Week 1 DiscussionDiscussion Topic Well done! You have contributed to the discussion Due January 14 at 12:59 AMThe discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.
For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by the due date assigned.
To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.
Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.
Selecting the Project
Using the South University Online Library, research a real world example of a project. Based on your research and the identified project, answer the following questions:

  • What project have you selected? Explain. Provide reasons for selecting the project.
  • What kind of organization or industry does your selected project belongs to?
  • How does the project you selected fit the definition of a project?
  • Is your selected project constrained by performance, cost, or schedule? Why or why not?
  • To what extent, does the project portfolio process guide the strategy process in your selected project?
  • In your selected project, is project management different from functional management? Why or why not? Is the role of a project manager different from that of a functional manager? Why or why not?
  • Is your project independent of program management? Why or why not?

  • Week 1 ProjectAssignment Task: Submit to complete this assignment Overdue – January 18 at 12:59 AMDefining the Project
    Using the South University Online Library, research any project of your choice. You may use the project you chose for the week 1 discussion as long as it meets the criteria listed below.
    The project you select must meet the following criteria:

    • It must fit the definition of a project as described in the PMBOK® Guide glossary and text.
    • It must be real or realistic.
    • It should be large enough for a dedicated organizational commitment (preferably a capital investment) but not too large for one organization to accomplish (minimal outsourcing).
    • It must fit into one of the “nonnumeric model” categories as described in the course textbook.
    • It must be subject to evaluation through numeric models as described in the course textbook.
    • Based on your research and project selected, create a project charter as described in Section 4.1 of the PMBOK® Guide. The project charter should include the following:
    • An outline of the information indicated in Section 4.1.
    • All items indicated in the PMBOK® Guide for which at least some elemental information exists at this point.
    • Highlights on how the project you selected meets the selection criteria listed earlier.
    • A description of the major components of the strategic management process.
    • An explanation of the role projects play in the strategic management process.
    • How are projects linked to the strategic plan?
    • An explanation of the impact of classifying projects as either compliance, strategic, or operations projects.
    • An explanation as to why return on investment (ROI) should not be the sole metric used to choose projects.
    • A discussion of the pros and cons of the checklist versus the weighted factor method of selecting projects.
    • Submission Details:
    • Provide your answers in a 3- to 4-page Microsoft Word document, using APA style.
    • Support your responses with examples and research.

Project Management Process

The project management process has both a beginning and an end and typically consists of the following phases: initiation or de�ning, planning, execution, control, and

closing. Let’s look at the activities carried out in each phase.

Initiation or Defining Phase

In the beginning of a new project, we have to de�ne the tasks that will make up the successful completion of the project. This includes forming the team, developing a

business case, and doing a feasibility study.

Planning Phase

In the planning phase, we create the project plan. We can create a project plan using software, such as Microsoft Project. A project plan will include a resource plan, a

�nancial plan, a quality plan, and a risk plan. We also create a communication plan and a procurement plan that may involve suppliers.

Execution Phase

Once the infrastructure is in place, we move to the execution phase in which we implement the agreed upon deliverables. It involves coordinating people and resources,

and integrating the activities according to the plan. In this phase deliverables are produced as outputs.

Control Phase

To be successful, here we monitor and control tasks. This requires focus on time, cost, and quality management. We have to ensure that every risk to the project is

managed. If there are any changes in existing processes, the changes are made in this phase.

Closing Phase

All projects need to have closure, or an end. It is a good practice to review any areas that did not go as smooth and understand what could be done differently in the

future. There may also be some areas that went well, for which you should celebrate. There may also be some open issues which are resolved and �nally the decision is

made to close the project.

Functions are organizational units, sometimes called departments, de�ned by competencies such as marketing, �nance, or human resources. In an organization,

functional managers have an ongoing responsibility of managing a functional entity.

A project team is multidisciplinary, which is comprised of people from more than one function. But while project management, in principle, is not tied to any single

organizational function, it is a highly organized profession that cuts across all functions and industries.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading nonpro�t professional association for project managers. It has been active in establishing a set of professional

standards, sponsoring seminars and conferences, and developing educational and professional certi�cation programs. It publishes the PMBOK® Guide. The mainstay

credential offered by the PMI is the project management professional (PMP) certi�cation. The PMP certi�cation is by no means the only way to become a project

manager, but it is highly valued by employers.

Check out this link to the PMI website: (http://www.pmi.org/)

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MGT3035 Fundamentals of Project Management

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Project Management Definitions

There are some commonly used terms in project management.

