Monthly Archives: November 2014

Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

What I find most challenging about estimating activity duration and resource cost is making sure that the time allocated is utilized by the activity and not being wasted . Another challenge could possibly being prepare for any changes or issues that may occur, and to know what effects the changes will have on the project. Projects have a higher potential for conflict than non-projects (Portny, et al, 2008).  A project budget is derived from the project plan that calls for specific activities (Portny, et al, 2008). Along with schedules, objectives, activities to be preformed; project managers must develope budgets in order to obtain the resources needed to accomplish project objectives. Project managers need tools to assist them with keeping up with a projects progress, ensuring each task is being complete, resources are being allocated and utilized properly. There are available software a project manager can use to keep track of an entire project from start to finish.  The first software I came across can be used for small and large projects,  Microsoft Project, is a software that can be used anywhere. It allows for virtual collaborating between the teams involved. The great feature is that this software can be accessed online. This software allows the project manager to stay involved with every bit of the process from task completion and updates, to budget management. This software allows for clients, executives, and other shareholders to be closely involved with the project as well. You can find more great information about this software at https://products.office.com/en-us/project/project-and-portfolio-management-software. Basecamp  https://basecamp.com/ is another software I came across that has been around for sometime now. Basecamp has been used by many companies we all are pretty familiar with. Basecamp offers all the Project managers needs of collaborating with other team members, sharing documents and information, keeping track of resources and schedules. An awesome feature with Basecamp is that it has a app for both Apple and Android products, so there is no need to stress about having your laptop or being at a desktop, you can access your project right from your or tablet.

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Basecamp. (2014). retrieved from https://basecamp.com/

Project. (2014). Microsoft. retrieved from https://products.office.com/en-us/project/project-and-portfolio-management-software

 

 

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Communicating Effectively

Communication is a major factor in the success of a project. Viewing the “Art of Effective Communication” media, my initial interpretation of the message itself is that it is an urgent matter that needed to be addressed immediately. Each modality presented the message differently. Of all three, only one portrayed the urgency the message was sending off. Each of the messages presented the message in a different tone.

The factor that influenced my perception of this message was the content and the tone. The content describe the importance of the information being requested. The sender was considerate but also firm about what was needed and displayed the in a respectful urgent manor.

After reviewing each modality, I interpreted the email message to portray the most urgency. I personally feel that when communicating a message this important one should use 2 if not all methods of communicating.

I learned from this that when communicating with peers, you need to use a primary and a secondary form of communication to get a message across. I learned that you have to present the proper tone while still effectively communicating what the priority of the message is.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). ” Art of Effective Communication”. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Learning from a Project “ Post-mortem”

Pardon my tardiness all, I have been having one of those weeks, New Schedule, New responsibilities and this assignment fell through the cracks of me keeping on task with all I needed to get done.

With that said:

The most recent project that I worked on with a group was for our first Instructional design course, where we created an Instructional plan to teach/ train students new and old how to access and successfully maneuver the learning management system Blackboard. The purpose was to provide students enrolled in distance education programs knowledge and tools to be successful through out their journey.  I worked on this project with four other individual and we each assumed a role from the acronym ADDIE, the Instructional Design process used to create instructional material.

The project was a success we were able to create material sufficient enough that could be beneficial to learners.  One of the first things I can think of that contributed to the success of our project. Communication, my group used every form of communication possible within the distance learning community. We communicated with each other about every aspect of the project.  Although we each had individually assigned portions of the project, we took advantage of the knowledge our teammates had, suggestions, opinions and we discussed them at the start of each week and assignment. A leader was assigned each week, so I guess one could kinda assume that role as also the project manager. That individual along with the rest of the team discussed times to meet and topic s to be discussed to ensure we stayed on task.

Another contribution to the success is that of the project is that we address any issues anyone was having right away. We create a plan and use that as a guide to assist us, this way each person was able to keep on track what stage we were at in the project if the anything happen.

I believe that the only part of the PM process that would have contributed to the success is if there was one individual assigned to strictly do the project managing work, like schedule, communicating needs, ensuring each task each week was completed and was within what was being asked in the assignment.

If I had to imagine myself involved in a project, where a project manager was present, I would say that it give the outcome of the project a greater chance to be successful.