Lesson Plan 3 Project Team Building

Connection to the Curriculum:
KPPM = communication, presentation and project management

Time:
1 unit of 50 minutes

Resources required:
Data projector: Content of a project plan
Handout Vocabulary, definitions and descriptions

Overview:
Why is team building important?

Team building is an essential component of project management and should be included in PM-training. Project management is a process of managing people. Project teams are effective because of constructive action and mindsets of team members and leaders.

Use the questions listed below for discussion:
1. What types of participants should be involved?
2. Why should each be involved?
3. What might each contribute to the project? (E.g. information, advice, representation)
4. How might each be involved?

Objectives:

  • Identify the types of participants involved in a project team
  • Understand the reasons why each participant should be involved
  • Appreciate the contribution of the stakeholders to the project? (E.g. information, advice, representation)
  • Develop awareness of intercultural concerns
  • Being able to handle diversity

Suggested procedure

Opening:
Revision: Ask students to write down the answers to the following question on a blank sheet of paper and pass it on to the teacher when finished. Suggested time: 5 minutes.

State four questions a project team has to ask before building a project plan and give examples for the features these questions include.

  • What needs to be done? Objectives, characteristics of expected products, activities and tasks.
  • How long will it take? A schedule.
  • Who will do it? Assignments and responsibilities.
  • How much will it cost? Time, cost and effort required for each task and for the project as a whole: a project budget.

What are the characteristics of effective project teams?

Have students break out into groups of 3 to 5.
Ask each group to discuss the characteristics of a successful work team they have worked on. Ask them to make a list of the five top characteristics they felt created a good, efficient work team.
Have each group report their discussion findings to the class.
If their past experiences with teams were negative ask them what would make these teams more effective.

Record key points on the blackboard.

Activities:

Handout: Characteristics of an Effective Project Team.
Ask students to compare and discuss differences to the list.

Introduce the characteristics of effective project teams:

  • Clear and accepted objectives
  • Good leadership
  • Members have a vested interest in the group mission. They must see a benefit for themselves.
  • Members have time to participate in group meetings and work.
  • Members are able to put in the time and energy necessary for the team to succeed.
  • Members have important information, skills or opinion to contribute.
  • Communication is open and user-friendly. Members express concerns and expectations openly and are listened to by the group.
  • Members are considerate and accepting of each other.
  • Members are sensitive to varying perspectives arising in an inter-disciplinary, multi-organizational, intersectional, open public, cross cultural team.
  • Members seek consensus on group decisions and test ideas to ensure everyone is on-board.
  • Group problems solving based on basic interests, rather than on positions and causes of problems rather than blame.
  • Members volunteer for taking the lead on group tasks.
  • Members are willing to contribute effort to accomplish group goals.

What are the characteristics of effective project team leaders?

Have students break into groups of 3 to 5.
Ask each group to discuss the characteristics of an effective team leader.
Ask them to make a list of the five top characteristics they feel create an effective leader.
Have each group report their discussion to the large group.
Report key points on blackboard.
Introduce the characteristics of effective project team leaders.

Hand out: Key points.

Leaders should

  • Be clear on what their role is
  • Understand and practice a team approach
  • Facilitate open, positive communication
  • Organize project team to do work
  • If possible, ensure right persons are chosen for work assignments (e.g. skills, team player)
  • Coach team members on their roles
  • Encourage team members to take responsibility for tasks
  • Coach, but allow freedom to act
  • Work with team members to address role conflict (e.g. with other job duties)
  • Encourage team work over individual success
  • Confront problems, not people
  • Understand and mitigate conflicts among team members
  • Avoid power politics and turf wars
  • Maintain project control through continuous communication and checklists (e.g. project control charts, budgets)
  • Always keep the objectives and expected results in mind
  • Use people’s time and efforts effectively, and not to waste time.

What are approaches to deal with inter-department difficulties?

Projector

  • Keep external departments informed at all times
  • Involve other departments in developing schedules
  • Maintain continuous contact during project
  • Anticipate problems, e.g. phases that involve larger time commitments of external departments
  • Be flexible. Be prepared to modify the project if necessary, if priorities of team agencies shift
  • Recognize team members have different career tracks, work routines, supervisors and that your project may enhance their job.

Exercise: How can the project team manage diversity?

The goal of this exercise is to raise awareness of how team functioning is affected by the roles and perceptions each member brings to a team. By identifying difficulties and advantages, students will be able to see how their roles can influence project effectiveness. They can develop some methods for addressing future complications both as a chair of a meeting and as a member in support of the chair and the team.

