This is my final blog for EDU 627 Managing Instruction and Technology. For the last 7 weeks we have explored project management and how it connects to the instructional design process. The last 2 weeks have focused on Execution of the Plan and Change Management/Quality Control
Execution of the Plan
The execution of the plan is carrying out the work that was outlined in your project plan; the project manager will want to make sure each of the following steps are addressed during this phase (Cox, 2009):
Performing Quality Assurance – Auditing the quality requirements and results to ensure the project is meeting appropriate quality standards
Acquiring – One of the essential tasks of project execution. The project manager may utilize team members from inside and outside the organization. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure the team member is skilled in the activity they are assigned.
Developing the Project Team – Creating the appropriate environment to facilitate an effective, functioning, and coordinated group
Distributing Project Information – Providing appropriate information to the stakeholders in a timely fashion; this is when the communication plan is active
Manage Stakeholders Expectations – Ensuring the project is meeting the requirements of the stakeholders and resolve any issues that may arise
Conduct Procurements – Ensuring the needed resources are obtained. This is when bids or proposals could be made by the vendors for products used in the project.
Monitoring & Controlling Project Work – Ensuring the objectives identified in the project plan are being met
Perform Integrated Change Control – This is done should if any changes need to be made to the project-scope statement
Verifying Scope – Confirming completed project outcomes
Controlling Scope – Monitoring the status of the project and changes to the scope baseline
Schedule Control – Being aware of the current status of the project and manage changes as they take place
Cost Control – Updating the budget and monitoring expenses throughout the project
Quality Control – This is done throughout the project to identify any poor processes or products. Once an issue is identified the project manager will then take action to correct the issue.
Performance Reporting – Collecting data and analyzing the results
Monitoring & Controlling Risk – Tracking identified risks, implementing risk-response plans, identifying new risks, monitoring residual risks, and evaluating the risk-plan effectiveness
Administering Procurements – Monitoring the vendors’ performance and ensuring the vendors are meeting the requirements of the agreed contracts
Concluding Project Executing, Monitoring, & Controlling – Once the project execution is complete, the next step is to close the project
Although my final project for the class is coming along, I think there are a couple of areas I am struggling. The first one is cost control. Since this is a theoretical project and I have not had much experience with budgets which are work related, I am not sure how to identify my cost. At this point I have not addressed cost in terms of money, but have discussed in my project plan “budget” and related it to hours allocated for the project and team members needed to complete the project. So far my plan to address budget in terms of hours and effort from the team members seem to be working well for my project plan – I may stick with what’s working
The second area that I think I could build upon would be administering procurements. Although I have thought much about the project manager’s responsibilities and those of the instructional design team, I have not thought much about the responsibilities of the vendors. After our readings last week, I now realize the project manager must also ensure the vendor are meeting the needs of the project, this can actually make or break a project if it’s a product that is a highlight of the design of the lesson/training and it is not available or not working correctly. If the vendor is not meeting the needs of the project then it must be addressed and should the issue not resolve a new vendor may be needed. Administering procurements does not need to take a large amount of the project manager’s time, but is something that cannot be over looked, and with just a few extra minutes in addressing the vendors’ responsibilities can save a large headache in the long run.
Change Management and Project Quality
Change management and project quality go hand in hand with one another. In the instructional design field, the instructional design team needs to ensure that their training or class is meeting the needs of not only the organization or educational system who is requesting the development of the training, but also that of the trainee or the student. The team needs to ensure that they are providing a well-developed and high producing product. The process of change management and project quality play a large role in ensuring the success of the instructional design and the overall project.
During the design and development process, the project manager must work with the instructional
designer (if they are not the same person) on both the project quality assessments and change management, should the need for change be identified. In this process the project manager will oversee the implementation of quality control measures which are done to identify poor processes or outcome; once the poor processes or outcomes are identified, the project manager will then either approve or reject the identified area for change (Cox, 2009). Both project quality and change management (or change control) should be done throughout the entire span of the project, from project scope statement, all the way through to the implementation of the project (Cox, 2009).
For my final project to address project quality and change management, I have identified the use of instructors at the school, who are not familiar with designing online classes, as “testers” during the development phase of the training. By using someone outside of the project team, and who would be qualified to be a trainee in the lesson, I could set up activities that would be used in the training and see how the tester does with the activities and assess the ease of use, as well as, whether or not the activities in the lesson are meeting the objective of the training. As the project manager, I would then take the data from the tester, both their feedback, as well as, analysis of how well they did – including if there were outside factors that effected their resulted and if they could be something to consider for the design and development of the training, and decide to make, or not make, changes based on the results of the data.
Another form of project quality and change management will be to implement a pre and post assessment for the trainees to determine: the ease of the training, the amount of knowledge they came into the training and the amount they left. This will not only benefit the current development of the training, but also future training developments. I will be able to take their feedback and immediately make changes as needed, as well as, keep in mind their feedback and utilize their suggestions for future development of trainings.
Check out this website on more info on how change management and project management work together http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-integrating-cm-pm.htm
Thoughts….Each phase of project management flows from one to the next. It allows the project manager to evaluate the need of the training, obtain the approval from stakeholders, design a well-organized project plan, and then oversee the development, implementation, and assessment of the project. Using the techniques and methods of project management will enhance the instructional design model, allowing for a well-structured plan from start to finish.
What is your experience with project management? Have you come across any difficulties in the executing the project plan or with change management/project quality?
To see how it all comes together check out my final project next week!
Proski. (2013). Welcome to the change management tutorial series: integrating change management and project management. Retrieved from http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-integrating-cm-pm.htm.
Cox, D. (2009). Project management skills for instructional designers: a practical guide. Bloomington, IN: iuniverse.