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Planning and Communication Required for Project Management

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Project Management
Wordcount: 4283 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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1         Introduction

According to PMI, “a project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique produce, service, or result” (PMBOK® GUIDE, 2017). Helping an organisation reach its strategical objectives is a key reason why project is applied. A project is carried out by an organisation to not only solve its business challenges but also master technical challenges and human challenges. Project management is a process which is intended to meet project requirement via covering various areas such as knowledge, skills, tools among project activities. (PMI,2004) (Gray and Larson,2006) The four stages concluded in a project life cycle are: (a)initiating project; (b)planning project; (c) executing project; (d) closing project. In each phase, different processes are carried out:

(a)    initiating project—project selection, project leader selection;

(b)    planning project—team selection, generate project objectives and plan, undertake activities related to risk management, estimating and managing budget, scheduling as well as resources management;

(c)     executing project—control and estimation among actual implementation

(d)    closing project—conclude project and reassign resources

Ten significant “knowledge area” are carried out to generate the entire range for managing project, including integration management, cost management communication management, scope management, quality management, risk management, stakeholder management, time management, human resource management and procurement management (PMBOK® GUIDE,2017). Each knowledge area contains plan stage, manage stage and control stage. In this report, multiple knowledge will be included in order to specify how project management take actions to help organisation meet strategical objectives in both planning stage and executing stage. A project example for this report is called “AS complementary education (CASLE) project”. It is a project intends to revitalize an endangered language in Finland by creating a AS language program. The purpose for this project is to have more AS-speaking professionals in new generations.

2         Quality Management

 Quality management refers to the coordinated activities of command and control organizations in terms of quality, usually including the formulation of quality policies and quality objectives, as well as quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality improvement.

There are 8 principles of quality management:

(1) customer focus: meet customer needs and strive to exceed customer expectations.

(2) leadership: the leader establishes a unified purpose, direction and internal environment of the organization so that employees can fully participate in the activities to achieve organizational goals.

(3) full participation: personnel at all levels are fundamental to the organization.

(4) process approach: it is more efficient to manage resources and activities as processes.

(5) system management: it helps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization.

(6) continuous improvement: continuous improvement is an eternal goal of an organization.

(7) making decisions based on facts

(8) mutually beneficial supplier relationship: a mutually beneficial relationship shall be maintained between the organization and the supplier.

There are four links in the process of quality management:

(1) establishment of quality standard system: it is the key work for quality management.

(2) quality control of project implementation: collect project information and analyze the actual situation for monitoring.

(3) compare the actual situation with the standard: how is the progress? If there is any deviation, what is the cause? In this way, it can provide the basis for the objective evaluation of the project quality.

(4) deviation correction and error correction: take reasonable corrective measures according to the specific situation to get the project back on track.

Iv. Quality management process

Project quality management mainly includes quality planning, quality assurance and quality control.

1. Quality plan

The quality plan identifies the quality standards that are appropriate for the project and determines how these standards will be met.

The quality plan should focus on three aspects:

Define quality standards, that is, determine the relevant quality standards for each unique project, and plan the quality into the project’s products and the processes involved in managing the project.

Identifying key factors, i.e. understanding which variables affect the outcome, is an important part of the quality plan.

Establish control processes that communicate corrective actions taken to ensure quality in an understandable and complete manner.

2. Quality assurance

Quality assurance is used for planned and systematic quality activities to ensure that all processes in a project meet the expectations of the stakeholders. Quality assurance is a planned and systematic activity throughout the whole project life cycle.

3. Quality control

Quality control monitors the results of specific projects to determine their compliance with relevant quality standards and to develop effective programs to eliminate the causes of quality problems. Quality control is to test and verify the periodic results and provide reference for quality assurance. Quality control is a circular process of planning, executing, checking and improving. It is realized through a series of tools and technologies.

The tools and techniques for the preparation of quality management plan include:

(1) benefit and cost analysis: the benefits should exceed the costs, for example, reducing rework can improve productivity.

(2) benchmark comparison: compare with the practices of other projects, generate improvement ideas and propose standards for measuring performance.

