INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Project

  • Is any human activity that achieves a clear objective against a specified time?
  • A project is a set of related tasks that are coordinated to achieve a specific objective in a given time limit and with uniqueness in relation to achieving a specific objective, accomplishing a definite role within a time limit and can be well coordinated alongside involving many people or a team.
  • According to W.B, the term project is a concept that broadly means the use of resources for a specific productive purpose.
  • According to W.B, a project is seen as an investment; however, a project is for a piece of work i.e. one whole thing. In liberal understanding of a project is that it is a discrete of investment policy, measures and other actions designed to achieve a specific development objective or a set of objectives within a designated period.
  • Project management is a special approach that encompasses all the peculiarities ensuring the success of the project.
  • These peculiarities ensure that the project is completed within a stipulated time and that its performance satisfies its intended purpose.

Programme

  • Is a set of related projects. A project program means a list of activities for a project showing the dates for starting and finishing them can also be called a schedule.

Intervention

  • Is the process of involving man, money and materials in a situation in order to improve or help it.

 

The intervention process involves two parties:-

Interventional party – individuals involved in improving the situation into a more desired status.

  1. Target party – direct beneficiaries of the activities of the project
  2. Development – It is a process of improving the well being of people’s living

Standards in terms of education, health and related human potentiality.

  • It should be holistic and multi-dimensional involving the participation of the people who should own the project themselves.
  • Development involves activities and programs that help people more from low to higher standards of living as their needs are met satisfactorily.

Management

  • It is the art of performing a task, maintaining its integrity and ensuring that
  • It is done and performed as desired within time, cost, budget fixed.
  • Project management therefore foresees and predicts dangers and problems and plan, organize and control activities so that projects are completed as successfully as possible.

Target

  • Are the targeted results and targeted beneficiary in a project. Any project aims at affecting a particular people with its specific results aimed to solve a group’s problem.
  • It is important to note that a project may target a particular group in a community e.g women group.

Problems      Anything that can hinder

Demand        Great desire to possess something

Need              It is a desire to acquire something necessary

Should have evaluation that are used to build on future projects

Characteristics of a Good Project

  1. Is should have a time frame
  2. It should have a fixed set of objectives that achieved the project seam to exist.
  3. It should be flexible to allow changes that may not have an impact
  4. It should be result oriented/productive i.e. it should aim at binging a change in the society
  5. It requires team work i.e. the team should consist of members belonging to the different disciplines e.g in construction engineers, accountants, social scientists are required.
  6. It should be made to the orders of the customers’ i.e. requirements and control within a project must be executed as given by the customers.
  7. It should be well planned (conceived) to reduce risks and uncertainties
  8. It should be carried out through a series of interdependent task i.e. a number of repetitive tasks that needs to be accomplished in a certain sequence in order to achieve the project objective.
  9. The execution of the project must be controlled to ensure that the desired results are achieved (quality)
  10. The project must be completed within a given budget.
  11. It should have activities that are tailored around a clear purpose
  12. Should be consistence with the customs of the community

Types of projects

  • In recent years, more and more activities have been tackled on a project basis. Project teams and project management have become common in most organizations. The basic approaches to project management remain the same regardless of the type of project being considered.
  • You may find it useful to consider projects in relation to a number of classifications

Engineering and construction

  • These projects are concerned with producing a clear physical output i.e. roads, bridges, buildings etc
  • The requirement of a project team is well defined in terms of skills and background as well as the same procedures that need.
  • Most of the problems that may confront the project team are likely to have occurred before; therefore their solutions may be based upon experiences.

Introduction of new systems

  • These projects would include computerization projects and introduction of new systems and procedures including financial systems.
  • The nature and constitution of a project team may vary with the subject of the project. This is because different skills may be required and different end users may be involved.
  • Major projects involving a system analysis may incorporate clearly defined procedures within an organization. 

Responding to deadlines and change

  • An example of responding to a deadline is the preparation of an annual report by a specified date.
  • An increasing number of projects are concerned with designing organizational or environmental changes involving developing new products and services. 

Other types of projects include:-

Normal projects

  • In this case adequate time is allowed in implementation. All the phases are allowed to take the time that they should normally take. This type of project requires minimum capital cost and no sacrifice in terms of quality.

Crush projects

  • Here, additional capital costs are incurred to gain time. Maximum overlap of phases is encouraged and compromised in terms of quality; savings in time is normally achieved through procurement and construction where time is bought from vendors and constructors by paying them extra money.

