Project Management and Organizations


Project Management and


The name of the game, the players, and

the rules


   Understanding what is a project, what is the life cycle of a project and how it differs from other types of works

   Understanding the influences organizations exert on project and project executions


Understanding the players and the relationships among



Detailing the process groups and the knowledge areas

Internet References

  Books 



  Historical References: look for: 

   Frederick Winslow Taylor ,

   Henry Laurence Gantt


What is a project

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to

create a unique product, service, or result


What is a project


  • definitive begin and end (either because the goals are met or the project is closed - goals cannot or will not be met)
  • projects’ results are not necessarily temporary (see project and product lifecycle)


  Unique products, service, or result: A product which is quantifiable (e.g. a component, …)

  • A capability to perform a service, such a business function
  • A result, such as knowledge (collected in documents,
  • presentation, …)


  Progressive elaboration

  Projects and Operational Work

Work can be categorized either as project or operational.

   Common characteristics:

  • Performed by people
  • Limited resources
  • Planned, executed, and controlled



  • Project: obtain goals and termimate
  • Operational Work: sustain the business


   Cooking dinner


Preparing a dinner for friends

   Mass producing a car

   Designing a car

   Publishing papers


Developing a software system

Projects vs. Strategic Planning


Projects are a means of organizing activities that cannot be

achieved using organization’s normal operation limits and are often used to achieve an organization’s strategic plan Typically authorized by:

   A market demand

   An organizational need

   A customer request



Project Management Context

  Project and Program Management

  • some sort of benefit

  set of projects managed in a coordinated way in order to achieve

  • Programs may be cyclical (fundraising, publishing a newspaper, …)

   Portfolios and Portfolio Management

  • A collection of projects or programs and other work grouped together to facilitate management and meet strategic objectives


Project Management Context


  • may be referred to as “projects” and managed as such).

  Projects may be divided in subprojects (altough the sub-projects

  • Examples: (based on the process) a phase of a project, (based on skills) plumbing or wiring in building a house, (based on technologies) automated testing of a software product.

  Characteristics of a Project (Part

  II) (some of) The rules (and the board game)

Project Life Cycle

   Projects are usually organized in phases


Typically (but not necessarily) organizations define (or

adopt) their own life cycles, namely

  • The deliverables to be produced by each phase (a deliverable

  The technical work to be done in each phase

  • is a measurable and verifiable work products)
  • >Who is involved The rules of transition from one phase to the

Project Life Cycle

  Idea PM Team Inputs

  Phases Initial Intermediate Final Charter Plan Progress Scope Baseline Approval Acceptance Handover

  Outputs Statement Product

  Project Life Cycle Initial Phase Initial Phase Closing Phase

  Cost and Staff Cost of change Influence of stakeholder

Project Life Cycle and Product Life Cycle

  Upgrade Business Plan Operations Divestment


What is a project (part 2)


  Projects can be seen from (at least) two points of view:

  • As a sequence of phases
  • As a variation of the plan-do-act-check loop


  Some common characteristics and relationships:

  • Hierarchical (each major process is decomposed in smaller processes)
  • Iterative (it may repeat over time)
  • (sort of) mutually recursive (think, e.g., of subprojects)

Process Groups

   If we take a slightly different point of view, we can

start organizing the activities necessary to carry

out a project in process groups

   The organization is a variation of the plan-do-act cycle

Process Groups

  Controlling Monitoring & Planning Initiating



Process Groups

  Initiating: defines and authorizes the project 

  Planning: defines and refines the project objectives and plans the

  course of actions

   Executing: integrates people and resources to carry out the project

  management plan


Monitoring and controlling: measures and monitors progress to

  identify variances


Closing: formalizes acceptance of the product, service, or results

and brings the project to an orderly end.

Levels of Activity

  Execute Plan


Process Groups and Project Boundaries

  Initiating Planning Closing Monitoring & Controlling Deliverables Project Inputs Project Initiator/Sponsor End User


Project and Organizations

(Some of) the players and (some of) the




   Operational decisions originate at the top of the hierarchy and propagate

   Sharp distinction of functions and rigid structure

   Good for small firms, geographically concentrated, with a small set of standard products, mainly focused in operational work

   Organization of work in projects is clumsy (unless project managers are in the Direction)




  First example: Du Pont (1921) 

  Strategy located in the Direction 

  Responsibility and operational decisions are taken by the Division 

  Allows for specialization to specific markets/sectors (e.g. expert in the A.I.) 



  (Fierce) competition among divisions 

  Divisions tend to operate on smaller term goals 

  Duplication of functions may increase costs 

  Projects within Division are relatively simple. Interdivisional projects more complex.



