Project Objectives and Description
As you probably know or will learn as the class progresses, some of the management practices used in organizations today are not ideally suited for monitoring and controlling project finances.
The PMBOK indicates the monitoring and controlling process group “…consists of those processes required to track, review, and orchestrate the progress and performance of the project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required; and initiate the corresponding changes”. The process group also involves: (1) “controlling changes and recommending corrective or preventive action in anticipation of possible problems”; (2) monitoring the ongoing project activities against the project management plan and the project performance baseline”; and (3) influencing the factors that could circumvent integrated change control and configuration management so only approved changes are implemented”. (PMBOK, page 57).
The objectives of this individual project are twofold:
- First, to investigate management practices used by your organization and to identify issues that may detract from the organization’s ability to monitor and control project finances.
- Second, to propose changes to these management practices to help resolve these issues and explain how these proposed changes will optimize project financial monitoring and control efforts.
My organization is : Raytheon
You will develop a Project Financial Monitoring and Control proposal documenting these efforts, making use of: (1) this course and past project management and financial management coursework; (2) your own professional experience; (3) knowledge and experience resident in your organization; and (4) additional research. The majority of the coursework pertaining to this assignment will be covered in sessions 1 through 5. This assignment is due in session 10.
A template for the proposal will not be provided. If it hasn’t happened already, you should expect, at some point in your career, to develop a white paper, a proposal, or some other type of document with only a final objective or two for guidance. You are free to organize the proposal as you see fit as long as the following particulars are included: (1) a statement describing the organization type (e.g., state, local, or federal government, etc.); (2) a discussion of the organization’s business line(s); (3) and a discussion of the organization’s strategic objectives. The organization’s identity shall be masked in the proposal and the proposal shall be free of any proprietary or closely-held company information, as well as any other information that could reveal the organization’s identity.
The purpose of any proposal is to sell a product, service, idea, etc. In this case, you are selling a set of recommendations aimed at resolving issues associated with your organization’s ability to monitor and control project finances. Address your proposal to your organization’s decision makers. Put yourself in their shoes on the receiving end of the proposal. What would you want to know?
- What are you selling?
- How does it apply to me?
- Why should I buy it?
- What benefits do I receive?
- What actions do I need to take to realize the benefits?
- How long will it take to realize the benefits?
- How much will it cost?
For the purposes of this assignment, the last two questions (time and cost) should be addressed, at least, in relative terms. A detailed time and cost analysis is not required. However, if you intend to share the outcome with your organization, you might want to consider including a more detailed analysis at some point in time.
THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO ORGANIZE YOUR PROPOSAL IN THIS FASHION. THIS IS SIMPLY A LIST OF THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER WHEN PREPARING YOUR PROPOSAL.
Other things to consider:
- This is not a proposal to do a study to identify issues and propose solutions.
- One or more past project efforts may be used to illustrate existing issues impacting the organization’s ability to monitor/control project finances. However, the proposal must address the organization’s overall ability to monitor/control project finances.
- For this assignment, assume at least part of your target audience (the organization’s management) does not understand anything about project management concepts, tools, and techniques or managing project finances.
- Issues should be narrowly focused. Broadly stated issues typically result in broadly stated solutions. Management may be reluctant to invest time and money unless the scope of the effort is perceived to be manageable. Provide sufficient detail to fully explain the issue and its impact on project financial monitoring and controlling activities (see the third bullet above).
- Proposed solutions must address the associated issue(s). Sufficient detail must be included to describe how the solution resolves the issue(s) and how the solution is to be implemented (see the third bullet above).
- There are issues that impact an organization’s ability to complete a project on time and within budget that do not necessarily impact an organization’s ability to monitor/control project finances. Make sure you can articulate a clear connection between the issues you choose and the organization’s ability to monitor/control project finances.
- The effectiveness of your message can be adversely affected by writing mechanics issues and the clarity of your proposal
You will provide two interim milestone reports before submitting your proposal. The purpose of the interim milestone reports is to make sure you are headed in the right direction.
Milestone 1 – Explain the project objectives and requirements to decision makers within your organization to gain organizational support for your efforts and access to organizational information (excluding financial data). If you are unable to gain organizational support for your project, choose an imaginary organization.
Develop a statement describing the organization type (e.g., state, local, or federal government, etc.); and the organization’s business line(s) and strategic vision or objectives. You may chose the entire organization or a portion of the organization.
Report your progress in the Individual Project Milestone 1 discussion forum by Sunday of Session 2. A milestone report template is provided in course content.
Milestone 2 - Identify the issues that may detract from the organization’s ability to optimally monitor and control project finances. Put yourself in the shoes of a project manager in your organization. What would you do, starting in the planning phase of the project, to make sure you could successfully monitor and control project finances? What elements of the project management plan or associated planning artifacts would you focus on? Now translate these to the organization level. What must be present (processes, procedures, instructions, practices, tools, training, etc.) to establish a firm foundation throughout the organization for successfully monitoring and controlling the finances of all projects? Where are the holes?
Focus your efforts on four to five of the most significant issues. Submit this summary in the Individual Project Milestone 2 discussion forum by Sunday of session 6. A milestone report template is provided in course content.
Note: If your organization has no apparent issues with respect to its ability to monitor and control project finances, create some simulated issues.
Submit the completed project report in your assignment folder by Sunday of session 10. The project report must be submitted as a MS Word document. Line spacing: 1½; font: 12 point; pages: 15 (maximum).
You will be evaluated on:
- The organization and content of the completed project report. Does it tell a complete and compelling story in a logical and readable manner? Are issues clearly linked to project financial monitoring/controlling activities? Is sufficient detail provided to clearly explain the issue and its impact on project financial monitoring/controlling activities?
- Adherence to project milestones and other assignment requirements
- Correct application of financial management concepts, tools, and techniques
- Correct application of project management concepts, tools, and techniques
- Rationale for proposed solutions. Are solutions clearly linked to associated issues? Is sufficient detail provided to clearly describe how the solution resolves the issue(s) and how the solution is to be implemented?
- Feasibility of proposed solutions with respect to their associated issue(s).
- Writing mechanics and adherence to APA standards