/Corbis SABA Carpenters and iron-workers competed as teams against each other to see who could finish first. Although C. C. Myers received a substantial bonus for finishing early, they spent a lot of money on overtime, bonuses, special equipment, and other premiums to keep the job rolling along. CalTrans supported Myers's efforts. With reconstruction work going on 24 hours a day, including jackhammering and pile-driving, CalTrans temporarily housed many families in local motels. CalTrans even erected a temporary plastic soundwall to help reduce the construction noise traveling to a nearby apartment complex. The double-layer curtain, 450 feet long and 20 feet high, was designed to reduce construction noise by 10 decibels. Despite the difficulties and expense incurred by aroundthe-clock freeway building, most of Los Angeles cheered CalTrans's quake recovery efforts. The Governor's Office of Planning and Research issued a report concluding that for every day the Santa Monica Freeway was closed, it cost the local economy more than $1 million. * Jerry B. Baxter, "Responding to the Northridge Earthquake," PM Network (November 1994), pp. 1322. Options When Resources Are Not Constrained Adding Resources The most common method for shortening project time is to assign additional staff and equipment to activities. There are limits, however, as to how much speed can be gained by adding staff. Doubling the size of the workforce will not necessarily reduce completion time by half. The relationship would be correct only when tasks can be partitioned so minimal communication is needed between workers, as in harvesting a crop by hand or repaving a highway. Most projects are not set up that way; additional workers increase the communication Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 309 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE In the face of increasing time-to-market pressures, many bio-tech firms are turning to outsourcing to expedite the drug development process. Panos Kalaritis, vice president of operations for Irix Pharmaceuticals, says that outsourcing process development can accelerate a drug's evolution by allowing a pharmaceutical company to continue research while a contractor works on process optimization. Susan Dexter of Lonza Biologics identified different types of outsourcing contracts including agreements for product development, clinical trial supplies, in-market or commercial supplies, and technology transfer. Often, she said, a given project can encompass more than one of the above stages over a period of several years. Outsourcing in Bio-Tech Picks Up Speed* Using a contractor, said Paul Henricks, business manager for Patheon Inc., gives the client company access to specialized knowledge and infrastructure as well as flexible resources and capacity. The sponsoring company can also manage risks by sharing responsibilities through outsourcing. "Communication is key to a successful outsourcing relationship," said Dan Gold, vice president of process development for Covance, which was formerly Corning Bio. "Contractors and sponsors should both assign project managers, and the two must work together to maintain, track, and document project completion. There must be a concerted effort on the part of both parties to work as partners to complete the project." * Mathew Lerner, "Outsourcing in Bio-Technology Picks Up Speed," Chemical Market Reporter, Vol. 251, No. 14 (2002), p. 17. requirements to coordinate their efforts. For example, doubling a team by adding two workers requires six times as much pairwise intercommunication than is required in the original two-person team. Not only is more time needed to coordinate and manage a larger team; there is the additional delay of training the new people and getting them up to speed on the project. The end result is captured in Brooks's law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. Frederick Brooks formulated this principle based on his experience as a project manager for IBM's System/360 software project during the early 1960s. While subsequent research confirmed Brooks's prediction, it also discovered that adding more people to a late project does not always cause the project to be later. The key is whether the new staff is added early so there is sufficient time to make up for lost ground once the new members have been fully assimilated. Outsourcing Project Work A common method for shortening the project time is to subcontract an activity. The subcontractor may have access to superior technology or expertise that will accelerate the completion of the activity. For example, contracting for a backhoe can accomplish in two hours what it can take a team of laborers two days to do. Likewise, by hiring a consulting firm that specializes in ADSI programming, a firm may be able to cut in half the time it would take for less experienced, internal programmers to do the work. Subcontracting also frees up resources that can be assigned to a critical activity and will ideally result in a shorter project duration. See Snapshot from Practice: Outsourcing Bio-Tech. Outsourcing will be addressed more fully in Chapter 12. Scheduling Overtime The easiest way to add more labor to a project is not to add more people, but to schedule overtime. If a team works 50 hours a week instead of 40, it might accomplish 20 percent more. By scheduling overtime you avoid the additional costs of coordination and communication encountered when new people are 310 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration added. If people involved are salaried workers, there may be no real additional cost for the extra work. Another advantage is that there are fewer distractions when people work outside normal hours. Overtime has disadvantages. First, hourly workers are typically paid time and a half for overtime and double time for weekends and holidays. Sustained overtime work by salaried employees may incur intangible costs such as divorce, burnout, and turnover. The latter is a key organizational concern when there is a shortage of workers. Furthermore, it is an oversimplification to assume that, over an extended period of time, a person is as productive during his or her eleventh hour at work as during his or her third hour of work. There are natural limits to what is humanly possible, and extended overtime may actually lead to an overall decline in productivity when fatigue sets in. Overtime and working longer hours is the preferred choice for accelerating project completion, especially when the project team is salaried. The key is to use overtime judiciously. Remember a project is a marathon not a sprint! You do not want to run out of energy before the finish line. Establish a Core Project Team As discussed in Chapter 3, one of the advantages of creating a dedicated core team to complete a project is speed. Assigning professionals full time to a project avoids the hidden cost of multitasking in which people are forced to juggle the demands of multiple projects. Professionals are allowed to devote their undivided attention to a specific project. This singular focus creates a shared goal that can bind a diverse set of professionals into a highly cohesive team capable of accelerating project completion. Factors that contribute to the emergence of highperforming project teams will be discussed in detail in Chapter 11. Do It Twice--Fast and Correctly If you are in a hurry, try building a "quick and dirty" short-term solution, then go back and do it the right way. For example, the Rose Garden stadium in Portland, Oregon, was supposed to be completely finished in time for the start of the 1995 1996 National Basketball Association (NBA) season. Delays made this impossible, so the construction crew set up temporary bleachers to accommodate the opening-night crowd. The additional costs of doing it twice are often more than compensated for by the benefits of satisfying the deadline. Options When Resources Are Constrained A project manager has fewer options for accelerating project completion when additional resources are either not available or the budget is severely constrained. This is especially true once the schedule has been established. Below are some of these options, which are also available when resources are not constrained. Fast-Tracking Sometimes it is possible to rearrange the logic of the project network so that critical activities are done in parallel (concurrently) rather than sequentially. This alternative is a good one if the project situation is right. When this alternative is given serious attention, it is amazing to observe how creative project team members can be in finding ways to restructure sequential activities in parallel. As noted in Chapter 6, one of the most common methods for restructuring activities is to Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 311 change a finish-to-start relationship to a start-to-start relationship. For example, instead of waiting for the final design to be approved, manufacturing engineers can begin building the production line as soon as key specifications have been established. Changing activities from sequential to parallel usually requires closer coordination among those responsible for the activities affected but can produce tremendous time savings. Critical-Chain Critical-chain project management (CCPM) is designed to accelerate project completion. As discussed in Chapter 8, the jury is still out in terms of its applicability. Still CCPM principles appear sound and worthy of experimentation if speed is essential. At the same time, it would be difficult to apply CCPM midstream in a project. CCPM requires considerable training and a shift in habits and perspectives that take time to adopt. Although there have been reports of immediate gains, especially in terms of completion times, a long-term management commitment is probably necessary to reap full benefits. See the Snapshot from Practice: The Fastest House in the World for an extreme example of CCPM application. Reducing Project Scope Probably the most common response for meeting unattainable deadlines is to reduce or scale back the scope of the project. This invariably leads to a reduction in the functionality of the project. For example, the new car will average only 25 mpg instead of 30, or the software product will have fewer features than originally planned. While scaling back the scope of the project can lead to big savings in both time and money, it may come at a cost of reducing the value of the project. If the car gets lower gas mileage, will it stand up to competitive models? Will customers still want the software minus the features? The key to reducing a project scope without reducing value is to reassess the true specifications of the project. Often requirements are added under best-case, blue-sky scenarios and represent desirables, but not essentials. Here it is important to talk to the customer and/or project sponsors and explain the situation--you can get it your way but not until February. This may force them to accept an extension or to add money to expedite the project. If not, then a healthy discussion of what the essential requirements are and what items can be compromised in order to meet the deadline needs to take place. More intense reexamination of requirements may actually improve the value of the project by getting it done more quickly and for a lower cost. Calculating the savings of reduced project scope begins with the work breakdown structure. Reducing functionality means certain tasks, deliverables, or requirements can be reduced or even eliminated. These tasks need to be found and the schedule adjusted. Focus should be on changes in activities on the critical path. Compromise Quality Reducing quality is always an option, but it is rarely acceptable or used. If quality is sacrificed, it may be possible to reduce the time of an activity on the critical path. In practice the methods most commonly used to crash projects are scheduling overtime, outsourcing, and adding resources. Each of these maintains the essence of the original plan. Options that depart from the original project plan include do it twice and fast-tracking. Rethinking of project scope, customer needs, and timing become major considerations for these techniques. 312 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The Fastest House in the World* AP/Wide World. December 17, 2002--After revving up their power tools and lining up volunteers, Shelby County Habitat for Humanity broke the world record for the fastest house ever built, clocking in at 3 hours, 26 minutes, and 34 seconds. Former record holder New Zealand's Habitat Affiliate Mannakau held the record for three years at 3 hours, 44 minutes, and 59 seconds. The Alabama project beat the New Zealand record by 18 minutes. "This was different than any construction project that I've ever been a part of," said Project Manager Chad Calhoun. "The minute-by-minute schedule, the planning of each precise movement, the organization of all the teams and materials, could not have gone more smoothly on build day. All the long hours of planning definitely paid off." In preparation for the build, Habitat volunteers put the foundation in place and constructed prefabricated wall panels. Once the whistle blew at 11:00 A.M. on December 17th, the exterior wall panels were raised into place, followed by the interior panel, which took only 16 minutes. Special color coded teams of workers connected the wiring and plumbing, put in insulation, installed appliances, laid carpet and tile, installed light fixtures, painted the house inside, applied vinyl siding outside, and attached assembled front and back porches. At the same time, the roof was constructed on the ground next to the house. Once the roof was completed--approximately 11y2 hours later--a Steel City crane lifted the 14,000pound roof assembly into place. Crews attached the roof while others completed the interior work. There was even time to lay sod, plant shrubbery, and decorate a Christmas tree in the front yard--all within the official build time of 3 hours, 26 minutes, and 34 seconds. The recipient of this wonderful holiday gift was Bonnie Lilly, a single mother and nursing technician who had applied to Habitat for Humanity three times before she was selected to receive the three-bedroom, two-bath home. "It's amazing," Lilly said. "Who am I to have this happen for me? A world record, hundreds of people coming together to build my house--I still can't believe it." Habitat for Humanity is an international charitable organization that builds simple, affordable houses and sells them on a no-interest, no-profit basis to needy families. * "The house that love built, really FAST--and just in time for Christmas kicker: Habitat for Humanity breaks world record set by New Zealand," Erin Drummond, "Shelby County, Ala. Builds fastest Habitat House in three and a half hours," www.habitat .org/newsroom/2002archive. Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 313 Project CostDuration Graph Nothing on the horizon suggests that the need to shorten project time will change. In fact, if anything the pressure to get projects done quicker and sooner is likely to increase in importance. The challenge for the project manager is to use a quick, logical method to compare the benefits of reducing project time with the cost. When sound, logical methods are absent, it is difficult to isolate those activities that will have the greatest impact on reducing project time at least cost. This section describes a procedure for identifying the costs of reducing project time so that comparisons can be made with the benefits of getting the project completed sooner. The method requires gathering direct and indirect costs for specific project durations. Critical activities are searched to find the lowest direct-cost activities that will shorten the project duration. Total cost for specific project durations are computed and then compared with the benefits of reducing project time--before the project begins or while it is in progress. Explanation of Project Costs The general nature of project costs is illustrated in Figure 9.1, Project CostDuration Graph. The total cost for each duration is the sum of the indirect and direct costs. Indirect costs continue for the life of the project. Hence, any reduction in project duration means a reduction in indirect costs. Direct costs on the graph grow at an increasing rate as the project duration is reduced from its original planned duration. With the information from a graph such as this for a project, managers can quickly judge any alternative such as meeting a time-to-market deadline. Further discussion of indirect and direct costs is necessary before demonstrating a procedure for developing the information for a graph similar to the one depicted in Figure 9.1. Project Indirect Costs Indirect costs generally represent overhead costs such as supervision, administration, consultants, and interest. Indirect costs cannot be associated with any particular FIGURE 9.1 Project Cost Duration Graph 60 Total costs 50 Optimum cost-time point 40 Low-cost plan duration point Direct costs Costs 30 20 10 Indirect costs 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 0 Project duration 314 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration work package or activity, hence the term. Indirect costs vary directly with time. That is, any reduction in time should result in a reduction of indirect costs. For example, if the daily costs of supervision, administration, and consultants are $2,000, any reduction in project duration would represent a savings of $2,000 per day. If indirect costs are a significant percentage of total project costs, reductions in project time can represent very real savings (assuming the indirect resources can be utilized elsewhere). Project Direct Costs Direct costs commonly represent labor, materials, equipment, and sometimes subcontractors. Direct costs are assigned directly to a work package and activity, hence the term. The ideal assumption is that direct costs for an activity time represent normal costs, which typically mean low-cost, efficient methods for a normal time. When project durations are imposed, direct costs may no longer represent lowcost, efficient methods. Costs for the imposed duration date will be higher than for a project duration developed from ideal normal times for activities. Because direct costs are assumed to be developed from normal methods and time, any reduction in activity time should add to the costs of the activity. The sum of the costs of all the work packages or activities represents the total direct costs for the project. The major plight faced in creating the information for a graph similar to Figure 9.1 is computing the direct cost of shortening individual critical activities and then finding the total direct cost for each project duration as project time is compressed; the process requires selecting those critical activities that cost the least to shorten. (Note: The graph implies that there is always an optimum cost-time point. This is only true if shortening a schedule has incremental indirect cost savings exceeding the incremental direct cost incurred. However, in practice there are almost always several activities in which the direct costs of shortening are less than the indirect costs.) Constructing a Project CostDuration Graph There are three major steps required to construct a project costduration graph: 1. Find total direct costs for selected project durations. 2. Find total indirect costs for selected project durations. 3. Sum direct and indirect costs for these selected durations. The graph is then used to compare additional cost alternatives for benefits. Details of these steps are presented here. Determining the Activities to Shorten The most difficult task in constructing a costduration graph is finding the total direct costs for specific project durations over a relevant range. The central concern is to decide which activities to shorten and how far to carry the shortening process. Basically, managers need to look for critical activities that can be shortened with the smallest increase in cost per unit of time. The rationale for selecting critical activities depends on identifying the activity's normal and crash times and corresponding costs. Normal time for an activity represents low-cost, realistic, efficient methods for completing the activity under normal conditions. Shortening an activity is called crashing. The shortest possible time an activity can realistically be completed in is called its crash time. The direct cost for completing an activity in Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 315 FIGURE 9.2 Activity Graph $800 Crash cost Crash point 600 Activity cost Normal point Normal cost 400 200 0 0 5 Activity duration (units) 10 its crash time is called crash cost. Both normal and crash times and costs are collected from personnel most familiar with completing the activity. Figure 9.2 depicts a hypothetical costduration graph for an activity. The normal time for the activity is 10 time units, and the corresponding cost is $400. The crash time for the activity is five time units and $800. The intersection of the normal time and cost represents the original low-cost, early-start schedule. The crash point represents the maximum time an activity can be compressed. The heavy line connecting the normal and crash points represents the slope, which assumes the cost of reducing the time of the activity is constant per unit of time. The assumptions underlying the use of this graph are as follows: 1. The cost-time relationship is linear. 2. Normal time assumes low-cost, efficient methods to complete the activity. 3. Crash time represents a limit--the greatest time reduction possible under realistic conditions. 4. Slope represents cost per unit of time. 5. All accelerations must occur within the normal and crash times. Knowing the slope of activities allows managers to compare which critical activities to shorten. The less steep the cost slope of an activity, the less it costs to shorten one time period; a steeper slope means it will cost more to shorten one time unit. The cost per unit of time or slope for any activity is computed by the following equation: Cost slope 5 5 5 Rise Run 5 Crash cost 2 Normal cost Normal time 2 Crash time CC 2 NC $800 2 $400 5 NT 2 CT 10 2 5 $400 5 5 $80 per unit of time 316 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration In Figure 9.2 the rise is the y axis (cost) and the run is the x axis (duration). The slope of the cost line is $80 for each time unit the activity is reduced; the limit reduction of the activity time is five time units. Comparison of the slopes of all critical activities allows us to determine which activity(ies) to shorten to minimize total direct cost. Given the preliminary project schedule (or one in progress) with all activities set to their early-start times, the process of searching critical activities as candidates for reduction can begin. The total direct cost for each specific compressed project duration must be found. A Simplified Example Figure 9.3A presents normal and crash times and costs for each activity, the computed slope and time reduction limit, the total direct cost, and the project network with a duration of 25 time units. Note the total direct cost for the 25-period duration is $450. This is an anchor point to begin the procedure of shortening the critical path(s) and finding the total direct costs for each specific duration less than 25 time units. The maximum time reduction of an activity is simply the difference between FIGURE 9.3 CostDuration Trade-off Example Activity Maximum Slope ID crash time A B C D E F G $20 40 30 25 30 30 0 1 2 1 4 2 1 0 Normal Time 3 6 10 11 8 5 6 Cost $50 80 60 50 100 40 70 $450 Time 2 4 9 7 6 4 6 Direct costs Crash Cost $70 160 90 150 160 70 70 Legend ACT DUR G 6 F 5 (A) B Time 24 A 2x D 11 6 C 10 F 5 (B) E 8 G 6 Activities changed A $20 Total direct cost $ 470 Initial total direct cost $ 450 Total direct cost B Time 25 A 3 D 11 6 C 10 E 8 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 317 the normal and crash times for an activity. For example, activity D can be reduced from a normal time of 11 time units to a crash time of 7 time units, or a maximum of 4 time units. The positive slope for activity D is computed as follows: Slope 5 5 $150 2 $50 Crash cost 2 Normal cost 5 Normal time 2 Crash time 11 2 7 $100 5 $25 per period reduced 4 The network shows the critical path to be activities A, D, F, G. Because it is impossible to shorten activity G, activity A is circled because it is the least-cost candidate; that is, its slope ($20) is less than the slopes for activities D and F ($25 and $30). Reducing activity A one time unit cuts the project duration to 24 time units but increases the total direct costs to $470 ($450 1 $20 5 $470). Figure 9.3B reflects these changes. The duration of activity A has been reduced to two time units; the "x" indicates the activity cannot be reduced any further. Activity D is circled because it costs the least ($25) to shorten the project to 23 time units. Compare the cost of activity F. The total direct cost for a project duration of 23 time units is $495 (see Figure 9.4A). FIGURE 9.4 CostDuration Trade-off Example (continued) Time 23 A 2x D 10 B 6 C 10 F 5 (A) E 8 G 6 Activities changed D $25 Total direct cost $ 495 B Time 22 A 2x D 10 6 C 10 E 8 G 6 F 4x (B) Total direct cost $ 525 Activities changed F $30 B Time 21 A 2x D 9 6 C 9x E 7 G 6 F 4x (C) Total direct cost $ 610 Activities changed C D E $30 $25 $30 318 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration FIGURE 9.5 Summary Costs by Duration Project duration 25 24 23 22 21 Direct costs 450 470 495 525 610 + Indirect costs 400 350 300 250 200 = Total costs $850 820 795 775 810 FIGURE 9.6 Project CostDuration Graph $1,000 Optimum cost-time point Total project cost 800 $775 600 Cost Total direct cost 400 Total indirect cost 200 0 20 21 22 23 24 25 Duration (units) Observe that the project network in Figure 9.4A now has two critical paths-- A, C, F, G and A, D, F, G. Reducing the project to 22 time units will require that activity F be reduced; thus, it is circled. This change is reflected in Figure 9.4B. The total direct cost for 22 time units is $525. This reduction has created a third critical path--A, B, E, G; all activities are critical. The least-cost method for reducing the project duration to 21 time units is the combination of the circled activities C, D, E which cost $30, $25, $30, respectively, and increase total direct costs to $610. The results of these changes are depicted in Figure 9.4C. Although some activities can still be reduced (those without the "x" next to the activity time), no activity or combination of activities will result in a reduction in the project duration. With the total direct costs for the array of specific project durations found, the next step is to collect the indirect costs for these same durations. These costs are typically a rate per day and are easily obtained from the accounting department. Figure 9.5 presents the total direct costs, total indirect costs, and total project costs. These same costs are plotted in Figure 9.6. This graph shows that the optimum cost-time duration is 22 time units and $775. Assuming the project will actually materialize as planned, any movement away from this time duration will increase project costs. The movement from 25 to 22 time units occurs because, in this range, the absolute slopes of the indirect costs are greater than the direct cost slopes. Practical Considerations Using the Project CostDuration Graph This graph, as presented in Figures 9.1 and 9.6, is valuable to compare any proposed alternative or change with the optimum cost and time. More importantly, the creation of such a graph keeps the importance of indirect costs in the forefront Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 319 of decision making. Indirect costs are frequently forgotten in the field when the pressure for action is intense. Finally, such a graph can be used before the project begins or while the project is in progress. Creating the graph in the preproject planning phase without an imposed duration is the first choice because normal time is more meaningful. Creating the graph in the project planning phase with an imposed duration is less desirable because normal time is made to fit the imposed date and is probably not low cost. Creating the graph after the project has started is the least desirable because some alternatives may be ruled out of the decision process. Managers may choose not to use the formal procedure demonstrated. However, regardless of the method used, the principles and concepts inherent in the formal procedure are highly applicable in practice and should be considered in any costduration trade-off decision. Crash Times Collecting crash times for even a moderate-size project can be difficult. The meaning of crash time is difficult to communicate. What is meant when you define crash time as "the shortest time you can realistically complete an activity"? Crash time is open to different interpretations and judgments. Some estimators feel very uncomfortable providing crash times. Regardless of the comfort level, the accuracy of crash times and costs is frequently rough at best, when compared with normal time and cost. Linearity Assumption Because the accuracy of compressed activity times and costs is questionable, the concern of some theorists--that the relationship between cost and time is not linear but curvilinear--is seldom a concern for practicing managers. Reasonable, quick comparisons can be made using the linear assumption. The simple approach is adequate for most projects. There are rare situations in which activities cannot be crashed by single time units. Instead, crashing is "all or nothing." For example, activity A will take 10 days (for say $1,000) or it will take 7 days (for say $1,500), but no options exist in which activity A will take 8 or 9 days to complete. In a few rare cases of very large, complex, long-duration projects, the use of present value techniques may be useful; such techniques are beyond the scope of this text. Choice of Activities to Crash Revisited The costtime crashing method relies on choosing the cheapest method for reducing the duration of the project. There are other factors that should be assessed beyond simply cost. First, the inherent risks involved in crashing particular activities need to be considered. Some activities are riskier to crash than others. For example, accelerating the completion of a software design code may not be wise if it increases the likelihood of errors surfacing downstream. Conversely, crashing a more expensive activity may be wise if fewer inherent risks are involved. Second, the timing of activities needs to be considered. Crashing an early activity may be prudent if there is concern that subsequent activities are likely to be delayed, and absorb the time gained. Then the manager would still have the option of crashing final activities to get back on schedule. 