Project Management Essay
Why study project management? This essay gives an answer to the question. It explains the importance and benefits of planning as a business process and a research topic. Write an A+ essay on product management with this example!
Project management phases.
- Strategic Management
Project management is a discipline of planning, controlling, securing and organizing resources to attain specific objectives. A project can be perceived as an impermanent endeavour with a defined starting and end, undertaken to convene unique objectives and goals, normally to bring about useful change.
The impermanent nature of projects differs from business to business. In some cases it can be permanent, or semi permanent, repetitive functional actions to produce services or products. “A project is a unique endeavour to produce a set of deliverables within clearly specified time, cost and quality constraints” (Westland 2).
All projects can be thought of as a series of phases that have specific beginnings and defined endpoints. Project management life cycle has mostly four phases namely project initiation, project planning, project execution and project closure. All of the phases of the project life cycle have lot of activities to play. These are described in the following segment.
This is the initial phase of the project life cycle, which, in turn, has a group of activities which are to be carried out prior to the planning stage. In this phase, the scope and purpose for initiating it and the solution to be found are described.
In the project planning step, all the project management planning tasks, which are required to complete the project on time and within budget are explained.
The next phase of project life cycle is project execution. In this phase, the physical deliverables are presented for the consumer. It is the most significant phase in the project life cycle and it utilizes a set of energy and resources.
Project closure is the final phase of the project life cycle, which properly concludes the project and reports the whole achievement in terms of pre-defined objectives.
The job of the Project Manager is to prepare, execute and decide projects according to the given parameters and within financial plan. This includes obtaining resources and managing the plans of group and third-party consultants so as to distribute projects according to the plan.
The Project Manager will also describe the project’s aim and manage quality control all through its life cycle. McGraw-Hill and Irwin, in their book, “Project Management: The Managerial Process,” claim that “Project Management strikes a balance between the technical and human aspects of managing projects. It is suitable for a course in project management and for professionals who seek a project management handbook” (Gray & Larson).
The Role of Strategic Management in a Project
Strategic Management method contains the process of selecting, directing and calculating project outcomes to ensure best value for a business. Every project undertaken by a business has to meet certain criteria set up by the company’s management. This is intended to ensure alignment with the planned vision of the business.
The four important Strategic Management Processes are: ensure that every project is strategically associated, make a Project Management centred culture, apply Strategic Project Management best practices and to evolve a strategic project measurement scheme.
Project Scope Management, on the other hand, contains the procedures necessary to ensure that the project encompasses all the work required, but only the works necessary to complete the project effectively. Managing the project scope mainly concerns with controlling and defining what is and is not contained in the project.
Project management must be viewed as a technique that enables the organisations to successfully execute selected projects efficiently and effectively. However, the use of this technique alone does not automatically guarantee project achievement.
Gray, Clifford F. & Larson, Erik W. Project Management . McGraw-Hill Publishing Limited. 2000. Web.
Westland, Jason. The Project Management Life Cycle: A Complete Step-by-Step Methodology for Initiating, Planning, Executing & Closing a Project Successfully . Kogan Page Limited. 2006. Web.
Project Management Essay FAQ
- Why is project management important? Project management aims to plan and lead a project to successfully complete it. It involves several phases, each of which brings direction to a project, be it in the sphere of business, charity, or art.
- Why study project management? Project management is an exciting job that might lead to a fulfilling career in many spheres. Project management skills that imply the ability to successfully lead a project from its beginning to the conclusion, are always in demand in any company.
- What is scope in project management? Project scope means a common understanding between the project stakeholders about its boundaries, goals, and essential milestones. It is crucial to define the project scope and its key elements before you start working.
- What is crashing in project management? Crashing is a method in project management used to speed up the project’s timeline without changing its overall scope. Project crashing implies adding more resources to reach the highest possible efficiency level.
- Chicago (A-D)
- Chicago (N-B)
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The Benefits of Studying Project Management
No matter your field or career trajectory, this toolkit will make you shine.
You wouldn’t think it, but even a trip to the grocery store is a project. This is instructor Anthony Minstein’s take on it:
“Almost everything we do in business—and personal life—is a project. Something as simple as going to the grocery store is a ‘project,’” he explains, breaking it down as such:
Planning: What meals need to be prepared? Analysis: What groceries are needed? Scheduling: When can we go? Execution: Going to the store, filling our cart and paying. Project close: Oh, no—we forgot to get mustard!
“We may not create formal project management deliverables, other than a shopping list,” Anthony continues, “but we follow the definition of a project : a specific start and end culminating with a unique product or service.”
You may not realize it, but you’re flexing project-management skills every day—both at work and in your personal life.
Getting a new product to market? Check! Project management.
Planning a family vacation? Check! Project management.
So why take a project management course if you’re already doing this?
Check Out the Top 5 Reasons
I asked five of our esteemed project management instructors this very question and their answers jibe along the same line: The hard and soft skills you learn in our project management courses can take you from great to stellar!
Let’s Meet Our Project Management Panelists
Fabio De Martino , PMP, Global Head Quality Strategy and Operations, Kite Pharma
His main responsibilities are identifying, leading and delivering key company projects and programs, and driving organizational effectiveness.
Helena Weiss-Duman , PMP, Deputy Director of External Relations and Marketing Communications at UC Berkeley
Helena has lectured at UC Berkeley Extension since 2007 and was named an Honored Instructor .
Evelyn Launius , M.B.A., Ph.D., PMP
Evelyn has more than 25 years of project management expertise leading strategic initiatives for both public and private sectors. In her role as a global project manager, she has utilized project methodologies that include Waterfall and Agile to support implementation of technology and business solutions in industries such as health care, government and energy.
Catherine Pinkas , PMP
Catherine has been a project management professional for more than 20 years, managing projects in a variety of industries, including finance, construction, information technology, hospital management, business development and events management in the public and private sectors.
Anthony Minstein , PMP, SSMBB
Anthony is Solutions Delivery Principal for Technology Advance Partners. He has more than 40 years as program and project manager for IT and commercial software companies. Anthony began instructing with us in 1994, and has held instructional positions at University of San Francisco and Cal State Dominguez Hills.
There is not a business today that cannot use some aspect of project management in a very fluid way. It becomes part of your leadership and management skill set. —Catherine Pinkas
What is the value of having project management skills on your résumé no matter the industry or position?
Evelyn: I relate to this question because I was that student—albeit it many years ago. Throughout my career, I randomly took project management classes to further skills in planning and executing work . I soon recognized improvements in my interpersonal skills, such as listening, flexing, motivating and patience. Decades later, I became motivated to attain PMI Ⓡ certifications . Having project-management skills enables individuals to improve their personal and/or professional effectiveness.
Catherine: I believe that project management is integrated into all business processes. I learned very early on in my business career—moving through different industries—that I had to be extremely well organized in terms of what I was trying to accomplish in order to be productive in an organization. A great deal of my work has been based on my ability to structure what I was doing to make sure that I had the resources, the money and the time frame to be able to complete the work. A systematic way of being able to track a project to success was also very important. Even today, up to 70 percent of projects fail because they did not meet their goals. Learning project management gives you the language, tools and techniques to be able to plan and successfully recognize obstacles when they appear and then successfully work through them. It doesn't matter whether it's a large or a small project—the same mindset applies to what needs to be done. There is not a business today that cannot use some aspect of project management in a very fluid way. It becomes part of your leadership and management skill set.
Fabio: Maybe 20 years ago, it was a nice-to-have skill set. But today, as a hiring manager, if I see that there is this type of skill set or even a certification on a résumé, it is going to jump to the top of the stack. Having the certificate or even a single course gives a common vocabulary that somebody can utilize right away in the workplace. No matter the level at an organization—entry-level, seasoned executive—everybody is going to talk about a project start and end date. Do we have a project charter—a common understanding of what we are working on? Do we have a timeline? Where do we see risk? This is what students realize during the Project Management course : “I always faced this problem with scheduling. And I see that there’s another course about scheduling .” I see students get excited about the next course to go deeper into a certain area. When they talk with their employer, or whomever approves their budget , about taking other courses, they say, “Hey, this is a great value-add for the company.” And I think this is great to match to employer’s eagerness to develop their people and our eagerness to share best practices in each course.
