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Project Execution Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D. Lee Baliton
Components of Project Execution <ul><li>Completing plans </li></ul><ul><li>Managing project resources </li></ul><ul><li>En...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>May not follow plans </li></ul><ul><li>May not feel responsibl...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>May not follow plans </li></ul><ul><li>May not feel responsibl...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>May not follow plans </li></ul><ul><li>May not feel responsibl...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul>
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul>
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Self interes...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the ...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the ...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the ...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the ...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the ...
1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the ...
2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul>
2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul><ul><li>Life cycle costing </li></ul>
2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul><ul><li>Life cycle costing </li></ul><ul><li>Total costs...
2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul><ul><li>Life cycle costing </li></ul><ul><li>Total costs...
3. Encourage Teamwork <ul><li>Composed of members of different units </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teams </li></ul>
3. Encourage Teamwork <ul><li>Composed of members of different units </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teams </li></ul><ul><ul><...
3. Encourage Teamwork <ul><li>Composed of members of different units </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teams </li></ul><ul><ul><...
4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul>
4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul>
4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, ...
4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, ...
4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, ...
4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><li>Send to all </li></ul>
4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><li>Send to all </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency </li></ul>
5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul>
5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment to team member </li></ul>
5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment to team member </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution should ...
5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment to team member </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution should ...
6 Quality Control <ul><li>Customer satisfaction </li></ul>
6 Quality Control <ul><li>Customer satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Health outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><li...
Take Home Lesson Project execution requires strong communication and leadership
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  • This is the lecture on project execution by Professor Alemi narrated by Lee Baliton
  • In the execution phase project, managers do six different tasks including completing plans, managing project resources, encouraging teamwork, communicating project’s progress, managing project issues and conducting quality control.
  • In health care projects, project managers are typically supervising professionals who do not follow plans and do not fee responsible to the project manager. It is important to keep these professionals motivated and focused on the project plans.
  • In these situations effective management matters.
  • Unfortunately, most people have wrong ideas about what is management. They think that their common sense ideas will work. But management is more complicated and management of professionals is specially difficult.
  • The key to motivating professionals is to get them engaged in planning for change. Professionals are more likely to complete a task if they have participated in its planning. Overwhelming data show that participation in planning is important in later effective execution of the plans. Effective project managers would empower and facilitate team member’s participation in planning.
  • It is important to organize projects so that these projects and actions are in the long run self interest of team members. This is not just about paying people to do the work but also articulating how the proposed change will improve work life of the professionals involved, how it might affect their patient care, how it might affect their relationship to other providers and so on. In each case, it is important to list the benefits that the team members will personally receive. Overwhelming data shows that self interest, if defined broadly to include benefits beyond pay, motivates professionals.
  • But participation and self interest is not the entire story. Many professionals who have suggested changes that are in their self interest fail to carry it out. A project manager needs to do a lot more than articulate the pros and cons of conducting a project.
  • We know from research on information processing that too much information is counter productive. Human beings have a limit on how much information they can process. A project manager can help the success of a project by simplifying why a project is being done and keeping the message in front of professionals involved.
  • Consider for an example, health professionals engaged in reducing medication errors. They meet several times to understand what causes medication errors and they perceive it to be in their professional interest to reduce these errors. They want to do better. But safety committees have had a hard time reducing medication errors. The problem remains elusive because these errors are rare and human beings, even experts and super human beings, have a difficult time to think about them. We asked members of a safety committee to estimate the frequency of various errors. They provided many estimates. The arrived at a consensus about these estimates. It all looked good until we looked at the data. All of the estimates were off. We asked them to list causes of errors, the causes they listed had no relations to the causes observed after analysis of data. In short, when the problem is rare, our intuitions fool us. A project manager can help professionals in solving the right problem by making sure that relevant data are analyzed and at hand and the focus of the project.
  • How the project manager explains causes of various events matters. Data on attribution theory shows that if success is attributed to the employee and initial failure attributed to the environment, employees are more likely to try. Project managers can explain accomplishment of and delay in project milestones in different ways. If project team has to continue to work hard and accomplish the tasks, it is important that they feel optimistic about their chances for success, it is important that they see themselves as successful. This perception of success is important in eventual success of the project.
