Project management principles are required to manage the projects throughout the project life cycle, from conception to completion. To start with let us clarify project contexts;

WHAT IS A PROJECT?

A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
Definition from PMBok Guide

In the real world, a project is unique with inter-related tasks, which has defined start and finish times whose purpose is to achieve a common objective.

A common understanding of best practices for projects share the common characteristic of being:

  • temporary – having a definite start and finish
  • unique – the product or service is different in a significant way from all similar products or services.

WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.
– Definition from PMBok Guide

To keep it simple, project management is a body within an organisation that works together with other departments, focusing on its project activities throughout the project life cycle to achieve the objectives of a defined product or service within the urged set of time, budget, and scope, and quality. Project management applies planning, organising and controlling the organisation’s services to achieve short term objectives that contribute to the overall organisation’s vision and business plan. A project manager works mutually with all critical stakeholders to succeed in project deliverables.

The success formula to achieve an agreeing level of project success, there must be commitment and support of top management to the outcomes of the project; internal and external stakeholders must also be committed to the project passionately, as just technical discipline or particular interest may not be sufficient. Therefore, best practice project management has a cross-organisational focus with different but vital roles for project sponsors, project managers, and project teams. The need for each of these critical stakeholders to understand each other’s roles and responsibilities concerning both the project outcomes and the achievement of corporate goals is considered essential for strategic success.

Key roles in project management are:

PROJECT SPONSOR

  • The project sponsor needs to be accountable for the project.
  • The project sponsor should approve the project proposal.
  • The project sponsor needs to assist the project manager in creating the project brief and initial project plan.
  • The project sponsor should sign off these documents.
  • The project sponsor must ensure that crucial business resources are available following the project plan.
  • The project sponsor needs to support the project manager in resolving risks and issues.
  • The project sponsor must review the project regularly with the project manager.
  • The project sponsor must formally accept the deliverables of the project.
  • The project sponsor should ensure that the organisation recognises project achievements.
  • The project sponsor must approve all changes to scope, schedule and budget.

PROJECT MANAGER

  • Project manager needs to produce the project brief and the preliminary project plan in discussion with the project sponsor.
  • Project manager must ensure that the project’s needs and expectations are fully understood and documented.
  • Project manager must develop the project plan in discussion with team members and key stakeholders.
  • Project manager must ensure to include all of the requirements of the project deliverables.
  • Project manager must manage the day to day activity of the project.
  • Project manager must nourish the project team with motivation and direction.
  • Project manager must recognise the team member’s contribution and needs to support and reward.
  • Project manager needs to monitor the team’s performance regularly and update the project schedule.
  • Project manager needs to prepare regular project status reports for the sponsor to keep them informed and connected in the project loop.
  • Project manager must manage the risks and issues.
  • Project manager must consult the project sponsor on risks and issues not resolved at the project level.
  • Project manager must raise requests for all proposed changes to the project’s scope.
  • Project manager must ensure that a Post Implementation Review is conducted and reported to the project sponsor. (The Post Implementation Review (PIR) is used to supply information about the outcomes and success of a project.)
  • Project manager must ensure that the project deliverable is appropriately handed over to the managing organisation.

PROJECT TEAM MEMBER

  • The project team needs to work under the guidance and documents of the project manager.
  • The project team needs to contribute technical expertise to the project as required.
  • The project team needs to be cooperative within the task to meet the requirements of the project deliverables.
  • The project team members may be internal or external to the organisation and include consultants and contractors.

WHAT IS MANAGEMENT BY PROJECTS?

Managing the whole business using projects as a means to achieve the organisation’s strategic goals, where the approach will include ongoing operations within the organisation adopting this approach to define their business activities as projects and manage them accordingly.

PROJECTS VS. OPERATIONS

Project activities are separate from the regular operations within an organisation. As they are unique by the following qualities:

ProjectsOperations
• Temporary organisational structure and goals
• Catalyst for change
• Unique product or service
• Dynamic Team Environment
• Flexible
• Fixed Start and End Date
• Established ongoing structure and goals
• Evolutionary Change
• Standard Product or Services
• Stable Team Environment
• Ongoing

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

Effective project management ensures that projects are delivered on schedule and within budget. Project management’s effective purpose is to improve the quality of deliverables and ensure to minimise exposure to risk and provide greater productivity/profitability.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MANAGEMENT DISCIPLINES

Core Management disciplines are:

General ManagementTechnical ManagementProject Management
Management of all aspects of the ongoing operations of the performing organisationManagement of all aspects of the ongoing operations of the performing organisationManagement of all aspects of a project in a continuous process to achieve both internal and external project objectives

For better managing projects one needs to understand the proposition of project management, then identify the difference between functional management and project management, should appreciate the application of management and organisational behaviour within an organisation and describe the qualities and functions of a project manager within a team.

IMPORTANT MILESTONES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

1914:   Gantt Chart developed for production scheduling at the Frankford Arsenal

1930’s:   US Air Corp’s Materiel Division sets up a project office function to monitor the development and progress of aircraft manufacture

1951:    Bechtel used the term ‘Project Manager’ as assignment of responsibilities to one person (Transmountain Oil Pipeline in Canada)

1955:   US Navy created a ‘Special Projects Office’ to develop the Fleet Ballistic Missile, Polaris

1957:   The Special Projects Office developed PERT (Program Evaluation   Review Technique) to manage the hundreds of contractors

1958:  Civil & Civic (in Aust ) marketed itself as a project manager to external clients, taking full responsibility for the execution of all phases of projects, from inception to completion.

