Project Management Assignment: Reflective Journal On Weekly Learnings
Task: In this project management assignment, students are required to write a Reflective Journal in which they reflect on unit content and learning experiences between weeks 1 and 11. In this assignment you should describe an interesting or important aspect of each week’s content/experiences, analyse this aspect of the week critically by incorporating and discussing academic or professional sources, and then discuss your personal learning outcomes.
Kent University is exceptional in providing with resources which are essential for academic development of students. In this project management assignment, I would like to mention that the project management course framework and module shaped up my overall understanding of the topic. Project management is a flourishing topic in the world of management and IT. IT can be defined as the utilization of specific techniques, tools, skills and knowledge to deliver value to people. Projects are unique in nature and differ in technicalities, design, development and operational processes. There are multiple attributes, aspects and factors that dictate the growth and success of the project. Over the years, the concepts and technicalities of the subject have improved and with the implementation of smarter system and ideas, the risks involved are reduced ensuring successful delivery of the project. The report holds a succinct reflection on the learning of the subject matter and the value it provided.
a. Description: Week one introduced the concept of project management, theories and ideas for the comprehension of the rapid need in of project management with special focus on IT projects. Project management is the utilization of resources to create value. Each project has its own attributes which is unique in nature and the same caught my interest. The project attributes make the project unique in nature with help of right resources, progressive elaboration, the consumer of the project and the value created by the project.
b. Analysis: The attributes of the project defines and set the tone for the development of the project. The attributes vary in case of each project and are crucially important for the growth and success of the project (Wang, Liu and Canel 2018). Each project is required to create value and bring a difference in the consumption or utilization propaganda. Resource procurement, sponsorship and the uncertainness became the exciting part for me.
c. Outcomes: Understanding the basic concepts of project management, the advantages and the utilization of the theories associated with the same enabled me to get clear picture of the subject matter. As an individual, coming from a different background, I lacked credible knowledge on project management, the module and the week lesson helped in taking the first step in creating a perspective about project management which was initially absent, thus helping me for future growth.
a. Description: With the understanding of the basic concepts on project management, week two introduced to system views of PM and the application if the same to IT or information technology projects. The lecture introduced the four frames, organization culture, organization structures and provided with reasons as to why the commitment of top management and stakeholders are crucial for the success of any project. This drew my attention to gain understanding of the reasons for the same. Top management aid project managers to successfully lead projects and are a proponent for the progress of projects.
b. Analysis: Certain aspects are crucial for the initiation and completion of complex and challenging projects. The top management and the stakeholders play an important role in achieving the goals and objectives of the project (Davis 2017). Support from the management and sincere commitment leads to time lag, cost issues and conflicts which hamper the growth and success of the project. As the management aids in mentoring, delegating leadership issues, cooperation, enhancing procurement, quick approvals and adequate resources.
c. Outcomes: Understanding the source of commitment and propagation factors is important in Project management. I agree with the fact that stakeholders and the commitment of top management is crucial for successful completion of the project. In daily life, the mentorship of professors and adult are important for self-development and future growth which is kind similar to the commitment and help of top management in projects.
a. Description: The initial understanding and factors of project management built a foundation for complex projects and future aspects. To enhance the module and lecture structure, a case study was introduced to provide real life scenarios thus polishing the learned concepts and aspects from previous weeks. The case study was extremely interesting and enabled me to apply the concepts and aspects of project management which was discussed in the previous lectures. There are multiple approaches for reaching the solution on a case study and this process is highly illuminating. The interesting portion of the lecture for me was understanding agile methodologies and focus in illustrating key differences.
b. Analysis: The solution for the case study becomes more effective and accurate when an agile approach is utilized. An agile team utilizes multiple deliveries and iterations of software without waiting for the completion of the project for providing one product (Hoda, Salleh and Grundy 2018). The implementation aids in taking informed decisions and the approach is better than any other SDLC model. The iterations aids in correcting the errors easily without passing it down on the next iteration. This aids in saving time, reduces cost and produces high quality product.
c. Outcomes: The Agile approach for the problem is a better fit and an effective way to deal with completed situations which requires quick delivery of products and optimizing cost for the production of a product. My questions were all cleared and were left with no confusions. The process of Agile was quite interesting for me and understanding the concepts of Agile through a case study enabled be to grasp on the approach better and gain a clear perspective on the same and I plan to apply the Agile methods in my future work.
a. Description: There key aspects of projects which include good project time management and understanding the importance of project schedules. Project management includes critical aspects for which a planning schedule management process is important and defining the activities in relation to the project schedules enable the managers to allocate resource and time accurately to prevent leaking loses. The lecture held information about the utilization of network diagram, activity scheduling, project schedules and estimating resources.
