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Project management is a complex function with numerous dimensions. Project is a temporary work with clear start and finishes, typically time-controlled and frequently reserved by finance or deliverables. Project management comprises recognizing and managing the lifecycle to be utilized, implementing it to user-oriented design procedure, creating the project team, and effectively managing the team by every stage unless the project is finished. Through appropriate project management, the project manager can certify that the objectives of the project are fulfilled. Furthermore, project management principles can help to avoid threats efficiently by utilizing accessible resources. Project management assists the project team members in comprehending their responsibilities, their likely deliverables, and the timetable that require to be followed by everyone.
Historical Aspects of Project Management
Project management as a concept goes back a long way. One of the forefathers of project management is Henry Gantt, famous for developing a scheduling plan named Gantt chart. It was a radical thought and an innovation of global significance during the 1920s. This chart was first utilized during the Hoover Dam project in the year 1931. This chart is still used today and is regarded as a vital portion of project managers’ toolkit. Initial experts of project management and the related specialisms of planning, scheduling, and cost evaluation were created in 1956 by the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE). It was the leading organization for project managers and project control experts. AACE continued its pioneering activities, and in the year 2006 has developed the first incorporated procedure for project management through the total cost management (TCM) model. In the year 1957, Dupont Corporation has developed another tool for project management, namely the critical path method (CPM). This method is utilized to forecast project duration by evaluating which arrangement of functions has the most minor level of scheduling flexibility. Dupont has invented this method to address the complex procedure of a project. This method was effective in minimizing cost for the project. In 1958, the US Department of Defense had developed Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT). It is a tool for evaluating the tasks involved in finishing a project, particularly the time required to complete every task and recognizing the minimum time needed to finish the entire project. In 1962, the US Department of Defense had developed another method for managing projects, which is work breakdown structure (WBS). It is an exhaustive and hierarchical tree structure of deliverables and activities that require to be performed to finish a project. WBS stays as one of the most common and helpful projects management methods. In the year 1969, Project management Institute (PMI) has initiated the project management occupation. The guide developed by PMI is regarded as one of the essential instruments in the project management area in the present day. With enhanced globalization and enhanced speed to market products and services, projects have become more prominent, complicated, and hard to manage. Project teams are currently become much varied, expanded throughout the globe (Haughey, 2014). Therefore, project management methods and practices have become an essential part of managing projects.
The project team comprises the project manager and other persons who perform cooperatively on a project to accomplish project goals.
Project manager: The project manager plays a principal role in a project and is liable for its success. The project manager’s role is to ensure that the project progresses and finishes within the specified deadline, within an established budget, and with the right quality. Project managers also certify that there are adequate resources for the project and maintain relations with key stakeholders.
Project team members: Project team members comprise those who perform on diverse phases of the project. They can be inner employees or external consultants and can work on a permanent or temporary basis. Their role can be different according to the project. Project team members support the overall project goals, give expertise, and perform with clients to determine and satisfy the requirements and document the procedure (Invensis Inc., 2021).
Project sponsor: The project sponsor is the driver of the project. An efficient sponsor is crucial for the success of any project. Sponsors support the project and perform as representatives to other officials. Having an involved sponsor makes it simpler to communicate the progress, intensify subjects to overcome barriers, and directs stakeholders by proper decision-making procedure.
4.0 Principles of Project Management
There are various principles of successful project management, which are as follows:
Project structure: Every project requires possessing an official system comprising procedures and instruments. Without an official form, it is challenging to control the project resources and to provide the deliverables it deserves. A project must have a charter, plan, and a specified project team to effectively prioritize and manage the project. A project structure is created by considering project objectives, timeline, sequence, and milestones.
Objectives and results: Without precise objectives and approval criteria, it is hard to evaluate the effectiveness of the project. The most common aspect for the failure of any project is the lack of solid objectives. Project needs and support criteria require by determining and recognizing at the start of the project. This should be studied and approved by every key stakeholder, comprising the project sponsor and the clients (Notargiacomo & Rossi, 2013).
Risk management: Every project faces a certain kind of risk. Risks can hurt the project resources, technology, and procedures. It is vital to manage risks to reduce or to eradicate their influence on the projects. This involves recognizing, assessing, and observing risks and choosing plans to utilize when they occur. It is the responsibility of the project manager to evaluate the project risks regularly. The quick manager can recognize them, the sooner they can be adequately addressed. It is unlikely that managers have sufficient personal capability to identify every single risk that may happen. In its place, managers must perform through the significant threats and develop specific strategies to avoid them. Managers need to depend on personal ability, experience, and instincts to respond rapidly and productively when risks arrive (Gachie, 2017). Value delivery ability: Value delivery abilities are the project instruments and procedures that help provide value to the clients. This comprises the project systems, for example, scheduling applications. It can also include project procedures, for example, utilization agile project method. The use of established and tested approaches can ensure project success.
Baseline: Every project comprises three fundamental elements, which are cost, schedule, and scope. These elements require to have a standard against which performance can be evaluated. When these standards are incorporated, it is termed as performance management standards. Any change in these elements has a particular impact on other aspects of the project. For example, if the scope of a project changes, with performance management standard, this will influence project timetable and expense, permitting to observe better the overall influence of changes in a project (Williams, 2008). A performance management standard enhances decision making, as one can keep the entire picture and recognize every impact of a possible decision.
