TOPIC 2: EVOLUTION OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
1. History of Project Management
2. Project Management versus Functional Management
3. Factors that determine the Success of a Project
4. Challenges that may be faced in Project Management
HISTORY OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Using management tools and techniques. After all, without some form of planning, organization and communication strategy, nothing can be effectively accomplished. However, the discipline that we now think of as project management was first formalized in the 1950s Way back in BC 2500… Pyramids of Egyptians… (Were organized as projects, but without any management philosophy.
1911 Taylorism/Scientific Management: Henry L Gantt invents the Gantt scheme
Karol Adamiecki creates the first network diagram, the so called Harmonogram
1942-45: The Manhattan project (USA). The project began modestly in 1939, but grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US$2 billion
1950ies: Operations analysis, RAND Corporation
1957: The Sputnik shock, initiating the Polaris project The Polaris project: The Polaris missile was nuclear armed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) built during the Cold War by Lockheed Corporation of California for the United States Navy. Many new project management techniques were introduced during the development of the Polaris missile program, to deal with the inherent system complexity. This includes the use of the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). This technique replaced the simpler Gantt chart methodology which was largely employed prior to this program.
1956-59: CPM (Critical Path Method) is created at DuPont, independent of
1959: The concept of ‘project manager” is coined in Harvard Business Review.
1960…s: Great interest in matrix organizations
1967: INTERNET and PMI is established
1980ies: Increasing interest in organizational and project management issues in projects. The project philosophy spreads to other fields, to smaller activities and to internal activities.
1987: PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) presents its first ever certified project management concept by PMI in the form of so called PMPs (Project Management Professionals).
1990ies: Management by projects (the project based company), Agile project Management
2000s: Portfolio Management Techniques. Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the centralized management of processes,
methods, and technologies used by project managers and project management offices (PMOs) to analyze and collectively manage current or proposed projects based on numerous key characteristics. The objectives of PPM are to determine the optimal resource mix for delivery and to schedule activities to best achieve an organization’s operational and financial goals ―while honouring constraints imposed by customers, strategic objectives, or external real-world factors. Four Periods in the Development of Modern Project Management
1.Prior to 1958: Craft system to human relations. During this time, the evolution of technology, such as, automobiles and telecommunications shortened the project schedule. For instance, automobiles allowed effective resource allocation and mobility,
whilst the telecommunication system increased the speed of communication. Furthermore, the job specification which later became the basis of developing the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) was widely used and Henry Gantt invented the Gantt chart. Examples of projects undertaken during this period as supported by documented evidence include: (a) Building the Pacific Railroad in 1850s; (b) Construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931-1936, that employed approximately 5,200 workers and is still one of the highest gravity dams in the U.S. generating about four billion kilowatt hours a year; and (c) The Manhattan Project in 1942-1945 that was the pioneer research and development project for producing the atomic bomb, involving 125,000 workers and costing nearly $2 billion.
2. 1958-1979: Application of Management Science. Significant technology advancement took place between 1958 and 1979, such as, the first automati plain-paper copier by Xerox in 1959. Between 1956 and 1958 several core project management tools including CPM and PERT were introduced. However, this period was characterised by the rapid development of computer technology. The progression
from the mainframe to the mini-computer in the 1970s made computers affordable to medium size companies. In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft. Furthermore, the evolution of computer technology facilitated the emergence of several project management software companies, including, Artemis (1977), Oracle (1977), and Scitor Corporation (1979). In the 1970s other project management tools such as Material Requirements Planning (MRP) were also introduced. Examples of projects undertaken during this period and which influenced the development of modem project management as we know it today include: (a) Polaris missile project initiated in 1956 that had the objective of delivering nuclear missiles carried by submarines, known as Fleet Ballistic Missile for the U.S Navy. The project
successfully launched its first Polaris missile in 1961; (b) Apollo project initiated in 1960 with the objective of sending man to the moon; and (c) E.I du Pont de Nemours chemical plant project commencing in 1958, that had the objective of building major chemical production plants across the U.S.
3. 1980-1994: Production Centre Human Resources. The 1980s and 1990s arecharacterised by the revolutionary development in the information management sector with the introduction of the personal computer (PC) and associated computer communications networking facilities. This development resulted in having low cost multitasking PCs that had high efficiency in managing and controlling complex project schedules. During this period low cost project management software for PCs became widely available that made project management techniques more easily accessible. Examples of major projects undertaken during this period that illustrate the application of high technology, and project management tools and practices include: (a) England France Channel project, 1989 to1991. This project was an international project that involved two governments, several financial institutions, engineering construction companies, and other various organisations from the two countries. The language, use of standard metrics, and other communication differences needed to be closely coordinated; (b) Space Shuttle Challenger project, 1983 to 1986. The disaster of the Challenger space shuttle focused attention on risk management, group dynamics, and quality management; and (c) xv Calgary Winter Olympic of 1988, which successfully applied project management practices to event management. 4.1995-Present: Creating a New Environment. This period is dominated by the
developments related to the Internet that changed dramatically business practices in the mid 1990s. The Internet has provided fast, interactive, and customised new medium that allows people to browse, purchase, and track products and services online instantly. This has resulted in making firms more productive, more efficient, and more client oriented. Furthermore, many of today’s project management software have an Internet connectivity feature. This allows automatic uploading of data so that anyone around the
globe with a standard browser can: (a) input the most recent status of their assigned tasks; (b) find out how the overall project is doing; (c) be informed of any delays or advances in the schedule; and (d) stay “in the loop” for their project role, while working independently at a remote site.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT VERSUS FUNCTIONAL MANAGEMENT
The key difference between project management and functional management is that project management is the process of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a project to achieve a specific objective whereas functional
management is managing the routing activities in the organization relating to various functions such as production, sales, and marketing, finance etc. in order to achieve the overall objective of the organization. Managing functional tasks are done from the inception to the end of a business organization. On the other hand, projects are carried out based on a specific need.
