PRINCE2 Question: I am studying E2 at the moment. Under the topic of PRINCE2, both the BPP book and the official Learning System state that there are 8 components and 8 processes. However, when I studied for the PRINCE2 exam using the official PRINCE2 Manual, there should be 7 components and 7 processes. I am wondering if this is a mistake in the BPP book? If there is a question in the exam on PRINCE2, shall I answer 7 processes or 8? Response from tutor: 7 will be more than plenty so do not worry. Questions on PRINCE are unlikely to go to that level of detail anyway. Critical Success Factor Question: I would like to know the difference between a KPI and CSF. Response from tutor: The simple answer is that a KPI will be a measure or number, and a CSF will be a statement. This comes from project management in IT and has been generalised. For something to happen (a project to succeed, a business to make money) the first question is 'what needs to happen to make it happen?' - those things are the CSFs. The next question is 'how can we make sure those things happen and are being delivered?’ - that gives rise to KPIs. Setting KPIs means management focus on getting the critical things done, and measuring and reporting the KPIs allows management to monitor them. Project Structure Question: What are the key characteristics of a matrix project structure? Response from tutor: The most obvious feature is the project manager standing at the centre of a web. This manager can call on the services of the divisions of the firm (say finance, sales, marketing, R&D, IT and so on) and must co-ordinate them to achieve the project aims. The other feature will be secondment of staff from these other divisions to the project for set lengths of time. The adverse characteristics that result are confusion over where loyalties lie, a maze of cross charging, and high degrees of interpersonal conflict resulting from the divisions each seeking to retain its own autonomy and interests. Critical Chain Project Management Question: How’s Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) different from Critical Path Analysis (CPA)?
Response from tutor: This CCPM is an invention of Goldratt, the inventor of throughput accounting/theory of constraints. In essence traditional CPA starts with the start and finish times of each activity and loads resources into each activity to achieve the set times. The activities are fixed, so the resources must be increases and decreased as needed. This is a bit unrealistic because it leaves resources idle a lot of the time, and pays fortunes in overtime at other times. CCPM seeks to keep the resource loading constant and instead emphasises shifting them between activities (and varying the start times of activities) to keep them busy. Each activity has an earliest start time and a latest finish time on the critical chain, and free resources are shifted to start projects earlier or speed them up as needed. Syllabus area C - Management of Relationships Contingency theory on leadership Question: I don't quite understand the contingency theory on leadership. I would highly appreciate if you can kindly explain and provide examples, please? Response from tutor: Most of the early management theorists, whether writing about motivation or leadership, tried to identify the ‘one best way’. Think of ‘scientific management’, or Herzberg’s motivators and hygiene factors. Of course, such approaches can only ever have limited success, as businesses (and people) are very complex and every situation is unique. Contingency theorists recognise this, and propose that a manager/leader should be sufficiently skilled to be able to create a unique solution to each unique problem. Such theorists tend to look at the range of variables underlying a problem, and give a ‘toolkit’ of different partial solutions that might be combined to solve that problem. I often think of contingency theorists as the ‘it depends’ school – there is no standard solution, the...
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