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PROJ 6000 Principles of Project Management Assignment - Personal Reflection, Laureate International Universities, Australia
Learning Outcomes -
1. Understand PMBOK knowledge areas and process groups and their role, relevance and impact on project management best practice and PMI's Code of Ethics.
2. Critically compare and contrast project management approaches and their appropriateness for managing a variety of project types.
3. Apply appropriate project management tools and techniques, paying particular attention to risk management.
4. Critically reflect on the leadership styles necessary to succeed in a range of project management situations, and their personal capacity to succeed in those situations.
Task - Submit a reflection of your learning throughout the subject using the given case study.
Case - 3 Million Uber Drivers Are About to Get a New Boss Inside Uber's latest attempt to rebuild its app for drivers, the biggest experiment in the gig economy. by ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL.
Answer - Project Management Techniques - Application and Analysis
Question 1: PMBOK knowledge areas and PMI's code of Ethics
PMBOK knowledge areas and process groups offer vertical and horizontal solutions to best practices in project management (Hartney, 2016). Step wise considerations of the processes turn project ideas into life and contribute to unification of the entire process. Ten basic management techniques have been outlined under this:
1. Project Integration Management - Functionality that helps in project integration as a whole, right from its initiation with use of a project charter and then with a project management plan that manages distribution and planning of work. It involves generation of necessary knowledge to execute and monitor the project with earned value analysis, generate status reports and ensure delivery of the project on time.
2. Project Scope Management - deals with defining the boundaries of a project by outlining the scope of issues it can address, resolve or execute. Project scope is defined with efficient allocation of resources and in minimum possible time required. A scope statement outlines the activities under the project with a WBS (work breakdown structure) that is a tabular representation of the project tasks. Step wise project deliverables are validated by the client or the recipient and a control is maintained on execution so as to ensure timely deliverables.
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3. Project Schedule Management - This segment develops form the scope details and contains information on how each scope needs to be planned/ scheduled and under which department. Timelines are allocated to each sub division of work along with budget. A sequential break down of the activities therefore details the work from start to finish, usually in a network diagram or an excel sheet and includes delivery timelines. The earned value management procedure constantly updates project status at regular intervals.
4. Project Cost Management - Involves budgeting of the project with rigorous cost considerations and criteria for changes, inclusive of uncertainties. Cost is estimated on available resources on labor, equipment and materials and all other inputs required for task completion.
5. Project Quality Management - Quality control determines key input factors such time, resources and cost in management. Better quality demands greater expenses to meet businesses expectations. Quality specifications on the product or services are therefore guided stand alone documents that provide instructions on inspection for maintenance of quality and service standards.
6. Project Resource Management - This segment of the management procedure emphasizes on roles and responsibilities required by the project as part of a Human Resource Management Plan. Allocations of resources are based on availability and cost considerations. Other key factors are development of the team environment to ensure fruitful interaction between team members and better team cohesiveness in view of maximization of output
7. Project Communications Management - project level communication is the strength to effective performance of all project plans. Improved communication reduces time lags created on project gaps, enhances customer relationships by keeping all stakeholders in the loop. Investor circulars, progress updates maintain standards of communication in companies and keep employees updated on unexpected changes or delays.
8. Project Risk Management - Risk management risk identification with qualitative and quantitative risk analysis methods that assess the likelihood of risks associated with projects and their impact. Risk mitigation procedures involves carefully drafted strategies that are regularly updated and monitored. Companies engage in building response strategies to mitigate risks for their employees and in operations.
9. Project Procurement Management - Project procurement management involves hiring of contractors with better expertise and ability to control the schedule and quality of the project. The process involves issuing statements of work, TOR, request for proposals and choosing a vendor.
10. Project Stakeholder Management - Stakeholder concerns are addressed with priority and project execution plans are built to address such concerns effectively. Success of a project closely depends on stakeholder management and satisfying their expectations.
