“Project management is the application of knowledge, skill, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements” (Schwalbe, 2008). All organizations understand that project management plays a primary role in terms of planning, organizing, and managing resources to have a successful project completion. Also, any project must meet the requirements as well as the expectations and needs of all the stakeholders who are involved or affected by the project activities (PMBOK, 2008). This report is based on the interview with Bill Farnsworth, who works for Microsoft Consulting Services in Northern California (Phillips, 2002). In his interview, he shared his experiences about the knowledge areas for project management and addressed the project integration management knowledge area from the core functions and the knowledge area from the facilitating functions.
Discussion and Analysis
In Mr. Bill’s interview, he discussed various points about project management that affect the successful completion of a project. He highlighted that an underlying philosophy about being successful is building a great team and for it, several things have to be taken under consideration when a team is being built for a project. He informed that having a clear business problem in the mind helps to build a good team that has the resources to do the job hence taking an idea from just a paper drawing to completion. He further discussed the importance of planning and organizing the project well ahead of time and clarified that team recruitment and motivation play a central role in a project’s success. (Phillips, 2002)
This report will address Mr. Bill’s point of view and support his discussion by integrating it with project management theory. According to the PMBOK Guide (2008), project managers must develop nine knowledge areas; four of them are core functions, the other four are facilitating functions and the last one is the project integration management function. The project integration management function is looked upon as one of the most important functions since it bridges the core and facilitates functions.
Project Integration Management
“Project integration management involves coordinating all of the other project management knowledge areas throughout a project’s life cycle” (Schwalbe, 2008, 127). This integration ensures that all the elements of a project come together at the right times to complete a project successfully. By analyzing Mr. Bill’s responses by the processes involved in project integration management, we’ll gain an insight into how it is in the practical world. (Phillips, 2002)
Develop the project Charter
It is a statement that recognizes the presence of a project and supplies a direction on the project aims and management. It helps the project manager to use organizational resources to finish the project (Schwalbe, 2008, 145-146). According to the first two questions, Mr. Bill answered, the project charter is important to understand the business problem to solve the main consideration. (Phillips, 2002)
Develop the Preliminary Project Scope Statement
It involves further work with stakeholders, especially users of the project’s products, services, or results to develop the-level scope requirements (Schwalbe, 2008, 150). In the reply to the first question, Mr. Bill stated that every successful IT project should address in some way the need of the company to deliver the solution. (Phillips, 2002)
Develop the Project Plan
It is used to manage all project planning documents and assist in directing a project’s implementation and control (Schwalbe, 2008, 150). Mr. Bill mentioned that the reason for the project development is to address technical issues to provide proof of the concept and hence solve business problems by taking a concept to its completion. (Phillips, 2002)
Direct and Manage Project Execution
It has to deliver the project management plan by doing the activities that have been planned in it. The results of this process are deliverable, needed changes, applied change requests, and defect repair (Schwalbe, 2008, 128). As it was stated in the interview that to implement the project plan and to complete the work detailed in the project scope statement, he would probably hire IT professionals who have technical knowledge organizational understanding, creativity, and ability to work within a team. And in the case where the team does not have the technical expertise to implement the project, he would base his decision on the time and money available to the project manager. (Phillips, 2002)
Monitor and Control Project Work
It needs supervision for the project to reach the performance aim of the manager. The results of this process are suggested corrective and preventive actions recommended repair and requested change (Schwalbe, 2008, 128). According to the interview, Mr. Bill mentioned that how he will handle the team members, who are having any motivational problem to demonstrate that how their continuation will directly affect the team, the project, and the company. (Phillips, 2002)
Perform Integrated Change Control
It manages the changes that influence the project’s deliverables and organizational process assets (Schwalbe, 2008, 128). The results of this process contain authorized and unwanted change requests approved corrective and revised to the project management plan and project scope statement. Mr. Bill said throughout his interview that a project manager should be involved more with the team to ensure that the project team has what it needs to complete its goals. (Phillips, 2002)
Close the Project
To officially close the project, all the project activities should be finalized. The products, services, or results are included as outputs of this process and contract closing procedures and revised the organizational process assets. (Schwalbe, 2008, p128)
Knowledge Area (A) Core Functions
In core functions, there are four knowledge areas which are Project Scope Management, Project Time Management, Project Cost Management, and Project Quality Management. I will discuss Project Scope Management as one of the above Core Functions, which also corresponds to the responses given in the interview by Mr. Bill.
