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Contents    

Section 1 Introduction to Project Management

Section 2 Objectives

Section 3 Project Cycles

Section 4 Resource Management Processes

Section 5 Improvement Strategies                                          
 

Description:  This unit provides an introduction to and explains the objectives, concepts and practice of project/contract management.

Author: Gates MacBain Associates


Section 1  Introduction to Project Management




Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Explain the development and use of Project Management.


Project Management is the specific goal-directed undertaking with time limitations, which requires the commitment of varied skills and resources.  

The combination of resources (human and non-human), are brought together in a temporary organisation to achieve a specified purpose. A project has a single set of objectives, and when these have been reached, the project is completed and the organisation can be disbanded.    

The word Project or Programme may be used depending on the industry involved. Construction, public works and industry generally use the word Project. Defence, aerospace and electronics generally use Programme. 

Project management can therefore be defined as: the discipline of organizing and managing resources in such a way that these resources deliver all the work required to complete a project within defined scope, time, and cost constraints.   


History  

Project Management developed within a number of fields including construction, mechanical engineering and military projects. Though the forefather of project management is Henry Gantt, who is known for his planning and control techniques, who working with Frederick Winslow Taylor's who looked at the United States ship building programme. This work was the forerunner to many modern project management tools, including the work breakdown structure (WBS) and resource allocation. 

Project Management started to develop in the 1950’s with the introduction of the "Program Evaluation and Review Technique" or PERT, developed as part of the United States Navy's  and Lockheed Corporation Polaris missile submarine program; and (2) the "Critical Path Method" (CPM) developed for managing plant maintenance projects.  

In 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was formed to serve the interest of the project management industry. The premise of PMI is that the tools and techniques of project management are common even among the application of projects for all industry. You can visit the Project Management Institute website by clicking on the link below.  Use Project management is best suited under the following circumstances: 
  • The job is large.
  • The job is technically complex.
  • The job has a number of separate parts which must be integrated to complete the whole project.
  • There is a need to have a single point of information and responsibility for the total job.
  • There are strong budgetary and fiscal controls required.
  • The tight schedule and budgetary constraints are foreseen.
  • A quick response to changing conditions is necessary.
  • The job crosses many disciplinary and operational boundaries.
  • The job is likely to drastically disrupt the present organisational structure.
  • There are more than two divisions involved, and more than one will have to deal with the customer.
  • There are other complex projects being conducted concurrently with this one.
  • There is likely to be conflict between line managers concerning the project.
  • The organisation is committed to a firm completion date.
  • It is likely that changing conditions may seriously affect the product before completion.
  • There are major procurements that must be made outside the organisation.
  • There are major portions of the system which must be sub-contracted outside the organisation.
  • It is necessary to have the project reviewed or approved by outside agencies.

Types 

Project management may be: 
  • Pure, where the project is autonomous and every one works for the project, in this case the project manager has complete authority.
  • Matrix, where the project organisation is superimposed on top of the normal line/functional organisation, this is efficient for small or medium-sized organisations. The use of the matrix system requires that an organisation make major changes in the way it functions. Management priorities and procedures must consider the project’s needs.



Websites



Publications

  • CIOB (2004) Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, (Introduction)



Self-Assessment Task

  • Explain where project management could be considered over the traditional method of managing a contract.




Section 2 Objectives




Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Discuss the client objectives for a project and explain the purpose of a project brief.


Client Objectives 

The clients objectives will be set out for each of the stages and these can be found in the Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development indicated below, consequently you should ensure that you understand these objectives for each of the stages. The overall objectives will depend on the project. This will relate to prestige, profitability, expectations and quality and will depend on a number of factors which must be determined and understood by all those involved with the project.  One way of ensuring that the project conforms to requirements is to ensure that appropriate project briefs are produced.   


Project Briefs  

good source of information relating to all aspects of Project Management is the Project Smart website, a link to which is provided below. You should visit the site in order to see what is provided as you will find it useful for all aspects relating to Project Management.




Websites



Publications

  • CIOB (2004) Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, (Part 1) 




Self-Assessment Task

  • Explain the purpose of a project brief and produce an template which could be used to produce one. 





Section 3  Project Cycles




Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Explain the cycles or phases of a project. 


A project consists of a number of sequential phases, these will vary according to the project though will relate to the following activities:
  • Concept/Initiation
  • Growth/Organisation
  • Production/Operational
  • Shut-down
 
These phases are useful in planning a project since they provide a framework for budgeting, manpower and resource allocation, and for scheduling project milestones and project reviews. These phases are not strictly sequential and there may be some overlap, particularly in large and complex projects.  


Phases and their Activities  

Concept/Initiation 

Management decides that a project is needed.  It establishes goals and estimates the resources needed. It makes key appointments. 


Growth/Organisation 

Organisational approach, project plan and schedule for operational phase determined and defined. Project objectives, tasks and resources defined and team built up. 


Production/Operational 

The work of the project is carried out and objectives accomplished (i.e., design, development, production, testing, site activation etc.).  Shut-down Manpower, resources and commitments transferred to other organisations.  Stages This can be looked at from a number of stages which are:
    • Inception
    • Feasibility
    • Strategy
    • Pre-construction
    • Construction
    • Engineering Services Commissioning
    • Completion, Handover and Occupation
 
These are covered in the Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development shown in the publications below. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with these by reading this publication.



Publications

  • CIOB (2004) Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, (Part 1)



Self-Assessment Task

  • List the main phases of a project explaining the areas that each will cover.




Section 4  Resource Management Processes




Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Explain the processes of management.


Managing resources involves forecasting, planning, organising, motivating, controlling, coordinating and communicating.  These are dealt with in detail in the constructionsite unit  ‘Processes of Management’. You can go to this unit by clicking on the link below and then going to the Chapter ‘Managerial Functions’.




Constructionsite Units



Self-Assessment Task

  • Carry-out the task specified in the unit ‘Processes of Management (Managerial Functions)’.




Section 5  Improvement Strategies




Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Explain the post completion process for a project.


Performance and Quality Improvement Objectives 

This relates to the CIOB Post-completion review/project close-out report stage as described in the Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development indicated below.  Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the winding up of the activities and system involved with it. Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned. 

It should be a constant aim to improve the systems, methods and work produced by a project team and in order to do that it is essential to assess each project and determine ways that they could be improved in the future. One of the main ways of achieving this is to obtain feedback from those involved with the project at all levels. Guidance on this can be found in the Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development.





Publications

  • CIOB (2004) Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, Part 



Self-Assessment Task

  • Explain the process involved with the post completion strategy and suggest ways that can be used to review the project.





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