Executing a project
1. Discussion: home assignment nr 3
2. Starting a project execution
3. Selecting a project management methodology
4. Overview on most popular methodologies
5. Everyday management
6. Scope management
7. Information management and reporting
8. Quality control and resource management
9. Using power in management
10. Motivation and devotion of project team
11. Supporting creativity and teamwork
12. Handling conflicts
Discussion on home assignment nr 3
The task: Prepare an initial draft of your examination work.
Topics to discuss:
1. Analysis of relevant information (experience obtained in dealing
with similar problems).
2. Composition of the activity system (activities and relations between
3. Estimating duration of the activities.
4. Estimating the necessary resources.
5. Risk analysis.
6. Structure of the project plan.
7. Work division.
The aim of the project execution phase
Achieving the project objective according to the project plan,
in a sustainable manner.
Starting a project execution
Project execution bases on general principles of management.
Project planning documents.
Other related documents (standards, technical documentation, analyses,
Institutional regulations (accountancy, hiring, procedures for preparing
contracts etc). NB! Very important, if the PM has not managed projects or
In a later phase of a project: corrections to the project plan and other
Recommendations – starting project execution
1. Use wisely the starting energy (like swarming effect by
2. Make staff members aware that starting a new project
causes inevitably change in the list of their priorities and
most probably also the structure of their activities.
3. Take into account that initial phase of project execution
has huge impact to the way how the project will be
executed (using tools/methods, interpersonal relations
Project management methodology – the concepts
Method (“meetod” in Estonian): principles for solving a single task from
a restricted problem area.
Methodology (“metoodika” in Estonian): combining different methods
for solving a complex task.
NB! Estonian “metodoloogia” has different meaning: science about
Examples of project management methodologies:
Selecting a project management methodology
General aspects of selection:
1. Different methodologies are based on quite different – if compared to
each other – principles.
2. By applying, any methodology should be adapted to the concrete
needs and conditions.
3. Experience and flexibility/creativity is more important than any theory.
4. Application of a new project management methodology presumes
adapting of general processes of the institution as well.
Agile project management methodologies
The need: classical (linear) approaches to project planning and execution
are in many cases problematic.
1. Multiple iterations of planning and execution.
2. Heavy involvement of stakeholders.
3. Empowerment of the project team; SSS-principle (speed, smart,
Role of the project manager – focus on creating of a supporting
environment (that is, not so much on process management):
1. Selecting the personnel.
2. Ensuring availability of necessary tools and work conditions.
3. Forming a “big picture” and ensuring that it is followed.
The basic documents: the Project Charter and Release Plan.
Agile project management methodologies
1. Simplicity to implement changes.
2. Intense communication between the team members and knowledge
sharing (TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More).
3. Delegating decision making and responsibilities.
4. Optimizing the activities (human labour).
5. Supporting creativity and innovations.
6. Gradual implementation of the projects’ outcome.
Google „AgileProject Management“:
• 31.10.2010 – 229 000
• 30.10.2011 – 2 510 000.
V-model – general principles
Is mainly used for (IT-)development projects in public and military sectors.
1. Minimizing the risks: determination of roles/responsibilities, enhancing
the planning practices, assuring transparency.
2. Ensuring the quality of the outcome: selecting indicators and milestones.
3. Minimizing the total costs occurred during the whole life cycle of a
product: standardized methods for development, using and maintenance
4. Enhancing communication between the stakeholders: diminishing
differences and misunderstanding.
Structure Order New iteration Acceptance
(partly): Specification Delivery
General design Integration
Detailed design Süsteemielementide realis-e
V-model – specific principles
1. Outcomes, activities and responsibilities/roles are structured and
correspond to each other.
2. Responsibilities are fixed: Who? When? What?
3. Activities are divided into compulsory and recommended;
Compulsory activities are: project management, quality
assurance, configuration management, problem and change
4. There are concrete strategies developed (11 in 2007) for project
5. Is strongly focused on outcomes.
PRINCE2 – processes
PRINCE2 is process based: 8 basic processes and 8 components.
