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Previously in the course, you were asked to think of a project you have been involved with at your place of employment. Think of that same project, imagine that you have been appointed the project manager, and complete the following:
·Create a schedule of the project tasks to be performed, and describe how the behavior of individual team members can determine the tasks they receive.
·In addition, describe the key processes you would follow when managing the project schedule, including how much oversight each project team member may require, again based on their behavior.
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·Indicate how using the precedence diagram method can help you manage team tasks and avoid conflict within your team.
·Also, describe the role of the critical path method regarding task assignments and the negotiation of resource allocation within the project team.
This assignment should consist of at least three pages, and any sources, including your textbook, should be cited and referenced properly using APA formatting
Previously in the course, you were asked to think of a project you have been involved with at your place of employment. Think of that same project, imagine that you have been appointed the project man
MBA 6941, Managing Project Teams 1 Cou rse Learning Outcomes for Unit V Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to: 2. Analyze the behavioral characteristics of individual project team members. 2.1 Outline the elements of a project schedule and how these elements can be affected by the behavioral characteristics of project team members. 2.2 Describe key processes of project schedule management in relation to each project team member and his or her behavioral characteristics. 6. Discuss conflict management and negotiation strategies . 6.1 Describe the implications of the precedence diagram method regarding man aging team tasks and avoiding conflicts. 6.2 Describe the role of the critical path regarding task assignments and the negotiation of resource allocation within the project team. Reading Assignment Chapter 13: Time Unit Lesson One of the primary duties of the project manager is to make sure that the project can be completed on time with the approved schedule while managing other project constraints including the amount of time each team member has to spend on his or her part of the project. In addition, it is important for a projec t manager to understand the behavioral characteristics of each project member in order to assign each individual the tasks that are best suited for him or her to complete. One of the best ways to do this is to simply talk to people within your organization . Get to know them and what their capabilities are. Also, speak to others who work with them or have worked with them in the past, including immediate supervisors. These are the people who will know the strengths and weaknesses of those you are considering to work with you. You cannot successfully manage a project schedule without a clear understanding of the project resources and activities. It is important to know that time is the only “triple constraint” typically owned by the project manager. The outp ut of time management is an element of keen interest in communications to senior management and other stakeholders. The project schedule starts with the decomposition of the scope, which is performed by the team. The project schedule according to the Proje ct Management Institute [PMI] (2013) is one of the primary sources of team conflicts. In order to reduce the possibility of these conflicts, some key considerations to keep in mind regarding time management include the following: Because time estimates are more accurate if they are based on smaller sizes, estimates should be based on work breakdown structure (WBS) or how much time they believe a specific portion of the project should take. Estimates should be provided by the person that has experience doing the work and not by the project manager. Consider historical information such as activities duration estimation, resource estimation, and other factors from previous and similar projects as they can help with estimating accuracy. The integrated change cont rol should be the primary mechanism for affecting the changes in the time, cost, risk, human resource and scope. UNIT V STUDY GUIDE Project Schedule MBA 6941, Managing Project Teams 2 UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title Padding should be discouraged, and the project manager should ask for justification on estimates from the team members. Estimates should be as realistic and accurate as possible, and integrity should be maintained throughout the project life cycle (PMI, 2013). PMI identifies seven key process that are associated with time management knowledge areas. Each of these processes must be carefully nego tiated between the project manager and the project participants before a project begins and during the project’s duration. This helps to ensure that everyone is aware of how long each activity of the project should take and how much time they should devote to each activity in order to successfully reach the project’s deadline. These process are shown below: 1. Plan schedule management: The process of defining how the project schedule will be planned, developed, managed, executed, and controlled 2. Define activit ies : The process of decomposing the WBS work packages into schedule activities that are at a level small enough for estimating, scheduling, and monitoring. 3. Sequential activities: The process of identifying and documenting relationships among defined activi ties and arranging them in the order in which they must be performed. 4. Estimate activity resources : The process of estimating the resources such as material, equipment, manpower, and supplies required to perform activities in the project. 5. Estimate activity durations: The process of estimating the duration of the activities of the project by utilizing scope and resource information, such as who will be doing the work, resource availability, and number of resources assigned. 6. Develop schedule : The iterative pro cess of analyzing activity sequence, dependency, logical relationships, durations, resources such as materials, manpower, equipment, supplies, constraints, and assumptions to develop a project schedule with planned dates for project activities completion. 