Outcome H7.1 - Management techniques

posted Jul 16, 2009, 4:34 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 16, 2009, 3:15 PM by Eddie Woo ]
H7.1: Explain the management techniques used during this project.

Assessment Component 1, the Project Prospectus, was instrumental to the management and planning of this entire Major Project. As the very first step to be covered in the project, the prospectus allowed us to get a clear idea and overview of what was involved with this project:
  • the project personnel (participants) - who we are working with
  • objectives and outcomes - the overall purpose of the project
  • methods and procedures - what we would be doing
  • available resources - what we could use
  • context diagram - interactions (and movement of data) between the system and its environment
  • Gantt chart - a rough timeline of what we should be doing
The Project Prospectus was an invaluable resource throughout the entire project, and is particularly useful to bring things back to what was originally planned and track progress in that manner.

Assessment Component 2, the Project Register, was another vital management technique. Looking through posts right back to the beginning allows individual aD team members to track "all actions and developments associated with the project". The Project Register never lies - every entry is timestamped, and thus is a true measure of one's progress (or lack thereof) throughout the project timeframe. Events, actions, and milestones recorded in the past act as a permanent record (more permanent than human memory, at least), and are extremely helpful in writing the support documentation (Assessment Component 3B) and these Fuel for Project Registers entries. The register can also serve as an interesting manifestation and reflection of one's personal time management skills and temperament when up against a deadline. Mr. Woo, who is responsible for supervising and guiding the entire team, has used these Project Registers to follow our individual progress during the development of our portfolios.

The Gantt chart, first created as part of the Project Prospectus and later updated during the Multimedia Mini-Assignment, was also a crucial tool for effective scheduling and time management. As a graphical representation of the time allotted to various tasks throughout the duration of the project, the Gantt chart allows its user to quickly see at a glance where they are compared to where they should be. It also allows long-term goals and objectives to be broken up into more specific and concrete tasks, each with its own planned timeframe. Ideally, the original schedule planned out in the Gantt chart should be stuck to - however, for one reason or another this doesn't always happen in real life.

Effective communication with both system participants and end users is necessary as a management technique. Obtaining feedback from those who have tested out the system during development is an important way to identify any problems and make further improvements. Independent and impartial feedback can give you an honest appraisal (constructive criticism) of what you have done so far, and may even pick up something that you missed completely. A prime example of this was the class discussion and feedback following our "elevator pitches" for the multimedia mini-assignment - someone very helpfully suggested that I do a survey for numerical data, which I had not thought of before.
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