Project management plays a foreground role in the utilization of organizational resources and achievement of the organizational goals. Project management inculcates processes, activities, systems, structures and people in the organization.
It determines how the interplay between the mentioned factors contributes to the success of this organization (O’Connell 1994). This study highlights the various issues that are cardinal for effective and efficient project management within the context of GCGDA.
Project management in GCGDA’s perspective can be defined as an organizational function that integrates basic management elements such as organizing, controlling, planning, and coordination with strategic management practices. As such, project management provides the opportunity to the organization to expand, improve performance and ensure increased service delivery in games related issues (Project Management Institute 2000).
The element of improvement, as touched in this case, implies that project management has inherent characteristic of change. Every aspect of project management must come with change which may influence the size, structures, systems, and activities within an organization.
Project management has also been defined as the process which entails coordination of management, setting of organizational priorities, and support initiatives aimed at delivering benefits to a business entity. This definition incorporates the fact that projects may be range of single management activities or a portfolio of business activities aimed at improving the performance of the entity (Murray-Webster& Thiry 2000).
Project management involves different scenarios that depend on the nature of the organization. For instance, in a program based organization, projects are managed in order to achieve the strategic objectives of the business. Such organizations operate several projects at the same time where every department has its own separate responsibilities.
The role of the project manager in this case is to ensure that all projects are aimed at achieving the overall strategic objective of the organization. The overall project manager delegates duties to the various heads of departments and coordinates their activities (O’Connell 1994).
The other scenario is a multi-project entity where programs are handled from a consolidated perspective. The projects in this case are also operated simultaneously. However, not all of them contribute to the objectives of the organization. The failure of one project does not affect the performance of other projects in the organization since they are not are not related, however, they share the same resources and may be managed by one project manager.
This scenario can be applied to the GCGDA context where several project goals can be pursued. For example, currently the entity is working on a project to include wrest lining in 2014 Olympic Games, while at the same time organizing the venue for the games. The duty of the project manager in this context is to assess the performance of every project and determine the amount of resources that are required for each project (Project Management Institute 2000).
Every project within the context of GCGDA is expected to enable the organization to achieve its objectives. The project should also enable the organization to utilize its resources effectively and improve its performance. On the other hand, the project manager is expected to be a good decision maker who has vast knowledge and experience in project management that are related to the issue of games. Moreover, the project manager is also expected to be a person who is responsive to change (Murray-Webster & Thiry 2000).
To ensure success in this context, emphasis should be laid on the project goals and objectives, the project resources, the sources of project funds, and the key issues that affect the performance of the project.
The major issues in the project include project scope, risk factors, and project cost. The project scope entails all activities and programs that fall within the goals and objectives of the project. Risk factors in this case include political interference, changes in the rules and regulations that may affect the performance of the project, and issues such as labor problems. With regards to cost, ineffective cost management may lead to project failure (Project Management Institute 2000).
Roles and Power of the Project Manager
The project manager has the responsibility of ensuring the success of the project. The manager plans, controls, and coordinates the activities of the project. The manager also determines how resources should be allocated in the project. In collaboration with the board, the manager also assesses the performance of the project. The project manager also reports project information to the stakeholders who include the following:
- The chairman of CWG
- Representatives from different countries
- The project evaluation committee
- Sport entities such FIFA.
Skills and attributes of the project manager
GCGDA will expect the project manager to posses the following skills:
- Good decision making skills
- Good communication skills
- Ability to integrate issues of games into project management
- Ability to embrace and implement change
- Competency in management of games related issues
Project management plays a cardinal role in the improvement of organizational performance. The most important in project management is the project manager who should identify the type of scenario that is appropriate for the project and also identify the various key issues involved in the project. Project management requires proper coordination and communication between the manager and technical team that is charged with the duty of ensuring project success (Weber 1999).
Project control can be defined as an action taken by the project management to correct deviations in the performance or a strategy that is needed to enable the project managers to overcome uncertainties. Project control compares the project activities and progress against the project metrics (Searne & Thompson 2009).
