Project Planning and Control Methods
Project planning and control methods came to be in the 1980s with the
introduction of microcomputer software. In the 1990s project
management was accepted into the mainstream business as a means for
developing new products and services. In the 20th century project
management appears to be the solution to many of the challenges
confronting global business enterprises (Gray, C. & Larson, E., 2003).
Trends such as the globalization of business operations increase in
mega mergers and acquisitions, increased focus on results, need for
speed in delivery, and pressure for accountability have fueled a
growth in project management activities across the organization.
Traditional organizations are undergoing significant changes, which
are being driven by the advances that information technology is
bringing to the business world (Gray, C. & Larson, E., 2003).
Project management must include management of product life cycle.
Gray and Larson states that the shortening of the product life cycle
is perhaps the most enormous force driving changes in the process of
managing projects. The average life cycle of all products 50 years ago
was in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 years. Now it is estimated that
the life cycle for all products is three years. High-technology firm
executives estimate that the average life cycle of products to be six
months. Short life-cycles increase the number of projects an
organization will have to handle simultaneously. A new product creates
a need for a new project.
Once the product life cycle ends, it is up to the project team to help
bring the company up to date with ideas and concepts. Improved
knowledge and technology support innovation and innovation results in
new projects. Global competition has reached all parts of the world.
Surviving and being successful in harsh competition intensifies the
need for sustained innovation and process improvements (Gray, C. &
Larson, E., 2003). Organizations have to be leaders in innovation and
process improvement to win the competition.
Organizations are adapting to support more effective project
management as projects become the focal point of businesses. The more
successful organizations of the future will be the ones that support
flexibility, places high importance on projects, and maintain a
sustained effort by members to learn and improve processes. Leading
organizations of the future will need to support continuous
improvement and organizational learning and react quickly to
innovation (Gray, C. & Larson, E., 2003).
Projects are not stream-lined to just one group. Cross-border, cross
cultural projects will multiply with the increase of large mergers and
acquisitions and will force project managers to develop global
perspective. Managing global teams working together on one project
from several distant sites will require the project manager to change
management style to accommodate this unique...