In organizations, projects are not isolated events but a realization of objectives by following concerted efforts of different stakeholders in all the phases of the project lifecycle. There exists an array of standards that one can use in project management. Some of the well-known standards include the capability maturity plan, GAPPS, HERMES, PRINCE2, V-model, IAPPM, and Team Software Process. Integration of the project management methodology or process with technical standards ensures a seamless approach to managing projects. Standards for project management include guidelines, tools, and templates for project management.
The success factors that guide the development and implementation of the standards for project management include the project size and type, the actual benefit for the project team or manager, and information technology tools which have optimal adjustments for the projects success. Besides, the standards should consider personal opinions and satisfaction of the project manager. One should think the level of preparedness, documentation, kind of leadership, cost estimation, and setting of priorities as the factors for analyzing a businesss success or failure.
Successful projects include those that meet all the business objectives and requirements, get delivered and maintained on schedule and are within the budget. The targets may be quality, schedule, scope, outcomes, or budget.
Successful projects deliver 10% cheaper than the estimated industry average. They have an execution cycle time faster or similar to the projected industry average. The plans are safe with no fatalities and do not have operational performance challenges during their start or within the first twelve months.
Successful projects involve proper planning, reduced turnover of team members, have integrated teams, and are under experienced control. Managing variations is one of the defining factors that keep a good project under inspection to obtain satisfactory results.
Project failure may result from the underestimation of substantial risks, and inaccuracies associated with input variables. Therefore, the project manager has to consider the analytical insights gained regarding the entire project critically. The failed plans are 20 percent, or more expensive than the projected average of the company and have an execution cycle time that is slower than the industry average. More often, the failed projects had significant design changes and high turnover of team members during their execution leading to bad performances of the entire project.
Examples of successful and failed projects
The Sydney Opera House in Australia started off as a failed project because its execution cycle time was late, and it was also over the average industrial budget. The scheme caused considerable trauma to the stakeholders. However, following the completion of the project, the opera project contributes a lot to the economy of Australia every year. Therefore, this is an example of both failed and successful projects.
Another example of a failed project is the Indian-based company Jindal Steel and Power which was unable to provide the number of jobs expected and economic contribution because the contract got terminated along the way (Vermeulen & Hutte, 2014).
Part 2: Comparing and Contrasting Operations Management versus Project Management
There exist enormous variations between project management and operations management. Operations management involves a continuing institutional function which performs activities leading to the production of products of supply of services. Examples of operations management include manufacturing, production operations, accounting operations, and IT service management. Procedures are usually permanent endeavors aimed at producing reproducible outputs. Therefore, organizations assign resources to the same tasks about standard operating approaches and policy.
On the other hand, project management involves temporary projects that assist the company meets its goals. The plans give an opportunity to easily and quickly respond to the changing external environment. Firms utilize schemes in altering operations, services, and products to meet the business objectives, provide the response to the new markets, and achieve competitive advantage.
Operations management and project management have different objectives. Process management aims at continually improving processes, resulting in highly competitive advantage, cutting costs, and increasing effectiveness. Project management aims at pushing for change within the business. For example, project management uses process re-engineering to develop customer-oriented enterprises.
The managers of operations and operations require different skills in performing their responsibilities.
Table 1: Skills differences for operational and project managers
Project Manager Operational Manager
Consists of a temporary team Consists of a stable organization
The role ends with completion of project Routine roles
Do not do work before the project Their work is repeatable
There are scope, time, and cost constraints Has an annual planning cycle
It is difficult to approximate budget and time Fixed events and set budgets
Part 3: Evaluate the Similarities and Differences between the Three Categories of Project Management
Three Categories of Project Management
Project management has three distinct categories which include program management, portfolio management, and project management. The different groups possess unique characteristics.
Project management pertains to the process of helping projects attain their specific objectives. The method includes beginning the project, designing the plan of executing the particular project, implementing the project with regards to the approved program, and directing the activities of the project up to its entirety. Besides the process also includes handing over the projects results and output to the client, as well as closing the project.
