Introduction to Project and Project Management

Project

A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.  In other words, Project is a job that has a definite beginning and end, a fixed budget and a specific outcome.

Temporary does not mean short in duration. However, Temporary does not generally apply to the product created by the project.  Every project creates a unique product. Although repetitive elements may present in the project and, this repetition does not change the fundamental uniqueness of the project.

For example,

  1. Constructing a building
  2. Road construction
  3. Wedding ceremony etc.

The end time of the project is reached when

  1. Project objectives are achieved or
  2.  Project objectives did meet the milestone or
  3. the project no longer exists.

Types of Project

  1. Single Project
  2. Multiple projects (a group of single projects)
  3. Portfolio project (a group of multiple projects)
Portfolio

Fig. 1 – Sample Portfolio

Project Management

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the requirements. However, it can accomplish by the application and integration of the following project management process such as,

  1. Initiating – resources as well as planning before the start of the project
  2. Planning – Outlines the plan for executing the project. This is where the project management triangle is essential
  3. Executing – Undertaking the work to deliver the outcome of the project
  4. Monitoring and Controlling – Taking necessary measures, so that project can run smoothly
  5. Closing – Completing all requirements of the project

Project management consists of ten knowledge areas. these are explained in detail in PMBOK Guide – sixth edition. They are of project,

  1. Integration Management – Bringing it all together
  2. Scope Management – Staying vigilant in defining and containing scope throughout the project.
    • Project Initiation
    • Scope Planning
    • Scope Definition
    • verification of scope
  3. Schedule Management – Determining what gets done and when through
    • Activity definition
    • Activity Sequencing
    • Duration estimating of activity
    • Schedule development
    • Schedule control
  4. Cost Management
    • Planning for Resources
    • Estimation Costs
    • Creating the Budget
    • Managing and controlling the budget
  5. Quality Management
    • Planning
    • Quality Assurance
    • Quality Control
  6. Resource Management
    • Organizational Planning
    • Staff Acquisition
    • Team Development
  7. Communication Management – Keeping stakeholders informed or involved
    • Communications planning
    • Dissemination of information
    • Progress reporting
    • Administrative closure
  8. Risk Management – Expect the Unexpected
    • Risk management planning
    • identification of risk
    • Qualitative risk analysis
    • Quantitative risk analysis
    • Risk response planning
    • Risk management and control
  9. Procurement Management – FOr projects using outside resources
    • Procurement Planning
    • Solicitation planning
    • Solicitation
    • Source selection
    • COntract administration
    • Contract closeout
  10. Stakeholder Management
Salient features of project management
  1. The project mission is unique &projects are not alike.
  2. Projects come to an end after their mission is fulfilled.
  3. Projects consist of a variety of works, requires a variety of tradesmen.
  4. Project sites are in remote areas, they are prone to weather changes, whereas industrial enterprise has permanent employees.
  5. Project works are carried out at places that are far away from corporate head offices.
  6. Project work specially in high rise buildings, involves operations at heights making the accident rate higher than in industries.
  7. Constructions projects are operated under risk, uncertain compared to the industrial process.
  8. Predefined start and finish dates of projects don’t leave any time flexibility.
  9. Project time and costs are correlated. Time delay in between the project execution can alter the schedule of subsequent activities.
  10. Quality in each stage of the project work is inspected.
Why Projects Succeed!
  1. Project Sponsorship at the executive level
  2. Good project charter
  3. Strong project management
  4. The right mix of team players
  5. Good decision making structure
  6. Good communication
  7. Team members are working toward common goals
Why do Projects Fail?
  1. Failure to align the project with organizational objectives
  2. Poor scope
  3. Unrealistic expectations
  4. Lack of executive sponsorship
  5. Lack of project management
  6. Inability to move beyond individual and personality conflicts
  7. Politics

The main cause of the project failure are

  1. Project cost overrun (in other words, Huge expenditure)
  2. Project time overrun (More time to complete)

The factors contributing to the overruns are

  1. Inadequate project formulation
  2. Lack of proper contract planning & management
  3. Lack of project management during execution
  4. Poor planning for implementation

Failures of the project at different stages are

  1. Cost Estimation failure (BOQ point of view)
    • Inception stage
    • Preparatory stage
    • Contractors tendering and execution stage
  2. Management failure
    • Planning
    • Organization
    • Resource
    • Execution
    • coordination and other failures
Documents required to understand the project are:
  1. Project Charter
  2. Project management plan
  3. Contract agreement
  4. Tender document
  5. Conditions of contract
  6. Technical Specifications
  7. Project plans or drawings
  8. Bill of quantities
  9. Project Execution plan or method statements
What are Planning and Scheduling?

lThe terms planning & Scheduling are often used interchangeably however if a distinction is required planning refers to the process of generating a time framework for the project, which becomes a schedule when start and finish dates are assigned to the activities.  In the past scheduling generally refers to resource scheduling.

Steps in Planning are

  1. Collect Requirements
  2. Define scope
  3. Create WBS
  4. Define Activities
  5. Sequence Activities
  6. Estimate Activity Resources
  7. Estimate Activity Durations
  8. Develop schedule
  9. Estimate costs & Determine Budget
  10. Plan Quality
  11. Develop Human Resource Plan
  12. Plan Communications
  13. Plan Risk Management
  14. Identify Risks
  15. Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
  16. Performa Quantitative Risk Analysis
  17. Plan Risk Responses
  18. Plan Procurements

Scheduling of Projects

The basic approach of all scheduling techniques is to form a network of activity and event relationship that graphically portrays the sequential relations between the tasks in a project.  Such a network is a powerful tool for planning and controlling a project and has the following benefits:

  1. It is a consistent framework for planning, scheduling, monitoring, and controlling the project
  2. It illustrates the interdependence of all tasks, work packages, and work elements.
  3. Appointing PMC’s
  4. Resource mobilization
  5. Land acquisition and site development
  6. Preparing work designs, plans and estimates, entrusting work to contractors
  7. Preparing the design specifications
  8. Placing the order for materials and machinery
  9. Transport of plant and machinery to site
  10. Erection of machinery
  11. It denotes the times when specific individuals and resources must be available for work on a given task.
  12. It aids in ensuring that the proper communications take place between depart­ments and functions.
  13. It determines an expected project completion date.
  14. It identifies so-called critical activities that, if delayed, will delay the project completion time.
  15. It also identifies activities with the slack that can be delayed for specified periods without penalty, or from which resources may be temporarily borrowed with­out harm.
  16. It determines the dates on which tasks may be started—or must be started if the project is to stay on schedule
  17. It illustrates which tasks must be coordinated to avoid resource or timing conflicts.
  18. It also illustrates which tasks may be run,  in parallel to achieve the predetermined project completion date.
  19. Relieves some interpersonal conflict by clearly showing task dependencies
  20. It may depend on the information used, allow an estimate of the probability of project impletion by various dates, or the date corresponding to a particular a prior probability

In conclusion, It applies proven methodologies and uses current software tools so you’ll plan, control, and monitor people, processes, and other components needed to form your project a hit.

Reference: Project management Book of Knowledge – 6 edition

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Also Read: Construction Methodology of Box Culvert

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