Scope Definition and Time Management Essay
Scope Definition and Time Management
The relationships between scope definition and time management have as many similarities as they do differences. Scope definition basically, is knowing exactly what needs to be accomplished. This is the first step in accurately forecasting and controlling cost and schedule, which ties into time management. Using quantity surveys performed on a periodic basis are the foundation of determining what has been accomplished and is crucial to cost and schedule control. By measuring exact installed quantities, the scope can accurately determine a true physical percent complete, measure progress, and determine productivity. (http://www.concentricpc.com/) Using proper time management will allow all of these tasks to complete in a timely manner and meet any deadlines set.
Scope definition serves as a constant reminder of the project at hand. It will tell the project manager what has to be done and how much of it should be done. As stated in the text Project Planning and Implementation page 19 there are many questions that need to be answered in order to keep the project running smoothly. These questions are “what are the constraints imposed on the project by management? What are the realities of the situation? Is there a business reason for the imposed deadline on the project? Does the organization have financial constraints that prohibit the project from meeting managements’ expectations? Are there technological limitations?”
When dealing with management, they like to put many constraints on a project. A lot of the time management will not realize that these constraints placed are detrimental to their business. When a constraint is placed it then the job of the project manager to help them realize that their view might not be the best and the project manager will then have to try to show them why the way that the project was originally intended to be installed is the correct way. If management is still persistent in their ways then the project manager will then have to continue according to managements wishes. However any changes that are necessary after the project is implemented, that were because of the changes made by management can then be issued as a change order to the management and they cannot say the day old phrase of “you didn’t tell me”.
When dealing with imposed deadlines on a project, sometimes they may seem a little bit outrageous and unattainalble with the technology and staff on hand, so a project manager should then find out what is the purpose of the this deadline and find out if there may need to be some added resources to complete the project by the deadline. Just because a manager feels that, a certain portion of the project should be done by a certain time, it is not always necessary for that portion to be done by needs of the business. So a project manager can save a lot of money on the project by limiting resources and extending set deadlines.
Finding out a project financial constraints and realizing what managements’ expectations are can save the project manger a lot of time and money. After reviewing the project, a project manager should set up a meeting with all of the managers involved and affected by the project and discuss their expectations of the project, in order to determine whether or not those expectations are reasonable and are meet by the scope of the project. If there are any oversights, they should be taken into consideration during the development phase or added to the implementation phase of the project.
Technological limitation can be a real bear to deal with. Before a project is even start a meeting should be set up with the companies Information Technology department as well as with the programmers of the project. Certain issues need to be cleared up, such as the capabilities of the existing computers and networks that the project is intended to affect. Management does not always know the capabilities of their network or computers. When a new program is going to be implemented it will usually affect the whole network, especially if it will use bandwidth to communicate with other computers or have to go to the internet to find information. These are just some of the ideas behind the scope definition of a project that should be paid attention to while implementing a project.
Time management when broken up in to two parts time is defined as the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues. (Mish p. 1235) Management is defined as the conducting or supervising of something. (Mish p. 722) So when both are combined the definition can be made that time management is the conducting or supervising of a measurable period during which an action process or condition exists or continues. In usual schooling, children are taught their entire lives on how to manage time properly. This is because in the real world or the working world time management plays a huge part in all of our lives.
From getting to work on time in the morning by managing our sleep time and waking up on time, to completing our daily tasks in and out of the office to allow time for all of the other tasks we must accomplish before we lay our heads down to go to sleep again. In project management, project managers are dealing with the exact same concepts. A project manager must be able to schedule portions of the project to be completed by certain deadlines that have been set by management. If these deadlines are not met there are generally penalties set and the person to pay is the project manager due to improper time management use.
Time Management and Scope Definition
The relationship of time management and scope definition are that of like a brother and sister. They go hand in hand. If a project manager is assigned a new project, the first thing to do is to take a look at the scope definition, and then with out looking at the deadlines assigned by management, plan out a personal time line to complete the project in. After the personal time line is complete, a project manager should look at the management provided timeline and compare the two. Hopefully, the personal time line created will have the project completed before the management created time line.
There are probably going to be different deadlines in certain portions of the project, however the most important deadline is the final one. A good project manger should then go to the management team and then determine whether or not the in between start and finish deadlines can be negotiated, and determine if there is a business need for those set deadlines. Using proper time management should keep the scope definition within sight and allow the project to roll along smoothly.
By looking at our lives as a project for everything we do in our day to day lives we create a scope definition and a time line of things to be completed by. This time line will require time management. My personal “timeline” entails completing my Masters Degree by May of next year, in order for me to do this I had to create a scope definition of what I would like to accomplish and what it is going to take to accomplish this task. The first thing I looked at was how many credits do I have left.
Then I determined how long it would take me to complete that amount of credits. I then decided on my work load and how to mange my resources in reference to time and the next thing I realized is that I was in the middle of a project with a scope definition and utilizing my taught time management skill. So, whether or not one is a project manger or completing daily task using proper time management and creating a scope definition is a crucial portion of all of our lives.
Keogh, Jim. (1994). Project Planning and Implementation
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Mish, Frederick C. (1986). Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster