Effective Project Planning for Better Project Management

Project Management pic
Project Management
Image: execprojectmanager.com

An engineering graduate of Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Rao Chalasani most recently served as the director of trading risk management and the business CTO at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Currently based in Livingston, New Jersey, Rao Chalasani also has held the role of project manager of global derivatives technology at JP Morgan Chase, where he led the design and implementation of new vendor systems.

Effective project management starts with effective project planning. Many information technology project managers do not allocate enough time in project planning, opting to jump straight into the execution phase. This approach is partly responsible for high project-failure numbers. Time spent on planning the project leads to reduced implementation time and cost.

Project planning begins with defining the project. Start with an overview of the project, detailing what the project aims to achieve, why it is being implemented, and how it will benefit the organization. Clarify the scope of the project, such as the departments involved and how phase-to-phase transitions will be affected. Assign clearly defined roles to the implementing team, making sure there is a clear line of command and a response framework for complications that may arise. Estimate a timeframe and cost for the project implementation.

After defining the project, create a planning horizon. This is the work plan for the project. Estimate the work as far as possible, outlining the assumptions made and uncertainties prevalent. Once the project implementation starts, the planning horizon will be a reference point. Activities that were vaguely outlined can be reassessed and better defined when they come up.

Finally, outline the project management procedures, including best communication practices, risks involved, quality required, and management of obstacles. Only after such planning should implementation begin.

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The Chase Leadership Development Program

Chase Leadership Development Program pic
Chase Leadership Development Program
Image: chase.com

A senior technology executive and financial services professional with over two decades of experience, Rao Chalasani has worked for a number of New York firms. Rao Chalasani received an opportunity to kickstart his career shortly after finishing college through an offer by JP Morgan Chase to participate in their Chase Leadership Development Program.

Participants in the program become acquainted with the Chase business and its products and services, while receiving mentorship through a series of rotations that last between 10 weeks and 24 months, depending on full-time or summer position. Throughout the program, participants receive on-the-job experience and engage in a variety of meaningful company projects. Project participation will also enable to them to gain experience in identifying new business opportunities and enhancing frameworks for risk and control.

The Chase Leadership Development Program is offered to college students and graduates with a minimum grade-point average of 3.2 who demonstrate strong leadership, problem-solving, and project management skills. General qualifications also include a commitment towards learning and customer satisfaction. Additionally, applicants must meet the specific requirements of the track they plan to apply for, which includes either enrollment or completion with a corresponding bachelor-level degree program. The program offers three track areas: risk management, analytics, and marketing and product development.