This section describes how you can plan and report on a
personal improvement project.
- Produce a statement of work (SOW) and decompose overall project goals.
- Describe alternative methods of managing scope of a project
- Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS)
- Define the products of a project and final end of the project, including non-concrete products such as reputation.
- Estimate time needed for completing various sub-tasks in an Information Technology project within healthcare
- Analyze task dependencies to identify project’s critical path and project schedule.
- Assess project quality through regular monitoring of progress and nature of progress.
This assignment asks you to put together a personal improvement project.
The project can be something connected to your career, your home construction,
weight loss or any other activity you had planned to do but somehow you did not
get to it.
- Select a project: Here are some personal projects that might be
doable in a semester:
- Plan to lose weight
- Plan to add an extension to your house
- Plan to exercise more
- Plan your career and the related training
- Plan a wedding
- Plan to stop smoking
- Other topics
Note that, in all of these projects, you are planning a project and then
doing it. So select something that you would like to do or you have to
- Draft a work breakdown and identify distinct inter-related tasks:
Make sure that all relevant tasks are identified and the precedence for each
task is identified. Make sure at least 10 distinct tasks are
identified and that each task has at least 3 precedents. Please note
that you should not include goals or wish lists in your plans. List
only tasks, with real start and end time.
- Estimate completion times: Using the Estimate-talk-estimate
procedure, query an expert and identify most likely duration of various
activities within your project. An expert is anyone who has
completed a similar project before.
- Identify critical path: Analyze your data to identify a
critical path for your schedule. Report the earliest time to finish.
- Execute your plan: Execute your plans and monitor for your
ability to stay with your plans.
- Report your plans: Prepare a narrated set of
slides that reports on your plans (less than 10 minutes). Here are the
suggested set of slides in your report:
- Title slide: Identify yourself by initials and title your project
- Permission slide: Indicate whether the instructor is allowed to
post the plan to the web.
- Customer's voice: Start your narration with your expectations. Make sure the quote derives home the message for the need
for your project.
- Source of data: Explain why the estimated times are reasonable.
- List of activities: Describe the details of your plans and the
activities that need to be scheduled. Use a Gantt chart.
- Critical path: Visually show the critical path.
- Progress: Show your progress 1/3 of way, and 2/3 of way through
- List the lessons you learned in this project & describe how the project
- Narrate the slides:
- Prepare all slides first (make sure that slides are not too wordy)
- Write full sentences and insert in a text box above the slides
- Narrate slides in one setting and ignore errors:
Narrate & Convert slides► SWF►
- Delete the text boxes containing the full sentences
- Convert narrated slides into video format:.
- Download Camtasia (if you time it, you will not need to pay for this
software as the first 30 days are free)
- Convert the slides to AVI file
- Post the video: Post your work on a public domain site
without your name or personal identifying information.
If you are uncomfortable doing this, ask instructor for alternative ways you
can submit your work.
- You might want to use
- Send the URL for the site to your instructor.
Here are a few examples of personal projects:
- Organize a band (Instructor: Great music but too small a text to
- Organize a bike trip (Instructor: Poor voice quality and too much
text on each slide, otherwise great application of the Project Management
- Arrange for a summer job (instructor: Excellent example of status
reports at 1/3 and 2/3 of the project)
- Prepare for a triathlon (Instructor: low voice quality and small
- Plan for rugby match
- Improve study habits
- Lift weights (Instructor: lacks status reports)
- Students who prefer their work to remain private should ask to be
exempted from the requirement to post their work on
the web and should mail their narrated work to 1319 Ozkan St McLean VA 22101.
Do not use email to send your work.
This page is part of the course on Project Management. This page was last edited on
01/31/17 by Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D ©Copyright protected.