C-SPIN / Meetings and Events / Previous Meetings
June 6, 1996
"Project Management Tracking / Planning"
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This will be a discussion of the avenues software project managers can take to improve their management skills and to further the profession. As with other professions such as law, medicine, and accounting, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) rests with the practitioners and academics who apply and advance it. The PMBOK includes knowledge of proven, traditional practices which are widely applied as well as knowledge of innovative and advanced practices which have seen more limited use. The PMBOK provides a consistent structure for project management principles, tools and techniques, as well as professional development programs, including Certification of Project Management Professionals. How the Project Management Institute can help software project managers advance their careers will be covered.
Mr. Sawle is the President of Consultants to Management, Inc. - a firm he founded in 1990. CtM provides consulting services independently and in joint venture arrangements with other consultants primarily to the utility and telecommunications industries. The firm has a variety of specialty areas including project management, crisis management, emergency response planning, capital budgeting, performance measurement, and standard procedure development. Mr. Sawle holds BS and MS degrees in engineering from Cornell University and a MBA degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Project Management Institute which has certified him as a Project Management Professional (PMP). Mr. Sawle is the President of the Project Management Institute's 600 member Midwest Chapter and has served on its Board of Directors for three years. He is also a registered Professional Engineer (PE) and is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) as recognized by the Institute of management Consultants.
The model for project management has remained unchanged for the past fifty years - perhaps even for the past hundred - but reality has changed radically. The old world saw project managers growing up in the project's areas of applied technology, "apprenticing" themselves in each critical area as they matured as a professionals. This is still widely held as the ideal, what you "should" expect from the "good" project manager. But in the real world of today, most project managers do not have hands-on experience in the technological area that is often last to be delivered and the first to miss its cost and performance goals: Software.
Viewed from a risk perspective, we have moved from a world in which the project manager inherently understood and managed all the technological risks, to one in which that is an impossible task. The project's environment is evolving at lightening speed: we've come to the place where there is a total change in computer technology every three years! No single person in the software-intensive project understands - can understand - all the risks. You can't even quickly promote the software gurus to project managers and expect them to know the risks in their own area for very long - the technology changes too fast.
The project manager who directs a software-intensive project desperately needs help identifying and analyzing risks. The traditional view of project management - that of "make one just like we did last time" - doesn't work any more in these projects. The SEI Risk Program is building a body of knowledge and methods to let the project manager integrate continuous risk management into traditional management. My talk will give an overview of how we are going about this work, and what we have ready now to help the project manager.
Mr. Williams is a Member of the Technical Staff at the SEI, where he has been in the Risk Program since he arrived in 1991, and a member of Team Risk Management project and Risk Management Team as these activities have evolved since they were first instituted in 1992. Ray's early career was spent in instrumentation, logic hardware, and integrated computer system design, first in Naval nuclear applications (rod control, primary plant instrumentation, and nuclear instruments) and later in the steel industry (computer- controlled steel refining and degassing facilities). The steel industry application experience led to seven years as a software/hardware project manager at Daxus Corporation (a 1989 management buyout of Dravo Corporation's computer automation department) before coming to the SEI. He holds a BSEE degree from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA specialized in Operations Research and Organization Development from the University of Pittsburgh.
Team Empowerment has become somewhat of a mantra. The term seems to have as many meanings as it does proponents. Taken literally, it suggests authority and responsibility distributed to a team - not just an individual. This case study describes the role of the project manager in a truly "empowered" team. The presentation covers the following: organizational characteristics, project planning and scheduling considerations, team decision-making, project manager requirements, team member role and responsibilities, project management role and responsibilities.
Mr. Moir has been in the information technology business since 1984. He is a proven Project Manager with extensive technical and leadership skills. Mr. Moir has led teams of analysts, designers, programmers and business experts in a variety of projects, including re-engineering, high-level systems planning and development, and full life-cycle product support. He has developed and delivered technical seminars, product demonstrations and system evaluations for a variety of technical environments. Mr. Moir is also the holder of a U.S. Patent entitled "Method and Apparatus for Providing Access Control in a Secure Operating System". Additionally, he has published a series of trade magazine articles on UNIX security and software security, and presented papers on computer security at technical conferences in the U.S. and overseas. Mr. Moir holds a BS in Computer Science from Purdue University and an MS in Computer Science from North Central College.
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