Therefore, managing of projects involves the application of skills, techniques, knowledge, and tools to enable the project activities to meet their project requirements. The plans under the management of projects are temporary engagements that focus on the creation of unique results, service or products. Project management terminates wherever the designed project achieves its expected outcomes. For instance, a client may require the project manager to create a call center for the clients organization. The project manager will develop the call center and deliver it to the client. The client is then ready to begin offering support service to their customers.
The project team may consist of members who operate from different locations, not necessarily from the same place. Once the project manager delivers the project to the client, the manager has to close the project. The project team disintegrates once the project has come to an end.
The coordinated management of a program to obtain its strategic objectives is what refers to program management. One only manages the interdependent and correlated projects as a team to achieve the desired results. The fundamental aim of managing projects includes the optimization of utilizing resources among the projects as well as reducing the constraints and friction to improve institutional performance. A program involves a combination of similar or related projects that aim at getting the control and benefits not available from individually managing the projects. Therefore, a program will have a group of projects. Similar plans fall under one program.
The objective and scope of portfolio management are broader than for program management. In this category, there is a core management that identifies, authorizes, and prioritizes the programs or projects. The centralized control manages and directs the programs or projects with the purpose of achieving the companys strategic objectives. Notably, managing of portfolios prioritizes the programs and projects in a group and does not oversee any program or project individually (Sokowski, 2015).
Table 2: Differences between project management and program management
Project Management Program Management
One individual project managed Multiple similar projects managed
Project can be part of a program A program is not part of a project
Just a component of program management Helps address management of projects
Table 3: Differences between portfolio management and program management
Portfolio Management Program Management
Manages non-similar projects or different programs Manages similar projects
Has firm-wide scope that depends on strategic objectives of the company Scope is narrower than portfolio management
Table 4: Differences between project management and portfolio management
Project management Portfolio management
Has limited scope and objectives Has a broad scope and objectives
Deals with only one project Deals with multiple projects as a portfolio
Program management and portfolio management have many things in common than their differences. The two have similar governance processes. For instance, both management categories utilize roll-up reporting strategy of the constituent components aiming at controlling, making decisions, and monitoring the projects. Within the scope of both groups, the managers implement goal-oriented choices that preserve the consistency of the targeted strategic result. Each category considers risk as the uncertainty that could affect the intended outcome and therefore are subject to control by the project managers (Lister, 2015).
Table 5: Summary of the differences and similarities between the three categories of project management
Area of contrast Project management Program management Portfolio management
Purpose Provide deliverable outcomes through execution of a network of tasks Deliver outcomes by executing a network of projects Supports formulation of strategy and its execution from the perspective of an investment
Duration of execution Temporary with a finite start and end There is a longer time frame than projects with its termination being as a result of a decision to disinvest It is an enduring process with regular investment balancing
Level of aggregation Smallest level of aggregation Intermediate level of aggregation Largest level of aggregation
What is aggregated? Involves a collection of related deliverables or tasks Includes a collection of projects and other components Deals with a collection of things of value or assets
Meaning of strategic alignment Means accomplishment of the specific objectives and requirements.
Projects execute to strategies at the business or functional levels, but rarely at the corporate level. Accomplishment of specific objectives and requirements, but on a grander scale than the projects.
Programs execute to strategies at the functional, corporate, and business levels. It means the adjustment of investments to raise the probability of attaining business and financial outcomes in a dynamic external corporate environment.
Risk diversification rarely benefits functional strategies.
Definition of success Defined by meeting narrowly defined objectives such as metrics cost, quality, and timing. Meeting broadly-defined objectives. Focuses on long-term value to stakeholders and investors.
Vital competencies Management skills Leadership skills Decision making and analysis
Lister, G. (2015). Mastering project, program, and portfolio management: Models for structuring and executing the project hierarchy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Sokowski, D. W. (2015). Mastering...
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