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Project management is a term that we hear daily in the workplace. It is not a new invention; it has been around for a while, and is, in its simplest form, a way of managing change.

There has been a growing interest in project management as a management approach because organisations are increasingly using project management principles and practices in their daily operations.

In this project management culture framework we consider “the way we do things round here” (Deal and Kennedy, 1982), and to this end we look it in terms of:

  • project processes (the way)
  • people in projects (we)
  • systems and structures used in project management (do things)
  • environment (around here)
  • The nature of a project.
  • The nature and application of project management.
  • The types of structures that are found in a project environment.
  • The application of organisation structures in a project environment.
  • The major processes and activities required to manage a project.

 

Why Project Management?

Project management principles and practices have already been incorporated into daily workplace because they allows for shorter development times, better utilisation of resources, reduced costs, a better focus on quality and outcomes, and improved inter-departmental cooperation that builds synergies across the organisation. Employees have already been exposed

to project management terminology and practices regardless of whether they work on a specific project or not.

When a supervisor requires a breakdown of required resources for the development of a product, planning of an event (meeting) or the introduction of a new service – this is known as “scoping” in project management terms. Similarly when an employee is tasked to work on a client account, set up a meeting, change a production line, this would be “initiating” in project management terms. Reporting back to a line manager on the changes, achievements or issues during the undertaking of a task would be “managing of variables” and “evaluation” in project management.

In the workplace, projects are not generally outside of normal duties that an employee may be required to perform, but unless he or she understands what a project actually is, or what the fundamentals of project management are, they may not be able to keep up with their allotted tasks. This makes it essential that team members receive basic project management training in the fundamentals of project management.

Fundamentals of Project Management include:

  1. Scoping:  This encompasses the features and functions that are to be included in a product or service; detailing all the work that will be done in order to complete the project, and if necessary to avoid confusion, what need not be done. Scope also includes objectives defined in terms of expectations of time, cost and quality.
  2. Initiating:  Defining and formulating the project objectives, purpose, scope, deliverables and intentions into a formal, planned, resourced and funded project that is set up for success. This includes developing an overall schedule of activities and resources, for example a production schedule in a factory, or a business plan for a company.
  3. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):  Identifying the tasks and their estimated duration to accurately predict completion dates, assess the feasibility of target dates, andidentify the critical path for the project. The WBS also highlights points of interaction, where once employee’s final product is the input of another’s project, for example where departments submit quarterly reports to their line managers, who then must collate the information into an overall report. It highlights the dependencies and responsibilities of each person in the project.
  4. Time Management & Cost Management:  Projects are driven by target dates and schedules, and a pre-determined budget. It is critical that all team members adhere to these and ensure the project is finished on schedule, within the budget. To this end, team members need to be made aware that their not completing their tasks on time will have a knock-on effect on the whole project as it may affect other members’ ability to complete their task.
  5. Managing Variables:  Most projects by nature do not go completely according to plan. Smart project managers incorporate budget and schedule contingency buffers at the end of major phases to accommodate unforseen problems. Changes may need to be made in the direction, length or type of tasks to be done by the team, and this is generally done via a formal 'change control' procedure. In a manufacturing business there may be a malfunction in one of the production machines which results in downtime (underutilisation of resources and loss of production) and additional cost for repairs (affects the budget and potentially lowers profit).
  1. Deliverables:  Deliverables are the output, a tangible or intangible object, produced as a result of the project that is intended to be delivered to a customer. Everyone on the team should have a clear understanding of the project deliverables as it keeps everyone focused on working towards the same goal.
  1. Evaluation:  An evaluation should be done at the end of each project to determine what worked and what didn’t work, so that information can become lessons learned for future reference.  This helps us to keep evolving and to make us more effective in the workplace. Lessons learned and best practices form invaluable assets and all employees need to adopt this approach to help improve overall productivity of the organisation.

Project management training equips employees to implement the project management philosophy in their daily work, contributing to a more effective and productive team.

Fundamental Project Management focuses on providing participants with an introduction to the basics of project management. The workshop covers the accepted project management cycle, including scoping and planning a project, administering and controlling, as well as managing changes.

This two-day workshop covers:

For more information, contact Marisa Robinson on 084 294 9117 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.