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DQ1

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One item for consideration in this weeks discussions is the difference between Stakeholder Management and Risk Management. This have many of the same attributes and can seem related in certain aspects but when evaluating them at a more detailed level the differences become a bit more obvious. Part of the confusion might be because the ‘root cause’ analysis steps that are taken are very similar. As identified by Robichaud:

Risk management

• Identify the risks

• Understand the risks and analyze, quantify and prioritize it

• Develop a plan to minimize the negative consequences on the project

Stakeholder management

• Identify who is concerned about the project

• Understand what motivates the stakeholders and what are their concerns

• Develop a plan to maximize the satisfaction of stakeholders in the project.

While a Risk Management Plan is different than a Stakeholder Management Plan, they are both equally important. Not knowing in advance what motivates your stakeholders and what their interests in the project are may result in developing or implementing aspects of the project that do not meet the stakeholder requirements. How can you quickly identify what your stakeholder requirements are? Just like project requirements, you can’t identify and mitigate every single one of them before starting the project or your project will never start. One of the key reasons is your stakeholders wont always tell you in advance.

What aspect of project leadership that we have discussed can help draw out stakeholder requirements?

Mark

Reference

Robichaud, F. 2013. Stakeholder Managment: Beyond Risk Management. Retrieved from www.boreal-is.com

DQ2

Provide a comment on the below statement:

Wow! It is almost overwhelming how much communication has evolved over the years – From writing on cave walls and scrolls to only having newspaper/radio/tv to now a combination of them all (plus some) in our advancements in virtual reality….virtual – reality?? Contradictory for sure… but these words shoot out of our mouths as easy as good morning.

One of my reasons for wanting to become a PM is because of my deep desire to understand and master effective communication in the corporate space. You just can’t waltz into the corporate space thinking you can just be yourself (at least not at first). There has to be a deep understanding of how to manage  interpersonal radars and balanced emotions to communicate effectively –  all in an effort to produce the results (in people) that we want. It’s somewhat of a superpower….accept the people have to know that you use your powers for good to see sustainable results!….and their radars… even on the most inexperienced level….will know genuine from fake. Sure, you can boss people around; and the weak will follow  – but wouldn’t you rather everyone just connect and produce without all of the emotional elements that (sometimes unfortunately) have to be considered in communication?

This chapter goes into great detail about communication. The most important line in the chapter is: information cost money, but conversely lack of information can be even more expensive. Oh how true this is!! Not only in projects but also in life.

(Just my opinion) I believe that people that want to become PM’s are frustrated with the lack of responsibility people have towards communication. We underlyingly seek some formal way to connect based on how the guru’s of project management formalized being a master at it. I know, for me – it’s a complete comfort zone in a world of miscommunication, misinterpretation and acceptance of whatever makes us feel good about ourselves (true or not). Project management, (for me) breaks down those walls of confusion in an effort to organize and help better connect with people in attempts to gain success on common goals. It’s probably obvious that  I look forward to my career as a project manager. Would love to hear opinions on this!

DQ3

Large projects often use sophisticated enterprise resource management software programs to capture task status details reported from different team members. These programs may level load resources, help determine constraints, and compute earned value variances to chart progress. What factors should a project leader consider when deciding whether to use such software?

DQ4

Large projects often use sophisticated enterprise resource management software programs to capture task status details reported from different team members. These programs may level load resources, help determine constraints, and compute earned value variances to chart progress.

How would this software improve or impede communications in the team and with stakeholders?

DQ5

Provide a comment on the below statement:

in this chapter, I appreciated the clarification on how stakeholder management differs from an overall communication management plan. Basically breaking it down to the over all communication plan referencing the mechanics of supplying information and stakeholder management as engaging and involving them in the decision making process and activities. As the PM, your ultimate goal is to have control over communication.. While both plans rely on each other, I find the “engaging and involving” the stakeholders most intriguing. 

In my experience, some of my most rewarding and frustrating experiences has been with my attempts to “engage and involve” stakeholders more so on the executive level at a company. The struggle is that everyone of them consider themselves “the authority” and their consideration to all parts of an initiative may be skewed toward their best interest (associated with their position in the company). It was often, very difficult to get them on the same page based on what is best overall. On the other hand, I have had great experiences when the executive person learns to trust your judgment but wants to understand progress and will allow you to think through issues with his/her guidance. So, a PM must take great care not to become so blinded by the positions of the stakeholders. I find that they are just people too – trying to figure it all out. Listen, open yourself up to their expertise and develop a sense of ownership over their objectives. Then execute decisively – allowing room for left and right turns.

Engaging and involving them after you start seeing yourself two steps ahead of them feels amazing. Engaging and involving them too soon or haphazardly, without a plan or controls in place, can be a nightmare. If their expertise, budgets and CEO minds can connect to your steady and consistent leadership in meeting or exceeding expectations – you’re golden!

DQ6:

How does a project leader determine stakeholder reporting needs? Describe the tools a project manager may use to control and manage project communications. What are some possible results of ineffective communication?

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