BENEFITS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

  1. Project Management Improves Productivity and Reduces Costs and Workload

The ultimate goal of project management and planning is efficiency. Project management helps to create an optimized methodology by creating processes, templates, and procedures that can be reused with every project. This will automatically mitigate risks and improve efficiency.

Project planning help clearly define the goals, the project scope, and the timelines. It keeps the project team from slowing down and avoids unnecessary bureaucracy. A solid project plan, ensures an agreement with the client’s requirements, and that all project stakeholders are well informed on the project status as well as flag risks in advance.

 

  1. Effective Resource Allocation:

The biggest resource any project managers have at their disposal is the team members. Project teams consist of people of different backgrounds and departments and they might have other commitments.  Proper project planning ensures that they are available when needed. Similarly, other resources like the budget, tools, machinery, and others can be arranged effectively to avoid project delays during the execution. Through properly allocating each resource in the beginning and monitoring the phases that are more demanding can be done. Each prioritized task is optimized to give maximum output at the lowest cost. Through proper utilization of resources and having an efficient system in place, a team can easily get more work done in a shorter amount of time and increase productivity.

  1. Improved Customer Satisfaction:

Retaining clients is considered more important than acquiring new ones and a guaranteed way of doing it is by offering unparalleled services. An effective set of operations that focuses on quality and efficiency, would make clients satisfied. This means that they would return with more business in the future. A satisfied client would also refer the organization to other potential customers, which means free marketing. This can be an extremely effective marketing strategy for businesses. Moreover as the organization increases its customer base, it would be able to gain more capital which it can use to expand the business and hire new talent.

  1. Project Management Improves Performance

Projects enable managers to track performance and results from project to project. Without a structured process, a project would fail. But sticking to outlined processes, would identify bottlenecks and variables that may make the projects fail so that they can be addressed by the project team.

  1. Project Management Helps with Problem Resolution

There are always problems in projects. However, using a PM methodology, the project manager knows exactly how to approach a problem. A structured way of organizing work can even help notice the problems before they cause project failure.

  1. Project Management Improves Collaboration through Consistent Communication

If everything related to the project is structured and team members know exactly what they need to do at any given time, it’ll be much easier to manage them and everyone will do their best. No project plan is complete without a solid communication structure. Communication in project management is an extremely important aspect that can have a significant effect on the performance of a team. Communication breakdown can cause project. Project managers must ensure that the whole team shares a collective end-goal and work together to achieve it. The overall efficiency and productivity of the entire team get significantly improved which leads to other benefits as well.

  1. Higher risk tolerance

Proper planning means that the PM is ready for potential ‘what-if’ scenarios that may occur. This means that he is prepared to tackle any unforeseen occurrences and uncertainties that may negatively impact the project.

  1. Improved morale:

With continuous success and effective performance, the project team gains more confidence. Effective project managers inspire their team by regularly rewarding top performers to keep everyone motivated.

  1. Quality control

Most project managers are under enormous pressure to complete the project on time. When deadlines are missed, schedules get tightened, work is rushed, and people may resort to short – cuts, resulting in poor quality work. Methodologies like Agile ensure the quality and applicability of the delivered product by creating a separate phase for examining and testing at every step of the project. Proper project management also gives PM control over the timelines and resources.

  1. Learning by Retrospection

A project manager can’t afford to make the same mistake twice. It’s also key to do more of what went right and less of what went wrong. And, projects generate a tremendous amount of knowledge. Almost every project management methodology includes a retrospective stage at the end of the project to facilitate this. It is common to learn from what went wrong throughout the course of the project.

Properly recorded documentation allows the PM to keep track of all activities, enabling the team to learn from successes and failures. The learnings from a project can be applied to all future projects. It’s also a great tool to estimate costs and project timeline.

MEASURES OF PROJECT SUCCESS

A project Management Information System is successful when:

  1. The resulting information system is acceptable to the customer.
  2. The system is delivered on time.
  3. The system is delivered within budget.
  4. The system development process has a minimal impact on ongoing business operations.
  5. The customer is able to specifically  mention  the  importance  of  functionality  of  the  delivered system.

 CAUSES OF PROJECT FAILURE

Most Common Causes of Project Failure:

  1. Poorly defined project scope.
  2. Inadequate risk management.
  3. Failure to identify key assumptions.
  4. Project managers who lack experience and training.
  5. No use of formal methods and strategies.
  6. Lack of effective communication at all levels.
  7. Key staff leaving the project and/or company.
  8. Poor management of expectations.
  9. Ineffective leadership.
  10. Lack of detailed documentation.
  11. Failure to track requirements.
  12. Failure to track progress.
  13. Lack of detail in the project plans.
  14. Inaccurate timelines and effort estimates.
  15. Cultural differences in global projects.
  16. Promised resources may not be available when required.
  17. Executives may fail to grasp the full reasons behind instigating a project.
  18. There may be political reasons for continuing with a clearly unviable project.
  19. Failure to establish top-management commitment to the project.
  20. Lack of organisation’s commitment to the system development methodology.
  21. Taking shortcuts through or around the system development methodology.
  22. Poor expectations management.
  23. Premature commitment to a fixed budget and schedule.
  24. Poor estimating techniques.
  25. Over-optimism.
  26. Inadequate people management skills.
  27. Failure to adapt to business changes.
  28. Insufficient resources.
  29. Failure to manage the plan.

But how can lessons be learnt from previous project failures?

