Business project management

Introduction

Project direction is a direction scientific discipline that has plentifulness of variables associated with it. The comparing of the influence of one factor to other variables would be rather an impossible undertaking to transport out. However, it is possible to gauge and set up relationships between a few variables and their influence on undertaking success and failure. The “environment” of a undertaking is one of the factors that plays a greater function than other variables and finally plays an built-in function in make up one’s minding the success or failure of a undertaking ( Gray & A ; Larson 2006, p.145 ) . It is of import to understand this relationship and discourse the deductions of different environments on a undertaking.

This paper will get down off by first set uping that an environment in which the undertaking squad feels motivated can does so hold direct deductions for the success or failure of any undertaking. Having done this by giving a brief overview of undertaking direction and what it entails in footings of interrupting down and managing work and undertakings, it will so travel on to cast some visible radiation on what the undertaking director has to make in order to make a sufficiently actuating environment for his squad. Numerous options are available to the undertaking director with this respect with each holding positive every bit good as negative reverberations on the undertaking squad. The determinations available will therefore be critically analyzed before showing a sum-up of the findings.

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The Undertaking Environment

Given an sum of resources, one could see a undertaking as an attempt to carry through a given aim by spliting it into a set of interlinked undertakings and finishing them with these resources. It could imply a really simple and short undertaking such as be aftering a birthday or something more complex like puting up a new mill. Formally, a undertaking can be defined as, “an enterprise to carry through a specific aim through a alone set of interconnected undertakings and the effectual use of resources. ( 1 ) .” This definition in bend entails some chief properties for all undertakings. For illustration, a undertaking must hold a defined life span, a specified completion day of the month, a given budget or cost that must non be crossed and certain public presentation demands that the terminal consumer must decidedly be provided with. We will besides see that undertakings require across-the-organization engagement. A undertaking is planned and implemented with an oculus to meeting of carry throughing most of these indispensable properties and the ultimate success of any undertaking is judged on how good it has done this ( Kliem & A ; Ludin 1995, p.134 ) . Basically a undertaking meets client demands capable to clip, cost and public presentation demands that are established during the planning phase of the undertaking.

No affair the type of undertaking under treatment, undertaking direction fundamentally seeks to utilize formal standardised processs to be after, form and implement a undertaking therefore guaranting that it meets its aims with the extreme efficiency. The first measure in the undertaking direction procedure is the definition of the undertaking range. The undertaking range is statement of what a undertaking seeks to accomplish once it has been completed. Technical demands for the undertaking every bit good as its limits/exclusions ( Maylor 2005, p.67 ) are besides defined at this phase. In add-on, major deliverables and mileposts that will finally conglomerate into the concluding undertaking are identified. Following this procedure, the undertakings precedences are set with regard to which of its properties it will concentrate on and which will be compromised. This is done in visible radiation off the three standard highlighted in the figure given antecedently i.e. cost clip and public presentation. The following measure in the undertaking direction procedure involves developing a work break down construction ( WBS ) ( Allan 2004, p.155 ) .

The WBS is indispensable to set up how fundamentally every undertaking comes to depend on the people assigned to finish single undertakings therefore doing an informal undertaking squad. The work dislocation construction breaks down the undertaking into sub-deliverables and the sub-deliverables into smaller work bundles fundamentally specifying the relationships that interlink them. A work bundle is the smallest degree of the work dislocation construction usually embracing undertakings that last a few yearss and can be assigned to be the duty of a individual person. In add-on, it is besides easy to specify the three constrains for peculiar work bundles, i.e. what clip it will take to finish, what would be the associated cost and how many resources will be required. The ultimate success of a undertaking will depend on how good these work bundles are completed and brought together in a coherent mode to give the concluding deliverable. The undertaking squad will therefore consist each and every person that is responsible for the completion of single work-packages and if it finds itself working in an environment that is non appropriately actuating, so the success of the undertaking will most decidedly be compromised.