1959:  CPM (Critical Path Method) developed by Integrated Engineering   Control Group with a group at Remington Rand Univac. CPM cut turnaround times by 25%.

1959:  Harvard Business Review recognises Project Management as a distinctive management discipline.

1964:  PDM (Precedence Diagramming Method) developed by Stanford   University’s Civil Engineering Department on behalf of the US Bureau of Yards and Docks.

1970’s:

  • PM systems adopted outside construction and defence
  • Environmental issues addressed as part of project delivery
  • Organisations recognised the importance of effective upfront planning for the successful delivery of projects
  • Establishment of the first professional bodies for project management (PMI in USA and AIPM in Australia)

1980’s:

  • Introduction  of Time, Cost & Quality equation
  • Increase in ‘green issues’ as project focus
  • Proliferation of personal computers
  • Introduction of ethics, standards and accreditation

1990’s:

  • ‘Management by Projects’
  • TQM (Total Quality Management)

2000’s

  • Increased emphasis on risk management
  • Project Management Maturity Models developed

Referenced from: Fundamentals of Project Management, Rory Burke, Chapter2

SKILLS THAT EXPERTISE PROJECT MANAGERS

A Project Manager is a professional who manages projects efficiently whose primary concerns will be What is to be done? When will the task be done? Why will the task be done? What resources are available to do the task? How well has the total project been done? Which do project managers need fundamental skills. However, the project manager needs to focus on the management processes and allow others to perform the technical work. They must be knowledgeable in the technological basis of the project, but their primary function is to manage project/s. As the project is unique and temporary, the project manager uses resources from other operational areas. So it is vital for the project manager to carefully manage the interface between all project stakeholders and manage them effectively for project success.

Critical Skills for Project Managers is the knowledge areas of project management overlie the other management disciplines and require a broad approach to manage comprehensive professional teams. In a Harvard Business Review Classic paper, Robert L Katz* prepared a three-skill approach to management – technical, human and conceptual. To perform their role, the Project Manager requires the following skillsets:

Technical Skills are necessary for understanding and mastery in the specific activities with the project, which may include specialised knowledge & facility in the use of tools and techniques of the particular discipline. Technical skill implies understanding and proficiency in a specific activity, particularly involving methods, processes, procedures, or practices. It is relatively easy for us to visualise the technical skill of the surgeon, the musician, the accountant, or the engineer when each is performing his particular function.

Technical skill involves:

  • Specialised knowledge.
  • Analytical ability within that specialty.
  • The facility uses the tools and techniques of the specific discipline.

Technical skill is the most ordinary skill for project managers because it is the most substantial. In this age of specialisation, it is the skill required of the most significant number of people that’s why most education programs are interested mainly with developing this technical skill.”

Human Skills are essential when working with a team which helps in the free exchange of ideas. This skill is the leader’s ability to work as a group member and build joint effort within the leading team. Technical skill is primarily enjoyable when working with material things. Human skill mainly involves working with people that reveal how an individual senses his superiors, equals, and subordinates. The project manager who has human skills is aware of his attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs about other teammates and stakeholders; and can see the benefit and constraints of these feelings. By accepting the reality of viewpoints, perceptions, and ideas different from his own, he is skilled in understanding what others mean by their words and behaviour. He is equally skilful in communicating to others, in their contexts, what he means by his behaviour. That skill helps create an environment in which subordinates feel free to express themselves without fear of censure or ridicule by encouraging them to participate in the planning and carrying out those things that directly affect them.

Conceptual Skills are required to picture the project’s relationship to the organisation and political environment and help to advance the overall interest of the entire organisation. The conceptual skill helps to see business as a whole. It identifies how the organisation’s various functions depend on each other and how changes on one part impact others. It opens to envisioning the relationship of the respective business to the industry, the community, and the nation’s political, social, and economic powers. Recognising these relationships and sensing the significant factors in any circumstances, the leader should be able to act to raise the overall interest of the entire organisation.

To perform their role the Project Manager requires the skills:

TechnicalHumanConceptual
•Technical Awareness
•Budgeting
•Estimating Time
•Leadership
•Management
•Listening & Communication
•Negotiating
•Conflict Management
•Personal Time Management
•Team Building
•Organising
•Planning
•Problem Solving
•Analysis
•Decision Making

REFERENCES:

  • Katz, RL 1974, ‘Skills of an effective administrator’, in Business Classics: Fifteen Key
  • Concepts for Managerial Success, Harvard Business Review, 1991, USA, pp. 23-35

ROLES OF PROJECT MANAGERS

The project manager’s principal role is that of integrator and communicator just because the project manager can view the project and how it fits the organisation’s overall plan. Irrespective of the lack of clear communications channels, the project manager ensures that all stakeholders are properly informed of the project status. The project manager also fills the role of team leader. Another critical role for a project manager is that of a decision-maker. The specific decisions may vary according to the type of project and the stage of the project’s life cycle at which the project manager must make the decision. Still, in any event, the project manager must take them. Decision making is not unique to project managers. Still, it is a vital role that impacts significantly on the project as a whole. The project manager also expects to fill the role of a climate builder or creator. The project manager should create a supportive climate, to begin with, so that the project manager can avoid negative conflict and unrest.