Helena: In any business, there will be stretch assignments that will need project-management skills. By learning these tools, you will have the confidence and ability to take on those projects, which can make you more valuable to your team. Simple things like learning how to do a scope statement keeps you organized. For a project, if you don’t know where to start, putting it into a framework such as a scope statement can bring order to chaos and allow everyone to move forward together more quickly.
Project management incorporates both hard and soft skills. How would someone finishing the introductory Project Management course apply both sets of skills to their work?
Fabio: We are living in a world where the two are blending together and becoming core skills. You need to be a people person but also negotiate time and resources through a timeline. Merging the two and working together to help you achieve your goals—that makes the team successful .
Catherine: A project manager is just the hub of the wheel. You’re working with people who need a system to communicate what they need in order to be effective. If a scope has to change, if scheduling is a problem, if it looks like something is going to cost more or you don't have enough resources, people on the team have to be able to recognize that. And the job of the project manager is to make sure that all of those requirements are available. So it's not the project manager really doing everything, but it's a project manager working with a high-performing team; when they see an obstacle, they bring it to the table and we all work together on whatever is needed. Learning the skills to always communicate with the sponsor of the work, with your team, support staff, customers and suppliers who may be involved, as well as stakeholders—people who are not necessarily very friendly to a project or who will be impacted negatively if the project doesn't go well. Project management helps you identify those groups so that you don't miss people. And then you develop a communication plan and a strategy to be able to inform them about what is going on and what needs to be done. That collaboration makes for better quality. As instructors, we bring examples to the fore. When we introduce the idea of scope—identifying what work needs to be done—that's universally applicable. The Project Management class starts to identify the key elements to success.
Helena: For example, stakeholder analysis is the practice of understanding the project from multiple perspectives, which is a great soft skill. Project management is 90-percent communication so it’s always great to obtain more comms skills, meeting management and follow-up, and keeping people accountable in an empathetic way. People will be so happy because they know that you won’t let things fall through the cracks. I love coworking with a good project manager because I can relax and know that someone else is going to keep us on track. Someone’s got your back, holding the center.
Not only is the workforce global, but so are projects. Employers now embrace and seek candidates having project-management skills. —Evelyn Launius
Are we living and working in a project economy ?
Evelyn: Absolutely! When I began my career, project managers were viewed as expendable—a cost-overhead position that was often cut during budget review. Fast-forward to the present. Not only is the workforce global, but so are projects. Employers now embrace and seek candidates having project-management skills. Review job postings, and you’ll find job descriptions seeking candidates with project-management skills.
Fabio: Definitely. What’s interesting, in the Project Management introductory course , people started to realize that there are some aspects of project management that can be applied to operations. I always provide this example of a grocery story—because I love to go to the grocery store! [Laughs] Opening a new store is a project: You need to do the construction, hire and train people, buy inventory and so on. That's a project that has a start and end date. And the end date is when you cut the ribbon and you're open. At that point, it becomes operations—the day-to-day maintenance. In BUS ADM X470 , students start to realize the differentiation, but also that some tools—like risk management and scheduling—may also be applicable for operations. So we are living in a project-oriented world, where everything becomes a project and then shifts to become operations.
Catherine: The reason why I really love the way our certificate program is set up is because somebody may come out of the basic course, and say, “I'm working in pharma and we've got quality problems.” They can go right into the quality class . The classes are structured to choose the tools and techniques that they can learn more in depth for their profession and will be fabulously helpful to them in the future.
From student feedback, after they completed the intro course, the project that they were planning to kick off was much better than the previous one because they took that simple step in having a project charter and leveraging some of the templates. —Fabio De Martino
So working in a project-driven world, how would students take project-management skills to increase their own productivity?
Catherine: They can take all of those project constraints and then identify all the things that they need to meet them, which will make them more productive. They will also have less risk involved because they'll be able to see what actually needs to get done and provide that information in order to get the resources needed. So people who take BUS ADM X470 often say—and we have a lot of people who say this—“I’ve been working on projects for 10 to 15 years. This class just brings together all of what I've lived through, but by making mistakes!” I almost never see someone stop at that course. They realize how this depth of knowledge can support them.
Fabio: Having and sharing in advance an agenda for your meetings—simple as that. Students are starting to implement that right away. Also, operationally speaking, when people are in meetings and they need to evaluate some risk, some of the things that we talk about is the risk register. We provide our students with templates that they can utilize right away at their work. From student feedback, after they completed the intro course, the project that they were planning to kick off was much better than the previous one because they took that simple step in having a project charter and leveraging some of the templates.
Anthony: Project management skills aren’t just about creating schedules. The foundation of project management is approaching an objective in a logical way. For instance, what is a checklist and when and how should it be used? What resources (people and machinery) are needed to execute a work plan and deliver a solution? Who is affected by an assigned task and how should we best communicate with them? How do we ensure we have management support for our defined approach? How do we avoid getting torpedoed by “political infighting” above our heads? Simple activities require simple solutions. Complex activities demand more sophisticated solutions and management oversight. Our productivity is highly dependent on our recognizing the difference.
Helena: Scope statement, schedule, risk register, budget, roles and responsibilities matrix—these give you clarity of thought and the vocabulary to have nuanced approaches to the work. When you have these frameworks, you can more easily bring focus to move you forward more efficiently.
Employers appreciate and weigh more heavily toward applicants who have an orderly, methodical approach to executing their work. —Anthony Minstein
How could someone advance their career because they have project-management skills?
Catherine: Those management skills lead all the way to leadership. I always tell my students that these are life skills. Whatever your job—if you need to have better control of financial systems, physical systems, human resources, customer relationships—that is all part of the knowledge base that you take with you. If you can do something on time, on budget and with the resources allocated, you will show up as a star. I've seen many people move into management because they’ve been highlighted as someone who is effective.
Fabio: It's never too late or too early to get those skills. If you're a seasoned and experienced executive, it helps to drive the dialogue. And because people follow the leader, if a leader starts to speak about a project charter, agenda, risk mitigation, people will also start to do so. I see project management becoming very strong in 2022. From a career perspective, if somebody is at a certain level or talking seriously about salary , having a project-management certification can definitely have a positive impact on the conversation with your manager. I recommend—no matter what stage of your career— take the Project Management intro course because you can see the lay of the land, and then you can pick and choose what subjects you are interested in, what you need to develop based on strengths and weaknesses.
Anthony: The elements of project management may be specific to delivering a unique solution; however, those elements are part of the overall management canon. Planning, budgeting, staffing, directing, leading, monitoring, communicating, assessing what is working and what isn’t, and taking appropriate corrective action are the actions of an effective project manager. They are also the actions required of the successful manager. Advancement may be based on many factors, but the foundational skills are those that we learn and apply within the project context.
Evelyn: Begin with the project-management basics: organization, planning and communication. Having these three skills provides an immediate return on investment. I believe that project-management knowledge is integrated internally into professional identity, thought and behavior. While you may opt to not be a career project manager, the skills will always be of use irrespective of job role. Soft skills enable you to be effective when working with people. Organization and planning skills support execution of work. Embedded in execution are the elements of accountability and delivery.
Helena: Project management gives you leadership and organizational skills so that you can articulate with others the direction in which to go. People will then follow you with confidence as you take on important initiatives. Compared to other team members, having these project-management skills will give you confidence in how to effectively move forward.
From the employer side, what’s the value in having employees who can flex project-management skills?
Anthony: In business, employers appreciate and weigh more heavily toward applicants who have an orderly, methodical approach to executing their work. Even within a strictly operational space, projects arise and employers are more apt to engage employees who are capable of flexible work assignments. In project management, we learn about organizing work activities, planning the resources necessary to execute those work activities, and the varied techniques to oversee and execute those work activities, regardless of industry or discipline.
Fabio: We're living in interesting times because, at least in the biotech field, it's a tough job market. The project-management skills will help to enhance the current staff. I had a discussion with my manager, and he said, “We need to educate our staff across the board and across the region about basic project-management skills.” For example, let's say somebody sets up a meeting for 10 people and this meeting is not set up properly—doesn't drive any action or things like that. And those 10 people are working at, let’s say, $50 an hour, we are wasting $500 of our company’s money. Multiply this across big companies; it definitely has an impact on the company. In terms of employee development, having staff with project-management skills helps the company improve or upskill their employees. The employees feel appreciated and will definitely help them retain talent.
