Turn Project Management Theory Into Reality
Mon 24th May 2010
This can give a good grounding in the theoretical and practical applications of the techniques. Each system offers its own advantages, so those in charge of assignments are free to utilise the one that best meets the needs of the campaign. Managers leading teams focussed on small-scale initiatives tend to opt for the traditional way of running them.
These approaches are usually linear and allow those in charge to work through them in a systematic manner. In these circumstances, stages are very well defined and normally begin with initiation, followed by planning, executing and monitoring of the task at hand. This is an effective method for projects that have clear, reachable goals, where the scope for potential problems is small.
A simple assignment of this type may be to design a new uniform for workers, for example. Leaders would need a varied number of people on board to ensure the garments are well-made and designed, in addition to meeting health and safety guidelines, while a representative from the workforce may also be present to give the views of those that will be wearing them. This straightforward campaign could be organised via traditional management processes and any issues that do crop up can be addressed at the monitoring stage.
As managers move on from smaller-scale tasks to those that impact more people, they may wish to adopt different methods, including the critical chain method of organising tasks. This uses a different tactic compared with traditional models and it highlights the impact that resource issues have on projects. Resources are defined in a number of ways, but essentially they are what team leaders need to bring their initiative to fruition.
This could be people, time and money and they have considerable sway over the outcome of the task. This technique addresses the importance of planning around the resources available and applies a priority system to jobs within the project. This means that some tasks are under greater pressure to be completed ahead of others.
Taking the earlier example, a firm may have been commissioned to design and produce uniforms for an entire workforce with different roles allocated individual wear. Designers could be considered a resource that is in shorter supply than the factory actually making the garments, as they are given less time to put-together their drawings, and they could be expensive to hire, which eats into the money resource. Consequently, designing the uniforms may be considered a critical task that is completed with more urgency than others.
Prince2 is another kind of technique that consists of linear processes that are readdressed if need be. This is a guidance system that suggests the input of people working on the task, in addition to those that have commissioned it. All this is overseen by a project manager who can set up these boards and control the progression by monitoring events and making adjustments as necessary.
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