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Project Management
(A6AX 34)
Outcome 2: Project Planning
Developed from SQA COLEG pack by Margaret Pearson, Lauder College...
Aims and Objectives
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
• Establish and describe project milestones
• Specify d...
Effective Planning
The purpose of planning a project is:
 to make sure it is completed on time,
 within budget
 and tha...
Planning a project is an iterative task.
The ideas originally thought of will need constant
refining before a workable pla...
Planning projects is a difficult task:
Overspent budgets,
overrun timescales,
poor quality end products
all illustrate ...
Activity 10
Why Plan?
Think about why you would need a plan before commencing a
project. Have you undertaken a project wit...
Your reasons for planning may include some of these:
We are talking about large scale projects here. Without
substantial p...
The Planning Process
Before getting into the details of planning time-scales and team activities,
it is a valuable exercis...
Review the 'Contract'
• Make sure you understand exactly what it is you are being asked to produce.
You must think about t...
Imagine you decide to rent an allotment so that you can be
self sufficient in vegetables and so bring your food costs
down...
Break it Up
Segment the overall task into manageable chunks. This tells
you in detail what the tasks are and what resource...
Activity 11
Make a Task List
A family prepares the car for a touring holiday in
Europe.
Make up a task list for this proje...
Answer to Activity 11 on previous slide
Task List:
• Obtain suitable insurance for travel in the EU
• Prepare a kit of spa...
Get Down to the Nitty Gritty
This is the point where you add detail to your project plan.
Durations
Add durations to your ...
Task List:
• Obtain suitable insurance for travel in the EU
• Prepare a kit of spare light bulbs, spark plugs etc.
• Purch...
Activity 12
Try adding durations to the tasks from my answer to Activity 11
Task List:
• Obtain suitable insurance for tra...
Milestones
Identify the project milestones. A milestone occurs when
you reach a recognisable point in the project.
If you ...
Deadlines
Establish any deadlines you will have to make.
For our shed building project deadlines might be:
• To have the f...
Identify Dependencies
You must identify the sequence of tasks to be undertaken. Some tasks cannot
start until others are f...
The final task list for the 'Getting to College' project
might be:
The project plan above might have to be revised in the ...
Deliverables
A deliverable is the output from a task.
For example the deliverable from the task of making a
cup of tea is ...
Activity 13
Identify the deliverables from the task list for
'Getting to College' project.
Answer to Activity 13
Subtasks
Often in a large project you will have to divide your tasks into subtasks. For
example in our 'Getting to College...
Resources
Gather resources you have identified as being necessary for the
development.
Resources include:
 People - do yo...
You must remember to include support resources
you may need, perhaps from other departments in
your company or from outsid...
Assign the Tasks
Assign each task to a suitably skilled person. Arrange training
where needed. Make sure everyone knows ex...
A number of activities may proceed in parallel,
depending on the phase of the project and the staff
available.
For example...
Other Problems
Some things which can cause a project to fail may seem
outwith the project manager's control. A few of thes...
Summary
You have come to the end of Section 2. You should know
how to plan a project. Here is a checklist to remind you of...
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Outcome 2 planning

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Outcome 2 planning

  1. 1. Project Management (A6AX 34) Outcome 2: Project Planning Developed from SQA COLEG pack by Margaret Pearson, Lauder College Forth Valley College 2015
  2. 2. Aims and Objectives By the end of this unit you should be able to: • Establish and describe project milestones • Specify deliverables associated with project milestones • Identify subtasks required for project completion • List preliminary tasks to be completed before subtasks can begin • Estimate human and physical resource requirements and the duration for each task
  3. 3. Effective Planning The purpose of planning a project is:  to make sure it is completed on time,  within budget  and that it meets the customer's requirements. If the planning stage of a project is skimped, there may be major areas which have not received enough attention and which will have an adverse effect on the success of the project, no matter how good the project team are. As the truism states: "fail to plan and you plan to fail".
  4. 4. Planning a project is an iterative task. The ideas originally thought of will need constant refining before a workable plan is produced. False assumptions may be found during a planning review. Impractical end dates or an unreasonable number of staff may have been assumed. It is unlikely that the first plan is the optimum one.
  5. 5. Planning projects is a difficult task: Overspent budgets, overrun timescales, poor quality end products all illustrate the effect of poor planning.
  6. 6. Activity 10 Why Plan? Think about why you would need a plan before commencing a project. Have you undertaken a project without planning it first (many students do!)? Make a list of reasons why it is a good idea to plan a project. If possible discuss this topic with a group of fellow students . Check your answer with those given on page 3.