Starting up a project (the only pre-project process),
Initiating a project, Directing a project, Managing stage boundaries,
Controlling a stage, Managing product delivery, Closing a project,
Every basic process has sub-processes.
For each process the following elements should be defined:
Fundamental principles, relations to other processes, process description,
requirements, hints and tips; additionally for sub-processes:
responsibilities, information needs, key criteria.
NB! Processes are designed according to the needs of a project.
PRINCE2 – components
1. Business case
6. Quality in a project environment
7. Configuration management
8. Change control.
For each component, the basic processes used in this component, are
4 management levels: corporate/programme, project, a stage, product
delivery (team leader).
Everyday management – basic principles
1. The tasks should be coherent/correspond to capabilities (“there
is nothing more unequal than assigning equal tasks to the people
with unequal capabilities”).
2. Not to change the subordination of project team members.
3. Contribution of the project team members should be adequately
4. Clearly state the responsibilities.
5. Follow codes of conduct.
6. Take into account the personality characteristics of staff
Recommendations – everyday management
1. Make explicit agreements about office hours, tasks and reporting.
2. Take into account a Chinese saying “People are not performing the
tasks a chief wishes but tasks that he checks (or will award)" .
3. Discuss and agree on the role of meetings.
NB! The decisions should be in written!
1. What are the basic threats and opportunities related to the project
team members that are product/outcome oriented, activities oriented
or communications oriented?
2. What would be the main differences in assigning tasks and reporting
procedures in case of people having the following personal
1. agrees to take whatever tasks but actually does not perform them
properly or performs them partly;
2. always argues against the tasks but nevertheless is executing the
assigned tasks correctly.
3. A case study: head of department – an expert; project manager and
programmer are staff members of the department. HoD assigned
tasks to the programmer without informing the project manager and
partly contradicting the tasks that were assigned by the project
manager. How would you solve this case?
Exercises – independently
1. Determine the basic differences between PRINCE2 methodology
and principles described in PMBOK Guide.
2. List problems that can arise in managing virtual project teams (see,
for example, http://projectmagazine.com/index.php).
3. Based on web sources (for example, www.ccspace.com) describe
the basic principles of agile project management.
Scope is defined as "The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver
a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.”
The aim of scope management is to assure that all necessary activities
are performed and only these.
Measuring: 1) comparing with the project plan; 2) comparing with the
General principle of scope management – minimum principle:
KISS – Keep It Small and Simple (better to have 50% in good quality
than 100% in bad quality).
Scope change management
The need for scope change is usually caused because:
Changes of internal and external conditions. Example: JEP 12418 (1y 2y).
The activities of scope change:
• Identify the need in scope change
• Manage changes integrating them into other processes.
Inputs to scope changes:
• Project activities
• Change requests.
NB! Every change has certain costs!
Information management – processes
According PMBOK Guide, Communications management is one of the
knowledge areas of project management.
The main purpose of information management is to assure information
handling (creation, collecting, processing, spreading, storing)
necessary for effective project execution.
• Planning – finding the information needs of stakeholders (what, when, how)
• Transmission – making information timely available
• Feedback – reports, proposals, assessments
• Completion – handling information necessary for completing a phase
Information management – aspects and responsibilities
• Agreements between the stakeholders (example: confidentiality)
• Deciding on tools (mail, web, RSS, Dropbox, meetings etc)
• Forms (oral, written, graphic; structuring, generality)
Responsibilities of a information source: assuring completeness, clarity,
unambiguity and compactness of information.
Responsibilities of a receiver: read and understand; confirm receiving if
Example: Academic Library
“Rules” of oral communication
“Rules”oforalcommunication(see section 4.5 of Lecture Notes):
1. Listen with comprehension
2. Reflect/give feedback
3. Do not interrupt
4. Ask questions
5. Observe the body language
NB! Oral communication is an important instrument in developing
common vision and identity.