Activity: A component of work performed during the course of a project.

Budget: The approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure
component or any schedule activity.

Constraint: The state, quality, or sense of being restricted to a given course of action or

Cost: The monetary value or price of a project activity or component that includes the
monetary worth of the resources required to perform and complete the activity or
component or to produce the component.

Critical Path: Generally, but not always, the sequence of schedule activities that
determines the duration of the project. Generally, it is the longest path through the

Deliverable: Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service
that must be produced to complete a process, phase, or project.

Portfolio: A collection of projects or programs and other work that are grouped together
to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives.

Program: A group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits
and control not available from managing them individually.

Project: A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or both.
The Project Management Office (PMO) is the organizational body or entity that has been
assigned various responsibilities related to the centralized and coordinated management
of projects under its domain.

Project Life Cycle: A collection of generally sequential project phases.

Project Phase: A collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in
the completion of a major deliverable.

Project Schedule: The planned dates for performing schedule activities and the planned
dates for meeting schedule milestones.

Project Scope: The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service, or result
with the specified features and functions.

Resource: Skilled human resources, equipment, services, supplies, commodities,
material, budget, or funds.

Risk: The threats present in the project. Risk management should be appropriately
planned as per the nature and scale of projects undertaken. It should demonstrate good
project governance.

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Scope: The sum of the products, services, and results to be provided as a project.

Scope Creep: Adding features and functionality without addressing the effects on time,
costs, and resources or without customer approval.

Sponsor: The person or group that provides the financial resources, in cash or in kind,
for the project.

Stakeholder: Persons and organizations, such as customers, sponsors, performing
organization, and the public that are actively involved in the project or whose interests
may be positively or negatively affected by the execution or completion of the project.

Triple Constraint: A framework for evaluating competing demands. The triple constraint
is often depicted as a triangle where one of the sides or corners represents one of the
parameters being managed by the project team.

Work Breakdown Structure: A deliverables-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the
work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the projected objectives and
create the required deliverables.

Project Management Strategy

In the context of project management, we need a precise understanding of the term “strategy.”

A strategy should not create con�icts of interest in the organization or sub-optimize the interests of one project for the bene�t of others.

The strategic view should address the longest relevant time frame. This can be a source of controversy, since some people assert that the rate of change in the modern

business climate makes strategic planning not only a waste of time but actually counterproductive. A more sensible position is that the time frame depends on the
competitive landscape under analysis. Some industries still move slowly and are quite stable. In any view, projects play an important role in strategic planning and

execution, albeit sometimes in piecemeal fashion. But they should always have an eye to superordinate goals and objectives. At the very least, planning is a paramount

project management competency.

Obviously, obsessing on immediate crises is exactly what strategic managers must avoid. This does not mean that strategic managers do not get involved in crises or day-

to-day project operations, but that the resolution of crises and making operational decisions should be guided by the big picture.

Any single project is not a strategy—though some have immense strategic consequences. A strategy is a plan or at least a consistent pattern of choices and decisions and
actions. A strategy is a staked out and defensible position in the marketplace; it involves moves and countermoves and may even require politics, ploys, and a degree of


The ultimate goal of strategic management is to create and sustain a competitive advantage. Although, every practicing manager boasts of his or her organization’s

competitive advantage, research shows that a sustainable competitive advantage is rare.

Elements of a good organizational strategy:

Commits the entire organization to a direction that is very dif�cult or costly to reverse.

Is �exible and adaptable to change but does not equivocate.

Is clear about what the organization is and will do.

Is also clear about what the organization is not and will not do.

Additional Materials

Project Management Of�ce (PMO) (media/week1/SUO_MGT3035%20W1%20L3.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=7jk95E0XTOzwhgfWZYdxYEhmP&ou=85477)

View a Pdf Transcript of Strategy (media/week1/SU_MGT3035_W1_L6_G1.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=7jk95E0XTOzwhgfWZYdxYEhmP&ou=85477)

Distinct Type of Management
Specific Variables
© 2016 South University

Distinct Type of Management

Projects have existed and have been managed for millennia. Only in recent decades, project
management has evolved into a distinct kind of management. This is because the project
management environment has different characteristics than the functional management
environment. The current business environment is demanding more project organizations,
methods, and skilled managers.

The main thing that sets project management apart from other kinds of management is the triple
constraint—quality, cost, and schedule. Projects have firm boundaries, or limits, when it comes to:

• Achieving a challenging, innovative level of performance
• Staying within a firm budget
• Not exceeding a planned schedule

Though each of these parameters is a challenge in its own right, the main challenge in project
management is to find the optimal set of trade-offs among these parameters.

