SP R ING 2 016
A P U B L I C AT I O N B Y M O R G A N S TAT E UNIVERSIT Y ’S G R A D U AT E P R O G R A M IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
THE TRIPLE CONSTRAINTS How could theory fail in the field? PAGE 2
Coping with Budget Constraints PAGE 4
AUDREY T. MCLENDON
Don’t Quit Before You Start PAGE 5
Dig Deep or Don’t Dig At All PAGE 6
PM magazine | SPRING 2016
In the current issue, we present industry experts who discuss the importance of risk, cost, time, and quality management. Tony Gruebl and Jeff Welch offer their views regarding the pitfall of the triple constraints concept in project management. They present their arguments from a practical perspective. Other practitioners and researcher or readers may disagree with the views presented by these or other authors in this issue.We hope diversity of ideas would generate productive discussions. Olusesan Kuforiji highlights his approach to employee time management and stresses communication as an important factor. Thomas Drozt presents strategies to cope with budget constraints. Carla Jones reviews government requirements for managing projects and discusses the steps that should be to ensure quality. Audrey McLendon discusses important strategies that would contribute to project success.
It is with great pleasure to present the spring 2016 issue of PM Magazine. We have redesigned the capstone course in the Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) to integrate project management knowledge areas and processes and develop a high quality magazine as one of the course deliverables. Every year, students who are enrolled in the course plan, develop, and publish an issue of the magazine.They document Dr. Ali Emdad the project management process and present the project plan along with the project deliverable, PM Magazine. Students, the course instructor, and the editor form the editorial team. Students collect articles, contribute in writing the articles, do the photography, estimate project cost and time and set the milestones, assess risks, and work within constraints.
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
1 Impact of time mismanagement on projects
2 Cover Story: The Triple Constraints: How Could Theory Fail in the Field? 4 Coping with Budget Constraints 5 Donâ€™t quit before you Start 5 The cost of poor quality management decision; who pays the price?
This issue presents a fine example of the how our project management students put theory into practice, deliver an outstanding product while keeping the project within the required scope, time, and budget!
6 Dig deep or donâ€™t dig at all
Ali Emdad, Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Professor Graves School of Business and Management
7 Mistakes Happen T he case of Agile Vs. Waterfalls
8 Avoid falling in a pit of project management mistakes 9 Team Biographies
SPRING 2016 | PM magazine
TIME MISMANAGEMENT AND ITS IMPACT ON A PROJECT By Tolulope Ajayi
MR. OLUSESAN KUFORIJI Program Director, Hebron House Inc.
TOLU AJAYI MET MR KUFORIJI IN HIS OFFICE AND HE DISCUSSED HIS VIEWS ON TIME MANAGEMENT As the Program Director of Hebron House Inc. how do you view effective time management? Time is the most valuable asset and the soul of every business, it is therefore very important to develop effective strategies in managing and balancing the conflicting demand for time. Effective time management is not necessarily doing more things or doing things more quickly but getting the important things done at the appropriate time. Unlike other resources, time is the only resource that can hardly be replaced if lost and the success of every business revolves around effective management of resources, the chief of which is time. How can time be mismanaged on a project? Every project is defined within the space of time. Successful projects should be completed within the time frame stipulated but if a project is behind schedule, it becomes difficult to meet the deadline. Time can be mismanaged on a project when there is no definitive timeframe. People should be able to set timeframe for accomplishing goals and it is not about how many hours you spend on a project but what you are able to accomplish within the timeframe. Having aggressive and overly optimistic timelines can also lead to time mismanagement because it is not likely that the set goals will be accomplished or there may be need for rework. What can you say is the impact of this from experience? When time is mismanaged there will be negative consequences on the project at hand- it may reflect in the quality of the output produced, it may lead to extension of deadlines which will likely increase the cost of the project and it can also affect the goodwill of the organization because customers donâ€™t like broken promises. What methods do you have in place to ensure that time is effectively managed on the program you direct? Every organization must have a culture of time management;
this is what drives the orientation of new hires and current staffs. Punctuality must be emphasized, time wasters should be controlled and minimized and effective supervision should be in place as it helps to minimize time mismanagement. What major risks have you encountered in the organization that can jeopardize effective time management? Leadership is very important in instilling time management culture, when leadership respects the time factor, it will be easy for others too. I will affirm that poor or loose supervision can jeopardize time management and so will ineffective communication. Lack of clear instructions and failure to give timeframe for project completion can also jeopardize time management. What past experiences do you have on the risk mentioned previously? I have discovered that on some occasions when I fail to give clear instructions about an assignment, a staff may choose to do what he/she likes and at their convenience. Here, most of our services are tailored and run on timeframes and when deadlines are not specified or clearly communicated, clients services are hampered and this can negatively impact the goodwill of this organization and can even lead to sanctioning by the US government. What advice can you provide to a new project manager? Effective time management must be the culture of every organization; new employees will thrive and learn better in a cultured environment.There should be quality orientation of staffs, effective supervision and communication of clear instructions. It is also very important to have set goals apportioned to specific periods, this will enable you ensure effective use of your time by meeting these goals one at a time and leaving out unnecessary commitments. This can be reviewed at the end of a specific period. n
PM magazine | SPRING 2016
THE TRIPLE CONSTRAINTS: HOW COULD THEORY FAIL IN THE FIELD? THE IRON TRIANGLE IS NOT JUST INCOMPLETE; IT IS LIMITING OUR PERFORMANCE AND DEGRADING PROJECT QUALITY By Tony Gruebl and Jeff Welch principals, Think Systems, Baltimore, MD
The practical use of the triple constraints (or Iron Triangle), as a framework for managing projects, is not just limited and incomplete, it is negatively affecting the performance of project managers, project quality, and the success of projects. The notion of a relationship between time, cost, and scope/quality is a simple construct that is good and useful when articulating the fundamental ideas of project constraints. It can even facilitate discussions around comparing projects constraints (i.e., strong, middle and weak); however, it is rudimentary and lacks depth needed to truly manage project constraints and ultimately project outcomes. Even recent work that broadens the Iron Triangle into a diamond or star fails in practical use.
