Strategies for Effective Project Management

Introduction

This assessment is structured in the form of an essay that critically describes that how the scope of a project can get affected in terms of its cost and time post Covid-19 pandemic situation. Further in this essay there is a brief on what are the necessary skills that a professional project manager needs to attain for successfully obtaining proper communicate with the changes in the time and cost of the event project. It will present an overview of what measures a manager shold take while the changes are occurring and what strategies can help in sustaining through these changes for achieving a successful event project.

Discuss how the changes to the project scope affect the project in terms of Cost and Time and what skills professional project manager requires obtaining to successfully communicate such variances in the post-Covid-19 context.

How the changes in the project scope affects the project in terms of Cost and Time

From the month of March 2019, COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across all industries, sparing small and forever changes in the way people were living, socialising, and working. In case of project managers, the effect of COVID-19 and post that has been catastrophic on operations (Jallow et al. 2020). Border closures and lockdowns have caused major disruption in supply chains and managing projects have skyrocketed in terms of cost and time changes post Covid period.

Effect on Project Scope Due to Cost Changes

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Professional project managers know how and where to tickle on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dealing with the impacts of the pandemic period and managing the future of project management. There came the issue like loss of efficiencies, delays and high cost implications because of this pandemic. Related to this, many other regulatory responses got affected and in this rush hour there was no or very little precedent who can help the companies to understand what more could be the potential future impacts of COVID-19 on their capital project scopes and programs or when the restrictions that were laid will end up giving them previous freedom to manage and function the projects (ScienceDirect, 2020). Even if the project design, planning, and management would not have been stopped altogether but continuing the work has got likely to become more costly and more time taking. After this pandemic too, it continued to expand its effects on the companies especially in project costing where the businesses have to struggle for both in adjusting to the new ways of living. Along with this, the effects are also showed in grasping what these changes will likely to be meaning for their business operations, especially in their projects costing and capital expenditure programs because of their multi-faceted components of the business project.

The project costing allocation is important because on this very topic the opinions of the management and corporates of the business get divided depending on many factors. It not only support the other business functions like IT, finance, risk & compliance management, HR etc. but also calculates the risk of projects and presents the amount that will be charged on various choices of cost allocating methods (Courtemanche et al. 2020). After the Covid-19 period, project managers found that there is an urgent requirement of striking a proper balance in between the accuracy of cost allocation calculations of the projects and maintaining the simplicity of the costing patterns to help in understanding them well without any hidden confusions. After the Covid period, the allocation methods often started to get subjective which are based on the ‘best guess’ which later can be challenged by others with different insights (Stiles et al. 2021). The project managers have to face many limitations post Covid period since many business units were getting closed and became limited in the process of influencing the large parts of the project cost bases including semi-fixed or fixed costs which became very much frustrating for the project managers to handle.

Effect on Project Scope Due to Time Changes

From the years before this Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people who were working remotely was very less but it was increasing little bit in some sectors. But, when it comes to project management, every business rely one face to face meetings and in-person discussions for addressing project topics, solving the problems and assigning all the responsibilities on per to person. When in normal days, in the pre Covid period the people who were working on project management remotely can come to office whenever they faced complicated operations which can only be solved at the offices (PLOS ONE, 2021 et al. 2020). But there was no such option during and post the Covid-19 period for most of the businesses. The project managers and team members from different locations are trying hard to come up with the project plan but they are struggling to share it among other. After pandemic period, employees were finding it difficult to meet the deadlines and focus on the project tasks since being in remote areas, managing the time of altogether is quite tough to arrange. And this is keeping the project scoping being late from the regular time taken to complete.

These are some of the difficulties which are not surprising after this pandemic period; the management stratum is already facing a big challenge by not being able to work sitting in the same office which is increasing the complexities of the time management regarding project scoping. This pandemic also made it difficult to assess the services which can be continued off-site into a limited time-schedule delays (Peters et al. 2020). After the pandemic period, all the business related guidelines have changed which all are putting huge effects on the scoping of projects in different ways which are generally based on the tasks like project scope, status and location. Due to the time management issues after the Covid-19 period the full focus is on the design and shoring up the pending project contracts with limited risks which are associated with all the uncertain time schedule delays and is taken care that they must be positioned in such a way to be efficiently remobilised, once the restrictions are totally eased out from the operations (Klapka et al. 2020).