Divide class into two groups and assign each group one of the questions and have them discuss.

Interdisciplinary project team management

  • What difficulties arise because team members come from different disciplines (e.g. engineering, social sciences, business management, biology, government, administration, planning)
  • How can these difficulties be resolved? (List at least three ways!)
  • What advantages does an interdisciplinary project team have?
  • How can these be enhanced? (List at least three ways!)

Cross cultural project team management

What difficulties arise because team members come from different cultures? (e.g. First Nations, Euro-Canadian, Developing Countries)
How can these difficulties be resolved? (List at least three ways!)
What advantages does a cross-cultural project team have?
How can these be enhanced? (List at least three ways!)

Closing:

Have each group present a short summary of their findings to the large group.
Outlook: Project Planning Methods.

Key terms

Interdisciplinary project team management: Team members come from different disciplines: e.g. business management, engineering
Cross-cultural project team management: Team members come from different cultures: e.g. First Nations, Developing Countries

Revision questions:
1. Describe the attributes of an efficient team leader.
2. Explain the advantages of cross cultural project teams.
3. What difficulties arise because team members come from different disciplines?

 

Lesson Plan 2 Defining the Project Scope and Context

Defining the project scope and context

Pre-project phase:
In this phase the project scope concerning time, tasks and social aspects is defined:

  • Project start event
  • Project end event
  • Project objectives
  • Project organization (team members)

Time context
pre-project phase, difference between project end date and project start date, post-project phase
Task context
The task context considers the relationships between business framework and project, which can be synergetic or competing.

The social context is the result of a project environment analysis  internal and external.

Business case
The business case includes pre- and post-project phase. All processes are subject to an economic analysis recording and evaluating the direct project costs and the consequential costs and benefits.

Project environmental analysis

Internal project environment
Social environments contributing to the project and assuming project roles within the project organization
External project environment
Customer, supplier, banks, departments of the company, public authorities
The relationship between the environments and the project has to be evaluated and shown in a graphic. The evaluation results in appropriate measures for relationship management.

Source: Version 3.0  September 2009  pma  PROJEKT MANAGEMENT AUSTRIA p 17-20

Project definition

Project definition defines what is in the project, what are the limits of the project, what is the scope of the project. The definition concerns 3 dimensions: tasks, time and social aspects.
Project definition clarifies the following:
What are the project goals? Non-goals? Task definition
When is the project start? What is the start event? Time definition
Who are the persons playing a role in the project? Social definition

Project context analysis

This analysis is carried out for the same three dimensions: tasks, time and social aspects.
Task context: relationship to other projects, to mission statement of organizations
Time context: pre- and post project phase
Social aspects: relationships of persons playing a role in the project or are important for the project
It is critical to find out who supports the project, and who could be a hindrance.

What are the project goals?
What are the project theme and content? What environmental issues could affect the project?
Does the project match with the mission statement of our school?
time, start date, end date

What has lead to the project?
Which decisions have already been made? Which documents do exist?
What will be different after the project? What are the costs and benefits?
Who takes which roles? Who is project manager, team member, project coach?

Which environments/stakeholders are related to the project

Project goals

Example:
Planning of a school event: Exhibition of Practice firm on Open Day
Non-goal: Exhibiton at a Practice Firm Trade Fair abroad
Goal: execution of school event, realization of planning

TIP:
Goals are expected results of your work. Formulate goals by using nouns. Goal is Exhibition on Open Day, participation of a certain number students
Formulate the goals positively! Goal is profit!
Non-Goals are important. What should not be reached? Non-Goals could be goals of other projects.
Negative effects are not non-goals.
As detailed as necessary, as general as possible!
Goals have to be measurable.
Don’t describe measures how the goals should be reached.
Create a goals plan.

Main goals: school event (Goals are results – use nouns!)
Additional goals: improvement of class atmosphere (Tasks are activities. Use verbs for formulation!)

Why are goals important?

  • Goals motivate
  • Goals focus on end-date and outcome
  • Goals are a basis for efficient work
  • Taking part in formulating the goals increases identification with the project
  • Definition of goals requires prioritizing.
  • Goals affect amount of resources required.
  • Definition clarifies where to go and helps to cooperate.
  • Definition of non-goals clarifies the scope, avoids arguments about outcome

 

 

Main tasks
find a theme
create a program
plan parts
organise catering
plan finance
design invitations
place announcements
finish parts of program
prepare event
execute event
clean up
balance accounts
create report
hand in report

Time context analysis

Pre-project phase
Why this project idea?
Which problem should be solved?
What happened during the pre-project phase?
Who controlled the pre-project phase?
Who promoted the idea, who affected the idea negatively?
Which decisions have been made?
Which documents exist
Trial for solving problems?