When the notion of the triple constraints is deeply challenged, we discover that it fails to consider something very fundamental; that a project, within a complex organizational setting, is not just an activity by a team of people to produce an end or achieve a scope. The traditional Oxford Dictionary definition of a project is, “An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim.” Instead, for us, a project has come to mean something slightly
The project management profession has generally overused the Iron Triangle construct because of its simplicity and has failed to consider how deep constraint management applies in most projects. For instance, we often cite the “faster, better, cheaper; pick two” idea to a sponsor to set the stage for constraint discussions, but it is never quite that easy. We fail to recognize the far more critical organizational context in which a project exists or we accept the triple constraints as immoveable walls around our projects as created by our sponsors. This perspective leaves us in a position where we manage by allowing movements within
When performance of the project management industry is measured using this model, we are told that 31.1% of projects are cancelled before completed, 52.7% of projects cost 189% of their original estimates (The Standish Group), and only 16% of projects in the IT space complete on time and on budget (Gartner Group). Gartner cites that a mere 30% of projects that companies start actually achieve their aim. Even worse, after decades of observing and experiencing these disastrous results first hand, agile development methodology practitioners want nothing to do with project managers and executives accept this rate of failure as “baked in” to their project management organization.
JEFF WELCH is Vice President, Strategic Project Manager and PM Instructor for Think Systems, and co-author of Bare Knuckled Project Management
constraint hierarchy or where a negative shift in the cost, time or scope/quality wall represents failure; always from the perspective of a prisoner held captive to these rudimentary project constraint models.
TONY GRUEBL, president, Solution Architect and Sr. Project Manager for Think Systems, Inc. in Baltimore and is Coauthor of Bare Knuckled Project Management.
more complex, yet far more manageable, as we begin to account for influences that are traditionally thought of as beyond the scope of project management. We describe a project as a discrete opportunity to capture or retain as much value as possible from a larger value potential, through a set of coordinated and controlled activities. Notice the change from specific outcome to value. This may be a slight change in perspective, but the impact of the reframing is substantial. We now have the ability and desire to focus on maximizing the strategic and implicit value of the project for the organization, however it may be derived. To put it simply, project managers are driven to facilitate many value-based decisions while managing projects. The value opportunity in this case may be to derive a QC process that exposes quality issues to the production team so that it identifies systemic issues. Doing so may require more time and cost, at least initially, but may not even be considered if the focus for decision-making is rooted in staying true to the Iron Triangle to achieve project success. In our practice, the project sponsor typically also has division/team responsibilities that are enduring. Projects come and go, as they should, but to ignore the larger context of the project will often result in solution decisions that leave organizational value unrecovered. To facilitate these types of decisions from inside an Iron Triangle prison ignores a great deal of value that a project can deliver and remember, that value is eventually considered in the true measurement of project success. When the notion of a project is changed from an aim or scope focused activity to one that is opportunity-driven, something more holistic, more complex, and even closer to reality emerges. The scope of project also includes the amount of value that can be captured by an organization from a larger potential of value. The project’s activities are truly constrained not by a project sponsor’s perception of that value, but by the total intrinsic value of the larger opportunity, even though the sponsor is ultimately charged with setting the constraints based on their perception of potential
SPRING 2016 | PM magazine
value. As a sponsor’s awareness of the value potential changes, so does the scope and so do the constraints. Therein lies the hidden control element for project managers. Projects are rarely incepted to capitalize on marginal value opportunities. They are generally undertaken because of changing environment or recognized breakthroughs, where the value potential far outweighs the risk of the project. Stated more visually, if an ocean of value appears before an organization, a project is created to capture as much of the value potential as possible by the application of the organization’s resources. The application of resources is governed by the perception of the project sponsor and it correlates to how big this ocean of value truly is. A project sponsor might initially establish rudimentary project constraints in the form of those in the Iron Triangle, but they will not attempt to expand these rudimentary constraints to cover the entire ocean of potential value. Never is all value captured – it is impossible to cover the ocean. For this reason, you could visualize the Iron Triangle floating in an ocean of potential value. When you look at it like this, the sides of Iron Triangle, or any other constraint model for that matter, appear conspicuously artificial and difficult to reconcile with the true value and constraints of the project. One of the biggest issues here is that the value captured is hardly ever truly