|Corporate Project Management books by Dr. Lionel Smalley|
BOOKS authored by DR. LIONEL SMALLEY
PLANNING, SCHEDULING & TRACKING PERFORMANCE
THE BEGINNING OF A NEW START..!
Paperback book (October 30, 2015 / 428 pages)
Book is available from the following links:
Corporate Project Management
Planning, Scheduling & Tracking Performance
Dr. Smalley’s first eBook (August 24, 2016 / 141 pages)
ASIN number: BO1L5ZCOWA
eBook is available from:
WHY YOU SHOULD MY FIRST EBOOK!
This eBook focuses on how to develop and implement an effective cost management system (CMS) used to track and manage performance as a project progresses through its execution phase to its final completion. Of course, I’m assuming the project’s planning and scheduling phases have already been completed.
Imagine the following scene – you are an experienced project management consultant recently appointed by the CEO of a medium-sized furniture manufacturing company. This company specializes in producing bespoked, or customized furniture, for high-income clients. Your mandate is to implement an efficient system to improve performance tracking and management of all the company’s projects. During the past two years, the company lost a lot of business due to performance-related issues, hence the reason for your appointment. The project you are asked to probe and suggest improvements in terms of its performance, comprises – a fitted, top of the range, screening room (or home movie theatre) and customized bar. For this, the client is prepared to pay $850K. The project shouldn’t take longer than four months to complete.
Your mandate commenced on April 1, the start of the second week of the project’s execution phase. It’s now three days later; you are in your office thinking about the best way to tackle your mandate. You are aware that the company’s project manager, someone with an impressive manufacturing background, has recently resigned. Before departing, this manager completed this project’s planning and scheduling phases. In addition, he also started work on the project’s execution phase, covering a period of four months or 16 weeks. No work was planned for the weekends or on public holidays.
At your request, the CEO has instructed a project team member to provide you with a copy of this project’s work breakdown structure (WBS), activity list, milestone list (or schedule) and network diagram. It’s your intention to see what the departing project manager had in mind when planning and scheduling the project. The three planning documents indicate all the required work packages; their costs; where the work will be done (internally or externally); how long each work package will take to complete; and when the work will commence. The project’s network diagram indicates all the critical, near critical and non critical work packages. This project shows the presence of multiple critical paths. In fact, if all goes well, the project should be completed within three and a half months or 70 workdays. This provides a two week safety (or buffer) period just in case something unexpected is encountered. As a result, you have decided to set the performance measurement review dates at the end of each calendar month. When dealing with construction projects these dates are usually set at the end of each week. A typical CMS also requires variables, such as – the project’s planned cost each month, its actual cost each month and the earned (or added) value each month. These variables are needed to calculate the required metrics at each review date. Note: Metrics are also known as indicators or variances.
Besides panicking, what modus operandi would you implement to improve this project’s performance? If this scenario appeals to you, read my book. You will see how easy it is to achieve your mandate and, in so doing, improve your overall understanding of corporate project management. In addition, by reading my book and working through the various examples, review problems and questions you will be adapt your cost management system (CMS) to function in most medium-sized and small companies. Not too shabby!
The results of the metrics calculated at each review date, enable the project manager to make meaningful decisions regarding project performance. It’s important to know what these results signify and how they relate to the project’s overall performance. It serves no purpose to merely punch all the data into a performance management software program, press print and hey presto – you have all the metrics calculated for you! Although this is the easy way to go, it makes more sense to know how these metrics are calculated and understand what distinguishes a good result from one not quite so good, or whether a particular metric is acceptable or unacceptable. In addition, it’s also necessary to know what constitutes each result’s acceptance spread, prior to forwarding the project’s performance report to the project sponsor and any other stakeholders. This makes for better project management all round! Wouldn’t you agree? In addition, you will also know how to generate and interpret project S-curves used to monitor and record performance deviation problems. Before I forget – at the end of each chapter of my book I have included review questions and problems to test your knowledge and understanding of the material discussed. Don’t worry, I have also provided solutions!
For those of you who feel you already know all the answers – by reading my book, you will further your existing corporate project management knowledge and thus improve the overall performance of all your present and future projects. Finally, wherever possible I have aligned this book with the project management principles, procedures and outcomes as mentioned in the PMI’s project management body of knowledge commonly referred to as the PMBOK® guide. The latest edition of this guide was published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2013.
Dr. Smalley’s second eBook (September 23, 2016 / 196 pages)
ASIN number: BO1M17N662
eBook is available from:
WHY YOU SHOULD READ MY SECOND EBOOK!
