Implementing a Project Management System

2499 Words May 1st, 2008 10 Pages

“A project is a complex non routine, one-time effort limited by time, budget, resources, and performance specifications designed to meet customer needs” (Gray/Larson Project Management)

Project Management (pm) is an evolving science. It is a flexible, efficient, innovative, and accountable way to get things done in today’s fast paced consumerist society. Pm is ideally suited to the business environment where product lead times are constantly being trimmed down, due to the rapid increase in global competition.

In the recent past, the general consensus in business was that strategic business and project management were two different disciplines. Strategy deals with the how’s of a business, how will it make profit?
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“The sum total of the ways in which an organisation can divide its labour into distinct tasks and then achieve co-ordination amongst them” (Mintzberg in PMWorld Today, 2006 vol. iv, issue 1)

The successful completion of a project is in itself not enough to call the project a success. Success depends on the integration of the outcome of that project into the operational functions of the business. A project is a unique one-time effort, by their nature they do not fit well with the daily repetitive tasks of operational management. A structure must be in place which balances the requirements of the project, with those of the organisation. There are three recognised structures to achieve this, which are project management; within functional operations, organised as dedicated teams, and matrix system.

Project management within functional operations
This is simplest and quickest type of pm system to introduce. The project is operated as an additional function within the existing departments. The accounting department is responsible for finance, sales dept deal with sales, etc… the overall management remains within the existing hierarchal system. In addition to being quick and easy to implement it also has the advantage of having natural expertise in that each department already have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out the work involved.

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