Evelyn: PMI published a white paper on this topic: PMI: Value of Project Management . Organizations use project-management methodology to address organizational initiatives and challenges. Employees having project-management skills may find themselves assigned to a valued team that is tasked with supporting a project that is tied to organizational strategy.
Helena: When you use a project management approach—clarity on scope and knowing how to involve the important stakeholders at the beginning—you are on the right track, faster. You avoid confusion and rework because you’ve done the upfront work of getting everyone on the same page before investing time and resources on the wrong thing.
Compared to other team members, having these project-management skills will give you confidence in how to effectively move forward. —Helena Weiss-Duman
What about applying project-management skills to personal lives?
Catherine: Oh, you can ask my children about that! [Laughs] From day one, I would say to them, “You have a science project, so let's write down the things you need to do and then let's write down how much time you think it will take you to do each one” so that we aren’t doing it the night before the science project is due. I used risk management when teaching them how to buy a car. If we buy this kind of car, what is its safety record? What are the issues that are related to this car? Is there a maintenance issue? And then compare the cars and evaluate what is the best one for the money we have. Project management is just the system to get where we want to go by making these assessments.
Evelyn: Again, the top-three basic project-management skills surface: planning, organization and communication. Irrespective of the home project, having these skills contribute to a successful outcome. Examples include planning a purchase, painting, remodeling, gardening and life decisions to name a few.
Fabio: Have you ever organized a birthday party, a wedding or a vacation? Well, that's a project and you may not realize that. You do stakeholder analysis, budgeting, scoping and risk mitigation. Everybody is a project manager without even knowing it! However, only those who want to improve their project management skills will be able to go from amateur to pro.
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Project Management Essay Example
- November 30, 2022
Project Design and Development
Project Management Essay: Introduction
This paper discusses the projects' architecture, the layout of the task networks, and the effect of the projects on the customer. It also addresses early beginning dates, latest finishing times, vital ways and market relationships of lead time and prices in depth. Throughout the article, it is clear that the design of a project is a significant factor in a company's performance, and the appropriate resources and approaches should be used, and consumer demand is taken into account.
The planning of projects plays an essential part in supporting project managers, sponsors, teams, and stakeholders through other project phases. The plan is necessary to define target goals, minimize costs, avoid missing deadlines and eventually deliver the excellent service or result decided upon. Project efficiency is almost inevitably assured to fail without proper preparation. The Center for Project Management reports that by 2017, with every $1 billion spent, the organizations lost $97 million due to lousy project performance (Gray & Dodge, 2008). The project preparation involves a broader mission to be split into assignments, a project manager, and a timeline to be accomplished. In this process, within the overall project, one must set smaller targets such that everything is completed within the period.
The preparation and scheduling of projects is an integral part of project management independent of the technique used. The former team information related to the new project can be easily obtained using management schemes. Project managers can also conveniently establish a consistent management plan and prioritize project success tasks. Tasks like allocating resources, identifying dependencies, setting deadlines, and project deliverables can quickly be completed in no time using project management software (Gray & Dodge, 2008). Every useful project management tool has the features to ease planning while a good start sets the groundwork for a productive project.
Sometimes it is more than obvious why a project is behind schedule, but this is not always the case. If one doesn't correctly define that the project is behind budget, the actions one follows to get ahead could be incorrect, and the outcome may be catastrophic. In some way, one doesn't give the patient an aspirin if the gastritis is present, which only aggravates his situation (Lynam, 2011). The same thing can't be achieved with project management if one doesn't know what he is working with.
The choices differ according to the reasons why the project is behind schedule. The options listed here are in no apparent order, and one or more of them can be used in certain situations (Lynam, 2011). Many or all of them are also often possible, but the results differ, and in this case, the task is to find the best solution that could be the least unlikely choice.
Perform overtime: Overtime is always the only way to keep up with it, mainly when the delay is slight. Start with this calculation if overtime for a brief duration is scheduled, and it doesn't cost much. All you need could be overtime.
Extend the time limit: If there is no way to delay and pay, one can seek to prolong the deadline. This is possible in many cases, mainly if the delay results from a force major that no one could foresee (Lynam, 2011). When the date is delayed, but, neither customer nor manager loves it, they only embrace it because it is the least inconvenient.
Table 1. The sequence of the activities along with slack calculations
Figure 1. Activity Network Diagram
Figure 2. ESD and LFD
Figure 3. Gantt Chart
Figure 4. Critical Path
Often, businesses view production as a cost center that aims to minimize prices and to operate productively. Simultaneously, the promotion is evaluated as a demand regulated sales center and other promotion elements. It's not always a successful technique, though (Palaka & Kropp, 1998). Dividing an organization into separate divisions for calculating accounting results will result in misaligned rewards and poor system performance. Production and marketing incentives need to be aligned with the company goals and objectives. When manufacturing and marketing work together to achieve objectives according to customers, business performance is improved.
Both departments' decisions and actions involve the two prominent aspects of customer service, price and lead-time. Leadtimes and cost controls are two "necessary cooperation but a potential conflict" areas for marketing/manufacturing (Palaka & Kropp, 1998). All too often, the various divisions of large companies fail to report on important business decisions.
John C. Wu discusses the strategic value of organized promotions and activities. Former Kozmo.com President Kozmo.com was a web dealer promising in one hour to deliver every order. Despite the high cost of delivery arising from their service dedication, competitive rates were provided to consumers. Kozmo.com went out of service. Not surprisingly. According to AMR Report, price management firms are leading the way by centralizing their pricing role and changing sales opportunities to provide profit and not just quantity.
Lead-times and Price Decisions
Although shorter lead times can attract more customers and generate more demand; its production resources are under pressure. On the other hand, if cheaper rates are given, consumers might be able to wait longer. Hence, the company can find it more desirable to sell consumers shorter lead times at the cost of higher pricing ranges and vice versa, based on business dynamics and their present workload. To capture price-time trade, demand can be modeled by customer pricing and customer lead time sensitivity (Palaka & Kropp, 1998). Depending upon their rewards (objective functions), the decentralized environment makes the output a lead-time subject to a service-level restriction, whereas marketing opts for a profit.
The model in which development and commercialization/sales agree on lead time and quality, particularly for proven production processes with fixed capacities, is applicable in a variety of sectors. In practice, the primary input (or decision) for the lead-time quote usually comes from production, even if it is notified via sales/marketing to customers and the price quota (Palaka & Kropp, 1998). On the other hand, as the chief, before transmitting the allowance to the consumer, the marketing will influence the first time deciding on the production through its price determination based on potential demand produced.
Project Management Essay: Conclusion
In summary, this paper examined project design, activity network diagram, and customer influence on the project design. It also discussed the earliest start dates, latest finish dates, critical paths with illustrations and lead time price relationship in detail. Throughout the article, it is evident that project design plays a vital role in the success of a product, and while designing necessary tools and methods should be used. Customer demand should be taken into consideration.
Gray, R. M., Cook, M. B., Natera, M. T., Inglis, M. M., & Dodge, M. L. (2008). Project Management: The. In Managerial Process”, McGraw-Hill.
Lynam, J. R. (2011). U.S. Patent No. 8,063,904. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Palaka, K., Erlebacher, S., & Kropp, D. H. (1998). The lead-time setting, capacity utilization, and pricing decisions under lead-time dependent demand. IIE transactions.
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- Project Management
Learn project management with online courses and programs
What is project management.
A project is a set of activities and tasks that lead to a defined goal. Projects are unique and differ from routine operations because each one is expected to reach a conclusion.¹ Projects might need to be completed swiftly to address an urgent problem, or they might require longer periods of time depending on the purpose and scope. Whether it is a quick issue to be solved or a lengthy plan that needs to be implemented, each project needs to be managed.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as the use of applicable knowledge, skills, tools, and methods to deliver value.² Project management can involve tasks such as proposing an idea or project, making a plan, tracking progress, assessing risks to avoid problems, and addressing any unexpected issues while managing stakeholders’ expectations.³
Phases of project management or a project lifecycle can vary, but PMI describes five.⁴ They include:
Initiation: Define the project and what value it would add.
