Friday, October 16, 2009

Project Monitoring

Any difference between how you plan to monitor your project and how you actually monitored previous ones?

You could say this course is a total learning experience in terms of gaining any insights into project management techniques or planning. Since the project I am designing has apparently become a three year PhD program of study with all of the planning requirements that entails I have tried to anticipate a world of project cueing and positioning that I fail to completely comprehend in terms of reference and whether or not necessary cooperative and/or complimentary monitoring of stakeholders would be otherwise available.

I believe I view project planning from a somewhat historical position in terms of strategies for businesses courtesy of Mintzberg et. al. in Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management (1998). One of the key strengths of the planning school is evaluations and "value creations" with delineations of expected results at particular points in a chain of events. So we have been doing a lot of de-compositional sub-stratification of strategies in this course which I find fairly similar in terms of scenarios developments, what-ifs and wherefores.

Measuring actual versus expected efforts, durations, start and finish, completion, costs anticipated or unanticipated problems will be in the interests of improving performance as observance of cost, quality and time management. Therefore my monitoring of this project which I would not undertake without adequate risk mitigations in terms of funding primarily would need to meet iterative strategies and stratifications of evaluation either through forms of interviews, document reviews, questionnaires, telephone or email communication which meet several layers of external auditing standards from stakeholders in the academic and business communities of New Zealand.

Visiting Ten Step I was not surprised to see a twenty minute video which resolves and reviews everything we have been studying so far courtesy of Tom Mochal. At the same time I am learning that the cultural environment in New Zealand is somewhat traditional which might explain some economists' descriptions of generations of forecast growth under-performance over decades and generations of New Zealand's export strategies.

I also realize as Gillian White mentioned that many planners simply fill and slot in requirements rather than really taking the iterative cycle itself apart and calling it for what it really appears to be - it is a re-dressed, rehashed and reoriented PDCA cycle (which has slipped one of its discs). Plan-Do-Check-Act was an original application to permit individual self-monitoring in a collaborative manufacturing environment which allowed for full individual opportunities for improvement which benefit the group in terms of reducing errors, rework, waste and lack of accountability. It belongs to Shewart and Deming. The planners have attempted to roll with it.

This in itself was a revolution in terms of previous monitoring techniques which through Taylorism bordered on the applying or expecting of mechanical efficiencies in the work of human beings. That plans were never at fault and human beings must keep up. Deming helped humanize that a bit.

Did you adjust the time planning worksheets provided in order to be able to record your project’s progress? How will the adjustments help this current project?

I attempted to under-estimate my actual daily output to anticipate a possible increasing or cyclical rate of improvement in measuring or meeting iterative requirements in my first draft of the time and budget schedule of my project for this course. This iterative cycle which again appears to ape or imitate the Shewhart-Deming Cycle implicates critical debate regarding the efficacy of the institutionalization of innovativeness which has been rich in debate at CBC's Cross Country Check Up on the topic of Willard Boyle the latest Nobel Prize winner for Physics in "Does Canada give enough support for its scientists?"

In monitoring I will add the columns recommended in our activity notes and anticipate:

1. Frequently hurrying up and waiting.
2. Exceeding original budget.
3. A flora of multi-tasking challenges.
4. In focus, out of focus and no focus periods in terms of scope.
5. Wheeling and dealing, cajoling and out-foxing micro-managers in terms of deadlines.

As previously stated cyclical improvement cycles originated not in the iterative cycle project domain but in the Deming one with an important exception - perhaps a PC one born of union/management collusion which puts a choke on the fishbones? Personal responsibility is never abrogated from individuals to organisations in fish bone diagrams as quality is managed one person at a time. Individuals are responsible for their performance in organisations. Individual performance monitoring could not exist without it. People don't get hired or fired based on performance without it. How well self-monitoring is conducted depends not only on how well one mirrors one's organisational monitoring standards.

If my stakeholders do not soon realize my quality management training is rigorous and well tested they will miss the opportunity to profit from an asset in monitoring which this planning course learning is helping me realize I have already been taught, learned and somewhat know. This current project will be assisted by my willingness to examine and assist a nation which appears to play the loser in the global growth export game.

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