Direct and Manage Project Tool & Techniques

June 26, 2010
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Introduction
Direct and manage the project execution plan covers every aspect of managing
the project execution. Thus it covers a range of categories of actions. These
are derived from the subsidiary plans as well as the overall project management
plans. The main baselines used are also used as inputs. Like every other
process, the enterprise environmental factors as well as the organizational
process assets color all the planned actions, as it should. Though it uses a
range of inputs the only set of tools and techniques that can be used to derive
this particular plan is the expert judgment. This is supported by the project
management information system.
Tools and Techniques in use
This process is such that the actions required can only be decided on by
subjective assessments of a group of experts assembled for the purpose for a
specific project. The quality of the collective experience and, thereby, the
quality of their expertise decides how effective the actions planned would be.
Thus the prime focus of effort in this planning process is to gather the best
possible expertise possible. The sources of this expertise will have to be the
project manager and his project execution team at the first level. The
specialized knowledge and skills that are going to be used on the project are a
source of knowledge and expertise. However, since we need to have the best
possible expertise focusing on this planning activity, you may need to draw on
any relevant experience available elsewhere in the organization.
The sources to draw on would be people from other departments within the
organization. These may be personnel who have worked on similar projects
before. It also could be a very specialized resource, usually working with a
different department yet whose judgment calls may be useful for deciding
actions in parts of the plan. Consultants are a source of special skills quite
often. The trick here is the ability to locate a really relevant and effective
consultant. Stakeholders are a source of relevant expertise quite often. The
project sponsor himself may be a very experienced person who can effectively
take judgment calls on various issues. Because he is the sponsor and thus the
stakeholder with the most interest in seeing the project a success, it is easy
to draw on his expertise. He would be quite easily forthcoming about his
contributions. Similar help can be expected of customer s personnel. Because they need the project, there s likely to be some people who know all about it as they would have helped
defining the project in the first place. They too would have a high enough
stake to see the project succeed. Help thus should be easily forthcoming.
Trade associations such as professional associations and technical associations
will have members who operate on a similar area or there is an overlap of
interests. These organizations are likely to have people experienced in many of
the relevant areas. It should be easy to seek out such personnel and ask for
advice. The arrangement could be an informal one through the old boy network of
seniors in the performing organization or a formal one by inviting such
personnel for a consultant s role.
A project management information system that is a part of the infrastructure
and thus part of the environmental factors can be a big help in collecting,
distributing and dissemination of information. Such a system could be a
scheduling software tool, a configuration management tool or even an
information repository. The repository not only helps collecting, categorizing
and arranging information, but it is supported by tools that make sophisticated
searching quite easy. The tools thus make finding relevant information very
easy for the panel of experts involved in the planning process.

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