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A critical review on to why organizations use Project Management as a tool to achieve their Strategic Business objectives Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Jun 3rd, 2019

Introduction

Using project management in realizing business objectives is considered a change in any organization; this is particularly with regard to the approach utilized in designing, implementing and embedding of the process of project management. Project management in an organization is an effective way of accomplishing business objectives.

It is important however, to indicate the link between project management and business objectives; one delivers the other hence, there should be that clear indication that investing in project management has a direct effect on the ability of the organization to meet its objectives (Levine, 2002, p. 44).

It is imperative to remind the managers about organizational objectives in order to enable them grasp the significance of proposed changes while implementing projects. Effective project management can contribute to the following business objectives: realizing of demanding financial targets, overcoming competitive challenges and quickly responding to change (Roberts, 2007, p. 248).

For a project management to run successfully it should be treated as one of the key business functions in an organization and hence a business strategy to institutionalize project management should be formulated (Bolles, Hubbard, 2007, p. 26). It is the duty of the executive management to ascertain whether the project will lead to the realization of business objectives.

Project Management

Project management is defined as the process of guiding a project from the start to the end; it is the application of knowledge, tools, techniques and skills to meet the requirements of a project. Project management stems from a desire to plan and to coordinate large and complex efforts in organizations or institutions. Project management includes the following five processes (Kerzner, 2009, p. 7):

  1. Initiating processes: these involve clarifying the business need and defining the project expectations as well as the resources’ budgets. It is also the identification of the members who will play some roles in the project.
  2. Planning processes: these are the details of the scope of a project, resources and risks, time frame and the intended approaches to project communications.
  3. Monitoring and controlling processes: these involve the tracking of the performance and taking actions to ensure a project is a success and the desired results are achieved. All the above processes are necessary for a project management to be successfully accomplished.
  4. Executing processes: these involve establishing as well as managing a project team and communicating and managing a project audience and also implementing the project plans (Portny, 2012, p. 16).

Factors Affecting Successful Project

Factors affecting project success are considered to be very consistent and include such factors as preparation, leadership, knowledge, timeliness and teamwork. All the three factors are considered critical to the success of the project and hence should be taken seriously; the factors in details are:

Organization: A project must be organized; this can be realized by putting a schedule in place which includes setting the timeline, and drafting a budget that falls within the costs perimeters. The members of a project should take it upon themselves to en sure that they have a good understanding of the project scope. Every player should be assigned some duties (Richman, 2012, p. 8).

Leadership: Every project should have a leader who will keep the project moving because minus a leader, there will be confusion which might result in controversies. A great project leader will ensure that all the team members in a project have a good understanding of the project scope.

Knowledge: Every member in an organization needs to have information about the project and to understand the basic principles and outcomes of the project. This will make a project to progress without interruption or hitches. It is the duty of a project leader to ensure that every individual should understand the goals of the project.

Team work: Projects require the best workers to work on them in order to finish them time. Every member of the team should pull together towards the common goal of accomplishing a project. In projects, there is no room for solo performance or grandstanders and hence staff members should work together for the common interest of the project.

Timeliness: Project players should soldier on with the project in order to make the project stay on course. Various employees have a tendency of dropping a ball when they approach the conclusion of a project due some factors as the costs exceeding the budget but this should not be a hindrance (Camilleri, 2011, p.18).

Project Management as a Strategic Tool for Innovation and New Product Development

Project management in this new era of product development demonstrates how to translate innovative ideas into new products and services that can be taken to the market faster. This can be realized by utilizing project management techniques and tools. In various organizations, an innovation for project based framework is key, particularly in the cases of new product development (Barkley, 2007, p. 118).

The use of project management tools is important in the planning, implementing and evaluating a new product development (White & Bruton, 2011, p. 284). Product innovation is considered one practice of modern companies and without a systematic process of new product development; product innovation will be just a miss (Narayanan & O’Connor, 2012, p. 166).

There should always be an established criterion in identifying successful projects and its purpose and development. The technical and the market feasibility of a new product should be defined. The project management team is to demonstrate that the criteria are satisfied. Project development team monitors the phase and reviews the product development and update the project plan (Rafinejad, 2007, p. 187).

Implementation of Project Strategy

Project strategy is defined as the direction in any project that contributes to the survival and success of any project in its environment. Successful project implementation is considered to be complex and difficult; project managers therefore must pay attention to varieties of financial, technical and human capital since they determine the outcome of project management.

Projects have certain specific goals and objectives that should be defined and accomplished under a tight budget (Hossenlopp, 2012, p. 134).

