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Broad Contents

  • Project Management
  • Efficiency and 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:

Efficiency: In order to be efficient, management is concerned with minimizing resource costs.

Efficiency is “doing things right”.

Effectiveness: 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.

Figure 3.1: Efficiency and Effectiveness


Figure 3.2: Project Management System

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 to be.

Figure 3.3: 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

functional activity.

An administrator is someone who administers work in any kind of organization.

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, and


2. Communication: This refers to exchanging routine information and processing


3. Human Resource Management (HRM): It involves motivating, disciplining,

managing conflict, staffing, and training.

4. Networking: It includes socializing, and interacting with outsiders.

An average manager spends:

  • 32% of time in traditional management activities
  • 29% in communicating
  • 20% in HRM activities
  • 19% in networking

Today’s business environment is moving away from the conventional practices and with this;

the role of the Project Managers is also witnessing rapid changes.

3.3.3 Success for Project Managers:

There are three general preconditions for achieving lasting success as Project Manager. These


  • Ability (A)
  • Motivation to manage (M)
  • Opportunity (O)
Together, they constitute the basic formula for managerial success (S):

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 rank increases.

iii) Project Manager’s work is fragmented. Given managers high activity level,

they have little time to devote to any single activity. Interruptions and

discontinuity are the rule.

iv) Project Manager’s job is varied. They engage in variety of activities

(paperwork, phone calls, scheduled and unscheduled meetings, and inspection

tours/visits). They interact with variety of people, and deal with variety of

content areas.

v) Project Managers are “homebodies”. They spend most of their time pursuing

activities within their own organizations. As managerial rank increases, they

spend proportionately more time outside their work areas and organizations.

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 with

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 information.

x) Project Managers do not know how they spend their time. Managers

consistently overestimate the time they spend on production, reading and

writing, phone calls, thinking, and calculating and consistently underestimate

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 following types:

Technical 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.

Conceptual Skill is the ability to see “big picture” in order to recognize significant

elements in a situation, and to understand relationships among elements.

Design 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.
  • Traditional organizational structures will become more team-based and without boundaries.
  • Employees will be empowered to make decisions.
  • Flatter organizations will be the norm.
  • Work will be organized around teams and processes.
  • Bases of power will change.
  • Knowledge-based organizations will exist.
  • Stress will be on vision and values.
  • Managers will be change agents.
  • Leadership will be more important.

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