320 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The focus of this chapter has been on how project managers crash activities by typically assigning additional manpower and equipment to cut significant time off of scheduled tasks. Project managers often encounter situations in which they need to motivate individuals to accelerate the completion of a specific, critical task. Imagine the following scenario. Brue Young just received a priority assignment from corporate headquarters. The preliminary engineering sketches that were due tomorrow need to be e-mailed to the West Coast by 4:00 PM today so that the model shop can begin construction of a prototype to present to top management. He approaches Danny Whitten, the draftsman responsible for the task, whose initial response is, "That's impossible!" While he agrees that it would be very difficult he does not believe that it is as impossible as Danny suggests or that Danny truly believes that. What should he do? He tells Danny that he knows this is going to be a rush job, but he is confident that he can do it. When Danny balks, he responds, "I tell you what, I'll make a bet with you. If you are able to finish the design by 4:00, I'll make sure you get two of the company's tickets to tomorrow night's CelticsKnicks basketball game." Danny accepts the challenge, works feverishly to complete the assignment, and is able to take his daughter to her first professional basketball game. Conversations with project managers reveal that many use bets like this one to motivate extraordinary performance. These bets range from tickets to sporting and entertainment events to gift certificates at high-class restaurants to a well-deserved afternoon off. For bets to work they need to adhere to the principles of expectancy theory of motivation. Boiled down to simple terms, expectancy theory rests on three key questions: I'II Bet You . . . 1. Can I do it (Is it possible to meet the challenge)? 2. Will I get it (Can I demonstrate that I met the challenge and can I trust the project manager will deliver his/her end of the bargain)? 3. Is it worth it (Is the payoff of sufficient personal value to warrant the risk and extra effort)? If in the mind of the participant the answer to any of these three questions is no, then the person is unlikely to accept the challenge. However, when the answers are affirmative, then the individual is likely to accept the bet and be motivated to meet the challenge. Bets can be effective motivational tools and add an element of excitement and fun to project work. But, the following practical advice should be heeded: 1. The bet has greater significance if it also benefits family members or significant others. Being able to take a son or daughter to a professional basketball game allows that individual to "score points" at home through work. These bets also recognize and reward the support project members receive from their families and reinforces the importance of their work to loved ones. 2. Bets should be used sparingly; otherwise everything can become negotiable. They should be used only under special circumstances that require extraordinary effort. 3. Individual bets should involve clearly recognizable individual effort, otherwise others may become jealous and discord may occur within a group. As long as others see it as requiring truly remarkable, "beyond the call of duty" effort, they will consider it fair and warranted. Third, crashing frequently results in overallocation of resources. The resources required to accelerate a cheaper activity may suddenly not be available. Resource availability, not cost, may dictate which activities are crashed. Finally, the impact crashing would have on the morale and motivation of the project team needs to be assessed. If the least-cost method repeatedly signals a subgroup to accelerate progress, fatigue and resentment may set in. Conversely, if overtime pay is involved, other team members may resent not having access to this benefit. This situation can lead to tension within the entire project team. Good project managers gauge the response that crashing activities will have on the entire project team. See Snapshot from Practice: I'll Bet You . . . for a novel approach to motivating employees to work faster. Time Reduction Decisions and Sensitivity Should the project owner or project manager go for the optimum cost-time? The answer is, "It depends." Risk must be considered. Recall from our example that Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 321 the optimum project time point represented a reduced project cost and was less than the original normal project time (review Figure 9.6). The project direct-cost line near the normal point is usually relatively flat. Because indirect costs for the project are usually greater in the same range, the optimum cost-time point is less than the normal time point. Logic of the cost-time procedure suggests managers should reduce the project duration to the lowest total cost point and duration. How far to reduce the project time from the normal time toward the optimum depends on the sensitivity of the project network. A network is sensitive if it has several critical or near-critical paths. In our example project movement toward the optimum time requires spending money to reduce critical activities, resulting in slack reduction and/or more critical paths and activities. Slack reduction in a project with several near-critical paths increases the risk of being late. The practical outcome can be a higher total project cost if some near-critical activities are delayed and become critical; the money spent reducing activities on the original critical path would be wasted. Sensitive networks require careful analysis. The bottom line is that compression of projects with several near-critical paths reduces scheduling flexibility and increases the risk of delaying the project. The outcome of such analysis will probably suggest only a partial movement from the normal time toward the optimum time. There is a positive situation where moving toward the optimum time can result in very real, large savings--this occurs when the network is insensitive. A project network is insensitive if it has a dominant critical path, that is, no near-critical paths. In this project circumstance, movement from the normal time point toward the optimum time will not create new or near-critical activities. The bottom line here is that the reduction of the slack of noncritical activities increases the risk of their becoming critical only slightly when compared with the effect in a sensitive network. Insensitive networks hold the greatest potential for real, sometimes large, savings in total project costs with a minimum risk of noncritical activities becoming critical. Insensitive networks are not a rarity in practice; they occur in perhaps 25 percent of all projects. For example, a light rail project team observed from their network a dominant critical path and relatively high indirect costs. It soon became clear that by spending some dollars on a few critical activities, very large savings of indirect costs could be realized. Savings of several million dollars were spent extending the rail line and adding another station. The logic found in this example is just as applicable to small projects as large ones. Insensitive networks with high indirect costs can produce large savings. Ultimately, deciding if and which activities to crash is a judgment call requiring careful consideration of the options available, the costs and risks involved, and the importance of meeting a deadline. What if Cost, Not Time, Is the Issue? In today's fast-paced world, there appears to be a greater emphasis on getting things done quickly. Still, organizations are always looking for ways to get things done cheaply. This is especially true for fixed-bid projects, where profit margin is derived from the difference between the bid and actual cost of the project. Every dollar saved is a dollar in your pocket. Sometimes, in order to secure a contract, bids are tight, which puts added pressure on cost containment. In other cases, there are financial incentives tied to cost containment. 322 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration Even in situations where cost is transferred to customers there is pressure to reduce cost. Cost overruns make for unhappy customers and can damage future business opportunities. Budgets can be fixed or cut, and when contingency funds are exhausted, then cost overruns have to be made up with remaining activities. As discussed earlier, shortening project duration may come at the expense of overtime, adding additional personnel, and using more expensive equipment and/ or materials. Conversely, sometimes cost savings can be generated by extending the duration of a project. This may allow for a smaller workforce, less-skilled (expensive) labor, and even cheaper equipment and materials to be used. Below are some of the more commonly used options for cutting costs. Reduce Project Scope Just as scaling back the scope of the project can gain time, delivering less than what was originally planned also produces significant savings. Again, calculating the savings of a reduced project scope begins with the work breakdown structure. However, since time is not the issue, you do not need to focus on critical activities. For example, on over-budget movie projects it is not uncommon to replace location shots with stock footage to cut costs. Have Owner Take on More Responsibility One way of reducing project costs is identifying tasks that customers can do themselves. Homeowners frequently use this method to reduce costs on home improvement projects. For example, to reduce the cost of a bathroom remodel, a homeowner may agree to paint the room instead of paying the contractor to do it. On IS projects, a customer may agree to take on some of the responsibility for testing equipment or providing in-house training. Naturally, this arrangement is best negotiated before the project begins. Customers are less receptive to this idea if you suddenly spring it on them. An advantage of this method is that, while costs are lowered, the original scope is retained. Clearly this option is limited to areas in which the customer has expertise and the capability to pick up the tasks. Outsourcing Project Activities or Even the Entire Project When estimates exceed budget, it not only makes sense to re-examine the scope but also search for cheaper ways to complete the project. Perhaps instead of relying on internal resources, it would be more cost effective to outsource segments or even the entire project, opening up work to external price competition. Specialized subcontractors often enjoy unique advantages, such as material discounts for large quantities, as well as equipment that not only gets the work done more quickly but also less expensively. They may have lower overhead and labor costs. For example, to reduce costs of software projects, many American firms outsource work to firms operating in India where the salary of a software engineer is one-third that of an American software engineer. However, outsourcing means you have less control over the project and will need to have clearly definable deliverables. Brainstorming Cost Savings Options Just as project team members can be a rich source of ideas for accelerating project activities, they can offer tangible ways for reducing project costs. For example, one project manager reported that his team was able to come up with over $75,000 worth Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 323 of cost saving suggestions without jeopardizing the scope of the project. Project managers should not underestimate the value of simply asking if there is a cheaper, better way. Summary The need for reducing the project duration occurs for many reasons such as imposed duration dates, time-to-market considerations, incentive contracts, key resource needs, high overhead costs, or simply unforeseen delays. These situations are very common in practice and are known as cost-time trade-off decisions. This chapter presented a logical, formal process for assessing the implications of situations that involve shortening the project duration. Crashing the project duration increases the risk of being late. How far to reduce the project duration from the normal time toward the optimum depends on the sensitivity of the project network. A sensitive network is one that has several critical or near-critical paths. Great care should be taken when shortening sensitive networks to avoid increasing project risks. Conversely, insensitive networks represent opportunities for potentially large project cost savings by eliminating some overhead costs with little downside risk. Alternative strategies for reducing project time were discussed within the context of whether or not the project is resource limited. Project acceleration typically comes at a cost of either spending money for more resources or compromising the scope of the project. If the latter is the case, then it is essential that all relevant stakeholders be consulted so that everyone accepts the changes that have to be made. One other key point is the difference in implementing time-reducing activities in the midst of project execution versus incorporating them into the project plan. You typically have far fewer options once the project is underway than before it begins. This is especially true if you want to take advantage of the new scheduling methodologies such as fast-tracking and critical-chain. Time spent up front considering alternatives and developing contingency plans will lead to time savings in the end. Key Terms Crashing, 314 Crash point, 315 Crash time, 314 Direct costs, 314 Fast-tracking, 310 Indirect costs, 313 Outsourcing, 309 Project costduration graph, 313 Review Questions 1. What are five common reasons for crashing a project? 2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of reducing project scope to accelerate a project? What can be done to reduce the disadvantages? 3. Why is scheduling overtime a popular choice for getting projects back on schedule? What are the potential problems for relying on this option? 4. Identify four indirect costs you might find on a moderately complex project. Why are these costs classified as indirect? 5. How can a costduration graph be used by the project manager? Explain. 6. Reducing the project duration increases the risk of being late. Explain. 7. It is possible to shorten the critical path and save money. Explain how. 324 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration Exercises 1. Draw a project network from the following information. Activity A B C D E F G H I J Predecessor None A A A B C C, D E, F G H, I Duration 2 4 3 2 3 6 5 6 5 5 Activities B and H can be shortened to a minimum of 2 weeks. Which activity would you shorten to reduce the project duration by 2 weeks? Why? 2.* Use the information contained below to compress one time unit per move using the least cost method. Reduce the schedule until you reach the crash point of the network. For each move identify what activity(s) was crashed the adjusted total cost. Act. A B C D E F Crash Cost (Slope) 0 100 50 60 70 90 Maximum Crash Time 0 2 1 1 2 1 Normal Time 1 3 4 3 4 3 Normal Cost 100 150 200 200 200 150 B 3 A 1x C 4 D 3 F 3 E 4 Initial project duration 12 Total direct cost $ 3. Assume the network and data that follow. Compute the total direct cost for each project duration. If the indirect costs for each project duration are $400 (19 time units), $350 (18), $300 (17), and $250 (16), compute the total project cost for each duration. Plot the total direct, indirect, and project costs for each of these durations on a cost-time graph. What is the optimum cost-time schedule for the project? What is this cost? * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 325 Act. A B C D E F G Crash Cost (Slope) 20 60 40 0 50 100 70 Maximum Crash Time 1 2 1 0 3 3 1 Normal Time 3 5 3 10 6 7 5 Normal Cost 50 60 70 50 100 90 50 $470 B 5 A 3 D 10x C 3 E 6 F 7 G 5 Initial project duration 19 Total direct cost $ 4. Given the data and information that follow, compute the total direct cost for each project duration. If the indirect costs for each project duration are $90 (15 time units), $70 (14), $50 (13), $40 (12), and $30 (11), compute the total project cost for each duration. What is the optimum cost-time schedule for the project? What is this cost? Act. A B C D E F G H I Crash Cost (Slope) 20 60 0 10 60 100 30 40 200 Maximum Crash Time 1 2 0 1 3 1 1 0 1 Normal Time 5 3 4 2 5 2 5 2 3 Normal Cost 50 60 70 50 100 90 50 60 200 $730 C A 5 D F Initial project duration 15 I G B E H Total direct cost $ 326 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 5. If the indirect costs for each duration are $1,200 for 16 weeks, $1,130 for 15 weeks, $1,000 for 14 weeks, $900 for 13 weeks, $860 for 12 weeks, $820 for 11 weeks, and $790 for 10 weeks, compute the total costs for each duration. Plot these costs on a graph. What is the optimum cost-time schedule? Act. A B C D E F G H I Crash Cost (Slope) 10 70 0 20 50 200 30 40 0 Maximum Crash Time 1 2 0 2 3 3 1 1 0 Normal Time 4 7 1 4 5 5 2 2 2 Normal Cost 30 60 80 40 110 90 60 70 140 $680 Time unit 5 1 week A C F Project duration 16 D B E G I H Total direct cost $ Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 327 6. If the indirect costs for each duration are $300 for 27 weeks, $240 for 26 weeks, $180 for 25 weeks, $120 for 24 weeks, $60 for 23 weeks, and $50 for 22 weeks, compute the direct, indirect and total costs for each duration. What is the optimum cost-time schedule? The customer offers you $10 for every week you shorten the project from your original network. Would you take it? If so for how many weeks? Act. A B C D E F Crash Cost (Slope) 80 30 40 50 100 30 Maximum Crash Time 2 3 1 2 4 1 Normal Time 10 8 5 11 15 6 Normal Cost 40 10 80 50 100 20 $300 Time unit 5 1 week A D Project duration B F C E Total direct cost $ A D Project duration B F Total direct cost $ Activities changed C E 328 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 7. Use the information contained below to compress one time unit per move using the least cost method. Reduce the schedule until you reach the crash point of the network. For each move identify what activity(s) was crashed, the adjusted total cost, and explain your choice if you have to choose between activities that cost the same. Note: Crash point of the network is the point in which the duration cannot be reduced any further. Direct Costs Normal Activity ID A B C D E F G H I Slope -- $40 40 40 40 40 30 30 -- Maximum Crash Time 0 3 1 2 2 1 1 1 0 Time 4 5 5 4 5 5 4 4 3 Cost $50 70 80 40 60 50 70 80 50 Time 0 2 4 2 3 4 3 3 0 Crash Cost -- $190 120 120 140 90 100 110 -- Total direct normal costs--$550 B 5 A 4x C 5 Completion time: 21 D 4 F 5 G 4 I 3x E 5 H 4 Total cost $ 550 8.* Use the information contained below to compress one time unit per move using the least cost method. Reduce the schedule until you reach the crash point of the network. For each move identify what activity(s) was crashed, the adjusted total cost, and explain your choice if you have to choose between activities that cost the same. If the indirect cost for each duration are $1,500 for 17 weeks, $1,450 for 16 weeks, $1,400 for 15 weeks, $1,350 for 14 weeks, $1,300 for 13 weeks, $1,250 * The solution to this exercise can be found in Appendix One. Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 329 for 12 weeks, $1,200 for 11 weeks, and $1,150 for 10 weeks, what is the optimum cost-time schedule for the project? What is the cost? Act. A B C D E F G H I Crash Cost (Slope) 0 100 60 40 0 30 20 60 200 Maximum Crash Time 0 2 1 1 0 2 1 2 1 Normal Time 3 4 3 4 2 3 2 4 2 Normal Cost 150 200 250 200 250 200 250 300 200 B 4 A 3x C 3 D 4 F 3 G 2 I 2 E 2x H 4 Normal time 17 Total direct cost $2,000 References Abdel-Hamid, T., and S. Madnick, Software Project Dynamics: An Integrated Approach (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1991). Baker, B. M., "Cost/Time Trade-off Analysis for the Critical Path Method," Journal of the Operational Research Society, 48 (12) 1997, pp. 124144. Brooks, F. P., Jr., The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering Anniversary Edition (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Longman, Inc., 1994), pp. 1526. DeMarco, T., Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency (New York: Broadway, 2002). Ibbs, C. W., S. A. Lee, and M. I. Li, "Fast-Tracking's Impact on Project Change," Project Management Journal, 29 (4) 1998, pp. 3542. Khang, D. B., and M.Yin, "Time, Cost, and Quality Tradeoff in Project Management," International Journal of Project Management, 17 (4) 1999, pp. 24956. Perrow, L. A., Finding Time: How Corporations, Individuals, and Families Can Benefit From New Work Practices (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997). Roemer, T. R., R. Ahmadi, and R. Wang, "Time-Cost Trade-offs in Overlapped Product Development," Operations Research, 48 (6) 2000, pp. 85865. Smith, P. G., and D. G. Reinersten, Developing Products in Half the Time (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995). Verzuh, E., The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management (New York: John Wiley, 1999). Vroom, V. H., Work and Motivation (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964). 330 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration Case International Capital, Inc.--Part B Given the project network derived in Part A of the case from Chapter 7, Brown also wants to be prepared to answer any questions concerning compressing the project duration. This question will almost always be entertained by the accounting department, review committee, and the client. To be ready for the compression question, Brown has prepared the following data in case it is necessary to crash the project. (Use your weighted average times (te) computed in Part A of the International Capital case found in Chapter 7.) Activity Normal Cost Maximum Crash Time 3 2 0 3 2 1 2 1 1 1 6 Crash Cost/Day $ 500 1000 -- 3,000 1,000 1,000 3,000 2,000 2,000 1,000 1,000 A $ 3,000 B 5,000 C 6,000 D 20,000 E 10,000 F 7,000 G 20,000 H 8,000 I 5,000 J 7,000 K 12,000 Total normal costs 5 $103,000 Using the data provided, determine the activity crashing decisions and best-time cost project duration. Given the information you have developed, what suggestions would you give Brown to ensure she is well prepared for the project review committee? Assume the overhead costs for this project are $700 per workday. Will this alter your suggestions? Case Whitbread World Sailboat Race Each year countries enter their sailing vessels in the nine-month Round the World Whitbread Sailboat Race. In recent years, about 14 countries entered sailboats in the race. Each year's sailboat entries represent the latest technologies and human skills each country can muster. Bjorn Ericksen has been selected as a project manager because of his past experience as a master helmsman and because of his recent fame as the "best designer of racing sailboats in the world." Bjorn is pleased and proud to have the opportunity to design, build, test, and train the crew for next year's Whitbread entry for his country. Bjorn has picked Karin Knutsen (as chief design engineer) and Trygve Wallvik (as master helmsman) to be team leaders responsible for getting next year's entry ready for the traditional parade of all entries on the Thames River in the United Kingdom, which signals the start of the race. Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 331 As Bjorn begins to think of a project plan, he sees two parallel paths running through the project--design and construction and crew training. Last year's boat will be used for training until the new entry can have the crew on board to learn maintenance tasks. Bjorn calls Karin and Trygve together to develop a project plan. All three agree the major goal is to have a winning boat and crew ready to compete in next year's competition at a cost of $3.2 million. A check of Bjorn's calendar indicates he has 45 weeks before next year's vessel must leave port for the United Kingdom to start the race. THE KICKOFF MEETING Bjorn asks Karin to begin by describing the major activities and the sequence required to design, construct, and test the boat. Karin starts by noting that design of the hull, deck, mast, and accessories should only take six weeks--given the design prints from past race entries and a few prints from other countries' entries. After the design is complete, the hull can be constructed, the mast ordered, sails ordered, and accessories ordered. The hull will require 12 weeks to complete. The mast can be ordered and will require a lead time of eight weeks; the seven sails can be ordered and will take six weeks to get; accessories can be ordered and will take 15 weeks to receive. As soon as the hull is finished, the ballast tanks can be installed, requiring two weeks. Then the deck can be built, which will require five weeks. Concurrently, the hull can be treated with special sealant and friction-resistance coating, taking three weeks. When the deck is completed and mast and accessories received, the mast and sails can be installed, requiring two weeks; the accessories can be installed, which will take six weeks. When all of these activities have been completed, the ship can be sea-tested, which should take five weeks. Karin believes she can have firm cost estimates for the boat in about two weeks. Trygve believes he can start selecting the 12-man or woman crew and securing their housing immediately. He believes it will take six weeks to get a committed crew on-site and three weeks to secure housing for the crew members. Trygve reminds Bjorn that last year's vessel must be ready to use for training the moment the crew is on-site until the new vessel is ready for testing. Keeping the old vessel operating will cost $4,000 per week as long as it is used. Once the crew is on-site and housed, they can develop and implement a routine sailing and maintenance training program, which will take 15 weeks (using the old vessel). Also, once the crew is selected and on-site, crew equipment can be selected, taking only two weeks. Then crew equipment can be ordered; it will take five weeks to arrive. When the crew equipment and maintenance training program are complete, crew maintenance on the new vessel can begin; this should take 10 weeks. But crew maintenance on the new vessel cannot begin until the deck is complete and the mast, sails, and accessories have arrived. Once crew maintenance on the new vessel begins, the new vessel will cost $6,000 per week until sea training is complete. After the new ship maintenance is complete and while the boat is being tested, initial sailing training can be implemented; training should take seven weeks. Finally, after the boat is tested and initial training is complete, regular sea training can be implemented--weather permitting; regular sea training requires eight weeks. Trygve believes he can put the cost estimates together in a week, given last year's expenses. Bjorn is pleased with the expertise displayed by his team leaders. But he believes they need to have someone develop one of those critical path networks to see if 332 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration they can safely meet the start deadline for the race. Karin and Trygve agree. Karin suggests the cost estimates should also include crash costs for any activities that can be compressed and the resultant costs for crashing. Karin also suggests the team complete the following priority matrix for project decision making: FIGURE C9.1 Project Priority Matrix: Whitbread Project Time Performance Cost Constrain Enhance Accept TWO WEEKS LATER Karin and Trygve submit the following cost estimates for each activity and corresponding crash costs to Bjorn (costs are in thousands of dollars): Normal Time 6 12 2 8 6 15 5 3 6 2 5 8 6 3 2 5 15 10 7 Normal Cost $ 40 1,000 100 100 40 600 200 40 300 40 60 200 10 30 10 30 40 100 50 $2,990 Crash Time 4 10 2 7 6 13 5 3 5 1 4 7 5 3 2 5 12 9 5 Crash Cost $ 160 1,400 100 140 40 800 200 40 400 80 100 450 20 30 10 30 130 340 350 Activity A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S Design Build hull Install ballast tanks Order mast Order sails Order accessories Build deck Coat hull Install accessories Install mast and sails Test Sea trials Select crew Secure housing Select crew equipment Order crew equipment Routine sail/maintenance Crew maintenance training Initial sail training Total direct cost Slope 60 200 -- 40 -- 100 -- -- 100 40 40 250 10 -- -- -- 30 240 150 Bjorn reviews the materials and wonders if the project will come in within the budget of $3.2 million and in 45 weeks. Advise the Whitbread team of their situation. Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 333 Case Nightingale Project--A You are the assistant project manager to Rassy Brown, who is in charge of the Nightingale project. Nightingale was the code name given to the development of a handheld electronic medical reference guide. Nightingale would be designed for emergency medical technicians and paramedics who need a quick reference guide to use in emergency situations. Rassy and her project team were developing a project plan aimed at producing 30 working models in time for MedCON, the biggest medical equipment trade show each year. Meeting the MedCON October 25 deadline was critical to success. All the major medical equipment manufacturers demonstrated and took orders for new products at MedCON. Rassy had also heard rumors that competitors were considering developing a similar product, and she knew that being first to market would have a significant sales advantage. Besides, top management made funding contingent upon developing a workable plan for meeting the MedCON deadline. The project team spent the morning working on the schedule for Nightingale. They started with the WBS and developed the information for a network, adding activities when needed. Then the team added the time estimates they had collected for each activity. Following is the preliminary information for activities with duration time and predecessors: Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Description Architectural decisions Internal specifications External specifications Feature specifications Voice recognition Case Screen Speaker output jacks Tape mechanism Database Microphone/soundcard Pager Barcode reader Alarm clock Computer I/O Review design Price components Integration Document design Procure prototype components Assemble prototypes Lab test prototypes Field test prototypes Adjust design Order stock parts Order custom parts Assemble first production unit Test unit Produce 30 units Train sales representatives Duration 10 20 18 15 15 4 2 2 2 40 5 4 3 4 5 10 5 15 35 20 10 20 20 20 15 2 10 10 15 10 Predecessor None 1 1 1 2,3 2,3 2,3 2,3 2,3 4 4 4 4 4 4 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 16,17 16 18 20 21 19,22 23 24 24 25, FS--8 time units 26, FS--13 time units 27 28 29 334 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration Use any project network computer program available to you to develop the schedule for activities (see Case Appendix for further instructions)--noting late and early times, the critical path, and estimated completion for the project. Prepare a short memo that addresses the following questions: 1. Will the project as planned meet the October 25th deadline? 2. What activities lie on the critical path? 3. How sensitive is this network? Case Nightingale Project--B Rassy and the team were concerned with the results of your analysis. They spent the afternoon brainstorming alternative ways for shortening the project duration. They rejected outsourcing activities because most of the work was developmental in nature and could only be done in-house. They considered altering the scope of the project by eliminating some of the proposed product features. After much debate, they felt they could not compromise any of the core features and be successful in the marketplace. They then turned their attention to accelerating the completion of activities through overtime and adding additional technical manpower. Rassy had built into her proposal a discretionary fund of $200,000. She was willing to invest up to half of this fund to accelerate the project, but wanted to hold onto at least $100,000 to deal with unexpected problems. After a lengthy discussion, her team concluded that the following activities could be reduced at the specified cost: Development of voice recognition system could be reduced from 15 days to 10 days at a cost of $15,000. Creation of database could be reduced from 40 days to 35 days at a cost of $35,000. Document design could be reduced from 35 days to 30 days at a cost of $25,000. External specifications could be reduced from 18 days to 12 days at a cost of $20,000. Procure prototype components could be reduced from 20 days to 15 days at a cost of $30,000. Order stock parts could be reduced from 15 days to 10 days at a cost of $20,000. Ken Clark, a development engineer, pointed out that the network contained only finish-to-start relationships and that it might be possible to reduce project duration by creating start-to-start lags. For example, he said that his people would not have to wait for all of the field tests to be completed to begin making final adjustments in the design. They could start making adjustments after the first 15 days of testing. The project team spent the remainder of the day analyzing how they could introduce lags into the network to hopefully shorten the project. They concluded that the following finish-to-start relationships could be converted into lags: Document design could begin 5 days after the start of the review design. Adjust design could begin 15 days after the start of field test prototypes. Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 335 Order stock parts could begin 5 days after the start of adjust design. Order custom parts could begin 5 days after the start of adjust design. Training sales representatives could begin 5 days after the start of test unit and completed 5 days after the production of 30 units. As the meeting adjourns, Rassy turns to you and tells you to assess the options presented and try to develop a schedule that will meet the October 25th deadline. You are to prepare a report to be presented to the project team that answers the following questions: 1. Is it possible to meet the deadline? 2. If so, how would you recommend changing the original schedule (Part A) and why? Assess the relative impact of crashing activities versus introducing lags to shorten project duration. 3. What would the new schedule look like? 4. What other factors should be considered before finalizing the schedule? CASE APPENDIX: TECHNICAL DETAILS Create your project schedule and assess your options based on the following information: 1. The project will begin the first working day in January, 2010. 2. The following holidays are observed: January 1, Memorial Day (last Monday in May), July 4, Labor Day (first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), December 25 and 26. 3. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, then Friday will be given as an extra day off; if it falls on a Sunday, then Monday will be given as a day off. 4. The project team works Monday through Friday. 5. If you choose to reduce the duration of any one of the activities mentioned, then it must be for the specified time and cost (i.e., you cannot choose to reduce database to 37 days at a reduced cost; you can only reduce it to 35 days at a cost of $35,000). 6. You can only spend up to $100,000 to reduce project activities; lags do not contain any additional costs. Case The "Now" Wedding--Part A* On December 31 of last year, Lauren burst into the family living room and announced that she and Connor (her college boyfriend) were going to be married. After recovering from the shock, her mother hugged her and asked, "When?" The following conversation resulted: Lauren: Mom: January 21. What? * This case was adapted from a case originally written by Professor D. Clay Whybark, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. 336 Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration Dad: Lauren: Mom: Dad: Lauren: Dad: Lauren: Dad: Mom: Lauren: Mother: Dad: Lauren: Mom: Dad: Mom: Lauren: Mom: Dad: Mom: Dad: Mom: Lauren: Mom: Dad: The Now Wedding will be the social hit of the year. Wait a minute. Why so soon? Because on January 30 Connor, who is in the National Guard, will be shipping out overseas. We want a week for a honeymoon. But Honey, we can't possibly finish all the things that need to be done by then. Remember all the details that were involved in your sister's wedding? Even if we start tomorrow, it takes a day to reserve the church and reception hall, and they need at least 14 days' notice. That has to be done before we can start decorating, which takes 3 days. An extra $200 on Sunday would probably cut that 14 day notice to 7 days, though. Oh, boy! I want Jane Summers to be my maid of honor. But she's in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, isn't she? It would take her 10 days to get ready and drive up here. But we could fly her up in 2 days and it would only cost $1,000. Oh, boy! And catering! It takes 2 days to choose the cake and decorations, and Jack's Catering wants at least 5 days' notice. Besides, we'd have to have those things before we could start decorating. Can I wear your wedding dress, Mom? Well, we'd have to replace some lace, but you could wear it, yes. We could order the lace from New York when we order the material for the bridesmaids' dresses. It takes 8 days to order and receive the material. The pattern needs to be chosen first, and that would take 3 days. We could get the material here in 5 days if we paid an extra $20 to airfreight it. Oh, boy! I want Mrs. Jacks to work on the dresses. But she charges $48 a day. Oh, boy! If we did all the sewing we could finish the dresses in 11 days. If Mrs. Jacks helped we could cut that down to 6 days at a cost of $48 for each day less than 11 days. She is very good too. I don't want anyone but her. It would take another 2 days to do the final fitting and 2 more days to clean and press the dresses. They would have to be ready by rehearsal night. We must have rehearsal the night before the wedding. Everything should be ready rehearsal night. We've forgotten something. The invitations! We should order the invitations from Bob's Printing Shop, and that usually takes 7 days. I'll bet he would do it in 6 days if we slipped him an extra $20! It would take us 2 days to choose the invitation style before we could order them and we want the envelopes printed with our return address. Oh! That will be elegant. The invitations should go out at least 10 days before the wedding. If we let them go any later, some of the relatives would get theirs too late to come and that would make them mad. I'll bet that if we didn't get them out until 8 days before the wedding, Aunt Ethel couldn't make it and she would reduce her wedding gift by $200. Oh, boy!! Chapter 9 Reducing Project Duration 337 Mom: Lauren: Mom: Lauren: Mom: Dad: We'll have to take them to the Post Office to mail them and that takes a day. Addressing would take 3 days unless we hired some part-time girls and we can't start until the printer is finished. If we hired the girls we could probably save 2 days by spending $40 for each day saved. We need to get gifts for the bridesmaids. I could spend a day and do that. Before we can even start to write out those invitations we need a guest list. Heavens, that will take 4 days to get in order and only I can understand our address file. Oh, Mom, I'm so excited. We can start each of the relatives on a different job. Honey, I don't see how we can do it. Why, I've got to choose the invitations and patterns and reserve the church and . . . Why don't you just take $3,000 and elope. Your sister's wedding cost me $2,400 and she didn't have to fly people up from Guatemala, hire extra girls and Mrs. Jacks, use airfreight, or anything like that. 1. Using a yellow sticky approach (see p. 153), develop a project network for the "Now" Wedding. 2. Create a schedule for the wedding using MS Project. Can you reach the deadline of January 21 for the "Now" Wedding? If you cannot, what would it cost to make the January 21 deadline and which activities would you change? Case The "Now" Wedding--Part B Several complications arose during the course of trying to meet the deadline of January 20 for the "Now" Wedding rehearsal. Since Lauren was adamant on having the wedding on January 21 (as was Connor for obvious reasons), the implications of each of these complications had to be assessed. 1. On January 1 the chairman of the Vestry Committee of the church was left unimpressed by the added donation and said he wouldn't reduce the notice period from 14 to 7 days. 2. Mother comes down with the three-day flu as she starts work on the guest list January 2. 3. Bob's Printing Shop press was down for one day on January 5 in order to replace faulty brushes in the electric motor. 4. The lace and dress material are lost in transit. Notice of the loss is received on January 10. Can the wedding still take place on January 21? If not to what options are available? C H A P T E R T E N Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 nal atio tern ects In oj pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career paths Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager Managing versus Leading a Project Managing Project Stakeholders Influence as Exchange Social Network Building Ethics and Project Management Building Trust: The Key to Exercising Influence Qualities of an Effective Project Manager Summary 338 I couldn't wait to be the manager of my own project and run the project the way I thought it should be done. Boy, did I have a lot to learn! --first-time project manager This chapter is based on the premise that one of the keys to being an effective project manager is building cooperative relationships among different groups of people to complete projects. Project success does not just depend on the performance of the project team. Success or failure often depends on the contributions of top management, functional managers, customers, suppliers, contractors, and others. The chapter begins with a brief discussion of the differences between leading and managing a project. The importance of managing project stakeholders is then introduced. Managers require a broad influence base to be effective in this area. Different sources of influence are discussed and are used to describe how project managers build social capital. This management style necessitates constant interacting with different groups of people whom project managers depend on. Special attention is devoted to managing the critical relationship with top management and the importance of leading by example. The importance of gaining cooperation in ways that build and sustain the trust of others is emphasized. The chapter concludes by identifying personal attributes associated with being an effective project manager. Subsequent chapters will expand on these ideas in a discussion of managing the project team and working with people outside the organization. Managing versus Leading a Project In a perfect world, the project manager would simply implement the project plan and the project would be completed. The project manager would work with others to formulate a schedule, organize a project team, keep track of progress, and announce what needs to be done next, and then everyone would charge along. Of course no one lives in a perfect world, and rarely does everything go according to plan. Project participants get testy; they fail to complement each other; other departments are unable to fulfill their commitments; technical glitches arise; work takes longer than expected. The project manager's job is to get the project back on track. A manager expedites certain activities; figures out ways to solve technical problems; serves as peacemaker when tensions rise; and makes appropriate tradeoffs among time, cost, and scope of the project. However, project managers do more than put out fires and keep the project on track. They also innovate and adapt to ever-changing circumstances. They often have to deviate from what was planned and introduce significant changes in the project scope and schedule to respond to unforeseen threats or opportunities. For example, customers' needs may change, requiring significant design changes midway 339 340 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager through the project. Competitors may release new products that dictate crashing project deadlines. Working relationships among project participants may break down, requiring a reformulation of the project team. Ultimately, what was planned or expected in the beginning may be very different from what was accomplished by the end of the project. Project managers are responsible for integrating assigned resources to complete the project according to plan. At the same time they need to initiate changes in plans and schedules as persistent problems make plans unworkable. In other words, managers want to keep the project going while making necessary adjustments along the way. According to Kotter these two different activities represent the distinction between management and leadership. Management is about coping with complexity, while leadership is about coping with change. Good management brings about order and stability by formulating plans and objectives, designing structures and procedures, monitoring results against plans, and taking corrective action when necessary. Leadership involves recognizing and articulating the need to significantly alter the direction and operation of the project, aligning people to the new direction, and motivating them to work together to overcome hurdles produced by the change and to realize new objectives. Strong leadership, while usually desirable, is not always necessary to successfully complete a project. Well-defined projects that encounter no significant surprises require little leadership, as might be the case in constructing a conventional apartment building in which the project manager simply administrates the project plan. Conversely, the higher the degree of uncertainty encountered on a project-- whether in terms of changes in project scope, technological stalemates, breakdowns in coordination between people, and so forth--the more leadership is required. For example, strong leadership would be needed for a software development project in which the parameters are always changing to meet developments in the industry. It takes a special person to perform both roles well. Some individuals are great visionaries who are good at exciting people about change. Too often though, these same people lack the discipline or patience to deal with the day-to-day drudgeries of managing. Likewise, there are other individuals who are very well organized and methodical but lack the ability to inspire others. Strong leaders can compensate for their managerial weaknesses by having trusted assistants who oversee and manage the details of the project. Conversely, a weak leader can complement his or her strengths by having assistants who are good at sensing the need to change and rallying project participants. Still, one of the things that makes good project managers so valuable to an organization is that they have the ability to both manage and lead a project. In doing so they recognize the need to manage project interfaces and build a social network that allows them to find out what needs to be done and obtain the cooperation necessary to achieve it. Managing Project Stakeholders First-time project managers are eager to implement their own ideas and manage their people to successfully complete their project. What they soon find out is that project success depends on the cooperation of a wide range of individuals, many Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 341 of whom do not directly report to them. For example, during the course of a system integration project, a project manager was surprised by how much time she was spending negotiating and working with vendors, consultants, technical specialists, and other functional managers: Instead of working with my people to complete the project, I found myself being constantly pulled and tugged by demands of different groups of people who were not directly involved in the project but had a vested interest in the outcome. Too often when new project managers do find time to work directly on the project, they adopt a hands-on approach to managing the project. They choose this style not because they are power-hungry egomaniacs but because they are eager to achieve results. They become quickly frustrated by how slowly things operate, the number of people that have to be brought on board, and the difficulty of gaining cooperation. Unfortunately, as this frustration builds, the natural temptation is to exert more pressure and get more heavily involved in the project. These project managers quickly earn the reputation of "micro managing" and begin to lose sight of the real role they play on guiding a project. Some new managers never break out of this vicious cycle. Others soon realize that authority does not equal influence and that being an effective project manager involves managing a much more complex and expansive set of interfaces than they had previously anticipated. They encounter a web of relationships that requires a much broader spectrum of influence than they felt was necessary or even possible. For example, a significant project, whether it involves renovating a bridge, creating a new product, or installing a new information system, will likely involve in one way or another working with a number of different groups of stakeholders. First, there is the core group of specialists assigned to complete the project. This group is likely to be supplemented at different times by professionals who work on specific segments of the project. Second, there are the groups of people within the performing organization who are either directly or indirectly involved with the project. The most notable is top management, to whom the project manager is accountable. There are also other managers who provide resources and/or may be responsible for specific segments of the project, and administrative support services such as human resources, finance, etc. Depending on the nature of the project, there are a number of different groups outside the organization that influence the success of the project; the most important is the customer for which the project is designed (see Figure 10.1). Each of these groups of stakeholders brings different expertise, standards, priorities, and agendas to the project. Stakeholders are people and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the project. The sheer breadth and complexity of stakeholder relationships distinguish project management from regular management. To be effective, a project manager must understand how stakeholders can affect the project and develop methods for managing the dependency. The nature of these dependencies is identified here: The project team manages and completes project work. Most participants want to do a good job, but they are also concerned with their other obligations and how their involvement on the project will contribute to their personal goals and aspirations. 