The aim of reporting is to assure the decision makers that the
advancement of project’s execution goes according the project
Types of reporting (and control):
• Internal or external
• Formal/financial or informal
Recommendations – reporting
1. Internal reporting should be as small as possible and as big as
Example: the history of schools in Tallinn.
2. Prior agreement on changes with the decision makers, honesty
(do not manipulate the costs!) and transparency are necessary.
Example: JEP 12408, ETF (Szeged).
3. Check thoroughly reports before submitting.
Example: ETF printout.
The aim of control is to supervise the project execution and results for
assuring conformance to the requirements and making corrections if
The aspects to follow :
1. Finding the rate of tolerance (allowable difference from the requirements
2. Differentiation of random and systematic deviations
3. Conducting preventing activities (depending on risks and potential losses).
NB! It is important to reach clarity about the need for control.
Quality control – the methods
1. Direct check of the outcomes.
2. Analysis of the project execution against the project plan.
3. Pareto analysis (cause-effect analysis) for finding critical problems.
4. Trend analysis, analytical methods (extrapolation, statistical
5. Selecting a topic (restricted area) for detailed check.
The aim: distribute available resources between the actors in the best
possible (legitimate) way.
The basic principles for distribution of resources:
1. Balanced and purposeful.
2. Adequate (remuneration corresponds to the results).
Example: Viru 2 cleaning.
3. Collegial and grounded.
NB! Distribution of resources is one of the major reasons of conflicts.
Resource management – problems
1. Finding quantitative and qualitative indicators, their proportion and
2. Finding balance between funds allocated for achieving the direct
needs of the project and for enhancing the quality.
Example: funding of Estonian research projects.
of spending finances is reasonable.
4. Taking into account external factors (conflict of interests, salary
1. What are the main functions of speaking and listening?
2. For what kind of projects is communication particularly significant?
3. List the main differences between internal and external reporting.
4. Whether to allocate more resources to more efficient work groups
that are maybe not so important for the project or to the less efficient
work groups that do not bring results but are more important for the
5. Assume you are a project manager. A staff member asks for a bigger
salary. How do you behave?
Exercise – independently
Formulate the basic principles of Total Quality
Management (TQM) and analyze what would application of
these principles change in your professional activities.
Professional development of staff
Professional development normally does not belong to the tasks of a
project: competence development is a long-term process.
On the other hand:
• Every project should contribute to the development of the whole institution;
people are usually the most important asset of an institution.
• Investment to professional growth of staff members increases their
Problem: identification of training and consultancy needs.
Example: 0-VAT (turnover tax).
NB! Continuing training project managers is almost always appropriate.
Professional development – aspects
1. Systematic education can be considered as an investment to the
future; during a project concrete knowledge and skills are needed.
2. From the point of view of a project, short term courses and
consultations handling concrete problems are preferred.
3. Case studies, helpdesks and knowledge transfer portals may turn
to be very useful (especially if the regulations can differently be
Using administrative power – definition
Having power := being capable.
The goal: achieve maximal possible total capability of staff.
Positional power ( ):
• Legitimate power
• Supportive power
• Restrictive power ( .
) Prevention instead of punishment.
Example: having another job (JT).
Personal power ( ):
• By example
• As expert.
Using administrative power
The goal: achieve possibly high total capability and direct this for
The main tool: reasonable delegation of power (and responsibilities).
Expectations of project staff from the project manager:
3. apprehension of trends,
The problem: realization of power.
Project manager – realization of power
Project manager should have a reputation of a person who never fails.
(S)he should be able to:
• make a significant contribution,
• motivate others to make a significant contribution,
• achieve priority for the project,
• achieve acceptance of professional methods of actions.
People are in average using only about 30% of their potential.
The problem: how to release the remaining 70%?
• Creating pleasant work environment
• Involvement in decision making
• Take into account interests, competencies, priorities of staff members
• Mapping a work-day.
