Q1. Data Collection
The most effective method for soliciting information from a project team is through semi-structured interview. A less structured interview is good because it provides the team with space for asking an additional question to get detailed answers. Interview, especially among peers, is an opportunity for the team members to explain their projects processes, the tasks they are handling and the difficulties they are facing for a possible solution to the problems. The goals of the interview are to improve team building, and knowledge sharing for easier and earlier debugging. The data gathered would also be used as foundation for future project scope changes, and risk management. Additionally, documentation would also be an effective data collection method, however, because it is formal, most team members would not feel free contributing because they fear being held accountable for their contribution. I would advise the team manager to adopt a casual and friendly interview approach that allows the team members to be free and vent out the problem bugging them, recommend changes and if possible give direction for future research or issues that should be addressed. I would suggest the team leaders initiate the interview, followed by a roundtable discussion, ad presentation for the project team members or team leaders of different subgroups
Q2: from the previous project what changes would you make?
Some of the most important changes I would make include reporting structures and responsibility.
During the previous projects, I realized that most of the team members were oblivious to the people they were to report to or how to handle the risk that was faced during the projects. For example, there was scope creep that could have been efficiently handled had the team conducted adequate project scoping properly. However, the team had to spend a lot of time in overcoming the scope creep that the lead to the failure to meet the specific timeline of some projects milestones.
Secondly, the team also has issues with managing time. For example, the startup phase of the projects took longer than the team had forecast. There were lags in executing some of the project activities, and the team members did not know how to crush the project time to make up for the delays. Had the project team known had to choose the project activities of phases to crush, the team would have delivered the milestone within the stipulated time.
Finally, changes in the scope of the project also affected project delivery. In future, changes in the projects involved changes in the user requirement, the changes in the design as well as changes in the codes. I would recommend that the team have a change request for all the desired modifications and made on the system. The change request form would help in detailing all the changes in scope, milestones, and quality. When the testing team requested code changes, the project team did not know how to account for the changes in project scope and milestone delivery. I would also recommend that all the changes are communicated to all the project team members detailing the projects, the project module and project component that will be affected by the requested modifications as well as the reason for requesting such changes.
Q3. What would you change about the projects if you could?
The project faced with two key challenges.
Unclear scope from the beginning
Unclear scope from the start was caused by inadequate data collection from the end users. The sampled end users who were interviewed did not properly understand the system being developed, therefore; they did not provide relevant and adequate data on what functionalities they expected from the proposed system
Secondly, I would have increased the number of people working on the projects. For example, some projects phases lagged behind because either the people working on the project phase they were few or the people were less knowledgeable about the task requirement. I would recommend employing only competent people with relevant experiences in handling specific projects tasks
Q4. If projects like this happened again, what recommendations would you advice future projects managers?
The most important advice that future projects manager must have in mind is to understand the project's scope properly as the project's scope is what determine the costs, the resources needed, the number of people required to execute the project as well as the duration of each projects phase. I think employing competent projects managers or learning projects management skill such as projects scheduling and project crushing would have helped in improving the outcome of the projectoutcome. I would also advise the future project manager to manage the change requests in the early stages of the project to avoid unnecessary, costly reworks and to track all the change requests to their resolutions and project closure. Finally, I would recommend the future project managers to ensure that the change request is collated and retrofitted at the earliest conveniences to allow for analysis of the impact of these changes on the project's outcomes.
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