Wal-Mart and Project Management

Project management may be defined as a management discipline that deals with planning, organizing and controlling resources for the purpose of enhancing successful achievement of specific project aims and objectives within an organization. A project may be defined as a temporary attempt that has a well defined commencement and completion time, undertaken by an organization to meet its specific goals and objectives. It is meant to effect a beneficial change or add value to an organization. The principal challenge of project management is the pursuit to attain all the stipulated project goals and objectives in the presence of all the predetermined project constraints.Within the last decade, the project management department of Wal-Mart has been notably trying to implement some projects within its operations. For instance, Wal-Mart has been inviting its major suppliers to mutually develop strong supply chain partnerships with it. These partnerships are meant to enhance their product flow, efficiency and their turnover. Several partnerships have since then come into being such as Wal-Mart/Procter and Gamble alliance which have stepped up to this challenge by incorporating category management, vendor-managed inventory and other intercompany inventions. This has led to top managers of many other companies to seek to incorporate their supply chains with key customers such as Wal-Mart (Thomas, 2009).

Nevertheless, the development of Wal-Mart's supply chain partnerships has involved the use of too many resources and management considerations. This is because it involves the searching of willing and innovative partners, a task that is relatively difficult. The pursuit of this approach has been too costly and frustrating for Wal-Mart.

Project (or Program) Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), is a model that is used for project management which is intended to analyze and represent the assignments that are involved in the implementation of a given project. It is a method that is used in the analysis of the tasks that are involved in completing a given task such as the required time to finish each task and the identification of the minimal time required to finish the whole project. On the other hand, critical path analysis, or critical path method (CPM) is a method that uses mathematical tools to schedule the activities of a given project. Both of these processes are critical for effective project management (Thomas, 2009).Since Wal-Mart manages one of the world's biggest chains of retail stores and large data warehouses, it employs the methods of PERT and CPM to enable its decision makers to analyze its market trends, to manage their inventory effectively and gain a better know-how of its customers. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to implement these programs because of the nature of its size and its supply chain partnerships which require a lot of funds and resources.



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