Disaster project

  • Anything needed to gain time is allowed in this project. Quality, short of failure is accepted around the dock work is done at the construction site. Capital cost will go very high before the project time will get reduced.

NOTE

A project can either be categorized as small scale, medium or large scales. They may also fall under different sectors i.e. public and private sectors.

 

IMPORTANCE OF PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT

  1. Project development is the 1st phase in any project therefore it serves a very important purpose of any project. These includes:-
  2. Important ideas about the project are conceived, discussed and approved by the project team.
  3. It helps in deciding what kind of project is most needed, given the development requirement at a particular time and place.
  4. The project team can pre-determine the sources of raw materials in terms of quality and quantity.
  5. The size and the capacity of the project is determined
  6. Manpower and organizational patterns are determined
  7. Financial analysis is done i.e. sources of finance are determined and evaluation of financial viability is done.
  8. It improves the quality of life of the targeted people/parties

PRINCIPLES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

  • The completion of a project is the primary objective. A project must be completed 100% no lapse regard is accepted. In this regard we need to observe the following principles:-

Commitment principles

  • An equitable commitment between principles and resources and project delivery team must exist before a viable project is realized.

Success principle

  • The measures of a project success in terms of the processes and products must be defined at the beginning of a project as a basis for project management decision making and post project evaluation.

Principles of management

  • Policies and procedures that are effective must be in place for the conduct and control of the project commitment.

Single point response principle

  • A single channel of communication must exist between the project sponsor and the project team leader for all the decisions affecting the product scope.

Principles of cultural evaluation

  • Management must provide an informed supportive cultural evaluation to ensure that the projects delivery terms are able to work within the limits of their capacity.

Principle of strategy

  • Encompassing 1st learning than doing in a focused set of sequential progressive phases must be in place.
  • Transparency and accountability and report principle
  • Principle of sustainability
  • Principle of ownership and principle of needs assessment

                                                                                

ROLES OF A PROJECT MANAGER

  1. The project manager has multiple roles to play within their work. These roles can be summarized into 3 main categories.
  2. As a chief executive
  3. All projects involve the execution of a variety of activities utilizing physical and human resources to achieve specific objective.
  4. Within a project, someone must have authority of controlling these resources and be accountable for the success or achievements. This is usually the project manager.
  5. As a chief executive the project manager is expected to make things happen by active intervention.
  6. He/she cannot wait for changes to occur but must actually create them 

As a leader

  • The manager has a role of exerting authority and influence directly the people working either for the project he has or in the local evaluation.
  • He/she defines the ethics, values and the norms of the project team, establishes the atmosphere of the project/organization and the way the various project activities are approached.

As a diplomat

  • He/she negotiates the relationship between the project and its evaluation
  • Here, he/she is required to ensure adequate support of the project in terms of resources, supplies and services
  • He also ensures political support without that the project is likely to fail.
  • The manager’s role as a diplomat requires high level of sensitivity, good negotiation skills and the ability to feel for a situation.
  • A successful manager should be able to understand the relationship of the project to its evaluation.

 

Other role of project managers

  • To control and organize labour needed by the project
  • To lead people and organize assignment at a given point in time
  • To monitor performance, costs and efficiency of all elements of the project and the project as a whole.
  • To complete the project on schedule or on time and within cost, this being the overall standards by that the performance of the project manager is evaluated
  • To solve the problems that arises in the project or within the project team.

Functions of a project manager

  1. A good manger also has a character based functions and includes:-
  2. Developing the vision – he/she should have a sharp focus to vision and draw others to it, ensure project relevance, set objectives and remain inspirational.
  3. Maintaining commitments – he/she should communicate constantly the project rational in order to rekindle the five.
  4. Integrator – he/she coordinates activities, provides overall project system, provide complete task definitions, defines the end and provides the performance criteria
  5. Change agent – in this case, he/she insist on accuracy and honesty, uses people’s management skills, instills the sense of urgency.
  6. Resource provider – he provides human resource, facility, finance as well as defines the resource requirement
  7. Conflict management – he ensures conflict resolution, smooth progress in the organization. He also anticipate bottlenecks and problems

Role of the communication in the project management

  • Identify their needs so as to suit the project objectives
  • Help in identification of resources that can help in the project
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation of the project activities
  • Assist in decision making
  • Resource contribution e.g finance, human labour etc
  • To ensure sustainability of the project.
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