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Project management is a fundamental exercise conducted by companies for different purposes and reasons. Over the years project management has been conducted using the traditional models. In this assignment we would expound on different changes facing the project management.
The term ‘project management’ refers to the body of knowledge that is attributed towards standards, skills and principles that are used in planning, controlling, monitoring and reviewing of different kinds of projects( Ronda,2011). It’s a methodological manner of approach to planning and steering of project processes from commencement time to time of finishing. It’s the planning that involves the allocation of organization’s resources into the different uses by directing them into specific undertakings to their final completion stage. The resources involved for driving on projects comes from the existing human and financial capital.
Project management is an activity that contributes greatly to the economy of any particular country. It’s practiced across all business disciplines ranging from pharmaceuticals, engineering to aerospace. Projects are considered to be the major activities that make business commence their operations over a long period of time.
Importance of Project Management in the Business World
Great economies in the world are maintained by a larger figure of projects. It’s estimated that in the United States the amount spent on projects is nearly a quarter of its Gross Domestic Product. Money spent on acquiring resources finds its way into the economy and indirectly acts as a source of capital to other business. For example, when a company that deals with research development aspires to conduct a research to determine the number of retailers present in a particular year would go ahead to appoint a project manager to oversee the running of the project at hand. Before embarking on the project, the budget of the project is prepared and made ready for execution. Company B, is a company that deals in Printing of questionnaires and it is contracted by our company to do the task. This basically means that the underlying project directly provides revenue for the immediate company.
Almost by definition, most innovations in the world are known to be as a result of the project management. Due to the effective project management, outcomes are produced with the use of fewer resources. Innovations lead to emergence of the new products or new processes or provide a platform for which pure medicine is achieved. Innovations are better components of any economy since they lead to the growth of businesses, there is an increased positive competition amongst business thus resulting in qualitative production, and also innovations make businesses operate over long period of time. The application and invention of new products and production processes are the key factor for the production growth (Ronda, 2011).
Project management is the major economic activity of the large and established industries in that these businesses unlike others undertake larger number of projects in any particular year. This means that without existence of this projects this industries are doomed to fail. Examples of such industries include aerospace industry whereby constant projects are carried out each and every year in order to come up with a new aircraft that would serve to fulfill the need of the people.
Project Life-Cycle Management and Benefits of Project Management to Organizations
Project management life cycle is carried out in four steps: initiation, project planning, execution and closure
Project Initiation: The project manager develops a business case to be handled and then goes ahead to perform a pre-visit of the same; this is also referred as ‘piloting’.
The next step involves appointing non-executive team members and lastly performing the phase review.
Planning: The next stage is planning of the project which is broken down into: a creation of a resource plan, a financial plan that takes care of the required budget, creation of a quality plan that handles the quality of input materials, a risk plan that takes care of the unexpected extreme occurrences an acceptance plan that is basically concerned with the receivership of input materials, a communication plan that acts as a source of conveying messages in and out of the head office and lastly a procurement plan which oversees issued resources that are still being used in the area of work.
Execution: In the execution stage, the materials gathered are monitored and controlled so as to establish their exact resourcefulness. It is at this stage that time, cost and quality are completely checked and managed well so as to make sure that the exercise remain within the existing set budget. Most of the activities like risk, procurement and communication management are performed at this stage.
Closure: This is the last stage that helps in setting procedures for winding up the project at hand, its here that all tasks and activities are documented for the purpose of handing deliverables over to the client. It is wise to complete the project appropriately since it determines the final success of the whole project. A little mistake made would result in errors that may greatly affect the end result intended or in some cases render the whole project worthless and basically reflect the wastage of resources deployed (Haughey, 2010).
Project management has increasingly been perceived as a very important tool in many organizations since it increases the overall productivity of the firm, the projects are kept on the budget when project management steps have been followed to the later. There is an increased communication within the employees. Project management helps to decrease the extent of risks and in cases of manufacturing companies: there are improvements on product quality. When a company is eager to meet its intended purpose or scope then project management would be the way to go about it. Lastly, customer satisfaction is increased tremendously when project management is applied.
The Concept of Planning in the Project Life-Cycle
At the planning stage of the cycle, a critical way of thinking is needed for the purpose of breaking down the phase into simple and manageable units. This stage is broken down into: the project plan that identifies and adds up activities or tasks to be carried out, a resource plan that helps in identifying resources required for the successful completion of the project at hand, a financial plan that assists in setting up of a recommendable budget against which resources to be spent are measured, a quality plan that helps in setting quality bars for the project as a whole and it is at this point that controls are strengthened, a risk plan that expounds on action to be taken in order to reduce the levels of risks during the exercise, and lastly a communication plan that facilitates the conveyance of correct information. This plan is important since it aids in minimizing the amount of errors in the project as a whole (Haughey, 2010).
All in all, the planning stage of the project life cycle is the most fundamental phase that determines whether the project would be a success or not. A project manager is required to think critically and conduct the research before embarking on the project so as to reduce the chances of the project failing.
Importance of Leadership and Sponsorship
A project manager is always responsible and accountable for the smooth running of the project; these managers are expected to be the sole implementers of the whole activity. An effective project manager should possess client relation skills and techniques, result oriented skills, and should be highly tolerant for ambiguity. He or she should be creative and be a good time-manager. Matters pertaining to technical and administration should be part of his or her area of expertise.
Before projects commence, there are always people who are interested in the whole activity as a whole and as much as they are not always in the limelight, while the project is underway, they usually are the reason why the project is conducted. These individuals provide the resources needed to make the project a success. They are the ones who appoint the project managers and their main objective is mainly to achieve results. They are also the immediate users of the findings of the project and would go on to provide for the additional resources in cases where the initial budget is exceeded.
Project Team Building
For any project to run smoothly and achieve results, the project manager has to make sure that the whole team posses the same objective before embarking on the underlying project. Team building is created with different techniques such as holding motivation talks and awarding the best individuals within a team. The project manager should always make sure that the team meets perhaps twice a week for the purpose of re-motivation and encouragement. It’s always evident that pressure always piles up during the exercise and it is the responsibility of the project manager to reduce the pressure to an acceptable level. The project manager should be ready to advocate for discipline and even reward disciplined individuals since discipline is the fundamental trait of time management.
Even though the project manager is always responsible for the whole exercise, it is evidently true that the task could sometimes overwhelm him or her and it is for this reason that he or she should think of creating a work break down for the purpose of sharing responsibilities. A chain of command is always the most effective approach of delegating responsibilities. A hierarchy of command from the project manager to the field worker should be designed so that each of the participant reports to his or her immediate senior.
The Need for Project Management Software for Large Integrated Programs
Sometimes projects may be overwhelmingly large and therefore the undertaking of the activity becomes more and more complex for a single individual to manage. These kinds of projects are sophisticated in nature and thus require a more advanced approach of conducting them. These kinds of projects require quite a large number of personnel to undertake or rather be conducted technologically. Most companies would prefer to take the technological approach since it’s cheaper and more effective (Foote & Crum, 1995).
In conclusion, it would be wise to state that the changes effected upon the project management have been worthy in every way. This new way of carrying out projects has been successful and efficient especially when results produced are reliable and relevant.