Project management and strategic management have different managerial worldviews, but they
are linked. Strategic management is all about satisfying a balance of stakeholder interests, often
the most important of which are those of investors and owners. Some projects are specifically
aimed at achieving a level of change that radically restores that orientation, while others called
capital projects are chosen for their ongoing contribution to making a return on investment. Not
all projects have immediate strategic value, but all ultimately determine the internal functioning of
the organization.

Project versus Project Management

Let’s look at the differences between project management and program management.

Project management is carried out by project managers. He or she plans, tracks, and organizes resources while meeting all expectations of stakeholders. Software and

templates are some of the project management tools project managers use to gain skills used throughout the project.

Program management involves managing several related projects in order to improve an organization’s performance. Program management is responsible for managing
multiple on-going projects. For example, a bank requires on-going support for technology projects. This is accomplished with the help of program management. There

could be hundreds of different sizes of projects with different priorities that have to be coordinated centrally.

Program management is the all-encompassing way by which companies organize their individual projects.

After looking at the differences between project management and program management, here are some suggestions that would help a project manager move from

managing individual projects to managing project managers and their projects.

Network with other program managers and discuss what they see are the differences between project management and program management.

Establish a PMO (Project Management Of�ce) group which will help in monitoring and reporting the active projects.

Project management is anchored more in practice than in scholarship. The most prominent guardian of project management thought is the Project Management Institute

(PMI), which publishes A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). This guide is one of the required textbooks for this course. One of the

things that make project management interesting is its jargon. The supplemental media provides few key de�nitions that will help lay your foundation for learning what

project management and this course are all about. These terms are central to understanding the basics.

Additional Materials

Distinct Type of Management (media/week1/SUO_MGT3035%20W1%20L2.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=7jk95E0XTOzwhgfWZYdxYEhmP&ou=85477)

View a Pdf Transcript of Project Management De�nitions (media/week1/SU_MGT3035_W1_L3_G1.pdf?


Project Management Office (PMO)
© 2016 South University


Many organizations handle the management of multiple projects by having a project
management office (PMO). A typical PMO carries out the following functions:

• A PMO assess multiple projects and their interrelationships, for example, resource and skill

• A PMO ensures that projects are clearly tied to the organization’s goals.
• A PMO supports projects that align with the organization’s strengths and create a

competitive advantage and at the same time avoid projects that the company does not
want to endorse.

If the company does not have a PMO, it has a project manager who reviews the projects that are
being scheduled to meet the goals. Often, project managers begin to find whether a project aligns
with the organization’s goals.

As a project manager, your goal is to provide what your customer requires. Your customer could
be internal (employees of the company) or external. You always have to set and follow a protocol
for what you can and cannot deliver. For example, if you are asked to deliver a transmission, under
the department’s service level agreement, this will require escalation for approval before
communicating an answer to the customer. The customer many times wants to change the
delivery date by asking for completion of the project sooner than what was agreed upon. It is the
role of the project manager to renegotiate this date following standards of the areas the project
interfaces with.

Typically the only leeway is if the customer can provide a deliverable that a task requires
otherwise, the due date remains the same; it cannot be moved up to be completed sooner than
the original scheduled date.

As a project manager, your role is to understand what you can deliver on the basis of the agreed
upon contract. You will represent many areas of the organization as you perform the dynamic
process of managing projects to successful completion.

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“A strategy is how an organization plans to accomplish its mission and realize its vision.”

What does this definition imply?

First, it implies that strategic management is ultimately the responsibility of senior management.
This is not to say that executives should lock themselves in an ivory tower, making
pronouncements, as they remain aloof from day-to-day operations. Indeed, there are models of
strategy that insist on participation from lower-level managers and operational employees. In fact,
such models generally suggest that strategy should evolve in grassroots fashion.

Project management has a role to play in such models because some projects are conceived as
experiments in the future direction of an organization. In the more top-down models of strategic
planning, projects are the logical tactics by which overall objectives are accomplished. Either way,
executives are the managers who will be held accountable for accomplishing the strategic
interests of the organization.

Second, the definition implies that a strategy should guide everyone in the organization towards a
common mission, with common objectives. Therefore, an organization has one strategy or
none at all. One can hope this will be accomplished seamlessly, and that the strategy helps to
reconcile differences within the organization and among project imperatives. Project managers
often vie for the same resources; therefore, conflict resolution is a key management skill.