Post-project phase
What will be after the project?
Which activities to be carried out after the project have to be thought of?
Which costs will arise after finishing the project
Which benefits?

Description of outcomes of post-project phase
Follow-up activities, benefits, costs

Project manager coordinates all activities. She/he alone has the right for amendments.

Social context: Project team

REVIEW QUESTIONS:

1.What does the project definition and the analysis of project context show?
2.What are the dimensions of definition and context analysis?
3.Which tools do you use for visualization of pre- and post-project phase?
4.Which tools do you use for showing goals, non-goals and main tasks?
5.What’s included in the task context?
6.Name and describe the different project roles, explain their main tasks.
7.What is the content of the social context analysis?

Lesson Plan 1 Introduction to Project Management

Overview:
This lesson is mainly a brush-up of PM knowledge taught in the 3rd form. Students will repeat the characteristic features of a project and project management. They remember how to identify the differences between a project and a routine job. They study and practice how to plan and execute a project. To accomplish this, they will have to plan a school event – in this case a Practice Firm Trade Fair/Open House Event – according to the rules and using the methods and techniques of project management.

Connection to the Curriculum:
PMPA: Project Management

Time:
1 unit of 50 minutes a week

Resources required:
PM material of 3rd form  Key terms and definitions
Pre-reading  pma baseline version 3.0 of Project Management Austria English issue p 6-13

Objectives:

Understand the concept of project management
Be able to distinguish between a project and ongoing operations
Learn how to plan a project
Identify the project environment
Be able to take on different roles in project teams

Knowledge and skills:
Group discussion, persuasive speech, time management
Project management basics
Key concepts
Project management
Projects and sub-projects
Types of project
Ongoing Operations

Procedure

Opening
Short lecture about the importance of project management, necessity of standardised documentation, key terms

Activities
Group work
After a revision of last year’s PM basics students are in a position to carry out the following revision questions and essay questions.
Class feedback: compare the answers
Discuss open questions
Provide correct results

Closing
Teacher’s summary: Short review of purpose and objectives of the PM-curriculum. Presents schedule and topics for the next unit. Suggested homework assignment: Getting familiar with the vocabulary, definitions and key points of the first lesson. Write ideas for the school event down.

Key terms

Project management
The project management is a business process beginning with a project assignment and ending with a project approval.
Objects of consideration:
Project assignment, project objectives, project deliverables, project list of dates, project resources, project costs and project risks
Project organisation and project culture
The project context (pre- and post project phases, project environment, other projects, etc.)

Project
Projects are complex, mostly new, risky and important tasks for the company undertaking the project. They are goaldetermined. The objectives for the scope of work, deadlines, resources and costs are agreed between the project owner and the project manager. Projects are temporary organizations and social systems.

Subprojects
Project management contains the sub-processes project start, project coordination, project controlling and project close-down. Others include project marketing and project crisis management. These sub-processes are related to one another.

Types of projects
Projects can be differentiated by industry, location or objective, level of specification and/or level of repetition, ownership, duration and relation to the organisation’s processes.

Source (Key Terms)
http://www.p-m-a.at/

Revision questions

1. What are the features of a project?
2. Describe the social context of a project (internal and external).
3. Define the term project management.
4. What are the objects of consideration when working on a project?
5. Which sub-processes are parts of the project management process?
6. Name criteria for project differentiation.
7. What are the specific characteristics of a project? What’s the difference between projects and ongoing operations? List three examples for each of them.
8. Identify five factors that might be essential for successful projects.

Essay questions

1. Go to the website of an Austrian newspaper. Look for the “Karriere-Section”. Scan the job ads for “Project manager”  job offers. Collect five job ads and list the education and skills requirements for that job.
2. Scan for job ads requesting project management skills. Set up a list of that skills and abilities.
3. What are the benefits of using project management techniques for the performance of tasks?
4. Look at the project school language course St.Petersburg. Describe the subprojects of the project management process by using this example.

Communication Strategies in B2B Markets

A high degree of innovation and the impact on several departments make purchasing decisions in B2B markets very complex. Therefore suppliers in B2B markets have to inform their customers very well to reduce the buyers’ risks on the one hand and to strengthen their own competitive position on the other hand.

