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Week 4 Assignment

Running head: Communications
Week 4 Assignment: Communications
Lincoln Brown
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Project Management Control BUS-5473-W1
Dr. Flores
The use of progress reporting is a key strength when it comes to project management. Being
able to identify possible issues to come from these reports allows project managers to make
changes that will circumvent them. This fact is one of the primary reasons for determining
project progress. When progress reports reveal potential issues, project mangers should strive to
make changes to any portion of the project in order to solve the issues shown. An example
would be the altering of the scope or deliverables of the project. Another example could be the
movement of resources in order to better complete task in the timeline that has been proposed.
One possible way of looking at progress reporting is by using the balanced scorecard approach.
Analyzing how the team is operating in relation to the four aspects of this approach can be
beneficial in obtaining a well-rounded view of project success.
For any project, the tasks of identifying both progress and results is critical. These two
steps create a picture for which the project manager and other stakeholders can then utilize for
decision making. The first of the two benchmarks, progress tracking, combines many of the
previous methods discussed in the class. Communication and the work breakdown structure are
two of the most important. Communication is a corner stone of effective progress reporting.
Having open channels between team members and the project manager allows for a smooth
transfer of information related to the progress of each phase identified by the WBS. Having this
information allows for the project manager to make inferred decisions. These decisions could
be in relation to possible problems or risks identified in the progress report. Another type of
decision that could be made based off progress is an adjustment to the phase in question or even
the project. If adjustments need to be made to the scope of the project, or even deliverables, the
project manager can justify these changes with the progress reports given. One of the more
important reasons for progress reporting is to keep upper management and other shareholders
informed. If the project in question is experiencing setbacks or other time related issues, these
stakeholders need to be notified in order to prevent a misunderstanding later down the line. The
ability to use past progress reports for future project decisions is also a stark positive. Project
managers can look at what processes worked in a phase or perhaps even what didn’t work, and
needs adjusted in order to better meet progress deadlines. The utilization of progress reporting
and results can help propel the project and make reaching the goal of completion much easier.
Overall, these types of reporting methods are beneficial to a project and should be utilized by
every project manager.
Project decisions based on progress reporting can cause many changes within both a task
and the larger phase that it is a part off. Let’s look at a project for a mobile app development
team who is creating a new mobile game. The team in charge of the character design phase is
behind schedule as informed by their progress report. The project manager then must make
some decisions in order to rectify this issue. One possible decision would be to analyze the
process by which the design team is making decisions. Let’s say that the reason for the delay in
the timetable is due to the design team not having all the character designs approved yet. Is this
an issue with the methods used to get the designs approved, or is it an issue with the design team
not following the proper channels for approval? There may be a change needed to this process.
Another example would be if the design team was having an issue with the amount of work
needing completed versus the employees tasked. Does the team need additional employees to
help mitigate this shortage? This can also occur in the opposite direction. Perhaps the progress
report showed that the character design was far ahead of schedule while the gameplay design
team was behind. The project manager could then make up for this by transferring members to
the other team to help mitigate this issue. This type of decision would be helpful in future
projects where similar issues were foreseen and therefore circumvented entirely. Corrective
action should always be utilized by a project manager to ensure the completion of the project
goals. Being able to make the decisions necessary to both correct and prevent these issues based
on the progress of specific tasks shows the experience and knowledge of the project manager.
The balanced scorecard “refers to a strategic management performance metric used to
identify and improve various business functions and their resulting external outcomes.” (Tarver)
For these measurements four main aspects are analyzed. The first aspect being learning and
growth. This pillar involves how well employees utilize both information and training. In order
to determine how well the team is doing on this front, the project manager can look for details on
innovation in the progress reports. Seeing what steps the team members are taking to improve
on current methods and what steps they take to train members on these new methods. The next
step of the balanced scorecard is business processes. This side of the project can be evaluated by
efficiency. Another way to look at it for project managers is milestones. Are teams hitting
milestones, and if not, are they working efficiently? Having teams be able to complete tasks in
an efficient manner helps secure project goals. The third section of the balanced scorecard is the
customer perspective. In the case of project management this can be either stakeholders or
clients, or maybe even both. To be able to measure this aspect, project managers may look for
stakeholder feedback in relation to provided progress reports. The question of are the
stakeholders happy with the current progress, should be the project manager’s focus. Following
these three aspects of the balanced scorecard is the final analysis of financial data. This step is
easily one of the most important. Not all progress reports may include a financial breakdown of
the related tasks. This can make it hard to attain a picture of how well the project is doing in
relation to the estimated budget. In order to fully understand this aspect, project managers must
require a financial breakdown in progress reports in order to make decisions that may impact the
budget. The financial status of projects in progress is an important variable that managers need
to monitor.
As we’ve seen in the past, progress reports allow project managers to track key timelines
and to make quick business decisions to help both circumvent and solve issues. Without
progress reports management would be unable to determine the status of certain tasks and
ultimately would be unable to communicate an estimated timeline effectively to the stakeholders
and clients. Being able to make changes and snap decisions based off of these reports is a strong
quality of a project manager.
Lester, A. (2017). Project Management, Planning and Control (7th Edition). Elsevier S & T.
Tarver, E. (2022, May 19). How a balanced scorecard (BSC) is used. Investopedia. Retrieved
June 5, 2022, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/balancedscorecard.asp