Real World Project Management

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School update. I've been doing well in all of my classes and my coursework requirements are getting a little interesting. One of the courses is Systems Analysis and Design, a subject I took once at a lower level. In that course, it was primarily lectures and some assigned tests. This time around I'm being challenged with more than I expected.

The instructor, a former project manager, expects us to keep up with his coverage of the text encouraging us with unannounced quizzes most every week. And, I had been keeping up pretty well. Then last week the class was divided up into teams and assigned a team project. Essentially the project is to discuss software project failures and the reasons for project failures. It also requires us to research 3 real world examples of software project failure, and finally speculate on how education can help improve the success rate.

So focused on getting a head-start and doing a good job on the project, I put off reading the text and spent most of the weekend and nights working on the research. With three weeks to get it done, I was in a different mode. I made up a work breakdown schedule, and started compiling information targeting Hershey's, Foxmeyer, and Nike for more in-depth research. Today we finished class with a "pop" quiz, that I wasn't prepared for.

Now I wonder how many project managers have been assigned a project, and then found out that they didn't get any slack from their other responsibilities and may have been assigned other duties in addition. I've read other blogs that suggests that failures may be due to project managers being too many projects to work on. Please understand that this isn't a complaint. It's a lesson in real world project management, and an opportunity to bring to bear everything we are being taught about successful project management, and everything we will be learning from our team project.

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