Project Managers plays roles of, Strategist (for the efficient use of project resources), Negotiator (to procure resources to support the project), Organiser (to integrate the team to act as a focal point for the management of the project), Leader (who recruit and provide oversight over the planning and execution of resources to support the project), Mentor (By providing counselling and consultation to members of the project team), Motivator (by creating an environment that maximises the team’s performance), Controller (by maintaining oversight over the efficacy with which resources are being used to support project objectives), Diplomat (by building and maintain alliances with project stakeholders to gain support for the project). Further down, the project manager combines skills and experience that characterises the profile through:

  • Project Manager Tools and Methods
  • Technical (Industry) Skills
  • Knowledge & Awareness of Project Environment
  • Basic Business & Management Skills
  • Leadership
  • Team and People Skills

PROJECT MANAGER MATURITY LEVELS

By aligning the Project Manager to a scale of maturity five levels:

Level 1: Technical Manager

  • Qualifications/Experience in a technical discipline
  • Superficial understanding of project management principles
  • Ad-hoc use of some project management tools

Level 2: Project Management Awareness

  • Some basic training in project management
  • General knowledge of project management terminology
  • Acknowledgement of the need for standard processes
  • Regular use of core project management tools

Level 3: Project Focussed Project Manager

  • Formal studies in project management
  • Recognition of the need to pro-actively manage
  • Adoption of standard templates and processes

Level 4: Integrated Project Manager

  • Formal qualifications/award in project management
  • Consistent use of standard methodology
  • Pro-actively manages all aspects of the project
  • Consistently applies general management skills to the internal and external project environments

Level 5: Continuous Improvement

  • Acts as mentor/coach to the project team
  • Regularly participates in professional development activities
  • Actively contributes to the organisation’s continuous improvement process.

Other Roles and Responsibilities within a Project

Program Manager

  • Accountable for the project and other projects that might be run concurrently
  • May act as the Project Sponsor or Project Champion

Project Sponsor

  • Is the lowest level in the organisation with authority to start and stop the project (aligns with Delegated Authorities Policy)
  • Provides the funding and resources for the project
  • Authorises or rejects scope changes
  • Is the first escalation point

Line / Functional Manager

  • Supports project staff
  • May facilitate the provision of budget and resources
  • Is not necessarily the Project Sponsor

Project Team Members

  • Contribute specific skills project to support the project delivery
  • Often provide technical input within the project
  • Are governed by the leadership structure administered by the Project Manager

Operations Staff

  • Support the Project Manager through Administrative Assistance as required.
  • Perform an ongoing role across multiple projects.
  • Often provide support in areas such as accounting, human resources management, general administration and IT support.

Just a history, the project management carrier started its development in the 50s and 60s as the perceived need to maintain a strong defence capability during the Cold War. The aim was to establish the importance of the USA in Space research and capacity. The need to develop increased ‘speed to market’ for consumer goods increased the complexity of project requirements, which grow in the influence of ‘people power’ and the impacts on project delivery, which flatter management structures within organisations and helps the development of faster and easier global communications, which resulted in the establishment of virtual project teams with members dispersed across the globe. These developments meant that traditional functional management structures with specialist managers overseeing specialist teams were no longer appropriate to deliver complex projects.

A GOOD SPECIALIST DOES NOT MEAN A GOOD MANAGER

It has been common in the industry that specialists with more excellent experience are promoted to managerial positions expecting to bring good fruits, but that’s not true. Considering project management, the successful transition from specialist to manager requires recognising the necessity to learn new skills and then work to develop them. That’s the moment in the career of most professionals; if they are to progress further, they must complete the evolution from specialist to manager. Some are successful and advance to executive positions, whereas others struggle in their new roles despite being competent specialists.

Although a few fortunate individuals intuitively pick up the ability to manage, the great majority of those who successfully make the transition do so by recognising that they must learn new skills.

The transition from technical specialist to project manager requires skills in managing staff, building productive connections with fellow managers, clients, and strategic partners to support the organisation acquire its strategic goals.

Motivation and leadership skills are necessary for practical staff management. A project manager’s ability to uplift project teams reaches from their capability to administer rewards and penalties. Project managers who manage poorly tend to be over-dependent on punishment to get results; this usually creates more problems than solves. On the other hand, good leaders are not afraid of punishment or discipline, yet, they learn to use rewards to encourage team fellows. They do this by identifying individual requirements, redesigning jobs or setting challenging goals.

The absence of leadership skills has differing impacts in different situations. Poor project managers see leadership as nothing more than giving orders when handling people outside their profession. They usually get a submission but at the expense of a less powerful or confident team

and often lose productivity. When they manage experts from their discipline (engineers in teams or lawyers in a group), they go to the other extreme and delegate to the point of the action of renouncing or rejecting their responsibility. The most challenging part of the shift is the need for project managers to build productive relationships with their fellow managers, contractors and clients, many of whom are from different disciplines.

Specialists often work in isolation.

They have notable independence and are generally left alone to focus on their task; consequently, they develop their terminology and degrade other project management functions such as risk management or communications management by usually labelling them just ‘admin‘.

Life as the project manager could not be more different; each day brings a creek of interruptions and the continuing need to negotiate (or compete for resources) with other managers. Good project managers are prepared to accept that their technical expertise is only one of the many vital competencies to ensure business success. They quickly pick up the skills needed to communicate with their equivalents, contractors, clients and contribute as equal team members.

By contrast, poor managers adopt a mindset of chauvinistic defensiveness and self-righteous intolerance of criticism by locking themselves in their office to get some ‘real work’ done without being bothered by ‘admin’. Consequently, they are excluded from critical discussions of the project’s liability, team, and careers.

Another element of the transition to the project manager is the requirement to make strategic decisions. Experts may be given autonomy regarding working on the project or dealing with a contractor. Still, they do not generally decide which projects they work on or which clients they will have. On the other hand, project managers spend much of their time making (or contributing to) these critical decisions. Strategic decision-making requires an ability to step back and see the big picture. After a career focussing on their discipline, some professionals find this difficult to achieve. As a result, they tend to micro-manage their team, getting so lost in technical details that they completely lose sight of the big picture.

