Multiproject Control


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This presentation summarizes a HBR article by the same name by Robert A. Howell. It introduces us to a wonderful technique of handling multiple projects simultabeously at organizations.

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Multiproject Control

  1. 1. Multiproject control<br /> - Robert A. Howell<br />Presented By:<br />Anubhav Vanmali<br />Sharadkumar R Bhatt<br />Siddharth Anand<br />Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore<br />
  2. 2. What’s in store?<br />Introduction to a system which has been in the process of development and refinement for six years at a large electronics corporation, and which has been implemented in two of the company’s divisions<br />On implementation, no. of projects in serious trouble dropped<br />from 1 in 3 to ZERO in a little over two years in Div.I<br />from 1 in 3 to 1 in 20 in a two year period in Div.II<br />
  3. 3. Introduction<br />The integration of cost, schedule, and performance control for a project is still in a state of development<br />Increasingly important because of:<br />Explosion of contract-oriented businesses<br />Proliferation of company-sponsored R & D<br />Demand for wider range of products<br />Technological growth<br />
  4. 4. Considerations by Executives<br />Necessity of managing a large no. of unique projects<br />Need to deal with projects of varied sizes, complexities and costs<br />Lack of a formal requirement that the cost, schedule, and technical performance status for a given program be presented to top management simultaneously<br />Existence of an undesirable number of programs which were in serious difficulty<br />
  5. 5. Management’s Requirements<br />A Multiproject control system to:<br />Encourage managers take more responsibility<br />Set higher but realistic goals<br />Make better use of periodic formal reviews<br />Permit top executives to substitute for each other in reviews<br />Help the managers, at both the project and top executive levels, to run the business instead of being run by it.<br />
  6. 6. Individual Project Control<br />Management requires that every project have a written program plan<br />This plan should explicitly define:<br />The objectives<br />The approach<br />The commitments<br />The Program Plan<br />Must be complete, but not elaborate<br />Precise, but not nit-picking<br />Thorough, but not constrained by a rigorous format<br />
  7. 7. Unique Reporting System<br />The “heart” of the multiproject control system is the Program Status Report<br />Designed to:<br />Present data on cost, schedule, and technical status for a project<br />Provides:<br />Summary description of the project<br />Summary schedule<br />Key project dates<br />Cumulative cost curve<br />Data on lead personnel assigned<br />The section titled “Essential Element of Information”<br />
  8. 8. Example Of A Program Status Report<br />Image to be added<br />
  9. 9. Essential Element Of Information<br />Triangles denoting scheduled beginning and completion dates are left hollow until the event is completed<br />A circle surrounding a triangle indicates that customer delivery is required<br />Project Manager’s Yes/No responses<br />Colour Codes:<br />Green : Performance in accordance with objectives<br />Yellow: A qualified answer, warns of serious trouble<br />Red :“Out-of-control” situations (cost overruns/ schedule delinquency/ technical problems)<br />Yellow & Red require an explanation under “Program Highlights”<br />
  10. 10. Overseeing Many Projects<br />Every project is reported each month<br />A new project when first reported is first added to an active file and to summary project status board.<br />
  11. 11. Project Status Board<br />Each project is identified by name, value, customer, starting date and scheduled completion date.<br />Black triangle denotes date of formal approval of project plan.<br />Black Vertical lines denote the beginning and end of the projects<br />Colour codes indicators are used for technical, schedule, cost and funding status.<br />Black bullet indicates the review meeting.<br />
  12. 12. Image required Exhibit 2<br />
  13. 13. Summary of Status Boards<br />Identify all active projects<br />Show when a project has started and scheduled to be completed.<br />Indicates whether a program plan has been approved.<br />Tells whether project reviews are taking place.<br />Presents chronological evaluation of the monthly technical, schedule, cost and fundamental status of each project.<br />
  14. 14. Method of Implementation<br />First, management put the emphasis on ensuring that a monthly program status report had been submitted for every ongoing project.<br />Initially several project managers expressed hostility towards the approach.<br />Gradually all the project managements were telling the top management where they thought they stood in terms of essential elements<br />Management recognize the need for long term planning<br />
  15. 15. Success in Practice<br />In 1962 the system was introduced.<br />In initial 8 months<br />All projects in Red reduced from 33% to 11%<br />Increase in the number of yellow projects indicating that criticalness of the project has been reduced.<br />In September 1964, 77% of the project were in green and 23% in yellow and there were no Red.<br />
  16. 16. Increased Understanding<br />Managers will accept responsibility for their projects when the authority to manage them is clearly delegated<br />All projects in green would indicate that the standards are not stringent.<br />Project heads who are bullish and who is bearish are recognized and overoptimism and pessimism is eliminated.<br />Management control process formal planning does not have to come before the reporting and control aspects of the system.<br />
  17. 17. Conclusion<br />The system is not complicated nor computerized and it does not cost large amount of money to operate.<br />The system encourages managers to accept full responsibility for the outcome of the respective projects<br />Top management is now able to review quickly a large number of projects and apply its energy to one those need most attention<br />
  18. 18. Thank YOU<br />