Planning : Develop a roadmap that identifies goals and requirements.
Execution : Start work on the project by implementing plans.
Monitoring/Controlling : Track performance and keep stakeholders informed.
Closing : Note successes and collect feedback from stakeholders.
Browse online Project Management courses
Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, project management course curriculum.
Project management programs can help individuals interested in entering the field, along with professionals looking to advance existing careers. Curricula and coursework typically cover project management skills such as communication, collaboration, teamwork, time management, leadership, organization, problem-solving, flexibility, analysis, and conflict resolution. Individuals looking to gain expertise in a short time frame can consider enrolling in a project management boot camp, which can provide hands-on practice. Project managers can also turn to specialized project management training, such as a professional certification, to help increase their expertise in the various phases of a project.
Explore jobs in project management
Project management expertise is recognized as a strategic and organizational competence for business professionals in a variety of roles, making it a valuable skill set across industries. Regardless of the field, successful project managers possess the soft skills listed above, in addition to the ability to use key project management tools provided by their organization. Project managers can be employees, managers, contractors, and independent consultants.
Project management jobs and their titles can vary. Aside from a project manager, some other roles include:
Assistant project manager: Takes on any duties that the project manager is unable to perform.
Project analyst: Supports via data analysis that contributes to strategy and performance.
Project coordinator: Contributes to completing administrative tasks that can include budgets and schedules.
Project director: Sets the direction for the project and makes decisions that keep it on track.
Project scheduler: Maintains schedules and other documents to keep stakeholders informed.
Project support specialist: Monitors assignments and can be responsible for training employees.
Senior project manager: Oversees a team of project managers and handles multiple projects.
How to learn project management online
Employers can set different requirements for project management jobs depending on various conditions related to the roles. Beginners typically need experience to become project managers; by performing tasks related to a project, they can learn more about the field from others. Alternatively, they may opt to take a free project management course or an introductory boot camp , which can last about six weeks, during which time learners can gain relevant industry experience by collaborating with peers and completing real-world projects. Professionals with a high school diploma or associate’s degree can pursue a Project Management Professional certification if they have 60 months experience leading projects and receive an additional 35 hours of education/training.⁵
To advance a current project management career, employees can pursue various online bachelor’s in business programs or master’s in business degrees , depending on their professional goals and if they are searching for more than project management tutorials. A semester’s worth of graduate-level coursework leading to a project management certification online can take about eight months to complete, although lengths of courses may vary.
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Master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, project management faq.
Project management experts help businesses and organizations operate efficiently and effectively by ensuring the timely completion of projects.
Scrum project management is a method to complete projects incrementally, with experimentation and adjustments based on frequent feedback from team members. ⁶ Broadly speaking, Scrum can describe a set of tools, meetings, and roles that collaborate to help different teams organize and manage work.
While experts can have varying opinions on the number of phases of the project management process, it typically involves: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing. Every phase contributes to the finished project.
Project management principles correspond with the process and include: addressing important questions at the beginning; identifying the project scope and goals; communicating responsibilities, expectations, and objectives to stakeholders; monitoring progress and addressing roadblocks; ensuring deliverables are met; and completing the project.⁷ How project managers apply those principles can vary depending on the tools that they use to communicate, schedule, and make decisions.
As the leading professional organization for project management, the PMI sets global standards and certifications in the field.
Project management software is typically used with other tools by experts in the field to facilitate project schedules, tracking, communication, and budgeting.
¹ What Is Project Management? PMI . Retrieved August 18, 2022.
² What Is Project Management? PMI . Retrieved August 18, 2022.
³ Project Management for Non-Project Managers . Atlassian . Retrieved August 18, 2022.
⁴ Project Management From the Middle . (2008). PMI . Retrieved September 28, 2022.
⁵ Project Management Professional (PMP)Ⓡ . PMI . Retrieved September 30, 2022.
⁶ What Is Professional Scrum? Scrum.orgTM . Retrieved September 7, 2022.
⁷ 5 Project Management Principles . Lucidchart . Retrieved September 7, 2022.
Last updated January 2024
Home — Essay Samples — Life — Career Goals — My Career Plan: Project Management
My Career Plan: Why Study Project Management
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Published: Jan 15, 2019
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Why I want to study Project Management (essay)
- Kahneman, D., Wakker, P. P., & Sarin, R. (1997). Back to Bentham? Explorations of experienced utility. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(2), 375-406.
- Nash, J. F. (1950). The bargaining problem. Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society, 155-162.
- Ritchie, T. D., Batteson, T. J., Bohn, J., Crawford, M. T., Ferguson, M. J., & Schrauf, R. W. (2014). How can we investigate the impact of encoding processes on the generation of false memories? Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 709.
- Schacter, D. L. (2012). Adaptive constructive processes and the future of memory. The American psychologist, 67(8), 603.
- Schacter, D. L. (2019). The seven sins of memory: Insights from psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The American Psychologist, 74(7), 827-839.
- Schrauf, R. W., & Rubin, D. C. (1998). Bilingual autobiographical memory in older adult immigrants: A test of cognitive explanations of the reminiscence bump and the linguistic encoding of memories. Journal of memory and language, 39(3), 437-457.
- Tulving, E. (2002). Episodic memory: From mind to brain. Annual review of psychology, 53(1), 1-25.
- Wang, Q., & Conway, M. A. (2004). The stories we keep: autobiographical memory in American and Chinese middle-aged adults. Journal of personality, 72(4), 911-938.
- Wang, Q., & Leichtman, M. D. (2000). Same beginnings, different stories: A comparison of American and Chinese children's narratives. Child development, 71(4), 1329-1346.
- Watkins, P. C. (2018). Rumination-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression: Theory, evidence, and future directions. John Wiley & Sons.
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Essay on Project Management Process
Project management is a tool used to ensure maximum utilization of goods and resources available to achieve specific goals of a project. The main objective of this paper is to show how project management plays an important role in ensuring the project in question succeeds. It also points out the risks that are likely to be encountered and how who can manage them. This is important since it helps the project manager to plan and strategies.
The business has shifted from local to global. As a result of this, there is increased competition among the companies. There is a need for any company to increase and develop new systems to meet the competing environment. Project management is applied to ensure the organization meets its goals within the budget and minimizes the costs while meeting the customers’ expectations. The project manager must look into risks that a project is likely to face and factors that will ensure the project succeeds.
Project Management Process
The company can use various methodologies, and the results are always a success, provided the rules set out by the methodology are followed appropriately. In this project, we consider the kanban methodology. The reason for choosing this methodology is because it carries the best outlines. As a result, an adequate workforce is achieved by following the processes outlined in the methodology. Kanban is adopted procedurally and is employed by employment. The main aim of Kanban is to determine setbacks that are likely to disrupt the management process and correct them to achieve a good flow of the process.
The goal of this methodology is to ensure the company produces only enough to avoid waste of resources. Producing more than what is required will amount to a waste of resources. At first, Kanban was developed by the senior management to avoid inefficiency, and inadequate production of Toyota Company compared to other American rivals. Kanban methodology controls the whole chain from the procedure to the consumer. This methodology perfectly increases efficiency in the company’s reliability and flexibility since it can easily adjust to the outstanding conditions in the market. It also requires the attention of the whole process to achieve a required aim.
Firure 1.Kenboard system
Figure 1.2 Kanboard
Kanban methodology ensures that members in a company access information easily. It is suitable because it is easy to understand, and it ensures a good workflow in the system that is already established. The method is also good because it increases efficiency and effectiveness quickly, helps in easy prioritization of activities, and is good in planning within the company. Since the methodology presents visualization, it cooperates efficiently with the tools of managing workflow.
This methodology minimizes the waste of resources since it is effective in the utilization of the available resources. In the case of human resources, this methodology can determine the right people working on their respective perfect job and in a good way. From this, there is an effective use of human resources within the company. To use Kanban successfully, one must implement some principles. Another importance of this methodology is that it can identify non-active members in the company and easily identify an expensive process to avoid it.