represented by the project’s scope, because it so difficult to quantify. Even more striking, as a project evolves and contributes to an increasing knowledge and awareness of the ocean of potential value, the scope changes for good reason! And, so should constraints change. This is the reality of practical project management in the field, whether perceived or not by the project manager. What if the project manager could help clarify and improve the fidelity of the sponsor’s perception of the total value potential of the project for the organization? What if project managers, through the persistent use of the Socratic Method, could continuously challenge the notion of scope and constraints while simultaneously increasing clarity and fidelity of the perception of a project’s true value potential? The project sponsor’s role is to understand, in increasingly greater fidelity, the ocean of potential value, determine how much can be captured safely, adjust the scope of project as new information becomes available, and manage, free and constrain resources accordingly. In essence, the sponsor’s job is to create and foster a project to capture and achieve as much gain
in value as possible, given the business conditions that exist for the organization. Sometimes, maybe often, the sponsor of a project is a blind surrogate, has not taken suitable time, or has not made the necessary investment into determining the strategic value potential that a project could capture. It is clearly the sponsor’s role to understand the strategic implications and the efforts they endorse. Project managers must encourage, perhaps insist on, full participation in this role. For the skilled Project Manager, this notion unlocks new capabilities and opportunities for significance. The traditional PM role is now destroyed, or at least transformed; expanded beyond the concrete walls of the Iron Triangle or any constraint model and liberated to achieve a higher potential of performance. Practically speaking, the project manager can, while tightly managing the project within all of its scope and constraints, now also contribute to achieving strategic value that was not previously considered. We can finally work with sponsors, not for them.
“ AS A SPONSOR’S
AWARENESS OF THE VALUE POTENTIAL CHANGES, SO DOES THE SCOPE AND SO DO THE CONSTRAINTS. THEREIN LIES THE HIDDEN CONTROL ELEMENT FOR PROJECT MANAGERS. ” To accomplish this, we test, push and question everything. We test constraints to see where they fail, come up short, overestimate or under deliver. We test sponsor perception (gently, politically, respectfully, and with a dose of empathy) of the intrinsic project value or value potential perceived. We communicate an increasingly clear value potential to the other team members and constituents, facilitate a broader understanding of why they are doing what we tasked them to do, and simultaneously opening the door for even more fidelity in capturing potential value. Conversely, when it seems that the perception of value might be larger than the project’s intrinsic value to an organization (potential value stated in a different way), we test and challenge the notions of project sponsors and are likely to end these projects fast, before they cost to organization too much. This holistic notion of a project, the role of the sponsor, the project’s purpose to capture
as much value as possible for an organization, challenges and fundamentally changes how we score project success. We see this as being completely in alignment with the ultimate reframing of a project and project manager using the three-sided table project management construct. The addition of this expanded view of constraint management is the complement to the three-sided table, which dramatically increases the quality and of the outcome of the project. This model unlocks unlimited opportunities to achieve more organization value from quality implementations and projects. Scope changes, constraints change and the projects succeed MORE! Success, within this project definition cannot simply be managed by achieving scope ontime and on-budget. The constraints within a project are fluid and are tied to the perception of the maximum intrinsic value that a project can bring to an organization, which is constantly being refined during a project as new information becomes known. This aligns to our experience as practical project managers in the field. Project failure is rarely perceived as the inability to achieve the scope on time or on budget. Our observation is quite contrary – even when a project is not achieved on time or on budget, they are rarely considered failures by the project sponsor or organization. Only those that consume resources and do not capture a corresponding level of value are considered failures. In our practice, most, if not all, are considered successful or highly successful by our project sponsors. This awareness of the constraints and their inextricable linkage to project value, in conjunction with a reframing of the role of the project manager explains this outcome for us. This is the model that we use to practically manage our customers’ project, achieve consistently predictable outcomes, and retain customers. Typical measures of project success seem rudimentary and even unsophisticated when used in light of this framework. They no longer work. The Standish Group and Gartner Group metrics are misleading at best within this framework. To develop and empower project managers, we will need a new measurement framework going forward. One that measures the awareness of the project manager of a project’s maximum intrinsic value, skill in leading a team to develop their awareness of value potential, and the ability to capture the project’s intended value or more. Those that do well in the framework will be known as effective project managers. Those who do not or cannot will be imprisoned within the Iron Triangle.