342 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager FIGURE 10.1 Network of Stakeholders Other organizations Top management Project sponsors Customers Pro jec t Tea m Project managers Project manager Functional managers Pro jec t m Tea Government agencies Administrative support Contractors Project managers naturally compete with each other for resources and the support of top management. At the same time they often have to share resources and exchange information. Administrative support groups, such as human resources, information systems, purchasing agents, and maintenance, provide valuable support services. At the same time they impose constraints and requirements on the project such as the documentation of expenditures and the timely and accurate delivery of information. Functional managers, depending on how the project is organized, can play a minor or major role toward project success. In matrix arrangements, they may be responsible for assigning project personnel, resolving technical dilemmas, and overseeing the completion of significant segments of the project work. Even in dedicated project teams, the technical input from functional managers may be useful, and acceptance of completed project work may be critical to in-house projects. Functional managers want to cooperate up to a point, but only up to a certain point. They are also concerned with preserving their status within the organization and minimizing the disruptions the project may have on their own operations. Top management approves funding of the project and establishes priorities within the organization. They define success and adjudicate rewards for Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 343 accomplishments. Significant adjustments in budget, scope, and schedule typically need their approval. They have a natural vested interest in the success of the project, but at the same time have to be responsive to what is best for the entire organization. Project sponsors champion the project and use their influence to gain approval of the project. Their reputation is tied to the success of the project, and they need to be kept informed of any major developments. They defend the project when it comes under attack and are a key project ally. Contractors may do all the actual work, in some cases, with the project team merely coordinating their contributions. In other cases, they are responsible for ancillary segments of the project scope. Poor work and schedule slips can affect work of the core project team. While contractors' reputations rest with doing good work, they must balance their contributions with their own profit margins and their commitments to other clients. Government agencies place constraints on project work. Permits need to be secured. Construction work has to be built to code. New drugs have to pass a rigorous battery of U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests. Other products have to meet safety standards, for example, Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. Other organizations, depending on the nature of the project, may directly or indirectly affect the project. For example, suppliers provide necessary resources for completion of the project work. Delays, shortages, and poor quality can bring a project to a standstill. Public interest groups may apply pressure on government agencies. Customers often hire consultants and auditors to protect their interests on a project. Customers define the scope of the project, and ultimate project success rests in their satisfaction. Project managers need to be responsive to changing customer needs and requirements and to meeting their expectations. Customers are primarily concerned with getting a good deal and, as will be elaborated in Chapter 11, this naturally breeds tension with the project team. These relationships are interdependent in that a project manager's ability to work effectively with one group will affect her ability to manage other groups. For example, functional managers are likely to be less cooperative if they perceive that top management's commitment to the project is waning. Conversely, the ability of the project manager to buffer the team from excessive interference from a client is likely to increase her standing with the project team. The project management structure being used will influence the number and degree of external dependencies that will need to be managed. One advantage of creating a dedicated project team is that it reduces dependencies, especially within the organization, because most of the resources are assigned to the project. Conversely, a functional matrix structure increases dependencies, with the result that the project manager is much more reliant upon functional colleagues for work and staff. The old-fashioned view of managing projects emphasized directing and controlling subordinates; the new perspective emphasizes managing project stakeholders and anticipating change as the most important jobs. Project managers need to be able to assuage concerns of customers, sustain support for the project 344 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Metaphors convey meaning beyond words. For example, a meeting can be described as being difficult or "like wading through molasses." A popular metaphor for the role of a project manager is that of conductor. The conductor of an orchestra integrates the divergent sounds of different instruments to perform a given composition and make beautiful music. Similarly, the project manager integrates the talents and contributions of different specialists to complete the project. Both have to be good at understanding how the different players contribute to the performance of the whole. Both are almost entirely dependent upon the expertise and know-how of the players. The conductor does not have command of all the musical instruments. Likewise, the project manager usually possesses only a small proportion of the technical knowledge to make decisions. As The Project Manager as Conductor such, the conductor and project manager both facilitate the performance of others rather than actually perform. Conductors use their arms, baton, and other nonverbal gestures to influence the pace, intensity, and involvement of different musicians. Likewise, project managers orchestrate the completion of the project by managing the involvement and attention of project members. Project managers balance time and process and induce participants to make the right decisions at the right time just as the conductor induces the wind instruments to perform at the right moment in a movement. Each controls the rhythm and intensity of work by managing the tempo and involvement of the players. Finally, each has a vision that transcends the music score or project plan. To be successful they must both earn the confidence, respect, and trust of their players. at higher levels of the organization, quickly identify problems that threaten project work, while at the same time defend the integrity of the project and the interests of the project participants. Within this web of relationships, the project manager must find out what needs to be done to achieve the goals of the project and build a cooperative network to accomplish it. Project managers must do so without the requisite authority to expect or demand cooperation. Doing so requires sound communication skills, political savvy, and a broad influence base. See the Snapshot from Practice: The Project Manager as Conductor for more on what makes project managers special. Influence as Exchange To successfully manage a project, a manager must adroitly build a cooperative network among divergent allies. Networks are mutually beneficial alliances that are generally governed by the law of reciprocity. The basic principle is that "one good deed deserves another, and likewise, one bad deed deserves another." The primary way to gain cooperation is to provide resources and services for others in exchange for future resources and services. This is the age-old maxim: "Quid pro quo (something for something)." Or in today's vernacular: "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." Cohen and Bradford described the exchange view of influence as "currencies." If you want to do business in a given country, you have to be prepared to use the appropriate currency, and the exchange rates can change over time as conditions change. In the same way, what is valued by a marketing manager may be different from what is valued by a veteran project engineer, and you are likely to need to use different influence currency to obtain the cooperation of each individual. Although this analogy is a bit of an oversimplification, the key premise holds true that in the long run, "debit" and "credit" accounts must be balanced for Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 345 TABLE 10.1 Commonly Traded Organizational Currencies Source: Adapted from A. R. Cohen and David L. Bradford, Influence without Authority (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1990). Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Task-related currencies Resources Assistance Cooperation Information Position-related currencies Advancement Recognition Visibility Network/contacts Inspiration-related currencies Vision Excellence Ethical correctness Relationship-related currencies Acceptance Personal support Understanding Personal-related currencies Challenge/learning Ownership/involvement Gratitude Sharing tasks that increase skills and abilities. Letting others have ownership and influence. Expressing appreciation. Providing closeness and friendship. Giving personal and emotional backing. Listening to others' concerns and issues. Being involved in a task that has larger significance for the unit, organization, customer, or society. Having a chance to do important things really well. Doing what is "right" by a higher standard than efficiency. Giving a task or assignment that can result in promotion. Acknowledging effort, accomplishments, or abilities. Providing a chance to be known by higher-ups or significant others in the organization. Providing opportunities for linking with others. Lending or giving money, budget increases, personnel, etc. Helping with existing projects or undertaking unwanted tasks. Giving task support, providing quicker response time, or aiding implementation. Providing organizational as well as technical knowledge. cooperative relationships to work. Table 10.1 presents the commonly traded organizational currencies identified by Cohen and Bradford; they are then discussed in more detail in the following sections. Task-Related Currencies This form of influence comes directly from the project manager's ability to contribute to others' accomplishing their work. Probably the most significant form of this currency is the ability to respond to subordinates' requests for additional manpower, money, or time to complete a segment of a project. This kind of currency is also evident in sharing resources with another project manager who is in need. At a more personal level, it may simply mean providing direct assistance to a colleague in solving a technical problem. Providing a good word for a colleague's proposal or recommendation is another form of this currency. Because most work of significance is likely to generate some form of opposition, the person who is trying to gain approval for a plan or proposal can be greatly aided by having a "friend in court." Another form of this currency includes extraordinary effort. For example, fulfilling an emergency request to complete a design document in two days instead of the normal four days is likely to engender gratitude. Finally, sharing valuable information that would be useful to other managers is another form of this currency. 346 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager Position-Related Currencies This form of influence stems from the manager's ability to enhance others' positions within their organization. A project manager can do this by giving someone a challenging assignment that can aid their advancement by developing their skills and abilities. Being given a chance to prove yourself naturally generates a strong sense of gratitude. Sharing the glory and bringing to the attention of higher-ups the efforts and accomplishments of others generate goodwill. Project managers confide that a useful strategy for gaining the cooperation of professionals in other departments/organizations is figuring out how to make these people look good to their bosses. For example, a project manager worked with a subcontractor whose organization was heavily committed to total quality management (TQM). The project manager made it a point in top-level briefing meetings to point out how quality improvement processes initiated by the contractor contributed to cost control and problem prevention. Another variation of recognition is enhancing the reputation of others within the firm. "Good press" can pave the way for lots of opportunities, while "bad press" can quickly shut a person off and make it difficult to perform. This currency is also evident in helping to preserve someone's reputation by coming to the defense of someone unjustly blamed for project setbacks. Finally, one of the strongest forms of this currency is sharing contacts with other people. Helping individuals expand their own networks by introducing them to key people naturally engenders gratitude. For example, suggesting to a functional manager that he should contact Sally X if he wants to find out what is really going on in that department or to get a request expedited is likely to engender a sense of indebtedness. Inspiration-Related Currencies Perhaps the most powerful form of influence is based on inspiration. Most sources of inspiration derive from people's burning desire to make a difference and add meaning to their lives. Creating an exciting, bold vision for a project can elicit extraordinary commitment. For example, many of the technological breakthroughs associated with the introduction of the original Macintosh computer were attributed to the feeling that the project members had a chance to change the way people approached computers. A variant form of vision is providing an opportunity to do something really well. Being able to take pride in your work often drives many people. Often the very nature of the project provides a source of inspiration. Discovering a cure for a devastating disease, introducing a new social program that will help those in need, or simply building a bridge that will reduce a major traffic bottleneck can provide opportunities for people to feel good about what they are doing and that they are making a difference. Inspiration operates as a magnet--pulling people as opposed to pushing people toward doing something. Relationship-Related Currencies These currencies have more to do with strengthening the relationship with someone than directly accomplishing the project tasks. The essence of this form of influence is forming a relationship that transcends normal professional boundaries and extends into the realm of friendship. Such relationships develop by giving personal and emotional backing. Picking people up when they are feeling down, Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 347 boosting their confidence, and providing encouragement naturally breed goodwill. Sharing a sense of humor and making difficult times fun is another form of this currency. Similarly, engaging in non-work-related activities such as sports and family outings is another way relationships are naturally enhanced. Perhaps the most basic form of this currency is simply listening to other people. Psychologists suggest that most people have a strong desire to be understood and that relationships break down because the parties stop listening to each other. Sharing personal secrets/ambitions and being a wise confidant also creates a special bond between individuals. Personal-Related Currencies This last form of currency deals with individual needs and an overriding sense of self-esteem. Some argue that self-esteem is a primary psychological need; the extent to which we can help others feel a sense of importance and personal worth will naturally generate goodwill. A project manager can enhance a colleague's sense of worth by sharing tasks that increase skills and abilities, delegating authority over work so that others experience ownership, and allowing individuals to feel comfortable stretching their abilities. This form of currency can also be seen in sincere expressions of gratitude for the contributions of others. Care, though, must be exercised in expressing gratitude since it is easily devalued when overused. That is, the first thank you is likely to be more valued than the twentieth. The bottom line is that a project manager will be influential only insofar as she can offer something that others value. Furthermore, given the diverse cast of people a project manager depends on, it is important that she be able to acquire and exercise different influence currencies. The ability to do so will be constrained in part by the nature of the project and how it is organized. For example, a project manager who is in charge of a dedicated team has considerably more to offer team members than a manager who is given the responsibility of coordinating the activities of different professionals across different departments and organizations. In such cases, that manager will probably have to rely more heavily on personal and relational bases of influence to gain the cooperation of others. Social Network Building Mapping Dependencies The first step to building a social network is identifying those on whom the project depends for success. The project manager and his or her key assistants need to ask the following questions: Whose cooperation will we need? Whose agreement or approval will we need? Whose opposition would keep us from accomplishing the project? Many project managers find it helpful to draw a map of these dependencies. For example, Figure 10.2 contains the dependencies identified by a project manager responsible for installing a new financial software system in her company. It is always better to overestimate rather than underestimate dependencies. All too often, otherwise talented and successful project managers have been derailed because they were blindsided by someone whose position or power they had not 348 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager FIGURE 10.2 Dependencies for Financial Software Installation Project Information technology manager Purchasing Software vendor Information technology director Software installation project Shipping Billing and receipts Inventory Top management anticipated. After identifying whom you will depend on, you are ready to "step into their shoes" and see the project from their perspective: What differences exist between myself and the people on whom I depend (goals, values, pressures, working styles, risks)? How do these different people view the project (supporters, indifferents, antagonists)? What is the current status of the relationship I have with the people I depend on? What sources of influence do I have relative to those on whom I depend? Once you start this analysis you can begin to appreciate what others value and what currencies you might have to offer as a basis on which to build a working relationship. You begin to realize where potential problems lie--relationships in which you have a current debit or no convertible currency. Furthermore, diagnosing another's point of view as well as the basis for their positions will help you anticipate their reactions and feelings about your decisions and actions. This information is vital for selecting the appropriate influence strategy and tactics and conducting win/win negotiations. For example, after mapping her dependency network, the project manager who was in charge of installing the software system realized that she was likely to have serious problems with the manager of the receipts department, who would be one of the primary users of the software. She had no previous history of working with this individual but had heard through the grapevine that the manager was upset with the choice of software and that he considered this project to be another unnecessary disruption of his department's operation. Prior to project initiation the project manager arranged to have lunch with the manager, where she sat patiently Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 349 and listened to his concerns. She invested additional time and attention to educate him and his staff about the benefits of the new software. She tried to minimize the disruptions the transition would cause in his department. She altered the implementation schedule to accommodate his preferences as to when the actual software would be installed and the subsequent training would occur. In turn, the receipts manager and his people were much more accepting of the change, and the transition to the new software went more smoothly than anticipated. Management Wandering by Around (MBWA) The preceding example illustrates the next step in building a supportive social network. Once you have established who the key players are that will determine success, then you initiate contact and begin to build a relationship with those players. Building this relationship requires a management style employees at Hewlett-Packard refer to as "management by wandering around" (MBWA) to reflect that managers spend the majority of their time outside their offices. MBWA is somewhat of a misnomer in that there is a purpose/pattern behind the "wandering." Through face-to-face interactions, project managers are able to stay in touch with what is really going on in the project and build cooperation essential to project success. Effective project managers initiate contact with key players to keep abreast of developments, anticipate potential problems, provide encouragement, and reinforce the objectives and vision of the project. They are able to intervene to resolve conflicts and prevent stalemates from occurring. In essence, they "manage" the project. By staying in touch with various aspects of the project they become the focal point for information on the project. Participants turn to them to obtain the most current and comprehensive information about the project which reinforces their central role as project manager. We have also observed less-effective project managers who eschew MBWA and attempt to manage projects from their offices and computer terminals. Such managers proudly announce an open-door policy and encourage others to see them when a problem or an issue comes up. To them no news is good news. This allows their contacts to be determined by the relative aggressiveness of others. Those who take the initiative and seek out the project manager get too high a proportion of the project manager's attention. Those people less readily available (physically removed) or more passive get ignored. This behavior contributes to the adage, "Only the squeaky wheel gets greased," which breeds resentment within the project team. Effective project managers also find the time to regularly interact with more distal stakeholders. They keep in touch with suppliers, vendors, top management, and other functional managers. In doing so they maintain familiarity with different parties, sustain friendships, discover opportunities to do favors, and understand the motives and needs of others. They remind people of commitments and champion the cause of their project. They also shape people's expectations (see Snapshot from Practice: Managing Expectations). Through frequent communication they alleviate people's concerns about the project, dispel rumors, warn people of potential problems, and lay the groundwork for dealing with setbacks in a more effective manner. Unless project managers take the initiative to build a network of supportive relationships, they are likely to see a manager (or other stakeholder) only when there is bad news or when they need a favor (e.g., they don't have the data they promised or the project has slipped behind schedule). Without prior, frequent, 350 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Dorothy Kirk, a project management consultant and program manager with Financial Solutions Group of Mynd, offers several keen insights about the art of managing stakeholder expectations: . . . expectations are hardy. All they need to take root is the absence of evidence to the contrary. Once rooted, the unspoken word encourages growth. They can develop and thrive without being grounded in reality. For this reason, project managers do daily battle with unrealistic expectations. Managing Expectations* Seize every opportunity to realign expectations with reality. Too often we avoid opportunities to adjust expectations because we hold onto a false hope that things will somehow work out. Do not ask for stakeholder suggestions for improvement if you do not intend to do something with their input. Asking for their input raises expectations. State the obvious. What is obvious to you may be obscure to others. Don't avoid delivering bad news. Communicate openly and in person. Expect some anger and frustration. Do not get defensive in return. Be prepared to explain the impact of the problems. For example, never say the project is going to be late without being able to give a new date. Explain what you are doing to see that this does not continue to happen. She goes on to offer several tips for managing expectations: The way you present information can either clarify or muddy expectations. For example, if you estimate that a task will take 317 hours, you are setting high expectations by your precision. The stakeholder is likely to be unhappy if it takes 323 hours. The stakeholder will not be unhappy with 323 hours if you quoted an estimate of 300325 hours. Recognize that it is only human nature to interpret a situation in one's best interest. For example, if you tell someone it will be done by January, you are inclined to interpret it to your advantage and assume you have to the end of January, while the