The concepts and use of project management tools, techniques and methodologies are becoming all pervasive. This course addresses project management in the context of IT projects, including software projects. Using the framework of project life cycle, the course covers various aspects pertaining to (i) project initiation, (ii) project planning and scheduling, (iii) project monitoring and control, and (iv) project termination.
For planning and scheduling of projects, the use of project network and estimation of time and cost are covered in detail. Scheduling of projects with resource limitations is covered next.
Risk assessment methods including simulation and risk reduction approaches are also be covered. The students will be required to use the software @risk to simulate project completion times. The use of Earned Value Analysis for Project Monitoring and Control is emphasized. For Software Project Management, the Waterfall Model and Agile Project Management are covered in detail.
Course 4 of 6 in the Business Technology Management Specialization.
Introduction and Real Options
The first topic in this module is Introduction and Overview of the course. We first define what a project is and give some examples of IT projects. The three parameters or metrics for project management are presented. The importance of project management is then discussed. The concept of project life cycle and the four phases of project life cycle are presented. The topics to be covered in the four different modules are also given.The second topic in this module is on the Organization Structure for projects. Three different forms of Organization structure and their implications for project management including the project manager are discussed in detail. Communication plan and its importance for project management are then presented.The next topic in this module is about the use of real options for project selection. The material in this topic is well developed for valuation of financial assets but its use for project selection is a relatively new development. We define what options are and give a taxonomy of real options. In future, ‘Options Thinking” and valuation of real options are expected to play an important role in project selection. Next, we discuss six case studies where options thinking played a dominant role in accepting / modifying the projects. Valuation of real options is in its infancy and for the for valuation of real options is easily understand and we present a simple example to illustrate the approach.Towards the end of the module, we present some practical aspects pertaining to the concepts covered. This is done through a Q & A format with Mr. Prashun Dutta, Advisor – Gaiga Smart Cities
Graded: Graded Questions
Project Network Scheduling and Crashing
This module will cover Project Planning which is the second phase of Project Life Cycle. We first look at what Project Scope is and what scope creep refers to. Work Breakdown structure leading to work packages or activities with the associated precedence relationships are treated in detail. The next topic is about scheduling of the activities which requires the estimation of activity durations. The estimation of duration, cost and resource required for the identified activities are covered later as a separate topic. Here, using the same software development project, assuming that the durations of the activities have been estimated and ignoring the resource requirements for the different activities, we show how a schedule for the activities can be arrived at. The next topic is the estimation of durations, cost and resources required for the activities. Three popular estimating procedures are covered. The next topic covers the various reasons, possible benefits and different alternatives for reducing project duration. We then discuss in detail, one approach to reducing project duration viz. by incurring additional incremental direct cost for reducing activity durations and show how we can arrive at the least incremental direct cost for any specified project completion time. While the approach presented is conceptually sound it is difficult to implement for large projects. So, the next topic covers a linear programming approach to solve the same problem even if the project under consideration is large in terms of the number of activities. As in the previous module, towards the end of this module also, we present some practical aspects pertaining to the concepts covered. This again is done through a Q & A format with Mr. Prashun Dutta, Advisor – Gaiga Smart Cities
Graded: Graded Questions
Resource Scheduling and Risk Management
Activities in a project typically require the use of resources such as people, material, equipment and working capital. The schedule for the activities that we had calculated in the previous module assumes that adequate resources are available as and when required. However, in practice often adequate resources may not be available as required and the schedule may have to be modified. There are two types of problems when resource requirements are considered. One is the Resource Smoothing Problem and the other is the Resource Limitation problem. In the first one, i.e. the Resource Smoothing Problem, although the resources are available as and when required, we would want to find a schedule that “smoothes” the use of resources without delaying the project completion time. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is the next topic dealt with in this module. CCPM has not gained universal acceptance although it is being used by some organizations with positive results. CCPM places a lot of emphasis on aggressive estimation of activity durations and provides for buffers to take care of some delays. With Risk Management, we first define what risk is and then discuss the risk management process including risk identification, risk assessment and various ways of reducing exposure to risk. Risk monitoring and control including change control process are also covered. Finally, the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) including a simulation approach to finding the distribution of the project completion time is covered as the last topic in this module. As in the previous modules, towards the end of this module, we present some practical aspects pertaining to the concepts covered. This again is done through a Q & A format with Mr. Prashun Dutta, Advisor – Gaiga Smart Cities
Graded: Graded Questions
Agile Project Management, Monitoring and Control
The first topic in this module is Agile Project Management which is useful in software development projects where the requirements are not well defined and the client is not able to articulate them clearly. The traditional sequential plan driven project is covered first followed by the agile project development cycle. The manifesto and agenda for agile project management are also covered.The next topic in this module is Monitoring and Control. The projects in progress should be reviewed at pre-specified intervals. The process of monitoring and control including the analysis of the status of the project are covered. The last two topics to be covered are Audit and Closure of projects. The audit may be of an ongoing project or of a completed project. The various steps involved in the audit process including the staffing of the audit team, functioning of the team, data collection, analysis and reports are covered in detail.The closure of a project may be a normal closure or a premature closure. The various tasks involved including the delivery of the output of the project, evaluation of the team as well as the project manager are spelt out. Towards the end of this module, we present some practical aspects pertaining to the concepts covered. This is done through a Q & A format with Mr. Prashun Dutta, Advisor – Gaiga Smart Cities
Graded: Graded Quiz
ENROLL IN COURSE