Why is scheduling so important? It enables us to identify the critical paths flowing through a project and place the required work packages in three separate groups – those that are critical; those almost or near critical and those that are non-critical.
Consider the following scenario. You are a project manager working at a medium-sized furniture manufacturing company. This company specializes in making bespoked or customized furniture for high-income clients. The company’s managing director has asked you to schedule a new client’s furniture project. You will be working with another project manager has recently completed its planning phase. Together, you will be taking the project through its execution phase to final completion. This project comprises a state-of-the-art screening room or home movie theater and a customized/fitted bar. For this, the client is prepared to pay $675K. The total cost to complete the project is estimated at $485K.
Imagine the scene, it is three days later. You are in your office enjoying a delightful latte, thinking about your scheduling task. A team member has just dropped off your project’s completed work breakdown structure (WBS), activity list and milestone list or schedule. You have been waiting for these planning documents. How so? Because these documents indicate the contact details of all thirty main work packages required for your project. Also, their estimated costs, where the work packages will be completed (internally or externally) and what percentage complete is necessary at each review date. Now that you have received this information you can start preparing the project’s network table and constructing its network diagram. This will really get things moving! Later, the same day you complete the project’s scheduling documents.
From the network diagram, you realize the project can be completed within eight workweeks, if all goes according to plan. Famous last words! You forward this information to the managing director, who immediately calls the client. The client sounds pleased but insists that his project must be completed within five workweeks, not eight! This feedback is forwarded to you to sort out. The managing director feels there is a high probability of receiving follow-on business from this client. As a result, you had better make this work! To achieve this new deadline, you decide to establish four benchmarks that will reduce the project from eight to seven, six, five and four workweeks respectively. This will most definitely impress the managing director. However, what impression will this create if you complete the client’s project within four workweeks? Surely, this would really be turn on for the managing director and the client. You may even receive a nice bonus check!
Using a crashing (or compression) technique it’s possible to reduce the project’s total completion time from eight workweeks to five (or four) workweeks whilst expending the least amount of additional capital at each stage of the process. Isn’t this cool?
After making several phone calls to the internal line managers and forwarding e-mails to the appointed contractors and suppliers, you receive the estimated normal and crash times and costs for all thirty work packages. The normal costs include the project’s materials, equipment, labor and transportation costs. The crash costs include the costs to reduce each work package’s normal time or duration. The normal and crash times are shown in workweeks. The normal and crash costs are in dollars. Using these costs and times, you calculate each work package’s incremental cost (Ic), shown in dollars per workweek. Your objective is to reduce this project from eight workweeks to reach each of the four benchmarks. If you feel this scenario appeals to you, continue reading this book. I know you will enjoy the experience!
A few days later, the project’s execution phase commences. This phase will soon get a whole lot more interesting! How so? After a short period of time, the following unexpected events unfold:
· Early during the project’s first workweek, you are informed that two non- critical work packages will be delayed by one week. This is due to delivery problems affecting the arrival of the required raw materials for your work order. The local suppliers have a strike on their hands resulting in a huge backlog of work orders. Later this same workweek, you hear via the corporate grapevine that one of your internal line managers has equipment problems. This will delay the work package by four days.
· Early the following workweek, you hear that the completion of a critical work package is delayed due to a power failure at the appointed contractor’s premises. Work on this work package has already started prior to the power failure. This causes a delay of three days.
· Two workdays later, you hear that another critical work package will be delayed due to another power failure. You blurt out, “What the hell is going on?” The contractor appointed to complete your work order confirms this will result in a delay of two days. The following morning, you hear that there’s another problem affecting the delivery of another near-critical work package. The contractor busy with your work order informs you they are experiencing machine downtime due to intermittent power problems. They have already ordered the replacement parts. As a result, your work order will only be completed five days later than expected.
· One workweek later, a contractor working on another near-critical work package informs you that he is experiencing staff-shortage problems. Apparently, this is due to transportation difficulties. As a result, the completion of your work order will be delayed at least 36 hours. This problem also affects a contractor working on another non-critical work package, delaying its completion date by three days.
· Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, towards the end of the third workweek, the contractor completing two near-critical work packages informs you that all work has stopped as a result of a fire breaking out at their premises. This is expected to delay your work order by four days. The damaged equipment and destroyed materials must be replaced, hence the delay.
