January 4, 2013 BUS 5668: Cases in Applied Project Management Assignment #1: Best Practices From 1940 to present, Project Management has continuously advanced from line managers using a small set of processes that were considered nice to have to the formal assignment of one individual assigned as the Project Manager that utilized a formal methodology by which to manage the project. Often the term “best practices” is referenced within a defined methodology. Why must an organization capture best practices? What are the determining factors in base-lining a best practice? Can an organization have too many best practices?
What are the impacts of establishing too many best practices that mandated by senior management for use on all projects? Provide one example of a Project Management best practice. (Video Lecture 2 and independent research) What are Best Practices? According to the Business Dictionary, And According to the Business Dictionary, “A Best Practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark (Business Dictionary). ” Organizations that have had constant success have adapted a unique version of the best practice method that accommodates what they do.
Many organizations use best practices to do the following (but not limited to): • Develop an understanding of the necessary requirements • Focusing on how to deliver the service / continue to deliver the service • Improve the perception of the customer(s) • Eliminate wasteful spending/investments • Increase productivity and employee morale • Improve Risk Management Using the best practices listed above along with other best practices the organization deem necessary, organizations can create a baseline to accommodate their organizations.
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A Base-line is defined as the current version of a project plan that guides project performance and against which the project manager compares actual project performance. (Portny, el. ) When an organization is creating or enhancing a base-line, the organization has to take into consideration the following: • How will the best practice benefit the organization • Who will the best practice have the most impact on (customer, organization, stakeholders, etc. ) • What is the return on investments for the organization by implementing the best practices.
Although best practices is the ideal method to use when operating an organization, not using the best practices method as it is meant to be used is just as bad as not having a process in place to run the organization. Time and time again, many organizations lose site of what best practices really are because they set too many goals as best practices. As a result, the organization fails to improve and keep up with competitors due to losing sight because they have so many best practices they are trying to focus on. The idea behind the best ractices is to ensure the organization is operating on one accord throughout the organization. By implementing too many best practices may result in the disorganization within the organization. Everyone would not be on one accord which can lead to miscommunication and every department doing what they see fit. Having too many best practices is just as bad as not having any at all. By implementing too many best practices, the organization have a higher probability to failing due to no realistic opportunity of implementing all of the best practices.
And the best practices implemented will not be fulfill 100% due to lack of resources because resources are spread thin due to the large amount of best practices. Also, every best practice may not be suitable for every department within the organization. By implementing best practices that will not be beneficial to department will become a waist of resources, spending, and as a result the project has a high probability of failing. An example of a Project Management best practice would be the implementation of ITIL within the NASA organization.
ITIL provides a practical, no-nonsense framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services to the business. The NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) is ITIL aligned. As a member of the NASA Shared Services Center, I had the opportunity to work on the implementation of the Enterprise Service Desk (ESD). The ESD offers 24x7 technical support to the entire NASA Agency. This department was stood up on the premises of offering the best IT support at the lowest cost. The NSSC has been using this best practice since it’s start-up.
I for one believe the ITIL best practice has brought much success to the NSSC. References: Last, F. M. (Year Published) Book. City, State: Publisher. Portny, Stanley E. (2008) Project Management: Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling Projects. New Jersey John wWley & Sons No author. (n. d. ) Business Dictionary. Retrieved on 01/09/2012. Retrieved from http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/best-practice. html#ixzz2HuDx20hu No author. (05. 10. 2012) ITIL. Retrieved on 01/09/2012. Retrieved from http://www. itil-officialsite. com/AboutITIL/WhatisITIL. aspx
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