The good news for aspiring project managers is that leaders can learn all these skills. Once learned, leaders should regularly practise them until they are applied automatically. Technical experts or professionals who wish to become project managers first need to develop strategic and people management skills and manage relationships and then seek out every opportunity to demonstrate that they can apply them. Suppose a permanent project management position is not available. In that case, temporary jobs such as filling in for a project manager on leave may provide that opportunity.

From technical expert to the project manager is not a promotion – it is a career change.

HOW MUCH TECHNICAL TRAINING DOES A PROJECT MANAGER NEED?

From: PM Network – May 1998

John P Sahlin is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and is the manager of training and consulting at Project Control, an international project management consulting and software company in Annapolis, Md.

As a Project Management Consultant, I have encountered organisations with narrow definitions of project management; definitions that basically describe a projectised functional manager or a technical lead – project managers who are directly involved with produce development and who are more like the technical expert on the team, with a few scheduling / reporting responsibilities.

This definition of project management caused me to re evaluate my resume. Do I have the technical expertise to be a project manager in today’s world? I do not have a technical degree, but I have significant management training, including trail-by-fire training in project management. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge describes a relationship among general management techniques, project management techniques, and application area knowledge (technical skills), but does not discuss the depth of technical knowledge a project manager must have in order to be successful.

With the wide array of industries making use of project management, it is unlikely that there will be any consensus on the depth of technical knowledge required. Despite this, a few general rules apply across all application areas.

Never Tell Your Team How to Perform a Task.

By setting and prioritising the project goals (milestones, control gates, and so forth), you are telling the members of your team what needs to be achieved. Leave it to the technical experts to decide how to accomplish the tasks. If we have learned nothing else from countless hours of team building exercises, we should learn that a group can brainstorm more effectively than an individual. It follows that leaving the how to the technical team is likely to result in an option you will not have considered by yourself.

Leaving the technical direction decisions to the experts does not hamper your ability to manage. In fact, be decentralising the technical issues, you improve your ability to manage.
We are limited in the amount of information we can control. By passing the technical decisions to the technical leads, our energies are available to focus on the project’s strategic goals.

Know What You Don’t Know, and Know the Sources of That Information.

The most important lesson you can learn in project management is that you can’t know it all. Knowing the limits of your knowledge is invaluable to a manager. By recognising your limits, you can focus on the all-important task of identifying the sources of this knowledge.

These sources can take the form of media or members of your team. When identifying these sources of information, you must also consider the availability and veracity of those sources.

“I Don’t Know” is an Acceptable Answer.

In project management, unlike school, there is a penalty for guessing. By guessing, you endanger your reputation, as well as that of your entire team. By refusing to admit the limits of your knowledge, you risk the success of your project. More important, you risk losing the respect of your team. The leadership aspects of project management are often ignored, but integrity is your No 1 ally in organisations where you may not have direct authority (ie, functional or matrix organisations).

An important corollary to this rule is: Never answer the same question with “I don’t know” twice. If you don’t know the answer, find out what the answer is and don’t forget it. You can greatly improve team morale by showing the team that you are willing to learn and that you are enthusiastic about the project. Ignorance is forgivable, laziness is not.

Learn as Much as is Practical.

While no one expects you to be the expert in all fields, you should be able to speak intelligently about the technology involved with your project. You should be able to explain to your sponsor (or customer) why it is beneficial to choose a particular course of action. You may also have to make decisions based on reports from your technical experts. In order to weigh technical options, you must be able to understand them.

The down side of training is that it takes you away from your duties. When deciding what technical training to pursue, ask yourself if it will help you manage your team on your next project. If the training is unlikely to have any bearing on future projects, it is probably not worth taking you off your current project to pursue. Your primary responsibility as a manager is to lead your team – not to be the single point of contact for technical issues.

Know Enough to Avoid Getting “Snowed”.

It is a sad fact of human nature that we try to cover our faults or failures. We are tempted to conceal our blemishes with technical jargon and statistics. A project manager needs to have enough technical knowledge to week through the numbers and derive the true meaning of the reports.

An example of this issue is Earned Value reporting. I remember my first Quarterly Progress Review on a contract with the US Navy: I was representing the government project manager. The contractor building the system was giving an EVA presentation to the government project manager. Everyone’s eyes glazed over as the cost control expert rattled off a series of figures and acronyms. During a break, one of the contractor’s engineers asked me to explain the presentation his company had just given. I showed him that given the current performance figures (about 70 percent CPI and SPI) it was mathematically impossible to achieve their goal of 92 percent CPI and SPI by the end of the project. He looked at me and said, “So you’re telling me that we’re lying to you.” I just smiled.

Project Leadership.

These rules are not peculiar to project management. In fact, they are an application of general leadership skills I developed in the Navy. Little attention is paid to the leadership aspects of project management. Perhaps this is because the word leadership makes many of us think of Patton and his tanks, or Farragut at Mobile Bay. But leadership is not unique to the military; we can lead our project teams without being “command and control” martinets.

The best definition of leadership I have ever heard is the “art of getting people to do what they don’t want to, and making them think it was their idea in the first place.” Project leadership is the subset of project management that deals with interpersonal communications and relationships. This set of skills is used throughout the project lifecycle and in all process groups defined by the PMBOK Guide.