Project Management Control System
At the initiation stage, GCGDA will be required to define the project scope, define the roles of the participants, provide information to the project participants, and initiate performance reviews for the project workers.
With regards to design, the entity will need the following; design specifications which may include the nature of games to be improved, design management software, and project time span. The construction requirements for control purposes will involve the following; size and location where games project will be pursued, project utility requirements, and project operational schedule (O’Connell 1994).
Project Control Elements
Controls elements in a project are the variables that directly affect the performance of the project. GCGDA must embrace elements which include cost, time, scope, and resources such as labor. With regards to cost, issues such as cost control, cost management, cost forecasting are the major factors that affect project performance. The other aspect that is related to cost management is proper budgeting to ensure that the available funds can meet all the project requirements without difficulties.
The success of control initiatives in project management depends on the approaches that are used in handling control. The common methods include the following: cash flows, audits, inspections, EVA, and KPIs.
Regulation of cash flows is another method of controlling project issues especially the expenditure of financial resources. A cash flow provides important information to the project manager by comparing the project’s income activities and expenditure. Cash flow control initiatives require from the project manager to determine the revenues of the project for every activity.
The manager should also refine the actual cash flow and compare the actual and expected expenditures. One of the challenges that managers face when regulating cash flows is the issue of uncertainties and change (Searne & Thompson 2009).
Project audit is reviewing the project objectives and goals to identify whether the project is able to meet the needs of the clients. The project audit should be conducted on a regular basis to identity particular areas of improvement during the project lifecycle.
The main aim of the project audit is to ensure that project activities are in tandem with the goals and objectives of the project. It is also aimed at identifying various errors or sources of mistakes that may interfere with the attainment of the project objectives (Project Management Institute 2000).
Inspection is another control initiative that is used in project management. Inspection entails a proper review of all the elements that are involved in project control. Inspection can be done on the operations of the project to determine whether they are in tandem with the expected project schedules (Ferns 1991).
Cost inspection is conducted to determine the cost behavior of various aspects that are used in the operations. For example, an inspection of the labor cost will enable the project manager to identify whether the cost of labor is constant or changes according to the level of productivity and time. Inspection can also be done on the whole project to identify if the available funds are able to meet the budget (Reiss 1996)
EVA in project management ensures that there is a common approach to monitoring the verification and validation of the project deliverables. The process identifies a verification method for each deliverable in the project (O’Connell 1994).
Reporting the Information
Reporting the project information to the users must be done in a proper manner that enables the information users to get the right data concerning project development. Apart from the written information, the report will also contain the graphs, which will outline the expenditure, progress, risk factors, and cost patterns. The information will be targeting the project stakeholders such as sponsors of the project, committee, board of directors and the representatives of the participants that will use the project (Spencer & Spencer 2008).
How the Data Will Be Presented
The project data will be presented in tables and graphs. For example, S curves will be useful in communicating the resources and the amount funds GCGDA has used in the project. The tools for reporting the information will include the following:
- Power point presentation
- Video conferencing
Using the aforementioned tools will enable the project stakeholders to understand the project information. It will also enable GCGDA to conduct a proper audit of the project information.
Some challenges may interfere with the reporting of the project such as unavailability of appropriate reporting tools, selection of the part to be reported, and lack of adequate time to give a detailed report. The information will also have to be changed according to the level of management. For instance, general project information will be reported to all the stakeholders while particular issues such as cost patterns and budget will be reported to the top management in the organization (Searne & Thompson 2009).
Project control is very cardinal in ensuring project success in this regard, GCGDA should therefore identify the various control elements and establish effective control methods such as cash flows, inspection, auditing, and inspection. Communicating project control information should also be done using the most appropriate tools.
Project planning is another important element that is cardinal for the success of the project. Different planning approaches can be adopted in project management depending on the context and the management style.
Lean Time Planning
Lean time planning technique is used in project management to ensure continuous improvement of the project processes and activities. It enables an organization to improve the quality of products by identifying and eliminating errors in the production process (Ferns 1991). Lean time planning is applied in manufacturing organizations where it is used to plan production processes.
