A project is defined as a scheme of work planned in a unique manner and is carried out to convene one or more objectives within the stipulated time, estimated cost and produce the desired quality. Factors such as time schedule, budget, availability of resources and risk issues have to be considered when designing a project. Project management involves the skills, tools and the management strategies required for successful completion of a project. Those spearheading the project should ensure that the required tools such as planning software, review forms, modeling software are available for improved likelihood of obtaining the intended results. The hired labor should meet the required standards for them to qualify for any post in the project. Lastly, the procedures laid down for the project to be strictly followed for better results. A project must have a project manager to spearhead the project. A project manager must be highly skilled, knowledgeable and should have a good personality that would yield better results in the project work. The manager should encompass both managerial and technical skills and be responsible for creating a plan under which the project is run in order to meet the set goals and standards. Therefore, for the project manager to manage a project effectively, information about the project should be accurate and provided in time. This paper explains issues on project management such as the stake holders in a project, the project life cycle, project control, evaluation and the benefits of a proper project management.
The stakeholders in a project are people who have a concern in the outcome of the project and they can include the project manager, customers, contributors, managers and those financing the project. A project life cycle has four phases and each phase aims at accomplishing a given task in order to achieve the goal of the project. These phases are the definition phase, planning phase, execution phase and the closure phase.
In the definition phase, the business problem or opportunity and the project manager, stakeholder, scope, goal and the constraints of the project are well defined. The core members of the project are identified and they are assigned their respective roles. The top managers and the project manager define the channel of communication, team leaders and the order of the information flow. The business opportunity or problem is analyzed and the intended goal is set. After establishing consensus on the objectives of the project, the project proceeds to the next level.
In the planning phase, the project rules are used as a basis and lay the path towards the achievement of goals. The project manager and the core members of the project perform planning. The time schedule, budget, resources required to accomplish the work, risks involved among others are estimated. These factors serve as the baseline of the project and direct all events in the project. The critical path is identified where by the sequence in which the activities in the project are executed is established.
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The actual project work commences in the execution phase. The activities and task enumerated in the planning phase are executed here. A sequence of management tasks are carried out to keep an eye on the product that is yielded out of the project and control the output. Problems are defined and solved in the definition phase, issues that might come up are addressed and changes in the prior plan can be made and coordinated. If planning is appropriate, the proposed goal can be achieved with a lot of ease in this phase. The execution phase is termed comprehensive when the purpose of the project is achieved. The final product or the intended goal is tested by the use of the various test methodologies and the product can be delivered to the market for use.
In the closure phase, the final product is delivered to consumers, the project documentation is handed over; the suppliers who had contracts to supply various products are terminated. At the same time, the project resources are released and closure of the project is communicated to other stakeholders. The outcome is also explained to the managers and its performance in the market is evaluated. The product or achieved goal is monitored regularly to check on its performance after it has been implemented. At any point in the project life cycle if a project fails the definition and planning phases have to be revisited to correct the problem.
In conclusion, immense benefits can be reaped if a projects are properly managed. The project manager should have a single responsibility over the project because there is a limitation on the scope overlap. The critical path method calculated the time the project is started, the time it will be completed and floats. The critical path is formed by activities with zero floats hence delaying a critical activity would delay the project. Project management would facilitate bringing of new products to the market ahead of your competitors. Lastly, communication is well enhanced since it begins from the top manager down to the junior officials in the project paradigm. A project that has been completed well adheres to time and costs among other resources.
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