621e2 essays

What are the 5 main processes in project scope management?
1. Collecting Requirements
2. Defining Scope
3. Creating the WBS
4. Verifying Scope
5. Controlling Scope
Describe the process of collecting requirements.
Collecting requirements involves defining and documenting the features and functions of the products produced during the project as well as the processes used for creating them. The project team creates stakeholder requirements documentation, a requirements management plan, and a requirements traceability matrix as outputs of the requirements collection process.
Describe the process of defining scope.
Defining scope involves reviewing the project charter, requirements documents, and organizational process assets to create a scope statement, adding more information as requirements are developed and change requests are approved. The main outputs of scope definition are the project scope statement and updates to project documents.
Describe the process of creating the work breakdown structure.
Creating the WBS involves subdividing the major project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components. The main outputs include a work breakdown structure, a WBS dictionary, a scope baseline, and updates to project documents.
Describe the process of verifying scope.
Verifying scope involves formalizing acceptance of the project deliverables. Key project stakeholders, such as the customer and sponsor for the project, inspect and then formally accept the deliverables during this process. If the deliverables are not acceptable, the customer or sponsor usually requests changes. The main outputs of this process, therefore, are accepted deliverables and change requests.
Describe the process of controlling scope.
Controlling scope involves controlling changes to project scope throughout the life of the project—a challenge on many information technology projects. Scope changes often influence the team's ability to meet project time and cost goals, so project managers must carefully weigh the costs and benefits of scope changes. The main outputs of this process are change requests, work performance measurements, and updates to organizational process assets, the project management plan, and project documents.
What is a work breakdown structure?
A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a deliverable-oriented grouping of the work involved in a project that defines the total scope of the project. Because most projects involve many people and many different deliverables, it is important to organize and divide the work into logical parts based on how the work will be performed. The WBS is a foundation document in project management because it provides the basis for planning and managing project schedules, costs, resources, and changes. Since the WBS defines the total scope of the project, some project management experts believe that work should not be done on a project if it is not included in the WBS. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a good WBS.
What are the inputs and tools used for creating a WBS?
The project scope statement, stakeholder requirements documentation, and organizational process assets are the primary inputs for creating a WBS. The main tool or technique is decomposition, that is, subdividing project deliverables into smaller pieces. The outputs of the process of creating the WBS are the WBS itself, the WBS dictionary, a scope baseline, and project document updates.
What are the five approaches for creating work breakdown structures?
1. User Guidelines
2. Analogy Approach
3. Top-Down
4. Bottom-up
5. Mind Mapping
Describe the user guidelines approach to creating a WBS.
If guidelines for developing a WBS exist, it is very important to follow them. Some organizations—the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for example—prescribe the form and content for WBSs for particular projects.

Many organizations provide guidelines and templates for developing WBSs, as well as examples of WBSs from past projects. At the request of many of its members, the Project Management Institute recently developed a WBS Practice Standard to provide guidance for developing and applying the WBS to project management.

Project managers and their teams should review appropriate information to develop their unique project WBSs more efficiently.
Describe the top-down approach to creating a WBS.
Most project managers consider the top-down approach of WBS construction to be conventional. To use the top-down approach, start with the largest items of the project and break them into their subordinate items. This process involves refining the work into greater and greater levels of detail. After finishing the process, all resources should be assigned at the work package level. The top-down approach is best suited to project managers who have vast technical insight and a big-picture perspective.
Describe the analogy approach to creating a WBS.
In the analogy approach, you use a similar project's WBS as a starting point. Some organizations keep a repository of WBSs and other project documentation on file to assist people working on projects. Viewing examples of other similar projects' WBSs allows you to understand different ways to create a WBS.
Describe the bottom-up approach to creating a WBS.
In the bottom-up approach, team members first identify as many specific tasks related to the project as possible. They then aggregate the specific tasks and organize them into summary activities, or higher levels in the WBS. The bottom-up approach can be very time-consuming, but it can also be a very effective way to create a WBS. Project managers often use the bottom-up approach for projects that represent entirely new systems or approaches to doing a job, or to help create buy-in and synergy with a project team.
Describe the mind mapping approach to creating a WBS.
Mind mapping is a technique that uses branches radiating out from a core idea to structure thoughts and ideas. Instead of writing tasks down in a list or immediately trying to create a structure for tasks, mind mapping allows people to write and even draw pictures of ideas in a nonlinear format. This more visual, less structured approach to defining and then grouping tasks can unlock creativity among individuals and increase participation and morale among teams.

