Assessing the Situation

You may have been placed in a position of becoming the person that will oversee or “manage” a project by your organization..  Or possibly, you have a small project that you have initiated that you want to see through to fruition.  In either of these events, you have taken on the role of a project manager and now you need a few ideas on how to go about managing a project.  Furthermore, the project is going to involve  infusing some technology that you may know or not know a lot about.

In this section of Pocket Project Management, we will be looking at ways to get started with assessing your project.  You will also see some some examples that might help you begin to plan your project.

Let’s begin with identifying what the project includes and  what the project is going to accomplish.  This is referred to by management as the project scope.  Project scope, according to Garton and McCulloch in Fundamentals of Technology Project Management (2005), is the ” specified boundaries that separates what is included in the project from what is not included in the project.”  If you find that the scope of the project is too broad, then it will be almost impossible to complete successfully.

When defining your project scope you can use the following list to help you get started.

Steps involved

People involved

Technology needed

Skills needed

Risks

Problems

Solutions

Budget

A good way to determine what the project scope is to use a Mind Map.  The diagram below is an example.

Double click on this image to enlarge the details.


Here is a more specific example of a project that will involve updating my home network.  Notice in this project I began with a simple diagram showing my current technology.

Then I assessed what types of technology I would need for my future.  The image below helped to visualize the future network system and technology I want.  Notice that I am comparing the technology I have now to what I need in the future.

In order to show this in another format that is easy to work with, I am using a program called ConceptDraw.  ConceptDraw allows you to create great Mind Maps of the different parts relevant to project management.

Now that we have seen some assessment of a project, it is your turn to assess your project.  Begin by developing a project scope and then take a look at the next section on “Budgeting the Money”.


Reference:

Garton, C, &McCulloch, E. (2005). Fundamentals of technology project management. Lewisville, TX: MC Press Online, LP.

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