The main disadvantage of this technique is that it may lead to production failures, especially where “Just in Time” method fails to deliver the required inventory. Lean time planning may also interfere with resource allocation strategies designed by an organization (Project Management Institute 2000). For instance, the company may be forced to produce goods according to the designed production schedules, which may interfere with the resource utilization (Searne & Thompson 2009).
Collaborative planning can be defined as a planning approach where project managers design the project activities through close collaboration with the suppliers (Spencer & Spencer 2008). The suppliers and the project team work together to determine the inventory utilization and delivery programs in order to avoid any form of delay that may interfere with the performance of the project (Weber 1999).
The advantages of collaborative planning include the ability to create good forecasts since the supplier provides reliable information on delivery. The planning approach also enables the project management and the suppliers to create a joint plan for the project which is important in management of project resources, it also provides the project management with the possibility to monitor inventory.
Collaborative planning allows the project manager to develop a framework for efficient flow of information from the supplier to the client (Weber 1999).
However, collaborative planning may become hectic for the project managers, especially in circumstances where the project depends on many suppliers. It will be difficult to work with more than one supplier to ensure that the project activities are carried out collaboratively (Ferns 1991).
Sometimes collaborative planning consumes a lot of time to get materials into organization and ensures effective utilization of it in case of the delays on the side of the supplier (Searne & Thompson 2009). Collaborative planning also exposes the project to many risk factors which may lead to project failure (Project Management Institute 2000).
Critical Chain Programming
Critical programming involves a process where the activities of the project are planned for a long term orientation. This method of planning is useful where the project manager is interested in the long term objectives. Critical chain programming can be applied in situations where the project objectives should be achieved in stages (O’Connell 1994).
The project manager divides the project into various sections each with different objectives and timelines. The resources of the organization also allocated to the projects depending on the time lime. Critical chain programming enables the organization to handle a complex project without lot difficulties (Spencer & Spencer 2008).
The other advantage is that critical chain programming ensures effective utilization of resources. The project also gives the suppliers the opportunity to deliver based on the buffer requirements for the project (Ferns 1991). However, critical chain programming has been criticized as one of the project planning approaches that could easily lead to project failure due to the fact that it takes a lot of time to plan for the resources and get the project aired in time.
The approach may also waste a lot of resources due to regular changes in project scope and design and there is also close attention among the project participants to the project objectives and goals making it impossible to assess the project on a regular basis. Moreover, the critical chain programming method is difficult to coordinate since the project is divided into different sections that have different timelines (Project Management Institute 2000).
The Last Planner
The last planner method is a technique that predicts the workflows in project management. This method is applied in the construction sector where it enables the constructors to identify conflicts in operation to achieve master scheduling and also help in the identification of long term lead objectives.
Despite the mentioned advantages, last planner approach may interfere with the normal working schedule since it is conducted on a regular basis. The method also gives more authority to the project supervisor while ignoring other individuals that are involved in the project, like the technical team for example (Weber 1999).
Critical Path Method
The critical path method is one of the planning techniques that are used in project management. CPM as a project planning tool enables the project manager to identify how technical activities and processes will be pursued. The planning approach is applicable in a scenario where there is a need to speed up the project due to limited time.
In this approach, project activities are pursued in a given sequence where one activity leads to the next. This method is used in handling complex projects such as chemical processing. The main advantages of CPM include predicting the time needed for the project, providing a graphical view of the project and identifying activities that are critical (Searne & Thompson 2009).
However, critical path has some disadvantages which include overreliance on project software and the project cannot be pursued without software since it involves complex operations. The failure of one activity may lead to the failure of the whole project since the project activities take place in a definite sequence (Project Management Institute 2000).
Project planning is the key tool that in project management that enables effective utilization of resources. GCGDA should use the best planning approach that is relevant to the nature of the project. Collaborative planning is recommended in this case since the entity will need to work together with the project suppliers.
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