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Project Management

A project is a composition of activities that involves a number of people, take a long time and involve a lot of resources. It is a transitory endeavor that has a defined beginning and end and is usually undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives in order to add values to critical success factors of a certain mission. (Chatfield and Timothy, 2007). It is an intervention aimed at transforming an existing undesirable situation to the desirable or expected situation.

The intervention occurs within a specified time and budget, aimed at some specific objective(s) that brings about changes in the lives of the beneficiaries. It is characterized by having a clearly defined start and end; a well defined objectives and involves the entire organizational framework. Management on the other hand is the process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling the organization’s recourses in order to achieve organizational resources.

It is the process of establishing and maintaining the environment for effective and efficient performance of critical success factors of the organization. Therefore, project management is the utilization of available system, techniques and people as resources in ensuring control to confirm to quality, time, cost and resources within the lifetime of a project. The complex

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issue of a project is that, due to massive investment involved, there has to be a proper balancing of the parameters (cost, quality and time) because if not, the entire project can be affected.

The challenges involved in project management is that there has to be properly blending of the social affairs of the entire team due to varying backgrounds; proper planning has to be done has to be done in advance to overcome any problems; there has to be proper mechanisms to respond to unexpected problems that may affect the project; various skills would be required at different stages of the project and finally, there has to be well adopted structure for dealing with conflicts. According to Locke (2003); the major topologies of a project include; industrial projects, manufacturing projects, management projects and research projects.

According to this discussion, more emphasis is laid on research projects. These are projects designed to inquire into a given phenomenon for the purpose of expanding the boundaries of current knowledge. They are characterized by difficulties in defining their objectives. An example of a research project is the system development in any entity with an aim of improving the existing one. One part of project manager’s role is the resourcing of production team. But very little focus is placed on resourcing project managers making them to be overwhelmed, worn out and ineffective (Gina).

In this regard, strategies should be developed to help management allocate work to project managers appropriately. Resource needs in a project schedule These are basically tools or techniques needed in project schedule that will result to successful completion of a project within a stipulated time and the resources available. They include; the critical path analysis (CPA), Gantt Charts, PERT charts and others. CPA and PERT are powerful tools that help in managing complex projects by helping in planning.

Gantt charts on the other hand helps in analyzing and planning the same complex projects by planning what task needs to be completed and plan for the allocation of resources needed to complete the project. These tools dictate what to be done by whom, when and at what amount of resources to be. They help in resource scheduling which is essential in any project appraisal. Resource scheduling involves a step by step procedure taken by a project manager to come up with a new system so as to modify the existing one. The resources to be assigned in a project differ from project to project.

But first, the following steps have to be defined. The problem to be solved or the opportunity to be exploited should be very specific, clear and precise. After defining the problem, the next step is to determine whether the situation is feasible or viable given that organization resources and constraints. The resources in this case may include; technical resources, financial resources, and human resources (Manjeet). Technical resources can be the machineries and the qualified personalities to be involved in the project. These technical resources can be hired or bought depending on the approach that is most economical.

The financial status of an entity has to be approved to determine the project’s viability given the organization’s financial constraints. The sources of finance can be internally generated or external. The internal sources would include; using the operational or retained profits generated or selling the assets of the organization to fund the project to cater for the costs associated with the implementation of the project such as costs of training, documentation, hiring and acquiring new equipments outweigh the benefits that will accrue as increased productivity and profitability.

Finally, human resource factors should be considered in which case, end users or employees should be employed on the basis of skills and technical expertise in their workforce. Besides these tangible resources, project managers, should have leadership and team spirit skills in that, he must have ability to influence others positively and to create a spirit of corporation among members.

One should also have organizational skills where he should have an ability to use project management techniques as network diagrams, project evaluation and review techniques and Gantt charts and ensure proper documentation is clear and distributed to all concerned parties. Further, a project manager should have communication skills in which he is able to listen, inform and pursued team member. These are the intangible resources that should be available in project scheduling.

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