Analyzing Scope Creep

This week we learned about dealing with scope creep. A few years ago, I had a group project over a specific medical condition. As the project progressed, some group members felt the need to add in extras to make our presentation seem more interesting. I agreed that it would be nice to have a more interactive presentation but also did not want to waste time to create these extras. Majority voted to make an interactive game. We did successfully add in an interactive game and finish the project on time, but it was not without some stress to finish at the end.

Looking back, if I was the group leader I would have had more conversations at the beginning of the project discussing the possibility of adding in extras later on in the project. I feel that vocalizing how important it is to stay on task now and if there is extra time, to add it in then. As Dr. Stolovitch stated in our video resource this week: “under promise so you can over deliver”.  Group members in any project will want to enhance the project by adding in extras. By explaining that those things can be added in later once the main details of the project are completed, group members will understand it is not your fault if the extras cannot be added in, you are simply following the timeline. Then if there is extra time towards the end of the project, the group member will be excited that there is extra time to add to the project.

 

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Monitoring projects [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Practitioner voices: You can’t win them all [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Advertisements

Project Schedule

The two links I found that were helpful in creating a Project Schedule were:

 https://www.projectinsight.net/blogs/project-management-software-implementation-and-user-adoption-tips/best-practices-for-project-scheduling

https://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Teamcenter-Blog/Tips-for-effective-Project-Scheduling-Getting-Started/ba-p/378705

The first link talks about not setting specific deadlines. This surprised me at first but makes sense. “When a schedule change occurs, you will have to edit every task with such constraints. That’s too much manual labor (West, 2018). Using the terms “as soon as possible” to allow for some changes with less headache for you later.

The second link dives a little deeper and has over 30 tips if you click on “other discussions in the series” at the bottom of the page. Tip number 11 & 12 were great reminders. “Identify the availability of team members” and “Understand team members work load”. By understanding who will be available and when during the project will change the schedule completely. You as the project manager should also be considerate of the workload of your team members. If something goes wrong, you need to know which member has the availability and capacity to fix the issues. By fully understanding your team and where they come into play with certain areas of the project will help you throughout the project.

Good communication is outlined in both articles. You cannot create a project schedule without talking to your group members and using their insight and previous experience. Communicate with your members throughout the project. When making a schedule, find out what areas may need more time built into the schedule to create less of a headache later for yourself and others. Then you also should communicate throughout the project, find out if the schedule is working, if issues are arising making the deadlines difficult. Expect the schedule to change, be flexible!

 

References

 

West, C. (n.d.). 7 Best Practices for Project Scheduling [Web log post]. Retrieved July 26,       2018, from https://www.projectinsight.net/blogs/project-management-software-     implementation-and-user-adoption-tips/best-practices-for-project-scheduling

Zimmerlee. (2016, December 5). Tips for effective Project Scheduling: Getting Started   [Web log post]. Retrieved July 26, 2018, from   https://community.plm.automation.siemens.com/t5/Teamcenter-Blog/Tips-for-effective-  Project-Scheduling-Getting-Started/ba-p/378705

Communicating Effectively

Jane used three modes of communication to communicate with Mark about his deadline. My immediate interruptions are below.

 

1: Email – Jane is explaining why it’s is so necessary to have Marks data ASAP because they cannot move forward without his data and he is essentially holding things up.

2: Voicemail – Jane is calling to see where Mark is at with the data, she is concerned about her deadline and not meeting it due to Mark.

3: Face to face – Jane is aware of Mark’s busy schedule and trying to be accommodating but would really appreciate Mark’s data to finish her part of the project before the deadline.

 

The most optimal form of communication was face to face. You get a sense of body language, tone of voice and other body language signs to determine Jane’s level of urgency but still trying to be accommodating to Mark. I also think you would get a more truthful answer from Mark when he would have the data face to face vs email or voicemail.

Voicemail is the next best mode when communicating. Mark can hear tone of voice but unfortunately cannot see body language, this leave some open to interpretation. It would help if they spoke on the phone to each other rather than Jane leaving a message so Mark and Jane could establish more of a conversation and tone of voice.

