After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Definition of Project Management 2. Results Expected from Project Management 3. Tools and Techniques 4. Benefits.
Definition of Project Management:
Project management is one of the most challenging and creative tasks.
Today, project management is used for projects big and small collection of several activities or jobs with:
i. Specific objectives to be completed within certain specifications,
ii. Defined start and end dates, and
iii. Funding limits.
A successful project management can therefore be defined as having achieved the project objectives like; within the time limits, within estimated cost, desired performance/technology level, and utilized the assigned resources effectively and efficiently.
Project management is a tool of management for planning and control. The objective of which has been defined as an attempt to make the most efficient and effective use of resources; viz., manpower, equipment, facilities, materials, money, technology and information, so that the organisation objectives and goals can be achieved within budget, on schedule and at the desired performance/technology level, while adhering to the ever changing environmental input factors, like legal, social, political, economical and technological.
Project management can be defined as the planning, organising, directing and controlling of company resources for a relatively short-term objective that has been established to complete specific goals and objectives. The project management utilizes the systems approach to management by having functional personnel assigned to specific tasks.
In order to understand project management clearly, we must also know the definition of a project.
Project can be defined as under:
1. A group of multiple interdependent activities that require people and resources. It has a definite start and end data and specific set of criteria that define successful completion.
2. A project is a unique task, is designed to attain a specific result, requires a variety of resources, and is limited in time.
3. A project is a one time job that has defined starting and ending dates, a clearly specified objective or scope of work to be performed, a pre-defined budget, and usually a temporary organisation that is dismantled once the project is complete.
Some example of projects are: Construction of Highway, bridge, canal, dam, hydropower or thermal power project, cement factory, automobile manufacturing plant, sugar factory etc.
Results Expected from Project Management:
Following results are expected from Project Management:
i. Attainment of project objectives in a timely manner within budget.
ii. Progress reports with deviations from plan highlighted.
iii. Significant decisions from top management for approval.
Tools and Techniques for Project Management:
Following are the important tools and techniques for effective project management:
1. Project selection techniques.
(a) Cost-benefit analysis.
(b) Risk and sensitivity analysis.
2. Project implementation (execution) planning techniques.
(a) Work breakdown structure (WBS-),
(b) Project implementation plan,
(c) Project responsibility matrix.
(d) Project management manual(s),
3. Project scheduling techniques.
(a) Line of balance (LOB) (b) Bar charts,
(c) Network techniques (CPM/PERT),
4. Project Monitoring Techniques.
(a) Progress measurement technique.
(b) Performance monitoring technique,
(c) Updating, reviewing and reporting technique.
5. Project cost and productivity techniques.
(a) Value engineering,
(b) Budgetary control,
6. Project communication techniques,
(a) Computerised information system,
(b) Control room, and
Benefits from Project Management:
The potential benefits from project management are:
1. Identification of responsibilities to ensure that all activities are accounted for.
2. Minimizing the need for continuous reporting.
3. Identification of time limits for scheduling.
4. Measurement of accomplishment against plans.
5. Early identification of problems so that corrective actions can be taken.
6. Improved estimating capability for future planning.
7. Knowing the circumstances when objectives cannot be achieved.
Following are the common obstacles which are required to overcome for achieving the above mentioned benefits:
(i) Project complexity.
(ii) Customer’s special requirements.
(iii) Organisational restructuring.
(iv) Changes in technology.