Objectives of communication

  • inform prospects about company’s products/services
  • provide information to give potential customers the opportunity to check products according to their needs
  • offer possibility for immediate trial of products/services
  • aim regular purchasing
  • create large sales volume

Communication tools

  • personal selling
  • advertising
  • Internet
  • Direct Mail
  • seminars
  • trade fairs
  • press releases
  • telesales

Choose appropriate communication tools for different objectives

increase knowledge about products: advertising, trade fairs, public relations
create positive image: advertising, trade fairs, public relations
decrease cost of demand: trade fairs, public relations
create trust in quality of products/services: personal selling, public relations
create trust in performance of company: trade fairs, personal selling, public relations

Timeline of communication process

  1. public relations – to create knowledge
  2. advertising –  to provide information about products and company
  3. sales promotion/trade fairs – give information about usage of products, communicate advantages for customers
  4. personal selling – persuade customer that product/service is the appropriate tool to solve customer’s problem

Public relations

have to address the following publics:

  • customers
  • employees and unions
  • shareholders and banks
  • suppliers
  • government authorities
  • media and other opinion leaders

Questions

  1. What are the aims of marketing communication in B2B markets?
  2. Name classical communication tools affecting the customer
  3. Describe the different stages of the communication process in B2B markets
  4. How are information and risk linked in B2B purchasing decisions?
  5. Why might public relations be more important in B2B markets than in B2C markets?
  6. Explain the function of PR.
  7. Name the most important publics/target groups of public relations in B2B markets?

Literature:

Godefroid, P. (2003). Business-to-Business-Marketing. In H. C. Weis (Hrsg.) Modernes Marketing für Studium und Praxis. Ludwigshafen (Rhein): Kiehl

Marketing Research

Lesson Objectives: marketing research

  • know and understand terms and definitions of marketing research according to Kotler
  • search definitions of primary research, secondary research, survey and experiment
  • explain the marketing research process
  • design a research plan
  • carry out a survey

What is marketing research?

Companies need information about the market to answer the questions:

  • Who are our competitors?
  • What do consumers expect? Which features of our product do they want?
  • Are our products up-to-date?

“Marketing research is the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the company.”

Kotler, Philip: Marketing Management. Millennium Edition. Prentice Hall.

The company might obtain data in various ways. The procedure contains

  • collect data
  • edit and analyse data
  • make decisions

Types of marketing research:

Primary research:
survey – observational research – focus group – behavioural data – experimental research

Secondary research
using internal or external sources.

Large companies have their own marketing research department. Small companies can hire agencies or conduct research in affordable ways, such as

  • engage students to design and carry out a project
  • use the Internet
  • check out rivals.

The Marketing Research Process

Step 1: Define the problem and research objectives
Research projects can be exploratory, descriptive and causal.

Step 2: Develop the Research Plan
This stage requires decisions on data sources, research approaches, research instruments, sampling plan, and contact methods.

Data sources
Secondary data do exist already, primary data have to be gathered for a specific purpose.
Sources of secondary data: customer data base, data warehousing and data mining

Research approaches
Observational research – listen how customers talk about the company, use competitors’ products or services
Focus groups – 6-10 persons discuss the products or services guided by a skilled moderator
Survey research – descriptive research – carried out to learn about knowledge, beliefs, preferences and satisfaction of customers
Behavioural data – customers leave traces everywhere – on the web, when ordering from catalogues, using credit cards
experimental research – to find cause-and-effect relationships, most scientific method.

Research instruments
Questionnaires: are the most common instrument to collect primary data. A questionnaire consists of a set of questions presented to respondents for answers The marketing researcher develops the form, wording and sequence of the questions.

Closed-end and open-end questions can be used. Closed-end questions provide answers easier to interpret, but narrow respondents’ answers.

The questionnaire should be simple, use unbiased wording and be pretested before large-scale use. The lead questions creates interest, difficult questions are placed at the end to prohibit anger, the questions should follow a logical order.

Sampling plan
Sampling unit – who is to be surveyed? (target population)
Sample size – how many people should be surveyed?
Sampling procedure – how should the respondents be chosen?
Representative samples require a probability sample. Non-probability samples are less costly.

Contact methods
Marketing researchers can choose between mail, telephone, personal or on-line interviews.

Step 3: Collect the information

This phase is the most expensive and source of  problems: respondents are not at home, refuse to cooperate, give biased or dishonest answers. Some interviewers might be biased or dishonest. Thanks to computers and telecommunication data collection methods are improving.

Step 4: Analyse the information

Extract results from the collected data via tabulating and developing frequency distributions.

Step 5: Present the findings

The researcher presents the findings to the relevant parties.

