Project Management Assignment
FINAL EXAM QUESTIONS
- Why is trust important in a project? How can lack of trust affect the project, team, and stakeholders? How can a project manager establish trust among the project team and stakeholders? Illustrate with an example (either hypothetical or real). (25 points)
- What is alignment in terms of project management? Why is alignment important? How can the project manager ensure alignment, and what can go wrong if alignment is not established? Illustrate with examples. (25 points)
Read the following case:
Cyress Wisdom, CEO of Letusdoit Software, is in a quandary about a project developing cheaper, accurate monitoring of home surveillance systems. The upgrade is needed to compete many new entrants into the rapidly expanding marketplace for home monitoring. Cyress was given an estimate of $600,000 to complete the project but now realizes it will cost at least $800,000. The project is already four months behind and needs a six-month extension. His team tells him they can turn things around and overcome the roadblocks they are encountering. Cyress has been committed to completing the project, but his gut feeling is that he should get out. Deep down, he knows that the project will never materialize. The CFO, familiar with similar projects, has suggested they axe the project, and bring in a consultant to kill it.
Cyress decided to reach out to his friend, Rhonda, the CEO of a consulting company for her advice and asks her, “When do you decide to terminate projects? How can we better identify and handle failing projects with escalating project costs and deadlines before they get out of hand?” She advices him to have another project manager take an independent look at this and other “at risk” projects to determine whether they are worth the time and money required. In cases where Cypress and the other project manager agree that the outcome seems grim, Rhonda suggests he call top management to review the doubtful project in relationship to other projects in their project portfolio.
Looking back, Cyress realizes the current project is not an isolated example. “Every project seems to cost more and take longer than they plan. Many fail.” Cyress wonders, “Why don’t we learn from our mistakes? How can we develop processes to identify when a project should be terminated early and how to ease project teams off these projects without wasted resources and embarrassment? How can we better learn from our mistakes?
Answer the following (35 points for all parts)
- What do you think Cyress should do in this case? What steps would you advise Cyress take to remedy this situation? Use what you know from the case and the course to build your arguments? (The answer will not be graded based on right or wrong but how the argument is developed.)
- What are some potential conflicts and problems that could result from the steps discussed (any mentioned in the case or recommended by you in part a)? How could you apply change management or conflict avoidance/resolution techniques to avoid or resolve these?
- Why are accurate estimates critical to project management? What would you advise Cyress to do about his problems with estimates? How to develop a process that would result in more realistic estimates?
- How should Cyress improve project management in his organization?
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