PM magazine | SPRING 2016
COPING WITH BUDGET CONSTRAINTS By Thomas Drozt
All projects are managed and
Cost Management plan: Put in place processes that establish policies, procedures and documentation for planning, managing and controlling project costs. Regularly monitor and review the project and be careful of not going over the budget.
measured by various criteria with success being the goal. Cost is one of the many important metrics. Overtime, costs have become a critical issue that requires extra attention and support. It is presumed that most projects will go over the budget. Since no project is ever given an infinite figure, it is essential to balance and mitigate the risk associated with cost constraints. Have regular formal reviews, update stakeholders involved in the project to assess progress, discover new risks and identify issues that might require any changes to project budget. When coping with cost constraints, project managers must be willing to expend all efforts and intelligence necessary to properly manage the cost baseline. Cost management should be regarded as a process requiring the integration of various methodologies and analytical techniques. As a result, any changes, risks or issues identified or perceived to have a negative impact should be managed carefully and immediately.
How budget constraints on projects can be managed to avoid PM pitfalls There are different tools and techniques that can be utilized to help control and cope with cost constraints on projects. Project meetings: Engage in progress report and status review meetings on cost estimations and variances as it helps to control cost overrun and enhances better decisions.
THOMAS DROZT Director, Office of Central Control Center Maryland Transit Administration
â€œ AS A RESULT, ANY CHANGES, RISKS OR ISSUES IDENTIFIED OR PERCEIVED TO HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT SHOULD BE MANAGED CAREFULLY AND IMMEDIATELY.â€?
Communication: This is one key to success. Work closely with the staff and contractors on what they will be achieving daily, weekly etc. Entities, stakeholders involved in the projects must be properly engaged and informed on project activities and progress. Project schedule and procurement: Is one important key to dealing with financial constraints on projects. The timing of when you buy something affects its cost. Therefore, there must be a time-phase spending plan to help control project expenditures. You can control how much money will be spent during specific periods of time.
Use collaboration tools: That allows senior management, project managers and team members to keep track of Cost Performance Index (CPI) and cost baselines more easily and effectively. Be Assertive: Always measure, as measurement helps to identify any variances. Constantly forecast and be very upfront about what can make the project run over budget. Some of the major factors to always consider are: Enterprise Environmental Factors, market conditions, changes in material and equipment prices, fuel increase, inclement weather, global economy and new regulations being imposed. Involve expert judgment when and where necessary. In conclusion, the key effective cost control is to analyze cost performance on regular and timely basis. It starts with establishing a baseline time-phased budget that shows how cost will be expended during the time span of the project. Once project costs get out of control, it may be difficult to complete project within budget. It is important to aggressively address negative cost variances and cost inefficiencies as soon as they are identified. Keep positive cost variances from deteriorating throughout the project. n
SPRING 2016 | PM magazine
Don’t quit before you Start By Audrey T. McLendon, Executive Planner, Social Services Administration
What are some lessons learned on any particular project that you have done? • Sell the Project to Supervisor – Buy in from Top Down • Think about what you want to accomplishment for the project • Overall Objective – Keep in Mind • Communication is key in any project Considering these lessons, which lesson in your opinion is the most important takeaway? Buy in is the most important takeaway. Getting authority to start a project is also an important takeaway. Other employees seem to comply after the top executives are on board. What are some preventive measures to ensure that any project is a success? Planning, communication, and following-up with all steps along the way are some preventive measures to ensure that any project is a success. It would also be beneficial to have a board that thinks differently with different skill sets and ways of thinking opposed from yours.This will challenge your mind and perspective, which will prove to be very helpful in terms of project outlook.
