CHAPTER 8: PROGRAM & PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Project teams are made up of
staff and consultants from various functions of the organization
Program management
is the coordinated management of interdependent projects over a limited period of time in order to achieve a set of business goals.
Project management
is tactically focused versus strategically focused program management
Program management also focuses on achieving business results to create a competitive advantage; while project management tends to focus on ___________
planning and executing the work required to deliver the end product.
The PMO
also known as the project management office is responsible for ensuring that project teams are working well together and addressing the functionality issues in a timely, open, and efficient manner.
The PMO must make sure that team activities remain synchronized and that progress is made while focusing on three major aspects; time, resources, and scope. These three make up the project management triangle which must remain in sync at all times. Should any of these three become unbalanced a lack of progress in implementation will occur.
Project managers must possess a wide range of skills such as
the ability to negotiate, working well in teams, and demonstrating political savvy.
The module experts and subject matter experts
are considered the heart of many projects.
Module experts are responsible for
analyzing requirements and converting them into solutions within the ERP. They provide direction and application knowledge with respect to business process design, configuration, testing, training and implementation.
Subject matter experts provide
coordination and facilitation of communications between the project team and the organization. SMEs prioritize functional requirements of the project and provide leadership and expert knowledge.
The module experts are project driven individuals
where as the SMEs are not.
Project leadership comes primarily from the project manager
These individuals are flexible, disciplined, quick learners, who possess a likeable personality, excellent decision-making and effect motivational skills, as well as political clout within the organization.
critical success factors of PMO’s, which include:
decision-making process, project scope, teamwork, change management, the implementation team and executive team.
team work is ranked as
number one in importance because of the team oriented aspects of project and program management.
change control documentation (“scope creep”)
which helps to outline the advantages, disadvantages, and implications (technical & end-user) of options.
implications for management are based on
communication and the skill set of the PMO.
1. What is the role of a project manager and program manager?
The role of project and program managers differs because project mangers focus on achieving tactical objectives, where as program managers attempt to achieve strategic business goals. Typically project managers are responsible for single ERP modules, i.e. the customer relations information. The project manager must help set up goals between the technical and functional staff of their module. The program manager’s role is to coordinate projects over a set period of time in order to achieve business goals. Both project and program managers must address critical success factors of the project
2. What are the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to be a project manager?
A project manager must be a disciplined, flexible individual that has business and ERP experience. Other skills that are helpful include political clout, formal education, a likable personality and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to motivate. The lack of experience of the ABC manufacturing staff was the reason its ERP implementation failed. The project manager did not have the experience with large ERP systems implementations or with project management; it is not surprising that the initial implementation failed.
3. Name five critical success factors and why they are important to the success of a project.
The five critical success factors of the PMO are the decision-making process, project scope, teamwork, change management, and the implementation team and executive team. The most important success factor is teamwork. Through training and team-building exercises, teamwork can help to keep the project moving along, using fewer resources. Change management uses communication and training to address concerns of staff that will ultimately be working with the ERP modules. These critical success factors are absolutely necessary
4. What role can the company executives play in an implementation?
Company executives are essential to implementation because of their individual support and commitment to a project. The change management that most likely will occur is more effective when executives are involved. Staff feels more secure when executives speak during kickoff meetings and explain how the organization will improve because of the implementation. Some speaking points may include cost savings, gained efficiencies, specifics about each department, and growth within the new system.
5. What is “scope creep” and why is it important to manage during an ERP implementation?
Scope creep is the unforeseen or uncontrollable changes that may happen during a project. If a problem arises during the implementation process, changes must be made while keeping all areas of the project in mind. The “white paper” is a document used to describe new functionality development. Options, costs, and timeframe are all involved in the white paper and can help to prevent scope creep. If these areas go unaddressed project deadlines and budgets can be over-run.