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Project Management

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Essay title: Project Management

Project Management Paper

Introduction

Any project goes through a series of stages during its life regardless of scope or complexity. Project activities must be grouped into phases in order for the project manager and the core team to plan efficiently and organize resources for each activity, and in addition objectively measure achievement of goals and justify their decisions to move ahead, correct, or terminate the project. “Project management is the planning, organizing, directing, and controlling of company resources for a relatively short-term objective that has been established to complete specific goals and objectives (Kerzner, 2006, p. 4).” Furthermore, project management utilizes the systems approach to management by having functional personnel assigned to a specific project. Once a project team is built, an excellent way to make sure milestones and goals are efficiently accomplished is by promoting good communication among project team members on a continuous basis. Team meetings are a crucial communication method when working with teams. The first project team meeting is of extreme importance because it is the time when the project goals and expectations are clarified, roles are defined and team members can meet one another.

What is a Project?

Successful projects deliver what is expected, on time and within budget meeting stakeholder expectations. “A project can be considered to be any series of activities and tasks that:

• Have a specific objective to be completed within certain specifications

• Have defined start and end dates

• Have funding limits (if applicable)

• Consume human and nonhuman resources (i.e., money, people, equipment)

• Are multifunctional (i.e., cut across several functional lines) (Kerzner, 2006, p. 2).”

Therefore, a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to achieve a particular aim and to which project management can be applied, regardless of the project’s size, budget, or timeline.

What are the basic phases of the project lifecycle and their purposes?

Every organization goes through life-cycle phases to implement project management. According to Kerzner (2006, p. 44), there are five basic phases of the project lifecycle. The five phases are Embryonic Phase, Executive Management Acceptance Phase, Line Management Acceptance Phase, Growth Phase and Maturity Phase.

In the first phase, the Embryonic Phase, the organization realizes the apparent need for project management. The purpose of the Embryonic Phase is for the organization to recognize the need, benefits, applications, and what must be done for project management.

Once the organization identifies the need for project management, the organization enters the second life-cycle phase which is the Executive Management Acceptance Phase. The purpose of this phase is visible executive support, executive understanding of project management, project sponsorship and willingness to change way of doing business.

The third life-cycle phase is Line Management Acceptance. The purpose of Line Management Acceptance Phase is line management support, line management commitment, line management education and willingness to release employees for project management training.

Growth phase is the fourth life-cycle phase. In this phase, the organization becomes committed to the development of the corporate tools for project management. “This includes the project methodology for planning, scheduling, and controlling, as well as selection of the appropriate supporting hardware (Kerzner, 2006, p. 46).” In addition, another purpose for the growth phase is the minimization of “creeping scope”. Scope is the project management term for the size of a project. Scope often creeps, that is, grows bit by bit until the project is twice as large as what the project team started with. To prevent scope creep, start with a written statement of scope that defines what you will do in detail.

The fifth life-cycle phase is Maturity Phase. The purpose of this phase is the development of a management cost/schedule control system, integrating cost and schedule control and developing an educational program to improve project management skills. In the Maturity Phase, the organization begins using the tools developed in the previous phases and must be totally dedicated to project management. A reasonable project management curriculum must be developed by the organization to provide the appropriate training and education in support of the tools.

Why is it

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