Project Management

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Project Management

Project manager is person who is promoted from the position of a technical specialist to that of a project manager by the senior management. The work of a project manager in a company has to do with coordinating activities of other specialists with an eye to accomplish set goals in those areas that deal with performance, time and cost.

Some of the major responsibilities of a project manager within a company include the following: an ability to get set goals across to people involved in a project, to build friendly and supportive atmosphere among team members, to be able to prevent machiavellian intrigues within a team, an ability to get adjusted to the project requirements, to empower and encourage other team members in order to improve their performance during the project implementation as well as an ability to respond to the needs and worries of the team members at final stages of the project.

The buildup phase of the project is often characterized by the occurrence of conflicts over project priorities, administrative procedures as well as schedules. Conflicts of technical nature normally arise between project and functional managers. The project phase called main program is likely to be the most conflict-related area in the project, since conflicts may arise because of delays and attempts to go according to the schedule after such delays. At final stages of the project, an approaching deadline may provoke conflicts in a team. Thus, people who are involved in a current project try to compete with one another at the completion stages in order to obtain a position in the next project.

The project can appear to be a part of any given division in a company. Thus, a functional division that is interested in a particular project most of all can prove to be the best candidate for its implementation. It is worth dwelling on the major advantages and disadvantages here. This form enables to share resources among projects more efficiently. Moreover, thanks to it, technical competence will benefit as well. As a disadvantage, firstly, it is important to mention that a functional basis might be the case in a decision-making process. In addition, there is a risk of losing a customers perspective with regard to the daily functional routine. Secondly, it is also a disadvantage that end-to-end responsibility for the project rests with one person alone as well as the fact that communication channels between functional project members are likely to be hindered as a result.

In terms of matrix organization, the project resources are to be shared with those organizations that are responsible for providing them. In fact, matrix organization is all about transforming the pure project form into its functional form. It is possible to distinguish among weak, balanced and strong forms here. The primary advantage here is an improved buyers access to certain resources. It is worth mentioning that advantages will vary as the project evolves from the weak through the balanced to the strong form. The major disadvantage, in turn, is an increased risk of conflict within the project among team members. Thus, it is vital that a project manager should have enough energy to monitor project activities efficiently and ensure supportive atmosphere among team members. The disadvantages will vary depending on the project form similarly to the advantages.

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In terms of mixed organized systems, the project in the pipeline will evolve from a small effort into a venture project, or even a venture firm in some cases. Mixed organized systems ensure high flexibility of resources, which is aimed at complying with special problems that arise at different stages of the project. On the other hand, disadvantages may include duplications, overlap as well as increased competition.

Implementation of the project, or in other words, pure project organizations suggests separation of the project from the parent companys project and its transformation into an independent unit. However, the project remains to be accountable to its original company. The major benefit here is that a project manager has a full control over the project resources. As a disadvantage, resource duplication and information hoarding may arise.

In case a supplier is not able to meet the schedule because of a strike, it is likely to become the source of changes within a particular project. It is important to understand that unexpected situation like that is not to be controlled by the project manager or a supplier. Such a delay can have devastating impact on the project and ruin it in the long run. It is essential to explore different alternatives with this regard. For instance, whether a lab members can stick to their schedule despite delays by working overtime or outsourcing some of their activities. In addition, it is important to decide what alternatives there are in a project; specifically it is a good idea to have an alternative testing process, which will be quick enough to meet the schedule. It is important to decide whether there is an alternative source of perfume to be used in the project activities. Supplier, in turn, can have limited samples of the same or similar products, which can be used in the testing process. Lastly, it is necessary to decide whether some other similar perfumes can be tested on time to meet the schedule and ensure product rollout at Christmas. Though, if these solutions prove to be ineffective, the project is likely to be canceled, or at best postponed.

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