What are some pitfalls that impact public state projects? Funding, budget cuts, items that are beyond your control are all pitfalls that impact public state projects tremendously. What is the impact of these pitfalls? In some cases, this interrupts the project completion.The project will not be as successful as anticipated, due to lack of resources and pitfalls. How often do pitfalls occur? Pitfall occurrences are measured based on the scale of the project.You also have to pull resources from other sources due to limited access, which could be a preventive measure in relation to a pitfall. Which knowledge area do you find yourself using most frequently in this public state sector? Planning, executing, debriefing (This happened/ what can we do now?) In comparison to Project Management practices learned in the classroom and Real Life practices, what are some things that the classroom omits? You do not have enough planning time.The classroom also portrays that the planning time is vast when in all actuality there are tight deadlines in the state government. Lack of resources is also
something that the classroom teaching does not prepare you for. As a Project Manager, do you apply the knowledge areas to your everyday work? Yes! I use almost every knowledge area daily in varying degrees. Interesting facts/ accomplishments that you are able to provide, related to the topic? • Learn to be patient • Learn to work with people who think differently • Remind yourself that everyone in fact thinks differently • Self-evaluate – Have people who compliment your skill set • If a project or process doesn’t work out… ask for feedback • Figure out a more proficient way to accomplish task • Use equipment and tools given to become more efficient in your work • Debrief after every project (Learned Project Management skills from personal life experiences). • Debrief with personal and professional projects
THE COST OF POOR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DECISIONS SONYA ALSTON Business Analyst Manager, Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), Edaptive Systems Cost of quality is a methodology that allows an organization to determine the extent to which its resources are used for activities that prevent poor quality, that appraise the quality of the organization’s products or services, and that result from internal and external failures. Having such information allows an organization to determine the potential savings to be gained by implementing process improvements. Quality-related activities that incur costs may be divided into prevention costs, appraisal costs, and internal and external failure costs. Cost Of Quality and Organizational Objectives The costs of doing a quality job, conducting quality improvements, and achieving goals must be carefully managed so that the longterm effect of quality on the organization is a desirable one. These costs must be a true measure of the quality effort, and they are best determined from an analysis of the costs of quality. Such an analysis provides a method of assessing the effectiveness of the management of quality
and a means for determining problem areas, opportunities, savings, and action priorities. Cost of quality is also an important communication tool. Philip Crosby demonstrated what a powerful tool it could be to raise awareness of the importance of quality. He referred to the measure as the “price of nonconformance” and argued that organizations choose to pay for poor quality. Many organizations will have true qualityrelated costs as high as 15 to 20 percent of sales revenue, some going as high as 40 percent of total operations. A general rule of thumb is that costs associated with poor quality in a thriving company will be about 10 to 15 percent of operations. Effective quality improvement programs can reduce this substantially, thus making a direct contribution to profits. The quality cost system, once established, should become dynamic and have a positive impact on the achievement of the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. Poor quality management decisions cost a project in a number of ways from loss of productivity and poor customer value to increased project cost. Making good quality decisions helps keep the project healthy across all process areas however making poor quality decisions could lead to the following: Loss of Productivity: Productivity is reduced when quality management is inadequate and when there is a lack of transparency and
cooperation.Trust is typically reduced amongst the project team and there are differing agendas, which would lead to the development of silos where information is not shared. Poor Customer Value: Poor quality management decisions due to the lack of customer focus or not fully understanding the customer needs may lead to poor value for the money. In order to compensate worker have to do more work to make up for the differences because products do not have what the customer needed. Increased cost: Cost will also increase when there are poor quality management decisions especially when there is an absence of vision and poor planning.This occurs most often because there the project team is confused about what exactly needs to be done. A lot of time is spent complaining about the project rather than focusing on the work that needs to be done. Making quality management decisions will dramatically reduce exposure to loss of productivity, poor customer value and increased cost for a project. Conclusion: Quality is very important when handling projects.The project manager and team must always ensure that quality standards, measures, tools and processes are used and followed all the time so that resources expended on a project are not wasted.
PM magazine | SPRING 2016
D I G D E E P O R D O N ’ T D I G AT A L L CARLA JONES Division of Applications and Development Support (DADS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Technology Solutions (OTS)
Contrary to what some may believe about the mismanagement of Government IT Projects, the Federal Government has stringent guidelines on how to procure and manage government contracts. The Federal Government requires that Federal Project Managers that oversee contractors have a Contracting Officer Representative (COR I, II, III) Certification depending on the value of the contract. In addition to the COR Certification, Government Agencies are now requiring Government Program Managers to obtain a Federal Acquisition PM (FAC –PM) Certification. This certification combines Federal Acquisition Regulations and Project Management Institute (PMI) Principles. It is a standard to include language in the Statement of Work that requires the Contractors to deliver a Communications Management Plan, Quality Management Plan, Risk Management Plan, and Change Management Plan. Additionally, contractors are required to provide monthly invoices and EarnedValue Management reports that track budget to schedule. In addition to the SOW requirements, the Federal PM discusses the expectations for these deliverables with all Stakeholders during the Project Kick-Off meeting. Common Pitfalls that impact Government Contracts include Policy and Regulation Changes. It is common for political agendas to drive the priorities of Government Agencies. A recent example is the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These types of regulatory mandates require agencies to implement major and
often times, unprecedented Policy and IT changes within a defined period of time. There is often limited time to acquire the right resources and propose a more reasonable timeline. In an effort to meet the legislative mandated date, work often starts before the final policy requirements are confirmed. This often causes re-work that drives up the cost of the project.
