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Course Wrap Up

Watch Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne summarize the content over the last four weeks.
Four weeks we’ve been together, talking about the fundamentals of planning and managing projects. We’ve come a long way, and we’ve developed a core set of common concepts. And we share the language of how to think about projects, and ensuring that they will be successful. Let’s remind ourselves of the material that we covered over the last, past four weeks. We set off in part one to think about defining a project and setting an initiation process to make sure that the projects are well thought of before we start planning them. We’ve defined the goal, we’ve identified the objectives and how to trade them off. And we’ve thought about the organization associated with executing the project, and who the different stakeholders may be.
During our second and third week, we focused on the planning of the project. Initially we thought about it without any risks. We thought about the scope. We sat down to develop a work breakdown structure. Identify dependencies and the critical path to come up with a schedule and an anticipated completion date. We also identified opportunities for trading off. Where can we reduce the scope? And why might we want to do that in order to fulfill one of the other two objectives of our project? In week three we came up with sophisticated tools that allow us to think about the risks that we might face, and plan accordingly. We were able to utilize a risk analysis on our schedule.
To come up with confidence ranges to our completion date associated with the project. And we gained the capability to talk in the language of pro, of, of probability. To convey this information to external stakeholders, and to allow ourselves some slack in terms of the com, commitment and delivery date. We came up with ideas around setting the budget and, and identifying a contingency amount for that budget. And, we thought about developing a risk management plan. How do we prioritize our risk, and assign an owner to ensure that important strategies are executed on when they’re needed. Finally, during the last week, we’ve been focused on the actual execution.
What systems and processes might we put in place in order to ensure a smooth execution. What information and performance measures might we look at in order to ensure that we’re on track? And maybe warning systems that we will look out for, to ensure that we can correct the project if things are going astray. We’ve also introduced the idea of different methodologies for execution and when they might be helpful for us and we might want to make use of them in our project environment. Specifically we went through the entire project life cycle over the past four weeks.
We went from initiation through planning to execution, and we’ve talked a little bit about lessons learned and how we might want to utilize information from closing off projects and post mortems to inform the way that we plan the next project. If you were to take away one major component from this course, I would like you to think about the holy trinity of projects, the objectives. The three dimensional objectives, that every project has to trade off. The scope, the budget and the time. Thinking about these dimensions proactively informs the entire way you plan your projects and you decide to execute on.
It informs the way that you think about the tradeoffs that you’re going to make and the decisions making, a style that you’re going to choose. And so the three dimensions will accompany you from the initiation all the way to this, determining the success of our project. And they are crucial and vital as you reflect on your project. Next time you consider developing a new airplane, you might want to consider, how complex is it? You will know that when projects are highly complex and they have a huge number of activities, which you pretty much can identify up front, you’re going to want to plan properly and think about the critical path.
You know that agile project management with quick iterations and delivery to the customer might not be suitable in that setting. However, if you’re focused on a specific new type of chair and you know that there is complaints a lot, around the chairs that we sit on in an airplane and making sure that those seats are even better than they were before. Perhaps you can reach out to a client out there, and work together with an airline on a quick implementation and experimentation with a new type of seat. And so whether or not you’re developing a large scale project, or a small, specific functionality.
You have the tools and you have the capabilities to identify the priorities and to choose the project management methodology that will best serve your needs. You have the language to communicate with all of those around you, that will allow you to execute and deliver the best possible project out there.

As you watch this video think about what some of your key takeaways are from this course, and how you will apply these takeaways to your next project. Once you’ve reflected on these questions, proceed to the final discussion question to share your responses.

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Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

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