other person believes it will be done January 1st. All stakeholders have expectations about the schedule, cost, and project benefits. Project managers need to listen for, understand, and manage these expectations. * D. Kirk, "Managing Expectations," PM Network, August 2000, pp. 5962. easy give-and-take interactions around nondecisive issues, the encounter prompted by the problem is likely to provoke excess tension. The parties are more likely to act defensively, interrupt each other, and lose sight of the common problem. Experienced project managers recognize the need to build relationships before they need them. They initiate contact with the key stakeholders at times when there are no outstanding issues or problems and therefore no anxieties and suspicions. On these social occasions, they engage in small talk and responsive banter. They respond to others' requests for aid, provide supportive counsel, and exchange information. In doing so they establish credit in that relationship, which will allow them to deal with more serious problems down the road. When one person views another as pleasant, credible, and helpful based on past contact, he or she is much more likely to be responsive to requests for help and less confrontational when problems arise. Managing Upward Relations Research consistently points out that project success is strongly affected by the degree to which a project has the support of top management. Such support is reflected in an appropriate budget, responsiveness to unexpected needs, and a clear signal to others in the organization of the importance of cooperation. Visible top management support is not only critical for securing the support of other managers within an organization, but it also is a key factor in the project manager's ability to motivate the project team. Nothing establishes a manager's Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 351 right to lead more than her ability to defend. To win the loyalty of team members, project managers have to be effective advocates for their projects. They have to be able to get top management to rescind unreasonable demands, provide additional resources, and recognize the accomplishments of team members. This is more easily said than done. Working relationships with upper management is a common source of consternation. Laments like the following are often made by project managers about upper management: They don't know how much it sets us back losing Neil to another project. I would like to see them get this project done with the budget they gave us. I just wish they would make up their minds as to what is really important. While it may seem counterintuitive for a subordinate to "manage" a superior, smart project managers devote considerable time and attention to influencing and garnering the support of top management. Project managers have to accept profound differences in perspective and become skilled at the art of persuading superiors. Many of the tensions that arise between upper management and project managers are a result of differences in perspective. Project managers become naturally absorbed with what is best for their project. To them the most important thing in the world is their project. Top management should have a different set of priorities. They are concerned with what is best for the entire organization. It is only natural for these two interests to conflict at times. For example, a project manager may lobby intensively for additional personnel only to be turned down because top management believes that the other departments cannot afford a reduction in staff. Although frequent communication can minimize differences, the project manager has to accept the fact that top management is inevitably going to see the world differently. Once project managers accept that disagreements with superiors are more a question of perspective than substance, they can focus more of their energy on the art of persuading upper management. But before they can persuade superiors, they must first prove loyalty. Loyalty in this context simply means that most of the time project managers have to show that they consistently follow through on requests and adhere to the parameters established by top management without a great deal of grumbling or fuss. Once managers have proven loyalty to upper management, senior management is much more receptive to their challenges and requests. Project managers have to cultivate strong ties with upper managers who are sponsoring the project. As noted earlier, these are high-ranking officials who championed approval and funding of the project; as such, their reputations are aligned with the project. Sponsors are also the ones who defend the project when it is under attack in upper circles of management. They shelter the project from excessive interference (see Figure 10.3). Project managers should always keep such people informed of any problems that may cause embarrassment or disappointment. For example, if costs are beginning to outrun the budget or a technical glitch is threatening to delay the completion of the project, managers make sure that the sponsors are the first to know. Timing is everything. Asking for additional budget the day after disappointing third-quarter earnings are reported is going to be much more difficult than making a similar request four weeks later. Good project managers pick the optimum time to appeal to top management. They enlist their project sponsors to lobby their FIGURE 10.3 The Significance of a Project Sponsor Project sponsor Project Research Highlight Ancona and Caldwell studied the performance of 45 new-product teams in five high-technology companies and produced some startling results. The most significant was that internal team dynamics were not related to performance. That is, highperformance teams were not distinguished by clearer goals, smoother workflow among members, or greater ability to satisfy the individual goals of team members. What related to team performance were level and intensity of external interactions between the project team and the rest of the organization. Ancona and Caldwell identified four key patterns of activity which contribute to creating a high-performance team: 1. Ambassador activities are aimed at representing the team to others and protecting the team from interference. The project manager typically takes on this responsibility, which involves buffering the team from political pressures and building support for the project within the hierarchy of the company. 2. Task coordinator activities are aimed at coordinating the team's efforts with other units and organizations. Unlike the ambassador role, which is focused upward, these are more lateral activities and involve negotiating and interacting with interested parties within the organization. 3. Scouts act as a scout on an expedition; that is, they go out from the team to bring back information about what is going on elsewhere in the organization. This is a much less focused task than task coordinator. Improving the Performance of New-Product Teams* 4. Guard activities differ from the other activities in that they are intended to keep information and resources inside the team, preventing drainage out of the group. A key guard activity is keeping necessary information secret until it is appropriate to share it. Ancona and Caldwell found that the importance of these activities varies during the product development life cycle if the project team is to be successful. For example, scouting activities are more critical during the creation phase, when the product idea is being formulated and the team is being developed. Ambassador activities are especially critical during the development phase, when product specifications have been agreed upon and the major task is developing a prototype. Ancona and Caldwell caution that their findings do not mean that teamwork and the internal operations of a project team are not important to project success. Effective team dynamics are necessary to successfully integrate information from outside sources and coordinate activities across groups. Their research supports the adage that problems and opportunities often lie at the borders of projects, and that one of the primary jobs of a project manager is to manage the interface between his or her team and the rest of the organization. * D. G. Ancona and D. Caldwell, "Improving the Performance of NewProduct Teams," Research Technology Management, Vol. 33, No. 2 (MarchApril 1990), pp. 2529. cause. They also realize there are limits to top management's accommodations. Here, the Lone Ranger analogy is appropriate--you have only so many silver bullets, so use them wisely. Project managers need to adapt their communication pattern to that of the senior group. For example, one project manager recognized that top management had a tendency to use sports metaphors to describe business situations, so she framed a recent slip in schedule by admitting that "we lost five yards, but we still have two plays to make a first down." Smart project managers learn the language of top management and use it to their advantage. Finally, a few project managers admit ignoring chains of command. If they are confident that top management will reject an important request and that what they want to do will benefit the project, they do it without asking permission. While acknowledging that this is very risky, they claim that bosses typically won't argue with success. Leading by Example A highly visible, interactive management style is not only essential to building and sustaining cooperative relationships, it also allows project managers to utilize their most powerful leadership tool--their own behavior. Often, when faced with 352 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 353 SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE In 1914, the intrepid explorer Ernest Shackleton embarked on the Endurance with his team of seamen and scientists, intent upon crossing the unexplored Antarctic continent. What happened in the two years between their departure and their ultimate incredible rescue has rarely been matched in the annals of survival: a ship crushed by expanding ice pack . . . a crew stranded on the floes of the frozen Weddell Sea . . . two perilous treks in open boats across a raging Southern Ocean . . . a team marooned on the wild, forlorn Elephant Island, stretched to the limits of human endurance. This adventure provided the basis for the book Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition written by Dennis Perkins. Perkins provides numerous incidents of how Shackleton's personal example influenced the behavior of his beleaguered crew. For example, from the beginning of the Trans-Atlantic expedition to its end Shackleton consistently encouraged behavior that emphasized caring and respect: After the destruction of the Endurance Shackleton heated hot milk for the crew and went from tent to tent with the "life giving" drink. After the sail to the island of South Georgia, when the exhausted crew had landed, Shackleton took the first watch, which he kept for three hours instead of the usual one. Leading at the Edge* Crew members emulated the caring behaviors that Shackleton modeled. A good example of this occurred during one of the most dramatic moments in the Endurance saga. The food supply had dwindled to perilously low levels. Less than a week's supply remained, and the tiny ration of seal steak usually served at breakfast was eliminated. The waste meat generally used to feed the dogs was inspected for edible scraps. Under these wretched conditions, and after a wet sleepless night, an argument broke out among some of the team members. Caught in the middle, one crew member (Greenstreet) spilled his tiny ration of powdered milk and shouted at the biologist (Clark). Alfred Lansing described what happened next: Greenstreet paused to get his breath, and in that instant his anger was spent and he suddenly fell silent. Everyone else in the tent became quiet, too, and looked at Greenstreet, Topham/The Image Works shaggy-haired, bearded, and filthy with blubber soot, holding his empty mug in his hand and looking helplessly down into the snow that had thirstily soaked up his precious milk. The loss was so tragic he seemed almost on the point of weeping. Without speaking, Clark reached out and poured some milk into Greenstreet's mug. Then Worsely, then Macklin, and Rickerson and Kerr, Orde-Lees, and finally Blackborrow. They finished in silence. * Adapted from Dennis N. T. Perkins, Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctica Expedition (New York: AMACOM Press, 2000), pp. 9495; and Alfred Lansing, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998), p. 127. uncertainty, people look to others for cues as to how to respond and demonstrate a propensity to mimic the behavior of superiors. A project manager's behavior symbolizes how other people should work on the project. Through her behavior a project manager can influence how others act and respond to a variety of issues related to the project. (See Snapshot from Practice: Leading at the Edge for a dramatic example of this.) 354 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager FIGURE 10.4 Leading by Example Standards of performance Problem solving Ethics Leading by example Priorities Cooperation Urgency To be effective, project managers must "walk the talk" (see Figure 10.4). Six aspects of leading by example are discussed next. Priorities Actions speak louder than words. Subordinates and others discern project managers' priorities by how they spend their time. If a project manager claims that this project is critical and then is perceived as devoting more time to other projects, then all his verbal reassurances are likely to fall on deaf ears. Conversely, a project manager who takes the time to observe a critical test instead of simply waiting for a report affirms the importance of the testers and their work. Likewise, the types of questions project managers pose communicate priorities. By repeatedly asking how specific issues relate to satisfying the customer, a project manager can reinforce the importance of customer satisfaction. Urgency Through their actions project managers can convey a sense of urgency, which can permeate project activities. This urgency in part can be conveyed through stringent deadlines, frequent status report meetings, and aggressive solutions for expediting the project. The project manager uses these tools like a metronome to pick up the beat of the project. At the same time, such devices will be ineffective if there is not also a corresponding change in the project manager's behavior. If they want others to work faster and solve problems quicker, then they need to work faster. They need to hasten the pace of their own behavior. They should accelerate the frequency of their interactions, talk and walk more quickly, get to work sooner, and leave work later. By simply increasing the pace of their daily interaction patterns, project managers can reinforce a sense of urgency in others. Problem Solving How project managers respond to problems sets the tone for how others tackle problems. If bad news is greeted by verbal attacks, then others will be reluctant to Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 355 be forthcoming. If the project manager is more concerned with finding out who is to blame instead of how to prevent problems from happening again, then others will tend to cover their tracks and cast the blame elsewhere. If, on the other hand, project managers focus more on how they can turn a problem into an opportunity or what can be learned from a mistake, then others are more likely to adopt a more proactive approach to problem solving. Cooperation How project managers act toward outsiders influences how team members interact with outsiders. If a project manager makes disparaging remarks about the "idiots" in the marketing department, then this oftentimes becomes the shared view of the entire team. If project managers set the norm of treating outsiders with respect and being responsive to their needs, then others will more likely follow suit. Standards of Performance Veteran project managers recognize that if they want participants to exceed project expectations then they have to exceed others' expectations of a good project manager. They establish a high standard for project performance through the quality of their daily interactions. They respond quickly to the needs of others, carefully prepare and run crisp meetings, stay on top of all the critical issues, facilitate effective problem solving, and stand firm on important matters. Ethics How others respond to ethical dilemmas that arise in the course of a project will be influenced by how the project manager has responded to similar dilemmas. In many cases, team members base their actions on how they think the project manager would respond. If project managers deliberately distort or withhold vital information from customers or top management, then they are signaling to others that this kind of behavior is acceptable. Project management invariably creates a variety of ethical dilemmas; this would be an appropriate time to delve into this topic in more detail. Ethics and Project Management Questions of ethics have already arisen in previous chapters that discussed padding of cost and time estimations, exaggerating pay-offs of project proposals, and so forth. Ethical dilemmas involve situations where it is difficult to determine whether conduct is right or wrong. Is it acceptable to falsely assure customers that everything is on track when, in reality, you are only doing so to prevent them from panicking and making matters worse? In a survey of project managers, 81 percent reported that they encounter ethical issues in their work. These dilemmas range from being pressured to alter status reports, backdate signatures, or shade documentation to mask the reality of project progress to falsifying cost accounts, compromising safety standards to accelerate progress, and approving shoddy work. Project management is complicated work, and, as such, ethics invariably involve gray areas of judgment and interpretation. For example, it is difficult to distinguish deliberate falsification of estimates from genuine mistakes or the willful exaggeration of project payoffs from genuine optimism. It becomes problematic to 356 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE The Collapse of Arthur Andersen* AP Photo/Stephen J. Carrera "Think straight and talk straight" was the principle on which Arthur E. Andersen built his accounting firm in the early 1900s. It was a phrase his mother taught him and became the firm's motto. The commitment to integrity and a systematic, planned approach to work were instrumental in Arthur Andersen becoming one of the largest and best-known accounting firms in the world. Working for Arthur Andersen was not for everyone. It could be a tough culture. It was much too hierarchical and top down for the more free spirited. Many people left after less than two years, believing the rewards did not warrant the demands that were made on them. Others learned to play by the rules and some even thrived. To remain in the firm, staff members were expected to work hard, respect authority of rank, and maintain a high level of conformity. In return they were rewarded with support, promotion, and the possibility of making partner. Those individuals who made a career with the firm grew old together, professionally and personally, and most had never worked anywhere else. To these survivors, Andersen was their second family, and they developed strong loyalties to the firm and its culture. (p. 133) instituted to make sure that the firm's extraneous paperwork could not be used in court cases. Although the document retention policy required that papers supporting the firm's opinions and audit be retained, it allowed a broad category of secondary documents to be destroyed. The team reacted with stunned silence to Duncan's directive. Then everyone got up and began racing to do what they had been told to do. No one asked Duncan to explain further. None asked whether what they were doing was wrong. No one questioned whether what he or she were doing might be illegal. Andersen's Houston staff just reacted, following orders without question. On November 9, 2001, the day after the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a subpoena to Andersen, the shredding stopped. More than one ton of documents had been destroyed and 30,000 e-mails and Enron-related computer files erased. According to Andersen's legal defense team, the shredding was business as usual. The lawyers claimed that the shredding was standard practice for eliminating unnecessary files. To the SEC, it appeared to be the start of a deep cover-up operation. Subsequently one of the most respected accounting firms in the world closed its doors. * Susan E. Squires, Cynthia J. Smith, Lorna McDougall, and William R. Yeak, Inside Arthur Andersen: Shifting Values, Unexpected Consequences (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004). On October 23, 2001, David Duncan told his Enron project team that they needed to start complying with Andersen's new policy on handling audit documents. The policy had been Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 357 determine whether unfulfilled promises were deliberate deception or an appropriate response to changing circumstances. To provide greater clarity to business ethics, many companies and professional groups publish a code of conduct. Cynics see these documents as simply window dressing, while advocates argue that they are important, albeit limited, first steps. In practice, personal ethics do not lie in formal statutes but at the intersection of one's work, family, education, profession, religious beliefs, and daily interactions. Most project managers report that they rely on their own private sense of right and wrong--what one project manager called his "internal compass." One common rule of thumb for testing whether a response is ethical is to ask, "Imagine that whatever you did was going to be reported on the front page of your local newspaper. How would you like that? Would you be comfortable?" Unfortunately, scandals at Enron, Worldcom, and Arthur Andersen have demonstrated the willingness of highly trained professionals to abdicate personal responsibility for illegal actions and to obey the directives of superiors (see Snapshot from Practice: The Collapse of Arthur Andersen). Top management and the culture of an organization play a decisive role in shaping members' beliefs of what is right and wrong. Many organizations encourage ethical transgressions by creating a "win at all cost" mentality. The pressures to succeed obscure consideration of whether the ends justify the means. Other organizations place a premium on "fair play" and command a market position by virtue of being trustworthy and reliable. Many project managers claim that ethical behavior is its own reward. By following your own internal compass your behavior expresses your personal values. Others suggest that ethical behavior is doubly rewarding. You not only are able to fall asleep at night but you also develop a sound and admirable reputation. As will be explored in the next section, such a reputation is essential to establishing the trust necessary to exercise influence effectively. Building Trust: The Key to Exercising Influence We all know people who have influence but whom we do not trust; these individuals are often referred to as "political animals" or "jungle fighters." While these individuals are often very successful in the short run, the prevalent sense of mistrust prohibits long-term efficacy. Successful project managers not only need to be influential, they also need to exercise influence in a manner that builds and sustains the trust of others. The significance of trust can be discerned by its absence. Imagine how different a working relationship is when you distrust the other party as opposed to trusting them. When people distrust each other, they often spend inordinate amounts of time and energy attempting to discern hidden agendas and the true meaning of communications and then securing guarantees to promises. They are much more cautious with each other and hesitant to cooperate. Here is what one line manager had to say about how he reacted to a project manager he did not trust: Whenever Jim approached me about something, I found myself trying to read between the lines to figure what was really going on. When he made a request, my initial reaction was "no" until he proved it. 358 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager Conversely, trust is the "lubricant" that maintains smooth and efficient interactions. When you trust, people are more likely to take your actions and intentions at face value when circumstances are ambiguous. For example, here is what a functional manager had to say about how he dealt with a project manager he trusted: If Sally said she needed something, no questions were asked. I knew it was important or she wouldn't have asked. Trust is an elusive concept. It is hard to nail down in precise terms why some project managers are trusted and others are not. One popular way to understand trust is to see it as a function of character and competence. Character focuses on personal motives (i.e., does he or she want to do the right thing?), while competence focuses on skills necessary to realize motives (i.e., does he or she know the right things to do?). Stephen Covey resurrected the significance of character in leadership literature in his best-selling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey criticized popular management literature as focusing too much on shallow human relations skills and manipulative techniques, which he labeled the personality ethic. He argues that at the core of highly effective people is a character ethic that is deeply rooted in personal values and principles such as dignity, service, fairness, the pursuit of truth, and respect. One of the distinguishing traits of character is consistency. When people are guided by a core set of principles, they are naturally more predictable because their actions are consistent with these principles. Another feature of character is openness. When people have a clear sense of who they are and what they value, they are more receptive to others. This trait provides them with the capacity to empathize and the talent to build consensus among divergent people. Finally, another quality of character is a sense of purpose. Managers with character are driven not only by personal ambitions but also for the common good. Their primary concern is what is best for their organization and the project, not what is best for themselves. This willingness to subordinate personal interests to a higher purpose garners the respect, loyalty, and trust of others. The significance of character is summarized by the comments made by two team members about two very different project managers. At first everyone liked Joe and was excited about the project. But after a while, people became suspicious of his motives. He had a tendency to say different things