Compare the two managerial roles associated with successfully managed systems projects: the project sponsor and project champion.
The project sponsor is typically a senior executive who has the responsibility of accomplishing certain strategic objectives that are so wide in scope they require synchronization of many different parts of the organization. An example would be the development of an entirely new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that is capable of reporting back the contact and selling histories by each customer account. The project sponsor in this specific instance would typically be the Vice President of Sales, or the Vice President of Marketing. The project sponsor is also responsible for working with the broader organization to ensure the project has enough resources, both from a staffing standpoint in addition to support at the upper levels of management to ensure the project gets continued funding.
The role of the project champion is to be the leader of the actual development itself, often relying on a variety of consensus- and team-building approaches to accomplishing this. The best project champions are able to gain high levels of cooperation for their projects even from professionals not in their specific departments or who report to them directly. Further, the best project champions rely on a compelling vision of what the future project will deliver in terms of benefits, results, and even recognition for those who participate. In this way a strong project champion can transform teams, using a combination of emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. It is increasingly important for organizations to screen their project champions to see if they have transformational leadership ability.
Bass, B.M. (1998) predicts that demand for transformational leaders will increase markedly in this century and will be viewed as a response to a world that is increasingly complex, rapidly changing and highly globalized in its approach to accomplishing projects in an increasingly turbulent global environment.
What are the two approaches to estimating project costs and how are they different from one another
The two approaches to estimating project costs are the budget estimate, or as it is sometimes called, the top down approach and the second is the bottoms-up estimate, or as it is sometimes called, the definitive estimate. The budget estimate approach is created in the very early stages of a project and is often based on the amount of previous experience an organization or department has had in this area previously, and is often driven by the largest and most expensive expenditures first. This approach also takes into account existing internal budgets and the available resources to complete the task.
The definitive estimate or bottoms up estimating approach as it is sometimes called, is the more accurate of the two and requires in many cases a work breakdown analysis to define the key cost areas of the project. This work breakdown analysis or structure also serves to define the major milestones of the project as well. As a result, this approach is considered superior to the top-down planning practices of many organizations in that it captures in greater detail the needed action items and in larger projects, the dependencies associated with the project as well. Bottoms-up estimating also can serve to define which spending components are necessary and which are optional. This is invaluable in creating a project budget.
In summary, top-down approach is best used when there is already a very tight budget in place for managing a new project, as the available funds can act as a constraint on what is affordable to an organization. The bottoms-up approach on the other hand shows the steps necessary for completing the project, including a prioritization of each step and spend category if the planners make this an objective from the outset.
What challenge do file-sharing applications such as Napster cause organizations in trying to enforce policies and procedures?
There are actually many facets or sides to the challenge organizations have in trying to enforce policies and procedures as they relate to file-sharing applications including Napster and others. First, there is the security issue, specifically in the use of PEM (Memory Module) drives for moving music back and forth from work to home PCs and laptops, and to iPods and MP3 players. Organizations are concerned about these PEM drives also being used to move confidential data out of