What is Project Management?
A project is a collection of tasks to be executed over a specific period of time to achieve a particular objective. It is a unique exercise that will be terminated following the achievement of the project objective. Project management is the process of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a project to achieve a pre-determined objective. Project management institute (PMI) defines project management as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project”. What is Functional Management? Functional management refers to managing the routing activities in the organization relating to various functions such as production, sales, and marketing, finance etc. Functional managers have ongoing responsibilities and are not usually directly associated with project teams. The main task of functional managers is to ensure that
the daily business activities are conducted smoothly, which in turn will assist in realizing the overall corporate objectives.
Duties of a Functional Manager
Share professional suggestion and knowledge with the employees
Allocate resources efficiently by identifying the resource priorities
Provide employees with learning opportunities
Identify cost inefficiencies and address them to improve efficiency
FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE SUCCESS OF A PROJECT
Comprehensive planning sets up a project for success from the start. All stakeholders should be on board during the planning process and always know in which direction the project is going to go. Planning can help the team to meet deadlines and stay organized.
Good planning not only keeps the project team focused and on track, but also keeps stakeholders aware of project progress.
2. Open Communication
Keeping open communication within the team is absolutely essential. When working under a specific timetable, it is important that the team remains well-informed. If a problem arises on one part of a project, it can negatively impact other parts as well.
Communication is the best way to prevent problems from occurring. Communication should also be focused internally within the organization. Keeping an organizational history of major projects will give convenient access to improved policies and business processes. If this isn’t done, then a team may repeat mistakes that have already occurred. Listening to stakeholders and paying attention is a very important ingredient for success.
3. Careful Risk Management
Project managers know that things rarely go off exactly as planned. During the planning process, it is vital to produce a risk log with an action plan for the risks that the project could face. Make sure all key stakeholders are aware of your risk log and know where they can find it. If something happens, then the team can quickly resolve the issue with the management plan that has already been set in place. This will give the team confidence when facing project risks and help the clients feel comfortable with the project’s progression. Having a central online database of project information is vital to ensure you don’t lose crucial project momentum during the project, but also in the event of losing key participants you can quickly get your new team members up to speed.
4. Right Team
Without the right team in place, any strategy and plan has the potential of completely falling apart. Because of this, the core project staff, expert resources, suppliers and all stakeholders should be part of the team dynamic. All of those involved must have commitment to the group, share similar visions for the projects and strive for overall success.
Check on your progress and evaluate results on a regular basis. Define key performance indicators (KPI) and use reports to be able to quickly grasp if the project is on track. If things go sideways you will recognize early on and be able to take countermeasures before bigger damage is done.
6. Experienced project managers
You can learn the theory and methods of project management but in the end success comes with experience. The more experienced a project manager, the more confidence and skill he will have to overcome the challenges of the daily project business.
CHALLENGES THAT MAY BE FACED IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
1.Undefined Goals – When goals are not clearly identified, the whole project and team can suffer. When upper management cannot agree to or support undefined goals, the project in question typically has little chance of succeeding. The project manager must ask the right questions to establish and communicate clear goals from the outset.
2.Scope Changes – Also known as scope creep, this occurs when project management allows the project’s scope to extend beyond its original objectives. Clients and supervisors may ask for changes to a project, and it takes a strong project manager to evaluate each request and decide how and if to implement it, while communicating the effects on budget and deadlines to all stakeholders.
3.Inadequate Skills for the Project – A project sometimes requires skills that the project’s contributors do not possess. Project management training can help a project leader determine the needed competencies, assess the available workers and recommend training, outsourcing or hiring additional staff.
4.Lack of Accountability – A project manager’s leadership qualities can shine when each member of the team takes responsibility for his or her role in achieving project success. Conversely, a lack of accountability can bring a project to a complete halt. Finger-pointing and avoiding blame are unproductive, but all-too-common features of flawed project management. Learning to direct teams toward a common goal is an important aspect of project management training.
5.Improper Risk Management – Learning to deal with and plan for risk is another important piece of project management training. Risk management is typically a desirable project manager trait because projects rarely go exactly to plan. Gathering input, developing trust and knowing which parts of a project are most likely to veer off course are aspects of the project manager’s job.
6.Ambiguous Contingency Plans – It’s important for project managers to know what direction to take in pre-defined “what-if” scenarios. If contingencies are not identified, the entire project can become mired in an unexpected set of problems.
Asking others to identify potential problem areas can lead to a smooth and successful project.
7.Poor Communication – Project managers provide direction at every step of the project, so each team leader knows what’s expected. Effective communication to everyone involved in the project is crucial to its successful completion.Good project managers keep communication and feedback flowing between upper management and team leaders
8. Impossible Deadlines – A successful project manager knows that repeatedly asking a team for the impossible can quickly result in declining morale and productivity. The odds of successfully completing a project under unreasonable deadlines are generally not feasible expectations.
9. Resource Deprivation – In order for a project to be run efficiently and effectively, management must provide sufficient resources. Project management training shows how to define needs and obtain approval up front, and helps project managers assign and prioritize resources throughout the duration of a project.
10.Lack of Stakeholder Engagement – A disinterested team member, client, CEO or vendor can destroy a project. A skilled project manager communicates openly and encourages feedback at every step to create greater engagement among participants.