b. Analysis: Project schedules are significant for timely delivery of projects and reducing the utilization of extra cost. Schedule issues cause major conflicts mostly in the second half of the project. There are multiple plans involved in schedule management which are process description, reporting formats, performance rules, control thresholds, accuracy level, measure unit, scheduling methodology and project development model. Gantt charts are utilized for project scheduling, controlling and understanding the flow of work (Sharon, and Dori, 2017). Analyzing the Gantt chart was helpful for in understanding different processes involved in the example project.
c. Outcomes: The lecture enabled me to understand the technical aspects of project management and hands on experience on setting up Gantt charts on the basis of data. The process of developing a Gantt chart is highly exciting as it aided me to grasp the scheduling concepts better. The technicalities learnt from the lecture will definitely aid me in my future projects and management decisions but I need to work on further Gantt charts to improve myself.
a. Description: With the proceedings of the week and understanding of the various aspects of project management, week introduced to integration of PM and the execution of the same. The lectures included framework for successful integration of management with respect to project life cycle and management knowledge. For the completion and working of a project, selection processes are applicable with the application of suitable strategies in devising a project development plan. These caught my interest and I was thrilled to learn about the information technology planning process.
b. Analysis: The information technology planning process has certain pre-defined stages that clarifies the processes involved in the planning process (Taherdoost 2018). The last in the triangle is the resource allocation which is about selecting information and assigning resources, second to it is project planning, then business area analysis which involves document key business processes which will benefit from IT and lastly the IT strategy planning. These areas cleared the confusion for me and understanding these aspects was useful in devising solutions.
c. Outcomes: The lecture and the module materials had sufficient information which helped me to develop suitable concepts and understanding for the topic. I was intrigued to perform additional research to enhance my knowledge and work on case studies to utilize the learnt concepts and technicalities as it will help in mu future IT projects.
a. Description: Every project has its own associated risks and therefore it is important to have a good project management risks plan at hand. In the sixth week, project risk elements were meticulously discussed to help develop risk management plans with proper strategy and content. Project risk is the science and art in recognizing, analyzing the risks and mitigating the same with smart responsive plan to meet the best interest of the project, this being the reason and area of interest for me in this week’s lectures.
b. Analysis: Project risk management processes are often overlooked which can lead to major bottlenecks in the project lifecycle. The lecture enabled me to understand the importance of risk management in a project. A proper risk management strategy aids the improvement of success by aiding in the selection process, developing realistic estimate and determining the scope of the project (Rane, Potdar and Rane 2019). Since there are kinds of risks, it is importance to recognize the possibility of negative and positive risks. The goal lies in reducing negative risks and maximizing positive risks.
c. Outcomes: The concept of risks management is crucial for any project growth and development. Understanding the various risks, analyzing the same to effectively select mitigation processes overall provided a holistic knowledge base for me. My questions were all cleared and were left with no confusions. I took up case studies to run risk analysis and develop plans as the interest in me grew, thus helping me in developing finer risks management model.
a. Description: Each project requires the application of soft skills which ensures the proper functioning of the project and boost success mechanism. Week seven introduced me to the importance of good communications and the significance of developing soft skills as it is crucial for IT managers to handle their team. The lecture had detailed notes on the elements if planning project communications and means of creating communication channels. The part that had my interest was to understand the importance of soft skills and communication mechanism in particular as this is something I lacked as an individual.
b. Analysis:Analyzing the various aspects of project management, communication skills and channels are truly important in retaining the growth of the project for an IT manager and his or her team. The major threat lies to project is the lack of communication (Souza, Tereso, and Mesquita, 2020). It is a fact that culture do not dictate IT professionals as good communicators and research also showed the importance of communication skills required by IT professionals in succeeding their work. It enabled me to understand that communication is key to any project success as it aids in clearing out conflicts to avoid project snags and delays.
c. Outcomes: The same enabled me to understand the importance of communication as the essentially in communicating instructions and avoiding conflicts. Communications are exceptionally important in today’s world and with the understanding of the same; I decided to work on my communication skills to develop better soft skills as it will tremendously help me in future.
a. Description: The quality of work and deliverables are essential to understand the quality of the project achieved. Week eight introduced me to quality management aspects of project management and the importance of the same for IT services and products. The interesting part for me was to understand quality assurance and how the scope of the management is related.The quality relates to multiple aspects of IT projects which require quality management planning.
b. Analysis: Quality assurance includes majority of the activities which are related to related quality standards in satisfying the growth of the project (Kasamska and Tsvetkova 2018). There are multiple goals of quality assurance, one of which is continuous improvement. There are multiple organizations that implement Kaizen protocol to achieve continuous improvement. Working on this aspect, I performed multiple research to learn about additional concepts of quality performance which excited me as they are useful in minimizing waste and creating value.
c. Outcomes: The concept of quality management is extremely important for the development of a product. My questions were all cleared and were left with no confusions. I learnt various new concept of lean, kaizen and kanban that enabled to gain clear perspective on the objectives and goal of quality management and the same can be utilized when I am working in an IT set up for improving efficiency.