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The PMI Code of Ethics
The PMI Code of Ethics outlines the need for ethical considerations during execution, planning and implementation of a project. It is "understanding of the ethical needs facing the project management community and the view points of all practitioners around the globe" (Project Managemetn Institute). The code identifies four basic virtues under ethics as below:
Responsibility or ownership of duties ensures smooth execution of tasks. Ownership of failures is also key to successful implementation of projects. Project needs to be executed with responsibility and with "fairness"" among team members capable of handling the tasks given deadlines. Favoritism is highly discouraged under such circumstances and mutual respect among team members drives team performance and project execution with confidence and trust.
Question 2: Project Management Approaches:
Different approaches to project management are adopted for better service, process and resource management and may be specific to the industry to induce efficiency and optimization (Pinegar, 2019).
• Critical Chain Project Management: emphasizes on resources needed to complete the requirements of a project and its tasks. Resources are reserved for high priority tasks and therefore management decides to allocate more resources to some segments of operation that are more important
• The PMI/PMBOK Method - has been illustrated earlier with specific break down on the project scope, schedule and timeline of delivery.
• Agile: focuses on response strategies and developing comprehensive documentation for such responses with tools and processes and requires abrupt changes to client feedbacks.
• Scrum: deals with projects that are facing hindrances with delayed production methods, inflexible methods and complex development cycles. A scrum master typically leads a small team that focuses on clearing the project inefficiencies and meeting daily progress requirements.
• Kanban: relies on a visual approach to educate team members on the progress of the project visually for developing a foresight on bottlenecks and roadblocks.
• Waterfall: Traditional approach to project management and is more commonly used in construction and manufacturing sectors.
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Case Study: Uber
Uber is classic example of use of information resources and technological tools for optimization of business outcomes. The company's business model is built on specific targets on efficiently managing and matching of riders and driver's request. The balance of supply and demand with appropriate flow of information at both ends is where the success of the Uber app lies. Critical aspects of the Uber app optimization process has been highlighted in this section with the use of project management techniques:
Description of the Issue
Project Management Strategy
Spearheading of a new design process that combines engineers and designers
Prioritization of management of services provided by the app
Addition of new features to the app based on driver's feedback on what is happening in the city and where to go as opposed to single ride proposals
The app is not only set to be the factory where drivers (labor) are organized to provide the most efficient timing on services but also be their boss. New response strategies have been developed to reduce uncertainties in selecting rides among drivers
Agile Process in Management
The app has been designed to provide solutions to drivers with enhanced "autonomy, power, earnings and quality of life"
Algorithmic Management where the "new app is more of a personal coach than an impersonal shop." This takes of quality of life considerations for the driver.
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Question 3: Risk Management Techniques and Tools
Comprehensive risk management tools have been employed by the Uber enterprise to deal with real time decisions on meeting consumer and driver expectation with reduced waiting times for the rider, wastage of driver's time on finding a suitable customer and conveniently locating the customer in the city. Risk management therefore involves identification of potential risks and establishing a precaution to counter or mitigate the risk in the event that it becomes a reality. (APM, Association for Project Management).
In the Uber case, driver's risk has been mitigated with better selection process on rides and improved likelihood on profitable ride confirmation. In the past, it was a complicated process to choose the perfect rider at the perfect place given uncertainties in the location of the ride and traffic conditions. Drivers were expected to drive 'blindly' to the customer and no preference was allowed based on rider's destination (in order to save rider's interest on being turned down on rides). This would sometimes hurt interests in picking up a10 minute destination rider by driving for 15 mins. Profits would turn negative! Driver prediction charts now allow for updates on when the next ride would be and possibly from which part of the city but is still to be experimented among a small group of riders in a few cities.
Question 4: Leadership Strategies in nurturing success in Project Management
Leaders play the role models in leading projects to success with flexible and innovative strategies. Leaders evaluate project needs and anticipate variations in outcome (Anantatmula, 2010). An effective leader's strategies help in combating risks and difficulties in project implementation, nurture creativity and confidence among team members and take calculative risks to deliver project success, as demonstrated by Chititoor in the following infographic.
In the Uber case, Khosrowshahi states that increasing driver's pay on rides hurts both ways - if rates go up, demand falls and with reduced demand, driver utilization fall, reducing income prospects. Despite such concerns, Khosrowshahi says that the company has incurred huge losses in billions to protect driver's interests, take a fair stand and optimize resources.
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