“ THE METHODS USED TO
MONITOR GOVERNMENT PROJECTS INCLUDES MONTHLY/ WEEKLY MEETINGS WITH THE CONTRACTING PM TEAM TO REVIEW DASHBOARD REPORTS.” The impact of a government project not meeting the quality expectations was seen in the rollout of the HealthCare.Gov Website. The project team required more time to implement the legislative mandates that were included in the Project Requirements. The impact of not meeting quality caused the project to be delayed by two months. Additionally, the project scope had to be modified so that a usable product could be available to the potential users. The remaining stages of the project were then rolledout in later phases. There was a devastating impact to the reputation of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services and the affiliated political party that initiated the legislation. The decision was made to revamp the entire project and to bring on a new development contractor. The financial impact of making these changes was enormous and caused great concern to the American tax-payers. At a high level, other areas of government project management pitfalls include: project managers not having a full understanding of the Project Scope; failure of the PM to hold
the Contractors accountable for missed timelines and unplanned costs; and failure of the project team to monitor the progress of the project throughout the lifecycle of the project as opposed to waiting for until the end if the project. The methods used to monitor Government Projects includes monthly/weekly meetings with the Contracting PM Team to review Dashboard reports. The Dashboard reports provide current information related the overall health of the project. This is often measured with a RAG (Red, Amber, and Green) rating with green being on target and red indicating major issues. The dashboard includes information regarding the overall status of the project including but not limited to: project risks, project issues, project milestones. The dashboard can also highlight any issues and concerns regarding the project budget and project staffing. Another way Government projects are monitored is by requiring Contractor Project Teams to provide monthly Earned Value Management (EVM) reports. The EVM reports allow the Federal PM to have insight on how funding is being managed and progress on project timelines. Contractors are evaluated every six months and are provided with a formal progress report.They are also incentivized to meet and exceed the expectations of the Project with the use of an award fee pool. The higher the rating the more of the award fee that is granted. This in return becomes profit for the Contractor. To conclude, the project manage pitfalls that occur in the federal government are not unique to government projects. Management of all projects requires a disciplined project management approach. The difference is that federal tax dollars are spent on federal projects and the government owes it to the American people to be judicious in how tax dollars are spent.
SPRING 2016 | PM magazine
MISTAKES HAPPEN A medical doctor, with a great passion for Information technology, Dr. Tolulope Amiola found a way to fuse these two disciplines together and built a career for himself. He has been opportune to work on different projects in the IT health sector. He shared some of his ideas with ‘Yinka Komolafe.
jump right in the project. Their intention is to save time, but when there’s a mistake along the line, the project will suffer a huge setback time-wise. Other common causes are; distraction, lack of adequate skills needed to handle a work, handling too many projects at the same time, and inadequate resources.
What challenges have you faced as a project manager?
How then can we ensure that pitfalls are avoided in project management?
The most important objective in project management is to complete a project successfully. You must remember that you must meet the required cost, time and quality. As a project manager, you must always be ready to face pitfalls, especially in the early part of your career. I have been faced with many challenges in my career, but just as Vince Lombardi often says “it’s not whether you get knocked down, its whether you get up”. So as a professional, facing pitfall is part of the job.
DR. TOLULOPE AMIOLA Project manager, Amiwealth Consulting
From your experience, what are the common causes of project failure? Personally, I would say the most common cause of pitfalls in project is lack of a plan. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Most times, managers are too focused and worried about the outcome of the project itself, they just
The governing body for project managers (the PMI) provide guidelines, rules and characteristics for projects, program and portfolio management; which is the PMBOK guide. Once these processes are followed properly, the likely occurrence of experiencing pitfalls would be greatly reduced. A project team must ensure that adequate planning is carried out, and this plan must be followed. Companies should prioritize their goals to ensure there aren’t too many projects being handled at the same time.
The Case of Agile Versus Waterfall The information technology industry is gradually transitioning from the use of waterfall approaches to agile methodologies for implementing and maintaining software applications. With the use of waterfall approaches, organizations are JIM JONES, BS, MSPM, recognizing the cost of funding ITIL V.3 software development projects and EPMO Compliance Supervisor maintaining software applications Maryland Department is consistently rising out of control. of Human Resources Under waterfall an organization Agile Methods Costs must follow a regimented sequenand Benefits tial series of phases typically called a Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Under the SDLC, the customer would not see any value or benefits from the project until completion of the last phase in the SDLC.
iterations or sprints. It has been proven that organizations that have transitioned from waterfall to some form of agile methodology have experienced positive results such as reduction in project costs, on track with schedules, productivity improvements, improvement in delivered product quality, increase in customer satisfaction and increased return on investment.
The risk of waiting for delivery at the end of a project is at its highest since what is delivered may not be what the customer requested since the needs and wants will undoubtedly change while the project is in-flight. Under an agile approach, value and benefit from a project is delivered incrementally over fixed short periods of time (i.e. 2 week intervals or 4 week intervals, etc.) called iterations or sprints rather than at the end of a project (i.e. 6 months, 1 year, etc.). Changes in customer requirements are also addressed incrementally during the
These benefits were cited by Dr. David Rico. What is the ROI of Agile vs.Traditional Methods? An analysis of XP,TDD, Pair Programming and SCRUM (Using Real Options) 2008. In closing, transitioning from waterfall to agile methodologies is a win-win for PMO’s and Customers that result in shorter software delivery time, lower project risk and reduced project and ongoing maintenance cost, thus the avoidance of pit falls when choosing one methodology over the other for software development.