to different people. People began to feel manipulated. He spent too much time with top management. People began to believe that he was only looking out for himself. It was HIS project. When the project began to slip he jumped ship and left someone else holding the bag. I'll never work for that guy again. My first impression of Jack was nothing special. He had a quiet, unassuming management style. Over time I learned to respect his judgment and his ability to get people to work together. When you went to him with a problem or a request, he always listened carefully. If he couldn't do what you wanted him to do, he would take the time to explain why. When disagreements arose he always thought of what was best for the project. He treated everyone by the same rules; no one got special treatment. I'd jump at the opportunity to work on a project with him again. Character alone will not engender trust. We must also have confidence in the competency of individuals before we really trust them. We all know well-intended managers whom we like but do not trust because they have a history of coming up Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 359 short on their promises. Although we may befriend these managers, we don't like to work with or for them. Competence is reflected at a number of different levels. First, there is task-related knowledge and skills reflected in the ability to answer questions, solve technical problems, and excel in certain kinds of work. Second, there is competence at an interpersonal level demonstrated in being able to listen effectively, communicate clearly, resolve arguments, provide encouragement, and so forth. Finally, there is organizational competence. This includes being able to run effective meetings, set meaningful objectives, reduce inefficiencies, and build a social network. Too often there is a tendency for young engineers and other professionals to place too much value on task or technical competence. They underestimate the significance of organizational skills. Veteran professionals, on the other hand, recognize the importance of management and place a greater value on organizational and interpersonal skills. One problem new project managers experience is that it takes time to establish a sense of character and competency. Character and competency are often demonstrated when they are tested, such as when a tough call has to be made or when difficult problems have to be solved. Veteran project managers have the advantage of reputation and an established track record of success. Although endorsements from credible sponsors can help a young project manager create a favorable first impression, ultimately he or she will have to demonstrate character and competence during the course of dealings with others in order to gain their trust. So far this chapter has addressed the importance of building a network of relationships to complete the project based on trust and reciprocity. The next section examines the nature of project management work and the personal qualities needed to excel at it. Qualities of an Effective Project Manager Project management is, at first glance, a misleading discipline in that there is an inherent logic in the progression from formulating a project scope statement, creating a WBS, developing a network, adding resources, finalizing a plan, and reaching milestones. However, when it comes to actually implementing and completing projects, this logic quickly disappears, and project managers encounter a much messier world, filled with inconsistencies and paradoxes. Effective project managers have to be able to deal with the contradictory nature of their work. Some of those contradictions are listed here: Innovate and maintain stability. Project managers have to put out fires, restore order, and get the project back on track. At the same time they need to be innovative and develop new, better ways of doing things. Innovations unravel stable routines and spark new disturbances that have to be dealt with. See the big picture while getting your hands dirty. Project managers have to see the big picture and how their project fits within the larger strategy of their firm. There are also times when they must get deeply involved in project work and technology. If they don't worry about the details, who will? Encourage individuals but stress the team. Project managers have to motivate, cajole, and entice individual performers while at the same time maintaining teamwork. They have to be careful that they are considered fair and consistent in their treatment of team members while at the same time treating each member as a special individual. 360 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager Hands-off/Hands-on. Project managers have to intervene, resolve stalemates, solve technical problems, and insist on different approaches. At the same time they have to recognize when it is appropriate to sit on the sidelines and let other people figure out what to do. Flexible but firm. Project managers have to be adaptable and responsive to events and outcomes that occur on the project. At the same time they have to hold the line at times and tough it out when everyone else wants to give up. Team versus organizational loyalties. Project managers need to forge a unified project team whose members stimulate one another to extraordinary performance. But at the same time they have to counter the excesses of cohesion and the team's resistance to outside ideas. They have to cultivate loyalties to both the team and the parent organization. Managing these and other contradictions requires finesse and balance. Finesse involves the skillful movement back and forth between opposing behavioral patterns. For example, most of the time project managers actively involve others, move by increment, and seek consensus. There are other times when project managers must act as autocrats and take decisive, unilateral action. Balance involves recognizing the danger of extremes and that too much of a good thing invariably becomes harmful. For example, many managers have a tendency to always delegate the most stressful, difficult assignments to their best team members. This habit often breeds resentment among those chosen ("why am I always the one who gets the tough work?") and never allows the weaker members to develop their talents further. There is no one management style or formula for being an effective project manager. The world of project management is too complicated for formulas. Successful project managers have a knack for adapting styles to specific circumstances of the situation. So, what should one look for in an effective project manager? Many authors have addressed this question and have generated list after list of skills and attributes associated with being an effective manager. When reviewing these lists, one sometimes gets the impression that to be a successful project manager requires someone with superhuman powers. While we agree that not everyone has the right stuff to be an effective project manager, there are some core traits and skills that can be developed to successfully perform the job. Eight of these traits are noted below. 1. Systems thinker. Project managers must be able to take a holistic rather than a reductionist approach to projects. Instead of breaking up a project into individual pieces (planning, budget) and managing it by understanding each part, a systems perspective focuses on trying to understand how relevant project factors collectively interact to produce project outcomes. The key to success then becomes managing the interaction between different parts and not the parts themselves. 2. Personal integrity. Before you can lead and manage others, you have to be able to lead and manage yourself. Begin by establishing a firm sense of who you are, what you stand for, and how you should behave. This inner strength provides the buoyancy to endure the ups and downs of the project life cycle and the credibility essential to sustaining the trust of others. 3. Proactive. Good project managers take action before it is needed to prevent small concerns from escalating into major problems. They spend the majority of their time working within their sphere of influence to solve problems and not dwelling on things they have little control over. Project managers can't be whiners. Research Highlight Emotional intelligence (EQ) describes the ability or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self and others. Although the notion of EQ emerged in the 1920s, it was not until Daniel Goleman published his book Emotional Intelligence that the concept captured the attention of business people and public alike. Goleman divided EQ into the following five emotional competences: Self-awareness--knowing your emotions, recognizing feelings as they occur, and understanding the link between your emotions and your behavior. Self-awareness is reflected in confidence, realistic assessment of personal strengths/weaknesses, and ability to make fun of oneself. Self-regulation--being able to control disruptive impulses and moods and respond appropriately to situations. Selfregulation is reflected in trustworthiness and openness to change. Self-motivation--being able to gather up your feelings and pursue goals with energy, passion, and persistence. The hallmarks of self-motivation include a strong desire to achieve and internal optimism. Emotional Intelligence* Empathy--being able to recognize the feelings of others and tuning into their verbal and nonverbal cues. Empathy is reflected in the ability to sustain relationships and in cross-cultural sensitivity. Social skills--being able to build social networks and rapport with different kinds of people. Social skills include being able to lead change, resolve conflicts, and build effective teams. Not much imagination is needed to see how EQ would contribute to being an effective project manager. In Goleman's view, these competences build on each other in a hierarchy. At the bottom of his hierarchy is selfawareness. Some level of self-awareness is needed to move to self-regulation. Ultimately, social skills requires all four of the other competences in order to begin to be proficient at leading others. Experts believe that most people can learn to significantly increase their EQ. Numerous training programs and materials have emerged to help individuals realize their EQ potential. * T. Bradberry, and J. Graves, The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book: How to Put Your EQ to Work (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005); J. Cabanis-Brewin, "The Human Task of a Project Leader: Daniel Goleman on the Value of High EQ," PM Network, November 1999, pp. 3842. 4. High emotional intelligence (EQ). Project management is not for the meek. Project managers have to have command of their emotions and be able to respond constructively to others when things get a bit out of control. See the Research Highlight: Emotional Intelligence to read more about this quality. 5. General business perspective. Because the primary role of a project manager is to integrate the contributions of different business and technical disciplines, it is important that a manager have a general grasp of business fundamentals and how the different functional disciplines interact to contribute to a successful business. 6. Effective time management. Time is a manager's scarcest resource. Project managers have to be able to budget their time wisely and quickly adjust their priorities. They need to balance their interactions so no one feels ignored. 7. Skillful politician. Project managers have to be able to deal effectively with a wide range of people and win their support and endorsement of their project. They need to be able to sell the virtues of their project without compromising the truth. 8. Optimist. Project managers have to display a can-do attitude. They have to be able to find rays of sunlight in a dismal day and keep people's attention positive. A good sense of humor and a playful attitude are often a project manager's greatest strength. So how does one develop these traits? Workshops, self-study, and courses can upgrade one's general business perspective and capacity for systems thinking. Training programs can improve emotional intelligence and political skills. People can also be taught stress and time management techniques. However, we know of 361 362 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager no workshop or magic potion that can transform a pessimist into an optimist or provide a sense of purpose when there is not one. These qualities get at the very soul or being of a person. Optimism, integrity, and even being proactive are not easily developed if there is not already a predisposition to display them. Summary To be successful, project managers must build a cooperative network among a diverse set of allies. They begin by identifying who the key stakeholders on a project are, followed by a diagnosis of the nature of the relationships, and the basis for exercising influence. Effective project managers are skilled at acquiring and exercising a wide range of influence. They use this influence and a highly interactive management style to monitor project performance and initiate appropriate changes in project plans and direction. They do so in a manner that generates trust, which is ultimately based on others' perceptions of their character and competence. Project managers are encouraged to keep in mind the following suggestions: Build relationships before you need them. Identify key players and what you can do to help them before you need their assistance. It is always easier to receive a favor after you have granted one. This requires the project manager to see the project in systems terms and to appreciate how it affects other activities and agendas inside and outside the organization. From this perspective they can identify opportunities to do good deeds and garner the support of others. Trust is sustained through frequent face-to-face contact. Trust withers through neglect. This is particularly true under conditions of rapid change and uncertainty that naturally engender doubt, suspicion, and even momentary bouts of paranoia. Project managers must maintain frequent contact with key stakeholders to keep abreast of developments, assuage concerns, engage in reality testing, and focus attention on the project. Frequent face-to-face interactions affirm mutual respect and trust in each other. Ultimately, exercising influence in an effective and ethical manner begins and ends with how you view the other parties. Do you view them as potential partners or obstacles to your goals? If obstacles, then you wield your influence to manipulate and gain compliance and cooperation. If partners, you exercise influence to gain their commitment and support. People who view social network building as building partnerships see every interaction with two goals: resolving the immediate problem/ concern and improving the working relationship so that next time it will be even more effective. Experienced project managers realize that "what goes around comes around" and try at all cost to avoid antagonizing players for quick success. Key Terms Emotional intelligence (EQ), 361 Inspiration-related currencies, 346 Law of reciprocity, 344 Leading by example, 352 Management by wandering around (MBWA), 349 Personal-related currencies, 347 Position-related currencies, 346 Proactive, 360 Relationship-related currencies, 346 Social network building, 347 Stakeholder, 341 Systems thinking, 360 Task-related currencies, 345 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 363 Review Questions 1. What is the difference between leading and managing a project? 2. Why is a conductor of an orchestra an appropriate metaphor for being a project manager? What aspects of project managing are not reflected by this metaphor? Can you think of other metaphors that would be appropriate? 3. What does the exchange model of influence suggest you do to build cooperative relationships to complete a project? 4. What differences would you expect to see between the kinds of influence currencies that a project manager in a functional matrix would use and the influence a project manager of a dedicated project team would use? 5. Why is it important to build a relationship before you need it? 6. Why is it critical to keep the project sponsor informed? 7. Why is trust a function of both character and competence? 8. Which of the eight traits/skills associated with being an effective project manager is the most important? The least important? Why? 1. Do an Internet search for the Keirsey Temperament Sorter Questionnaire and find a site that appears to have a reputable self-assessment questionnaire. Respond to the questionnaire to identify your temperament type. Read supportive documents associated with your type. What does this material suggest are the kinds of projects that would best suit you? What does it suggest your strengths and weaknesses are as a project manager? How can you compensate for your weaknesses? 2. Access the Project Management Institute Web site and review the standards contained in PMI Member Ethical Standards section. How useful is the information for helping someone decide what behavior is appropriate and inappropriate? 3. You are organizing an AIDS benefit concert in your hometown that will feature local heavy metal rock groups and guest speakers. Draw a dependency map identifying the major groups of people that are likely to affect the success of this project. Who do you think will be most cooperative? Who do you think will be the least cooperative? Why? 4. You are the project manager responsible for the overall construction of a new international airport. Draw a dependency map identifying the major groups of people that are likely to affect the success of this project. Who do you think will be most cooperative? Who do you think will be the least cooperative? Why? 5. Identify an important relationship (co-worker, boss, friend) in which you are having trouble gaining cooperation. Assess this relationship in terms of the influence currency model. What kinds of influence currency have you been exchanging in this relationship? Is the "bank account" for this relationship in the "red" or the "black"? What kinds of influence would be appropriate for building a stronger relationship with that person? 6. Each of the following six mini-case scenarios involve ethical dilemmas associated with project management. How would you respond to each situation, and why? Jack Nietzche You returned from a project staffing meeting in which future project assignments were finalized. Despite your best efforts, you were unable to persuade the director of project management to promote one of your best assistants, Jack Nietzche, to a project manager position. You feel a bit guilty because you dangled the prospect of this promotion to motivate Jack. Jack responded by putting in extra hours to Exercises 364 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager ensure that his segments of the project were completed on time. You wonder how Jack will react to this disappointment. More importantly, you wonder how his reaction might affect your project. You have five days remaining to meet a critical deadline for a very important customer. While it won't be easy, you believed you would be able to complete the project on time. Now you're not so sure. Jack is halfway through completing the documentation phase, which is the last critical activity. Jack can be pretty emotional at times, and you are worried that he will blow up once he finds he didn't get the promotion. As you return to your office, you wonder what you should do. Should you tell Jack that he isn't going to be promoted? What should you say if he asks about whether the new assignments were made? Seaburst Construction Project You are the project manager for the Seaburst construction project. So far the project is progressing ahead of schedule and below budget. You attribute this in part to the good working relationship you have with the carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and machine operators who work for your organization. More than once you have asked them to give 110 percent, and they have responded. One Sunday afternoon you decide to drive by the site and show it to your son. As you point out various parts of the project to your son, you discover that several pieces of valuable equipment are missing from the storage shed. When you start work again on Monday you are about to discuss this matter with a supervisor when you realize that all the missing equipment is back in the shed. What should you do? Why? The Project Status Report Meeting You are driving to a project status report meeting with your client. You encountered a significant technical problem on the project that has put your project behind schedule. This is not good news because completion time is the number one priority for the project. You are confident that your team can solve the problem if they are free to give their undivided attention to it and that with hard work you can get back on schedule. You also believe if you tell the client about the problem, she will demand a meeting with your team to discuss the implications of the problem. You can also expect her to send some of her personnel to oversee the solution to the problem. These interruptions will likely further delay the project. What should you tell your client about the current status of the project? Gold Star LAN project You work for a large consulting firm and were assigned to the Gold Star LAN project. Work on the project is nearly completed and your clients at Gold Star appear to be pleased with your performance. During the course of the project, changes in the original scope had to be made to accommodate specific needs of managers at Gold Star. The costs of these changes were documented as well as overhead and submitted to the centralized accounting department. They processed the information and submitted a change order bill for your signature. You are surprised to see the bill is 10 percent higher than what you submitted. You contact Jim Messina in the accounting office and ask if a mistake has been made. He curtly replies that no mistake was made and that management adjusted the bill. He recommends that you sign the document. You talk to another project manager about this and she tells you off the record that overcharging clients on change orders is common practice in your firm. Would you sign the document? Why? Why not? Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 365 Cape Town Bio-Tech You are responsible for installing the new Double E production line. Your team has collected estimates and used the WBS to generate a project schedule. You have confidence in the schedule and the work your team has done. You report to top management that you believe that the project will take 110 days and be completed by March 5. The news is greeted positively. In fact, the project sponsor confides that orders do not have to be shipped until April 1. You leave the meeting wondering whether you should share this information with the project team or not. Ryman Pharmaceuticals You are a test engineer on the Bridge project at Ryman Pharmaceuticals in Nashville, Tennessee. You have just completed conductivity tests of a new electrochemical compound. The results exceeded expectations. This new compound should revolutionize the industry. You are wondering whether to call your stockbroker and ask her to buy $20,000 worth of Ryman stock before everyone else finds out about the results. What would you do and why? References Abrashoff, D. 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Cabanis, J., "A Question of Ethics: The Issues Project Managers Face and How They Resolve Them," PM Network, December 1996, pp. 1924. Cabanis-Brewin, J., "The Human Task of a Project Leader: Daniel Goleman on the Value of High EQ," PM Network, November 1999, pp. 3842. Cohen, A. R., and D. L. Bradford, Influence Without Authority (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1990). Covey, S. R., The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989). Dinsmore, P. C., "Will the Real Stakeholders Please Stand Up?" PM Network, December 1995, pp. 910. Gabarro, S. J., The Dynamics of Taking Charge (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1987). Hill, L. A., Becoming a Manager: Mastery of a New Identity (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1992). Kaplan, R. E., "Trade Routes: The Manager's Network of Relationships," Organizational Dynamics, 12 (4) Spring 1984, pp. 3752. 