Every undertaking follows a peculiar life rhythm and undertaking direction officially breaks this down into four distinguishable phases. Each phase comprises a different set of challenges and hence, an unmotivated undertaking squad will impact the success of the undertaking at each phase otherwise. The first phase fundamentally comprises shaping of the undertaking. The ends of the undertaking and what it seeks to accomplish are identified and public presentation specifications with regard to client demands highlighted. The interrupting down of the undertaking into smaller deliverable undertakings is besides carried out and the duty for the completion of these undertakings is delegated to people therefore making a undertaking squad. An unmotivated undertaking squad at this phase would intend that the concluding ends of the undertaking or its sub-deliverables may non be outlined decently. The concluding goal/deliverable is what determines the ultimate success of the undertaking so in one manner the undertaking may be doomed to failure even before it is really implemented. ( Burke 2003, p.133 ) .

The 2nd phase is the planning phase. In it, the clip, cost and resources needed to finish peculiar undertakings is forecasted and agendas are made for the completion of these undertakings consequently. Hazards that might compromise a undertakings advancement are identified and schemes developed to extenuate that hazard. In add-on, staffing and other resource allotment determination are besides made during this phase. An unmotivated work force would hold a figure of spillover effects each of which could take to a undertakings failure. For illustration, unneeded cost and clip overproductions may be faced by a undertaking if budgets are non calculated decently. Similarly, a misreckoning of resources may take to resource constrictions, cost and clip overproductions and ultimate undertaking failure.

The 3rd phase in the merchandise life rhythm is the executing phase. In it, the undertaking programs are implemented and existent physical work starts. The advancement on the work is sporadically assessed, quality cheques conducted, future prognosiss made and the undertaking program altered as per demand. It is in fact the most critical phase of the undertaking in footings of undertaking failure because in order to minimise losingss and to avoid undertaking failure, it is critical to observe and take disciplinary action for divergences from program every bit rapidly as possible. Under an unmotivated undertaking squad, the quality of work will non be checked decently therefore compromising on public presentation and in bend taking to project failre. More significantly, position studies would be delayed and future prognosiss misrepresentative therefore taking to even more divergences from program and eventual undertaking failure. The concluding phase is the bringing of the undertaking to the concluding client ( Gray & A ; Larson 2006, p.131 ) . It involves passing over the undertaking along with proper certification to the client and developing him on how to utilize the undertaking. Similarly, his feedback is taken on any jobs encountered, the lessons learnt analyzed before let go ofing resources and weaving up the undertaking. At his phase, an unmotivated undertaking squad could hold major reverberations in footings of undertaking failure besides. The success of any undertaking is determined on how good it meets client demands and so if a undertaking is non handed over decently with the appropriate preparation or certification for illustration, it would hold non served its ultimate intent and may be regarded as a failed undertaking.

The factors that influence an Environment

Having established that the proper environment is indispensable for the success of a undertaking, we will next analyze factors impacting this environment and so travel on to critically analyse determinations the undertaking director can take in order to better it. The firs thing that affects the environment under which a undertaking squad operates is the organisational civilization. It can officially be defined as “A system of shared norms, beliefs, values, and premises which bind people together, thereby making shared significances ( Gray & A ; Larson 2006, p.111 ) .” By supplying a sense of individuality to members and clear uping criterions of behaviour the organisation civilization significantly contributes to the motive and working environment of the undertaking squad. It can be broken down into 10 chief constituents as can be seen in the figure on the right. Whether the organisation patterns tight or loose control, whether it tolerates hazard or struggles and whether it focuses on people or undertakings are all points that alter the environment in which a undertaking squad plants and accordingly determines its motivational degrees. Traveling our focal point off from the organisational civilization, it is besides indispensable to understand that squad edifice is a gradual and transitive procedure. It fundamentally comprises four distinct degrees, squad forming, ramping, norming and executing ( 2 ) ( Maylor 2005, p.144 ) . The motivational jobs faced by squad members in all four phases vary and so make the determinations that project troughs have to take in order to supply the right environment conducive to work.

