Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Important Components of the Project Management Information System

Based on the above requirements the consultants developed five modules for assisting the project management team to improve the quality of the information used in management planning, control and reporting. The design principle using rapid prototyping techniques stressed the ease of use, use of existing formats and procedures while requiring the minimum of effort in maintaining the systems. The following paragraphs briefly describe the components that were developed and adopted. Efforts will be made in the future to integrate the components into a single system when the organization’s local area network (LAN) is operational. A flowchart of the system is shown in Figure 4.

figure 4

Figure 4

  1. Project Performance Indicator Tracking System

The project managers are required to report to the World Bank the status of each Performance Indicator from the project’s Hierarchy of Objectives and management actions taken towards their achievement. The report must be on a semi annual basis and in an agreed format. For the past few years, this report was compiled using a word processor. As the report has a column on comments by the project manager on the status of each indicator, the project manager had to devote considerable time in the production of this report.

The new Project Performance Indicator Tracking System (PPITS), stores the indicators in a database format, and codifies the status into five outcomes: Accomplished Successfully, Being Achieved (on course), Experiencing Minor Problems (being addressed), Experiencing Major Problems and Rescheduling of Target Date Required, and Not Yet Due. With a graphic interface in MS Access, the project manager updates the status of each indicator as events occur, inputs the comments, and records the management actions undertaken. At the end of each reporting period, the required report is produced automatically (an internal feature of the system) with all the up-to-date information.

  1. Procurement Planning and Monitoring System (PPMS)

Procurement is a major part of the project activities. The procurement activity involves a number of discrete steps to be followed in sequence leading from development of specifications through bidding to contract signing with the suppliers who win the bid. The acquisition of goods and services essential to the implementation of the project will be delayed if the timetable of events is not followed. However, in many projects, procurement staffs simply follow the process in a step-by-step manner, finishing one step before tackling the next, with neither systematic planning nor tracking.

A good estimate of when project goods and services will become available can only be done when a contract is signed. The revised list of dates will be automatically updated if a constituent step for any item slips. Since the different methods of procurement for works, goods and services have different steps the PPMS uses different milestones for each type. It also produces a list of procurement activities for a specified time period, thus providing a calendar of all procurement activities required for the next month. This serves as a reminder of critical procurement tasks that the project staff has to perform on a day-to-day basis.

  1. Disbursement Planning and Tracking System (DPTS)

With the recent introduction of the Loan Administration Change Initiative (LACI), project management units of World Bank supported projects have to furnish the Bank with accounting reports in a specified format. The tables in these reports require listing disbursements made in each quarter and the forecast of payments for the following quarter. The DPTS is a system designed to enable the planning of the payment schedule of each contract for works, goods and services and entering the dates of actual payments against this schedule. The system automatically analyzes the data and produces the reports in the required format. Together with the Procurement Planning and Monitoring System (PPMS), all the required LACI reports can be produced directly from the database.

  1. Procurement Activity Tracking System (PATS)

Apart from the major contracts for the building of new schools and the major consultancies, each project management unit also undertakes a number of relatively small contracts for furnishing the new schools and for purchasing school supplies. These shopping activities include the following steps: Finalizing the initial specifications; contacting suppliers for price quotations; negotiating specification modifications, discounts and delivery dates; receiving shipments or verifying deliveries in terms of quantities and quality; and authorizing payments by the accountant.

Although the process for procuring an individual item is not complicated, when the number of items required for a particular date becomes large, there is a need for a database to keep track of the status of placement of orders and of deliveries so that suppliers can be paid promptly. Notification of authorization for payment is at present done off line, involving printing a list for payments authorized or passing a diskette to the Accountant.

  1. Project Planning and Scheduling System (PP&SS)

A complete critical path based project plan and schedule was developed using MS project. A portion of this plan is shown in Figure 3. The first level of indenture is the WBS of the project. The schedule for the items of procurement, transferred from the PPMS, is presented on one line in the CPM chart using the rollup technique in MS Project.

Source : http://www.maxwideman.com/guests/ministry/components.htm

This is the reason why we need project manager

A project is a short-term undertaking to create a product or provide a service that is not part of day-to-day business operations. Small businesses don’t need a complex methodology when it comes to managing a project, but they benefit from a designated project manager. When projects are managed properly, profits increase and businesses can grow. A project manager increases the likelihood a project will be successful and profitable.

Provide Point of Contact

A project manager is the central figure of a project, disseminating project information and updates to the project team, business leaders and project customer, which decreases confusion and increases accuracy.

