The tasks of project includes the creation of infrastructure for the supply of the right information and its update, the establishment of methods to accomplish an appropriate project structure, project workflow organization, project control and governance, creation of transparency among the project parameters.
Fulfillment and implementation of these tasks can be achieved by applying specific methods and instruments of project control like investment analysis, cost—benefit analysis, etc. Project control is that element of a project that keeps it on-track, on time and within budget.
Project control begins early in the project with planning and ends late in the project with post-implementation review, having a thorough involvement of each step in the process. Control systems are needed for cost, risk, quality, communication, time, change, procurement, and human resources. The processes that each manager follows during the life of a project are collectively called the project management life cycle.
Every project has a life cycle, with a beginning, a life and an end defined by accomplishing the objective. The types and extent of processes initiated depend on the nature of the project, i. Strong and effective leaders apply process to protect all projects. Lack of proper job description, along with a clear description of the roles and responsibilities meant the employees were burdened by responsibilities that did not match their skills or experience.
Communication within the organization between different departments was very time-consuming, leading to huge turnaround times for a response to even a simple query. This further reduced the efficiency of the teams. Also this implied that the teams could not be expected to have an updated, consistent picture of the objectives they were supposed to work towards.
Clear communication is key to the success of any venture. But this was lacking in NC, due to a lack of a culture that encouraged clear communication.
There was no proper communication between the team members either within the organization or even across, with the clients, leading to all kinds of misunderstanding and frustration. The employees of NC did not have any motivation to be honest, and accountable. Over-burdened by various roles, they would be forced to be negligent in understanding and discharging their duties. Jeff was assigned to the tool division, the purchase of capital equipment and the selection of production methods and the associated manufacturing cost that would be used in the quotation used in the manufacture of the product.
Despite being a mechanical engineer, he had enrolled for a course in statistics. But his efforts to excel at work were not encouraged. But instead he was assigned to He was held responsible for assigning the project to the appropriate sections.
He was also appointed as one of the co-heads of the project. It is obvious here that too many tasks were being assigned to an individual; there was a lack of proper delegation of tasks to the right team members.
Lack of a proper communication channel with the customer meant the project engineers would have to go through the product design department, and then the sales department, reach the customer for any queries. The same path would be reversed for obtaining the answers. Such long, cumbersome communication gave rise to teams resorting to taking their own decisions based on their own data, which may not be the updated one.
For instance, the sales department directly promised the customer that it would be possible to hand over product samples to customers within two weeks. But the team was not aware of the fact that the products were being modified by the design team and it would almost be impossible to deliver within the promised period of two weeks.
And in order to somehow meet this promise, the design and engineering teams worked overtime, and ended up delivering a set of products that could not be thoroughly tested for conformance with the specifications set by the customer. Finally, the result was not just a delayed delivery of the products but also the realization that the products delivered did not meet the specifications agreed with the customer too. All in all, due to poor communication and non-uniform priorities, National Corporation ended up losing what could have been a project worth R million.
Considering the failure of project, National Corporation should adopt Project management processes in order to reach the objectives and gain competitive advantage. Initially National Corporation should understand the nature and scope of the project so as to know what the requirements are for present new project. The necessity was one machine which cost R and which could yield a profit around R million per year, as given by investment analysis and cost benefit analysis team.
The best part was here to understand the benefits of undertaking this project. After initiating the project it should be planned and designed. Project manager should be appointed along with a group of trained and skilled team members.
Depending upon their knowledge and skills the tasks and authority should be delegated. Each department like sales, production, finance and distribution should be headed by its own line manager who can give a continuous ongoing update of the particular product to the corresponding project managers. There should be clear communication between different departments and the right that any department can communicate with their project manager or higher authority for any queries regarding the project.
National Corporation should understand adhering to project management methods and strategies reduces their risks of failure, cut down the costs and improves overall success rates which are all vital to survival. Involving project management leads to diversification of products as we can see here National Corporation was focusing less on specials but now due to incorporation of new required machines would increase their turnover.
A project manager needs knowledge in nine general areas in order to make project management successful. These nine areas of knowledge are:. Project integration management ensures that the project is properly planned, executed, and controlled. Changes to project scope are often the factors that kill a project. Developing a scope statement that defines the boundaries of the project, subdividing the work into manageable components with deliverables, verifying that scope planned has been achieved, and implementing scope change control procedures.
For projects, this amounts to developing a schedule that can be met within specified time. It involves estimating the cost of resources, including people, equipment, materials, and items such as travel and other support details. After this is done, costs are budgeted and tracked to keep the project within that budget. It is not very helpful to complete a project on time, only to discover that the thing delivered won't work properly!
Quality Management includes both quality assurance planning to meet quality requirements and quality control steps taken to monitor results to see whether they conform to requirements. Managing human resources is often overlooked in projects. It involves identifying the people needed to do the job; defining their roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships; acquiring those people; and then managing them as the project is executed.
It involves planning, executing, and controlling the acquisition and dissemination of all information relevant to the needs of all project stakeholders. This information includes project status, accomplishments, events that may affect other stakeholders or project. Risk management is the systematic process of identifying, analyzing, and responding to project risk.
It includes maximizing the probability and consequences of positive events and minimizing the probability and consequences of adverse events to project objectives.
Procurement of necessary goods and services for the project is the logistics aspect of managing a job. It involves deciding what must be procured, issuing requests for bids or quotations, selecting vendors.
The changes could be in terms of its basic organization compared to how it is organized today. However, the biggest change needed in National Corporation is a change in the organizational culture, to encourage every individual to be more open, transparent, and accountable. All the departments should act like members of a single team, with the team itself being National Corporation. Also, the management of National Corporation should ensure that there is clear demarcation of the roles and responsibilities of one team or department and another.
Facilitating easy approachability of key personnel across the strata of the organization should reduce the huge turn-around time for any type of communication across different departments. The same should hold good for individuals in a team too, no matter what their position and skills.
Members who strive to gain extra knowledge or skills should be encouraged to do so. In fact, the organization should ensure that such efforts are not wasted, and take care to appreciate, reward, and acknowledge such accomplishments.
The presence of well-trained, experienced project managers will ensure that there is always a clear picture of the objectives of any team, and also that the goals of that team are aligned with those of the entire organization. There should be a clear set of guidelines and processes to manage product requirements. Such business agility would provide National Corporation an edge over its competitors, and also gain it the trust and loyalty of its customers who see the repeatedly consistent delivery of quality deliverables matching their requirements.
Once a product is completed, it should be subjected to a proper round of internal testing to ensure that it meets the requirements specifications. Any defects or shortcomings should be immediately brought to the notice of the product development team so that they can be addressed as promptly as possible.
National Corporation may have to invest in some tools like issue management systems in order to implement this process. National Corporation must learn to come out of the old traditional ways of working, and embrace and invest in instruments and tools of modern technology wherever it helps in improving the efficiency, transparency, effectiveness, and reliability of communication.
Change should be welcomed and embraced in all spheres of work, and a change in attitudes of all employees toward a more positive, win-win disposition should be strongly encouraged. Changing requirements, changing designs, changing prices, and all other kinds of critical changes must be faithfully recorded and communicated to the right audience in a regular manner. Change management is thus a crucial part of project management that must be adopted at National Corporation.
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