Chapter 17: Project Management
Project: any sort of planned undertaking. A means of moving from a problem to a solution via a series of planned
activities. A project is an interrelated set of activities that has a definite starting and ending point and results in the
accomplishment of a unique, often major outcome. E.g. Develop a computer system. Introduce a new product.
Project management is, therefore, the planning and control of events that, together, comprise the project. Project
management aims to ensure the effective use of resources and delivery of the project objectives on time and within cost
constraints. The adept use of techniques and skills (hard and soft) in planning and controlling tasks and resources
needed for the project, from both inside and outside of organisation, to achieve results.
The purpose of project management is to achieve successful project completion with the resources available. A
successful project is one which: has been finished on time, is within its cost budget, performs to a
technical/performance standard which satisfies the end user
Characteristics of projects: Projects can be simple or complex.
Generally projects are made up of: 1. A defined beginning point. 2 Multiple activities which are performed to a
plan/schedule 3. A defined ending point.
Two essential features:
– In the first place, all projects must be planned out in advance if they are to be successfully executed.
– Secondly, the execution of the project must be controlled to ensure that the desired results are achieved.
An activity or task: the smallest unit of work effort within the project and consumes both time and resources which are
under the control of the project manager. A project is a sequence of activities that has a definite start and finish, an
identifiable goal and an integrated system of complex but interdependent relationships.
Activities and Relationships:
– On most projects it is possible to carry out multiple activities simultaneously.
– Usually it is possible to perform several activities at the same time, however there will be activities which cannot
begin until a preceding activity has been completed.
– These relationships are referred to as dependencies or precedencies
– It is important to establish the order of precedence of dependent activities, and to establish those activities
which can be performed in parallel with other activities.
A schedule allocates resources to accomplish the activities within a timeframe. The schedule sets priorities, start times
and finish times.
Projects are typically:
– Complex and numerous activities
– Unique - a one-time set of events
– Finite - with a begin and end date
– Involve limited resources and budget
– Involve many people, usually across several functional areas in the organizations
– Sequenced activities
– End product / service oriented
Ten Major Causes of Project Failure:
1. Lack of interest beyond the project team
2. Solution in search of a problem
3. No one in charge
4. Project plan lacks structure
5. Project plan lacks detail
6. Project is under budgeted
7. Insufficient resources allocated to project
8. Project not tracked to the plan
9. Poor communication on team
10. Project strays from original goals
Other reasons include 1. Inadequate project manager skills, influence, and authority
2. Poor coordination and rapport with the client
3. Lack of project team participation and team spirit
4. Unrealistic schedules
5. Project is of a different type or more complex than handled previously by manager / team
6. Plans were based upon insufficient data
7. No attempt was made to systematize the planning process
8. No one knows or understands the ultimate objective of the project
9. Project estimates are best guesses, and are not based upon standards or history
10. No one bothered to see if there would be personnel available with the necessary skills
Most Difficult Issue to Overcome - People working to meet their own objectives / ends, not those defined in
the project specifications
1. State the Problem
– What is the Problem/Opportunity?
– What is to be done?
– Who is responsible for the project?
– When must the project be completed?
– Type - Business, Functional, Technical
2. Identify Project Goals
– Define project end product or service
– Define to settle misunderstandings
– Establish a methodology to accomplish objectives that is: Action orientated, Short, Simple,
3. Develop Project Objectives (Critical success factors or Milestones)
– Sub-goals that direct work activity
– Must be completed to achieve project goal
– Objective statement should be (SMART):
Specific. Measurable. Assignable. Realistic. Time-related.
Responsibilities of the Project Manager
1. To plan thoroughly all aspects of the project, soliciting the active involvement of all functional areas involved, in
order to obtain and maintain a realistic plan that satisfies their commitment for performance.
2. To control the organization of manpower needed by the project.
3. To control the basic technical definition of the project, ensuring that "technical" versus "cost" trade-offs
determine the specific areas where optimisation is necessary.
4. To lead the people and organizations assigned to the project at any given point in time. Strong positive
leadership must be exercised in order to keep the many disparate elements moving in the same direction in a
5. To monitor performance, costs and efficiency of all elements of the project and the project as a whole,
exercising judgement and leadership in determining the causes of problems and facilitating solutions.
6. To complete the project on schedule and within costs, and on time - these being the overall standards by which
performance of the project manager is evaluated.
The Project Life Cycle:
– Projects are “born” when a need is identified by the customer.
– Project life cycles vary in length, from a few weeks to several years.
– Not all projects formally go through all four phases of the project life cycle.
1. Identification of a need, problem, or opportunity: The need and requirements are usually written by the
customer into a document called a request for proposal (RFP).
2. Development of a proposed solution to the need or problem.
a. This phase results in the submission of a proposal.
b. The customer and the winning contractor negotiate and sign a contract (agreement).
3. Performing the project.
Different types of resources are utilized. Results in the accomplishment of the project ob