1.2 Scope

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Quite often, people talk about he product scope not really realizing there's a whole lot of work that has to happen to make those things actually come to fruition. What you have to do as far as the subject matter expertise, is have a knowledge base that allows you to understand the language that the people around this project team table are going to be using. This course is going to highlight some of the key processes, tools, terms, methods techniques, tips and tricks, here, there about this project management skill base.

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It’s time to talk a little bit about scope. Scope is a confusing term because there are three ways to talk about scope, and most people don’t think about that. Most people say I’m gonna talk about the product scope. What does the thing look like when it’s done? We’re always looking for done looks like this. We’re heading toward that. Up front, the question is, what does done look like for this product? Oh, it looks like this. Done looks like this. When we’re talking about that, we’re talking about the product scope itself. The product scope, that’s all the things that will be created and provided by this project. Once we figure out all the things that we’re going to create, then we do a project scope, which is all the work we have to do to create those things. Once we put both of these together, all the things that we’re going to create, all the work we have to do to make that happen, then we have the total scope of the project. Quite often, people talk about he product scope not really realizing there’s a whole lot of work that has to happen to make those things actually come to fruition. Whether we can deliver those things, lot of work that has to happen, and money that has to be spent along the way. Need to talk about total scope of the project. And, we need to talk about the other two elements, and we’ll be talking about those as we go through here. Project. Here’s the formal definition from the Project Management Institute out of their book called A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. A temporary endeavor undertaking, undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. That’s the official definition. What’s a project manager? Project manager has some skill bases. One of them, some technical knowledge. Project managers are not the subject matter expert on every element of the entire project. If you’re the subject matter expert on every element of the entire project, you’re managing far too small a project. And you have to even ask yourself, do we even really need a team? What you have to do as far as the subject matter expertise, is have a knowledge base that allows you to understand the language that the people around this project team table are going to be using. And understand the way that this group thinks about the process to get from the beginning to the end of a project. For example we’re gonna take someone from an educational institution. So, we’re gonna take somebody that is pretty good in elementary education, and we’re gonna put them as a project manager for a bunch of brain surgeons. Those brain surgeons are going to start using a whole lot of words that that person from elementary education department doesn’t understand at all. That’s not going to work very well. You have to at least have some knowledge about the project that you’re going to be working on. You’re not going to be the expert on everything. And a lot of times, we’ve gotten into the role of project manager because we’re an expert on part of the project. Somebody says, hey, you know that part of the project there, you probably could run the whole project. Really? Well, you have some technical knowledge. You don’t have the subject matter expertise on everything, and you don’t really know what this is all about. What does it look like to manage a project? This course is going to highlight some of the key processes, tools, terms, methods techniques, tips and tricks, here, there about this project management skill base. What does it look like to manage a project? So, you need these two things. Some understanding of the project and you need to know what it looks like to actually get from the beginning to the end of a project. And there’s this other weird bit. You’re going to be working with a project team, you’re going to be working with a number of stakeholders, all the people that surrounds this project. So, you have to be able to work with people. You have to lead your project team from the beginning to the end of this project. Every time you assign a task to a person, all of a sudden it’s, oh, I have to work with that person? Yes, you do. This is a hard bit for engineers, for scientists, for IT people. For some scientists, engineers, and IT people. Coming from an engineering background it, I had to work really hard to try and figure out any of this part. But, the leadership piece is a key element of successful projects. Various roles of the Project Manager. Task and human, you have to work with the tasks on the project, you have to work with people on the project. Integrator versus technical expert. This gets into why we even do a project. You don’t have to be a subject matter expert on every single element of the project, but you have to do is have the right people sitting around that table with you. And, you draw upon that expertise, so collectively all the subject matter expertise to do this project is around that table. And you integrate all of that knowledge and experience into one overall total project. Big picture and detail. The project manager has to look at all the details. Also look at the big picture. They will go back and forth from one to the other all the time, to see how all these details in the project actually integrate, coordinate together to give us the final, big project. If we look at something like the Golden Gate Bridge, we’re gonna build a Golden Gate Bridge. You don’t just go, bang, [SOUND] there’s the Golden Gate Bridge. The only way we can build a Golden Gate Bridge is to break it into some smaller components. So, we start the plan for the project, saying, Golden Gate Bridge is what we’re gonna end up with. Now, the plan says we have to do this, we have to do this, we have to do this. And we get finer and finer and finer level of detail, until we finally get to a level where we can actually assign some work for people to go do. So, we can go say, we can say you two folks, you need to go over it and weld those pieces of metal together. This group of folks over here, you’re going to go over and you’re going to rivet these pieces of metal together. We start doing all these kinds of things. We’re going to say somebody needs to hang these cables on this bridge. We need to put some concrete footings in here that we’re going to stand this bridge on. There’s a number of things that have to happen along the way. We’re, we have some assignable tasks we can give to people. How do all of those details integrate together? Well, we start doing all those details, putting those back together, integrating them back together. And little by little by little, we finally build the Golden Gate Bridge. Planning starts with the Golden Gate Bridge down to the fine details, doing the project starts with the details back up to finally ending up with the Golden Gate Bridge. Politics. Politics just refers to all of the things you’re gonna have to deal with with all of your stakeholders around the project. And projects versus functions in the organization. You’re going to be pulling people typically out of a regular job that they do somewhere. They’re assigned to some part of the organization, work in some department. And, we’re gonna get cross functional team put together to pull from all different parts of the organization, put people on our project teams. So, we’re gonna have to integrate our projects into the normal everyday working of the organization. Project Manager. It’s the person that’s just going to do the project basically, what PMI is saying here. What’s Project Management? Planning, scheduling, managing, coordinating, leading, communicating, controlling. A number of things, you’re gonna do all of that and more. Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to the project. We take all of our expertise, and apply it to the project. There are process groups that PMI lays out for us to do our projects. There are five process groups. One of them, initiating it, starting the project. You have to start the thing somehow. Clearly define it and get it started. Then, we have to put a plan together on how we’re actually going to do what we’ve decided and initiated. Initiating will define done looks like this, planning says okay, and here’s how we will accomplish that. Then, we go do it. While we’re doing it, we’re going to watch what’s going on, and we’re going to control that. So, what we try to do is keep things on target with the progress and with the amount of spending. Are we on schedule with this project and are we on budget with this project? And then finally, the project is all done, and we close this out. And, these are processed groups. There are a number of processes within each of these major areas. There also are ten knowledge areas that PMI lays out. Project managers need to know about these things. We’re not gonna talk about that one quite yet. We’ll come back to that one. We’re gonna talk about project scope, time, cost, quality. Starting to look like our triangle that we had laid out before. Human resources, no resources were on that expanded triangle from PMI now. Communication. You’re going to have to know something about communication. Risk that was also in the expanded six sided diagram that VMI put together for us. Procurement, you have to know something about the money along the way. And we have to know something about how in the world do we manage all those people surrounding our projects? That first one that we said we’d come back to here, integration. That just means that you can’t really work on one of these knowledge areas without having an effect on some other one. That all of these other nine knowledge areas are all integrated together to one whole knowledge base, so you can do a project.

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