Decisions that the Project director has to take to act upon the Environment

In order to make a feasible work environment where his squad would experience sufficiently motivated, a undertaking director has to take a two tier attack. He must foremost seek to set and equilibrate the 10 constituents of the organisational civilization such that the ideal environment is created in which squad work is supported and everyone feels motivated. The figure above shows the right balance that may accomplish such a end. However this is non needfully a certain shooting expression for success. Changing from undertaking to project, tighter control or less conflict tolerance may be more good for overall success. Similarly, a public presentation based reward standards may non ever maintain the squad motivated and rise uping to travel. Non-economic incentives like employee of the month awards or alteration in appellation are merely as effectual at times. In add-on to taking determinations to equilibrate out the working environment from the organisational civilizations perspective, the undertaking trough besides needs to analyse the four phases of squad edifice and take appropriate determinations at each in order to guarantee the right environment is maintained and everyone supports working towards the concluding deliverable, i.e. the undertaking ( Kliem & A ; Ludin 1995, p.155 ) .

The first phase in squad development is team “Forming” . It fundamentally involves the conveying together of freshly appointed squad members who all have changing outlooks from the undertaking. Actual work is barely accomplished with persons easy recognizing what their function is traveling to be and whom they will hold to work with. An inappropriate definition of single functions and duties every bit good as a deficiency of clear ends greatly inhibit the effectivity of a squad. The undertaking director has to supply proper way and construction to the undertaking during the forming phase and seek to avoid future confusion ( Maylor 2005, p.167 ) . The intent of the undertaking, what single squad members are responsible for, what is the coverage construction and what sort of behaviour will be tolerated are all inquiries that have to be cleared from the really get downing. Similarly, in order to avoid estranging his squad and making internal rifts, a figure of points must be considered by the undertaking manage when assignment and deputing work to single squad members.. For illustration, the same people must non ever be chosen to make the toughest undertakings as such a policy would give off vibraphones of favouritism every bit good as hazard bitterness from the one being chosen over and over once more. The undertaking director must besides maintain an oculus on cultivating the growing of single squad members through the work they are assigned. If tem members fee that they their accomplishments are bettering and callings traveling frontward, overall motivational degrees within the squad will decidedly lift. Another policy that undertaking directors can accommodate is to team up new members with veterans. This would let for sharing of experiences help acclimatise fledglings with the organisational civilization. However, such a policy could in fact fuel ill will if the new members are seen as a menace or resented therefore taking to the interruption down of work. Such determinations faced by the undertaking trough during the squad “Forming” phase are critical for the future success of the undertaking because it is indispensable that the undertaking squad chainss out its differences early on in the undertaking life rhythm. As we highlighted earlier besides, an unmotivated and incoherent squad during the executing phase of the undertaking life rhythm is likely to be much more damaging to the success of the undertaking. ( Burke 2003, p.166 ) .

The following phase in squad development is defined as “Storming” . During this phase, existent work on the undertaking really starts and as squad members move on to their delegated undertakings, they start to prove each others bounds and flexibleness every bit good as the undertaking directors resolve. At his phase, there is no distinguishable construct of squad commitment and the focal point of persons is on showing their individualism. Motivation of the group members is by and large seen to travel down every bit new struggles and tensenesss arise and are mitigated. At this phase it is critical that the undertaking director play a slightly directing axial rotation and be supportive and apprehension of squad members in order to maintain the them motivated and supply an environment conducive to work ( Allan 2004, p.113 ) . Conflict is inevitable and if handled decently can really be good the undertaking. The usage of proper struggle declaration techniques in order to extenuate and decide struggles can guarantee that they are used to the undertakings advantage. Issues like resource assignments, organisational issues and personal differences can all take to personal struggles. However, no affair the cause, a flexible attack must be employed by the undertaking trough in which minor struggles are ignored and major 1s are confronted through job resolution or dialogue, to guarantee that they do non take to project failure. It must be noted nevertheless, that it is non ever possible to decide such struggles and many a undertaking has succumbed to them but the point remains that the undertaking director must to his best to command and extenuate them. The constitution of strong communicating channels at all degrees of the undertaking squad is besides indispensable during Ramping. One illustration of such communicating channels is an open-door policy adapted by many undertaking directors. The failure to set up strong communicating channels would therefore stop up endangering the success of the undertaking by fueling struggles within the squad every bit good as stagnating the squad edifice procedure and suppressing its passage into the normalizing phase.