A project requires a high degree of coordination and project manager should be in position to manage and plan effectively towards the accomplishment of a project, however there are some circumstances where the managers do not have the operational skills and tactics to accomplish projects. The critical job in project implementation is the balancing of the interplay between tactics and strategies.

Strategies and tactics are critical in the implementation of the project but strategic issues are more important during the beginning while tactical issues gain importance as a project progresses (Slevin & Pinto, 1987, p. 34). Project strategy involves the understanding of how project objectives will be realized and the ascertainment of the likelihood of success.

It has been established that poor project strategy is a prime cause of failure of projects and many projects do not adequately develop strong project strategy hence resulting in their poor performance. Implementation strategy is hence necessary and critical for the success of any project (Young, 2011, p. 1). Successful project implementation involves two key phases namely the strategy phase and the tactical phase.

A project has a design and a defined budget and various people are often involved in designing them but what is paramount is the implementing strategy that is employed in realizing the objectives of the project (Schultz, Slevin & Pinto, 1987, p. 38).

Link between Business Strategy and Project Plan

In the process of project delivery, business planning is the only way that project managers can link the project to the business itself; this is particularly based on the approved case of the business project which can explain the reasons as to why the project is required in the organization.

The physical link between a business strategy and the plan of the project is realized by assessing the link between the project manager and the project sponsor and the project sponsor and the project customer.

In this case, the project manager develops the project plan while the project sponsor ensures the project plan meets the intended objectives and the customer defines the project scope and ensures it will deliver business benefits (Melton, 2007, p. 16).

Business strategy is defined at the corporate level in an emerging and deliberate manner and the success of a business strategy depends on how it is executed. Projects on the other hand, are the vehicles of implementing corporate strategy (Young, 2011, p. 1).

Corporate strategy sustains the business and the purpose of the project is to deliver the objectives; the point therefore is that projects are the vehicles that are required to execute strategic business objectives and to align organizational components to the external environment (Anderson, 2011, p. 1).

The value of a project to an organization should be evaluated in terms of its contribution to the realization of the strategic goals. The link between corporate strategy and project strategy should form the basis by which the project value is understood and the impetus to launch a project should be driven by the business objectives (Venkataraman & Pinto, 2008, p.19).

Conclusion

Realizing business objectives is highly dependent on how well a project is implemented and executed and companies utilizing project management to achieve business objectives are more likely to save on costs and thus increase revenues. A clear link between the two will result in an upper management support and there is need therefore to test the viability of a project to ensure that it can match the business objectives.

Business objectives can be met by basing them on business requirements. Various business objectives that can be met through project management are: improvement of productivity, increasing of revenue and the reduction of costs.

Modern corporations have adopted a positive and more profitable way of product development. Making the right decisions particularly concerning the allocation of resources is a fundamental factor in productivity improvement of product development. Consultation among all the members in a project should always be fostered.

References

Anderson, T 2011, Linking Business Strategy to Project Strategy, PMI Study Helper, <>.

Barkley, B 2007, Project management in new product development, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Bolles, D & Hubbard, D 2007, The power of enterprise-wide project management, American Management Association, New York.

Camilleri, E 2011, Project Success: Critical Factors and Behaviours, Gower Publishing Ltd., New York.

Hossenlopp, R 2010, Organizational project management: linking strategy and projects, Cengage Learning, Vienna.

Kerzner, H 2009, Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Levine, H 2002, Practical project management: tips, tactics, and tools, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Melton, T 2007, Real project planning developing a project delivery strategy, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Narayanan, V & O’connor, G 2010, Encyclopaedia of technology and innovation management, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Portny, S 2010, Project Management, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Rafinejad, D 2007, Innovation, product development and commercialization: case studies and key practices for market leadership, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Richman, L 2012, Improving your project management skills, American Management Association, New York.

Roberts, P 2007, Guide to project management: achieving lasting benefit through effective change, Longhorn, London.

Schultz, R, Slevin, D & Pinto, J 1987, ‘Strategy and Tactics in a Process Model of Project Implementation’, Journal of Interfaces, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 34-46.

Slevin, D & Pinto, J 1987, ‘Balancing strategy and tactics in project implementation’, Sloan Management Review, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 33-41.

Venkataraman, R & Pinto, J 2008, Cost and value management in projects, Prentice Hall, Hoboken.

White, M & Bruton, G 2011, The management of technology and innovation: a strategic approach, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason.

Young, R 2011, ‘Implementation of project strategy to improve new product development performance’, International Journal of Project Management, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 1.

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