Project Managers Workshop
PROJECT MANAGERS WORKSHOP
Challenges faced by the team on the project
There were many challenges faced by the team in the project life cycle and they include: Inadequate Skills where the project needed skills that the team members did not possess, therefore the team had difficulties in completing the project within the specified deadline. Another challenge faced by the team was the impossible deadline set by the management. The team was being asked for the impossible leading to work overload which in turn led to reduced morale, high stress levels among team members and a decline in productivity. Under unfeasible deadlines, the probability of completing a project successfully is not feasible under unreasonable deadlines. The team also faced a challenge of resource deprivation. For effective and efficient running of a project, there must be sufficient resources provided by the management. In the case of the project, the team had fewer resources than required in terms of budget, time and labor.
Another problem faced by the team was lack of adequate customer and end-user engagement in the entire project. This made the team to be caught up in their own space of processes, internal deliverables and deadlines where the end-users did not provide any input in some of the crucial project phases. Lastly, the team was faced by uncertain dependencies that the team members and the project manager had not foreseen and had trusted the input of the management such as shortage of staff, time and money (Meredith, J.R. and Mantel, S.J. 2011, 27).
Mistakes the team made in managing schedule, scope and resources
When managing the project schedule, the team made the following mistakes: the team had high level deliverables which it failed to divide into a set of smaller activities to remove scheduling errors. Secondly, the team failed to create a resource pool representing the resources made available by the company for the project which led to shortage of resources. Thirdly, the team failed to define dependencies causing an unrealistic schedule (Kerzner, H.R. 2013, 18).
In terms of managing scope, the team made the following mistakes: the team failed to make a clear project scope and a big project scope leading to a scope creep which made the focus of the project to change over time and making it very hard to manage respectively. Instead of making a scope statement the team made a project overview.
In managing the projects resources, the team made the following mistakes: The team failed to prioritize allocation of resources which lead to resource competition between the projects activities making the project to use more resources than allocated. The team also misallocated labor resources where some team members had inadequate skills or shortage of labor leading to overwork by the available team staff.
What will the team do differently on the project?
Resource allocation where in order for the team to accommodate the varying changes associated with inadequate allocation of resources, they will address project timelines, and project objectives with the company’s top management in order to get a buy-in on ways of completing the project with few resources. Secondly, the team will formulate manageable project scopes and manage scope creeps by involving a process dedicated to addressing the initial projects scope changes. Failure to this, the team will negotiate resources and time from top management. Thirdly, before committing or making any promises of project completion, the team will negotiate and discuss allocation of resources in terms of money and human labor (Hwang, B.G. and Ng, W.J. 2013, 272).
How did you all work as a team? What were the team dynamics?
Despite the time, resource and budget constraints that the project team experienced in overall, the team was a good team that functioned on the bases of trust, commitment, teamwork and less conflict in order to achieve better results. As a better result oriented team, the team dynamics were: 1) leadership where the team has a team leader whose primary role is to assist, ensure supply of resources, coordinate efforts and guide processes in cross-functional-teamwork as opposed to other leaders whose role is to tell team members what to do. 2) Communication. Because communication among team members is crucial for success in project management, the team leader provides advice and directions in order to ensure each team member understands what is expected of the team and also provides a safe environment where team members are comfortable giving their suggestions, inquiries and problems to the project manager. 3) Ground rules for meetings. In order to ensure team meetings such as status updates meetings are efficient and effective and no conflict arises, the team has set some ground rules for such meetings that involves standards establishing the way that team members ought to behave in relation to each other. 4) Just like every organization has its set goals and objectives, the project team also has its own set process and technical goals and objectives. This helps team members to recognize and understand what is expected of them. 5) The team also recognizes and states what is and what is not working and ways to improve. It comprehends that problems are not equal to solutions and it therefore acknowledges quickly if there is a problem and works extensively to determine what will replace the problem.
How were the decisions made? Was it through consensus or the Team Leader made all or most of the decisions?
Decisions in the team were made through a consensus where every team member agreed to one outcome. The team leader would engage the team during meetings in a debate and a dialog engaging the team with ideas that were divergent, constraints and common objectives. The team would then agree on a decision that satisfied the common objective within the existing constraints. In this case, the decision agreed upon is not every team members favored decision but the team confirms that it meets the objective.
What were the lessons learned through the simulation?
The lessons learnt include: being a team leader is a skill that requires time to develop in an individual. In order to be successful, a team leader must analyze failures and setbacks to create area for improvement. Focusing on a challenge presented by a project and learning from it helps a team leader or project manager to create a successful and capable management capabilities. Secondly, In order to establish a team that is effective, a project manager must define goals, accountability and a clear purpose. This can be achieved through maintaining a friendly and safe atmosphere for team members to express themselves through engaging them in team discussions, listening to each other and reaching at decisions through a consensus which makes the team to function cohesively.
How will each member of the team apply those lessons in the real world?
Every team member can apply the lessons learned to advance their career in project management to get a certification and also improve their skills of relating with other people. There are many project management jobs in many industries such as the ICT industry where one can get employed as a project manager especially with scheduling, resource allocation, risk management, budgeting and scope management skills which is an added advantage.
Hwang, B.G. and Ng, W.J., 2013. Project management knowledge and skills for green construction: Overcoming challenges. International Journal of Project Management, 31(2), pp.272-284.
Kerzner, H.R., 2013. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Meredith, J.R. and Mantel Jr, S.J., 2011. Project management: a managerial approach. John Wiley & Sons.