  • This may sound funny to project managers that are focused on tasks, but what really helps people succeed is having a support group. By support group we mean people you can turn to and express your frustration with a change. Change is more likely to occur when those attempting the change believe the people they respect are also changing, wanting them to change, and will help them succeed. Again, here perception is what matters. The support group need not do anything but only to listen and validate and express empathy with the person. People who are going through change need to believe that if they fail, they fail not only themselves but also their social support group. A project manager can provide for social support by putting together brownbag lunches where team members come and talk about their experiences. The project manager can invite people from outside to come in and discuss same issues. In short, the project manager should create the environment in which support groups can flourish and help project team members.
  • It is important for the project manger to keep the team motivated through use of various media. The project manager can use media in several different ways. Media can be used to repeatedly remind project team of the upcoming milestones. Media can also be used to highlight the reason the project was undertaken by often video taping or audio taping patient experiences. Media can also be used to report progress of the project and celebrate success of the project. Data show that media advocacy, even when done with a small group of employees, is an effective tool in bringing about change.
  • Project Managers need to do a lot more than motivating project team members through appeals to self interest. We have laid out a series of activities that can radically improve chances of project completion including recognizing information processing limitations and staying with the central project message, attributing success to team members and failure to the environment, providing support groups to hear about team members’ efforts, and using mass media tools to advertise to project team and their immediate personnel. All of these additional steps work without making a rational case. They work because project team members need to feel good about the change.
  • Besides completing plans, project managers must also manage project resources. Information technology projects have a poor track record of finishing under budget.
  • It is important to examine cost of projects over the entire life cycle of the project. During the execution phase of the project many unanticipated costs show up that should have been included in the budget but were not. It is important to improve the accuracy of the budget.
  • Many information technology projects are constructed from cost of components. Often important component costs are ignored through the process. An alternative to estimating the cost of a project from its components is to derive the cost from the total budget of the organization. These costs include indirect costs, for example cost of management, cost of utilities and cost of information systems. Cost derived from the entire organization budget are likely to be more inclusive of the true cost of a project. During the execution phase of the project it is important to correct wrong budget estimates and have a more realistic budget.
  • No matter how the project budget has been set, it is important to count the project expenditures to date and compare it to the planned expenditures. Earned value management is a project management technique that combines scope, time and cost data. We will review this technique in detail later in this lecture.
  • Most project work is accomplished in teams. Most involve employees from different working units of the organization. Having an effective team, that works well together, is important. There is a considerable literature on how team’s effectiveness can be improved.
  • Two broad approaches can be identified in the literature. There is a set of recommendations that describe what to watch out for in a team, sort of principles of effective teams. These include ideas such as taking teams through forming, storming norming and performing phases. In the forming phase, team members learn about each other. In the storming phase, project manager tries to reduce conflict in the team by having team members focus on the task at hand and not their relationships to each other. In the norming phase, the team begins to lay out work expectations and norms that everyone is expected to follow. Team members use these norms as a reference point and openly acknowledge that they are members of the team. In the performing phase the actual work gets done with little attention to other issues. One method of improving teamwork is to notice the phases the team goes through and make sure that team members bond with each other over time.
  • Another method of improving teamwork is to change team meeting processes, for example, requiring all meetings to start with a reading of the agenda and end with an evaluation. Other well know methods of improving team process include brainstorming of ideas before evaluating, Nominal group technique and Delphi. A more detailed lecture on teamwork is presented later in the course.
  • Another key activity of the project manager during the execution phase is communication. Status reports are prepared and sent to designated sponsors. These report focus on four questions.
  • The first question addressed is whether scheduled tasks being completed on time.
  • The second question is if tasks are not completed on time, what is needed to improve on time completion of the project.
  • Status report should also address what is coming up next and whether it can start on time. Work scheduled to start between now and the next status report should be reported. Next project milestones should be listed.
  • Finally status reports need to indicate if there are any issues or unforeseen risks that is emerging. Any risks that require mitigation activities should be highlighted. General announcements about the project should also be given in status reports.
  • Status reports should be delivered to all stakeholders, including project sponsors and project team members.
