Pete is a project manager on a new systems development project. This project is Pete’s first experience as a project manager, and he has led his team successfully to the programming phase of the project. The project has not always gone smoothly, and Pete has made a few mistakes, but he is generally pleased with the progress of his team and the quality of the system being developed. Now that programming has begun, Pete has been hoping for a little break in the hectic pace of his workday.
Prior to beginning programming, Pete recognized that the time estimates made earlier in the project were too optimistic. However, he was firmly com- mitted to meeting the project deadline because of his desire for his first project as project manager to be a success. In anticipation of this time pressure problem, Pete arranged with the Human Resources department to bring in two new college graduates and two college interns to beef up the programming staff. Pete would have liked to find some staff with more experience, but the budget was too tight, and he was committed to keeping the project budget under control.
Pete made his programming assignments, and work on the programs began about two weeks ago. Now, Pete has started to hear some rumbles from the programming team leaders that might signal trouble. It seems that the programmers have reported several instances where they wrote programs, only to be unable to find them when they went to test them. Also, several programmers have opened programs without their knowledge.
1) Is the programming phase of a project a time for the project manager to relax? Why or why not?
2) What problems can you identify in this situation?
3) What advice do you have for Pete, the project manager?
4) How likely does it seem that Pete will achieve his desired goals of being on time and within budget if nothing is done?
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