What impact do your decisions have on cost, schedule, and performance?

Below are four mini-cases from practice. Break into small groups and (1) analyze the case and (2) provide five recommendations for the IT department.

Project A

You’ve just taken over a project from another project manager and have come back from a very uncomfortable meeting with your business sponsor. In the meeting, the sponsor told you how dissatisfied he is with the project’s performance to date and that he’s getting ready to pull the plug on the project entirely. Deadlines keep slipping, the application isn’t complete, and the sponsor feels like he can’t get in touch with anyone to give him an update on the project’s status and progress.

From conversations with your project team, you learn that requirements still haven’t been finalized, and the team is waiting for input before being able to proceed on several key parts of the application. Despite that, they’ve been able to push forward in other areas, and are quite proud of the work they’ve done. However, they haven’t had a chance to show it to the sponsor.

To complicate matters further, your boss has made it clear that this project must be completed on schedule, because he needs the resources for another project.

What do you do? What impact do your decisions have on the project’s cost, schedule, and performance?

Project B

Your project team has finished gathering the requirements and developing the solution design. Your team is broken into two main groups: The first group consists of the project manager, business analysts, and management and is located in the United States. The second group consists of the development and QA teams and they are located in India.

The WBS was developed based on estimates from the teams in India. The development team agreed to provide daily updates to you about progress against the WBS to make sure that the project’s milestones are going to be met

However, by the time the development team got close to the first milestone, it became obvious that they were behind even though their daily updates indicated that they are on track. In addition, the team adopted a different design approach than the one agreed upon at the beginning of the project.

The lack of meaningful updates from the development team along with a different design track has jeopardized the whole project by rendering the whole plan obsolete.

Your team is now at risk of not delivering the project.

What do you do? What is the impact to cost, schedule, and performance?

Project C

You have just taken over as the program manager of a large program with multiple tracks and a go-live scheduled in three months. At the first meeting with the project sponsors and key stakeholders, you find out that the business requirements are not complete and in some cases not started, project scope is not realistic to meet the upcoming go-live, and overall the project teams are confused due to lack of communication and understanding of priorities.

What do you do? What impact do your decisions have on the project’s cost, schedule, and performance?

Project D

You’ve just been assigned to take over a new project from an outgoing project manager.

The project is a high-visibility project that is using a development methodology that is new to you and to your company. In your transition meetings with the outgoing project manager, he assures you that development is complete, and all you have to do is shepherd the project through acceptance testing and release. As a result, several project team members were released as scheduled.

The acceptance testing does not go as smoothly as planned. The application has more defects than anticipated, and some core functionality is not able to be tested. The project team doesn’t feel like they are getting the direction they need to continue moving forward, and the business sponsor has asked you when he can expect to test application functionality that wasn’t a part of the original scope. In addition, your project’s deadline is rapidly approaching, and interproject dependencies make it unlikely that you will be able to push your launch date.

What do you do? What impact do your decisions have on cost, schedule, and performance?

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