Sources of Finance

Companies need finance to buy assets (machinery, equipment, ventures), to operate the business (stocks, promotional activities, R&D, Human Resources, rent,…)
The amount of funds is related to the type of business. A small boutique in a rented location has to finance merely stocks. A car manufacturer however needs funds for production facilities, for the production process, the storage, to provide credit to the dealers as well as for R&D.

Questions arising:

  • which sources of finance are available?
  • what are the requirements to apply for a bank loan?
  • types of loan capital and similar sources of finance

Loan capital

Loan capital may be provided by banks and suppliers, by leasing companies or through provisions.

Characteristics of loan capital:

  • provider of finance has no stake in the business
  • loan capital is limited in time
  • provider of loan capital is creditor of the business
  • interest has to be paid
  • repayment has to be made
  • interest payments reduce a company’s profit

Equity capital

Owners provide financial means or new partners are being sought
Auto-financing means that the company retains profit, increases equity capital.
The balance sheet shows retained earnings.
Asset-backed financing – assets are under-evaluated
Depreciation has been earned but not spent on replacement investment – therefore can be used for other purposes.

Characteristics of equity capital:

  • provider of equity capital is partner of the business, has a stake in management
  • equity capital is unlimited in time
  • no interest and repayment duties
  • for taxation profit distribution is not considered as operational expenditure

The following types can neither be classified as equity capital nor as loan capital

Redeployment of capital
e.g. sale of assets (land, ventures) to cover financial needs (due loan payment)

Subsidies
The company receives money from government authorities for the balance of economic disadvantages (e.g. alpine farmers, alternative energy or apprenticeship)

Requirements for getting a loan

A contract between the creditor and the debtor has to be agreed on.
The creditor provides money, delivery of goods, guarantee – the debtor promises the repayment of the capital plus interest in the future.
The creditor assesses the financial standing of the debtor. Is he in a position to repay the money? Therefore the personal as well as the economic credit worthiness of the debtor have to be examined.
Personal: payment morale, education, experience, family
Economic: profit, assets, solvency, capital structure

considerations:

  • creditor
  • volume of the loan
  • type of credit
  • hedging
  • credit period
  • cost of credit
  • modes of repayment
  • notice to terminate

 

Materials Management and Control

Objectives

of this lesson are to know

  • the functions of materials management
  • how critical materials management is for a company’s success
  • how to find suitable suppliers in the procurement market
  • how to organise materials logistics
  • how to optimise the outbound flow of goods and materials

Materials management and control are critical for businesses because the costs of goods, materials and storage are highly significant cost factors. These costs amount up to 80 % in trading enterprises, up to 40-60% of the sales turnover in manufacturing companies.
It’s easier to increase profit by reducing procurement costs than by increasing sales.

The main function of materials management is to provide the necessary goods and services to a company in the following way: the goods and services have to be available

  • in the desired quality
  • in the right quantity
  • at the right time
  • at the right location < and
  • at minimal costs.

The following activities have t be performed:

  • procurement
  • storage
  • distribution
  • disposal

To optimise the flow of material many decisions have to be coordinated.

Examples:

  • Buying more means better prices. Higher stock levels cause higher costs of storage space, capital and obsolescence.
  • On the contrary lower stock levels cause the problem that certain materials are not available when needed; and production and sales get stuck but storage costs tend to be lower.

In large firms materials management functions are usually carried out by different departments (procurement, inventory etc.). It’s vital to coordinate and fine-tune those departments.

Job Advertisements and Job Descriptions

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand the meaning of words used in job advertisements
  2. Create a job description using a job ad from the career section of a recent newspaper
  3. Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of job descriptions

Procedure:

Review of vocabulary:

Carry out a job ads vocabulary grid game:
Learners in groups of 3 are each given a slip of paper with words and definitions next to the words. The definitions to their words are on the slip of paper which one of the other learners has. They must find together the correct definitions.
(This activity is taken from: Rosenberg, Marjorie (2001). Communicative Business Activities. Wien: bv & hpt)

Analysis of job advertisements:

Analyse a job ad of the weekend career section of a newspaper. Find out the format of the job description and personnel specification.

Creating a job description:

Write down a job description for the post stated in the job advert. Use a template for this activity (E.g. based on Personnel Management. Manz Verlag Schulbuch)

Evaluate the benefits and the negative potential of job descriptions:

Use the Internet to find out articles on this topic.
Discussion of findings.
Create a handout including the essential results of web search and discussion.

 

Employment Legislation PowerPoint Presentation

This PowerPoint presentation is about the general contents of labour law, the different kinds of legislation, the duties of employers and employees, the role of trade unions, areas of discussion, employment contracts and termination of employment contracts.

Employment Law