Change Management and continuous improvement are essential parts of a process and therefore in order to ensure that the quality of delivery is optimum, a technique is always required to manage the shortcomings and to improve the quality of production and service. Project management has been widely used in order to create flawless execution systems to achieve any desired output within a specific period of time. Although, project management is a single concept however there are various methodologies that are used in order to cater to multiple organizations, businesses and domains. Apart from project management there are other techniques to improve process performance and one of those techniques which is gaining popularity at a high pace is Lean Project Delivery System. This technique was initially used majorly for operations that involved processes related to capital facilities and there was a strong emphasis on value proposition, work structuring and production control. Hence, considering the close Association between these two techniques it would be beneficial to conduct an analysis to see that which of these is better from an organization’s perspective.
Project Management Vs Lean Project Delivery System: an organizational Perspective
Project management is a system/contingency approach to organization and management; it applies elements of classical and behavioral management and helps to achieve the goal. In the case of ‘an organization which requires an update related to their process, resources and delivery’ project management helps the resources to approach the problem at a strategic level and the following is done to achieve a desired outcome within a period of time. It is important to involve a single, defendable purpose or end item which needs to be delivered at the end of a project and therefore there should be a clear-cut expectation setting done during the planning and execution of the project. It is important to understand that the project management methodology targets any kind of delivery including production, development, upgrade or initialization however LPDS is a technique which is customized to suit the production development domain and to cater to multiple issues related to the same.
Although, there are various similarities between LPDS and project management however it is usually defined as an intersection of production management systems and project management. It is also usually termed as a project-based production system. Once again, it is a value generating process however there is a strong focus on improving the workflow rather than improving the productivity and this calls for a major debate between the promoters of project management and LPDS successively.
A project oriented organization is basically defined according to its management of projects, this is actually the organization strategy. The operational strategy must be developed in such a manner that every activity within the organization and each process must operate as a project and that is how every process will basically be a specific project portfolio in order to achieve a specific outcome. The organization structure also needs to be changed in order to ensure a healthy project management culture and therefore the first step is an organizational differentiation where each activity of the company will be featured at the project and the management responsibility would be adequately decentralized. Every aspect of the company i.e. product development, quality, marketing etc. will be carried out as a project and will have short-term and long-term goals which may vary from three months to 12 months.
In case of LPDS there is a multi function approach which includes lean design, lean supply, lean assembly, production control, work structuring and post-occupancy evaluation. The above-mentioned strategies are divided into substructures which are responsible to hold a total control over the production system and to generate the desired output.
On the other hand for project management the key concept is that one repeats the same/similar steps for every project undertaken, and by doing that, process gains efficiencies in a tailored approach. Many Project Managers have said that “good project management”, needs formal project management model. Reportedly stating that it helps give direction, it saves time, it improves the quality of the outcomes, and it enhances the overall project’s results in term of achieving the objectives.
Methodology of Concept Application
There are numerous, varied and differing project management methodologies available, each promoted by its authors/originators and suppliers as offering some added value (special magic ingredient) or suitability to projects. But when looking at the different systems it quickly becomes apparent that they are all variations of the same theme and have much in common. Despite and perhaps because of the global number of sector, industry and generalist project management standards, methodologies and guides created variously by institutions, organizations and/or governments there are some that have greater footprints, and these are:
1. IPMA: International Project Management Association, with a deep presence in Europe and some representation in France such as IPMA-FranceSMaP and AFITEP-IPMA. www.ipma.ch
2. PMI®: Project Management Institute is one of the world wide recognize project management organization. They have number of representations in France and the must known of then is Paris-Ile-de-France chapter. www.pmi.org
3. APM: initially the Association of Project Managers and now the Association for Project Management, the certification program began in 1986. It is a United-Kingdom based organization that has SKEMA Business School as the accreditated training center in France. www.apm.org.uk
4. And APMG: Mandate by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) as the accredited of a wide range of guidance, Association for Project Management-Group has a high profile in Europe. It’s a United-Kingdom based association that provides training and accreditation for OGC’s guidance. They are represented in France by the “APMG-France” office.