• Additional requirements
It is necessary to know what motivates every single person, what are
Activities for stimulating motivation:
• Recognition (critique is a major suppressing factor)
• Creating common vision (versus swan-pike-crab)
• Ensuring transparency (Example: Tampere Technology Park)
• Providing authority and resources (raising feeling of responsibility)
• Celebrating achievements.
NB! Satisfied needs are not a good motivator.
Competitiveness assumes innovation that in turn assumes creativity.
Intellectual properties that support creativity:
• Problem sensibility: Q-GSM
• Plenitude of new ideas
• Originality. Example: mirrors besides the lift doors.
• Flexibility. Example: the structure and curricula in University of Minho
• A goal that cannot be achieved using available tools. Example: land a man
on the Moon.
NB! New ideas can create conflicts.
NB! Innovation is competence based.
Creativity – supporting and inhibiting factors
• Existence/creating supporting structures/tools/indicators (for experimenting)
• Enough time for thinking and acquiring knowledge and developing skills
• Possibility to focus
• Creating enthusiasm
• Strongly fixed subordination and procedures
• Fear to fail and make mistakes
• Using “killer” expressions
1. Within what type of institution (functional, project based, matrix
type) training of people during the projects is more important?
2. How could it be justified if a manager will ask his secretary to
arrange/solve his personal?
3. What are the possibilities to achieve devotion if the objectives of
a project do not harmonise with the personal objectives of the
Exercises - independently
1. Bring an example of an unsuccessful project that could be
rescued with some training or consultation.
2. One possibility to divide personality types of managers is coined
from Ichak Adizes: Producer, Administrator, Entrepreneur,
Integrator). Find some other division of managers?
Teamwork and cooperation is the first personal competency cluster in
managerial unit B.4 of the PMCD Framework.
Weakness on co-operation and teamwork is one of the major causes
of failing projects (in Estonia as well).
• Good interpersonal relations
• A good first impression
• Positive prejudice
• Suitable distribution of roles, work assignments etc
• Common identity, goals, interests etc.
Factors inhibiting teamwork
1. Problematic interpersonal relations
2. Trying to perform tasks alone
3. Unfavorable first impression
5. Low ability to accept point of views of colleagues
6. Negative prejudice
7. Inadequate distribution of roles, work assignments etc.
Handling differences and conflicts
The aim: through managing differences and conflicts find appropriate
solutions and implement energy that is generated.
Synergy versus swan-pike-crab syndrome.
NB! Differences should not be eliminated; instead, good ideas should be extracted
The main sources of differences/conflicts are:
• Costs and budget
• Administrative procedures
• Technical questions
• Distribution of tasks
• Interpersonal relations.
Handling differences and conflicts
Strategies for handling differences:
• Creating a common ground
• Agreeing on a compromise
• Collecting and analysing information
• Focusing on problems, not on a person.
Levels of needs are necessary to take into account in preventing and
solving differences. (based, for example, on Maslow hierarchy):
Handling differences and conflicts – negotiations
The main instruments for preventing conflicts: respecting rights of
parties and taking into accounts their expectations.
The main instrument on solving differences: negotiations.
Techniques of negotiations:
• Be straightforward; find the cause of the problem
• Mark your behavior making introductions to your statements
• Avoid superfluous arguments
• Be aware of limitations of logic; interests prevail over the logic
• Avoid irritation and accusation
• Offer alternative solutions.
Suggestion: before handling conflicts, clarify the interests of involved
1. List threats that are related to the people who value teamwork.
2. In what cases it is reasonable assign a task that caused
problems to another person, in what cases not?
3. Bring an example of a project which had problems with
teamwork. What were the reasons of insufficient teamwork?
Exercises - independently
1. Describe the personality profiles of DISC classification:
Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness. What
aspects should be taken into account in incorporating people of
these profiles into teams?
2. What are the basic requirements of the code of conduct for
project managers completing the PMI training (Project
Management Professional Code of Professional Conduct)?
Friday, 9. December
Topic: specifics of software projects
Systematic training versus intense course
Systematic training Intense course
(Investment model) (Reaction model))