7. Control Schedule : The process of monitoring the status of the project by comparing the results to the plan, updating project process, and managing changes to the project schedule baseline (PMI, 2013). Sequencing Activities Activity sequencing is the process of placing all the defined project activities in the order that these activities will be performed. Through sequencing, we identify activities that should be performed earlier within the schedule and activities that will be performed later. Through this sequential identification, the project can then determine all the dependencies between activities so that they can be well managed and reduce potential conflicts that may occur within the schedules of the project team members. The primary tool for diagram ing activity dependencies is called the precedence diagramming method (PDM). Network Diagrams A network diagram is like a flowchart and is beneficial for schedule management for the following reasons: The network diagram allows us to see dependencies between project activities. The network diagram enables us to determine activity durations. The network diagram enables the project team to graphically understand the sequential relationships between activities and their roles. The network diagram provides justification for the project time estimate. The network diagram points us to the critical path (PMI, 2013). Precedence Relationships The precedence diagramming method (PDM), which details the exact method for completing a specific project, is sometimes referred to as the activity on node (AON) and is classified into four approaches: 1. Finish -to-start : Predecessor activity must be completed before the successor activity can be initiated. For example, you should put the water pipes into the walls before you start painting the walls. It would be much faster and less expensive to put the pipes in first, th en put in the cement to actually build the wall around the pipes, and then finally paint the walls. 2. Start -to-start : P redecessor activity must be started before the successor activity is started. For example, design activity must be started before the codin g activity is started. 3. Finish -to-finish : Predecessor activity must be completed before the successor activity is completed. For MBA 6941, Managing Project Teams 3 UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title example, design activity must be completed before the coding activity is completed . 4. Start -to-finish: Predecessor activity must be started before the successor activity is completed. For example, a new shift must be started for a previous shift to be finished (PMI, 2013) . Network Dependency Types The activity sequencing process is constrained or even determined by three types of dependencies (mandatory, discretionary, and external dependencies) in the network diagram: Mandatory dependency : U navoidable dependencies that are inherent in the nature of the work or are contractually required. They are like laws of nature and are also called hard logic. For example, pouring the foundation must precede raising the roof. Discretionary dependency : Also called preferred logic or soft logic as they are the preferences of the project manager. For example, you may originally plan to complete all the design work prior to coding but later decide not to work in sequential order but to work on items parallel. External dependency : Driven by circumstances or authority outside the project and must be considered during the process of sequencing the activities (PMI, 2013). Milestones A milestone is similar to a bar chart that represents the completion of major events or key deliverable in the project. This means that milestones have no duration because they only show compl eted activities. Milestones are good tools for reporting to management and customers . Leads and Lags A lead is an acceleration or a jump of the successor activity. It is kind of like getting a jump start. For example, in a finish -to-start relationship between design and coding in a software project. Coding may start five days before the design is completed. This can be shown as finish -to-start with five days lead. A lag is a delay in starting a successor activity or a deliberate delay which is a waiting time between activities. For example, you must wait three days after pouring concrete before you can construct the frame for the house. This is represented in a fini sh -to-start with three day’s lag. Duration Estimating Types Analogous or top down estimation : Occurs when the overall project estimate is given to the project manager from management or the sponsor. This type of estimate measures the project parameters such as budget, size, complexity, and duration based on similar project and historical information. Bottom -up estimation: If the resource requirements for an activity cannot be estimated due to the complex nature of the activity, then this activity can be further broken down into similar pieces of work until the resources can be estimated for these pieces and later summed up from the bottom back up to an activity level. Parametric estimation: Uses mathematical models based on historical records from other projects. It utilizes the statistical relationship that exists between a series of historical data and a particular delineated list of other variables. Measures such as time per line of code, time per installation, and time per linear meter are considered in this type of estimate (PMI, 2013). Critical Path Method (CPM) The critical path is the longest path through a network diagram and determines the shortest time to complete the project as well as any schedule flexibility. The critical path is not the project schedule. Instead, the critical path indicates the time period within which an activity could be scheduled considering activity duration, logical relationships, dependencies, leads, la gs, and assumptions and constraints. Elements of the critical path method (CPM) include the following: identifies how much individual activities can be delayed without delaying the project, has zero float so none of the activities in the critical path can slip, MBA 6941, Managing Project Teams 4 UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title calculated using the single point or PERT -weighted average estimates, and delays in any of the activities in the CP translates directly into delays of project completion date (PMI, 2013). Developing a Schedule Process The development of the project schedule is a culmination of all the steps through an iterative process of analyzing sequential activities and their dependencies, durations, logical relationships, resources (including materials, manpower, equipment, and supplies), requirements, constrain ts, and assumptions to develop the project schedule with planned dates for the completion of the project activities. The process of developing a schedule produces the most vital and visible project schedule, which determines the planned start and finish da tes for project milestones and activities. It is helpful when a project manager and his or her project team take the time to sit down and negotiate a project’s schedule and determine all of the tasks that need to be accomplished before embarking on the pro ject because doing this will limit potential conflicts that can delay a project and cause a project to miss its final deadline. Communication is definitely the key to completing a successful project. References Project Management Institute. (2013). A gu ide to the project management body of knowledge (5th ed.). Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute. Suggested Reading Please use your favorite search engine to locate the following article. This article gives you an insight to project process and how project integrated processes is helping organizations ac hieve success: Casinelli, M. (2005). Guidelines to mitigate schedule delay, from the owner’s viewpoint. Cost Engineering , 47 (2), 21 -27.