Empowering Project Teams : Using Project Followership to Improve Performance book cover
1st Edition

Empowering Project Teams
Using Project Followership to Improve Performance

ISBN 9781482217551
Published February 25, 2014 by Auerbach Publications
300 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Although project team members play crucial roles in projects, they often do not possess the required mastery of project management methodologies. As a result, dialog between project managers and team members is not as effective as it can be and can quickly become a source of stress and tension.

Empowering Project Teams: Using Project Followership to Improve Performance
improves on this situation by presenting the project environment from the perspective of project team members. Re-interpreting project management methodologies and behaviors using a bottom-up approach, it explores the application of project followership in the key stages of project management. It details the methods and techniques that all project team members need to know and outlines the behaviors they should adopt to be successful in each stage of the project. The book is divided into five sections:

  1. Introduces and explores the basic concepts of project management and project followership
  2. Examines project start-up—the all too often underestimated set of activities that make it possible to make future activities less problematic
  3. Highlights the importance of project planning
  4. Focuses on execution and control of the project
  5. Considers project closure and transfer and explains why this is an ideal time to determine if efforts invested have been rewarded

Despite an understanding that project success is directly proportional to the entire team’s ability to act as a managerial center of excellence, there has long been a need for a book dedicated to the individuals that participate in projects. Filling this need, this book is an ideal resource for anyone who regularly works as a member of a project team. Complete with case studies in each chapter, the book also includes exercises on the topics covered to facilitate understanding.

Table of Contents


Introduction to Project Management
Reader’s Guide
Projects, Projects, and More Projects!
Ten Key Characteristics of a Project
Project Life Cycle
Project Environment and the Stakeholders
     The Project’s Key Stakeholders
          Project Sponsor
          Project Manager
          Project Management Team (PMT)
          Project Team
          Other Project Stakeholders
     Focus on the Project Management Team
Success of the Project
     A Frame of Reference
     The Project Evaluation System
     Degree of Complexity of a Project
     Project Management Strategy

Project Followership in Action
Reader’s Guide
Toward Widespread Project Management
Project Followership: A Reference Model
Project Followership Actions
     Project Followership during Project Initiation
     Project Followership during Project Planning
     Project Followership during Project Execution and Control
     Project Followership during the Project Closure
     Importance of the Distinctive Features of Project Followership

The Kickoff Meeting
Reader’s Guide
Why the Kickoff?
     Kickoff Objectives
     Support in Preparing the Kickoff
     Response to the Invitation and Receiving the Information
     Presentation of the Stakeholders and the Organization of the Project
     Reading the Project Charter
     Discussion of the Project
Project Followership Actions for the Kickoff Meeting

The Requirements Analysis
Reader’s Guide
Why a Requirements Analysis?
Role of the Project Team Member in the Requirements Analysis
Requirements Analysis: Steps and Techniques
     General Outline
     Classify the Stakeholders
     Collect the Expectations
     Define the Requirements
     Validate the Requirements
          Acceptance Tests

Planning the Scope
Reader’s Guide
Why Manage the Scope?
Managing the Scope Is Not Easy
Role of the Project Follower in Planning the Project Scope
Deliverables: The Essence of the Project
WBS: Instructions for Use
     Meaning of WBS
     Ultimate Purpose of the WBS: To Magnetize the Team
     Rules for Building the WBS
WBS Metaphors
WBS Dictionary: An Extremely Useful Compendium

Project Scheduling
Reader’s Guide
Why Scheduling?
Approach to Project Scheduling
Scheduling Steps and the Project Follower’s Contribution
In-Depth Study of the Project Scheduling Steps
     Step 1: Determine the Project Work Sequence
     Step 2: Estimate the Duration of the Network Elements
     Step 3: Compress the Project Duration
          Fast Tracking
          Quality Reduction
          Scope Reduction
     Step 4: Allocating the Available Resources
     Step 5: Optimize the Allocation of Resources and Include New Resources if Necessary
Profile of the Project Follower in Project Scheduling
     Step 1: Determine the Project Work Sequence
     Step 2: Estimate the Duration of the Network Elements
     Step 3: Compress the Project Duration
     Step 4: Allocating the Available Resources
     Step 5: Optimize the Allocation of Resources and Include New Resources if Necessary