Communication: The effectiveness of a project is dependent on communication of project functions, threats, problems, and position, both within the project team members and with the other key stakeholders. Communication is critical for a diversity of causes, such as keeping stakeholders involved, organizing different functions and timetables, decision making and problem-solving, recognizing and resolving conflicts, and managing risks and concerns.
4.1 The Triple Constraint
Triple constraint is also termed as project management triangle, which mentions the limitations of time, scope, and expense that apply to every project. The project management procedures for regulating these restraints are timetable management, cost control, and scope management.
Time: In any project, the managers require to evaluate the time necessary to finish a project through utilizing methods like PERT, CPM, and WBS, among others, that cover the duration of every function. Once the execution phase starts, the position of the project requires to be observed to understand any requirement for changes in the timetable baseline. A comprehensive scope gives the perfect basis for comprehending time restraint. The more precise the estimate is, the better project can be managed (Wyngaard, 2012).
Scope: Scope mentions all the tasks essential to finish the project, and it requires to be recognized throughout the planning phase through utilizing WBS. If the project scope is not described initially in the project, it can enlarge throughout the implementation stage owing to unplanned functions. This is termed as scope sneak and might fail project. Increasing the scope of the project can stretch the project’s time and budget limitations. The project manager either require to expand the deadline or allocate more individuals to work, hence increasing the project expenses. Observing changes in scope empowered to discuss tradeoffs initially and to make essential adjustments before the project gets off course.
Cost: There are various expenses related to a project. Project managers are liable for evaluating, budgeting, and controlling expenses so that the project can be finished within sanctioned budget. Some of the fees to consider while developing the project budget are resource expenses, material costs, and cost of machinery and equipment. When it arrives to cost constraints, it is essential to communicate initially and frequently (Badiru, 2019). If unexpected expenses appear, it must be explained how the additional cost will impact the project and permit the client to choose whether it is worth the extra cost.
Project lifecycle is regarded as the structure of stages that a project goes through from its beginning to its ending. The cycle sequence is defined by management, the client's requirement and project organization, type of project, and application area. These stages have a definite beginning, finishing, and control point and are controlled through time. The project lifecycle can be changed according to the requirements and aspects of the organization. It gives the fundamental basis of the activities that require to be completed in the project. It can range from predictive to adaptive methods. In predictive lifecycle, the details are described at the beginning of the project, and any changes in scope are prudently addressed. In adaptive lifecycle, the project is conducted over numerous repetitions, and comprehensive coverage is described only as the repetition starts.
There are four phases of a project, which are:
Initiation phase: This phase intends to describe and approve the project. The project managers consider the information and develop a project contract. The project contract supports the project and helps to prepare the documents necessary for the project. In this phase, project objectives, urgencies, time limits, and risks are understood.
Planning phase: The objective of the planning phase is to lay down a comprehensive approach of how the project requires to be conducted. Project planning comprises two portions, which are strategic planning and implementation planning. In strategic planning, the general approach of the project is developed. On the other hand, in implementation planning, the methods of implementing those decisions are pursued. In this phase, the activities and timeline necessary for performing the project are outlined (Biggins & et al., 2016).
Execution phase: In the project execution stage, the choices and functions described throughout the planning stage are executed. Throughout this stage, the project manager requires to oversee the project and prevent any mistakes from occurring. This procedure is also termed observation and control (Nediger, 2019).
Termination phase: The termination phase is the final stage of the project lifecycle. This phase indicates the official end of the project. In this phase, the outcomes of the project are evaluated, and the key learnings are summarized.
The report discusses fundamental aspects of every project. The success of every project depends on understanding various parts of the project and observing and controlling the project resources. To make the project successful, the risks must be identified and managed through appropriate strategies. In every project, the project manager, team members, and sponsors have various parts to play. Generally, a project goes through four phases, and each stage has different tasks which require to be completed carefully. Finally, it can be stated that the success of a project is constrained by three key aspects, which are time, scope, and cost, and therefore controlling these constraints are essential for efficient project management.
Badiru, A. B., 2019. Project Management Systems, Principles, and Applications, Second Edition. CRC Press.
Biggins, D. & et. al., 2016. Applying a life cycle approach to project management methods. Conference: European Academy of Management, pp. 1-30.
Gachie, W., 2017. Project risk management: A review of an institutional project life cycle. Risk Governance and Control Financial Markets & Institutions, Vol. 7, No. 4-1, pp. 163-173.
Haughey, D., 2014. A Brief History of Project Management. [Online] available at: https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/brief-history-of-project-management.php [Accessed 03 April 2021].
Invensis Inc., 2021. What is a Project Team and who all are Involved? [Online] available at: https://www.invensislearning.com/articles/pmp/what-is-a-project-team-and-who-all-are-involved [Accessed 03 April 2021].
Nediger, M., 2019. The 4 Project Life Cycle Phases (With Templates For Each Stage). [Online] available at: https://venngage.com/blog/project-life-cycle/ [Accessed 03 April 2021].
Notargiacomo, P. & Rossi, R., 2013. Project Management Principles Applied in Academic Research Projects. Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, Vol. 10, pp. 1-17.
Wyngaard, C. J. V., 2012. Theory of the Triple Constraint – a Conceptual Review. Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE IEEM, pp. 1991-1997.
Williams, M., 2008. The principles of project management. Sitepoint.
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