Project Management: Principles and Strategies
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Over the last few decades, it has been widely established that project management is an effective tool to deal with complex and novel activities. According to Avots (1969), project management approach has proved to be more efficient compared to traditional management methods, like the functional divisions’ management in the organizations with formal hierarchy. The process of developing new projects and controlling their operational performance requires new approaches to be undertaken by the companies that are long-lasting on the market, as well as necessitates various new management techniques from those managers and executives who are responsible to maintain everyday operations. In the settings when companies have a unique, unfamiliar, and finite undertaking, the tools of project management can be implemented rather successfully. These activities would call for more and faster decision making methods than those that are taking place in the normal operation and as a result making right choices will be crucial for the success of the company (El-Sabaa 2001).
Normally, the major task of the project manager is to create a product or deliver completion of a service. The primary tool that is available to every project manager is the brainpower of other people that are involved to the project implementation who are professional specialists in various fields. Hence, their experience and knowledge are used at all the phases of the project A project is often defined as organization’s unit that is dedicated to the achievement of a goal. Latter is usually considered a successful completion of the project on time, within the adopted budget, and in conformance with predestined project specifications. People that are involved in the project implementation form the combination of the brainpower that is varying along with the mission of the project. In the companies, projects are mostly established by tasks compared to the functional project organization. The relative advantages of the work that is organized in the project form have become the central point of controversial discussion in the literature (Turner 1993).
Principles of Effective Project Management
Essential to the process of effective project management is a clear definition of principles of the project management, outlining responsibilities and authority of the project manager. The manager should be aware about his primary responsibilities, including delivery of the successful accomplishment of the project goals (1) according to the project requirements, (2) within the project budget limitations, and finally (3) according to the established time schedule that has been specified by the customer or company executives. In general, project manager delegates project tasks to the team members or subordinate managers and assigns them with equivalent responsibilities (Wit 1988).
Success of the project implementation as well as its failure may become a vital turning point of the project manager's ability to distinguish fine variations in accent among budget, performance, as well as time schedule needs and to determine the continuous obvious conflicts, which come about between them.
It can be critical to overstate the schedule when financial flows have become the central requirement, or vice versa. Similarly, project performance requirements must be trimmed or met in order to comply with reality. Therefore, experienced project manager should deliver his efforts on the achievement of the balance between project requirements and reality; moreover, he needs to be flexible so that he is able to shift and adjust to new circumstances as they arise (Wit 1988).
Competencies of the Project Manager
Successful project manager should be competent in various spheres and have skills in the project implementation field. These competencies of the project manager include ability to manage people’s emotions, build trust among team members, have skills of effective communication, be able to motivate other people, be aware about the cultural differences among team members, ability to lead others and finally capacity to be effective team builder (Fisher 2011).
Project manager needs to be able to manage emotions of other people that emerge in the course of the project implementation. He should show sincere understanding of other people’s needs and motives. It is crucial for the project manager to be able to show open concern about others, appointing them with different responsibilities and thus showing that the team members are trustworthy. In order to make right decisions a project manager needs to be able to communicate his ideas effectively as well as understand the points of view of other team members and take them into account (Fisher 2011).
One of the major skills that project manager should have includes ability to motivate people to perform their tasks effectively. Latter largely depends on the capacity of the project manager to develop and display his awareness about cultural and social differences among people. It is important to understand values and beliefs of all the team members, especially in the large multinational corporations (Fisher 2011).
At last, one of the competencies that the project manager should possess is the ability to establish effective team, environment in which every member feels his contribution is valuable. Finally, project manager should know when to show his authority as well as be able to exercise his competency in the subject of the project.
In reviewing these competencies of the project manager, one can detect the importance on the integrative function in the process of the project implementation. There are no doubts that in the course of the project management there is a strong need in the ability of the project manager to join and control various parts of the project (Fisher 2011). It is difficult to define the requisite qualities the project manager should possess. But at the same time it is clear that project manager should be skillful in the integrative activities, be able to deal with tangible as well as with intangible factors, and that at times there is a need for the spontaneous process in the judgment formulation and decision.
In the companies that employ project form of the operational process, it is accepted that with the help of the project manager’s analytical mind and cooperation of the team members, project goals are achieved. However, without the integrative ability of the project manager, often nothing would be accomplishable. Hence, the first-rate manager of the project must be competent in both analysis and integration (Fisher 2011).
Understanding Organization’s Mission and Vision
The course of the project implementation is tightly related with the project manager’s clear understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, and strategy. . Combining the knowledge of the company’s strategic development with project implementation, manager will be able to use projects as tactic elements of the general company’s strategy attainment. At the same time, framing projects according to the mission and vision of the company is helpful to make every project consider company’s market strengths and peculiarities compared to its competitors.
In conclusion, it should be mentioned that organizing operational activity of companies by tasks in the form of projects has become popular among numerous companies recently. Dividing work to projects enables company’s executives control performance with the help of the project managers. They have to be skilful in various fields and have abilities to manage people’s emotions, build trust among team members, have skills of effective communication, be able to motivate other people, be aware about the cultural differences among team members, ability to lead others and finally capacity to be effective team builder.