Project Scope Management
It is the planning of what should be included or not included in the projects so that the stakeholders and the project team would have the same understanding about what the project is and what is needed to be implemented in it. These five key processes, which are included in the project scope management in terms of the planning process. Mr. Bill also complements this same tactic when he said in the interview, “Setting an environment where you can best ensure consistency by having the same team evaluate the business problem, define the scope of the project, propose the solution, and then develop and deploy the solution is the best case” (Phillips, 2002).
Furthermore, to have a successful IT project he mentioned that the business problem should be thoroughly investigated, technical issues should be addressed, and provide approval of a concept. Also, he said that a team should be organized as early as possible for timely project completion. (Phillips, 2002)
Processes of Project Scope Planning
The processes of project scope planning are mentioned below.
It is a document that gives an overall idea of a project that how it will be defined, verified, and controlled and how the WBS is going to be created. It is the result of the project team to create the plan for the scope management. (PMBOK, 2008)
It includes after evaluating the project charter and preliminary scope statement and developed at the beginning of the process and during the planning process if any new information required has been added and any approval of changes has been made. (PMBOK, 2008)
Creating the WBS
It is a breakup of the main project deliverables into subtasks and more controllable components. (PMBOK, 2008)
It is getting the official acceptance from the stakeholders of the project scope to go ahead with the project. (PMBOK, 2008)
It is more about managing the changes to project scope, which includes identifying, evaluating, and implementing changes as the project progress. (PMBOK, 2008)
This section will study the facilitating function of the nine knowledge areas of PMBOK.
Project Human Resource Management
It is the most efficient and productive way of utilizing the input from all the people who will be involved in the project i.e. project stakeholders. There are four processes in the human resources management function. Mr. Bill in his interview gave a lot of importance to having the right IT professions at the start of the project for successful project completion. Specifically, he said, “Having a less experienced, more motivated team member could be better than a more experienced, time-restricted member” (Phillips, 2002).
Also, it was mentioned in the interview that team members should have technical knowledge, organizational understanding, and the ability to work within a team as their basic characteristics. Additionally, he stated that if the IT professionals do not have a positive attitude toward the project, the project managers will make the project team clear that they will be fired from the project. (Phillips, 2002)
Human Resource Planning
It involves recognizing and recording project roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships. (PMBOK, 2008)
Acquiring the Project Team
It involves choosing the right employee and giving them the responsibility to work on the project. (PMBOK, 2008)
Develop the Project Team
It increases the capability of the individual and the project team to increase the project’s overall performance. (PMBOK, 2008)
Managing the project team
It engages all project team members to ensure that they are on the right track and are motivated to increase their project performance. (PMBOK, 2008)
To sum up, the project integration management and both knowledge areas’ core and facilitating functions have a significant impact on the successful project. The project scope management is vital for the project to start on the right track. Also if there is no right recruitment of the project team who lack the correct technical expertise and motivation to implement the project, then it is highly likely that the project will not be successful.
Moreover, Mr. Bill’s interview highlighted that IT project management requires coordination of a team, proper organization, good communication, and information sharing amongst the project team members while technical expertise, good leadership, and conflict management are additional characteristics that help in making a team work together without problems. Finally, cohesion between the core functions and facilitating functions is imperative and available only through the project integration function to combine all project resources to give the perfect solution to all stakeholders.
Phillips, J. (2002). IT Project Management: On Track from Start to Finish. California: McGrawHill/Osborne.
PMBOK (2008). Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Fourth Edition.
Schwalbe, K. (2009). Information Technology Project Management (6th ed.). Boston: Thomson Course Technology.