One of the principles of this methodology is, ensuring respect to the system that the current members are using and their roles in the company. Poor management of resources is avoided in this methodology because the end goal is to ensure the extra production of goods for a proper and easy flow of the process, which should emphasize communication among the workforce. The methodology ensures this is achieved. It maintains that any employee is required to alert the other about any move they make. The workforce can achieve effective communication by categorizing it into three parts done, still doing, and not done. This will alert the rest of the employees on what to do.
Another principle is emphasizing incremental change rather than radical change on the existing setup. The reason for this is to avoid opposition by the workforce and the organization. Continuous improvement will be realized in various levels of the company as a result of this. Performance is improved by ensuring members are encouraged to express their views and give their ideas.
If this process is followed effectively, there are high chances of completing the project earlier and no wastage of resources. The project groups should have deliverables to ensure there is effective completion of the projects. There is a need to clearly outline technical problems that are likely to be encountered during the process. The plan should also outline the progress to prepare the comparison to incase of any occurrence.
Effective completion is achieved by ensuring the plan should clearly outlining the timelines. The time project starts to the completion of the project. Also, the plan should propose the costs of the project. If the company puts these deliverables in place, it would be easy to complete the project because it has a clear scope. If a project manager needs to change some of the things on the methodology, there is a clear process that they are supposed to follow. The first step to be followed is initiation. This will give a clue to the members about the change and help them prepare to adapt to the change.
Planning follows initiation. In planning, the manager must write down the steps to be followed in the new initiative—some of the things they should not down include a budget and the need for new employees. The new initiative might require a change in budget allocation and more skilled labor to achieve the new objective. Effective planning will ensure there is a smooth process in achieving the new goal. After planning, execution follows. This is to ensure every department in the company adheres to the new change. In this stage, the management sets the ground for implementing the change by giving the workforce mandates and whatever is required to achieve the initiative. After the senior management reaches an agreement, then it is executed.
In addition, the project scope is required. Project scope ensures that the project is completed on time and within the allocated budget. The project groups need to research the fields they choose. There are risks involved in making certain decisions in business; therefore, the research should include them. The research should also include the following, problems that are likely to be encountered in venturing the business, the amount of capital required in case of any changes in the company, and lastly, the policies to be used to achieve the main goal of the company. (Jovanovic,et.al,2018)
Also, the research should be in a position to identify competitors and how competitors manage to achieve their set goals. This will give the company an overview of how others work and give them ideas on what new methods t use to achieve efficiency and maximum production in the company.
There is a need for the project group to visit a consulting firm. From this, they can write a report about the findings and some of the things the company is doing wrongly. They can now strategize on how to improve from their findings. From the findings, the company will follow the right path in achieving the objectives and ensure the company is satisfied from the consultation.
After completing the research and writing of the report, the company would then draft a conclusion from the research and areas that they need to improve on to ensure the company’s success. All the company sectors are required to carry out this research, the finance department, management sectors, and the workforce sector. From this, the company will easily identify specific problems affecting specific departments. In this case, we use a divisional system where different teams working on specific areas must provide detailed information from their specified areas. (Müller,et.al 2019). The final result is then presented to the consulting; the final report should have clear methods and policies to improve the company’s production. With the new deliverables being put in place, the company will have a clear scope of what is required to guarantee the project’s success.
Nonetheless, when the project manager needs to review some of the parts of the methodology and see through its implementation, clear steps need to be followed. Among the factors that the project manager should look into are the financial requirements. This is to make sure that the changes will not alter the budget plan considering the complexity of the project that they are to implement and ensure that the proposed changes will not negatively impact the organization’s work. The other important factor is the political environment. The project manager should check that the policies they intend to implement align with the government of the day policies. The other important factors that the project manager needs to look into before implementing the changes include the size of the change. It is important to consider the size of the change. Big changes take a considerable amount of time before they are fully implemented and thus will slow the organization’s currently running projects. The project manager should also consider the existing relationships between clients and other parties. The change should serve the purpose of creating more unity between them and their clients; additionally, the project manager should be aware of the penalties that come with the implementation of the changes and that they don’t limit the company negatively.
We should also consider the impact of the change on other projects. With the change projected to result in major changes in other projects, the timing of other projects will be affected, leading to significant delays or even terminations of the running projects, thus raising the case of poor project management. Nonetheless, if all factors are according to plan, the last step will be to test if the company can withstand change. If the company is not capable of withstanding the changes, it will be negatively impacted. Therefore, after the series of tests and it is concluded that the company cannot handle change, outside assistance needs to be reported.
The initial step would be to introduce the changes that need to be implemented. This is a crucial step because it allows people affected by the change to reflect and adapt. The next step would be to planning for the change. This step would require the project manager to draft the steps that are to be followed. This is to include the budget if it exists, the areas that need the change, the amount of change included in the new plan, and if there is a need for any new personnel. When planning, it is important to track the progress as it is important in achieving the desired goal. The next step is the execution of the plan. Execution involves setting the plan in motion and ensuring that each department follows the management stipulated changes. The management should set the stage for implementing the changes and ensure that all the members understand what is expected of them. The execution-only starts after the senior management give it the green light to proceed. The project manager is the overall manager of the project, and they are to ensure that all the changes that are made are to be followed by the task force and rectify any mistake that may arise. Therefore, a good project manager should have their work arranged in terms of priority. This will help in keeping track of the important parts that need to be implemented without any delay. (Weflen,et.al 2021).
In arranging the work in criticality, the best method is the Mo scow prioritization method. M stands for must-have. These are the components required for the project to be completed, and the project will not be considered complete without these features. S stands for should have. These are components required for the project completion, though not urgent but are high priority. C stands for could have. These are components of the project that are highly desired but are not necessary for the completion of the project. W , stands for won’t have. These are the components of the project that have been thought of, but they are not to be implemented in the current project, but they have a chance of being included in the next project.
Fig 2. MosCOWprioritization method
In implementing any project, risk should be factored in. Risk is a condition that what had not been planned for that may occur and affect the project. With that in mind, the project manager needs to have a risk management framework in place. Some of the common risks associated with project management include degraded quality regarding handling a project as less human resources are used. The other risk costs. This occurs when the project uses more resources than the allocated budget. These cost risks can be considered as poor budget planning or inaccurate cost estimations. Cost risks normally lead to performance risks.
The other common risk is the schedule risk. This occurs when the project runs out of schedule by taking more time than the scheduled time, affecting other activities. Schedule risks may lead to cost risks because more resources mean more expenses. In general, the schedule risks will affect the performance of the project. The other risks that may occur are governance risk, deferral risk, which comes from failing to perform the project.
It can noted that project risks can either be internal or external. All projects are subject to face risks if they are to be deemed successful. The risks usually depend on the nature and weight of the possible outcomes and their likelihood. To handle risks in project management, what should apply steps of avoiding or preventing risks. The most effective way to avoid risks is by walking away from them or by mitigation when they can’t void the risk. Mitigations help to prevent the damage from being bigger.
Nowadays, the risk is handled by transferring it to someone else. Typically, this is having the insurance company pay. When risks can’t be avoided or mitigated, acceptance is reported. Risks need to be tackled earlier before it’s too late. A risk management plan provides a clear guideline on how risks are to be handled.
Risks need to be handled by employing different steps. This includes mapping the risk in the picture, the results of these risks, and what happens after. The impact and severity of the risks also need to be measured. How is the risk going to cause a problem? What will be affected as a result of the risk? After that is answered, the next step to be taken is what decisions need to be made. This is where the project manager is crucial in analyzing and determining whether the project should carry on or stop completely and determine the steps for mitigating it. After this part, solutions need to be identified and drafted, after which the risks are constantly analyzed. These steps are crucial in the identification and analysis of the risks. The structure of the project management is important for the success of any project. When the structure is not well organized, it often leads to the failure of the project. The project management structure is organized so that the project manager is the overall leader of the project and has the power and speaks authority over the project.
The powers of the project manager allow him to have a say on the project budget and cost, control the project schedule and the structure of the project task force. On the project team hierarchy, the project manager is at the top, and they manage everything, and the other employees are their juniors. The structure is also organized such that the team members report directly to the project manager, and all the activities of the project work towards the realization of the project’s goal. The project manager assigns tasks to the project members, makes key project decisions, and manages project resources. The project members either work permanently or part-time on the project. To create a uniqueness of the organizational structure, the project team and resources are demobilized on the completion of the project. The company usually tasks different departments of the organization to support the project. The common departments that offer support include human resources and the administration departments. (Cakmakci,et.al,2019).
