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O​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​ver the past few weeks, we have learned how to develop the project scope, schedule, and cost baselines. While these are useful exercises, it is important for a project manager to acknowledge that human beings, unlike robots and machines, need to be motivated, trained, feel reassured and valued, etc. in order to be productive. All too often, the project management effort is overly obsessed with estimates, duration, costs, and schedules and downplays (or even ignores) engagement, motivation, and productivity – the invisible factors that can affect those very estimates, duration, costs, and schedules (and thereby affect project outcomes). After all, it is hard to measure and manage what is not visible!
The Develop Team process aspires to address this issue by trying to ensure that teams and individuals are engaged, motivated, and productive. However, this is more easily said than done. Read this brief Gallup article and this Wrike article and then quickly peruse this Gallup Meta-Analysis Brief to appreciate how team and employee engagement and motivation affect productivity and organizational well-being, and to also realize that the business world has much to do to address this issue. Here’s another Gallup article on the importance of employees’ psychological engagement to project outcomes.
This week’s Individual Assignment will simultaneously address learning curves and engagement/productivity. The notion of learning curves is very simple: if we know how long an individual or team or organization takes to perform a task or endeavor on the first and second attempts, then learning curve theory can predict roughly how long future attempts (on the same or very similar task/endeavor) will take. (Even though projects are unique endeavors, there could be – and usually are – activities that are routine, and which have been performed for earlier projects.) You do not need to understand the computations behind learn curve theory because the attached EXCEL spreadsheet takes care of that. Your goal is to understand how to use the attached EXCEL spreadsheet.
The amber colored cells are the ONLY cells which you should edit (and the green cells are for entering your answers). Cell C1 represents the IDEAL first-attempt time (how long the first attempt takes), and cell C2 represents the IDEAL second-attempt time (how long the second attempt takes). IDEAL means that we are assuming that the employee/team/organization is very highly engaged and motivated and is thus working at peak productivity (100% engagement/productivity factor in cell C3). You can play around with these three numbers (cells C1, C2, and C3) and as you do so you will, thanks to the magic of EXCEL functions and fo​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​rmulas, see the numbers in the second column of the gray table change and provide you the predictions for the future attempts. (DO NOT EDIT THE GRAY TABLE!)
Note that if the engagement/productivity factor is 100%, then the first and second attempt numbers in the gray table will exactly match those you entered in cells C1 and C2. However, if the engagement/productivity factor is less than 100%, then the first and second attempt numbers in the gray table will exceed those you entered in cells C1 and C2. Why? Because if you don’t work at ideal (100%) productivity, then you will take a longer time! The chart on the right simply plots the data in the gray table. The learning percentage is simply the ratio of second attempt time to first attempt time (and it is automatically computed – do not edit it).
You are not required to understand the EXCEL functions and formulas used in the computation of the numbers in the second column of the gray table, but if you simply cannot resist the urge to understand it all, here’s a paper you can peek at: Learning Curve Theory.
There are two parts to this Individual Assignment:
Part A.
Answer the two questions in the EXCEL spreadsheet. Type your answers in the green cells. All you need to do is read each question, enter the appropriate numbers in cells C1, C2, and C3 and then look at the gray table for the answer. It’s that simple!
Part B.
After entering your answers in the two green cells, complete and submit a roughly 3-page double-spaced paper that addresses the points below. No numerical calculations are needed in this paper, but you may base some of your answers on your thoughts/observations associated with the two short EXCEL questions (whose answers you entered in the green cells). You may also refer to information in the articles provided. Be concise but make sure that you clearly and cogently address the points below.
1. What implications does the learning curve have for developing project schedule and cost baselines?
2. What implications do engagement, motivation, and morale have for developing project schedule and cost baselines and for explaining variance from those baselines?
3. How can a project manager gauge engagement, motivation, and morale; and how can a project manager’s behaviors, personality, and attitudes affect engagement, motivation, and morale?
4. How might the level of organizational attention paid to fairness, diversity, equity, and inclusion impact project outcomes and organizational goals?
Submit the completed EXCEL file from Part A and the WORD/PDF file from Part B to your assignment folder.
FYI;
I NEED TO UPLOAD THE XCELL FILE. PLEASE HOW DO I UPLOAD THE EXCEL FILE TO YOU​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​?

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