Project Strategy & Planning

The instructor is Karl Croswhite, a veteran project manager who has more than 20 years in project management. He is pretty pragmatic and does not follow the PMBOK literally. He also enjoys to challenge us in the class room and shed some lights in the ugly realities.

Session 1 - Understanding Project Management

The Project Management 101:

  • sponsors
  • stakeholder(influncing or influcenced by)
  • PMO
  • SME: suject matter of expertise

Project life cycle:

  • Initialization
  • Planning and Design
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

Session 2 - Roles and Responsibilities

In agile, the product owner represents the customer/beneficiaries.

Consensus decision: a decision everybody can live with; pick a near consensus decision or just the executive decision.

Case study: Reluctant worker

The workers has no ambition to move up, should we threat them to move out?

The workers put the family value/community value ahead of the corporation. Maybe we may try to align the personal interest with the corporation?


The corporation culture is not aligned to the project manager. As a PM, he may:

  • reset his expectation
  • build the relationship so we can push the limit
  • upfront conversation
  • tell the sponsor about his constraints
  • make the project attractive for employees to go further.
  • move the ball forward if he has to do it.

Session 3 - Project Environments

The corporation organization:

  • projectized
  • functional
  • matrix

The scope/time/cost triangle.

The system performance is not the sum of the components, it is the sum of the interactivity of the components.

Case Study: LP Manning

  • No spec/scoping in the design phase
  • change/risk management is lacking
  • Ship MVP(minimal marketable function) earlier.

Session 4 - Project Requirements, Scope, and Statement of Work (SOW)

Absence, see the slides.

Session 5 - Project Goals, Objectives, and the POS

POS: Project Overview Statement

WBS: Work breakdown Structure, rendered as Gantt chart, get network & critical path

Case Study: Payton

The Payton bears all the risks in the new material application, a risk sharing contract form will be:

  • fixed cost + fee
  • 60/40 seller vs buyer
  • if the project is under-run, 60% goes to the buyer
  • if the project is overrun, buyer take 60% over budge cost.

Also using history of analogy of projects.

Rule of thumb:

  • 1 - 10 workday task graduality.
  • estimation: pestimistc : 10, expectation: 5, opitmistic 2:
(2 + ( 4 * 5) + 10 ) / 6 = 5.3 -> 5.36(buffer)

Sessoin 6 - The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

  • Top-down
  • Bottom-up
  • Analogy
  • Brainstorming

Session 7 - WBS Applications & Practicum

WBS decomposition should focus on the deliverable instead of the phases

Group discussion: WBS for movie making

The fallacies are we focus on the movie make phases:

  • script
  • cast recruiting
  • shooting
  • marketing

Instead, we may focus on the deliverables:

  • scripts
  • casts, stunts
  • the film
  • the PR, oversee loyalties

Session 8 - PM Process, Techniques, and Tools

Project plan: identify the critical path.

Group discussion: make Mother O’Hara’s Irish Soda Bread

It’s about identify the independent processes that can be scheduled in parallel. For example: preheating the oven and other endeavour.

Session 9 - Project Implementation Methodologies: Traditional Waterfall

Waterfall vs. Agile: find the right tool to do things right.

Session 10 - Project Implementation Methodologies: Agile

The outcome of agile project management:

  • get what the customer want
  • run out of money
  • run out of time

There are various agile styles other than scrum with different flexibilities.

Session 11 - Strategic Linkage to Programs and Portfolios

The portfolio management is about in which criterion to pick what project to work on.

The Project Management Maturity Model (PMMM)

The slides are hosted in Google Drive for personal reference.