70% 1000% 53
5 Satisfaction 70% 6 ROI
700% 19 70%
240% 2633% 8852% 29
PM magazine | SPRING 2016
AVOID FALLING IN A PIT OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT MISTAKES CLAUDIUS A. LEBLANC Retired Director of Operations, Large Telecommunications Company
I held the position of Director of Operations (Large Businesses) during the last five years of my career at a large Telecommunications Company until my retirement in January, 2003. Among lessons learned during that time was that prioritizing all phases of a project and allocating resources including personnel go a long way to help avoid pitfalls. During those years, I adopted the old adage “Proper planning prevents poor performance,” for guidance in the planning stages of a large project. Those five P’s helped me to focus on the job at hand and assemble the right people—engineers, technicians, programmers, and other essential personnel— for all phases of the project at hand. The first stage was brainstorming and consensus-building. This planning session served to ensure that team members knew what was required of every other team member and served to facilitate a smooth operation given our customers’ demands and time frame. The next meeting would be held preferably at customers’ premises so that we could better understand the ultimate goal of the project. All pricing and objectives must be discussed at length with the customer to be certain there are no surprises during and at completion of the project. Doing so serves to enable results that exceeded customers’ expectations.
Once the project rolled out, the team would hold conference calls at the end of each work day to discuss progress or hindrances and plan the next day’s activities. We would also have end of week calls to discuss if there was anything that we could have done better for the following week. Be aware also, that the customer must be constantly informed of progress and/ or lack of progress on a daily basis. It is important to note in general that at no time should too many projects be undertaken at the same time and by the same personnel. This only increases the chances of disastrous results and makes it harder to meet desired goals while hindering the project manager (me) from being focused enough.
The next stage was resource planning and setting realistic completion dates. At this point, I would Another pitfall encountered, concerns the area contact the Vice President to ensure access to the of customer relations: Specifically the customers’ PROPER right resources for the project and to project a inability to provide a proper demarcation point PLANNING realistic completion date. It may sound a bit tedious or changing the previous agreement upon PREVENTS but it should be pointed out that this procedure, location. It must be made clear to customers that POOR in itself, helped us avoid some common pitfalls the onus is on them to provide teams with safe PERFORMANCE such as not having the right resources or sufficient and acceptable places of demarcation on their resources. It also ensured upper management’s buy-in premises before work begins. and blessings. Some unforeseen pitfalls included deterioration of underground facilities due to cable failures or There are a host of other pitfalls that could be encountered adverse weather conditions. Those are unavoidable but when taken during a project I’m sure, but I have only covered those unique to into consideration during the planning stage, negative incidents telecommunication projects originating from a Central Office to and results could be mitigated. A crew sent in advance to check the customer demarcation points. I must stress again that with proper integrity of facilities added a time buffer when planning completion planning most pitfalls except in cases of natural disasters, which are dates acceptable to customers. beyond our control, can be prevented.
SPRING 2016 | PM magazine
Investing in Tomorrow’s Leaders Morgan has a tradition of producing some of the best and brightest graduates in a wide range of professional disciplines. Here are some of MSU’S students on the move. Kehinde Adenuga MSPM Class of 2016 Kehinde Adenuga received her B.S degree in Economics from Babcock University, Nigeria in 2010 where she developed the skills of managing resources. She is currently pursuing her M.S. in Project Management. Kehinde’s experiences range from administrative duties to customer relationship management. Taiwo Adenuga MSPM class of 2016 Taiwo Adenuga earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting from Babcock University Nigeria, in June 2010. Taiwo has had a great deal of experience in the accounting and finance field as well as customer service and human relations areas. She is a student member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) where she has completed the foundation levels. Taiwo is a graduate student at Morgan State University majoring in Project Management. Tolulope Ajayi MSPM Class of 2016 Tolulope Ajayi obtained her bachelors of science (BS) in 2000 from the University of Ilorin where she received several awards for her service to the department of accounting and finance. She is experienced as a financial manager and analyst. She has worked as a graduate assistant in the department of Information Science and Systems, Morgan State University. Foyinsola Maria Akinwumi MSPM class of 2016 Foyinsola Maria Akinwumi, is a business systems analyst with over seven years of experience within the Health-IT industry, and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Systems Engineering. Maria holds a Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification from the Scrum.org In-
stitute. She is a member of International Institute of Business Analyst (IIBA) and Project Management Institute (PMI). Renneth Alexis MSPM class of 2016 Renneth Alexis is originally from Dominica, West Indies. In 2013, he graduated from Towson University with a BSc in Information Systems along with some business administration background. Upon completion of his graduate program, he plans to use those newly acquired project management skills to improve his family businesses in his home country. Monsurat Bucknor MSPM class of 2016 Monsurat Bucknor graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore County with her Bachelors’ of Science degree in Financial Economics and a professional certificate in Accounting in 2004. She has over 15 years of work experience in the insurance industry. Morgane’ Cole MSPM class of 2016 Morgane’ Cole has received a B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from Hampton University. She has completed two internships at Lockheed Martin before joining the MSPM Program. Currently, she is a test engineer for ActioNet on the Consolidated Innovation Center Development and IT Management (CICDIM) team. Oluwaseun Fawehinmi MSPM class of 2016 Oluwaseun Fawehinmi provides administrative and project support to the office of Central Control Center at the Maryland Transit Administration. Oluwaseun has a great deal of skill in project management and human relations. She received her undergraduate degree in Management Infor-