  • The frequency of the reports depends on who is receiving them and should follow the communication plan. As one moves up the organization structure, fewer status reports are sent. Team members receive the most reports. All stakeholders receive reports at least once a month.
  • Another activity that is common in the execution phase is issue management. When an issue arises it should be assigned a thicket number and its resolution should be planned like any project.
  • It should be assigned to specific team members to resolve the issue. Complication issues should have a task work breakdown, budget and time schedule.
  • When a team member reports that the issue has been resolved, the project manager should check with the end customer to verify that in fact what team members call resolution does in fact solve the problem for the end customer.
  • Many project management software allow tracking issues as well.
  • Finally quality of project should be tracked by examining the impact of the project on customer’s satisfaction.
  • In addition, impact on customer’s health outcomes, cost of delivering care market share should also be traced. Projects should be not only good for the patient but also for the organization. So if a project increases patient satisfaction, this not enough, it should also increase the organization’s market share. If a project reduces medication error, this is not enough, it should also reduce cost of duplicative work. More details about quality control is provided in the lecture on project control.
  • The take home lesson is that project execution requires careful monitoring of earned value and management of team members.
  • Transcript of "Slides"

    1. 1. Project Execution Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D. Lee Baliton
    2. 2. Components of Project Execution <ul><li>Completing plans </li></ul><ul><li>Managing project resources </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Issue management </li></ul><ul><li>Quality control </li></ul>
    3. 3. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>May not follow plans </li></ul><ul><li>May not feel responsible to project manager </li></ul>
    4. 4. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>May not follow plans </li></ul><ul><li>May not feel responsible to project manager </li></ul>In these situations, effective management matters.
    5. 5. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>May not follow plans </li></ul><ul><li>May not feel responsible to project manager </li></ul>But is management a science or common sense?
    6. 6. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul>
    7. 7. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul>
    8. 8. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest is not enough </li></ul>
    9. 9. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the message </li></ul>
    10. 10. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the message </li></ul>Example: Reducing Medication Errors
    11. 11. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the message </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the logic </li></ul>
    12. 12. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the message </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the logic </li></ul><ul><li>Provide social support </li></ul>
    13. 13. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the message </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the logic </li></ul><ul><li>Provide social support </li></ul><ul><li>Use media </li></ul>
    14. 14. 1. Completing Plans <ul><li>Participation matters </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on the message </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the logic </li></ul><ul><li>Provide social support </li></ul><ul><li>Use media </li></ul>Feel good
    15. 15. 2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul>
    16. 16. 2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul><ul><li>Life cycle costing </li></ul>
    17. 17. 2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul><ul><li>Life cycle costing </li></ul><ul><li>Total costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not component costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indirect costs </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. 2. Managing Project Resources <ul><li>Poor track record </li></ul><ul><li>Life cycle costing </li></ul><ul><li>Total costs </li></ul><ul><li>Earned value management </li></ul>
    19. 19. 3. Encourage Teamwork <ul><li>Composed of members of different units </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teams </li></ul>
    20. 20. 3. Encourage Teamwork <ul><li>Composed of members of different units </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Storming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Norming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Performing phase </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. 3. Encourage Teamwork <ul><li>Composed of members of different units </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nominal group technique </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Delphi group process </li></ul></ul></ul>
    22. 22. 4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul>
    23. 23. 4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. 4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, what is needed? </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. 4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, what is needed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is next? </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. 4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks completed on time? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, what is needed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is next? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues interfering with tasks </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. 4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><li>Send to all </li></ul>
    28. 28. 4. Communication <ul><li>Status reports </li></ul><ul><li>Send to all </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency </li></ul>
    29. 29. 5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul>
    30. 30. 5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment to team member </li></ul>
    31. 31. 5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment to team member </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution should be verified </li></ul>
    32. 32. 5. Issue Management <ul><li>Issue thicket </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment to team member </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution should be verified </li></ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul>
    33. 33. 6 Quality Control <ul><li>Customer satisfaction </li></ul>
    34. 34. 6 Quality Control <ul><li>Customer satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Health outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><li>Market share </li></ul>
    35. 35. Take Home Lesson Project execution requires strong communication and leadership
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