Direction General Project is central 

  Disadvantages: Administration

  • and Finance Project 1 Project 2 Project 3

  lack of specialization QuickTime™ and aare needed to see this picture. None decompressor continuity of work and reallocation of people after the project ends

  are needed to see this picture. None decompressor QuickTime™ and a Matricial Direction General Marketing Production Sales Personnel Administration and Finance Project A Project B

  Project C


  Direction General Project A PMO Marketing Production Sales Personnel Administration and Finance Project B None decompressor QuickTime™ and a Project C are needed to see this picture.

  Project D


   Structural “accommodation” of projects

   May or may not contain a PMO (Project Management

Office) for sharing resources, monitoring and control

   Two bosses “syndrome”

   The point is where the decisions are taken:

  • Balanced matrix

  Weak matrix

  • Strong ma


Weak Matrix

  Responsibility mainly located in the functional areas 

  PM more as a facilitator (helps keeping focus, monitor and control) and negotiator 


Useful in structures where products are standardized but

production is complex 

  Facilitates an orientation of the organization towards a project management culture


Strong Matrix

  PM is responsible of: Planning operational activities (it “tells” functional areas what has

  • to be done - in practice slightly weaker than that!) Coordinating people

  Monitoring and Controlling progresses


  Friction between PM and Functional Areas: PM focused on shorter term goals

  • Functional area responsible inclined to think of the lending
  • >personnel as a “favour&rdq

Balanced Matrix

   Something between Strong and Weak

   Need for a PM

   PM hasn’t got all the authority of a Strong Matrix

(usually embedded in a functional unit - it may

report to the person responsible of an area)

  Dedicated Team


Dedicated Team

  A special unit is created for the duration of the project. PM has complete responsibility over the planning, team, etc.

   Similar to projectized organization

   Example: Lockheed-Martin (sixties):

  • several subcontractors
  • Dedicated team with ~ 11000 hundred people

   Disadvantages include: Strong focus on shorter term goals

  Re-allocation of people after the project’s end

Integration in the company (e.g. evaluation of people, feeling of

  • belonging to the company)

  Summing up… PM Authority Little or none Limited Low to Moderate Moderate to High High to almost Functional Weak Matrix Balanced Matrix Strong Matrix Projectized Availability Resource Little or none Limited Low to Moderate Moderated to High to almost High total Total Project Manager Part-time Part-time Full-times Full-time Full-time project budget Manager Manager Who controls the Functional Functional Mixed Project Manager Project Manager Project Part-time Part-time Part-time Full-time Full-time Role

A side remark…

   Changes in a structure are subjected to the Organisational Lag (organizations and personnel have “hysteresis” - Kerzner)

  Technology/changes organization personnel

  Strategy for introducing new Strategic importance techniques (Swartz and Davis)

  High Medium


  Strategy for introducing new Strategic importance techniques (Swartz and Davis)

  High Medium


  Projects and their Environment The players

  The players Sponsor Project Manager Project Team Management Project

The Players



  • be affected by the project

  who is involved in the project and/or people whose interest may



  • during the project

  may have different influence and varying level of responsibility

  • may have positive or negative influence on the project
  • may be difficult to identify

The Players

   Customer/User: person or organization that will use the results of a project.

  There may be multiple layers of users.


Performing Organization: the organization mostly involved in the project

   Project team members: the group performing the work


Project management team: the members of the team directly involved in

project management

   Sponsor: person or group providing the financial resources

   Influencers: people or groups not directly related to the project who could influence the course of a project

The Players (ctd)

   There may be overlaps among different stakeholders (the customer may also be the sponsor)

   There are other characterisations:

  • Sellers and contractors


The Players (you)

   Project Manager:

  • person responsible of managing the project
  • person responsible of managing stakeholder expectations
  • a negotiator and a facilitator
  • the reference person for a project

   Some skills

  • communication and negotiation skills
  • a little predisposition to risk
  • goal oriented
  • Leadership

   Summing up (according to Sernia):

The role of the PM

   The PM ensures that the


  project goals are met according to the constraints


The PM and its environment

  sponsor resources resources Expectations, Achievable goals Constraints, opportunities performing influencers organization results PM Goals, plan, … Services, or results Products, Commitment Information, Achievable goals,

  Process Groups and Knowledge Areas

  Process Groups and Knowledge


   Process Groups defines the activities necessary to carry out a project

   Knowledge areas organize the skills necessary to carry out the project groups

  Integration charter and management plan project execution project work; Project Management Develop Project Develop project Direct and manage Monitor and control Close project Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring and Closing Controlling Project Scope Management Scope planning, scope Scope verification; scope statement preliminary definition, create WBS scope control change Integrated control Project Time Management Activity Definition, Schedule control estimation, schedult and duration sequencing, resource development Project Quality Management Quality planning Quality assurance Quality control Project Cost Management Cost estimation, cost Cost control budgeting Management planning stakeholder Project Communication Communications Information distribution Performance reporting, Management Project Human Resource HR planning Acquire project team, Manage project team develop project team Project Risk Management Risk Management Risk monitoring and qualitative and identification, planning, risk control management quantitative risk

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