366 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager Kirk, D., "Managing Expectations," PM Network, August 2000, pp. 5962. Kotter, J. P., "What Leaders Really Do," Harvard Business Review, 68 (3) MayJune 1990, pp. 10311. Kouzes, J. M., and B. Z. Posner, The Leadership Challenge (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1987). Kouzes, J. M., and B. Z. Posner, Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It. Why People Demand It (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993). Larson, E. W., and J. B. King, "The Systemic Distortion of Information: An Ongoing Management Challenge," Organizational Dynamics, 24 (3) Winter 1996, pp. 4962. Lewis, M. W., M. A. Welsh, G. E. Dehler, and S. G. Green, "Product Development Tensions: Exploring Contrasting Styles of Project Management," Academy of Management Journal, 45 (3) 2002, pp. 54664. Peters, L. H., "A Good Man in a Storm: An Interview with Tom West," Academy of Management Executive, 16 (4) 2002, pp. 5363. Peters, L. H., "Soulful Ramblings: An Interview with Tracy Kidder," Academy of Management Executive, 16 (4) 2002, pp. 4552. Peters, T., Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988). Pinto, J. K., and S. K. Mantel, "The Causes of Project Failure," IEEE Transactions in Engineering Management, 37 (4) 1990, pp. 26976. Pinto, J. K., and D. P. Sleven, "Critical Success Factors in Successful Project Implementation," IEEE Transactions in Engineering Management, 34 (1) 1987, pp. 2227. Posner, B. Z., "What It Takes to Be an Effective Project Manager," Project Management Journal, March 1987, pp. 5155. Project Management Institute, Leadership in Project Management Annual (Newton Square, PA: PMI Publishing, 2006). Robb, D. J., "Ethics in Project Management: Issues, Practice, and Motive," PM Network, December 1996, pp. 1318. Sayles, L. R., Leadership: Managing in Real Organizations (New York: McGrawHill, 1989), pp. 7078. Sayles, L. R., The Working Leader (New York: Free Press, 1993). Senge, P. M., The Fifth Discipline (New York: Doubleday, 1990). Shenhar, A. J., and B. Nofziner, "A New Model for Training Project Managers," Proceedings of the 28th Annual Project Management Institute Symposium, 1997, pp. 3016. Shtub, A., J. F. Bard, and S. Globerson, Project Management: Engineering, Technology, and Implementation (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1994). Case Western Oceanography Institute It was already 72 degrees when Astrid Young pulled into the parking lot at the Western Oceanography Institute (WOI). The radio announcer was reminding listeners to leave out extra water for their pets because the temperature was going to Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 367 be in the high 90s for the third straight day. Young made a mental note to call her husband, Jon, when she got to her office and make sure that he left plenty of water outside for their cat, Figaro. Young was three-quarters of the way through the Microsoft NT conversion project. Yesterday had been a disaster, and she was determined to get back on top of things. ASTRID YOUNG Astrid Young was a 27-year-old graduate of Western State University (WSU) with a B.S. degree in management information systems. After graduation she worked for five years at Evergreen Systems in Seattle, Washington. While at WSU she worked part time for an oceanography professor, Ahmet Green, creating a customized database for a research project he was conducting. Green was recently appointed director of WOI, and Young was confident that this prior experience was instrumental in her getting the job as information services (IS) director at the Institute. Although she took a significant pay cut, she jumped at the opportunity to return to her alma mater. Her job at Evergreen Systems had been very demanding. The long hours and extensive traveling had created tension in her marriage. She was looking forward to a normal job with reasonable hours. Besides, Jon would be busy pursuing his MBA at Western State. While at Evergreen, Young worked on Y2000 projects and installed NT servers. She was confident that she had the requisite technical expertise to excel at her new job. Western Oceanography Institute was an independently funded research facility aligned with Western State University. Approximately 60 full- and part-time staff worked at the Institute. They worked on research grants funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United Nations (UN), as well as research financed by private industry. There were typically 7 to 8 major research projects under way at any one time as well as 20 to 25 smaller projects. One-third of the Institute's scientists had part-time teaching assignments at WSU and used the Institute to conduct their own basic research. FIRST FOUR MONTHS AT WOI Young worked at the Institute for four months prior to initiating the NT conversion project. She made a point of introducing herself to the various groups of people upon her arrival at the Institute. Still, her contact with the staff had been limited. She spent most of her time becoming familiar with WOI's information system, training her staff, responding to unexpected problems, and planning the conversion project. Young suffered from food allergies and refrained from informal staff lunches at nearby restaurants. She stopped regularly attending the biweekly staff meetings in order to devote more time to her work. She now only attended the meetings when there was a specific agenda item regarding her operation. Last month the system was corrupted by a virus introduced over the Internet. She devoted an entire weekend to restoring the system to operation. A recurring headache was one of the servers code-named "Poncho" that would occasionally shut down for no apparent reason. Instead of replacing it, she decided to nurse Poncho along until it was replaced by the new NT system. Her work was frequently interrupted by frantic calls from staff researchers who needed immediate help on a variety of computer-related problems. She was shocked at how computer illiterate some of the researchers were and how she had to guide them 368 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager through some of the basics of e-mail management and database configuration. She did find time to help Assistant Professor Amanda Johnson on a project. Johnson was the only researcher to respond to Young's e-mail announcing that the IS staff was available to help on projects. Young created a virtual project office on the Internet so that Johnson could collaborate with colleagues from institutes in Italy and Thailand on a UN research grant. She looked forward to the day when she could spend more time on fun projects like that. Young had a part-time team of five student assistants from the computer science department. At first she was not sure how freely she could delegate work to the students, and she closely supervised their work. She quickly realized that they were all very bright, competent workers who were anxious to leverage this work experience into a lucrative career upon graduation. She admitted that she sometimes had a hard time relating to students who were preoccupied with fraternity bashes and X-games. She lost her temper only once, and that was at Samantha Eggert for failing to set up an adequate virus screening system that would have prevented the Internet corruption that occurred. She kept a close eye on Eggert's work after that, but in time, Eggert proved her worth. Young saw a lot of herself in Eggert's work habits. THE MICROSOFT NT CONVERSION PROJECT Young laid the groundwork for the NT conversion project in her recruitment interview with the director by arguing that conversion was a critical skill she would bring to the position. Once hired she was able to sell the director and his immediate staff on the project, but not without some resistance. Some associate directors questioned whether it was necessary to go through another conversion so soon after the Windows 95 conversion 16 months ago. Some of the researchers lobbied that the money would be better spent on installing a centralized air-conditioning system at WOI. Ultimately, the director signed off on the project after Young assured him that the conversion would be relatively painless and the Institute would then have a state-of-the-art information system. The conversion was scheduled to take eight weeks to complete and consisted of four major phases: server setup, network installation, data migration, and workstation conversion. The project would be completed during the summer so that the student assistants could work full time on the project. Young and her student team would first need to purchase and set up seven new NT servers. They would then create a new local area network (LAN). Next they would migrate data to the new Oracle NT database. Finally, they would convert the existing 65 client computers into NT workstations capable of functioning on the new system. Young had been actively involved in four similar conversions when working at Evergreen Systems and was confident that she and her team could complete the project with a minimum of technical problems. She also believed that this conversion would not be traumatic to the staff at the Institute because the NT interface was very similar to the Windows 95 interface. Young knew that in order for the project to be considered successful, there needed to be minimum disruption of daily staff functions. She held a staff briefing meeting to outline the scope of the project and the impact it would have on the Institute's operations. She was disappointed by the light attendance at the meeting. One problem was the irregular hours staff worked at WOI. Several of the researchers were night owls who preferred to work late into the night. Other staff Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 369 traveled frequently. She ended up holding two other briefing meetings, including one in the evening. Still the attendance was less than desired. The staff's major concerns were the amount of downtime that would occur and whether the software and databases they were currently using would work on the new system. Young assured them that most of the downtime would occur on the weekends and would be posted well in advance. The only disruption would be two hours necessary to convert their existing computer into a workstation. Young invested extra energy in researching the compatibility issue and sent an e-mail to everyone listing the software that was known to not work in the NT system. The only software problems involved specially written DOS v2.1 or older programs that would not function in the new NT operating environment. In one case, she assigned a student to rewrite and enhance the present program for a researcher. In the other case, she was able to persuade the staff member to use a newer, better program. Young sent a second e-mail asking staff members to clean up their hard drives and get rid of old, obsolete files because the new NT software would take up considerably more space than the Windows 95 operating system. In some cases, she replaced existing hard drives with bigger drives so that this would not be a problem. She circulated a workstation conversion schedule by e-mail so that staff could pick a preferred time for when their computer would be down and when her assistants could upgrade the computer into a workstation. Seventy percent of the staff responded to the e-mail request, and she and her staff contacted the remaining staff by telephone to schedule the conversion. The first six weeks of the project went relatively smoothly. The NT servers arrived on time and were installed and configured on schedule. The completion of the network was delayed three days when the fire marshal showed up earlier than planned to inspect the electrical wiring. Young had never met the marshal before and was surprised at how nit-picking he was. They failed the inspection, and it took three days to reschedule and pass inspection. Word about failing the fire inspection circulated the hallways at the Institute. One joker put a Smokey the Bear sign on the IS office door. Young later found out that as a result of a recent fire in town, the fire marshals had been instructed to be extra vigilant in their inspections. Data migration to the new Oracle database took a little longer than planned because the new version was not as compatible with the old version as advertised. Still, this only added three days to the project. The project was entering the fourth and final phase--conversion of client computers into NT workstations. This phase involved her staff deleting the old operating system and installing new operating software in each computer at the Institute. Young had scheduled two hours per machine and had organized a daily workload of 10 computers so that adequate backup could be made just in case something went wrong. Young chose to convert the director's office first and told Green that everything was going according to plan. Soon the project began to experience nagging problems. First, some of the staff forgot when they were scheduled to be converted. The team had to wait for them to abandon what they were doing so they could convert the computer. Second, the drivers on some of the computers were not compatible, and the team had to devote extra time downloading new drivers off the Internet. Third, a few of the staff failed to create adequate hard drive space to accommodate the new NT software. In most cases, the team worked with the staff member to delete or compress unnecessary files. One time the staff member could not be found, and Young had to decide which files to delete. This wasn't a problem 370 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager since the hard drive contained computer games and ancient Word Perfect files. To compound matters, midway through the third day, one of the student assistants, Steve Stills, was diagnosed with a moderate case of carpal tunnel and was told to take two weeks off from computer work. After three days only 22 computers had been converted to NT stations. Young ended the day by sending an e-mail to the remaining users apologizing for the delays and posting a revised schedule for their system configuration. THE CALL Young and her staff were working diligently on converting computers into NT workstations when she received an urgent call from the director's secretary requesting that she drop everything and come downstairs to the staff meeting. The secretary's voice appeared tense, and Young wondered what was up. As she gathered her things, the student assistant, Eggert, cleared her throat and confided that there may be problems with some of the Institute's Web sites. She discovered yesterday that some of the links in the Web pages created using Netscape weren't working in the Microsoft environment. Young demanded to know why she wasn't told about this sooner. Eggerts confessed that she thought she had fixed the problem last night. Young told her that they would talk about this when she got back and left. Young entered the meeting room and immediately recognized that there were more than the usual faces in attendance. The director welcomed her by saying, "We're glad you could find the time to visit with us. My staff meeting has just erupted into a series of complaints about your NT conversion project. As it turns out Dr. Phillips over here can't access his documents because his Word Perfect file mysteriously disappeared. Dr. Simon's geothermal assessment program, which he has used for the past seven years, doesn't seem to work anymore. Now it appears that the Web site we use to coordinate our research with the Oslo Institute is a mess. Everyone is complaining about how the revised installation schedule is going to disrupt work. I want to know why I wasn't informed about these problems. These guys want to lynch me for approving your project!" 1. How would you respond to the director? 2. What mistakes did Young make that contributed to the problems at the end of the case? 3. How could she have managed the conversion project better? Case Tom Bray Tom Bray was mulling over today's work schedule as he looked across the bay at the storm that was rolling in. It was the second official day of the Pegasus project and now the real work was about to begin. Pegasus was a two-month renovation project for AtlantiCorp, a major financial institution headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Tom's group was responsible for installing the furniture and equipment in the newly renovated accounts receivable department on the third floor. The Pegasus project was a dedicated project team formed out of AtlantiCorp facilities department with Tom as the project lead. Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 371 Tom was excited because this was his first major league project and he was looking forward to practicing a new management style--MBWA, aka management by wandering around. He had been exposed to MBWA in a business class in college, but it wasn't until he attended an AtlantiCorp leadership training seminar that he decided to change how he managed people. The trainer was devout MBWA champion ("You can't manage people from a computer!"). Furthermore, the testimonies from his peers reinforced the difference that MBWA can make when it comes to working on projects. Tom had joined the facilities group at AtlantiCorp five years earlier after working for EDS for six years. He quickly demonstrated technical competences and good work habits. He was encouraged to take all the internal project management workshops offered by AtlantiCorp. On his last two projects he served as assistant project manager responsible for procurement and contract management. He had read books about the soft side of project management and MBWA made sense--after all, people not tools get projects done. His boss had told him he needed to refine his people skills and work on developing rapport with team members. MBWA seemed like a perfect solution. Tom reviewed the list of team member names; some of the foreign names were real tongue twisters. For example, one of his better workers was from Thailand and her name was Pinyarat Sirisomboonsuk. He practiced saying "Pin-ya-ra t See-re -som-boon-sook." He got up, tucked in his shirt, and walked out of his office and down to the floor where his team was busy unloading equipment. Tom said "Hi" to the first few workers he met until he encountered Jack and three other workers. Jack was busy pulling hardware out of a box while his teammates were standing around talking. Tom blurted, "Come on guys, we've got work to do." They quickly separated and began unloading boxes. The rest of the visit seemed to go well. He helped Shari unload a heavy box and managed to get an appreciative grin from Pinyarat when he almost correctly pronounced her name. Satisfied, Tom went back up to his office thinking that MBWA wouldn't be that tough to do. After responding to e-mail and calling some vendors, Tom ventured back out to see how things were going downstairs. When he got there, the floor was weirdly quiet. People were busy doing their work and his attempts at generating conversation elicited stiff responses. He left thinking that maybe MBWA is going to be tougher than he thought. 1. What do you think is going on at the end of this case? 2. What should Tom do next and why? 3. What can be learned from this case? Case Cerberus Corporation* Cerberus is a successful producer of specialty chemicals. It operates nine large campus sites in the United States, with a number of different business units on each site. These business units operate independently, with direct reporting to * Courtesy of John Sloan, Oregon State University. 372 Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager corporate headquarters. Site functions such as safety, environmental, and facilities management report to a host organization--typically the business unit that is the largest user of their services. SUSAN STEELE Susan Steele has worked in the Facilities group at the Cerberus Richmond site for the last two years. The Facilities manager, Tom Stern, reports to the General Manager of the largest business unit on site, the highly profitable Adhesives and Sealants Division. Susan started with Cerberus when she graduated with her business degree from Awsum University. She was excited about her new assignment--leading a project for the first time. She remembered Tom saying, "We've got office furniture dating back to the 80s. There are those ugly green-top desks that look like they came from military surplus! I'm especially concerned about computer workstation ergonomics--it's a major issue that we absolutely must fix! I want you to lead a project to transition our office furniture to the new corporate standard." Susan assembled her project team: Jeff, the site safety/ergonomics engineer; Gretchen, the space planner; Cindy, the move coordinator; and Kari, the accounting liaison for Facilities. At their first meeting, everyone agreed that ergonomics was the most urgent concern. All five business units responded to a workstation survey that identified injury-causing ergonomics. The team was developing a plan to replace old desks with new, ergo-adjustable furniture by the end of the year. Susan asked Kari about the budget, and Kari responded, "Facilities should not pay for this. We want the individual business units to pay so that the costs will show where they are incurred." Gretchen spoke up: "You know, we've got lots of department moves going on constantly. Everybody is always jockeying for space and location as their business needs change. Besides the ergonomics, could we say that only corporate standard furniture gets moved? That would force changing some of the stuff that's just plain ugly." Everyone agreed that this was a great idea. Susan presented the project plan to Tom and got a green light to proceed. JON WOOD Jon Wood is a planning manager, with 22 years experience at Cerberus. His business unit, Photographic Chemicals Division (PCD), is losing money. Digital photography is continuing to reduce the size of the market, and PCD is having trouble matching the competition's relentless price-cutting. Jon recently transferred to Richmond from corporate headquarters, where he ran the economic forecasting group. He is considered a new broom, and he is determined to sweep clean. One of Jon's early actions was to negotiate with his general manager for a department move. Money was tight, and the site facilities function charged an arm and a leg for moves (covering all their fixed overhead, the operations people groused). However, Jon felt it was important to move from Building 4, where they were next to Production, to Building 6, where they could be close to Marketing, Forecasting, and Accounting. His General Manager agreed, and there was lots of excitement in his team about their upcoming move. Jon assigned one of his planners, Richard, to work with the Facilities team on the layout and move plan for the group. Things seemed to be going fine--Jon saw Richard sitting down with the move coordinator, and they seemed to be on track. Chapter 10 Leadership: Being an Effective Project Manager 373 The day before the move, Jon hung up the phone from a particularly tense teleconference with a Canadian subcontractor. Production was not going well, and product availability would be tight for the rest of the quarter. Clustered around his desk were Richard, Cindy, and a person he hadn't met yet, Susan. After hurried introductions, Susan told Jon that his filing cabinets could not be moved. The cabinets are large lateral files, five feet wide and two feet deep, a combination of both filing cabinets and bookshelves. Jon brought them with him from Corporate because he thought they looked nice with their dark grey steel sides and wood veneer tops. Susan told him that he would have to replace them with new corporate standard cabinets, virtually the same size. Jon said, "You mean you want me to throw away perfectly good filing cabinets and spend another $2,000 on new ones, just so they match? I won't do it!" Susan replied, "Then I won't authorize the movement of the old cabinets." Jon said, "You're joking--these cabinets are grey, the new ones are grey--the only difference is the wood top! You'd throw away $2,000 for nothing?" Susan replied stiffly, "I'm sorry, that's the policy." Jon said, "I don't care what the policy is. If I have to move them myself, those cabinets are not going to the dump. My division is losing money and I'm not going to throw money away. If you don't like it, you're going to have to get your general manager to convince my general manager to make me do it. Now would you please leave so I can get some work done." 1. If you were Susan, what would you do? 2. What, if anything, could Susan have done differently to avoid this problem? 3. What could the management of Cerberus do to more effectively manage situations like this? C H A P T E R E L E V E N Managing Project Teams Estimate 5 Project networks 6 Schedule resources & costs 8 l iona rnat Inte ojects pr 15 Define project 4 Reducing duration 9 Introduction 1 Organization 3 Managing risk 7 Monitoring progress 13 Project closure 14 16 Oversig ht 17 Agile PM Strategy 2 Leadership 10 Teams 11 Outsourcing 12 18 Career p aths Managing Project Teams The Five-Stage Team Development Model Situational Factors Affecting Team Development Building High-Performance Project Teams Managing Virtual Project Teams Project Team Pitfalls Summary 374 The difference in productivity between an average team and a turned-on, high-performing team is not 10 percent, 20 percent, or 30 percent, but 100 percent, 200 percent, even 500 percent! --Tom Peters, management consultant and writer The magic and power of teams is captured in the term "synergy," which is derived from the Greek word sunergos: "working together." There is positive and negative synergy. The essence of positive synergy can be found in the phrase "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts." Conversely, negative synergy occurs when the whole is less than the sum of the parts. Mathematically, these two states can be symbolized by the following equations: Positive Synergy 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 10 Negative Synergy 1 1 1 11 1 1 1 1 5 2 (or even 22) Synergy perhaps can best be seen on a basketball court, a soccer pitch, or a football field where teammates play as one to defeat a superior foe (see Snapshot from Practice: The 2008 Olympic Redeem Team). Although less visible than in team sports, positive and negative synergy can also be observed and felt in the daily operations of project teams. Here is a description from one team member we interviewed: Instead of operating as one big team we fractionalized into a series of subgroups. The marketing people stuck together as well as the systems guys. A lot of time was wasted gossiping and complaining about each other. When the project started slipping behind schedule, everyone started covering their tracks and trying to pass the blame on to others. After a while we avoided direct conversation and resorted to e-mail. Management finally pulled the plug and brought in another team to salvage the project. It was one of the worst project management experiences in my life. This same individual fortunately was also able to recount a more positive experience: There was a contagious excitement within the team. Sure we had our share of problems and setbacks, but we dealt with them straight on and, at times, were able to do the impossible. We all cared about the project and looked out for each other. At the same time we challenged each other to do better. It was one of the most exciting times in my life. The following is a set of characteristics commonly associated with high-performing teams that exhibit positive synergy: 1. The team shares a sense of common purpose, and each member is willing to work toward achieving project objectives. 