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Project Management

Project Management



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Published by Haery Sihombing

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Published by: Haery Sihombing on Aug 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Haeryip Sihombing
Critical Path Method-- Program, Evaluation & Review Technique (CPM/PERT)
Haeryip Sihombing
Introduction to Project Management
Many people and organizations today have a new or renewed interest in project management. Until the1980s, project management primarily focused on providing schedule and resource data to topmanagement in the military, computer, and construction industries. Today’s project management involvesmuch more, and people in every industry and every country manage projects. New technologies havebecome a significant factor in many businesses. Today’s companies, governments, and non-profitorganizations are recognizing that to be successful, they need to be conversant with and use modernproject management techniques. Individuals are realizing that to remain competitive in the workplace,they must develop skills to become good project team members and project managers. They also realizethat many of the concepts of project management will help them in their everyday lives as they work withpeople and technology on a day-to-day basis.Although people have worked on projects for centuries, most agree that the modern concept of projectmanagement began with the Manhattan Project, which the U.S. military led to develop the atomic bomb.The Manhattan Project involved many people with different skills at several different locations. It alsoclearly separated the overall management of the project’s mission, schedule, and budget under GeneralLeslie R. Groves and the technical management of the project under Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. TheManhattan Project lasted about three years and cost almost $2 billion in 1946. In developing the project,the military realized that scientists and other technical specialists often did not have the desire or thenecessary skills to manage large projects. For example, after being asked several times for each teammember’s responsibilities at the new Los Alamos laboratory in 1943, Dr. Oppenheimer threw a piece of paper with an organization chart on it at his director and said, “Here’s your damn organization chart.”Project management was recognized as a distinct discipline requiring people with special skills and, evenmore importantly, the desire to lead project teams.
Project management was first used to manage the US space program. It's practice has now beenexpanded rapidly through the government, the military and the corporate world. A
is “atemporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” Operations, on the other hand, is work done in organizations to sustain the business. Projects are different from operations in thatthey end when their objectives have been reached or the project has been terminated.
Definition of a Project
The Project Management Institute defines a project as follows:
A Project is a unique undertaking with a defined starting point and duration directed at achieving defined objectives, utilizing finite or infinite resources.
The key parts of this definition:1. A project has a unique objective.2. A project has a definite start, duration and finish. It has a temporary rather than open-ended duration.Some examples of projects are:
Building a house
Relocating a data center 
Writing a book
Developing a software program
Project Management
Project management is the management of an organized set of activities directed toward a common goal,using specialized management structures and techniques. It includes:
Haeryip Sihombing
Determining project objectives
What is the goal (or goals) of the project? Examples of project goals include building a bridge,relocating the MIS department to a new site or installing a new phone system. More importantly,some examples of things that are NOT projects include scheduling the usage for a training facilityor scheduling engineers in a technical service department. These are not projects because theydo not meet all the criteria of a project. They do not have a definitive start, finish, and duration.
Managing budgets and resources
Projects do not get done without resources to do them. To ensure successful completion of aproject, it is important to estimate correctly the number of personnel and the amount of equipmentneeded. With this, it is important to realize the cost of the project. Some projects can becompleted in a shorter time by increasing the manpower on the project. However, doing this alsoincreases the cost. One of the project manager’s jobs is to maintain a balance between reducingcosts and reducing the time to complete the project.
Reporting Progress
Reporting progress is a key to project management. It is essential that key players in a projectknow what is happening, and whether they are on track, behind, or ahead of schedule. Byreviewing progress on a regular basis, you can try to avoid possible problems in advance. For example, if you notice that a certain task was scheduled to take 10 days to accomplish, but onday 5 only 25% of the work was finished, you could possibly re-allocate resources to that task inorder to complete it on time.
Evaluating efficiency and effectiveness
During and after a project, it is important to review and analyze the performance on the project.This information can provide valuable insight into possible changes to make for future projects.For example, your project was to build a house, and one of the steps involved was landscaping.After the project is finished, you notice that it took less time to do the landscaping than youoriginally planned. This information could be valuable if you build another house, because youcould reduce the time allocated for landscaping. By constantly reviewing the efficiency andeffectiveness of your project, you can more accurately plan future projects.Here is the main definition of what project management is:1. Project management is no small task.2. Project management has a definite beginning and end. It is not a continuous process.3. Project management uses various measurement tools to accomplish and track project tasks.These include Gantt and Pert charts.4. Projects frequently need resources on an add-on basis as opposed to organizations who havefull-time positions.There are three main points that are most important to a successful project:1. A Project must meet customer requirements.2. A Project must be under budget.3. A Project must be on time.There are four phases a project goes through. The role of the project manager in project management isone of great responsibility. It's the project manager's job to direct and supervise the project frombeginning to end. Here are some other roles:1. The project manager must define the project, reduce the project to a set of manageable tasks,obtain appropriate and necessary resources, and build a team or teams to perform the projectwork2. The project manager must set the final goal for the project and must motivate his workers tocomplete the project on time.3. A project manager must have is technical skills. This relates to financial planning, contractmanagement, and managing creative thinking and problem solving techniques are promoted.4. No project ever goes 100% as planned, so project managers must learn to adapt to change.

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