After discovering WBS items and structure using the mind-mapping technique, you could then translate the information into chart or tabular form. Mind mapping can be used for developing WBSs using the top-down or bottom-up approach.
Describe the process of scope verification.
Scope verification involves formal acceptance of the completed project scope by the stakeholders. This acceptance is often achieved by a customer inspection and then sign-off on key deliverables. To receive formal acceptance of the project scope, the project team must develop clear documentation of the project's products and procedures to evaluate if they were completed correctly and satisfactorily. To minimize scope changes, it is crucial to do a good job of verifying project scope.

The project scope statement, WBS, WBS dictionary, project scope management plan, and deliverables are the main input for scope verification. The main tool for performing scope verification is inspection. The customer, sponsor, or user inspects the work after it is delivered. The main outputs of scope verification are accepted deliverables, change requests, and project documentation updates.
What are the 8 suggestions for improving the requirements process?
1. Develop and follow a requirements management process that includes procedures for initial requirements determination.
2. Employ techniques such as prototyping, use case modeling, and Joint Application Design to understand user requirements thoroughly.
3. Put all requirements in writing and keep them current and readily available.
4. Create a requirements management database for documenting and controlling requirements.
5. Provide adequate testing to verify that the project's products perform as expected. Conduct testing throughout the project life cycle.
6. Use a process for reviewing requested requirements changes from a systems perspective.
7. Emphasize completion dates.
8. Allocate resources specifically for handling change requests.
What does prototyping involve?
Prototyping involves developing a working replica of the system or some aspect of the system. These working replicas may be throwaways or an incremental component of the deliverable system. Prototyping is an effective tool for gaining an understanding of requirements, determining the feasibility of requirements, and resolving user interface uncertainties.
What does use case modeling involve?
Use case modeling is a process for identifying and modeling business events, who initiated them, and how the system should respond to them. It is an effective tool for understanding requirements for information systems.
What does Joint Application Design involve?
Joint Application Design (JAD) uses highly organized and intensive workshops to bring together project stakeholders—the sponsor, users, business analysts, programmers, and so on—to jointly define and design information systems. These techniques also help users become more active in defining system requirements.
List the main processes involved in project time management.
1. Defining Activities
2. Sequencing Activities
3. Estimating activity resources
4. Estimating activity durations
5. Developing the schedule
6. Controlling the schedule
Describe the "defining activities" process in project time management.
Defining activities involves identifying the specific activities that the project team members and stakeholders must perform to produce the project deliverables. An activity or task is an element of work normally found on the work breakdown structure (WBS) that has an expected duration, a cost, and resource requirements. The main outputs of this process are an activity list, activity attributes, and milestone list.
Describe the "sequencing activities" process in project time management.
Sequencing activities involves identifying and documenting the relationships between project activities. The main outputs of this process include project schedule network diagrams and project document updates.
Describe the "estimating activity resources" process in project time management.
Estimating activity resources involves estimating how many resources—people, equipment, and materials—a project team should use to perform project activities. The main outputs of this process are activity resource requirements, a resource breakdown structure, and project document updates.
Describe the "estimating activity durations" process in project time management.
Estimating activity durations involves estimating the number of work periods that are needed to complete individual activities. Outputs include activity duration estimates and project document updates.
Describe the "developing the schedule" process in project time management.
Developing the schedule involves analyzing activity sequences, activity resource estimates, and activity duration estimates to create the project schedule. Outputs include a project schedule, a schedule baseline, schedule data, and project document updates.
Describe the "controlling the schedule" process in project time management.
Controlling the schedule involves controlling and managing changes to the project schedule. Outputs include work performance measurements, organizational process assets updates, change requests, project management plan updates, and project document updates.
What are the 3 basic reasons for creating dependencies among project activities?
1. Mandatory Dependencies
2. Discretionary Dependencies
3. External Dependencies
Describe mandatory dependencies
Mandatory dependencies are inherent in the nature of the work being performed on a project. They are sometimes referred to as hard logic. For example, you cannot test code until after the code is written.
Describe discretionary dependencies
Discretionary dependencies are defined by the project team. For example, a project team might follow good practice and not start the detailed design of a new information system until the users sign off on all of the analysis work. Discretionary dependencies are sometimes referred to as soft logic and should be used with care since they may limit later scheduling options.
Describe external dependencies
External dependencies involve relationships between project and non-project activities. The installation of a new operating system and other software may depend on delivery of new hardware from an external supplier. Even though the delivery of the new hardware may not be in the scope of the project, you should add an external dependency to it because late delivery will affect the project schedule.
What is a network diagram?
A network diagram is a schematic display of the logical relationships among, or sequencing of, project activities. Some people refer to network diagrams as project schedule network diagrams or PERT charts. The network diagram represents activities that must be done to complete the project. It is not a race to get from the first node to the last node. Every activity on the network diagram must be completed in order for the project to finish. Not every single item on the WBS needs to be on the network diagram.
Activity-on-arrow (AOA) / Arrow diagramming method (ADM)
network diagram
-activities are represented by arrows and connected at points called nodes to illustrate the sequence of activities. A node is simply the starting and ending point of an activity. The first node signifies the start of a project, and the last node represents the end of a project.
critical path analysis.
Critical path method (CPM) is a network diagramming technique used to predict total project duration.

