Project Management Research Paper
BUS 611 Project Planning and Management
May 26, 2014
Project Management Research Paper
The common denominator of all successful projects is the capacity and quality of its project managing mechanism. Project management is the discipline that integrates various processes towards the achievement of specific objectives and deliverables. This discipline is founded under the premise that all projects are unique, and no two are ever the same. Managing the efforts of those individuals involved requires a great deal of coordination, organization, and a forward thinking focus on the project’s objective[s]. Facilitating a successful integration of people variables and project variables towards specific objectives is the condition that the project management function provides.
There is an enormous disparity between projects and operational processes. While each paradigms purpose is to yield a value and/or benefit to the organization the manner in which those values are created varies greatly. Operational processes involve the creation of organizational wealth through the manufacturing of a product or service. These processes are typically mechanistic and consuming specific resources while yielding linear and proportional revenues. In contrast, project objectives are unique, which inhibits the structuralizing of any procedural or mechanistic components. Projects occur within a lifecycle which begins with the projects selection. It is at this stage of the cycle that the project outcome is assessed for feasibility. “Project selection, the initial phase, refers to the time frame during which a strategic need is recognized by top management. It starts with identifying the needs and desires of the user of the project deliverables-the customer” (Jiang & Heiser, 2004). Very little resource consumption and collaborative efforts occur at this stage.
The development stage of the project is a more involved process. It is during this stage that risk and impacts become realized and project management integration is applied. It is vital the project managers have a clear understanding of the project objective at this stage, and that risk mitigating plans be fully implemented. “The project manager and newly assigned team members meet to plan jointly at a macro level of detail the major activities that must be accomplished” (Jiang & Heiser, 2004). The third stage of a projects life cycle consists of implementation. It is during this stage that higher levels of risk are prevalent. “This is generally the longest phase of the project both in terms of duration and effort (Kloppenborg & Petrick, 1999). Implementation efforts can be highly involved and complex determined primarily by the scope and scale of the project. The fourth and final stage of the project life cycle is its termination. At this stage the project has become fully implemented, and any programs, products, or services are fully adopted by the end-users. A project that has achieved this stage on-or-under budget and time is considered successful. As budgets and time become inflated a projects success become proportionately debilitated. If the issues and impact affecting those consequences go unaddressed, the project will fail entirely. It is for this reason that measuring progress—at the micro level—and through each phase of the projects life cycle is crucial. A successful project manager not only maintains a constant focus on the projects end result, but also assesses task completion and progress on the basis of their costs and timing. When either these components become debilitated or show signs of retardation, it becomes the projects managers’ responsibility to escalate those efforts to appropriate levels of progress. Achieving this outcome requires that project managers possess those leadership qualities needed to motivate the necessary mechanisms. Furthermore, that assumes that leadership qualities affect...
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