Most companies have resorted to this type of organization when dealing with their projects as it has proven to be so effective. The project manager is always given major responsibilities because of the skills and abilities they are to possess, which are much needed for the success of a project. (Demirken.et.al,2017). This structure is preferred due to transparency; hence nothing can be compromised. This structure also provides clear communication channels hence no confusion can arise.
The success of a project requires teamwork from the project team. Therefore, team members need to support learning, growth, and improvement based on the different skill sets. The project organizational structure has made the learning curves quicker as it encourages the project team to learn from one another; thus, it takes a much shorter time. The project team concludes that the overall success will depend on the principles and methods adopted; hence the organization needs to employ the best structure.
The project team must handle the limitations of any organizational structure. This includes giving the project manager more power. This can lead to pride and arrogance leading to a misunderstanding between the project manager and the project team. This structure also includes inflexible and tight schedules. This is not a healthy technique because it brings fatigue and can lead to stress. For the part-time members, it can bring un-commitment because they know their job ends once the project is completed.
The project life cycle costing gives the company a tool for breaking down the cost of the project. This cycle is also a technique for evaluating and determining all the expenses incurred as the project is being implemented. The project’s costs are divided into three important components; project maintenance, operation & design, and development. These three need to be incorporated for the project costing to be completed. After these three parts are considered, the costs incurred in making purchases, investment costs, development, and the actual value of the technological products being used should also be added by the project manager.
Some of the potential employers in the project are employees, suppliers, community, suppliers, investors, customers, community, vendors, trade unions, and government.
The project management cycle is a clear framework that helps a project manager take a project through a systematic process to ensure the project is cleared within a short period and is done successfully. The project cycle ensures the project is subdivided into small steps that would be easier to understand and implement easily. This will make work easier for the project manager because they would take steps assigned for the specific project and go to the next when it is done. There is a coincidence with the Kanban methodology because members must communicate every step they undertake to avoid messing up with the project. Poor communication and taking the project as a whole will mess up the project. Therefore there is a need to follow the steps keenly.
The project cycle is required to outline clearly a few aspects. These aspects include project deliverables, project monitoring through each phase, the projects’ final goal, and the people involved in the project group. The different phases are followed using the life cycle. There is a need to complete a previous project phase in the sequential phase before going to the project phase. The overlapping phase implies that the start of another project phase does not necessarily require the end of the other phase (Bibarsov et al., 2017). This kind of project requires an adaptive life cycle because it outlines easy adaptation in rapid changes.
The project cycle always starts with the initiation phase. In this phase, the project goals are outlined and ensuring that project groups understand the goals that have been set out. Also, it shows the priorities of the project and the risks that the project is likely to encounter. From this, the project group will get the scope required to complete the project effectively. After completing the initiation phase, planning follows. In this stage, the project schedule is outlined; it shows the beginning of the project, and the time it will take to complete the project effectively and systematically. Also, there is a need to include the project’s budget during planning, which will ensure the company has an entire scope of what is required to complete the project in time. Available sources should also be considered. This is in terms of human resources and other available resources that would be esse3ntial AMD of importance in completing the project.
Fig 3. WBS of the required project
After all the resources have been gathered and proper planning put in place, the execution phase follows. This is the phase where the actual project starts. After the execution of the project, there is a need to monitor. Monitoring ensures that every step is followed and every policy put in place is followed effectively to the latter. The project is divided into small cycles. By doing this, it is necessary to ensure that a step is completed before starting a new step to ensure the effectiveness of the process, so long as the sequential cycle is used. From this cycle, performance can be easily measured. Project groups are rated depending on how they perform their duties. Monitoring is required to continue until the project reaches the completion stage.
Project management is an important factor in governing a project. A project manager or group leader must understand project lifecycle and risk management to provide a clear strategy to ensure the project’s success. In addition, they are using a proper tool in bringing changes within an organization to achieve the major goal. The project manager must ensure the project does not go beyond its budget, and if it goes beyond the budget, there is a need to stop it.
Bibarsov, K. R., Khokholova, G. I., & Okladnikova, D. R. (2017). Conceptual basics and mechanism of innovation project management.
Cakmakci, M., Kucukyasar, M., Aydin, E. S., Aktas, B., Sarikaya, M. B., & Bekar, E. T. (2019). KANBAN optimization in the relationship between industry 4.0 and project management approach. In Agile Approaches for Successfully Managing and Executing Projects in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (pp. 210-227). IGI Global.
Demirkesen, S., & Ozorhon, B. (2017). Impact of integration management on construction project management performance. International Journal of Project Management , 35 (8), 1639-1654
Müller, R., Drouin, N., & Sankaran, S. (2019). Modeling organizational project management. Project Management Journal , 50 (4), 499-513.
Jovanovic, P., & Beric, I. (2018). Analysis of the available project management methodologies. Management: Journal of Sustainable Business and Management Solutions in Emerging Economies , 23 (3), 1-13.
Weflen, E., MacKenzie, C. A., & Rivero, I. V. (2021). An Influence Diagram Approach to Automating Lead Time Estimation in Agile Kanban Project Management. Expert Systems with Applications , 115866.
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Essay: Reflective essay on my course – project management
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This course was a really new experience for me both from learning point of view and performance wise. The practical part of the course was really helpful where ones get a chance to implement all the knowledge gain during the lectures and through self-studies. I have learnt that innovation requires collaboration, creativity, practical implementation and added value to the product. And this task becomes much easier if you have an interdisciplinary team working for a unified goal. I have truly learned a systemic approach to designing a product, that how to start from scratch and nothing to build a customer oriented or to introduce a new product into the market, how to work in teams for short span of time, how to manage and divide tasks within the group, which project management methodology to apply depending upon the nature of the project, how to filter the needs or requirements of the products, how to look for patents, benchmark for the particular project you are working on to have the basic knowledge of what already is out there available in the market. How to be creative during the synthesis of concepts for your topic or project. In my learning diaries I will be explaining the concepts learnt during the lectures, group works, workshops and mostly through self-studies.
I learnt that most important part of the planning stage is building project team. Generally try to establish your team as soon as possible. Identifying one or two people even during the initial stages is also possible sometimes. Appointing the team early get the most out of their ownership to the project, and maximizes what they can contribute towards the product development. The first step in building an effective project team is to create a resource plan. A resource plan requires you to understand and identify the work to be done and the human skills required to complete it. An initial plan is often a high-level outline and will be refined as you break down into parts the whole of your work. To develop an effective team, you have to start by choosing the best people for the job. This sounds obvious, but determining the best candidates isn’t always straightforward. Many factors concerning potential members have to be considered, including factors such as: the skills required of them to complete project tasks, their level of influence in the organization, their access to a network of other resources, their capacity to participate effectively, their ability to work well in a team environment. Sometimes, project managers don’t have the freedom of choosing team members. Members may be assigned to the project team. If this is your situation, it is vital that you take extra care to establish a relationship with your team members before the team begins to meet as a group. Otherwise, they may not feel connected to the rest of the project team or, worse, may feel put upon and lack any commitment to the project. Communication is an essential part of team work. Without successful communication, it is very difficult to achieve the desired result. When information is shared effectively, the workload is divided between the team members and task at hand becomes easier for all. During our project we used skype, whatsapp and Google drive for the communication purposes within our group. With so many available social apps these days in the market it’s really easier for the teams to get started and have effective communication right way. It is essential that team communication occurs throughout the project in order to minimize confusion and unnecessary delays. Team members more freely share their ideas, thoughts and opinions, thus offering additional opportunities for innovation and creativity. Messages to be communicated become simplified when there is effective communication. Chances for misunderstandings are minimized, if not altogether excluded. Team attention remains on the project, completing tasks and such activities, and whatever energy is necessary in the best interest of the project. Source: http://www.brighthubpm.com/resource-management/
Figure 1. One out of five projects is unsuccessful due to ineffective communications. http://www.projecttimes.com/articles/effective-communication-a-challenge-to-project-managers.html The product development process can be pictured as a funnel with a large number of new product ideas entering the concept stage, narrowing down to a fewer number in subsequent stages. Separating these each stage is a phase review where a decision is made to skip the product, enter into the next stage or redirect back to a previous stage for additional work. The purpose of the concept stage is to quickly assess a new product opportunities. This activity will be performed by a product manager with support from others in the team. The product concept proposal will typically include: description of product concept and unique/new selling proposition, Preliminary market opportunity assessment, economical overview, technical valuation, preliminary financial analysis, planned schedules, recommended core team members. The objective of the system level design is to define the product which has to be developed, and to complete the business strategy for the product. During the next stage the assumptions made during the concept stage are verified through further market research and competitive analysis. Engineering assumptions will be verified in this stage by more detailed design and feasibility tests.
