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Project Management Essay

2026 words - 8 pages

Project ManagementIntroductionProjects form a large part of our personal and professional lives. Throughout history, major projects have been undertaken to fulfil the needs of man. The products of these some of these ancient projects are still visible today.The use of the term products of the project is more than being pedantic. The Great Wall of China is not a project but the product of a project, just as the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge is the product of a project. What we usually see is the product of a project or the activity that forms part of a project.If a project is not the physical item that we see, then what is a project? A project is a distinct entity, as much as a physical entity. In its purest form a project is a way of doing work.One definition is that a project is"any undertaking that has definite, final objectives representing specified values to be used in the satisfaction of some need or desire"This definition examines the objective based problem solving power of projects. There are a number of interesting concepts that flow from this definition.Projects can cover a wide range of human endeavour and physical projects represent only a sub class of the types of projects that exist. Other projects may cover the implementation of a new work method, arranging a social event, writing a book, fixing a leaky tap etc.For projects to exist by this definition there must be a visible need to be satisfied. The satisfaction raises two major issues:the needs of the various participants (stakeholders) in a project are not the same, (in construction projects the needs of the owner are not the same as the contractor)and the needs must be identifiable. This is not to say that the need will not change during the life of the project, however the objectives of the project must always be directed at satisfying that need.Values are specified that satisfy the need or desire and again as the needs change so to must the values. These values often are a compromise between perfection and cost or time.By this definition, projects are able to provide some form of order in chaos. Projects can then provide a way of organising and focusing activity.Projects within OrganisationsProjects play a major role in implementing business strategy. Projects are one of the major choice elements that an organisation may select from. They form part of the overall organisational planning process as shown on the Figure 1.]The choice elements are defined as:Mission: the business that the organisation is in.Objectives: desired future positions on the roles of the organisation.Strategy: the general direction in which the objectives are pursued.Goals: specific targets to be sought at specified points in time.Projects: resource-consuming sets of activities through which strategies are implemented and goals are pursued.Organisations can also change missions by the nature of the projects that they undertake and vice versa. Companies that would have been involved in a single...

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