Issues in Project Management Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Project management is a systematic methodology of attaining aims and objectives in a given criteria for instance time and budget spread on number of years. Project management has been behind every major project for instance man landing on the moon to polio campaigns throughout a country (Gray CR and Larson, 2008).

The subject of project management has grown and blossomed over a number of years. It dates back to cavemen. The cavemen would hunt in groups for a successful hunt. The Egyptians used some form of project management to construct the pyramids of Giza we see today. This is a clear instance of how viably project management has been used during the past centuries (Gray CR and Larson, 2008).

In case of modern era, the project management has been monumental in development of industries and other fields. It makes sure that a project is completed under a given deadline. This protocol is required while overseeing an intricate project and oversees its completion (Fretty, 2006). This paper will stress on the core issues and finds a logical and descriptive solution to:

Non-effective PM

Business case

Contract issues

Planning fallacy

Stakeholders

1: Contractual issues

A contract is bound by policy and legislative framework, but apart from that, there are number of commendable factors, which are embroiled in the final stages of an agreement (Bucero, 2006).

Managing risks

Efficient management entails risk management, which is especially needed in case of an agreement. For the contracts on which the projects are based, this entails recognizing the risks and developing a risk management plan consequently. This entails recognizing the segments / events / stages where, risks are bound to occur and the risk that plagues the confines of that agreement. Thus, the risk assessments must be revised on and off again and modifying the risk treatment plans in case, it risks an agreement (Jones, 2008).

Handling Affiliations

For any agreement to develop and be manageable, the relationship between the concerned two parties must be taken in consideration. The concerned parties have a professional and productive relationship for the successful completion of a project, whilst respecting an agreement. The contract's agreement is reliant on certain factors. Making a contract addressing the needs, ensure a workable relationship with the agreement team. The agreement team must know all the details necessary for reaching a project successfully and the desired outcome of a particular project. The objective of relationship management is keeping open communication. Deeming it impossible is out of the question. The contract won't push forward unless the desired personnel don't contribute. Having a good working alliance doesn't entail that issues will be listed and taken in consideration. They must be acknowledged and resolved in an affable manner (Morris et al., 2000).

Managing resources

Experienced individuals are highly effectual in case of effectual contract management. Thus, it's highly imperative that the required individuals availability is a given in such a case. The negotiations can be executed efficiently. The timeframe is crucial for all the concerned parties which include the contract team. The project details need to be transparent for the contract team to be able to devise a contract best suited for all parties to agree (Morris et al., 2006).

Allocating responsibilities

This concern becomes all the more important as the complexity of the project grows. Allocating responsibilities needs some commendable investment beforehand. It is necessary to invest time in the contract development state period for outlining the deliverables as well as the relevant time frame required and avoiding disagreements regarding the roles of other parties. For reaching a successful arrangement, the milestones must be attainable. A feasible and agreeable project plan sinks teeth into the project's completion. This constitutes analyzing, if sub-contracts are needed and timeframe desired to complete and execute a project. In case of government contracts, a time frame is given for the fiscal year and hence, each project needs to take that into perspective. Some government contracts have severe frames. They must be incorporated into every project plan and will be supervised constantly, so as to end the project within a given timeframe. The firm can't violate a government contract. The key factor is efficient project scheduling and supervision of the project, not to mention milestones and reporting constantly (Cleland and Gareis, 2006).

Ethical behavior

The concerned parties should behave in a cultured and behaved manner. They should be open-minded and transparent. While working on government contracts, this fact is particularly important as governance agreements are in place. The funding agencies have an idea on how much too fund for a particular agreement and all expenses will be fully accountable (Greer, 2009).

2: Business case

The business case is a component of due diligence process. The risks, costs, benefits are measured against the investment being made for a particular project / product. The options are pools and assessed for solving the business dispute (Field and Keller, 2008).

A business case is a way out for the relevant businesses to assess if a given project needs to be paid heed to and a viable solution actually is in favor of the company. This is attained by qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. The former is called SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and threats), while the latter is termed as financial analysis technique. This provides a logical answer if a solution is viable and if investment fulfills the required business goals at hand. The project must be financially, objectively viable for the businesses of higher designation (Kerzner, 2009).

The concerned problems arising in a business case exceeds a monetary clarification. The issues can range from:

Solving the business issue

Initiating a project

Including a problem statement

Proposed solutions

What's in it for staff, clients and company

The amount of money, time and resources required to reach the end result

Risks, restrictions and suppositions

Monetary consequence (Yager, 2009)

3: Planning Fallacy

The organizations as well as people may seldom neglect the estimated time for a project completion. This happens even in the case, when such cases have happened before. The project planners always focus on the ideal scenario for their project at hand, according to the researchers. They fail to oversee the practical scenario for their project to work out for them (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979). Roger Buehler and his contemporaries have voiced the idea of wishful thinking. Usually, the project planners deem that a project will reach completion according to their idealized vision. In another research, Buehler and contemporaries provide an answer in case of self-serving favoritism as to how people rate themselves on their previous record (as cited in Pezzo et al., 2006). They will take due credit on relevant tasks well done, but fail to take credit on delays and outside interferences. People are unable to view the past record of project delay. An experiment concluded that predictions made by people secretly is often absent of optimistic bias. Thus, people create an idealized scenario to favor their judgment and impression. The same idea is given in management theory (Cooks, 2002).

One plausible answer is focalism, which can constitute neglecting of off project perils. Sometimes, people may neglect the external factors which relate with a project indirectly. Then, they may also neglect high impact risks as one is improbable than the other one (Mulcahy, 2003a).

The project planners mostly plan on the project in perspective and neglect certain factors such as:

Sickness

Vacations

Meetings

Overhead tasks (Mulcahy, 2003b)

The project planners then tend to overlook the smaller details such as time taken on small tasks for instance time taken for one brick to be placed in a wall. This neglects usage of actual metrics and raises optimism bias. For instance, placing one brick and multiplying by total number of bricks. The intricate projects which are absent with respect to goals often fall prey to (Rich, 2008):

Scope creep

Mission creep

Featuitis

Fred Brooks has stated in The Mythical Man-Month that hiring new individuals in a late project is destined to incur newer risks and problems, not to mention overhead costs. That makes it more lately. This is called Brookes law (Schwalbe, 2009).

A plausible explanation is the 'authorization imperative'. The project planning commences in the event that financial approval is met for the project. The project planner needs to get the project approved. This may lead the project manager to negate the total effort required to reach the project to completion. The effort required may not be well thought out. It is better to provide real time effort guestimate prior to seeking permission than to ask for permission to extend. Thus, these unexpected events come under strategic misrepresentation (Paul, 2005).

Apart from psychological descriptions, the phenomenon has been regarded as natural irregularity. Scaling issues are also involved. The asymmetric nature of events give rise to increased costs and incompetent results, which intersect the encouraging results and discouraging results. The scaling problem is a result, which is attained due to linear disturbances. The magnitude of effort seldom does elevate the increase in error as compared to the effect…

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