Figure 2 Product development process Source: https://sbpbusiness2000.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/new-product-development/ Lean Startup product development encourages us to first investigate if there is a need of the product in the market before we worry about the details of the new product. While old-style approaches also recommend carrying out market research and study before we engage in product planning and definition, lean approaches increase the speed at which a startup team will operate. This allows startup teams to fail and learn faster, to adapt their product strategy and tactics rapidly, and to hopefully launch the right product with the right features in the market.
Figure 3. Lean startup product development method Source: http://theleanstartup.com/principles We as a group chose lean and agile method for project management. Agile Software Development methodology is for a project that needs extreme agility in requirements. Agile project management focuses on doing the process piece-by-piece, rather than in one big portion like the traditional approach. Agile methodology handles project change and complexity through communication between project team members and end users. It enables teams to appropriately respond to irregularity through short additional work sections, such as Scrum ‘sprints’. These sprints aim at bringing a well-tested, functional working prototype. Planning and changes in design occur throughout the project based on lessons that are learned along the way. There’s no shame in looking back to refine the outcomes or features of the product at any stage. The work these days are more and more demanding and companies need to develop products of high quality in a short span of time. The technology is shifting rapidly and the industry is globalizing where with the help of this technology it’s easier for smaller and medium size companies to reach the international market. On the other hand the bigger companies are continuously improving their processes, products and services are likely to survive in the changing market where medium sized and startup companies are booming at a very rapid speed. This is why the industry has started to hire more and more interdisciplinary teams for the product development. An interdisciplinary team consists of specialists of their own fields. A typical interdisciplinary team includes specialists of research and development, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, economics, arts, business, and design. By combining individuals’ strengths in a group will add value to the product and eventually to the company. Usage of interdisciplinary teams has accelerated the product development cycle which will result fast launch of the product into the market, lowered the production costs as those teams will evaluate each and every aspect of the product before sending it to the manufacturing phase, it is usually noticed that time spend in research and development phase before sending the product to manufacturing stage will decrease the cost of the product and avoid unnecessary breaks, and even doubled the estimated sales. The value of interdisciplinary teams is that every member has their own expertise and viewpoint from their own field. The diversity of the group increases access to different types of information. A group with the members all from different backgrounds can sometimes solve the problems which will take months within a week or even the problems which feel impossible to crack. The group members also learn from each other and might get some important contacts from the other fields. The good thing is that every person know their role in the group according to their own skills set so they must contribute their maximum effort. This lets them to focus on the parts they’re really good at and the other members will balance them in the areas where they don’t have the core skills. This will creates a positive atmosphere and that increases productivity. A team with different expertise ensures that all the tasks of a project are completed. Even after this the interdisciplinary teams has to have the talent, knowledge, experience and technical know-how to get the job done. The team needs also a unified goal and a good leader who will lead them to the right way in the process of development. Team work is difficult, especially in a group with different skills and expertise. The group members might have opposing viewpoints which can lead to conflicts, waste of time, and it may cause damage decisions or the team’s relationships. Collaboration is sometimes problematic, because every profession has its own language and it can lead to misunderstandings. Sometimes the group members use stereotypes and do not understand the value of the other ones skills and knowledge. Everyone should be valued and listened to in the team. The situation where a team member does not feel at ease and is scared to share his or her views may cut down the amount of ideas and expertise that can be crucial for the accomplishment of the project. Due to the differences in skills, interests and trainings, the team members are likely to observe the project or problem from different point of views. The group will think outside the box and that will lead to breakthrough innovations. Source: IPD Handbook ver1.0 There is a right way and a wrong way to run a brainstorm or ideation meeting. A little preparation is required at the initial stage of the product development. It is very important to separate the two phases. The first part is idea generation when we will use divergent method of thinking. The second part is about idea selection where will use convergent thinking. The first step of Idea generation using divergent thinking consist of suspend judgment: No one is allowed to criticize or even discuss an idea. As ideas are expressed they are simply recorded. This can be done on post-it, computers, white boards or flip charts but no fault-finding or comments are allowed at this stage to slow down the process of idea flow. Go for quantity instead of quality at this stage: Quantity leads to quality in brainstorms so don’t stop until you have a large number of ideas ‘ usually upto 100 or more. Go beyond reason: Wild ideas are useful because they challenge limits and inflame other fresh ideas. Ride on other people’s Ideas: When one person proposes a inventive concept others should add something on with extensions, alternatives, developments and specific ways to make it occur. Associate with each other’s ideas. Shift people out of routine thinking. The second phase now is idea selection using convergent thinking method, Set criteria: Make an initial list of the ideas using some broad criteria agreed with the group. For example we want concepts that will satisfy customers, user experience, increase awareness and can be implemented in the next 2 months. Discuss the short list: When you are down to say 5 to 6 good ideas then discuss them productively. Sometimes there is a clear agreement as to which are the best. Sometimes you might want to vote to see which are the most popular. Write the list down to some really good ideas. The brainstorm is worthwhile only if it delivers actions. We should run consistent brainstorm meetings with your team. They should be exciting and motivational for people. They can deliver the concepts and innovations you need to renovate your organization. Source: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/ How to be more creative and productive in the dreaming and scheming phase? Be willing to explore and play. If you’re trying to rush through this stage, you’re going to shut down your creativity and end up thinking smaller and creating a plan to create something mediocre. Rather than trying to figure it all out on paper or in your head, get out into the real world and test out your rough ideas. In the world of design and engineering, product requirements (also called ‘constraints’) can often feel like restraints to our creativity and ability to design a great product or solution. We’ve all experienced the feeling of frustration when a constraint has kept us from implementing a good solution, sometimes literally by only tenths of a millimeter. No doubt, constraints in product design can make our lives difficult, and finding a solution that fits them all simultaneously is no easy task. However, respecting the importance that constraints play in driving a great design solution may help you look at them more as your friend rather than your enemy. Concept selection is the process of evaluating concepts with respect to customer needs and other criteria, comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the concepts, and selecting one or more concepts for further investigation or development (SWOT analysis: strength, weakness, opportunities, threats). Decision techniques used for selecting concepts range from intuitive approaches to structured methods. Successful design is facilitated by structured concept selection. It is two stage process: concept screening and concept scoring. Concept screening uses a reference concept to evaluate concept variants against selection criteria. Concept scoring may use different reference points for each criterion. Concept screening uses a coarse comparison system to narrow the range of concepts under consideration. Concept scoring uses weighted selection criteria and a finer rating scale. Concept scoring may be skipped if concept screening produces a dominant concept. Both screening and scoring use a matrix as the basis of a six step process. The six steps are: Prepare the selection matrix Rate the concepts Rank the concepts Combine and improve the concepts Select one or more concepts Reflect on the results and the process. One of the reasons for us to select our project was that we wanted to design something based on emotion. Going beyond the basics functionality, consistency, and usability and we wanted to design something for humans, not for machines. We Learn how to express our brand’s personality and delight our audience through emotional design.
Figure 4. Design for Emotion
Most researchers within the field of product development agree on the importance of understanding customer needs when developing products. For example, Matzler, K. (1996) mentions: ‘A high level of customer satisfaction is one of the most powerful indicators for the future of a business. Satisfied customers are loyal customers and ensure a lasting cash-flow for the business in the future.’ As Ulrich, K. and Eppinger, T. (2008) puts it; ‘Developing great products is hard. Few companies are highly successful more than half the time. These odds present significant challenges for a product development team’. Similarly, Lager, T. (2005) mentions that ‘Nor is it enough anymore to develop a product that pleases the customer; it must also be better than competing products in the global arena.’ A company’s economic success depends on their ability to identify customer needs and quickly create products that meet the needs at a low cost (Ulrich, K. and Eppinger, T. 2012). In order to stay competitive on the market. Accordingly, to deliver an attractive end-product, it is important to keep customer focus in all stages of the product development process for all involved departments.
