Fundamentals Of Project Management

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Unformatted text preview: place as the job progresses. Another reason to do periodic audits is that, if a project is getting into serious trouble, the audit should reveal the difficulty so that a decision can be made whether to continue or to terminate the work. Periodic audits should enable you to: www.erpvn.net • Improve project performance together with the management of the project. • Ensure that quality of project work does not take a back seat to schedule and cost concerns. • Reveal developing problems early so that action can be taken to deal with them. • Identify areas where other projects (current or future) should be managed differently. • Keep client(s) informed of project status. This can also help ensure that the completed project will meet the needs of the client. • Reaffirm the organization’s commitment to the project for the benefit of project team members. Conducting the Project Audit Ideally, a project audit should be conducted by an independent examiner, who can remain objective in the assessment of information. However, the audit must be conducted in a spirit of learning, rather than in a climate of blame and punishment. If people are afraid that they will be “strung up” for problems, then they will hide those problems if at all possible. Such a benign atmosphere, however, is hard to achieve. In many organizations the climate has been punitive for so long that people are reluctant to reveal any less-than-perfect aspects of project performance. Dr. Chris Argyris, in his book Overcoming Organizational Defenses, has described the processes by which organizations continue ineffective practices. All of them are intended to help individuals “save face” or avoid embarrassment. In the end, they also prevent organizational learning. Audits conducted like witch hunts will produce witches. Simply put, an auditor with a blame-and-punishment mentality is certain to create more problems than solutions. The Audit Report Audits come in different styles—comprehensive, partial, and informal and cursory. A formal, comprehensive audit should be followed by a report that, at a minimum, contains: 1. Current project status. This is best shown by performing an earned value analysis (see Chapter 8). However, when earned value analysis is not used, status should still be reported as accurately as possible. 2. Future status. This is a forecast of what is expected to happen in the project. Are significant deviations expected in schedule, cost, performance, or scope? If so, the nature of such changes should be specified. 3. Status of critical tasks. The status of critical tasks, particularly those on the critical path, should be reported. Tasks that have high levels of technical risk should be given special attention, as should those being performed by outside vendors or subcontractors, over which the project manager may have limited control. 4. Risk assessment. Have any risks been identified that highlight potential for monetary loss, project failure, or oth...
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This document was uploaded on 09/27/2013.

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