What skills professional project manager requires to successfully obtain communication with such variances post-Covid-19 period

Almost every organization keenly looks for all the necessary project management skills because organisations wants to showcase their ability to always stay organised and can be able to communicate with all the team members too, especially when handling any complex project management. Some of the points which must be considered while managing the time management regarding project scoping –

A planned starting date for the project

Planned dates of all the activities and tasks to be done

Set finishing dates of all activities

Resource alignment

Calendar based time activity durations

Finishing date of the overall project

According to Bennett and McWhorter (2021) the main purpose of project time scheduling while planning the plan must represent the plan to deliver the project scope within the set time but due to the remote working after the Covid-19 period. The project time management is a document which must be properly prepared with all the usable resources and items for planning, execution, monitoring, controlling, and communicating the delivery of the appropriate scope among the stakeholders. Butt (2021) stated that the project schedule is a document that, if properly prepared, is usable for planning, execution, monitoring, controlling, and communicating the delivery of the scope to the stakeholders. The project time management is such a tool which creates a connection in between the project elements of work and the resources that are needed to be accomplishing the work.On the other hand, when practicing and implementing cost management in project scoping, all project managers should pay attention to the some of the components like:

Original budget

Approved cost

Forecasted vs. Actual cost

Committed costs

The cost management is such a process which requires estimating, allocating, and controlling of the involved project costs. The cost management process allows a business to predict all the future expenses so that they can be calculated and reduced with the chances of budget overrun, if happens (Mahato et al. 2021). Projected costs are calculated during the initial planning phase of a project and it must be approved before the beginning of the work. The cost management is very straight lined activity which can be improved by following certain things:

Detailed breakdown the project into various deliverables and ultimately into project activities or tasks among with the team help

The project managers should not estimate the work by themselves and should ask the task experts for that

The next thing is creating a contingency reserves

Furthermore, Buheji and Buheji (2020) suggested that setting aside some extra money for the unknown and uninvited risks during the project completion

And lastly, changing the control of the project activities without adjusting the budget

Conclusion

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Project costing and time management are both such factors which got the most effects of the Covid-19 pandemic situation and still after the removal of the lockdown, the laid restrictions are making these two activities difficult to implement normally like the time before pandemic. The project managers must follow the mentioned points and utilise the skills that are needed to accomplish the project successfully. Almost every organization keenly looks for all the necessary project management skills because organisations wants to showcase their ability to always stay organised and can be able to communicate with all the team members too, especially when handling any complex project management.

References

Bennett, E.E. and McWhorter, R.R., 2021. Virtual HRD’s role in crisis and the post Covid-19 professional lifeworld: Accelerating skills for digital transformation. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 23(1), pp.5-25.

Buheji, M. and Buheji, A., 2020. Planning competency in the new Normal–employability competency in post-COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 10(2), pp.237-251.

Butt, A.S., 2021. Supply chains and COVID-19: impacts, countermeasures and post-COVID-19 era. The International Journal of Logistics Management.

Courtemanche, C., Garuccio, J., Le, A., Pinkston, J. and Yelowitz, A., 2020. Strong Social Distancing Measures In The United States Reduced The COVID-19 Growth Rate: Study evaluates the impact of social distancing measures on the growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the United States. Health Affairs, 39(7), pp.1237-1246.

Jallow, H., Renukappa, S. and Suresh, S., 2020. The impact of COVID-19 outbreak on United Kingdom infrastructure sector. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment.

Klapka, P., Ellegård, K. and Frantal, B., 2020. What about Time-Geography in the post-Covid-19 era?. Moravian Geographical Reports, 28(4), pp.238-247.

Mahato, M., Kumar, N. and Jena, L.K., 2021. Re-thinking gig economy in conventional workforce post-COVID-19: a blended approach for upholding fair balance. Journal of Work-Applied Management.

Peters, M.A., Rizvi, F., McCulloch, G., Gibbs, P., Gorur, R., Hong, M., Hwang, Y., Zipin, L., Brennan, M., Robertson, S. and Quay, J., 2020. Reimagining the new pedagogical possibilities for universities post-Covid-19: An EPAT Collective Project. Educational Philosophy and Theory, pp.1-44.

PLOS ONE, 2021. Early social distancing policies in Europe, changes in mobility & COVID-19 case trajectories: Insights from Spring 2020, availab;e at: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253071

ScienceDirect, 2020. Shared leadership, value and risks in large scale transport projects: Re-calibrating procurement policy for post COVID-19, available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0739885920301979

Stiles, S., Golightly, D. and Ryan, B., 2021. Impact of COVID‐19 on health and safety in the construction sector. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries.

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