Project Management Ejvin Berry FIRSTFare – October 30th, 2010
What is a Project? One goal + some parameters: Scope – A verb and a noun Small Scope: Blinking lights Moderate Scope: Innovative design High-Risk / High Value Scope: Streamlining future work Time Cost Quality Risk
Project SuccessRequirements to survive the season: Happy customers On time deliverables On budget projects Optimistic investors Team cohesionCongratulations… but if you have problems “surviving”, you’ll have problems “thriving” as an engineering organization…
Profitable Project Successes New work Under budget Innovative design Paid investors (with PR) Intensified talent pool Leftover energy Time and capital
Project Manager Primary Roles: Build a team (organize existing resources) Maintain/ Analyze data Organize capital (money and manpower) Manage conflict (interference) Review work – Initiate Design Reviews Schedule resources
What is Project Management? Novations Group, Inc., "Tools and Techniques of Project Management, v6.1"
Initiation By definition, only ever happens once Contains clear project goals and parameters Often involves the customer Your big chance to control scopeInitiation will take place between 5am and midnight on Kickoff Day.
Planning This is the opportunity to modify: Team structure Tactics – Define “envelopes” Schedule Chronological schedules Cost schedules – when to buy? Acceptable risks – Weigh your skills and your needs with your “wants”
Executing Do what you planned. Do only what you planned. Feedback and repeat.WARNING: Execution without documentation is wasteful and often times illegal.
Monitoring and Controlling Gather feedback via Design Review Sort feedback Make decisions regarding remaining resources
Closing A formal process in which you sell your product to the customer. Requires a Design Review Who is your customer? Which projects need to close? Minor components Entire robot
Now it’s time to manage… If you were looking for someone to spell it out for you; here’s your chance…
First: Team Structures Match people with their strengths It may be helpful, particularly for rookie teams, to develop a skills matrix. This will help identify training needs, or where you need to get more outside help (a trainer, or a hired gun?) Develop an organization chart, matching team members to their responsibilities.
Second: Plan the work… Work Breakdown Structure (or WBS) = Everything you want to do on the project Determine the form and function of every part, and what they all do for you (Functional Efficiency Technique) Also any related work – fundraising, major events, support equipment This ultimately becomes your project plan, as detailed as you choose to plan and schedule it. Match with your team structure.
Plan the work (cont.). . . Estimate each item or system using a Resource Loading Diagram along with a Network Diagram: How much time (work hours) do you think it will take? How many people do you have? How much time do they have? How many days/ hours will each item take? Where are you short handed? Make sure you aren’t double booking people.
Fourth: Design Reviews Plan and schedule design reviews – possibly every day, until you enter production Document (as specifically as possible) how subsystems will work together and connect as they are designed, built and integrated Check your interfaces in the reviews – if there is change, it must be fully investigated, understood and agreed to
Fifth: Risk Management Also known as “what-ifs” Leave a little time for disasters and unforeseen details, but do NOT plan them Testing is essential to reduce risk Set goals for features or functions that would be “nice to have” If there is insufficient time, the project will still be successful without them
Risk Management (cont.) FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) Consider system components Identify symptoms of failure Identify root cause Predict consequences to other sub- systems Rank failure modes by severity (1,2,3) Rank failure modes by probability (1,2,3) Example FMEA.
Work the Plan . . .Make it happen Make a simple project schedule, easy to read and status. Stick to your plan Monitor progress Adjust on the fly – you may have to give up some goals, or shift more people to key tasks that are falling behind. Enlist more experts? Keep everyone productive, but don’t forget this is all fun! Communicate!