Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Essay:
Elements of Business: Project Management
Postings to the Discussion Board
The Critical Path of PERT charts
Successful realization of business goals of any organization, there has to be an efficient project management in control. Most performing organizations bare witness of how the good managerial functions and change has brought to them. The critical path will always entail the sequencing of duties and events, to ensure that a project is not delayed. The critical paths of most projects are designed in search a manner that the delay or acceleration of the entire project is determined by one activity. Once one activity is altered, it leads to the entire change of project timeline. The process of creating the critical path in most cases requires activity sequencing (Sawyer, 2009).
Prioritizing the correction of existing projects
In cases where the project has steps that follow a certain sequence, a certain task must be completed for the next one to be successful. Referring to the situation at hand, step B was in the critical path hence must be completed to proceed to the next steps. This explains the relationship of finish-start, where one task is completed to start a fresh one. The manager should, therefore, address the step B first. This is because the other steps (C and D) may be simultaneously done. The other steps can be done simultaneously, and hardly have any accurate time limits (Perrin, 2008).
If in any way the steps C. And D. would overlap step A, meaning the step A starts and the rest can be executed later, then this would be the manager's most favorable decision, as this would save on time and resources utilized. The nature of the project is crucial, as some project tasks can be sequenced by overlap, simultaneous relation or using the adoption of a specified sequence (Perrin, 2008).
Analysis of Business Elements (Zeus Sweet Peas Firm)
ZSP's Legality, Social and Economic Environments
The ZSP organization is a registered company that acquired full registration from the Attorney General's chambers (Registration Offices) in 2007. The Company is, therefore, operating legally under the business name Zeus Sweet Peas (ZSP) and has ensured abidance to the provisions in the constitution (Companies Act) regarding the registration and operations of companies. Most of the ZSP Company's processes aim at maintaining the right relations with its immediate environment including the community, and this has consequently led to strong bonds within the organization's staff and also in the neighboring communities. The increasing rates of competitiveness, enables the company to have well designed strategies like the motivation of employees, considerate wages, proper communication channels and many others, to help compete aggressively in the prevailing markets. As a private company, most of the processes are dictated by the Company's management, rather than the government.
Managerial, Operational and Financial issues at ZSP Firm
a) Project Management
The Zeus Sweet Peas (ZSP) firm is renowned for its production of organic food, which it supplies to the entire state, but focuses on segments, including schools and healthcare facilities. The company runs on project implementation basis, where its processes have a beginning and end. Most projects of the organization are aimed at meeting the organization's goals, and they are mostly affected by cost, the strategies/schedule, and aims of the projects. ZSP has a functional structure, which provides a position for the project manager. The manager is in charge of the projects that in most cases are related with food processing. Among the obligations of the manager is to optimize, and consolidate resources that will directly assist in the completion of projects successfully. The project management team of ZSP Company, which is headed by the project manager, has the task of ensuring that a healthy and productive project cycle is reached and maintained. The cycle entails conceptualizing of the project, putting in place a plan for the project, implementation of the designed strategies and the finalizing of the project (includes evaluation processes). ZSP provides the relevant environment to managing the projects such as the right organization culture that is supportive of the management team (Haynes, 2002).
b) Project Timelines
ZSP Company uses timelines most frequently in their intention to clearly show the duties and tasks, and the milestones required to satisfy a complete project. In most cases, the timelines at the organization are within the project cycle. In ZSP, before any project begins, executive mandate is to be granted by the manager in charge, and in most cases, deadlines are hardly included due to their unrealistic nature. The project work sessions have always proved the necessity of more time in completion of the project. Usually the workforce of the organization including the suppliers, always adjust the deadlines for efficiency in project completion (Means & Adams, 2005).
c) Critical Paths and Contingency Planning (Implementation)
Though the use of critical paths was initially used in manufacturing industries only, currently most of the Companies are adopting it, including ZSP in its operations. The company under scrutiny uses the critical path to produce packaged food staffs and lower the cost of processes involved until delivering of the product to the consumer. ZSP's product is packaged organic food. Critical paths are also helpful in ensuring the organization monitors consumer needs, to provide products that are most demanded. The organization has used critical paths for record keeping, because the consumer's reaction to the product is an indication of how efficient the project is (Humphrey & Milone-Nuzzo, 1996).
To ensure projects are well done, and risks are managed, the ZSP Corporation is adopting the most convenient ways. There has always been a need for controlling the certain and uncertain risks, which are inevitable in any organization. The step applicable to risk management in ZSP is risk identification, the risk assessment and most importantly risk reduction (Jones, 2007).
d) Staffing needs and tools for Projects
The strategy used at ZSP is estimation. The company develops an estimate of all that the staff will require in realizing the objectives of the project. Project managers have to be able to curb any obstacles that would lead to hiccups in communicating. Projects need the right communication of the managers and staff, in order to pass messages more effectively. The staff should be advised on the importance of listening as one of the major elements of effective communication. Fortunately, communication channels at ZSP are structured in a manner that allows the staff to engage with management, and this assists in conflict resolution (Randolph & Posner, 2002).
Impacts of the functions of management
Management has many functions in the realization of exemplary project results. If there is sufficient and effective communication between managers and the workforce, it will be easier the realization of the project objectives. Many organizations have realized the reason and need to maintain a management team that has the organizations interests at heart. The functions of the managers include the motivation of other employees, overseeing the project timelines and ensuring the time allocated is used sufficiently. Any organization geared up to move to the succeeding levels of business, should appreciate the role of the managers, and make sure the managers selected for projects have brilliant ideas and prospects.
Project management is almost inevitable and all organizations that are business oriented. It is, therefore, advisable to ensure that the projects are managed well enough, for any good to come. The creation of the timelines and designing the critical path is one of the fundamental areas any manager would not take for granted. The two are the cornerstone to any project. The implementation of the plans is crucial, as action has to be taken for the change to be reached. The staff doing the project is to be handled with care and treated in a manner that will motivate them to work towards and not against the…[continue]
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