(3) flow chart: it is used to reveal the movement status of the closed system and assist decision-making.

(4) experimental design: a statistical method to determine the factors affecting specific variables.

(5) quality cost analysis: it is the total cost of all efforts to meet the quality requirements.

(6) quality function deployment: a multi-level deductive analysis method that converts customer or market requirements into design requirements, component characteristics, process requirements and production requirements.

(7) process decision-making process diagram: in the planning stage, the potential obstacles are predicted in advance, so as to design a series of countermeasures. Can be used to prevent the occurrence of major accidents, also known as the major accident prediction chart method.

Vi. Tools and techniques for quality control

(1) test. It usually refers to software testing, which is the key step of software quality control.

(2) inspection. It is a process by which a product is inspected to see if it meets the expected standards. In software projects, inspections are often called reviews.

(3) statistical sampling. Select a section from the interested group to examine. Proper sampling can often reduce the cost of quality control.

(4) causal diagram. It visually shows how each factor relates to a variety of potential problems or outcomes.

(5) histogram. Shows the number of times a particular situation occurred.

(6) control chart. Generally, there are three lines, the upper dotted line is called the upper control limit, the lower dotted line is called the lower control limit, and the middle solid line is called the centre line. If there are 7 consecutive origin points or more distributed on the same side of the Central Line, even if they are all within the control limit, it means that there is a problem, which should be regarded as out of control.

(7) pareto diagram. Sometimes called the “twenty-eight principle,” 80% of problems are often caused by 20% of the causes.

In CASLE, it is important to ensure the quality of end product—AS-speaking professionals. To ensure the quality, it is significant to determine where the professionals from. Their working experience, age area distance as well as motivation on learning language would be examined.

3         Human Resources Management

I. the process of human resource management

The process of project human resource management includes: human resource planning, project team building, project team building and project team management.

1. Human resource planning

Assign and file project roles and responsibilities according to project management plan and actual requirements. The human resource plan generally includes the problems of project team building, time arrangement, member demobilization arrangement and training requirements.

2. Project team building

According to the project human resource plan, obtain the required personnel and build the project team. Getting the right project people is the most critical challenge to human resource management for IT projects.

3. Project team building

Improve the skills of project team members, enhance the sense of trust and cohesion among team members, to achieve the purpose of improving productivity.

4. Project team management

Improve project performance by tracking team members’ performance, analyzing feedback information, solving problems and coordinating various changes, especially changes in human resource requirements.

Second, human resources planning tools

1. Organization chart

2. OBS (organization decomposition structure) is a specific organization graph used to represent what the organization unit is responsible for. OBS are similar to WBS except that OBS are organized not according to the breakdown of project deliverables but according to departments, units and teams set up by the organization.

3. RAM (responsibility allocation matrix) is a matrix formed by assigning each work in WBS to the executives in OBS. RAM can also be used to define the roles and responsibilities of the project.

4. Hr template

Using a document from a previous similar project can help reduce omissions of major responsibilities and speed up the preparation of a human resource plan for the project.

5.Informal networking

Also called social. Informal interpersonal communication within the organization or industry helps to understand the interpersonal factors that can affect staffing programmes.

Iii. Project team building

1. Selection of project manager

Have 3 kinds of means commonly: appoint by company high-level leader, choose through negotiation of business and user, competition mount guard.

Three basic abilities: the ability to interpret project information, the ability to discover and integrate project resources, and the ability to turn project ideas into project results.

2. Selection of project team members

Generally, it adopts the form of recruitment, and makes the recruitment plan according to the human resources plan to determine the project’s demand for personnel.

V. project team building

Common methods of team building include: general management skills, training, team building activities, basic principles, co-location (centralization), recognition and reward, etc.

Characteristics of a successful team: the team has a clear goal; Clear organizational structure of the team; The project manager has clear assessment and evaluation standards for team members, and has the organizational discipline to formulate and abide by together. Work together.