A critical path for a project is the series of activities that determine the earliest time by which the project can be completed. It is the longest path through the network diagram and has the least amount of slack or float.

Slack or float is the amount of time an activity may be delayed without delaying a succeeding activity or the project finish date. There are normally several tasks done in parallel on projects, and most projects have multiple paths through a network diagram. The longest path or path containing the critical tasks is what is driving the completion date for the project. You are not finished with the project until you have finished all the tasks.
How is the critical path calculated?
1. develop a good network diagram, which, in turn, requires a good activity list based on the WBS.
2. estimate the duration of each activity to determine the critical path.
3. add the durations for all activities on each path through the network diagram. The longest path is the critical path. The critical path shows the shortest time in which a project can be completed.
Theory of Constraints
The Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a management philosophy developed by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and discussed in his books The Goal and Critical Chain. The Theory of Constraints is based on the fact that, like a chain with its weakest link, any complex system at any point in time often has only one aspect or constraint that limits its ability to achieve more of its goal. For the system to attain any significant improvements, that constraint must be identified, and the whole system must be managed with it in mind.
Critical Chain Scheduling
Critical chain scheduling is a method of scheduling that considers limited resources when creating a project schedule and includes buffers to protect the project completion date. An important concept in critical chain scheduling is the availability of scarce resources. Some projects cannot be done unless a particular resource is available to work on one or several tasks. Other important concepts related to critical chain scheduling include multitasking and time buffers.
List the 3 project cost management processes.
1. Estimating Cost
2. Determining the Budget
3. Controlling Costs
Estimating Cost
involves developing an approximation or estimate of the costs of the resources needed to complete a project.
The main outputs are:
1. activity cost estimates
2. basis of estimates
3. project document updates
Determining the Budget
involves allocating the overall cost estimate to individual work items to establish a baseline for measuring performance. The main outputs are
1. cost performance baseline
2. project funding requirements
3. project document updates.
Controlling costs
involves controlling changes to the project budget. The main outputs of the cost control process are:
1. work performance measurements
2. budget forecasts
3. organizational process asset updates
4. change requests, project management plan updates
5. project document updates.
Cost Management plan
Created as part of integration management when creating the project management plan. It should include information related to:
1. level of accuracy for estimates
2. variance thresholds for monitoring cost performance
3. reporting formats
4. any other related information.
tangible and intangible costs
Categories for determining how definable the estimated costs and benefits are for a project.

Tangible costs/benefits are easily measurable. Intangible costs/benefits that are difficult to measure in monetary terms, and because of this, they are harder to justify.
direct and indirect costs
Direct costs are costs that can be directly related to producing the products and services of the project.Project managers should focus on direct costs, since they can control them.