Email seemed to be more “faked” as if Jane had to say those things to be nice but still get Mark to understand that Jane needs his data ASAP. When you are not face to face or talking directly to the person on the phone, things can be easily interrupted in other ways than originally intended. I think Jane did a good job of communicating why it is so important to have his data in each modality but because she was not face to face the message by voicemail and email is open to all different interpretations, which can be negative towards Mark.

Face to face is the preferred method of communication in this situation but many times that is not an option, either due to employee schedules or it is geographically impossible. If calling and speaking to Mark was not an option, email would be my last resort. Email is wonderful for follow up and reminders but difficult to understand emotion when communicating specifically towards another. If communicating via email, be specific of purpose of the email, background context, the overall goals and timeline. Jane did a good job at this but since it is email, it will always have some parts open to interpretation.

 

 

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Project management concerns: Communication strategies and organizational culture [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Week 2: Learning from a project: Post-mortem

A few courses back, I participated in a course that was based on a group project. Throughout the course, you and your group members would take turns on who was the lead member each week to get the workload done. I don’t even remember what our project was about specifically, but I do remember that 4 out of 5 group members worked very well together and were very motivated. We had a group text chat with all the group members in it and would communicate a few times a week. The continued communication was what helped us to succeed. Each group member who communicated often were on the same page, working to finish tasks in timely manners, so the group lead that week could put everything together and make it look presentable.

Now not all members were as involved as others. There was one group member that was notorious for turning their part of the weekly assignment late, making the group lead nervous if we would need to do that group members’ part or not complete the project and receive a low grade. This personality was noted very early on but never dealt with fully. We reminded her time after time and yet nothing changed. Looking back, it was difficult to talk with the group member because no one was truly the head member in charge beyond one week. We all thought someone else would do something about it or the member would realize how important this project was for everyone’s grade and start to contribute.  Neither of these things happened. What should have happened was dealing with the issue early on in the project and stating the consequences if a member did not contribute their fair share of work in a timely manner. Possibly knowing the consequences of being late could have motivated the member into completing the assignments earlier.

Overall, we had a successful group project but it was stressful at times due to an unmotivated member. Laying out each members responsibilities and the consequences if those are not completed in a timely manner could of helped set the tone for the project early on and avoided many issues later on.

Project Management Introduction

Hello new classmates,

My name is Hannah Heitshusen. I am currently a Sonographer (ultrasound tech) at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. I am working towards my Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology to hopefully teach new Residents, Medical students and Ultrasound student’s Sonography. I recently got engaged and so have 3 of my other close friends so when I am not studying, I am planning for those!

I am new to any kind of Project Management course, but am looking forward to a fun and informative course with you all!

Hannah

Future of Distance Learning

Throughout my distance education courses here at Walden University, my opinion of distance learning has been slowly evolving. As technology advances, distance learning is becoming a more common mode of education and will only become more prosperous in the future.

Although many personal perceptions still believe face to face learning is the gold standard, as technology advances people are changing their perspectives. It is very possible, in 10 years many postsecondary education could be solely distance education courses. I believe face to face will always be an option, but distance learning will soon become the new normal mode of education for postsecondary and continuing education courses.

 

As an instructional designer, I strive to create content that can be learned at a distance. My objective is to provide the content in an organized way that helps all different types of learners to understand the same message. The more successful I am at creating easily learned content, the better experiences learners will have in a distance learning format. Good experiences will create a better overall view of distance education.

 

As technology advances, so should an instructional designer. My job is to stay current with the latest technology and to help those around learn to utilize it. There is always room for improvement and more learning no matter how many years of experience you may have. As an instructional designer, you must be open to constructive criticism and continually trying to better yourself and your content.

 

References:

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). The future of distance education [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Distance education: The next generation [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Naidu, S. (2014). Looking back, looking forward: the invention and reinvention of distance education. Distance Education35(3), 263–270.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education

Wang, V. C., & Torrisi‐Steele, G. (2015). Online teaching, change, and critical theory. New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development27(3), 18–26.