Team Paper
INTRODUCTION-
The Team Paper for PM587 will place the student in the role of a project team member where a project portfolio management process is to be developed and then put to use. The Team Paper will involve the application of the tools and techniques of multi-project/program management and will deal with the analysis and establishment of project management systems based on the structure of the project and the organization. Since this is a team project, some effort should be expended by each team to observe and analyze their own team’s group process and group dynamics, addressing such areas as team member roles and responsibilities, delegation, decision making, leadership, conflict resolution, etc.
The expected outputs from these team efforts will be in the form of written reports.
Each team will be responsible for managing its own effectiveness. There should be no free riders on the project. Just as you would have to in real life, your team should manage itself, and if someone is not pulling their weight, the team should attempt to manage it internally. If your team is unable to resolve the problem, you can ask the instructor to intervene as a last resort.

Part I: Due Week 4

The senior management of your company has already made the strategic decisions to allocate annual funding to each of the Strategic Business Units (SBU) within the company. A new executive (your instructor) has been hired to head up your strategic business unit. This new executive was hired from another industry and from another company, so he is still learning about your industry, your company, and your SBU.
You are a member of the organization responsible for the management of a product portfolio in this strategic business unit. There are a number of projects already in progress, but there has not been a good portfolio management process in place.
The first major act of your new executive was to establish a team (your class project team) to develop and to implement a portfolio management process for your strategic business unit. You are a member of that team.
As soon as your team is established, you should immediately:
  1. Choose an industry. (This is your choice; however, someone on the team should be familiar with the industry).
  2. Choose any company in the industry. You will need to be able to derive their high level mission and strategies (from annual report, etc.). It can be a team member's company, but it does not have to be.
  3. Invent a Strategic Business Unit (SBU) that has some specified portfolio of products. This does not have to match the real world; make up a scenario if necessary.
  4. Invent the mission and strategies of the SBU. They should be consistent with the company mission and strategies, but they do not have to match the real world (i.e., make them up if necessary).
  5. This SBU, its mission, and its strategies are then the basis for the development of the project selection criteria and the portfolio management process.

Don't get hung up on trying to be too accurate, too complex, or matching reality for this first step. Establish a "scenario" you can work with on the project for the rest of the session and move on.
Develop project selection criteria and a high level process for applying the criteria and managing the portfolio. The criteria should be consistent with the business environment for your industry, consistent with your company's overall mission/strategies, and consistent with the mission and strategies of your strategic business unit. You are proposing a process, not individual projects.
The deliverable for Part 1 is a written proposal for the project selection criteria and a high level description of a proposed portfolio management process. You will also be expected to make an informal presentation of the report in class. Since your manager is new to the industry, the company, and the SBU, you may need to provide more context/background information that has not yet been assimilated.
The proposal should be in the form of a memorandum to your manager (your instructor) outlining your proposal. The memorandum should be no more than 10 pages, including any figures and tables. It should be double-spaced, 10 or 12 point font with one-inch margins. This is a summary for an executive, so be concise, to the point, and leave out the fluff. If you don't need 10 pages to document your proposal fully, I am sure that your manager will be happy with less as long as it is complete. Using appropriate grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure will be part of your grade.
The proposal should include necessary background information (no more than two of the 10 pages). Remember, your manager (your instructor) is not yet familiar with it and has been somewhat slow grasping it. The following items should be included as background information:
  1. A brief description of the industry and the key aspects of the environment of that industry.
  2. A brief summary of the mission and strategies of the overall company.
  3. A brief description of the mission and strategies of the SBU.
  4. A brief description of the existing organization structure.
The actual proposal should include the following:
  1. A description of the proposed portfolio process and the reasons it was selected (tie to strategies as appropriate).
  2. A description of the proposed selection criteria, the method for applying the selection criteria, and the justification for both.
  3. What implications does the current organizational structure have on the implementation of this proposal and what, if any, changes to organizational structure may be necessary?
The report should not include any mention of specific projects. It is only about developing the selection process.
Submit This Document to Your Team's Private Doc Sharing Area


Scoring for PM587 Team Paper Part I – Total Points Possible: 100


Industry Background
10
Company Mission and Strategy
10
Portfolio Process
25
Selection Criteria
25
Organization Structure
10
Document Structure and Mechanics
10
Presentation (“Dazzle Factor”)
10


Part II: Due Week 7

In part 1 of the project, the new executive (your instructor) of your Strategic Business Unit had asked your team to create a portfolio management process and project selection criteria for use by the SBU. Your executive is very satisfied with the work your team did to create this process. In fact, they were so impressed with the process and criteria you defined, they havw now asked your team to be key players in executing that new process.
In the annual budget cycle, your SBU was allocated $24 million dollars of funding for staff. Your SBU is currently staffed with 100 people. The average loaded salary of each of your staff members is $240,000, which includes direct salary, all benefits (which are part of your budget), and all direct charges and capital charges (supplies, computers, travel, rental charges for the space you occupy, equipment, etc). In order to continue to employ all 100 staff members, you must allocate $6M of funding each quarter.
It is Monday, April 1 (The first quarter of the year has just concluded.) Your SBU spent $6 million of the annual funding in the first quarter. Half of that spending went to projects that were finished in the first quarter and no longer require any budget. There are three committed projects still in progress and have the following characteristics.