Increase Efficiency

The project manager works with team members to confirm which activities must occur in the project and in what order so projects are completed faster and more efficiently. Every project is made up of interconnected activities, each of which has its own set of checks and balances.

Control Scope

Project scope details the work and activities required to deliver the completed product or service. A phenomenon that often occurs is “scope creep,” which refers to continuous changes to the initial project. To contain creep, a project manager puts markers in place before anyone can add or take away from the scope.

Manage Costs

Delivering on time and on budget are two constraints of any project. A project manager controls not only monetary costs but also the people resources, both internal and external, and equipment costs as well.

Manage Time

Time is arguably the most important constraint of any project. Because project team members still have day-to-day responsibilities, managing their time can be a challenge. A project manager manages deadlines by setting a schedule at the inception of the project.

Schedule the Work

The project manager plays an important role in ensuring all the team members work on their assigned activities in the appropriate order. The project manager helps members calculate the time a task takes and solves any problems so they can successfully meet their deadlines.

Deal with Potential Risks

No matter how well planned, a chance for potential risks in a project exists. A project manager anticipates and identifies risks and creates a risk response process to track their status. It’s important to make risk prevention part of the initial planning phase. If the project manager can’t prevent the problems, managing them is the next best solution.

Administer Procurements

If your project requires purchases from outside vendors, the project manager manages the contracts and terms and tracks invoices to ensure suppliers and the project customer live up to the terms of the contract.

Communicate With Stakeholders

As a project progresses, it is important to make stakeholders aware of any risks and successes along the way. The project manager communicates the goals and performance to business leaders in a regularly scheduled report.

Close the Project

After the project meets the goals and expectations of the project customer, the project manager documents and reviews the project phases with the team members and leadership to analyze patterns, trends and opportunities for improvement for the next project.

Source : http://work.chron.com/ten-reasons-project-needs-project-manager-5112.html

Kind of management Trends in 2016

10 years ago I would never have believed that today’s management best practices would include encouraging employees to chit chat, work from home, and self-organize.

But as we head into 2016, these are exactly some of the trends shaping the way we work. Here are three big ones to watch.
Remote work is the new way to build a team

From my experience, remote workers provide a ton of flexibility when building your team. A remote workforce provides access to a much broader talent pool, especially when you’re looking for a specific skillset. If your HQ is in an expensive real estate market like New York City or San Francisco, working with remote employees also offers an alternative to sky high office leases.

Many managers are concerned that remote workers are more likely to laze around without supervision, but I’ve found through our remote team, it’s typically the opposite. Because people working away from HQ do not have the luxury of their co-workers actually seeing them at the office, they tend to make a greater effort to demonstrate that they are working and get just as much done, if not more sometimes, than everyone at the office.

A big leap for making this transition possible is the evolution of team communication platforms like Google Hangouts and Slack. Not only are they allowing remote workers to stay connected as if they were in the same physical space, but they also provide the transparency that allows managers to see what employees are actually doing.
New work tools increase transparency

Transparency is a common theme with modern teams as they move away from the more siloed email and Office suite to a broader set of cloud-based tools that allow them to plan, create, share, and work together. As a result, traditional management systems have changed.

In the past, managers have typically determined how employees spend their time. These days, it’s more common for managers to empower employees to self-organize.

An open organization also leaves room for alignment on everything from big picture goals to who’s responsible for specific projects. When employees have visibility from top to bottom, they feel valued and understand their role on their team and within the company’s broader vision.

At the core of this shift is trust, and the way to build this trust is making it easier for people to work collaboratively, make decisions, and show progress. In this world, the role of the manager is to coach, remove roadblocks and advocate for the team.
The move to mobile has employees driving tech choices

Not long ago, the office was the only place where work could happen, and you had to go to this physical space in order to do your job. These days you can take work on the go, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device isn’t a new term. But what is new is the comfort level with employees making decisions about the tech they bring to work. Instead of IT imposing its vision on employees, employees are finding their own tools. This works in part because people gravitate towards tools that not only increase their productivity, but are easy to use, and even kind of fun.

Employees are more likely to do better work when they have the freedom to pick the tools that work best for them, since they can work in a way that best suits their needs and habits. In 2016, this is an important trend to watch because companies can empower employees to contribute to the IT decision for the whole team.
Key takeaway

Empowerment for employees is at the heart of some of the biggest changes happening in the workplace today. By trusting employees to set their own priorities around team goals, allowing them to help pick their favorite tools, and manage where they choose to work, employers are building happier and more productive companies.

source : http://www.inc.com/