Indirect costs are costs that are not directly related to the products or services of the project, but are indirectly related to performing the project. Indirect costs are allocated to projects, and project managers have very little control over them.
What are the 3 basic types of cost estimating?
1. rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate
2. budgetary estimate
3. definitive estimate
rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate
-can also be referred to as a ballpark estimate, a guesstimate, a swag, or a broad gauge.
-done very EARLY/BEFORE a project is officially started for project managers and top management to help make project selection decisions.
-The timeframe often 3+ YEARS prior to project completion.
-estimate's accuracy is typically -50 % BELOW TO +100% ABOVE.
-For IT, accuracy range is WIDER. Many IT pros auto double estimates for software development b/c history of cost overruns in IT projects
budgetary estimate
used to allocate money into an organization's budget
-usually developed 1-2 YEARS into the future; ie 1-2 YEARSprior to completion
-accuracy is typically -10% BELOW TO +25 % ABOVE
definitive estimate
-MOST accurate estimate of project costs.
-used for making many purchasing decisions for which ACCURATE estimates are required and for estimating final project costs.
-made <1 YEAR prior to project completion.
-The accuracy of this type of estimate is normally -5% BELOW to +10% above
List 4 problems with IT cost estimates.
1. Estimates are done too quickly
2. Lack of estimating experience
3. Human beings are biased toward underestimation.
4. Management desires accuracy
"Estimates are done too quickly"
-estimates for a large software projects are complex tasks, take alot of EFFORT.
-Many estimates must be done QUICKLY and before clear system requirements have been produced.
-Rarely are accurate late estimates LESS than early estimates.
-It is important to remember that estimates are done at various stages of the project, and project managers need to explain the rationale for each estimate.
"Lack of estimating experience"
-people who develop software cost estimates often DO NOT HAVE MUCH EXPERIENCE with cost estimation, especially for large projects.
-usually NOT ENOUGH accurate, reliable project DATA available on which to base estimates.
-estimates can be improved by using good PM techniques to GATHER DATA
-Enabling ITs to RECEIVE TRAINING/MENTORING on cost estimating would help too
"Human beings are biased toward underestimation"
-eg senior IT pros or project managers might make estimates based on their own abilities and FORGET JUNIOR associates
-Estimators might forget to allow for EXTRA COSTS needed for INTEGRATION/TESTING on large IT projects.
-It is important for project managers and top management to review estimates and ask important questions to make sure the estimates are not BIASED.
"Management desires accuracy"
-Management might ask for an estimate, but REALLY desire a more accurate number to help them create a bid to win a major contract or get internal funding.
-It is important for project managers to help develop good cost and schedule estimates and to use their leadership and negotiation skills to stand by those estimates.
3 values calculated for activity in earned value management
1. Planned Value (PV)
2. Actual Cost (AC)
3. Earned Value (EV)
Planned Value (PV)
also called the budget
- portion of the approved total cost estimate planned to be spent on an activity during a given period.
-eg project includes summary activity of purchasing and installing a new Web server. according to the PLAN, it would take one week and cost a total of $10,000 for the labor hours, hardware, and software involved. The planned value (PV) for that activity that week is, therefore, $10,000.
Actual Cost (AC)
total direct and indirect costs incurred in accomplishing work on an activity during a given period. For example, suppose it actually took two weeks and cost $20,000 to purchase and install the new Web server. Assume that $15,000 of these actual costs were incurred during Week 1 and $5,000 was incurred during Week 2. These amounts are the actual cost (AC) for the activity each week.
Earned Value (EV)
an estimate of the value of the physical work actually completed.
-based on the original planned costs for the project or activity and the rate at which the team is completing work on the project or activity to date.
Precedence diagramming method (PDM)
network diagram
-boxes represent activities. It is particularly useful for visualizing certain types of time relationships.
The rate of performance (RP)
ratio of actual work completed to the percentage of work planned to have been completed at any given time during the life of the project or activity.
3 project quality management processes
1. Planning quality
2. quality assurance
3. quality control
Planning quality
identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and how to satisfy those standards.
-Incorporating QUALITY STANDARDS into project design is a key part of quality planning.
-For an information technology project, quality standards might include 1. allowing for system growth 2. planning a reasonable response time for a system 3. ensuring that the system produces consistent and accurate information.
Outputs of Planning quality
1. quality management plan
2. quality metrics
3. quality checklist
4. process improvement plan
5. project document updates
Quality Metric
A metric is a standard of measurement. Examples of common metrics include
1. failure rates of products produced
2. availability of goods and services
3. customer satisfaction ratings.
quality assurance
periodically evaluating overall project performance to ensure that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards.
-process involves taking responsibility for quality throughout the project's life cycle.
Outputs of quality assurance
1. organizational process asset updates
2. change requests
3. project management plan updates
4. project document updates.
quality control
1. monitoring specific project results to ensure that they comply with the relevant quality standards
2. identifying ways to improve overall quality.
-This process is often associated with the technical tools and techniques of quality management
-Pareto charts
-quality control charts
-statistical sampling.
outputs of quality control
1 quality control measurements
2 validated changes
3 validated deliverables
4 organizational process asset updates
5 change requests
6 project management plan updates
7 project document updates.
What are the three main outcomes of quality control?
1. Acceptance decisions
2. Rework
3. Process adjustments
Acceptance decisions (quality control)
determine if the products or services produced as part of the project will be accepted or rejected.
-accepted = validated deliverables.
-rejected = rework
Rework (quality control)
action taken to bring rejected items into compliance with product requirements or specifications or other stakeholder expectations.
- often results in
*requested changes
*validated defect repair
- resulting from
*recommended defect repair
*corrective/preventive actions.
Rework can be very expensive, try to avoid
Process Adjustments (quality control)
correct or prevent further quality problems based on quality control measurements.
- often found by using quality control measurements
- often result in updates to
*quality baseline
*organization process assets
*project management plan.
What are the five phases in the DMAIC process?