  7. 7. Your reasons for planning may include some of these: We are talking about large scale projects here. Without substantial planning, it is impossible to predict end dates and to judge whether the development has been finished within time and budget. Without planning you can't estimate the human resource required, the number of staff, their skills and whether or not the right people are available. Making an assessment of the elapsed time and setting target dates and work schedules is impossible without planning. This means that the completion date cannot be predicted.
  8. 8. The Planning Process Before getting into the details of planning time-scales and team activities, it is a valuable exercise for the project leader to be quite sure that the team members all understand the background to the project and its relevance to the company. Another early task for the project manager should be to collect as much data as possible from similar projects which have been carried out before. There are always lessons which can be learned from experience on previous projects, both by the project team and by the end users. Of course, many projects are inventive or innovative, and no previous experience may exist.
  9. 9. Review the 'Contract' • Make sure you understand exactly what it is you are being asked to produce. You must think about the specification of the project. Is it detailed enough for you to proceed? You must check that your understanding of what you must do fits with the customer's expectations. An example of this sort of handshake is when you place an order for fast food, the assistant will read back your order before processing it. This gives you, the end user, the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings. • You must consider the timescale of the project. Is the timescale clear and achievable? Do not be pressured by senior management into promising the impossible. • The product and project costs must be considered. The product costs include how much the product will cost to build once it has been developed and how much it will sell for. Will it make a profit? The project costs are the costs of developing the product in terms of the resources expended in the course of the development and the cost of building prototypes. Will the profit be large enough to recoup the development costs?
  10. 10. Imagine you decide to rent an allotment so that you can be self sufficient in vegetables and so bring your food costs down. You will have the product costs, seeds, manure, potting compost, annual rent etc. You will have the project costs, buying the tools, building a shed and a greenhouse, purchasing wellingtons and gardening gloves, renting a rotovator to break up the ground. You could well find that the money you save is insufficient to cover the product costs, or that the timescale for recouping the project costs is so long as to invalidate the project in financial terms. (You will probably go ahead for the sake of eating fresh organic vegetables and getting all that fresh air, though.)
  11. 11. Break it Up Segment the overall task into manageable chunks. This tells you in detail what the tasks are and what resources you will need. An example might be building a new garden path across an existing lawn. Segment the task into manageable chunks to produce a task list: • Order hardcore and asphalt • Dig up the area of lawn to be replaced by the path • Take delivery of the hardcore • Take delivery of the asphalt • Lay the hardcore • Lay the asphalt • Roll the asphalt • Re-seed the area of lawn on either side of the path
  12. 12. Activity 11 Make a Task List A family prepares the car for a touring holiday in Europe. Make up a task list for this project.
  13. 13. Answer to Activity 11 on previous slide Task List: • Obtain suitable insurance for travel in the EU • Prepare a kit of spare light bulbs, spark plugs etc. • Purchase red warning triangles • Obtain equipment to alter the direction of the dipped beam • Wash the car • Polish the car • Vacuum the inside of the car • Check the tyre pressures, including the spare tyre • Check the oil and water • Put travel games and sweets in the back of the car for the children • My list may be different from yours, the point is that you should have broken the overall task down into manageable chunks.
  14. 14. Get Down to the Nitty Gritty This is the point where you add detail to your project plan. Durations Add durations to your task list, ie how long each task should take in standard units like days or person months. You would use a unit like person months if putting more people on the task would reduce the duration of the task. If you are building a wall, two bricklayers should complete the task faster than one. Some tasks take a certain time no matter how many people are doing it, for example delivering a package by van. It doesn't matter if one person or two are in the van delivering the package, the journey time is the same. Concrete setting, paint drying or a cake baking are also examples where the duration is independent of human resources.
  15. 15. Task List: • Obtain suitable insurance for travel in the EU • Prepare a kit of spare light bulbs, spark plugs etc. • Purchase red warning triangles • Obtain equipment to alter the direction of the dipped beam • Wash the car • Polish the car • Vacuum the inside of the car • Check the tyre pressures, including the spare tyre • Check the oil and water • Put travel games and sweets in the back of the car for the children My list may be different from yours, the point is that you should have broken the overall task down into manageable chunks.
  16. 16. Activity 12 Try adding durations to the tasks from my answer to Activity 11 Task List: • Obtain suitable insurance for travel in the EU • Prepare a kit of spare light bulbs, spark plugs etc. • Purchase red warning triangles • Obtain equipment to alter the direction of the dipped beam • Wash the car • Polish the car • Vacuum the inside of the car • Check the tyre pressures, including the spare tyre • Check the oil and water • Put travel games and sweets in the back of the car for the children
  17. 17. Milestones Identify the project milestones. A milestone occurs when you reach a recognisable point in the project. If you were building a garden shed the milestones might be: • The foundations completed • The walls constructed • The roof secured
  18. 18. Deadlines Establish any deadlines you will have to make. For our shed building project deadlines might be: • To have the foundations ready when the prefabricated walls are delivered. • To have the shed ready when the potatoes are lifted so that they can be stored in it. At this point you would use a planning tool such as critical path method. We will look at this technique in the next unit.
