Masters of Business and Operations Management MODULE: Managing Projects SIBM 004-08-A Assignment No: 1 Title: Critically examine the

Purpose & Importance to the Project manager and th e subsequent success of a Project of clearly establishing & identifying the Purp ose, Scope & Objectives Session: 2008/09 Compiled By: Mohammed Ahmed Declaration: I hereby declare that this piece of writing is my work and has neve r been done or submitted anywhere else. The globally changing world of business with increasing competition and the emer gence of new products daily has made organisation continuously search for ways i n doing business at reduced cost that is affordable to the consumer or end-user. The production of goods and services at reduced cost requires the efficient uti lization of resources (human and materials), processes and products. Many organi sations set up project teams under the supervision of a project manager to coord inate the activities in meeting operational requirement at reduced cost. The pro duction of goods and services are usually classified as projects related by task s with specific goals requiring concerted efforts (Ensure, 2008). According to H arvard (1991), a project is a temporary task embarked on by an organisation to a chieve a predetermined specification within budget on time. Projects are tasks t hat are undertaken by individuals or groups with specific skills and knowledge t o achieve goals within a certain timeframe (Academicresourcecenter, 2008). However, to successfully actualise projects, specific skills in managing project s are necessary. Project management is therefore the efficient use of resources and material to achieve products and services. Richman (2002) defines project ma nagement as a set of values, methods and techniques used in planning and control ling task based on available resources, decision making and scheduling in accord ance with specifications. PMBOK (2004), on the other hand defines project manage ment as the integration of processes for initiating, planning, executing, monito ring, controlling and closing a project. Conversely, the coordination and integr ation of the processes required to achieve projects involves the use of a projec t manager. Project manager is therefore an individual assigned with the responsibility of m anaging specific projects to meet approved objectives including project scope, b udget, and schedule. A project manager leads a project team with directed plans to meet business requirements (Lewis, 2007). The job of a project manager is the ability to effectively pool resources together skilled enough to achieve projec t specifications. This could be done by setting up special project teams guided by a project charter explaining the purpose, scope and objectives of the project to suit the overall business plan of an organisation. To the project manager, p lanning is essential in achieving project specifications and deadlines from conc eption to completion as agreed by the stakeholders (Kerzner, 2003). Yeates (1986 ) is of the opinion that planning a project helps to deliver it on time within b udget at the predetermined quality level. It helps a project manager to resolve and work around unforeseen problems that may delay project completion. Some of t he project specifications needed to achieve the purpose, objective and scope for executing a project are usually performance-based. The purpose, scope and objec tives of a project are important to the client or customer, the project organisa tion and the project manager. The successful implementation of the purpose, scop e and objectives leads to the successful execution of a project. It is important for every member of a project team to understand the purpose and objectives for which a project is undertaken.

The purpose of a project is measured based on its contribution to the overall bu siness strategy (Shenhar and Dvir, 2007). A well planned project may fail if not designed in accordance with the organisational business perspective because it may not be supported by top management whose overall aim is making profit. Project objectives must follow a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, reali stic and traceable) approach to avoid any ambiguity in delivery projects on sche dule. It is significant for every member of the project team to be familiar with the objectives of a project as would be communicated by the project manager reg arding quality and its effects on organisational reputation. The objectives of a project are defined statements explaining the reason for the projects as well a s milestone to be achieved. Setting project objectives makes the job easier for the project manager to coordinate the overall activities that benefit the busine ss purpose. The objective allows the project team to concentrate on priorities b y clearly defining the critical and non-critical path to be followed to actualis e the project aims. The objectives of a project are the desired result set out t o be achieved on specific dates which are measured as the project advances. When clearly defined, the objective of a project can motivate members of a project t eam especially when the project manager promotes team work (Yeates, 1986). Pyramid of project objectives, goals, scope, and requirements (Tomczyk, 2005). According to Tomczyk (2005) the pyramid above represents the nature of projects and their importance to different organisations with every level carrying more d etails than the level preceding it. The project pyramid determines the overall o rganisational business purpose regarding executing projects. Project objectives may not necessarily align with business goals, but the knowledge of the organisa tion would help connect the purpose of the project with the business. For exampl e, maintaining machinery to help the sales department meet sales target for a cl ient. The scope of a project is the sum total of the work needed to complete a project . Establishing an effective project scope is the first step in ensuring project success (Richman, 2006). Projects are easily overrun when the scope is not clear ly defined from the outset of the project planning. The duration and budget are exceeded when scope is not aligned with planning. This leads to scope creep. Sco pe definition must involve performance measurement, budget and time. It also inc ludes areas such as project definition, planning, verification, control, and qua lity. Project quality is therefore ensuring that the projects are designed and execute d with the purpose of meeting or exceeding customer requirement through continuo us performance improvement (Deming, 1986). Poor scope management leads to rework and high cost of project which leads to delays. This can be avoided by the proj ect manager by ensuring that any feature that was not originally part of the pla nning are not included as the project is being executed. Scope creep is a conseq uence of not adhering to project scope, objective and purpose. In order to avoid scope creep, the project manager establishes work-break-down structure (WBS) su ch that all the activities are broken into their respective areas leading to com pletion. It is important to subdivide project into manageable units assignable t o professional who would take ownership till the project is completed. Similar w ork are grouped together to improve efficiency (Burke, 2003). WBS facilitates th e process of integrating the small units that make up the project and encourages communication among the project team especially when the project is deliverable -based (Rad & Anantatmula, 2005). In conclusion, project risk must be avoided by adhering to project scope, object ives and purpose. Such risks may be uncertain and considerable in its impact on project performance if not well handled (Chapman & Ward, 1997).

Reference Burke, R., 2003. Project management, planning and control techniques, 4th Editio n Chapman, C. & Ward, S. 1997. Project Risk Management processes, Techniques & Ins ights. Deming, W. E., 1986, Out of the crisis, Quality, productivity and competition po sition Harvard business review, 1991 Project management, No. 90053. Kerzner, H., 2003. Project management, a system approach to planning, scheduling and controlling, 8th Edition Lewis, J. P., 2007 Fundamentals of project management 3rd Edition PMBOK Guide, 2004. A guide to project management body of knowledge 3rd Edition. Rad, P. F., & Anantatmula. S., 2005. Project planning techniques Richman L., 2006. Improving management skills Richman L., 2002. Successful project management 2nd Edition. Shenhar, A. J. and Dvir, D., 2007, Reinventing project management: the diamond a pproach to successful growth and innovation Tomczyk C. A., 2005. Project managerâ s spotlight on Planning. Ensure, 2008, http://www.ensure.org/guidebook/glossary.htm#P : accessed on the 2 5th Oct., 2008 Academicresourcecenter, 2008,http://www.academicresourcecenter.net/curriculum/gl ossary.aspx: accessed on the 25th Oct., 2008

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