Define (DMAIC)
Define the problem/opportunity, process, and customer requirements. Important tools used in this phase include a project charter, a description of customer requirements, process maps, and Voice of the Customer (VOC) data. Examples of VOC data include complaints, surveys, comments, and market research that represent the views and needs of the organization's customers.
Measure (DMAIC)
: Define measures, then collect, compile, and display data. Measures are defined in terms of defects per opportunity.
Analyze: (DMAIC)
Scrutinize process details to find improvement opportunities. A project team working on a Six Sigma project, normally referred to as a Six Sigma team, investigates and verifies data to prove the suspected root causes of quality problems and substantiates the problem statement. An important tool in this phase is the fishbone or Ishikawa diagram.
Improve (DMAIC)
Generate solutions and ideas for improving the problem. A final solution is verified with the project sponsor, and the Six Sigma team develops a plan to pilot test the solution. The Six Sigma team reviews the results of the pilot test to refine the solution, if needed, and then implements the solution where appropriate.
Control: (DMAIC)
Track and verify the stability of the improvements and the predictability of the solution. Control charts are one tool used in the control phase.
What are the five major cost categories related to quality? Briefly describe each category.
1 Prevention cost: The cost of planning and executing a project so that it is error-free or within an acceptable error range. Preventive actions such as training, detailed studies related to quality, and quality surveys of suppliers and subcontractors fall under this category. Detecting defects in information systems during the early phases of the systems development life cycle is much less expensive than during the later phases. One hundred dollars spent refining user requirements could save millions by finding a defect before implementing a large system. The Year 2000 (Y2K) issue provides a good example of these costs. If organizations had decided during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that all dates would need four characters to represent the year instead of two characters, they would have saved billions of dollars.
2 Appraisal cost: The cost of evaluating processes and their outputs to ensure that a project is error-free or within an acceptable error range. Activities such as inspection and testing of products, maintenance of inspection and test equipment, and processing and reporting inspection data all contribute to appraisal costs of quality.
3 Internal failure cost: A cost incurred to correct an identified defect before the customer receives the product. Items such as scrap and rework, charges related to late payment of bills, inventory costs that are a direct result of defects, costs of engineering changes related to correcting a design error, premature failure of products, and correcting documentation all contribute to internal failure cost.
4 External failure cost: A cost that relates to all errors not detected and not corrected before delivery to the customer. Items such as warranty cost, field service personnel training cost, product liability suits, complaint handling, and future business losses are examples of external failure costs.
5 Measurement and test equipment costs: The capital cost of equipment used to perform prevention and appraisal activities.
Describe the relationship between Six Sigma and Statistics. What statistical concepts are involved in the Six Sigma philosophy?
-An important concept in Six Sigma is improving quality by reducing variation. The term sigma means standard deviation. Standard deviation measures how much variation exists in a distribution of data. A small standard deviation means that data clusters closely around the middle of a distribution and there is little variability among the data. A large standard deviation means that data is spread out around the middle of the distribution and there is relatively greater variability. Statisticians use the Greek symbol s (sigma) to represent the standard deviation.
-A normal distribution is a bell-shaped curve that is symmetrical regarding the mean or average value of the population (the data being analyzed). In any normal distribution, 68.3 percent of the population is within one standard deviation (1s) of the mean, 95.5 percent of the population is within two standard deviations (2s), and 99.7 percent of the population is within three standard deviations (3s) of the mean.
-Standard deviation is a key factor in determining the acceptable number of defective units found in a population. Being plus or minus six sigma in pure statistical terms means only two defective units per billion. However, the target for Six Sigma programs is 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Based on Motorola's original work on Six Sigma in the 1980s, the convention used for Six Sigma is a scoring system that accounts for more variation in a process than you would typically find in a few weeks or months of data gathering. In other words, time is an important factor in determining process variations.