Project Management in
Our Contemporary Society
Chapter One
The definition of a “Project”
“A temporary endeavor undertaken to create
a unique product or service.”
It is sometimes useful to make distinction
between terms as project , program,
tasks, and work packages.
 program projects  tasks work
packages work units.
 The project is characterized through its
attributes.
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Attributes of a project
Importance:
 The most crucial attributes of a project is that it
must be important enough in the eyes of a
senior management to justify setting up a
special organizational unit outside the routine
structure of the organization.
 If the rest of the organization senses, or even
suspects, that it is not really important, the
project is generally doomed to fail.
1.
Attributes of a project
2.
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Performance
A project is usually a one-time activity with a
well-defined set of desired end results.
It can be divided into subtasks that must be
accomplished in order to achieve the project
goals.
The project is complex enough that the
subtasks require careful coordination and
control in terms of timing, precedence, cost
and performance.
Attributes of a project
3.
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Life cycle with finite due date:
Like organic entities , projects have life
cycles.
From a slow beginning they progress to
a buildup of size, then peak, begin to
decline and finally must be terminated
by some due date.( also like organic
entities, they resist termination)
Attributes of a project
4.
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Interdependencies
Projects often interact with other projects being carried
out simultaneously by their parent organization.
Typically these interactions take the form of
competition for scarce resources between projects.
Although the functional departments of an
organization interact with one another in regular,
patterned ways, the patterns of interaction between
projects and these departments tends to be
changeable.
PM must keep all these interactions clear and maintain
the appropriate interrelationships with all the external
groups.
Attributes of a project
5.
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Uniqueness
Though the desired end may have been achieved
elsewhere, they are at least unique to the
organizations.
Moreover, every project has some elements that are
unique to that organization. no 2 construction or R&D
projects are precisely similar.
The degree of customization, and the presence of risk
can alter characteristics in similar projects.
Projects by their nature cannot be completely reduced
to routine
The PM’s is emphasized because , as a devotee of
management by exception, the pm will find there are a
great exceptions to manage by.
Attributes of a project
6.
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Resources
Projects have limited budgets, both for
personal as well as other resources.
Often the budget is implied rather than
detailed, particularly concerning
personnel, but it is strictly limited.
Attributes of a project
7.
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Conflicts
More than the mangers, the PM lives in a world of
characterized by conflicts. Projects compete with
functional departments for resources and personnel.
More serious, with the growing proliferation of
projects, is the project-versus-projects conflicts for
resources within multi project organizations.
The 4 parties–at-interest or stakeholders (clients,
parents organization, projects team and the public) in
any project even define success and failure in different
ways.
Non projects and Quasi-projects
The use of manufacturing line to produce
a flow of standard products is a non
project.
 They are all routine
 Quasi – projects are those which have a
Resembling or having a likeness to
projects but the terms as performance,
scheduling and budgets are implied in
different manner.
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The Project Life Cycle
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Most projects go through similar stages on the path from
origin to completion.
There are following for phases in a project, collectively
called Project life cycle.
In the initial phase one that is the start-up phase or
formation ( conception)
The second stage is the build-up stage or the selection
stage
The third is the main program stage or the
implementation phase which includes all the planning,
scheduling, monitoring and control
The final stage is the phase-out stage or the termination
phase.
(Figure 1)
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The pattern for the slow-rapid-slow progress towards the
project goal is common.
It is the result of the changing levels of resources used
during the successive stages of the life cycle.
Minimal efforts is required at the beginning , when the
project concept is being developed and subjected to
project selection process.
Activity increases as planning is completed and the real
works of the projects gets underway.
This rises to the peak and then begins to taper off as the
project nears completion, finally ceasing when evaluation
is complete and the project is terminated
Figure 2
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While the rise and fall of efforts always occurs, there is
no particular pattern that seems to typify all projects,
nor any reason for the slowdown at the end of the
project to resemble the buildup at its beginning.
Some projects end without being dragged out. That is it
gradually slows down until one is almost surprised to
discover that project activity has ceased.
In some cases the effort may never fall to zero because
the project team may be maintained for a next project
that comes along.
The new project will then rise, phoenix- like, from the
ashes of the old.
Time-cost &Performance in PLC
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The ever-present goals of meeting performance, time and cost are
the major considerations throughout the PLC
It was generally thought that performance took precedence at early
phase where planners focus on finding the specific methods
required to meet the project’s performance goals.
At times team members are so consumed with improving
performance that result in delayed schedules and ultimately higher
costs.
At the same time technology of project is defined, the project
schedule is designed and project costs are estimated.
It is assumed that project cost are of prime importance in the high
activity stages and schedule becomes paramount in the final stages,
when the client demands delivery
But recent researches indicate that the above assumptions are
untrue.
Performance and scheduling are more important than cost during all
stages.
Figure 3
A particularly important alternative life
cycle shape can be captured by the
analogy of “baking a cake”
 A number of such actual projects prevail in
computer software projects and chemical
industries.
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Risk during the life cycle
It would be a great source of comfort if one could
predict with certainty, at the start of the project, how
performance ,cost and scheduling would be met.
 Figure 4: as we see the uncertainty can be seen at the
beginning of the project
 Figure 5: this diagram shows how uncertainty decreases
as the project moves towards completion
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From the project start point t o, the band of uncertainty
grows until it is quiet wide by the estimated end of the
project. As the project actually develops, the degree of
uncertainty about the final outcome is reduced. t1 .
t
A later forecast made at 2 , reduces the uncertainty further.
It is common to make new forecasts about project performance,
time and cost either at fixed intervals in the life of the project or
when specific milestones are reached.
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Project Management in Our Contemporary Society