Question & Answer: Hi, I need help with this please: Essay Question: Since this is your first project with the…..

Hi, I need help with this please: Essay Question: Since this is your first project with the company, your manager would like to test your project management knowledge before you can begin to work on your own. Your manager has asked you to describe the characteristics of the project lifecycle and describe the characteristics of a successful project. To make sure you impress her, make sure your memo includes the following points:

1. What a project is, and how it differs from a process

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2. Brief discussion on all phases of a project.

3. Describe two criteria that may be used to select a project.

All assignments should be completed in a Word document using correct APA formatting (Headers, one inch margins and double spacing, title page and References page, etc.). Please complete the essay in a Microsoft Word document. Essays that are pasted into the Assignments area will not be accepted. The length of your essay response should be around 600 words. Points will be deducted for incorrect grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. All assignments should be uploaded here. The assignment is worth 50 points and grading details can be found in the embedded rubric.

Expert Answer

What is a project :-

A project is an undertaking of an individual or a company in order to acheive a particular aim which would benifit future prospects.A project may be carried out by defining sets of processes aligned in a manner to achieve the desired aim. For example : Consider a newly formed company which used to bill its clients manually by adding up few data points on excel wants to automate the whole process so that at the end of every month a mail shoots to the client telling them about the final payable amount. This can be called a project. Now in order to do that the company needs to make sure they capture all of the billing data online for all types of clients and make sure that a set of new clients are added by the software manager every month etc. all these are project requirements which are then converted into various processes aligned in order to reach the final aim.

Phases of a project :

There are mainly 4 phases of a project :

Phase 1 : Project Initiation : The aim of this phase is to decide the goal of this project on a broad level and basically to decide whether this project will be feasible to carry out or not by considering the end result and future prospects attained by this project versus the human resources , finance and other specific hardware and the estimated time required to finish this project and is there any othe way that we can use the same set of resources ,funds to make better use of time .A feasibility survey might also include opinions of stakeholders to be benifitted from the project so as to make sure the project is valued and important. Now for the above mentioned automation of billing system project in this phase 1 a Project manager would specifically think critically about the need of this project i.e why cannt the manual bill making work going ahead , he /she might contact the stakeholders to ask what are the problems with the manually made bills ? and how much of the finance depts time will this project save ? Does the end goal actually solve the problem or creates a few new ones etc.

Phase 2 :Project Planning : In this phase the scope of the project is defined and the project management plan is devised. A realistic timetable considering the amount of work required to be done and the number of available resources. In this phase work is allotted to all the team members and they are made aware of the baselines so as to make sure that the project is on track. A project manager will create various documents such as scope statement which is  A document that clearly defines the business need, benefits of the project, objectives, deliverables, and key milestones. A scope statement may change during the project, but it shouldn’t be done without the approval of the project manager and the sponsor. and other documents such as Work breakdown where in the work is divided into all the resources and deadlines are set in order to meet the final project timeline. Also various risks are identified by the PM such as changing requirements , lack of dedicated resources etc . in this stage .

Phase 3 : Execution :

This is the phase wherein all of the palnning is in place and it needs to followed by all the resources to perfection. However many new realistic challenges appear which were not realised earlier by the PM and his team which now need to be solved immidiately without affecting the schedule by much. At this stage a Project manager tracks the progress of the project by keeping a close eye on the teams making sure all the teams and resources are working with full enthusiasm and are meeting their target deadlines. Various status meetings are held wherein PM comes to know about the process completion status from each of the resource and makes sure that the team is all charged up and looking forward at the finish line at the end of every meeting . During these meetings he identifies various key problems which could be technical as well as lack of dedication from a few resources or increasing budget and tries to come up with solutions so as to fix these making sure quality of the project is not hampered in any way.

Phase 4 :

Project Closure :This is the time where in all of the testing has happened and the project is finished with the product working extremely fine. At this stage a PM holds a final meeting wherein the entire project development period is analyzed as to know which predictions went wrong and which went right and appreciates the efforts of all of the resources .A PM however maintains all of the project related documents along with him as he is the one who is answerable to all of the project related queries in the future.

Two criteria used to select a project

1) Realistic Aim with need:

2) Return on investment:

1) Realistic aim with need :

Prior to selecting an aim one should deinitely think critically and do some background research to find out whether there is an actual need to this project or if the world can work just fine even without carrying out this project. Also one should find out that the way with which the problem that this project is aiming to solve can actually be achieved with the current state of resources with available skillsets and funding etc.

2) Return on investment :

Prior to jumping into a project one should identify the amount of returns that one is expecting out of the project and the investement that needs to be done . A project might require skilled resources , labour ,their payments , infrastructure costs , recurring costs , hardware costs and a sufficient amount of time . All these things should be accounted before deciding to invest time and brain into the project. If the returns that one is getting after the project finishes are exciting and are worth the effort put into the project then only one should select that particular project

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