mation Systems in 2010 and a Master’s degree in Business Management from University of Salford, United Kingdom in 2013. She is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). Adeyinka Komolafe MSPM Class of 2016 Adeyinka Komolafe is originally from Nigeria, West Africa, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Cost Engineering in 2012. He has successfully worked on various projects particularly in the construction and IT sector. As a graduate student, he worked with his team on the Brazilian Airport Project, Rio de Janeiro, which was completed in December 2015, and he also acted as the project manager of the magazine project. He is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). Juanita Singletary Jones MSPM class of 2016 Juanita holds the position of Construction Contracts Manager in the Procurement Department at Morgan State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland. During her tenure she has been the Procurement Officer for the construction of the following projects: Murphy Fine Arts Center, Richard N. Dixon Science Research Center, Morgan View Student Housing Project, MSU Student Center, School of Global Journalism and Communications, CEBIS, and the Business Management Complex. Donisha White MSPM class of 2016 Donisha White received a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S) degree in business administration from Morgan State University. Donisha worked in the government industry for 2 years before joining the Master of Science in Project Management Program (MSPM). Currently, she is a Budget Analyst for the Maryland State Department of Human Resources.
Morgan State University’s graduate programs in Project Management are offered by the department of Information Science and Systems in the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management. The MSPM program is suitable for professionals that want to develop their knowledge and skills to move up to senior planning, consulting, and project management positions. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, at least two years professional level work experience, and meet the MSU Graduate School admission requirements.
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Graves School’s M.S. in Project Management Morgan State University’s graduate programs in Project Management are offered by the department of Information Science and Systems in the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management. The MSPM program is suitable for professionals that want to develop their knowledge and skills to move up to senior planning, consulting, and project management positions. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, at least two years professional level work experience, and meet the MSU Graduate School admission requirements. The program requires 30 credits and a comprehensive examination. Program participants complete courses as a cohort. The interdisciplinary feature of the MSPM allows students to take three supporting courses that form the focus areas in a wide range of fields.
Architecture; The Arts; Business; City and Regional Planning; Civil Engineering; Industrial Engineering; Information Technology; Science; and Transportation. The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers membership to full time students in degree-granting programs at a college or university that has U.S. accreditation or the global equivalent. A PMI student membership also offers discounts on certifications such as the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and the Project Management Professional (PMP). Additionally, PMI in collaboration with MSU has held CAPM and PMP exam prep workshops on the campus of Morgan State and continues to offer the workshops every spring. Please visit us at www.morgan.edu, then proceed to Academic Programs.
Samples of courses offered include: n Foundations in Project, Program, and Portfolio Management n Project Integration and Scope Management n Building and Leading Successful Project Teams n Project Time and Cost Management n Managing Project Procurement, Quality, and Risk Students choose three courses from a list of over 40 courses to integrate project management skills in a specific subject area from
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Project Management Professional Training Series The Baltimore Chapter provides its members the opportunity to take Prep Courses in order to qualify for the following PM I Credential Exams: Project Management Professional Certified Associate of Project Management Risk Management Professional
Visit www.pmbaltimore.org www.pmibaltimore.org Visit The Baltimore Chapter provides various opportunities for corporations, academia, non-profit and government organizations to promote their product, services or organizational image through its sponsorship programs. At this time, corporations and organizations can sign up for one or more of the following promotional and networking opportunities we offer: PMI is the world's largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Our professional resources and research empower more than 700,000 members, credential holders and volunteers in nearly every country in the world to enhance their careers, improve their organizations' success and further mature the profession. PMI's worldwide advocacy for project management is reinforced by our globally recognized standards and certification programs, extensive academic and market research programs, chapters and communities of practice, and professional development opportunities. Visit PMI at www.PMI.org,www.facebook.com/PMInstitute and on Twitter @PMInstitute
Published on Jun 16, 2016
Morgan State University: PM Magazine Spring 2016 for Project Management Professionals. Created, and Designed by Students in the MS in Projec...