Formulation of Estimates
Reader’s Guide
Why Is Estimating So Important?
Estimation Techniques
     The Experts’ Judgment
     Historic Series
Pitfalls in the Estimation Process
     Different Degrees of Tolerable Approximation
     Optimistic Estimates
     Pessimistic Estimates
     Temporal Distance of the Activities to Be Performed
     Parkinson’s Law
     Student Syndrome
     Main Activity
     Measuring Time
     Availability of Information
     Actual Time Available for the Project
     Forecasts for Others
     Closeness of Temporal Phenomena
Project Followership Actions to Improve Estimates

Project Risk Management
Reader’s Guide
Why Project Risk Should Be Managed
Project Risk Management Process
Planning the Risk Management Process
Risk Identification
Analysis of Risks
Planning the Risk Response
Risk Monitoring and Controlling
Project Followership Actions for Project Risk Management

Change as a Natural Factor in Projects
Reader’s Guide
Why Are Projects Constantly Changing?
Partial Vision of the Project as a Contribution to Its Perceived Instability
Contributing to the Reduction of Changes
     Proximity of Temporal Phenomena
     Pressure over Results
     A Project Environment That Is Very Different from How Operational Activities Are Carried Out
How to Effectively Communicate Changes
When Change Is Beneficial and When It Is Negative
Project Followership Actions for Change Management

Controlling the Project
Reader’s Guide
Projects and Control
Project Control: Comparing Meanings
Project Control Cycle
     Plan the Project Baseline
     Measure the Project Performance
     Evaluate Variances, Trends, and Forecasts
     Define Corrective Actions, as Needed
Project Control in Action
     General Considerations
     Techniques for Monitoring Project Progress
          Criteria for Measuring the Work Carried Out
          Comparison of the Progress Observed with Respect to the Baseline
     Techniques for Assessing Project Progress
     Techniques to Identify Corrective Actions
Project Status
Personal Reflections on Project Control
Project Followership Actions for Project Control

Projects Never Finish: The Importance of the Lessons Learned
Reader’s Guide
Why the Lessons Learned Are Important
Some Clarifications on the Concept of Lessons Learned
Value of the Lessons Learned
Factors Hindering Systematization of the Lessons Learned
What Contributing to Writing the Lessons Learned Means
     Time Dimension
          Support Questions
          Discussion during a Meeting
     The Follow-Up
Informational Sources for the Lessons Learned
Project Followership Actions for Project Closure

Personal Assessment
Why You Should Participate in Projects
Why You Should Adopt a Project Followership Approach



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Marco Sampietro received a MSC in Economics at the Insubria University in Italy and a PhD at the University of Bremen, Germany. Since 2000 he has been a professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked among the top 100 Business Schools in the world (Financial Times Rankings).

He is a Core Faculty Member at SDA Bocconi School of Management and teaches Project Management in the following programs: MBA – Master of Business Administration, EMBA – Executive Master of Business Administration, GEMBA – Global Executive Master of Business Administration. He is also responsible of the executive education course: IT Project Management. He is also a Faculty Member at MISB Bocconi – Mumbai International School of Business Bocconi, the Indian subsidiary of SDA Bocconi School of Management.

Since 2001 he has been a contract professor at Bocconi University where he teaches Project Management, IT Management, and Computer Skills for Economics. In 2008 and 2009 he has been Vice-Director of a Master Degree in IT Management at Bocconi University. He is also Contract Professor at the Milano Fashion Institute where he teaches Project Management. Finally, in 2010 he has co-founded The Base Project Management Consultancy. Some of his international experiences are: speaker at the NASA Project Management Challenge 2007, 2008, and 2011, USA; speaker at the PMI Global European Congress, 2010; speaker at the IPMA-GPM Young Crew Conference, 2008, Germany; visiting instructor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

He is co-author of 5 books on project management and 7 books on IT management. Finally he is author of internationally published articles and case studies.

Tiziano Villa, PMP® CMC®
started his career at IBM as organizational analyst in the manufacturing plant of Vimercate, Italy. Subsequently he worked in the IT area of insurance companies, first as a Project Manager and later as PMO Coordinator. Since 1989 Tiziano Villa has been working in the management consultancy field, mainly on project management-related topics as a trainer and consultant.

In 2002 he founded "the Project Management LAB®", an Italian consulting and training company which is also a PMI® REP. From 2003 to 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the PMI®–NIC Northern Italy Chapter. He is a past director of PMI®-NIC. In this role he coordinated PMI®-NIC research, workshops, and events. He is project management Contract Professor at the "Master IT Governance & Compliance", University of Turin – SAA – School of Business Administration.