Project Management: A Team Exercise
By: Mubeen Bolar | Director, Project Management
The Project Manager is tasked with ensuring an IT project is delivered on time and on budget. Depending on the structure of the team a Project Manager is often someone who has the responsibility to make the project a success, but no authority over the project team members, as they may not report directly to the Project Manager. One of the responsibilities of a Project Manager is to motivate the project team to complete their individual tasks on time and under budget. The cumulative effect of each team member being on track helps the project to be on track, both in terms of timeline and budget.
There are three major areas of project management that should be a shared responsibility across the project team.
The Project Manager must make each project team member aware of the budget for the project. The individual actions of a team member can impact the cost by either increasing or decreasing the level of effort on individual tasks. A developer who is aware of the budget should make every effort to work efficiently, taking an approach to implementation that does not increase the level of effort. A developer who is not aware or not responsible can increase the level of effort by either over engineering or developing additional functionality that is not required by the client. Any increase in cost impacts the budget, resulting in the project going over budget.
Timeline and budget go hand in hand. When the level of effort on a task increase, it results in an increase in the cost. Ensuring that the level of effort is under control normally results in the project being on time. There may be some cases when the timeline may not impact the level of effort and cost. This can happen when a team member is on vacation and there is a delay in implementing the task. Clients are sensitive to shifts in the timeline as it impacts their go-live schedule. This can result in a customer satisfaction issue.
Risk Management is a team activity. Risks must be identified as early as possible and mitigated to ensure that the project remains on budget and on time. This requires each member of the project team to communicate the emergence of a risk as soon as possible. When a risk arises the project team must come up with steps to mitigate the risk.
When a project team takes joint responsibility for Budget, Timeline, and Risks, the chances for success increase. Project Teams often receive compensation in the form of a bonus based on the Profit Margin of the project. This encourages team members to take an active role in controlling the budget, timeline, and risks associated with a project.
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