As project managers, we spend our careers communicating – with our team, to our customers, and with upper management. Our interpersonal communication skills are vastly more important to us than our specific technical knowledge. If we can successfully lead projects in one application area, we could take the lead in projects in other areas. A project manager in a software firm could make the transition to construction management with a relatively short learning curve by focusing on his or her ability to lead the project team to success – the technical skills are secondary.

Recommendations for Industry.

Moving into the next century, organisations need to redefine the term project management. The project manager must become more than a technical lead, enabling organisations to leverage the wealth of experience and leadership skills that can improve their quality, efficiency, and “bottom line”. In order to adopt the practices of project management, organisations need to place more value on the leadership (non technical) aspects of project management.

A PROJECT MANAGER DOES NOT need intense technical training. It is more important that project managers hone the leadership and management skills that are common to all application areas.

ORGANISATIONAL PLANNING & STRUCTURES

In a business context, an organisation is a unit of people structured to meet collective goals on a continued basis. A crucial part of every organisation is the management structure which determines roles and responsibilities and how they are delegated and controlled.

Directly or indirectly, projects serve strategic goals because projects are a means of achieving the results of strategic plans that are often drivers for change. Often, they cannot be effectively executed by day-to-day operations management. Consequently, all projects must finally serve one or more of the institution’s strategic intents to be considered successful.

CORPORATE STRUCTURES

  • Projects donate to the institution’s strategic goals.
  • Institutions have a decision-making ranking.
  • The committee makes strategic decisions and/or administrative strategies for achieving corporate goals are business unit decisions made by the individual business departments.
  • The business unit forges a program to contribute a distinctive group of
    deliverables to meet business unit goals
  • A project contributes an individual deliverable as part of a program.
  • Operations support the endless activities of the entire organisation.

ORGANISATIONAL PLANNING AND GOAL SETTING

A company’s planning is required to decide which strategic goals are most important to the organisation and how to obtain them. Planning and objective setting transpire at all levels of the organisation.

The following model illustrates planning within the five-level organisational hierarchy.

  • Level 1: Corporate Management
  • Level 2: Divisional Management
  • Level 3: Departmental Plans
  • Level 4: Team Management
  • Level 5: Individual Planning (Self-Management)

LEVEL 1: CORPORATE MANAGEMENT

  • 5-10 year plans aligned with vision and mission
  • Development of strategic business directions, organisational goals and objectives
  • Oversight of significant programs

These three elements are generic in that they can apply to any organisation:

  1. Mission – the reason for being
  2. Vision – defines the field of endeavour for the organisation.
  3. Strategic Plan – identifies how the organisation will achieve the vision given the objectives defined in the mission.

LEVEL 2: DIVISIONAL MANAGEMENT

  • 3-5 year plans aligned with Strategic Plan objectives
  • Involves in setting goals, strategies & actions with significant budget and resource allocation.
  • Major programs with multiple starts and end dates

LEVEL 3: DEPARTMENTAL PLANNING

  • 1-3 year plans aligned with financial cycles
  • Goals, actions, broad resource & time constraints
  • Complex Projects with moderate impact
  • Minor programs with multiple starts and end dates

LEVEL 4: TEAM MANAGEMENT

  • 12-month plans aligned to financial year
  • Tasks and actions with identified resources and time constraints
  • Some mini-projects with defined start and end dates

LEVEL 5: INDIVIDUAL PLANNING (SELF-MANAGEMENT)

  • Tasks and short-term personal goals
  • Engaged in ongoing processes

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

Every organisation’s hierarchy and reporting network form a framework viewed as the organisational structure, which defines roles and responsibilities commissioned and handled within the institution and monitors information flow between grades of management.– Definition

COMMON ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURES

  1. Functional (or Traditional)
  2. Matrix
  3. Projectised

FUNCTIONAL OR ‘TRADITIONAL’ ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

People who become specialists “become very good at what they do” in their careers. The traditional organisation has been the top form for over a hundred years, primarily based on organising people with matching skills into identical batches. This batch of people has a similarly qualified leader. Institutions like these are not easily changed even when the market demands the new technologies are hard to enter their business areas.

Examples – Automotive industry. Public sector

Matrix organisational structure came into existence in the 1970s to jointly put the most useful of the projectised and classic organisations. In the matrix, organisation employees are organised strictly by skills. All employees report to a functional manager in the matrix organisation, similar to the traditional organisation. All staff with the same skill report to the same operational manager. An example, all engineers could be grouped in a conventional organisation. In a matrix organisation, this does not occur. The operational manager is responsible for staffing the project and the administrative work.

The project managers control the majority of the work done by the employee as they are responsible for the work done by the individuals who do it. The project managers are not responsible for the day to day administrative work, which employees must do. Which allows the project team to focus on the project and not be stuck down by administrative work. It will enable the project team to focus on the stakeholders and the project much like a projectised organisation.

There are several hardships with this kind of organisation that must balance the project and operational managers to eliminate one group dominating the other. A project manager can balance by arranging when the project team should do the job and when the job should be assigned to the operational divisions. A balanced matrix organisation with a balance of power between functional and project managers is an organisation.

MATRIX ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

PROJECTISED ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

The traditional type is likely the pure project organisation. The project manager has total authority and can answer all questions regarding the project referred to them as the supreme authority to make all the decisions. In this type of organisation, the project team’s focus is clear, and the project goals are in the picture. There is a clear connection with the client, and communications with the client and the project team are usually good.

Example – Pyramid construction.

STRATEGIC PROJECT CONTEXT

Projects need to be executed to achieve the outcomes of the organisation’s strategic plans. Operations and projects differ because operations are ongoing and repetitive, while projects are temporary and unique. Projects need to be witnessed as a tool to answer the strategic objectives that cannot be managed within the organisation’s normal operational boundaries. In the diagram below, hierarchical layers in the organisation develop plans at their respective levels. All projects are ultimately subordinate to the organisation’s strategic plan. Each program comprises several objectives, which are executed using Project Management methods.