Vi. Project team management

Project team management is about tracking individual and team performance, providing feedback, solving problems, and coordinating changes to improve project performance. After the implementation of project team management, the project personnel allocation management plan shall be updated, change requests shall be made, problems shall be solved, and the basis for organizational performance evaluation shall be provided.

Vii. Conflict management

Common methods of conflict management are:

1. Avoid or withdraw

To withdraw from a situation in order to avoid actual or potential conflict. This approach, however, is not a positive solution and may allow conflicts to build up and escalate later.

2. Competition or coercion

Win or lose. Believing that winning a conflict is more important than struggling to maintain personal relationships is a positive way to resolve conflict. But there may be an extreme situation, such as the use of power to force the treatment, may lead to resentment of project team members, deterioration of the working atmosphere of the project team.

3. Detente and mediation

Agree to disagree. The emphasis on the common strategic objectives of all parties to the conflict can only be achieved with concerted efforts. The parties to the conflict may sacrifice for the common strategic goal, but this strategy is not conducive to a complete solution of the problem.

4, compromise,

Each side has to make some concessions to achieve the goal of winning and losing. Compromise is an effective strategy to avoid conflict and reach agreement when the two sides in a conflict are evenly matched or the focus issues are complex. But this approach is not always possible because compromises are temporary and conditional.

5. Face to face

Facing the conflict directly is an effective way to solve the conflict. Team members face the problem directly and get a clear result. This is a positive approach to conflict resolution that both addresses the end of the problem and values the relationship between team members. Honesty and a democratic atmosphere are key to this approach.

4         Procurement Management

A complete process of purchasing products, services, or deliverables from outside the project team;

Procurement must meet technical and quality requirements as well as economic or reasonably priced requirements.

14.1.2 main process of procurement management.

Prepare purchasing plan; Make inquiry plan; Inquiry, tendering and bidding; Supplier selection; Contract management and closure;

2 preparation of procurement plan (most affected by schedule plan)

2.1input and output of procurement plan preparation

Input: scope baseline (scope specification, WBS, WBS dictionary); Requirements documents for project stakeholders; Cooperation agreement; Risk record; Contract decisions relating to risks; Activity resource requirements; Project schedule; Activity cost estimation; Performance to price benchmark; Career environmental factors; Organizational process assets;

Output : procurement management plan, procurement statement ;

The procurement management plan describes the procurement process from document formation to contract closure.

The procurement statement describes the products, services and results to be provided by the seller. Each procurement job description is derived from the project scope baseline, which defines the scope of parts of the project related to the procurement contract.

14.3 prepare inquiry plan

Tools and techniques: standard forms; Expert judgment;

Output: procurement documents; Evaluation criteria; Job description (update);

4 seller selection

5 administrate contract

6 contract and contract closure

6.1 key points of procurement contract management

To direct and manage the execution of the project and authorize the contractor to commence work at the appropriate time; Performance reports; Quality control; Overall change control; Risk monitoring;

Objectives of contract management: to ensure the effective implementation of the contract; To ensure the quality control of purchased products and services;

6.2 contract closing input and output

Input: contract documents and contract management plan; Contract closure procedures;

Output: contract closure; Update organizational process assets (contract documents; Deliverable for acceptance; Lessons learned;

5         Communication Management

Communication planning is in the planning phase of project management. Several factors are determinant for both what the project team need to communicate and whom the team need to communicate with:

  1. Organisational culture and structure
  2. Standards and regulation related
  3. Organisational frame
  4. Human resources
  5. Marketplace status
  6. Risk estimation
  7. Project management information systems

The most significant element that project manager should focus in planning communication period are lesson learned and historical information. Limitations and assumptions affect communication. The following constrains have an effect on communication:

  1. Different geographic location among project team members
  2. Language gaps
  3. Technical skills
  4. Electronic devices abilities

Communication requirement is also a key component for planning communication. Demands identification for communication are shown as follow:

  1. Stakeholder responsibility relationship
  2. Stakeholder information

The next step for communication planning is to explore communication technologies. There are several technologies that can affect communication plan:

  1. Technology (website that demonstrate project progress in detail)
  2. Project staffing
  3. Project environment

In CASLE, project staffing is applied to build-up project instructor team who are responsible for using AS teaching method to instruct AS to new generations when start education program.

