An Approach to Project Management
Projects should not be confused with everyday work. A project is not routine, repetitive work. Ordinary daily work typically requires doing the same or similar work repeatedly, while a project is done only once; a new product or service exists when the project is completed. Recognizing the difference is important because too often resources can be used up on daily operations, which may not contribute to longer-range organization strategies that require innovative new products. (Project Management Institute, 2004)
Another way of illustrating the unique nature of project work is in terms of the project life cycle. Some project managers find it useful to use the project life cycle as the cornerstone for managing projects. The life cycle recognizes that projects have a limited life span and that there are predictable changes in level of effort and focus over the life of the project. There are a number of different life-cycle models in project management literature. Many are unique to a specific industry or type of project. For example, a new software development project may consist of five phases: definition, design, code, integration/test, and maintenance. Project Management at Work:
Company: Sargent Aerospace & Defense
Project: Build hydraulics to specific customer specifications Payoff: Updating supply chain from suppliers to customer allows customer (or salesperson) to use the Internet to order parts without altering production-line efficiency; delivery date is delivered in five seconds. Suppliers are notified when order is confirmed so parts arrive just in time for production. Hydraulics is off the production line in 11 to 12 days and can be in the United States in 12 additional days.
In a small sense, project managers perform the same functions as other managers. That is, they plan, schedule, motivate, and control. However, what makes them unique is that they manage temporary, non-repetitive activities, to complete a...
References: Gray, C. F, & Larson, E. W. (2008). Project management: The Managerial process (4th ed.).
New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Project Management Institute. (2004). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (3rd ed.). Newton Square, PA: Author.
Steiner, G. (1979). Strategic planning. New York: The Free Press.
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