The squad edifice procedure following enters into the “Norming” phase which can be characterized as being the antonym of the Storming phase in many respects. While the latter was dominated by interpersonal struggles and low motive, the former is characterized by the slow and gradual declaration of interpersonal struggles. Relationships become settled and a squad spirit and sense of belonging is born as squad members begin to develop a certain grade of coherence. Productivity of single squad members sees a hiking and overall work public presentation begins to speed up. The directing attack needed by undertaking director during the Storming phase can now be reduced. He can now look to supply more of an consultative function and highlight a general sense of way for the squad to work towards. Such a end can be achieved by the Project director by keeping regular squad meetings. These meetings would guarantee a cheque on the advancement of the undertaking in footings of planned agenda and aims every bit good as supply the squad members with a reassurance that they are headed in the right way. The Project director merely needs to guarantee that these periodic squad meetings discuss team-related issues and make non neglect to function a intent. Barriers being faced by squad should be addressed and solutions to get the better of them suggested. The concluding phase of squad development sees it enter the “Performing” phase. During it, the squad becomes focused, committed and extremely eager to achiever the undertaking aim. Open communicating takes topographic point between squad members who are frequently willing to travel out of the manner to assist each other and achieve the concluding aim. The undertaking director can now take up a mentoring function by fundamentally deputing all authorization to team members start to concentrate on undertaking public presentation. In my sentiment, in order to better the working environment farther and to guarantee his squad corsets motivated, the undertaking director has to take determinations that will acknowledge the fulfilment of certain mileposts and honour the personal accomplishments of single squad members. Such a end can be achieved by forming societal excursions for the squad, presenting plaques and wagess admiting certain mileposts and personal accomplishments and giving fringe benefits of squad members. By making so, the undertaking director would guarantee that the motivational degrees of his squad remain at an optimal degree. ( Burke 2003, p.142 ) .

Decision

In decision, we have so far established that by using standardised processs and utilizing them to be after implement and break undertakings down into little work bundles, the undertaking direction procedure ensures that the success or failure of the undertaking is dependent on a undertaking squad consisting all persons responsible for finishing these work bundles. The motivational degrees of this squad consequence undertaking success at all degrees of the undertaking lifecyle and accordingly, an environment where the undertaking squad feels motivated therefore becomes critical for the success or failure of the undertaking particularly. Once the undertaking director has put together a undertaking squad, it bit by bit grows into a squad through four gradual stairss ( Maylor 2005, p.167 ) which have been discussed in rather some item. Each of these stairss bring new challenges and menaces for the motive of the undertaking squad and the environment it finds itself in. the undertaking director therefore has to accommodate to these different challenges and take appropriate determinations to guarantee his squad corsets motivated and dedicated to carry throughing the undertakings aims.

In add-on to taking different determinations during the four phases of squad development, it is besides indispensable that the undertaking director seek to model the organisational civilization to accommodate his undertaking squad and therefore maintain them motivated and rise uping to travel that excess stat mi to finish the undertaking successfully is done with the undertaking of seting together a undertaking squad, he must watch them develop into a cohesive working unit bit by bit.

Mentions

Allan, B. ( 2004 ) , Project direction: tools & A ; techniques for today ‘s ILS professional, Facet.

Burke, R. ( 2003 ) , Project direction: planning & A ; control techniques, 4th edition, Wiley.

Kliem, R. and Ludin, I. ( 1995 ) . The people side of undertaking direction. Aldershot: Gower.

Gray, C.F. & A ; Larson, E.W.,2006. Undertaking Management: The Managerial Process. , 3rd ed. , The Mcgraw-Hill Companies

Maylor, H. ( 2005 ) , Project direction, 3rd edition ( media edition ) , FT Prentice Hall.

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