An Approach to Project Management
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An Approach to Project Management
The term project can be defined as a temporary measure, which is taken to create a unique product. The temporary nature of a product means that, it has a beginning and an end. It usually ends when all the objectives of the product are met, when the project is terminated or when the project no longer exists (Frame, 2010). Project management can be described as a systematic approach in planning and supervision of the whole project from the start to the end. There are five elements of project management namely scope, time, costs, quality and risk.
Many organizations use different approaches when it comes to project management. For them to come with a good approach they must with elements of a good project management. This is to ensure whether the project will commence or not. If it is going to start a project life cycle is followed.
What type of project lifecycle is used?Project life cycle is the process by which a project undergoes from the point at which it starts to the end. In project management, organizations usually go through four major phases until the project is finished (Gray & Larson, 2008). The first phase is the initiation phase. This is where the organizations define the objectives, scope, purposes and the product to be produced. Certain activities are undertaken to determine this. First, the project is checked thoroughly on whether there is a need for it or the old one should continue. Secondly, a feasibility study is done to evaluate on any uncertainties of whether it would deliver the desired out come. After this, a schedule of the project is prepared and a project team appointed. Lastly, phase review is done at this stage and the project is checked as to whether it has met its objectives.
The second phase is the project-planning phase. In this phase, the project team plans on how the project will be done until the time it ends. It is at this stage where the plan for the next phases to follow is done. Certain plans are created. A resource plan is created at this stage to determine the amount of resources to be used, what is to be used and helps in budgeting of the project. A financial plan is prepared to determine the amount of money that will be required by the team in order to complete the project. A risk plan is prepared to establish any foreseeable risks, which might occur in the future, and how to solve them in case they might arise. Lastly, a project plan is established and it is used by the project manager to check on the progress of the project and whether it is in accordance with the stipulated time (Project Management Institute, 2005).
The forth phase is the execution phase. It is at this phase of the project when the organization creates a new product and presents it to the customer to evaluate and give feedback. At this phase, a lot of time, energy and resources are used. The project manager should ensure that there is no wastage of the resources. Several activities are done to ensure that this does not happen. The activity of time management is very essential at this stage. The project manager prepares time sheets to ensure that everything is done at the correct time and that there is no time wasted. The activities of costs and quality are also done. They help to ensure that there are no wastages and the project is maintained at a high quality. This ensures unnecessary expenses are not incurred and there is maintenance of quality control measures of the project. Lastly, the activities of risk and phase review are performed. Risks are assessed and implemented. In addition to this, the project is reviewed on whether it is making good progress or not.
Lastly, there is the closure phase. In this phase, the project is closed. The customer is informed and given the product and all the necessary documentation. The project management team is also informed and dissolved immediately. It is also in this phase that the project is evaluated so that the organization can know whether the project has dealt with all the objectives or has served its purpose. The management is able to learn from the project on any implementations made and what needs to be done in future incase a problem may arise.
What elements of project management are applied?
There are five different types of elements of project management (Harrison & Lock, 2004). The first element is scope. This usually defines how the project is going to be done from the start until the end. It specifies on the resources to be used and the general timeframe of the project. The second element is time. It determines the amount of time to be used by the project from the time it commences until the time it ends. The third element is cost. It is associated with resources, that is, the materials to be used in order to accomplish the project. This is usually given in monetary terms. The fourth element is quality. This involves on how well will all the elements work and how well the project will be after completion. The fifth element is risk. It usually involves the foundation of a project, that is, whether the project is worth starting or not.
Discuss what you believe are key areas facing a project manager for balance and tradeoffs. These are usually the challenges that face a project manager in the process of a project. They usually affect the staff but not the project because the project does not fail but the project management fails the project (Portman, 2008). The question is how do they fail the project? The first problem is the poor management of the resources. In a certain project, the project manager may end up using many resources due to poor management. This leads to wastages and unnecessary expenses, which could be avoided. Therefore, the manager needs to be more careful on how he uses his resources and he should plan before he starts the project.
Secondly, the project time, that is, the project might take longer than the required period. This is due to lack of proper planning. The project manager is required to ensure that the correct timeframe is constantly reviewed. This ensures that there is no wastage of time and the project process is being performed at the correct time. Thirdly, there is task splitting. The manager should ensure that the proper staff is in place and he should not put a large team or a small team. This saves on time and the resources being used. He should also not separate his workers but let them work is a team.
Describe or speculate how project management fits within organizational strategy?
Due to the changes in technology, the project management fits within the organization strategy. It is the work of the project management to determine whether the change is necessary or not. They perform a study on whether the existing technology or strategies of the organization are worth changing with the new ones. It is also worth noting that, if the project management is not handled or used wisely, it can be a very big disadvantage to the organization and it can lead to a very huge amount of loss to the company.
The project management can be either an advantage or a disadvantage to the organization. For it to be a benefit, proper planning of the resources and the need of the project management must be reviewed. Not all organizations need change; it only depends on what kind of business the organization is offering. When all this are checked, incase there is a need, then it becomes a benefit to the team. However, for it to be a drawback, poor management and lack of planning is usually done, hence it needs to be reduced. In spite of this, project management is a competitive advantage against other organizations that do not have it.
Frame, J.D (2010). Managing Projects in Organizations. Cleveland, OH: Penton Media Inc.
Gray, F.C. and Larson, E.W. (2008) Project management: the managerial process. Monterey, CA: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Harrison, F.L. and Lock, D. (2004). Advanced project management: A Structured Approach. Farnham, UK: Gower Publishing Ltd.
Portman, H. (2008) A Practical Approach in Creating Project Management. Zaltbommel, Netherlands: Van Haren Publishing.
Project Management Institute. (2005). Making Project Management Indispensable for Business Result. Retrieved from http://www.pmi.org/Pages/default.aspx