2. The team identifies individual talents and expertise and uses them, depending on the project's needs at any given time. At these times, the team willingly accepts 375 376 Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, twelve years after Magic Johnson and Michael Jordon led the U.S. Dream Team to Olympic gold in Barcelona, the U.S. Basketball Team composed of NBA stars lost not once but three times to international competition. For the first time in Olympic history the U.S. settled for a bronze medal in men's basketball. Basketball was no longer America's game. An autopsy of the debacle in Athens turned up a severe case of negative synergy. The causes were many. The team featured only three holdovers from the group that had qualified the previous summer. Seven of the original invitees withdrew. In the end some 14 players turned down Uncle Sam, invoking excuses from family obligations to nagging injuries to the security situation in Greece. As a result, coach Larry Brown took charge of a team with an average age of 23 years, and it showed. Behind the scenes, problems of dress and punctuality festered and on the eve of the games Brown wanted to send several players home. The million dollar players were overconfident, and assumed that their individual brilliance would prevail. An over reliance on oneon-one basketball and poor team defense doomed them as they lost games to Puerto Rico, Lithuania, and Argentina. Enter Jerry Colangelo, 68, former coach, player, and president of the Phoenix Suns. "The way they conducted themselves left a lot to be desired," he says of the 2004 team. "Watching and listening to how people reacted to our players, I knew we'd hit bottom." Colangelo told NBA commissioner David Stern that he would only assume duties as managing director if he was given complete control. As a measure of how abysmal the situation was, he immediately got what he asked for. In 2005 Colangelo met face-to-face with every prospective national player, to hear in their own words why they wanted to represent their country. The few good men to set things right wouldn't be paid or guaranteed playing time, much less a starting spot. A key recruit was superstar LeBron James who had been tagged "LeBronze" after his performance on the disappointing 2004 team. Colangelo says, "I got buy-in. Halfway through my talk with him, LeBron said, I'm in." Kobe Bryant soon followed and all but two of the 30 top NBA stars turned Colangelo down. Mike Kryzewski, the college coach at Duke, was hired with one project objective in mind--win the gold medal. To do so he had to change the attitude of team USA. They had to subordinate their superstar egos and buy-in to the concept of team ball. A blessing in disguise was being knocked out of the 2006 world championship by a Greek team. The players came away The 2008 Olympic Redeem Team* AP Photo/Dusan Vranic from that disappointment committed to team ball as extra passes became the staple in practices. The change in attitude was evident in more subtle ways. The USA on the uniforms was bright red, while the players' names were muted blue. The players no longer referred to hoops as "our game" and spoke about how it had become the world's game. Even the team's official slogan (United we rise) and unofficial nickname (the Redeem Team) implied room for improvement. The team bought into a common objective. Team USA marched to the final gold medal game by beating opponents by an average margin of 301 points. Experts marveled not so much by the victory margin, but by how well they played as a team. "Our goal is to win a gold medal and be humble about it," says Jason Kidd, six time all-pro point guard, "and if we do it by 50, to make sure it's because we're playing the right way." Nothing exemplified the right way more than a moment in the final, in which flawless ball movement from the Redeemers for 16 seconds, without a dribble being taken, culminated with Dwight Howard receiving a perfect pass for an uncontested dunk. In the end, they didn't dominate the gold medal game. Spain proved to be inspired opponents. They simply closed the game out and for the first time since NBA players have come to the Olympics the USA played as a team rather than showboating individuals. * Wolff, Alexander. "The Redeem Team: New nickname, new outlook for U.S. at Olympics," alexander_wolff/07/22/redeem.team0728/index.html Varkonyi, Greg. "The Redeem Team played like a dream in the Olympic basketball final," a10072_redeem-team-played-like-dream-olympic-basketball-final the influence and leadership of the members whose skills are relevant to the immediate task. 3. Roles are balanced and shared to facilitate both the accomplishment of tasks and feelings of group cohesion and morale. Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams 377 4. The team exerts energy toward problem solving rather than allowing itself to be drained by interpersonal issues or competitive struggles. 5. Differences of opinion are encouraged and freely expressed. 6. To encourage risk taking and creativity, mistakes are treated as opportunities for learning rather than reasons for punishment. 7. Members set high personal standards of performance and encourage each other to realize the objectives of the project. 8. Members identify with the team and consider it an important source of both professional and personal growth. High-performing teams become champions, create breakthrough products, exceed customer expectations, and get projects done ahead of schedule and under budget. They are bonded together by mutual interdependency and a common goal or vision. They trust each other and exhibit a high level of collaboration. The Five-Stage Team Development Model Just as infants develop in certain ways during their first months of life, many experts argue that groups develop in a predictable manner. One of the most popular models identifies five stages (see Figure 11.1) through which groups develop into effective teams: 1. Forming. During this initial stage the members get acquainted with each other and understand the scope of the project. They begin to establish ground rules by trying to find out what behaviors are acceptable with respect to both the project (what role they will play, what performance expectations are) and interpersonal relations (who's really in charge). This stage is completed once members begin to think of themselves as part of a group. 2. Storming. As the name suggests, this stage is marked by a high degree of internal conflict. Members accept that they are part of a project group but resist the FIGURE 11.1 The Five-StageTeam Development Model Stage 1: Forming Project Activity Orientation to project Group Process Testing and dependence Stage 2: Storming Emotional response to the demands of the project Intragroup conflict Stage 3: Norming Open exchange of relevent information Development of group cohesion Stage 4: Performing Emergence of a solution Functional roles emerge Stage 5: Adjourning Dissolution of the group 378 Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams constraints that the project and group put on their individuality. There is conflict over who will control the group and how decisions will be made. As these conflicts are resolved, the project manager's leadership becomes accepted, and the group moves to the next stage. 3. Norming. The third stage is one in which close relationships develop and the group demonstrates cohesiveness. Feelings of camaraderie and shared responsibility for the project are heightened. The norming phase is complete when the group structure solidifies and the group establishes a common set of expectations about how members should work together. 4. Performing. The team operating structure at this point is fully functional and accepted. Group energy has moved from getting to know each other and how the group will work together to accomplishing the project goals. 5. Adjourning. For conventional work groups, performing is the last stage of their development. However, for project teams, there is a completion phase. During this stage, the team prepares for its own disbandment. High performance is no longer a top priority. Instead attention is devoted to wrapping up the project. Responses of members vary in this stage. Some members are upbeat, basking in the project team's accomplishments. Others may be depressed over loss of camaraderie and friendships gained during the project's life. This model has several implications for those working on project teams. The first is that the model provides a framework for the group to understand its own development. Project managers have found it useful to share the model with their teams. It helps members accept the tensions of the storming phase, and it directs their focus to moving toward the more productive phases. Another implication is that it stresses the importance of the norming phase, which contributes significantly to the level of productivity experienced during the performing phase. Project managers, as we shall see, have to take an active role in shaping group norms that will contribute to ultimate project success. For an alternative model of group development see the Punctuated Equilibrium Research Highlight. Situational Factors Affecting Team Development Experience and research indicate that high-performance project teams are much more likely to develop under the following conditions: There are 10 or fewer members per team. Members volunteer to serve on the project team. Members serve on the project from beginning to end. Members are assigned to the project full time. Members are part of an organization culture that fosters cooperation and trust. Members report solely to the project manager. All relevant functional areas are represented on the team. The project involves a compelling objective. Members are located within conversational distance of each other. In reality, it is rare that a project manager is assigned a project that meets all of these conditions. For example, many projects' requirements dictate the active Research Highlight Gersick's research suggests that groups don't develop in a universal sequence of stages as suggested by the five-phase model. Her research, which is based on the systems concept of punctuated equilibrium, found that the timing of when groups form and actually change the way they work is highly consistent. What makes this research appealing is that it is based on studies of more than a dozen field and laboratory task forces assigned to complete a specific project. This research reveals that each group begins with a unique approach to accomplishing its project that is set in its first meeting and includes the behavior and roles that dominate phase I. Phase I continues until one-half of the allotted time for project completion has expired (regardless of actual amount of time). At this midpoint, a major transition occurs that includes the dropping of the group's old norms and behavior patterns and the emergence of new behavior and working relationships that contribute to increased progress toward completing the project. The last meeting is marked by accelerated activity to complete the project. These findings are summarized in Figure 11.2. The remarkable discovery in these studies was that each group experienced its transition at the same point in its calendar--precisely halfway between the first meeting and the completion deadline--despite the fact that some groups spent as little as an hour on their project while others spent six months. It was as if the groups universally experienced a midlife crisis at this point. The midpoint appeared to work like an alarm clock, heightening members' awareness that time was limited and they needed to get moving. Within the context The Punctuated Equilibrium Model of Group Development* of the five-stage model, it suggests that groups begin by combining the forming and norming stages, then go through a period of low performing, followed by storming, then a period of high performing, and finally adjourning. Gersick's findings suggest that there are natural transition points during the life of teams in which the group is receptive to change and that such a moment naturally occurs at the scheduled midpoint of a project. However, a manager does not want to have to wait 6 months on a complicated 12-month project for a team to get its act together! Here it is important to note that Gersick's groups were working on relatively small-scale projects, i.e., a 4-person bank task force in charge of designing a new bank account in one month and a 12-person medical task force in charge of reorganizing two units of a treatment facility. In most cases no formal project plan was established. If anything, the results point to the importance of good project management and the need to establish deadlines and milestones. By imposing a series of deadlines associated with important milestones, it is possible to create multiple transition points for natural group development. For example, a 12-month construction project can be broken down into six to eight significant milestones with the challenge of meeting each deadline producing the prerequisite tension for elevating team performance. * Connie J. Gersick, "Time and Transition in Work Teams: Toward a New Model of Group Development," Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1 (March 1988), pp. 941; and Connie J. Gersick, "Making Time Predictable Transitions in Task Groups," Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2 (June 1989), pp. 274309. FIGURE 11.2 The Punctuated Equilibrium Model of Group Development High Performance First meeting Phase 2 Transition Completion Phase 1 Start Midpoint Deadline 379 380 Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams involvement of more than 10 members and may consist of a complex set of interlocking teams comprising more than 100 professionals. In many organizations, functional managers or central manpower offices assign project members with little input from the project manager. To optimize resource utilization, team member involvement may be part time, and/or participants may move in and out of the project team on an as-needed basis. In the case of ad hoc task forces, no member of the team works full time on the project. In many corporations an NIH (not invented here) culture exists that discourages collaboration across functional boundaries. Team members often report to different managers, and, in some cases, the project manager will have no direct input over performance appraisals and advancement opportunities of team members. Key functional areas may not be represented during the entire duration of the project but may only be involved in a sequential manner. Not all projects have a compelling objective. It can be hard to get members excited about mundane projects such as a simple product extension or a conventional apartment complex. Finally, team members are often scattered across different corporate offices and buildings or, in the case of a virtual project, across the entire globe. It is important for project managers and team members to recognize the situational constraints they are operating under and do the best they can. It would be naive to believe that every project team has the same potential to evolve into a high-performance team. Under less-than-ideal conditions, it may be a struggle just to meet project objectives. Ingenuity, discipline, and sensitivity to team dynamics are essential to maximizing the performance of a project team. Building High-Performance Project Teams Project managers play a key role in developing high-performance project teams. They recruit members, conduct meetings, establish a team identity, create a common sense of purpose or a shared vision, manage a reward system that encourages teamwork, orchestrate decision making, resolve conflicts that emerge within the team, and rejuvenate the team when energy wanes (see Figure 11.3). Project managers take advantage of situational factors that naturally contribute to team development while improvising around those factors that inhibit team develop- FIGURE 11.3 Creating a HighPerformance Project Team Conduct project meetings Establish team identity Create a shared vision Build a reward system Manage decision making Manage conflict Rejuvenate the project team Recruit team members Superior performance Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams 381 ment. In doing so they exhibit a highly interactive management style that exemplifies teamwork and, as discussed in the previous chapter, manage the interface between the team and the rest of the organization. Recruiting Project Members The process of selecting and recruiting project members will vary across organizations. Two important factors affecting recruitment are the importance of the project and the management structure being used to complete the project. Often for high-priority projects that are critical to the future of the organization, the project manager will be given virtual carte blanche to select whomever he or she deems necessary. For less significant projects, the project manager will have to persuade personnel from other areas within the organization to join the team. In many matrix structures, the functional manager controls who is assigned to the project; the project manager will have to work with the functional manager to obtain necessary personnel. Even in a project team where members are selected and assigned full time to the project, the project manager has to be sensitive to the needs of others. There is no better way to create enemies within an organization than to be perceived as unnecessarily robbing other departments of essential personnel. Experienced project managers stress the importance of asking for volunteers. However, this desirable step oftentimes is outside the manager's control. Still, the value of having team members volunteer for the project as opposed to being assigned cannot be overlooked. Agreeing to work on the project is the first step toward building personal commitment to the project. Such commitment will be essential to maintain motivation when the project hits hard times and extra effort is required. When selecting and recruiting team members, project managers naturally look for individuals with the necessary experience and knowledge/technical skills critical for project completion. At the same time, there are less obvious considerations that need to be factored into the recruitment process: Problem-solving ability. If the project is complex and fuzzy, then a manager wants people who are good at working under uncertainty and have strong problem identification and solving skills. These same people are likely to be bored and less productive working on straightforward projects that go by the book. Availability. Sometimes the people who are most available are not the ones wanted for the team. Conversely, if members recruited are already overcommitted, they may not be able to offer much. Technological expertise. Managers should be wary of people who know too much about a specific technology. They may be technology buffs who like to study but have a hard time settling down and doing the work. Credibility. The credibility of the project is enhanced by the reputation of the people involved in the project. Recruiting a sufficient number of "winners" lends confidence to the project. Political connections. Managers are wise to recruit individuals who already have a good working relationship with key stakeholders. This is particularly true for projects operating in a matrix environment in which a significant portion of the work will be under the domain of a specific functional department and not the core project team. Ambition, initiative, and energy. These qualities can make up for a lot of shortcomings in other areas and should not be underestimated. 382 Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams SNAPSHOT FROM PRACTICE Donna Shirley's 35-year career as aerospace engineer reached a pinnacle in July 1997 when Sojourner--the solar-powered, self-guided, microwave-oven-sized rover--was seen exploring the Martian landscape in Pathfinder's spectacular images from the surface of the red planet. The event marked a milestone in space exploration: No vehicle had ever before roamed the surface of another planet. Shirley, a manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Exploration Program, headed the mostly male team that designed and built Sojourner. In her insightful memoir, Managing Martians, written with Danelle Morton, she makes the following observation about managing creative teams: When you are managing really brilliant, creative people, at some point you find it's impossible to command or control them because you can't understand what they are doing. Once they have gone beyond your ability to understand them, you have a choice to make as a manager. You can limit them and the project by your intelligence, which I think is the wrong way to do it. Or you can trust them and use your management skills to keep them focused on the goal. Managing Martians* Courtesy of NASA. A lot of bad managers get threatened when their "subordinates" know more than they do. They either hire people who are inferior to them so they can always feel in control or they bottleneck people who know something they don't so they can maintain control. The whole project suffers from the manager's insecurities. * Donna Shirley and Danelle Morton, Managing Martians (New York: Broadway Books, 1998), pp. 8889. See the Managing Martians snapshot for further advice on recruiting team members. After reviewing needed skills, the manager should try and find out through the corporate grapevine who is good, who is available, and who might want to work on the project. Some organizations may allow direct interviews. Often a manager will have to expend political capital to get highly prized people assigned to the project. In matrix environments, the project manager will have to request appointments with functional managers to discuss project requirements for staffing. The following documents should be available at these discussions: an overall project scope statement, endorsements of top management, and a description of the tasks and general schedule that pertain to the people from their departments. Managers need to be precise as to what attributes they are seeking and why they are important. Functional managers should be encouraged to suggest names of people within their departments as candidates. If the project manager is asked to suggest names, it might be wise to say, "Well, I would really like Pegi Young, but I know how critical her work is. How about Billy Talbot?" If the conversation goes this way, the project manager may be able to cut a deal then and there and will want to be sure to put the agreement in writing immediately after the meeting as a memorandum of understanding. If, on the other hand, the functional manager balks at the suggestions and the meeting is not progressing, the project manager should adroitly terminate the conversation with an understanding that the matter will be discussed again in a few days. This technique demonstrates persistence and a desire to do what it takes to Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams 383 resolve the issue. Ultimately, of course, the project manager will have to settle on the best offer. Managers should exercise care not to reveal how different members of the team were selected. The project might be crippled at the start if reluctantly assigned members are identified and the team perceives differences in attitude and commitment. Conducting Project Meetings The First Project Team Meeting Research on team development confirms what we have heard from project managers: The first project kick-off meeting is critical to the early functioning of the project team. According to one veteran project manager: The first team meeting sets the tone for how the team will work together. If it is disorganized, or becomes bogged down with little sense of closure, then this can often become a self-fulfilling prophecy for subsequent group work. On the other hand, if it is crisply run, focusing on real issues and concerns in an honest and straightforward manner, members come away excited about being part of the project team. There are typically three objectives project managers try to achieve during the first meeting of the project team. The first is to provide an overview of the project, including the scope and objectives, the general schedule, method, and procedures. The second is to begin to address some of the interpersonal concerns captured in the team development model: Who are the other team members? How will I fit in? Will I be able to work with these people? The third and most important objective is to begin to model how the team is going to work together to complete the project. The project manager must recognize that first impressions are important; her behavior will be carefully monitored and interpreted by team members. This meeting should serve as an exemplary role model for subsequent meetings and reflect the leader's style. The meeting itself comes in a variety of shapes and forms. It is not uncommon in major projects for the kick-off meeting to involve one or two days, often at a remote site away from interruptions. This retreat provides sufficient time for preliminary introduction, to begin to establish ground rules, and to define the structure of the project. One advantage of off-site kick-off meetings is that they provide ample opportunity for informal interaction among members during breaks, meals, and evening activities; such informal interactions are critical to forming relationships. However, many organizations do not have the luxury of holding elaborate retreats. In other cases the scope of project and level of involvement of different participants does not warrant such an investment of time. In these cases, the key operating principle should be KISS (keep it simple stupid!). Too often when constrained by time, project managers try to accomplish too much during the first meeting; in doing so, issues do not get fully resolved, and members come away with an information headache. The primary goal is to run a productive meeting, and objectives should be realistic given the time available. If the meeting is only one hour, then the project manager should simply review the scope of the project, discuss how the team was formed, and provide an opportunity for members to introduce themselves to the team. Establishing Ground Rules Whether as part of an elaborate first meeting or during follow-up meetings, the project manager must quickly begin to establish operational ground rules for how 384 Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams the team will work together. These ground rules involve not only organizational and procedural issues but also normative issues on how the team will interact with each other. Although specific procedures will vary across organizations and projects, some of the major issues that need to be addressed include the following: Planning Decisions How will the project plan be developed? What tools will be used to support the project? Will a specific project management software package be used? If so, which one? Who will enter the planning information? What are the specific roles and responsibilities of all the participants? Who needs to be informed of decisions? How will they be kept informed? What are the relative importance of cost, time, and performance? What are the deliverables of the project planning process? What format is appropriate for each deliverable? Who will approve and sign off at the completion of each deliverable? Who receives each deliverable? Tracking Decisions How will progress be assessed? At what level of detail will the project be tracked? How will team members get data from each other? How often will they get this data? Who will generate and distribute reports? Who needs to be kept informed about project progress, and how will they be informed? What content/format is appropriate for each audience? Meetings Where will meetings be located? What kind of meetings will be held? Who will "run" these meetings? How will agendas be produced? How will information be recorded? Managing Change Decisions How will changes be instituted? Who will have change approval authority? How will plan changes be documented and evaluated? Relationship Decisions What department or organizations will the team need to interact with during the project? What are the roles and responsibilities of each organization (reviewer, approver, creator, user)? How will all involved parties be kept informed of deliverables, schedule dates, expectations, etc.? Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams 385 How will the team members communicate among themselves? What information will and won't be exchanged? Checklists like these are only a guide; items should be added or deleted as needed. Many of these procedures will have already been established by precedent and will only have to be briefly reviewed. For example, Microsoft Project or Primaver