A project is a temporary endeavor that is undertaken with a main aim of creating unique products and services at the end.
Example of a project
A high school in the Boston District would want to advance and improve its performance and student admission system starting the year 2014. Therefore the school has taken some measures so as to improve the performance of the student as compared to other schools in the district. The school has hired more teachers, equipped the library with new and interesting learning materials, and equipped the computer laboratory with more computers so as to encourage more students to research and to read. The school has also installed new and faster software to their computers so that the admission of student will be faster and efficient. A better record of the students would also be looked into
Project management is defined as the central process within a business that is used in overseeing and taking specific endeavors in a strategic manner. Time and money are the key factors that should be available in order to run a project bearing in mind that the outcome of the results are very much different from the results of the whole project. Project management has both the intangible and the tangible benefits within an organization or to the nation at large. The following are the benefits the project will enjoy;
- Budget management
The project will benefit from budgetary savings. The project manager will control the budgets and the decisions on how best to allocate the resources in the endeavor of attaining the stipulated goals and objective. At the end of the project, when the organizations stands to be in under budget or to have an over run will depend on the efficiency of the workforce and that of the project management. The amount of money that the organization will save will result to the increase of investment returns and the availability of future projects.
- Meeting deadlines
The project will benefit from the management concept that is concerned in managing time and hence meeting the deadline. The accomplishment of a project in time is as important as managing the financial resources that are put in place to start and run a project. Projects that take a lot of time to be completed cost the organization more money due to the overtime wages that is paid to the workers after the stipulated period has expired, due to the productivity that is lost and the time that is spent in the modification of the schedule and timelines. For instance, if the business was spending $200,000 on every day so as to keep in attaining the end result of the project, the benefit of project management in completion of the project on time is $700,000 in every week of the estimated late delivery.
- Team work
The other effect of project management is teamwork within the business. Project management largely deals with allocation of the human capital. For a project to be successful the project manager will try its best to get the best output level of every worker and hence fostering environmental cooperation and the mutual responsibility that would remain after the completion of the project. The benefit of a productive team work is an intangible benefit and these will lead to the success of the organization’s stipulated objectives and their culture.
- Risk management
Managing risk is more expensive as it is cost saving. When managers anticipate risk and hence taking the mitigation measures while carrying out the project, will result to efficiency in the organization. A well skilled manager will lead the project team in attaining its objectives but at the same time being flexible in reacting risks factors.
Project management knowledge areas
The role of project knowledge areas is to organize the various processes and putting the processes with common characteristics into one category. Example of project management knowledge areas include;
- Project cost management area includes all aspects of budget processes. It consists of cost budgeting, cost estimation and control of costs. It could be tricky because the three elements of cost management knowledge are not in the same management group of processing. Budgeting and estimation of cost fall under the planning group whereas control of cost is under monitoring and control process group.
- Project time management. Time management deals with resources and activities scheduling and management. In any project poor time management could cause delays and miscommunication. Time is an essential factor when an alternative method is to be used in developing a project. If a project were to be delayed it would be caused by the project moving faster than it was anticipated and hence causing more resources than they were allocated or it would be because the project used less than the allocated resources and wasting the rest.
Benefits of project Knowledge areas
The benefit of the project cost management and project time management knowledge areas is that they both ensure that the resources are utilized efficiently with wasting them. Time and money are the most important factors that should be allocated in the best way possible so that to achieve the best outcome in the stipulated time. The longer a project delays the more of finances the organization will incur so as to compensate for the wasted time. Moreover if a project delays, the opportunity cost that is lost could greater and the organization would have benefited from the foregone project.
Work Breakdown Structure
Interesting learning materials
The project scope
Comprises of the work that require to be accomplished so that to deliver a certain product, services or a result. The government would want to put mitigation that would reduce the number of deaths that occur due to Tsunami. The government plans to be prepared by using the power of technology to give warning to the people because with the advancement of technology, it would be possible to predict the weather condition and the situation in the sea.
The product of the project would be the ability of the government to know when the natural disaster are about to happen and hence being prepared and warning people they happen. These would prevent many people from dying. The project could face some constraints such as financial constraint due to hiring the skilled man power who would work on the project and with the advanced technology.
