The definition of project management and the importance to the business world
In organizations, capital investments and major developments are implemented through a project; the success of a project depends on how well it has been planned for, implemented, monitored, and controlled. Project management is the process through which projects are initiated, implemented, managed, and controlled for successful project goals and objectives attainment; the process has a time and costs framework that it must meet.
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An effective project must undergo a full cycle of project management which are planning, organizing, securing, and managing resource; the cycle is the same in different projects but follows each other in chronological order. According to Pons, 2008, project management is a discipline of planning, organizing, mobilizing, monitoring, and controlling both human and physical resources, to attain a certain corporate goal and objective; project managers assisted with project implementation team have the role of managing a project (Pons, 2008)
Projects utilize organizations’ resources so they need to be well managed to ensure the results they bring are beneficial, leaders if a project is crucial. Projects require distinct technical skills, expertise, funding, and adoption of a strategic project management approach applicable to the particular project. The following diagram analyses project management stages:
Numerous benefits that a company gets from effective project management, they are:
- Its manages resources effectively making the final cost of a project fair and cost-effective.
- Ensures that projects are completed with and within the time and costs allocated.
- Leads to the attainment of project goals and objectives.
Mobilizes resources and improves motivation among team members and staffs (Pons, 2008)
Project life-cycle management and the benefits of project management to an organization
Effective project management follows a certain cycle, which guarantees the project’s success. Projects are temporary engagements that have five main stages they are initiation/project planning, development, enactment/implementing, monitoring, and closing. To complete effectively a project cycle, having attained set objectives and goals of the project, project managers must have developed strategies for effective implementation.
Advantages of a project cycle
When managing a project, it is important to understand at what point to do what, the project cycles offer an answer to this question since it gives the activities that should be undertaken in a certain stage, the following are the main advantages of following a project cycle:
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- It assists in keeping the project on course.
- It assists in resources allocation.
- Keeps the project on track and ensures that all minute activities and processes are well implemented (Andersenn& Vaagaasar, 2009).
The concept of planning in the project life cycle and how research and critical thinking is mandatory in planning
At the planning stage, the project manager analyses the problems within the organization that is calling for a project; if the project had been chosen, then the manager has to lay the base on which the project will be laid on. The stage is more of a forecast and laying a plan that will be used in the future to see the project a success; the stage also involves taking an analysis of the current business situation and developing a measure that can be used in making the project a success. Initially, the project manager aims at developing a scope of the project and understanding different dynamics that are likely to affect the project; the following diagram shows the first stages in the planning stage:
The following are functions that are involved in a project planning stage:
- Determining how to plan: this means developing the project start point.
- developing the scope statement: The coverage of the project and the areas that will be affected are analyzed, there should be proper documentation of the project and how it will affect different areas.
- selecting the planning team: the team should have the right people in number and experience.
- identifying deliverables and creating the work breakdown structure: different tools of project management are used.
- identifying the activities needed to complete those deliverables and networking the activities in their logical sequence: this involves creating the pathway that will be followed by the project from the start to the end; it involves cost, time, and resources.
- estimating the resource requirements for the activities: resources should be both human and physical resources.
- developing the budget and risk planning (Andersenn& Vaagaasar, 2009).
How research and critical thinking is mandatory in planning
Different projects need different preparation styles, they need to be initiated and developed effectively respecting their diversity with others. To manage them effectively, then there is a need for research and critical thinking. Secondly, numerous changes that occur in contemporary project management, to encompass and take their advantages, then a company needs to regularly research and think critically when planning.
Planning itself need to be planned, at this stage the manager analyses the information and the project ahead of him and decides the best approach he wants to use to see to successes. The decision at this stage involves the team members to be involved, services to be outsourced, and sensitization to be done, seeking internal authority and external authority, and establishing an operation base (Huiling & Xin, 2008).
Project organizations and the importance of leadership and sponsorship
Planning a project gives the project managers a written document of the process that should be followed for the effective completion of a project. The time and cost of the project are also important in the attainment of project goals and organization. Leaders are involved right from deciding that the project will be initiated until the final stage of the project; their main role is to guide and manage the project in the right direction, they undertake this task via decision-making.
The success of a leader has the role of seeing the project to success; the definition of project management involves mobilization, planning, managing, organizing, and controlling resources within an organization; these are the tasks of leaders in the project thus the need for proper leadership is an integral part in the success of a project.
Sponsorship of a project comes in two folds, support of the top management and team members and resources sponsorship, resources are needed for the success of the project, and support from all corners is also important.
Project team building, including techniques of successful team building
In managing a project, an organization needs to be dedicated and goal-oriented human resources, they need people who can support the project in different aspects for the good of the organization. An orchestrate team is developed when people with diverse knowledge, experiences, and profession. When developing a project management team, the following is the main stages:
- Determine the need that the project has as far as employees are concerned.
- Interpolate the rate at which internal staffs can meet the needs of the project, if the internal staffs cannot meet the project expectations, then management should consider outsourcing for some staffs.
- With the right number in quality and quantity, the next step is to train, mentor, and coach the employees on the needs of the projects.
- The final stage in developing a successful team is motivating them through policies like delegation and involvement in decision-making.
Creation of a work breakdown structure, and how a project manager breaks down the overall project into packages
When managing projects, some processes need to take place before others, some need to be taken simultaneously, some can be delayed and others are predecessors of others; to have a framework of the project, work breakdown structures are important. When making the work breakdown structures, managers have to analyze the different processes and procedures to be undertaken in the process, then allocate resources and time for the particular process. The structure should have a flow that stretches from initialization to the start about the stage need to be done and when.
After coming up with the structure, managers should determine the critical path and the way that resources will be allocated. An effective structure ensures that the project is completed with and within the estimated period of work. Project leaders are mandated with the task of ensuring that a project is run effectively and is completed within the set period. When making objectives of a project, managers should ensure that they not only have the goals and objectives set but should be pioneers of policies to see their attainment. In case management fails to fulfill its leadership role, then the project is likely to fail. Interlink and collaboration of several micro-projects call for the integration of management and their skills so as micro-project leaders can enjoy intellectualism from the other.
When coming up with a project worksheet, emphasis should be on how different programs and stags interlink with each other (Anderson, 2010).
The need for project management software in large integrated programs and the benefits to the overall project management organization
project management software are used as the tools of guiding and managing of the project; large and small projects cannot be evaluated using a similar level of software and technology; management should ensure they have attained the most current yet the less expensive and most effective computer software. Project management software offers an effective management tool when the right technology has been used but when they have been misused, they can lead to failure and misguiding to an entire project.
The benefits of project management software in project management are:
- they give a framework of the pathway that the project should follow and traces the project back in case of deviation.
- Cost and benefits measurement, Progress reporting, and communication of key project data.
- Resource and capacity planning.
- Cost and benefits tracking (Andersenn& Vaagaasar, 2009).
Anderson, B. (2010). Project Leadership and The Art Of Managing Relationship. Project management, 64(3), 58.
Andersen, E. S., & Vaagaasar, A. (2009). Project management improvement efforts—creating project management value by uniqueness or mainstream thinking?. Project Management Journal, 40(1), 19-27.
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Pons, D. (2008). Project management for new product development. Project Management Journal, 39(2), 82-97.