a. Description: The week introduced to project cost management and the justifications and importance in achieving success through cost management. The lecture had important discussion points which included project cost management process, terms, concepts, principles, methods and kinds of cost estimates. The point that caught my interest was the utilization of project management software in cost management. Cost management is essential to optimize resource and operational cost to prevent over expense.
b. Analysis: Cost management software is highly efficient in optimizing project cost and preventing overall increased expense. The software aids in increasing the manager’s effectiveness in each process of project cost management (Naik and Nayak 2019). I was lucky to work and understand on such a software which had the necessary tools and applications in reducing cost and optimizing the same.
c. Outcomes: Working on software other than spreadsheets had my interest in a jiffy and as project managers it is important to implement the same to efficiently manage cost information. I have looked for multiple types of software with enhanced tools. As a project manager in future, I will utilize such software to optimize cost.
a. Description: Resource management is important for the timely success of the project. Week ten had information regarding the significance of resource management in the contemporary world of global IT market. The field of interest for me lied in understanding the theories of power motivation and influence as they are essential to understand and empower a workforce.
b. Analysis: The theories associate with the concepts of influence, power and motivation are essential to understand. Maslow follows a hierarchy of from low to high which includes physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization (Hopper 2020). Each level requires to be met to reach the above goal. This enabled me to understand basic human psychology of needs.
c. Outcome: I was able to understand the concepts of need from a scientific point of view which was highly enriching experience for me and the fact it makes so much sense in our daily life was moving. My questions were all cleared and were left with no confusions.
a. Description: The last week, discussions were held on understanding the importance of procurement management and the increase in outsourcing IT. Project procure management includes determining proper type of contract, preparation and selection criteria and lastly analysis for procuring. My interest lied in understanding procurement management in project management. It means to acquire services and goods from an outside source.
b. Analysis: Procure management is crucial for the overall success of the project as it enables in resource optimization and selection (de Araújo, Alencar, and de Miranda Mota, 2017). I conducted research to understand the concept better and its utilization. Multiple IT projects procure services and goods from other organizations to reduce cost and optimize resources.
c. Outcomes: The overall concept enables me to have a clear understanding of different processes of project management and the essential elements associated with the same. With the end of the week, I have got clear perspective on project management and grew an interest in me to further pursue with the subject. I will further continue to research to gain extensive knowledge on the subject matter as it will enable me to become a successful project manager.
The discussion on project management, group activities and case studies conducted enabled me to gain holistic knowledge on the subject matter. Coming from a different background with negligible knowledge on project management, the content and the structure of the lesson aided me to create value and understanding of the various processes and concepts involved in PM. The subject brought in much interest which convinced me to conduct researches to gain additional learning about the same. There is a plan to participate in PM competitions to hone my skills further, take up certification courses and also consider a career in the field of project management.
Davis, K., 2017. An empirical investigation into different stakeholder groups perception of project success. International Journal of Project Management, 35(4), pp.604-617.
de Araújo, M.C.B., Alencar, L.H. and de Miranda Mota, C.M., 2017. Project procurement management: A structured literature review. International Journal of Project Management, 35(3), pp.353-377.
Dwivedula, R., 2019. Human Resource Management in Project Management: Ideas at the CUSP. European Project Management Journal, 9(1), pp.34-41.
Hoda, R., Salleh, N. and Grundy, J., 2018. The rise and evolution of agile software development. IEEE software, 35(5), pp.58-63.
Hopper, E., 2020. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Explained. ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 24.
Kasamska, R. and Tsvetkova, R., 2018. Monitoring, evaluation, and quality assurance in project management. VUZF Review, (1), pp.100-109.
Naik, P. and Nayak, S., 2019, April. Intelligence-Software Cost Estimation Model for Optimizing Project Management. In Computer Science On-line Conference (pp. 433-443). Springer, Cham.
Rane, S.B., Potdar, P.R. and Rane, S., 2019. Development of project risk management framework based on industry 4.0 technologies. Project management assignment Benchmarking: An International Journal.
Sharon, A. and Dori, D., 2017. Model Based Project Product Lifecycle Management and Gantt Chart Models: A Comparative Study. Systems engineering, 20(5), pp.447-466.
Souza, I., Tereso, A. and Mesquita, D., 2020, April. Communication in project management: an action research approach in an automotive manufacturing company. In World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies (pp. 64-73). Springer, Cham.
Taherdoost, H., 2018. How to lead to sustainable and successful IT project management Propose 5Ps guideline. Propose 5Ps Guideline (August 1, 2018).
Wang, Y., Liu, Y. and Canel, C., 2018. Process coordination, project attributes and project performance in offshore-outsourced service projects. International Journal of Project Management, 36(7), pp.980-991.