  19. 19. Identify Dependencies You must identify the sequence of tasks to be undertaken. Some tasks cannot start until others are finished. For instance, if you are getting ready to come to college in the morning, you might list the tasks as: • Have a shower • Get dressed • Feed the cat • Have breakfast • Wash the dishes • Catch the 8.30 bus It doesn't matter if you feed the cat before or after breakfast, and he/she probably doesn't mind if you need a shower when you open the tin of cat food. It is only important that you feed the animal before leaving him/her for the day. However you are unlikely to get dressed before you have a shower, so starting the task of getting dressed is dependent on the task of having a shower being complete.
  20. 20. The final task list for the 'Getting to College' project might be: The project plan above might have to be revised in the course of the project. If you were running late you could limit the scope of the project by omitting task A and F. If really pushed you could (but Idon't recommend it) omit tasks D and E. The essential tasks, then are C, B (please) and G. The 8.30 bus is obviously a deadline. You might also identify being dressed by 7.50 as a deadline.
  21. 21. Deliverables A deliverable is the output from a task. For example the deliverable from the task of making a cup of tea is the cup of tea. The deliverable from the installation of a central heating system would be the working system, however the deliverable from the subtask of the fitting of the radiators would be the fitted radiators. In many projects the recognisable deliverable might be a document, perhaps a design document, or the report of a feasibility study.
  22. 22. Activity 13 Identify the deliverables from the task list for 'Getting to College' project.
  23. 23. Answer to Activity 13
  24. 24. Subtasks Often in a large project you will have to divide your tasks into subtasks. For example in our 'Getting to College' project the task of feeding the cat might be subdivided into: • C1 Fetch the can opener and the cat food spoon out of the drawer • C2 Fetch a can of cat food from the cupboard C3 Open the can • C4 Use the spoon to put half the contents into the cat's dish • C5 Empty the remainder of the cat food into a plastic bowl • C6 Put the lid on the bowl • C7 Put the bowl in the refrigerator • CB Empty the water from the cat's water dish down the sink • C9 Run in some fresh tap water • C10 Talk nicely to the cat as you put the food dish and water dish on the floor. The dependencies would have to be identified within the subtask list. You can't put the lid on the plastic bowl until you have decanted the can of food into it etc.
  25. 25. Resources Gather resources you have identified as being necessary for the development. Resources include:  People - do you have enough people and do they have the right skill set for the tasks, do you have to recruit new people for the team from inside or outside the company?  Equipment/Tools - do you have the hardware and software you require for a software development project, for example? Do you have the spade and fork you will need for a gardening project?  Money - is your budget going to cover the costs of the project, can you acquire sufficient funds for the development to go ahead?
  26. 26. You must remember to include support resources you may need, perhaps from other departments in your company or from outside. Examples might be: People to write the user documentation People to test the product People to build the prototypes
  27. 27. Assign the Tasks Assign each task to a suitably skilled person. Arrange training where needed. Make sure everyone knows exactly what they have to do. This means that each team member must have a clear set of objectives and must understand the deliverables associated with the task. In a simple project, like the ones you may have carried out as a student, the overall duration of the project may be just the sum of the activity durations. It is more common, however, for a project to involve a number of staff, each with their own tasks to complete. The duration of the project depends on the interaction of these tasks and the order in which they can be done.
  28. 28. A number of activities may proceed in parallel, depending on the phase of the project and the staff available. For example you can't start painting a wall which has not yet been plastered, and the plasterer may not be available until next week. You can probably do the wiring at the same time as you rough cast the outside of the building if the electrician and the rough casters are available at the same time.
  29. 29. Other Problems Some things which can cause a project to fail may seem outwith the project manager's control. A few of these are: Equipment failure or deficiencies Staff who are not capable of the tasks allotted to them An end user who shows little commitment to the project Standards, although established, are not adhered to
  30. 30. Summary You have come to the end of Section 2. You should know how to plan a project. Here is a checklist to remind you of the steps involved in producing a project plan. steps in Producing a Project Plan  Review the 'Contract'  Break the project up into manageable tasks  Add durations, milestones and deadlines  Identify dependencies  Identify deliverables  Gather the resources required  Assign the tasks to members of the project team  Review the plan as the project progresses

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