Mission the overriding belief in the string with the importance of influential stakeholders is affected by the organisation’s overall objective, scope, and boundaries. A project manager needs to understand ‘What business are we in?‘ and ‘What is our reason for being?

Vision represents the occupation of work for the institution. So the project manager needs to know, ‘Where do we want to be x years from now?’

Goal/s generally aim in line with the assignment; they may be qualitative.

Objectives are quantification, a more specific statement of the goal.

Strategies are relatively comprehensive declarations of purpose that show the activities required to accomplish the objectives.

Actions or tasks are individual steps to execute strategies to link comprehensive direction to specific operational problems and individuals.

Thought Provoking Change Management

“It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.
For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favour; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans; the others only defend him half-heartedly, so that between them he runs great danger.
It is necessary, however, in order to investigate thoroughly this question, to examine whether these innovations are independent, or whether they depend upon others, that is to say, whether in order to carry out their designs they have to entreat or are capable to compel.
In the first case, they will invariably succeed ill and accomplish nothing; but when they can depend on their own strength and are able to use force, they rarely fail.“

From: The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)

INTERFACE MANAGEMENT

Interface management includes the activities of defining, controlling, and communicating the information needed to enable unrelated objects (including systems, services, equipment, software, and data) to co-function. Most new systems or services require external interfaces with other systems or services. All of these interfaces must be defined and controlled in a way that enables efficient use and change management of these systems or services. Therefore, the practice of interface management begins at design and continues through operations and maintenance.Definition

Interface management happens in three key areas:

PERSONAL INTERFACE

This interface can occur anytime two people are working on the same project. There is a potential for personal problems or conflict to exist. When the two people operate under the same line manager, the project manager usually has limited authority (unless they are their superior) and must call the line boss to settle disputes. Suppose the people are not in the same line or discipline project manager takes the role of negotiator, with the power to get line management to resolve the problem if required. Issues in the personal interface are even more challenging to solve when two or more managers are involved; therefore, the project manager must be capable of dealing with all conflicts that affect people in or related to the project.

ORGANISATIONAL INTERFACE

The organisational interface is probably the most difficult to deal with because it involves people and involves organisational goals and conflicting executive techniques. Conflict can occur on the interaction because of variable team goals and misunderstandings of the technical language used within each corporate team. These interfaces are mostly management interfaces dealing with activities, decisions, or authorisations affecting the project; however, they can also involve units outside the immediate organisation or project.

SYSTEM INTERFACE

The system interface deals with the product, facility, construction, resources, or other types of non-people interfaces within the system itself or developed by the project. Some of the interfaces may include schedule problems where information passed on from one task to another is incorrect or delayed, which can throw the project schedule off. Many of the technical issues generated as the project progress are of this type. System interfaces are critical to the project’s success. The project manager must deal with them, but not to the exclusion of the personal and organisational interfaces. Because of their technical backgrounds, many project managers tend to over-involve themselves in specialised system interfaces to the detriment of individual and corporate concerns.

5-LEVEL PROJECT MANAGEMENT MATURITY MODEL FOR AN ORGANISATION

A project manager can evaluate the project management processes in an institution to align with one of five levels on a scale of maturity:

Level 1: Common Language

  • Token acknowledgement of project management
  • Little or no executive-level support
  • Ad-hoc interest in project management
  • “Do it my way” attitude to managing projects
  • No investment in project management training/education

Level 2: Common Processes

  • Recognition of benefits of project management
  • Organisational support at all levels
  • Recognition of the need for processes/methodologies
  • Recognition of the need for cost control
  • Development of a project management training curriculum

Level 3: Integrated Methodology

  • Integrated processes
  • Cultural support
  • Management support at all levels
  • Informal project management
  • Return on investment for project management training dollars
  • Behavioural excellence

Level 4: Continuous Improvement

  • Lessons learned files
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Formal mentoring program
  • Strategic planning for project management best practice

Level 5: Benchmarking

  • Establishment of the project office
  • Dedication to benchmarking
  • Looking at project management across industries
  • Benchmarking against processes, methodologies and cultures

PROJECT LIFECYCLE IN BRIEF

All project begins with a vision and form that vision into a project. A Project Sponsor explains how the project will contribute to the organisation’s strategic purposes. With the proper support of the Project Sponsor, the Project Manager fulfils the project’s goals.

A project deliverable is any measurable, accurate, checkable outcome result delivered to complete a project.

A project generally has four stages, in which the project manager holds specific duties and responsibilities. At each stage, develop a detailed life cycle list of tasks and responsibilities applied equally to all classifications of the project/s to keep the expectations of clients and stakeholders, to manage the complexity of the project, risk profile, and required financial controls.

The project lifecycle is a collection of sequential project stages whose name and number are defined by the authority requirements in an institution involved in a project.

PROJECT PHASE DELIVERABLES

1. CONCEPT & INITIATION PHASE

Phase Deliverables are Project Proposal and Project Charter.

Project Proposal addresses the issues to understand the project objectives, needs, project alignment with the overall corporate strategy, benefits from the project, its new initiatives, operational means, the project risks, an estimate of time, cost and other resource requirements.

The responsibilities at this stage involve the Project Sponsor to prepare the project concept and sign off by Executive Management.

And actions at this point will be to appoint Project Sponsor, evaluate the request for the project, prepare the Project Proposal, submit Project Proposal for approval and have the Project Proposal signed off.

