CONCEPTS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
- Project Management
effectiveness in projects
- The project management system
- Project manager
3.1 What is Project Management?
Project Management is 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. It is important to note here that a
project is a temporary and one-time
endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service that
brings about beneficial change or
added value. This property of being a temporary and one-time
undertaking contrasts with
processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent
ongoing functional work to
create the same product or service over and over again. The
management of these two systems
is often very different and requires varying technical skills
and philosophy, hence requiring the
development of project management.
Thus, in this regard, the first challenge of project management
is ensuring that a project is
delivered within the defined constraints. The second, more
ambitious, challenge is the
optimized allocation and integration of the inputs needed to
meet those pre–defined objectives.
The project, therefore, is a carefully selected set of
activities chosen to use resources (money,
people, materials, energy, space, provisions, communication,
quality, risks, etc.) in order to
meet the objectives established by the organization.
Management in any project is concerned with productivity. This
refers to efficiency and
effectiveness. These can be explained as follows:
In order to be efficient, management is concerned with minimizing resource
Efficiency is “doing things right”.
In order to be effective, management is
concerned with getting activities
completed. Effectiveness is “doing right things”.
Thus, efficiency is concerned with means and effectiveness with
ends. They are interrelated. It
is easier to be effective if one ignores efficiency. For
example, some organizations are
reasonably effective, but are extremely inefficient. They get
their jobs done, but at a very high
For the management of any project, it is important not only to
get the activities completed
(effectiveness), but also to do so as efficiently as possible.
Can organizations be efficient and
yet not effective? Yes, by doing wrong things well.
The following figure (figure 3.1) shows management seeking
efficiency and effectiveness.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
3.2 THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Figure 3.2: Project
Because of the interrelatedness of these driving forces, some
people contend that the only true
driving force is survival. This is illustrated in Figure 3.3
below. When the company recognizes
that survival of the firm is at stake, the implementation of
project management becomes easier.
The speed by which companies reach some degree of maturity in
project management is most
often based upon how important they perceive the driving forces
Components of survival
3.3 Who is a Project Manager?
A project manager is a professional in the field of project
management. They have the
responsibility of the planning and execution of any project. A
project manager's central duty is
to ensure the success of a project by minimizing risk throughout
the lifetime of the project. This
is done through a variety of methods, both formal and informal.
A project manager usually has
to ask penetrating questions, detect unstated assumptions, and
resolve interpersonal conflicts, as
well as use more systematic management skills.
In whatever field, a successful project manager must be able to
envisage the entire project from
start to finish and should have the ability to ensure that this
vision is realized.
3.3.1 Types of Project Managers:
Project managers cannot perform their tasks well unless they
have understanding of and are
responsive to many elements of the external environment,
including; economic, technological
social, political and ethical factors that effect their areas of
operations.The various types of
project managers are follows:
Line managers are responsible for activities making direct
contributions to production of
organization’s basic goods or services.
Staff managers use special technical expertise to advise and
support the efforts of line workers.
Functional managers are responsible for only one area of
activity, i.e. finance, marketing,
production, personnel, accounting, or sales.
General Managers are responsible for complex organizational unit
that include many areas of
An administrator is someone who administers work in any kind of
3.3.2 Activities of Project Managers:
Following are the four major activities that are undertaken by
the project managers:
1. Traditional management:
This includes decision making, planning,
This refers to exchanging routine
information and processing
3. Human Resource Management (HRM):
It involves motivating, disciplining,
managing conflict, staffing, and training.
It includes socializing, and interacting
An average manager spends:
- 32% of time in
traditional management activities
- 29% in
- 20% in HRM
- 19% in
Today’s business environment is moving away from the
conventional practices and with this;
the role of the Project Managers is also witnessing rapid
3.3.3 Success for Project Managers:
There are three general preconditions for achieving lasting
success as Project Manager. These
Together, they constitute the basic formula for managerial
- Ability (A)
- Motivation to
S = A x M x O
3.3.4 Ten Facts of Project Managerial Life:
i) Project Managers work long hours. Number of hours worked
tends to increase
as one climbs the managerial ladder.
ii) Project Managers are busy. Typical manager’s day is made up
of hundreds of
brief incidents or episodes. Activity rates tend to decrease as
iii) Project Manager’s work is fragmented. Given managers high
they have little time to devote to any single activity.
discontinuity are the rule.
iv) Project Manager’s job is varied. They engage in variety of
(paperwork, phone calls, scheduled and unscheduled meetings, and
tours/visits). They interact with variety of people, and deal
with variety of
v) Project Managers are “homebodies”. They spend most of their
activities within their own organizations. As managerial rank
spend proportionately more time outside their work areas and
vi) Project Manager’s work is primarily oral. At all levels,
they spend most of the
time communicating verbally by personal contacts/ telephone etc.
vii) Project Managers use a lot of contacts. Consistent with
their high level of
verbal communication, managers continually exchange information
superiors, peers, subordinates, and outsiders on ongoing basis.
viii) Project Managers are not reflective planners. Typical
manager is too busy to
find uninterrupted blocks of time for reflective planning.
ix) Information is the basic ingredient of Project Manager’s
work. Managers spend
most of their time obtaining, interpreting, and giving
x) Project Managers do not know how they spend their time.
consistently overestimate the time they spend on production,
writing, phone calls, thinking, and calculating and consistently
time spent on meetings as well as on informal discussions.
3.3.5 Managerial Skills:
A skill is an ability or proficiency in performing a particular
task. Skills reflect the
ability to translate actions into results. They are of the
Skill is the knowledge of
and proficiency in activities involving
methods, processes, and procedures.
• Human Skill
is the ability to work
with people; cooperative effort; it is teamwork;
feel secure and free to express their opinions.
Skill is the ability to
see “big picture” in order to recognize significant
elements in a situation, and to understand relationships among
Skill is the ability to
solve problems in ways that will benefit enterprise.
3.4 Tomorrow’s Management Today
- Average company
will be smaller, employing fewer people.
organizational structures will become more team-based and without boundaries.
- Employees will
be empowered to make decisions.
organizations will be the norm.
- Work will be
organized around teams and processes.
- Bases of power
organizations will exist.
- Stress will be
on vision and values.
- Managers will
be change agents.
- Leadership will
be more important.