One of the biggest challenges for project managers and instructional designers is estimating costs and budgets for a project. “Project managers must develop budgets in order to obtain the resources needed to accomplish project objectives. Often, project managers are required to prepare project budgets in order to receive the go-ahead from top management to proceed with projects” (Portny et al, 2008).

Our assignment this week is to find online resources that are helpful towards developing project budgets as well as determining costs for the project. The first online resource I found to be extremely helpful in estimating project costs and budgets can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/costs.html The website “Big Dog and Little Dog’s Performance Juxtoposition” provides excellent resources for creating efficient project budgets as well as how to revise and estimate budgets when its necessary to factor in the unknown. The website also gives a break down of the necessary steps of developing a project from start to finish. The second website that I found helpful is http://www.bnhexpertsoft.com/english/products/advent/module4.htm This website is helpful in planning a budget and determining costs in a project as it provides examples of how to create a project budget as well as useful links with helpful resources.

Planning a budget and determining the overall cost of a project is a very detailed task with several factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

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Effective Communication in Project Management

How did your interpretation of the message change from one modality to the next?

 The three different types of communication modalities portrayed a completely different interpretation for me. One of the differences I noticed right away was the tone and mood of the sender.  “One of the most robust findings in the sociological literature is the positive effect of communication on cooperation and trust” (Jensen et al, ND).

The email modality was right to the point and did not convey a very friendly tone. I interpreted is as very matter of fact with very little emotion involved. It was standoffish, in my opinion, and forced me to assume there was very little morale amongst the team members. I interpreted the voicemail modality with a more friendly tone from someone who was interested in working with the team member. The face-to-face modality was my favorite form of communication as the audience was able to cue in on body language as well as tone. The speaker let the recipient know exactly what she needed to say but did so in a friendly, noninvasive manner.

What factors influenced how you perceived the message?

The factor that influenced my perception the most was the different tones that I perceived from each type of modality. The email lacked any tone as there was nothing to help me determine whether or not the sender was a positive team member or a disgruntled employee. “Written stuff, like this article, can seem to be direct. I write. My editor edits. You read. But what if I’m not clear in my writing? What if you don’t get my jokes? Or my grammar and punctuation is so poor that you miss the point? Communication fails” (Phillips, 2014). The voice and face-to-face modalities allowed me to get a feel for the tone of the message through the sound of the sender’s voice inflection and their body language in the face-to-face modality.

 Which form of communication best conveyed the true meaning and intent of the message?

 The face-to-face modality was my favorite choice and conveyed the true meaning of the message as I was able to hear and see the sender.

What are the implications of what you learned from this exercise for communicating effectively with members of a project team?

Communication and listening are key components for positive team morale and successful project management. It is important for the project manager to set the ground work for the way in which team members communicate to one another in order to avoid false assumptions or a break-down of team morale.

 

 Resources:

 http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/sdrucker/papers/chidilemmas.pdf

 http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/real-world-project-management-communications.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

 

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/sdrucker/papers/chidilemmas.pdf

 

http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/real-world-project-management-communications.php

 

Implementing Inquiry Based Learning into the Elementary Classroom

The  third grade team at the school where I teach implemented an inquiry based learning project. We started drafting ideas in October of 2013 in hopes of the project being completed and ready for our students within two weeks. We each had between 26-28 students in our classes, with a variety of learning levels. One of our main objectives was to provide learning opportunities through differentiation. We met with our technology resource instructor, a team of special education teachers and our gifted resource teacher. The first meeting was extremely chaotic as none of us thought to draft a project plan. We were basically looking for feedback and ideas for different types of learners on different levels. The lack of a project plan was our first mistake and resulted in a lot of wasted time for everyone involved. “Plans should always be in writing. A written plan helps the project manager clarify details and reduce the changes of forgetting something” (Portny et al, 2008).

The team members were very excited about the proposed project idea and felt that it was something that would provide an excellent learning opportunity for the third grade students but after the first failed meeting, the third grade team felt the need to draft a plan to explain detailed goals and objectives, a time frame as well as resources that would be needed. We were relying heavily on our technology resource facilitator to create the technology tools needed for the project so we felt that we also needed to meet with her one on one.

It took us about three weeks to get the project in order and set up for our students and we learned a lot about project management along the way. Looking back I realize  we left out the start phase and jumped right in to planning and structuring the project. “Time pressure often leads project managers to assume the start phase is a waste of time. However, a project team needs to take time to define its procedures and relationships before jumping in to the actual project work” (Portny et al, 2008).

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.