This phase can be defined by the following key elements:

In this stage, the Project Charter is developed from Project Proposal and forms the framework for creating the Project Plan, with the purpose to define the scope of work to be performed, by establishing the objectives and deliverables of the project, by defining the broad strategies to be used to deliver the project and aligning the deliverables of the project to the business needs to be stated in the Project Proposal. Some details in the Project Proposal should be repeated in the Project Charter for the knowledge of project team members and key stakeholders.

The responsibilities involve preparing the charter with the Project Manager in consultation with the Sponsor and signed off by Project Sponsor.

And activities draft preliminary Project Charter by expressing business benefits, refining project scope definition, developing the draft schedule, specifying resource requirements, developing the budget estimate, evolving risk assessment, distributing breeze for comment, proposing Project Charter for approval, endorsing Project Charter and indicative budget and proposing Project Charter for inclusion in Capital Works Program.

PurposeActionsDeliverables
Define Project Goals

Appoint Project Manager
Prepare the Project Proposal

Obtain approval for the Project Proposal

Draft the Project Charter

Obtain approval for the Project Charter
Project Proposal

Project Charter

2. DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT PHASE

Project planning is an essential part of every project function consisting of planning activities that occur throughout the project’s life. The project plans created in this stage are used and updated as required throughout the project’s execution or delivery phase. The primary input document for developing the project plan is the Project Charter.

The Project Plan stands to supply a single source that provides a reference to all planned components required to complete the project regardless of size. At larger projects, additional supporting documents will require as:

  • Risk Management Plan including a Risk Register
  • Risk Issue Report
  • Key Deliverables and Milestones
  • Issues Register
  • Communication Management Plan
  • Quality Management Plan
  • Procurement/Contract Management Plan

The Project Plan is the crucial document that is changed and updated throughout the project life cycle. The project manager monitors and controls the project to consolidate reference points for information needed by all stakeholders.

In this phase, the responsibilities of a project manager are to prepare a project plan in consultation with the Client/Sponsor and Project Team and signed off by Project Sponsor and Project Manager.

Project Organisation organises the activities in this phase by appointing a project manager, then establishing a project team, then establishing project administrative support, then establishing project governance, structures and procedures and setting up financial management.

Determining Quality Requirements and work specifications, developing HR Management Plan, Procurement Management Plan, and finalisation strategy, then submitting Project Plan and budget for approval. The Project plan is formed by reviewing project documentation, developing management plans, confirming and refining project scope definition, then allocating resources to the project. The project manager needs to produce a detailed schedule budget, prepare detailed risk analysis, plan communications and reporting requirements.

The Pre-Implementation Review is executed to validate Project Charter and Project Plan. In which is reviewed project team capabilities, charter stakeholders and project team to get approval to proceed with the project.

In this phase, Contract formation takes place to validate procurement requirements and purchase policy, institute supplier selection process, conduct evaluation, develop a procurement management plan, conduct contract negotiations, formalise agreements, form contracts, sign contracts, and sign contracts contract.

This phase can be defined by the following key elements:

PurposeActionsDeliverables
Development of a solution to the problemAppoint the Project Team

Prepare the Project Plan

Obtain approval to proceed
Project Plan

Financial approval to proceed with the work

3. IMPLEMENTATION PHASE

The project focuses on monitoring and controlling all project activities in the Implementation Or Construction phase. The project manager is assertive in securing that all aspects of the project are incorporated to achieve the agreed deliverables meeting scope and client expectations and to monitor all project activities as directed by the latest agreed-upon project plan.

In this phase, the project manager’s responsibilities involve ensuring the project is on schedule, managing contracts, resources, project change, and leading the project team, including monitoring and managing and controlling risks, project communications, budget and quality requirements in Internal Environment. And in External Environment to manage organisational interfaces project issues, negotiate approvals and formally report project progress.

The activities in Internal Environment includes:

  • Conducting project status meetings.
  • Liaising with project Sponsor/Client.
  • Preparing project status reports.
  • Monitoring project schedule.
  • Contract progress.
  • Budget.
  • Assessing risk.
  • Supporting project team activities and reporting risk status changes to Sponsor/Client.

The activities in External Environment includes:

  • Conduct regular meetings with stakeholders.
  • Negotiate Approvals.
  • Facilitate sign off by Sponsor/Client of all significant project changes.
  • Inform Sponsor/Client of changes in risk status.
  • Inform Sponsor/Client of project issues.
  • Formally report project status to key stakeholders.
  • Regularly consult key.

This phase can be defined by the following key elements:

PurposeActionsDeliverables
Perform the actual workContract formation + sign contracts

Monitor and control activities

Effective communications

Effective reporting

Effective consultation
Progressive completion of the works

Practical completion of the project

4. COMMISSIONING & HANDOVER PHASE

In the Commissioning & Handover phase, the project focuses on completing all aspects of the project delivery and formal handing over project deliverables to the organisation, including deliverables of practical completion of the project and Post Implementation Review Report.

The project manager consults with the project team with responsibilities ensuring all aspects of the project are complete as defined by the final agreed project plan. All specifications have been met, cross-check all operating manuals and commissioning certificates are done. All contracts are finalised, Including the release of contract securities if appropriate, accounts paid, project completion and finalisation reports completed. The post-implementation review and all mandated documentation are archived according to corporate policy.

In the Post Implementation Review, the project manager consults with key stakeholders to ensure that the asset suits the requirements of the client as defined in the contract and specifications, then formally transfer the ownership to Client/Sponsor, document the asset into the appropriate asset register, obtain sign-off of the project completion report and de-charter project.