· Later the same workweek, the contractor dealing with two near-critical work packages informs you they are unable to deliver your work order at the time previously agreed. Three of their experienced employees possessing the necessary skillset to operate the complex machinery required for your work order have taken off sick due to food poisoning. They are both booked off work for three weeks. Work on these work packages has already started prior to the three employees taking ill. The earliest your work order can now be completed is two days later than expected.
Obvious questions come to mind. How will these delays affect your project’s existing critical paths? And, will these delays cause your project to be completed later than anticipated? If managing this scenario appeals to you, continue reading my book!
For those of you who feel you already know all the answers – by reading this book you will still be able to increase your existing corporate project management knowledge and improve the scheduling of all your present and future projects. It will also help when restoring project balance on your projects, after experiencing delays.
Finally, wherever possible I have aligned this book with the project management principles, procedures and outcomes mentioned in the PMI’s project management body of knowledge, commonly referred to as the PMBOK® guide. The latest edition of this guide was published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2013.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Lionel Smalley, B.Com., Hons. B.Com. (cum Laude), M.Com. (cum Laude), D.Com.
In the early 1980s soon after completing his master’s degree in operations management, Lionel started the empirical research necessary for his doctoral thesis in operations management. It was during this period that he became familiar with Dr. Harold Kerzner’s excellent work in project management. As a result, Lionel contacted Harold and persuaded him to visit South Africa to conduct his successful workshops on project planning, scheduling and controlling. Harold agreed and during the period, September 1982 to May 1993, Harold visited South Africa fifteen times during which he conducted a total of 86 seminar/workshops.
From October 1978 to March 1990, Lionel was a member of the academic staff in the department of business management at the University of South Africa. He started out as a lecturer and ended his academic career as an associate professor. Besides enjoying academic life, Lionel always felt attracted to the practical side of business and entrepreneurship. He had previously owned and managed a successful clothing company, employing several representatives to manage the distribution and sales functions. During the early 1980s, because of his previous business experience – Lionel started his own event management company, designed to fill a significant gap in the local market. Once Harold’s workshop trips were confirmed, Lionel used his company as a vehicle to organize and manage all Harold’s workshops. He assembled a small team and set about planning and scheduling each of Harold’s trips. This included:
· Marketing the seminar/workshops in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
· Designing, printing and distributing brochures.
· Arranging for all local and international flights.
· Liaising with the local hotels for the use of their conference facilities.
· Organizing meals and catering for specific dietary needs.
Under Harold’s guidance and mentorship it was the first time Lionel had formally applied project management principles and techniques within his company.
In 1989, sensing a gap in the South African market for quality training, Lionel resigned his post as an associate professor to start his own project management training company, The School of Project Management (SPM). This company specializes in developing and conducting corporate project management training programs for all levels of management. Today, Lionel spends most of his time training business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, executives and managers how to implement corporate project management principles and techniques within their companies and professional practices. This book came about as a result of his experience gained over the past thirty years.
During 2001 – 2006, Lionel contributed to the following project management books:
· Kerzner, Harold, Ph.D. Project Management – A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. Seventh edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2001. Chapter 19, Managing Cultural Differences. Pages 1000–1008. ISBN 0-471-39342-8.
· Kerzner, Harold, Ph.D. Advanced Project Management – Best Practices on Implementation. Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004. Chapter 12, Training and Education. Pages 424–426. Lionel’s corporate logo, SPM, appears on the front cover. ISBN 0-471-47284-0.
· Kerzner, Harold, Ph.D. Project Management Best Practices – Achieving Global Excellence. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006. Chapter 8, Training and Education, Pages 316–317. Lionel’s corporate logo, SPM, appears on the front cover. ISBN-13: 978-0-471-79346-5and ISBN 10: 0-471-79368-X.
Lionel authored his own self-help book (428 pages) on Corporate Project Management covering topics such as planning; scheduling; identifying and managing delays; tracking performance; conducting trade-offs; and managing risk. His book was published in the USA on 30 October 2015. It’s currently available on the Amazon and CreateSpace websites. To locate and view his book, type corporate project management in their search windows. It’s also directly available on The School of Project Management website. The ISBN numbers are ISBN-13: 9781512090758 and ISBN-10: 1512090751.
During 2016, Lionel recently authored two eBooks on Corporate Project Management. The fist eBook focused on tracking project performance using schedule and cost metrics (141 pages). The second eBook addressed project scheduling and managing risk (196 pages). Both eBooks are currently available on Amazon’s website, www.amazon.com.
Books are available from:
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