Project
Delivery
1Q
2Q
3Q
4Q
Total
Project A
6/30
$2.0M
$2.0M
-
-
$4.0M
Project B
9/30
$1.0M
$2.5M
$2.5M
-
$6.0M
Project C
12/31
-
$1.0M
$3.0M
$3.0M
$7.0M
Sunk Cost in other completed projects
3/30
$3.0M
-
-

$3.0M
Total Committed Funding
-
$6.0M
$5.5M
$5.5M
$3.0M
$20.0M

An important new project – Project D – has been proposed, and your executive has asked you to use the portfolio management process to determine whether to proceed with Project D and identify the impact on the rest of the program. Project D must be delivered by 12/31 and is estimated to require the following funding to meet that commitment:

Project D Required Profile
Quarter
Funding Required
2Q
$1.0M
3Q
$2.5M
4Q
$2.0M

Project A is viewed as higher priority that Project D. However, Project B and Project C are lower priority than Project D. That is, it is more important to make the requested schedule date for Project D than to maintain the committed schedule dates for projects B and C.
You should:

  1. Choose and define three committed projects for your SBU portfolio (projects A, B, and C). They do not have to match reality, but they should be related to the industry and SBU you defined in Part I of the team project.
  2. Choose a Project D to represent the new proposed project. Again, it does not have to represent reality, but it should be related to the industry and SBU you defined in Part I of the team project.
One member of the team should e-mail to me a summary of the project A, B, C, and D definitions no later than Monday of Week 6. It won't be graded; I just want to make sure you have this defined. Don't get hung up on this. Establish a "scenario" you can work with on the project for the rest of the class and move on.
Your team is to use your portfolio process to determine why you are going to commit to project D and determine any impact on currently committed projects A, B, and C, and write a short memo to your manager documenting the results of applying the portfolio process. Since this is the first project using the new portfolio process and project selection criteria, your team will be expected to present an overview of the process and criteria to your new executive. You will then need to present the results of your analysis and recommendation, including an overview of the project to the executive as part of the gate review of Project D.
Justify the commitment of Project D using the Portfolio Process you defined in Part 1. Make whatever assumptions are necessary (cash flows to fit NPV analysis, strategic alignment, etc). Your team should prepare the following items to be submitted to the instructor:

  • Recommendation Memo: Write a relatively short Recommendation Memo (internal communication) to your manager describing your recommendation based on your portfolio process. Justify your decision on Project D and describe any impact on the rest of the program (projects A, B, and C) and your rationale for that impact. Attach whatever data is needed to backup your recommendation. This memo should be 8–12 pages (approximately 1500–2500 words).
The document should be double-spaced, 10 or 12 point font with one inch margins. This is a Recommendation Memo for an executive, so be concise and to the point. If you don't need more than eight pages to document your plan adequately, I am sure that your manager will be happy with it as long as it is complete. The use of appropriate grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure is part of your grade.

Submit This Document to Your Team's Private Doc Sharing Area


Scoring for PM587 Team Paper Part II – Total Points Possible: 100


Application of Portfolio Process

20

Project D Recommendation

20

Project D Description and Overview

20

Portfolio Impact of Project D

20

Document Organization

10

Document Presentation (professional looking/"dazzle factor"

10

Insight Paper: Due Week 7

In addition to the grades you receive on Part I and II as a team, 20 points will be assigned to each team member individually for completing an Insight Paper. Each team member is given an opportunity to provide input on your peer’s participation on your project team via the Insight Paper.

Each team member will prepare a two to four page paper that analyzes what you learned about yourself as a team member and the overall team performance in the group project. It should be constructive and identify opportunities for improvement rather than criticisms. It will be graded based upon the quality and quantity of your analysis and not the performance of your team. Your student insight paper will be confidential and no one other than you and your professor will see it without your permission.

Your insight paper should address such questions as:


  • How well did you interact with your team?
  • What role did you play on your team?
  • What role did the other members on your team play?
  • Were you involved in making the decisions? Why or why not?
  • Was there conflict? If so, how did the conflict get resolved? Was it resolved at all?
  • To what degree did your planning include input from all members?
  • Did you feel like your ideas were heard? Did you get “shot down”?
  • How was the work assigned to the team? Did those assignments work? If not, how (and why) did you re-organize the work?
  • Overall, what factor(s) contributed to the success of your team?
  • What are lessons do you take away from working with this team?

Submit this Insight Paper via the Dropbox in Week 7. *Note, this is a different delivery method than your submission of Part I and Part II Team Paper! This is so that your paper will be confidential and will only be seen by you and your professor.*