The activities at Project Completion includes,

  • Conduct administrative closeout.
  • Budget – against the baseline.
  • Schedule – against the baseline.
  • Reporting – internal and external stakeholders.
  • Decharter project team – celebrate success.
  • Formalise transfer of assets.
  • Obtain sign-off from Client/Sponsor.
  • Archive mandated documentation.

A Review and Evaluation includes,

  • Conduct post-implementation review.
  • Record lessons learned.
  • Review success criteria.
  • Facilitate project audit.
  • Draft project completion report (PCR).
  • Submit PCR for endorsement by Sponsor/Client.
  • Sign off acceptance of PCR by Sponsor / Client / Project Manager.

This phase can be defined by the following key elements:

PurposeActionsDeliverables
Hand over the project to the client

Close the project
Conduct close out (finalise contracts and handover project)

Formal closure of the project (celebrate success)

Post-implementation review (evaluate project, processes and outcomes and document results)
Post-implementation review

Documentation and reports

THE PROJECT CHARTER

The Project Charter is a document that defines the project by specifying project stakeholders and how the project manager approaches the task. A project charter is usually a more detailed document than a Project Proposal. It is occasionally used in place of the Project Proposal in a few organisations.

The audience may include the Managing Director, Board of Directors, Chief Financial Officer and Program Director. The partakers in Project Charter within the organisation require approval for the project to proceed to the planning phase.

The Project Charter should include:

  • Project Objectives that describes the Client’s requirements, the organisation, and other essential stakeholders who are usually expressed in SMART format (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-limited), defining the purposes of the project in terms of business benefits.
  • The Scope Statement is a statement defines the capacity to which the project will accomplish and provides a detailed definition of what it will deliver, giving all stakeholders a shared understanding of what the project will institute. At this stage, it’s essential to define clear deliverables for the project to ensure shared expectations of stakeholders.
  • Exclusions are the section identifies specific items/tasks that are not incorporated into the project (e.g. work that will be done under a separate project). Exclusions clearly define things to be excluded from the project (e.g. landscaping, street furniture). Formally stating those things that do not project deliverables clarify stakeholders’ understanding of the project’s scope.
  • Project Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk representing factors that, for planning purposes, will be considered authentic, accurate, or specific (e.g. secondment of resources). Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk factors regarded as valid, correct, or precise.
  • Project Constraints are element explores the issues that may restrict how a project is delivered and envisioned to have a 100% chance of occurring, as these limitations are considered beyond the project manager’s capacity to modify or remove (e.g. statutory regulations, budget, traffic needs, weather) that limit the project manager’s options for delivering the project.
  • Project Risks describes the relevant dependencies and significant risks associated with undertaking the project, including safety, financial, political, environmental, and resourcing; the project may depend on other projects.
  • Project Organisation explains how the project resources are structured within the project’s organisation, including the hierarchy of its key team members and its relationship to the organisational structure. These record the operational management relationships between the project office and the organisation and should include:
  1. The name of the project sponsor
  2. The name of the designated project manager and date of assignment
  3. The support, including interface coordination to be allocated to the project manager by the sponsoring organisation/division
  4. The authorities of the project manager, including appropriate references to company policy and other guidelines
  5. The reporting channels of the project manager designate to account for the size, complexity, and importance of the project and to eliminate unnecessary layers of authority above the project manager.
  6. Special instructions, or representatives of authority, to the project manager to execute the approved project.
  7. Special requirements for a transition or handover; broadly outline the conditions under which the project management organisation shall phase out or transfer authority.
  • Project Management document is preliminary planning considerations, particularly in terms of time, resourcing, budget and risk, and should include:
  1. High-level description of the major deliverables and scheduled delivery dates
  2. Essential resource requirements for the project include project team skills, equipment and any other resources
  3. Budget estimate based on the additional help required for the project
  4. Description of significant risks and a preliminary impact assessment
  • Approvals are for a project to successfully cruise, the following authorisations need to obtain:
  1. The organisation’s commitment to the project as a whole
  2. Formal authorisation from the project sponsor (the person providing the funds) for the project to commence
  3. Formal authorisation from any relevant parties in the chain of command (i.e. the Program Director or Managing Director)
  4. Written correspondence from the appropriate bodies that all relevant statutory approvals are granted (any conditions of the approvals should be noted and recorded for future reference)
  • Completion of the Phase includes Concept & Initiation Phase will consider complete when the following activities are complete:
  1. All necessary approvals have been obtained
  2. A project budget and a cost centre or equivalent account code have been assigned to the project
  3. The Project Proposal, Project Charter and any approval documents have been carefully filed for future reference
The project may then move into the second phase of the Project Lifecycle – the Design & Development Phase.

THE PROJECT PROPOSAL

The Project Proposal is a document that presents a rationale and plan of action to stakeholders with the power to authorise the project.

The Project Proposal is proposed to the Project Sponsor (Client or party responsible for funding the project) and any other parties that may be required to approve resources to distribute in the project. At a minimum, the Project Proposal should include:

  • Project Aims is proposal needs to clearly definition of the aims of the project
  • The Project Problem outlines the problems and/or needs the project will solve to be considered successful
  • Alignment with Corporate Strategy examines of how closely the project aligns with the organisation’s goals and objectives
  • Business Benefits [Cost-Benefit Analysis] This is an appraisal of the project’s economic benefits against the costs associated with the project over time
  • Estimate resource requirements estimates the project cost centres, including project staff, preliminaries, materials, plant and labour
  • Potential project risks includes list of potential risks associated with undertaking the project
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