There are three potential causes of project failure that are the most important of all and, if dealt with fully and completely, can help to avoid project failure. These are Project Scope, Risks and Key Assumptions. Also important is retaining the skills already available within an organisation and developing existing and new talent through project management training.

Activities

Actions taken through which inputs (financial, human, technical, material and time resources) are mobilized to produce the deliverables of a project and which when aggregated produce outputs.

Outputs

Tangible deliverables resulting from project activities e.g. Products, goods, services and changes that contribute to outcome (e.g. quality roads, trained people,)

Outcomes

What the project expects to accomplish at the beneficiary level and contribute to changes and help in the accomplishment of goals and impact over time.

Goals

The highest level desired end results or impacts to which the project contributes- the ultimate objective.

Programme management

Is the process of managing a group of related projects in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control which may not be available through managing the projects individually. Projects managed through a coordinated programme have the potential to realize the programme’s strategic objectives, change or benefits that would be impossible if they were managed separately.

Portfolio Management

Oversees the performance of the organisation’s collection of projects and programmes. Portfolio management is concerned with selecting, initiating and managing the overall collection of projects in a way that addresses the strategic objectives of the organization.ie which projects to do, which to start earlier, or which to stop doing in order to optimize the strategic fit of the projects to fulfill the organisation’s mission.

System

A system is a set of interacting components that work together to accomplish specific goals. For example, a business is organised to accomplish a set of specific functions.

Components of a System

Inputs

These provide the system with what it needs to operate. It may include machines, manpower, raw materials, money or time.

Processes

Include policies, procedures, and operations that convert inputs into outputs.

Outputs

These are the results of processing and may include information in the right format, conveyed at the right time and place, to the right person.

Systems Boundary

A system boundary defines the system and distinguishes it from its environment.

Subsystems

A subsystem is a unit within a system that shares some or all of the characteristics of that system. Subsystems are smaller systems that make up a super-system / supra-system. All systems are part of larger systems

Environment

This is the world surrounding the system, which the system is a subsystem to.

Components of an Information System

People- Refers to all stakeholders that use an information system to do their work.

Hardware– Refers to computer parts used to enable users to interact with the system.

Software- Refers to a set of procedures and processes to enable  the information system meet user needs.

Characteristics of a System

  1. Purpose  –  Systems  exist  to  fulfil  some  objective  or  satisfy  a  need.  A system may accomplish more than one task.
  2. Rationale – This is the justification for a system’s existence.
  3. Efficiency – This is how well a system utilises its resources, that is, doing things right using the least amount of resources.
  4. Effectiveness – How well a system fulfils its purpose, assuming that its purpose is the right one – Doing the right things.
  5. Inputs – Entities that enter the system to produce output or furnish information.
  6. Outputs – Entities that exit from the system either as interfaces or for end-user They may be used to evaluate system’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  7. Transformation rules – They specify how the input is processed to produce output.
  8. Throughput – Measures the quantity of work a system accomplishes but does not consider the quality of the output.
  9. Boundary –  Artificially  delimits  a  system  for  study  or  discussion    System designers can only control those system components within the boundary.
  10. Environment – That which impacts the system but is outside the system’s boundary. The system cannot control events in the environment.
  11. Interfaces – Points where two systems meet and share inputs and Interfaces belong to the environment although they may be inside the system boundary.
  12. Feedback – Recycles outputs as subsequent inputs, or measures outputs to assess ef

CLASSIFICATION OF SYSTEMS

Physical/ Concrete System vs Abstract System

A physical system consists of a set of elements, which are coordinated and operate as a whole entity to achieve a certain objective. An abstract system is an orderly arrangement of conceptual items or components.

Simple systems Vs Complex systems

A simple system has few components, and the relationship or interaction between elements is uncomplicated and straightforward. A complex system has many elements that are highly related and interconnected.

 Open Vs Close

An open system interacts with its environment. It is a system with a feedback mechanism that promotes the free exchange of information between the system and the external entities. Organisations are open systems. A closed system has no interaction with the environment. It is mainly a scientific concept (e.g. physics experiments).

Open- loop Vs Closed- loop System

An open-loop system is one which does not act in a controlled manner, that is, there is no feedback loop, and so it has no measure of performance against standards. A closed-loop system is one that functions in a controlled manner. It accepts inputs, works upon them according to some predefined processing rules and produces outputs.

Stable/Static systems Vs Dynamic systems

A stable system undergoes very little change over time. A dynamic system undergoes rapid and constant change over time.

Adaptive systems Vs Non-adaptive systems

An adaptive system is able to change in response to changes in the environment. These systems can also be described as cybernetic or self-organising systems. The opposite is a non-adaptive system.

Deterministic systems Vs Probabilistic system

Deterministic systems operate in a predictable manner. For example, thermostats and computer programmes. In probabilistic systems, however, it is not possible to determine the next state of the system. These systems depend on probability distribution.

Permanent systems Vs Temporary system

A permanent system exists for a relatively long period of time. A temporary system exists for a relatively short period of time

Computer system

A computer system is a set of integrated devices that input, output, process, and store data and information. Computer systems are currently built around at least one digital processing device. There are five main hardware components in a computer system:  the central processing unit (CPU); primary storage (main memory); secondary storage; and input and output devices.

The system unit houses the processing components of the computer system. All other computer system devices are called peripherals, and are connected directly or indirectly into the system unit.

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