If we talk about LPDS, it has a single-handed approach and does not have various sub techniques for implementation. The best part about this methodologies that unlike project management over here the downstream stakeholders actively participate into the front-end planning through their cross functional teams, moreover there is a major emphasis on ensuring various effort is in order to develop the workflow of the existing production system.
In a project management system, after-the-fact variance detection creates multiple changes into the overall plan however LPDS creates multiple sub processes within its production delivery system due to which any change in the cycle can be introduced at any stage of the production cycle. LPDS also provides a great advantage to the production delivery systems due to the fact that the capacity and inventory buffers are systematically placed in order to absorb the variability in the process.
Project management also depends highly on Quantitative variables and they are measured in numerical scales and help to determine the deviation/compliance magnitude of the studied element and also of projects performances. The type of project also matters and is a nominal variable representing a group of similar projects in terms of life-cycle. The duration of each project impacts the application in such a manner that a continuous variable referring the time length of the activities around the project is always an essential requirement for the achievement of desired outcomes. Lastly the population size of the project is a continuous variable providing information on the number of participants of the project.
LPDS system primarily depends upon a close analysis of Conceptual Design, Process Design, and Product Design and therefore a common approach would be to summarize the basic attribute of provided data and show out the statistical description of represented elements. Considering the fact that it is highly customized for the production systems, it includes several processors that concentrate on detailed engineering, fabrication and logistics; with an increase in technology, there has been testing and turnover processes as well which now is a part of this technique.
Experiment data provides LPDS with a way to better understand the cause-and-effect relationship of problems that production projects face.
The project management system also uses data for its productivity enhancement objectives and based on the analysis of this data, a conclusion is drawn as to the main/common types of problems in production systems, their root causes and their reel effect on project success/ objectives, as relating to organization. Some of these data are:
The problems or opportunities encountered,
The chosen project management methodology for the project,
The business driver of the choice made,
These are then linked back to thesis objectives documented again in findings and conclusions.
Preferred Methodology: Choice of Application
Through the collection and treatment of survey data information concerning, the existing types of project in the various sectors, a list of the main drawbacks/opportunities that each type of project has faced facing, with the backdrop of the current and potential methodologies and guidelines used on these projects must be analyzed. From this stance, a review of the consistent project management methodology that can address each recurrent type of threats encountered can be proposed. However, considering the fact that most of the project methods which are defined have a general approach towards all the domains it is difficult to select the right place of application for the methodology. Project management is definitely a highly structured approach, however it suggests a production enhancement technique which is universally applicable to all types of processes, domains and verticals. There are various challenges related to production cycle which can be improved in a better way through lean production development system (LPDS) and therefore the approach that this process takes is highly customized for production management.
There are various researches that suggest that the project management methodology should be independent of the system development lifecycles (SDLCs). This ensures that the SDLC can be changed but without impacting the project management methodology. The phases of the system development lifecycle generally align with the phases of the project management lifecycle.
Considerable focus should be given to the structural representation of the methodology in a given production cycle, in order to align it as per the production system however LPDS already includes this feature as it does not target productivity but the workflow or production structure. This will identify and reduce the potential difficulties to get appropriate and local training, and allow easy access to/by staff already trained in the methodology. The adaptability of the methodology to the size and the complexity of different types projects may also be the deciding factor for the process improvement approach however it must be understood that project management primarily determines and improves existing performance however LPDS helps to create that structure which can prove to be beneficial than the previous set up. The methodology must be flexible enough to provide guidelines which leverage on both stakeholder conflicting demands and past experiences to ensure the project goals are achieved.
A lead design provides LPDS with an exclusive improvement system as it is a direct approach and does not require multiple steps to reach the actual phase where the transition takes place. It is important to understand that both LPDS and project management are highly structured and systematic approaches for process improvement proposals however specifically in case of production management systems LPDS provides an upper hand by improving the overall workflow rather than just concentrating on the production piece. If we talk about project management it provides a very effective process improvement system to most of the domains which require a special output within a specific period of time and therefore it will not be wrong to say that apart from the product delivery systems, project management is the right choice of enhancing productivity through a direct approach.
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