Figure 5. Customer oriented product development
During the workshops I have learnt the importance of converting your ideas into a tangible or CAD simulation prototype. In the earlier stages of product development once the team has selected the concept and wanted to pursue with their that idea, it is really important to make sketches and do some rough, quick and dirty prototyping as this will reveal number of issues related to design, feasibility and questions related to user experience. Right after the rapid prototype workshop I enrolled for a special course designed for 3D printing enthusiast. To learn how to use and print your own model with complex lattice structures. To meet the rigorous demands of product designers and development engineers, prototyping materials are the critical link to product design validation and product development process efficiency. Successful OEMs and product developers understand the value of time. Time-to-market can be dramatically reduced if prototype-to-production bridge materials mirror production material specifications. Most often it is not practical to produce hard tools to make a few parts. Hard tools are costly and time consuming. Design iterations and engineering revisions could quickly absorb budget, time and patience to complete a project. The basic procedure for all rapid prototyping techniques can be summarized as follows: 1. A CAD model is built, then converted to STL format. The resolution can be set to minimize stair stepping. 2. The Rapid Prototype machine processes the .STL file by creating sliced layers of the model. 3. The first layer of the physical model is created. The model is then lowered by the thickness of the next layer, and the process is repeated until completion of the model. 4. The model with any unnecessary supports are removed from the final product. The surface of the model is then manually finished and cleaned. Source: http://www.efunda.com/processes/rapid_prototyping/intro.cfm Figure 6. 3D printing selfie: An inspiration Writing my last lecture diary today for this course I will conclude it on summarizing the main concepts which were discussed during the interdisciplinary product development course. The interdisciplinary teams going to play an important role in future products development. Now the trend is shifting towards more and more user and costumer oriented designing. Companies and startups are more focusing on the customer demands, what they need, what problems they are facing, these been possible because of including interdisciplinary team member in decision making and product development stages. So now they can bring up the issues on to the table long before launching any product or service. Having a R&D person, marketing and manufacturing person sitting on the same table and brain storming for a unified goal or product will close the communication gap which uses to exist before when every team members used to work individually on their tasks without hearing the input from the person of different skill expertise. The design problems needed to be approach in a systemic ways, ones cannot tackle the problems or can came up with best possible solution if the project is not started in a systemic way. For designing a new product there is a systemic approach in which you start with choosing a team, choosing a project management method, development process, knowing the main problem of your project which you have to solve, from those problems you have to extract the requirement, needs or constraints depending upon the external governing factors. Lean startup product development combine with agile has to be adopted for startup companies. Once you know the domain of your problem and constraints then you start looking for benchmark, patents so you can create the concepts and once you have selected enough concepts within your team then you need to evaluate them using the previous available information. Even for concept synthesis there is a systematic approach which led you to the best optimal solution for the later stages of prototyping. And technologies now a days such as rapid prototyping has changed the way developers work these days. It has shorten the time to launch the product to the market with low cost and high quality.
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Ivy Tech offering Project Management Professional® course
BLOOMINGTON — Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington offers a short-term Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification preparation class. The course starts March 1 through April 19 and will be held virtually on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The course is intended for individuals seeking a PMP credential from Project Management Institute (PMI®). Before taking the PMP exam, PMI requires proof of at least three years of project management experience and 35 contact hours of project management education. However, the course is open to anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of project management.
PMP® certification is a way to build transferable skills and knowledge between industries, market segments, and geographic locations. This is an opportunity to boost your career and earning potential.
Short-term training classes like PMP® are hosted by Ivy+ Career Link workforce training. This program takes the employee-employer relationship to a new level, with opportunities to train existing employees. Whether you are a small business, a start-up, or an enterprise-level company, Ivy Tech will work with you to provide targeted professional development to help employees in your organization do their best work.
For cost information and registration, visit www.ivytech.edu/bloomington/careerlink .
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What is Presidents Day and how is it celebrated? What to know about the federal holiday
Many will have a day off on monday in honor of presidents day. consumers may take advantage of retail sales that proliferate on the federal holiday, but here's what to know about the history of it..
Presidents Day is fast approaching, which may signal to many a relaxing three-day weekend and plenty of holiday sales and bargains .
But next to Independence Day, there may not exist another American holiday that is quite so patriotic.
While Presidents Day has come to be a commemoration of all the nation's 46 chief executives, both past and present, it wasn't always so broad . When it first came into existence – long before it was even federally recognized – the holiday was meant to celebrate just one man: George Washington.
How has the day grown from a simple celebration of the birthday of the first president of the United States? And why are we seeing all these ads for car and furniture sales on TV?
Here's what to know about Presidents Day and how it came to be:
When is Presidents Day 2024?
This year, Presidents Day is on Monday, Feb. 19.
The holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of every February because of a bill signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Taking effect three years later, the Uniform Holiday Bill mandated that three holidays – Memorial Day, Presidents Day and Veterans Day – occur on Mondays to prevent midweek shutdowns and add long weekends to the federal calendar, according to Britannica .
Other holidays, including Labor Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day , were also established to be celebrated on Mondays when they were first observed.
However, Veterans Day was returned to Nov. 11 in 1978 and continues to be commemorated on that day.
What does Presidents Day commemorate?
Presidents Day was initially established in 1879 to celebrate the birthday of the nation's first president, George Washington. In fact, the holiday was simply called Washington's Birthday, which is still how the federal government refers to it, the Department of State explains .
Following the death of the venerated American Revolution leader in 1799, Feb. 22, widely believed to be Washington's date of birth , became a perennial day of remembrance, according to History.com .
The day remained an unofficial observance for much of the 1800s until Sen. Stephen Wallace Dorsey of Arkansas proposed that it become a federal holiday. In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law, according to History.com.
While initially being recognized only in Washington D.C., Washington's Birthday became a nationwide holiday in 1885. The first to celebrate the life of an individual American, Washington's Birthday was at the time one of only five federally-recognized holidays – the others being Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.
However, most Americans today likely don't view the federal holiday as a commemoration of just one specific president. Presidents Day has since come to represent a day to recognize and celebrate all of the United States' commanders-in-chief, according to the U.S. Department of State .
When the Uniform Holiday Bill took effect in 1971, a provision was included to combine the celebration of Washington’s birthday with Abraham Lincoln's on Feb. 12, according to History.com. Because the new annual date always fell between Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays, Americans believed the day was intended to honor both presidents.
Interestingly, advertisers may have played a part in the shift to "Presidents Day."
Many businesses jumped at the opportunity to use the three-day weekend as a means to draw customers with Presidents Day sales and bargain at stores across the country, according to History.com.
How is the holiday celebrated?
Because Presidents Day is a federal holiday , most federal workers will have the day off .
Part of the reason Johnson made the day a uniform holiday was so Americans had a long weekend "to travel farther and see more of this beautiful land of ours," he wrote. As such, places like the Washington Monument in D.C. and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota – which bears the likenesses of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt – are bound to attract plenty of tourists.
Similar to Independence Day, the holiday is also viewed as a patriotic celebration . As opposed to July, February might not be the best time for backyard barbecues and fireworks, but reenactments, parades and other ceremonies are sure to take place in cities across the U.S.
Presidential places abound across the U.S.
Opinions on current and recent presidents may leave Americans divided, but we apparently love our leaders of old enough to name a lot of places after them.
In 2023, the U.S. Census Bureau pulled information from its databases showcasing presidential geographic facts about the nation's cities and states.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the census data shows that as of 2020 , the U.S. is home to plenty of cities, counties and towns bearing presidential names. Specifically:
- 94 places are named "Washington."
- 72 places are named "Lincoln."
- 67 places are named for Andrew Jackson, a controversial figure who owned slaves and forced thousands of Native Americans to march along the infamous Trail of Tears.
Contributing: Clare Mulroy
Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]