The project manager needs to control the communication process, and about 85-90% of the information Shared in the communication is spent in the communication of the meeting. Some of them are:

  • There should be a time limit for meetings and the project manager should follow it.
  • Repeated meetings should be scheduled in advance, and meetings with the team should be regular (but not frequent).
  • Every meeting should have a clear purpose and agenda
  • The agenda of the meeting shall be circulated to the participants prior to the meeting
  • The team should stick to the agenda during the meeting
  • Team members and meeting participants should be aware of their roles in the meeting in advance (for example, one member may be a meeting recorder, and the other may be a timekeeper)
  • The meeting includes the right audience
  • The project manager needs effective support to conduct the meeting and follow the rules
  • For each action, the action owner and delivery date will be specified in the meeting minutes and recorded and published

In CASLE, there is a communication gaps when teaching AS language, the method that CASLE use to control is a developed language teaching model, which generate a continuous combination between teaching and learning. In the initiating period ,CASLE use internet course recorded to distribute AS course in order to conduct survey on the number of people that are interested in learning AS.

6         Stakeholder management

Project stakeholders are defined as all individuals or groups who impact on project or be impacted by the project. Stakeholder management, as one of crucial parts in project management, utilize stakeholder analysis as a useful tool to disclose the irresolvable conflicts which come up when creating plan and introducing any new project (K. Pinto,2016). There are four steps in stakeholder management: stakeholder identification, planning stakeholder management, managing stakeholder management and taking control on stakeholder meetings. Stakeholders identification involves both internal and external stakeholders. To a project manager, internal stakeholders contains Top management, Accounting, other functional manager and project team members, while external stakeholder contains clients, competitors, suppliers and other environmental and political related groups. In CASLE case, its internal stakeholders are project team which consists of project plan team, study material team and team of instructors, while its external stakeholders are students in new generation and suppliers such as University of Oulu, Saami Education Institute and Anarâškielâ servi.

Planning stakeholder management indicate development of effective management strategies to engage stakeholders through all project lifecycle (Sampietro,2016). To create a stakeholder management plan, a stakeholder strategy which can be generated by stakeholder analysis is needed to be developed. Using a stakeholder analysis matrix can help project manager understand involved stakeholders.

In CASLE, university of Oulu is responsible for providing place and facilities for in-classroom education, Anarâškielâ servi provide instructors for teaching, Saami Education provide fund for out-of-classroom teaching.

Controlling stakeholder involvement ensures stakeholder commitment throughout the project phase. It also ensures that their expectations are met and that any future problems are predicted so that they can be addressed throughout the project lifecycle. It is important to note that stakeholders have a high degree of influence in the implementation and progress of a project. This is why controlling stakeholder engagement is important in project management because it keeps stakeholders involved throughout the project lifecycle (including changes).

The purpose of controlling stakeholder engagement is to improve organisational performance, meet requirements and brings out sustainability. One crucial benefit of controlling stakeholder management is to make stakeholder engagement activities more effective and more efficient.

7         Conclusion

In conclusion, project management is a useful tool to manage a time-limited project which has a specific goal to reach. Planning is a crucial stage in project management, it collects the initiated resources which are developed in initiation stage and produce various documental plan including quality management plan, human resource management plan, procurement management plan, communication management plan as well as stakeholder engagement plan. In the next stage, controlling in managing project required multiple inputs, especially performance report, project management plan to generate lesson learned and come up correction to bring effective workout on reaching goals.

8         References

  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, 2017, A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide), Project Management Institute, United State.
  • Pinto, 2016, Project Management Achieving Competitive Advantage, Pearson Education Limited, England.
  • Phillips, 2010, Project Management Professional Study Guide. The McGraw-Hill Companies, United State.
  • Olthuis, Kivela & Skutnabb-Kangas, 2013, Revitalising Indigenous Language How to recreate a lost Generation, MULTILIINGUAL MATTERS, UK.


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