Assumptions would be that the technology will be able to capture the signals early enough incase of another tsunami occuring and that the people would respond to the alarm without causing harvoc and panic which would cause more harm to the people.
Factors that could cause failure of the project
- Lack of finances to fund the project. Such projects are expensive and they take a long period before they are implimented due to the demanding planning and scheduling of activities.
- Lack of skilled labour to employee to carry out the activities effectively. Such a delicate project would call for a very high skilled labour that would be difficult to get; it is scarse and expensive to hire.
- Time. To incorporates such a delicate and big project would call for a lot of time which may be availabe before the occurrence of the next tsunami.
Critical path model is used in all types of projects such construction, software development, research projects among many others. The important techniques for using critical path model of a project will include the following;
- The list of the activities that are required in order to complete a project
- The duration that each activity in the project will consume
- The dependency that exists between the activities.
The critical path model calculates the longest route of the activities that are planned up to the end of project including the earliest and the lastest that every activity will take without prolonging the duration period of a project. The model determines the activities that are critical that is the activities that take the longest period and activities that can be delayed without interfering with duration of the project. The critical path of a project add up to the longest network of activities that take the longest duration. This hoever will determine the longest period that will take a project. Any delay that could take place in the critical path will impact the on the delivery date on the project, that is will affect the completion date of a project. Any parallel path that is additional to the critical path and having a total duration which is shorter than that of a critical path is referred to as non-critical path.
In this project the critical path is activity A,C,E, G to H which adds upto a duration of 23months. The other parellel network have a lesser duration of 21 and 14 months.
Importance of a critical path
A company forms the shedule of a project by allocating every task to a specific worker or employee. Every task will have a deadline that should be met so that to begin working on the next project, therefore every employee have a role and responsibility of ensuring that deadline is achieved and does this by the tsk that is allocated to him. The employe is allowed to be asisted by the other workers but at the end of the end he will be the one accountable for the results. The workers that are assigned tasks that are on the critical path are scrutinized carefully because of how important the tasks are. By using critical pathe the project manager is able to identify projects that are imporatant and hence prioritizing them because they require a better focus. The tasks that fall on the critical path impact the ability of a company to finish the project on time. Any delay that could occur on the critical path will be a set back to the project. Tasks that are not on the critical point could be delayed witout affecting the finishing date of a project. Due to this fact, tasks that are on the critical point are given the highest priority in allocation and using of the companies resources.
Critical path allows the company to assign deadlines for every task. Employeee who are working on tasks that are the critical path need to be efficient so as to hit the deadline of that task and to keep the project on the schedule. Critical path tasks determine the time that is required. He tasks that are allocated on the critical path should coordinate so as to facilitate the completion of the end product according to the set period of time. The company then assigns the remaining tasks to the remaining time. No the company will not have completed the project within 26 weeks because the critical path takes 28 weeks.
A 10 B 8
The critical path consist of plant needs, order equipment, install equipment and test system activities with the longest duration of 28 weeks.
In case the company wishes to finish the work in 26 weeks this is what they would do;
- Viewing the critical path regularly can change from one series of work (task) to another as the work progresses. The critical path is can change due to the fact that tasks change after they are completed while others are being delayed.
- Closely monitor the critical tasks. By monitoring these tasks regularly the project manager would be able to tell when one slips. If a task is critical and it slips, the finishing date is due to slip too.
- The manager should view the tasks that are potentially risky and hence coming up with multiple critical paths which would speed up the duration of running the project.
Additional cost to meet the 26 week completion period
- Hire more skilled workers to be assigned in the critical path tasks
- More resources will be used and most it will go to waste. More funds will be allocated into the project to purchase more equipment and employees.
Burke, R. (1990). Project management : planning & control techniques, (4th Ed.). Oxford:
Oxford University press.
Chanas, S., & Zieliński, P. (2001). Critical path analysis in the network with fuzzy activity times.
New Delhi: Elsevier.
Kerzner, H. R. (2001). Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and
Controlling. Canada: John Wiley & sons Inc.