As a project management solutions provider, Performance Management Associates, Inc. (PMA) is dedicated to providing cost, schedule and technical services to the program/project management community.
We are a full service project support organization which addresses the entire spectrum of project technologies that challenge industry and government organizations world-wide. A blend of technical and business management talent provides our staff the ability to develop a value-adding approach to satisfying our client’s project management needs, and to do so in a manner which accounts for the practical realities of management.
Since PMA’s inception, our array of services has been significantly supplemented by a broad range of educational programs, project management software operations capability, and the ability to satisfy increasing demands for services in varied industries and project management environments around the world.
The nucleus of PMA is comprised of seasoned project management specialists who have held key positions in corporations representing a cross section of industry, government and management consulting organizations. Our vision is simple: attract experienced, highly skilled project management professionals, and through their expertise provide measurable benefits to the client.
Performance Management Associates, Inc. believes that the millennium presents great challenges to business throughout the world.
A global environment of rapidly changing technology, increasing resource limitations, and competition will severely test industry’s ability to sustain continued economic growth. Such growth is dependent on new product development and new capital investments to increase productive capacity quickly and economically, despite the potential for inflation, government regulation, and shortages of capital, personnel, and natural resources. To overcome such obstacles and successfully meet these challenges requires systematic methods and techniques that make project planning, decision making and scarce resource management practical and profitable.
The challenge of implementing a well-structured and disciplined project management system begins by recognizing that any successful system is based upon three components:
Management Process: The definition of the management functions and procedures necessary to adequately plan, monitor, and control the project.
MIS: The hardware and software tools used to process data derived from the management process resulting in information for management to use to control the future.
Project Team: The trained and motivated project management team.
The development and integration of these three basic components into a project management system can be managed in a logical, consistent manner – one guaranteeing that this effort will result in a truly integrated project management control system.
THE PMS PROCESS
The basic idea behind Project Management is to deal with management needs by means of a simple five-step process:
1. Define clearly project objectives which optimize the interests of primary project participants.
2. Develop a plan for accomplishing these objectives.
3. Review the plan and authorize commencement of work.
4. Provide information of project progress and status.
5. Take management action as required to bring actual performance in line with the plan.
This simple process has been graphically depicted above showing the relationship of the five basic management functions (Organize, Plan, Authorize, Monitor, and Control) to each other and to the actual project work (Execute). Each function is necessary for successful project management. Each must be properly understood and integrated into the total project management system.
Project Management is the process of organizing, planning, authorizing, monitoring, and controlling project resources… done in a way which ties together all cost, schedule and technical aspects of the project.
RESPONSIBILITY ASSIGNMENT MATRIX
Project organization is the first and one of the most important functions of project management. Its purpose is to assure adequate definition of project work, identify organizations responsible for its performance, and assign responsibility for work execution to the appropriate organizational units. Project organization is accomplished by the following steps:
Define Project Work: Subdivide the project into manageable segments and describe the scope of work within each segment. The subdivision of project work is achieved by means of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The WBS is a project oriented family tree which segments the project through successive levels of details to the lowest level of detail required for effective project management. Adequate scope definition is assured by specifying work content within each WBS element.
Identify Participants: Examine the project definition and determine skills required to accomplish the work scope. Select project participants based on the skill mix requirements and prepare an Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS) for each participant.
Assign Responsibilities: Assign responsibility for the execution of project work to the performing organizations by integrating WBS and OBS into a Project Task Index. The Index assures that an assignment of every element of project scope to a single responsible organization is accomplished and it prevents gaps or redundancies in work assignments.
Organizing the project answers the questions of WHAT is to be done and WHO will do it. Planning tells us HOW and WHEN the work will be performed and HOW MUCH it will cost. In Project Management, planning is accomplished by these steps.
Schedule Work: Schedule the work through a hierarchical system of schedules, starting with a Project Master Schedule through to detailed Task Schedules. Maintain strict traceability between all tiers of schedules and account for all interfaces between performing organizations.
Budget Resources: Budget the project by estimating all project costs and by developing a time-phased plan.
Develop Baseline: Develop an integrated baseline by summarizing time-phased budgets for all activities, tasks, WBS elements, and the entire project.
The project authorization process is one of the keys to the ultimate project success. This is the job of examining project definition and planning in light of project objectives and assuring they are mutually supportive. Project authorization is carried out by disciplined adherence to these actions.
Review Planning: Review the WBS, organization, assignment of responsibilities, interfaces, schedules, budgets and baselines in light of project objectives and expectations of project participants. Revise plans as required to optimize project results.
Approve Plans: Approve project definition and plans when their completeness and quality are satisfactory. Formally authorize the commencement of work by means of contracts, directives, and other work authorization documents.
TASK PROGRESS REPORT
PROGRESS REPORTING TO MANAGEMENT
Once the work has begun, the project manager must begin asking the question: “Are we progressing in accordance with the plan?” The project monitoring process provides information necessary to determine the answer.
Measure Progress: Measure the progress of project work and cost expended for work completed. Collect progress and cost data using the same techniques as those employed for project planning.
Analyze Results: Analyze data and determine the project’s schedule, cost and technical status. Determine reasons for deviations from the plan and plan the corrective actions, if necessary, to get back on course.
Report Status: Report work progress and cost, schedule and technical status to management through a tiered reporting system. Summarize information through the Work Breakdown Structure and through the Organization Breakdown Structure.
Because of changes both within the project and its environment, the work often will not progress in accordance with the plan. Therefore, a short time after work begins, the Project Plan may become obsolete. The purpose of project control is to prevent that situation from occurring. The ensure active control over the project, the project manager must exercise these steps.
Evaluate Results: Evaluate and compare the project results with project goals and plans. If the results are not acceptable, review alternatives and select appropriate corrective actions.
Direct Improvements: Direct implementation of the corrective action. Re-define work, replan execution and revise products as necessary to assure that project objectives are achieved in the best way possible.