COM 424 Course – All Discussions With Sample Answers

COM 424 Module 1 Discussion Questions

  1. Why is the topic of project management getting more attention lately?
  2. What do you think about the CHAOS study’s definition of a successful project? Do you think there are better definitions of success besides meeting scope, time, and cost goals?
  3. Can recent college graduates expect to be project managers right away? What is a typical career path for a project manager?
  4. Many people have a hard time taking a systems view when it comes to managing projects. Why do you think this is the case? What can be done to help people take a systems view?
  5. Do you think it is harder to manage an IT project or a traditional project such as building construction? Justify your response.
  6. Some of the adaptive approaches to developing systems are becoming more popular. Are they better or more appropriate than perspective approaches in most cases? Why or why not?

(Note: You need to answer all the questions for each week’s discussion questions.)

COM 424 Module 2 Discussion Questions

  1. What does research suggest as a best practice for how much time should be spent in initiating and planning activities for projects? Do you think that estimate is realistic? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think organizations should develop their own information technology project management methodologies? Why can’t they just follow a book or a methodology that has already been developed?
  3. Do you think the case study is based on real or fictitious information? Which parts of the case study seem the most real, and which seem the most fictitious?

COM 424 Module 3 Discussion Questions

  1. Why should you create a stakeholder analysis if it is not a part of the formal project plan? How would you create one?
  2. Many information technology project managers come from senior technical positions. What can you do to help them transition into a project management role?
  3. When do you need a person with a strong technical background to lead a project? When do you need someone with a strong business background? What other types of people might make good project managers in different situations?

COM 424 Module 4 Discussion Questions

  1.  Why is project scope management so challenging in IT projects?
  2. What suggestions do you have for preventing scope creep in projects?
  3. Why is it difficult to find good examples of work breakdown structure (WBS)? If you do find a good example from a similar project, why can’t you just adopt it “as is” in a new project?


COM 424 Module 5 Discussion Questions

  1. Describe the main items in a Gantt chart. Do you think everyone uses Gantt charts properly? Why or why not?
  2. Discuss methods for shortening a project schedule. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of shortening project schedules?
  3. What is a milestone? Provide a few examples of milestones.
  4. Do you think many organizations use critical path analysis? What about critical chain scheduling? Justify your responses.

COM 424 Module 6 Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think it’s difficult to understand some of the basic cost terms in this chapter? Why aren’t many technical people interested in cost-related subjects? What could be done to change this?
  2. Suppose you were asked to prepare a cost estimate for a project to purchase laptops for all faculty and staff at your college or university. How would you start? How long would it take you to prepare a good estimate? What type of estimate would you prepare, and what approach would you use to develop a cost estimate?
  3. What can organizations do to ensure that estimates are good? What can they do to prevent cost overruns
  4. Provide examples of the cost of quality based on your own personal experiences.
  5. Do you think that people accept poor quality in information technology projects and products in exchange for faster innovation? What other reasons might there be for such poor quality?
  6. Do you think Six Sigma is another quality management fad? Please explain your position

COM 424 Module 7 Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss the opening case. Did Sarah demonstrate appropriate behavior? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think everyone can easily be a team player? What types of people have more difficulty being team players? What helps promote good team player behavior?
  3. What do you think is more important for a good IT professional: strong technical skills or strong people skills?
  4. The concept of a communications management plan makes logical sense, yet many projects do not create or follow this type of plan. Why do you think this is the case?
  5. Which skills do you think are more important for information technology project managers to possess at various points in their careers: strong technical skills or strong communications skills?

COM 424 Module 8 Discussion Questions

  1. Read the opening and closing cases. What would you do if you were Cliff? What would you do if you worked for Cliff?
  2. Do you think many organizations use probability/impact matrixes? What about sensitivity analysis or simulation? When does it make sense to use each tool?
  3. Do you think project managers should strive to make their jobs look easy? Justify your answer.
  4. Why do you think that many books and people do not spend much discussing the topic of procurement management?
  5. Some experts recommend working with preferred vendors even if their prices are higher than other vendors. Why do you think this is the case?

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