Practices and Methodology Summary, Essay Example

Project management is a necessary component of any work environment. Its purpose lies in managing of work within schools, businesses, and research. The idea of project management, is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. It is a strategic competency for organizations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals — and thus, better compete in their markets.(PMI, 2013) The idea for project management is for team of people given a project with a goal in mind. A project management team has two key factors for putting together a good team that includes the skills that each individual possess in the team and whether these skills can be utilized to achieve the projects goals. What was taught and learnt throughout this course has been essential in completing this task of explaining the multiple roles of project management. Upon the teachings of project management, the component that was easily identifiable was risk management. In this paper risk management will be thoroughly explained along with my interpretation and understanding from the course. Also, will answer the questions of the role of project management, and methods in helping to manage multiple projects.

The component of project management that will be discussed is risk management. I picked risk management because it is involved in every organization and business. When applying risk management to projects, thorough research and analysis must be given in order to properly provide solutions to the risks of the projects. Understanding what risk is, and that risk is inherent in all projects. Risk management involves identifying real and potential risks in the project, and the correct methods in how to respond to them. In project management risks refers to an uncertainty that may occur with the uncertainty if will have a positive or negative impact on the objectives of the project. The consequences of the risk include project cost, disrupting the schedule, and the quality of the finished project. A risk management plan is effective is properly assessed and implemented. Risk management identifies the risks that might affect your project, determines their effect on the project and includes agreed-upon responses for each risk. As taught in class, risk management has three elements, identifying uncertainties, which helps to explore the project plans to look for areas where they might be uncertainties. The second element is to analyze risks, during you specify how the areas where there might be uncertainty will impact the performance, cost, or meeting the goals of the project. The last element is to prioritize risks, where you establish which of the risks should be eliminated altogether, because of the potential of impact on the project, regular attention needs to be paid to even the littlest of details.  When managing multiple projects, risk management is essential in ensuring that every project will be free of error or that possible risks will be evaluated and a solution be provided. It can be a tricky process that is fascinating to the inside team in accessing and planning for uncertainties in a project. This course has allowed for me to scope out the resources in order to brace for risks that might have detrimental or lasting impacts on the operations of a business.

In today’s fast paced business world, it is common for project managers to juggle multiple projects at once. The role of multiple project management is complicated and requires much time in properly managing the multiple projects. Multiple Project Management has become a common nomenclature in businesses with a mere ten different projects being handled by one project manager. The role of multiple project management can take different forms. Several researchers perceive MPM as portfolio management while others recognize MPM as the management of multiple projects in a functional level, a.k.a. managing resources across multiple projects. (Patanakul & Milosevic)  Multiple-project managers are similar to single-project managers but also differ in many ways. One of the roles of multiple-project managers is foremost the handling of multiple concurrent projects. The second role is when dealing with multiple projects at a time, a multiple-project manager has to also lead multiple teams for each project, with different objectives, and different goals in mind. A third assessment on the role of the multiple project management is that they project managers face several challenges that will be discussed later, but  the importance is the constant back and forth of projects day in and day out. Therefore, in a project manager level, the assumption that managing a group of multiple projects is equal to managing a single project is wrong. The roles of the multiple project management include much time, patience, and skills than managing one project. What is clear is that much research hasn’t been done on the benefits of managing multiple projects or portfolios for the company. Not only does it put the company in the spotlight but also the project manager in showing how successful there are in efficiently and effectively managing a multiple teams, and multiple projects. The skills involved are unlike those handling a single project. Much knowledge of time management and goal setting is needed in selecting the right project manager for the job.

To be effective in highly competitive business environments, it is vital that an organization carrying out multiple projects has the ability to provide sufficient and appropriate resources. (Patanakul& Milosevic, 2008) In order for the business to delegate multiple projects it must first have a rigorous project selection method. Projects should be selected based on their relevance to the organization’s business objectives, the appropriateness of the project size, the schedule and technical feasibility, the financial viability. (Patanakul& Milosevic, 2008)  Emphasized that it is singularly ineffective when a project manager tries to implemented more projects than the available resources can allow.

Discuss throughout the course, the best practices and methodologies in project management of multiple projects. “A best practice is an optimal way currently recognized by industry to achieve a stated goal or objective.” (PMI, n.d) To implement the best practices for the projects, a framework of a scheduling must be executed. It should include using parallel, bidirectional, dynamic, and global planning. When executed properly it is effective in managing the resources of the projects. Some best practices managing multiple projects include, management support which ensures the support of the supervising management. This is the top practices as it involves the client management, upper management, and others involved. “Their proactive support is essential for the timely resolution of many activities (e.g. scope definition, project budget, resourcing, issue resolution, project prioritization etc.).”(AlphaPM, 2012) A second practice is resourcing, which ensures that project managers have the appropriate level of skills and resources. “Identify up front the specific skills and resources that you need for your projects, and persevere until you get them.”(AlphaPM, 2012)

Resources should ideally be dedicated to your projects and co-located.  If you cannot get fully dedicated resources, at least make sure they are co-located on specific days each week. A third best practice is time management, which makes sure that the team practices good time management in getting the project completed. Establish with your project team the most effective ways you can maximize your team productivity. “For example: Keep meetings short and focused. Take individual issues offline rather than trying to solve them at team meetings.” (AlphaPM, 2012) When there are multiple projects involved time management is extremely beneficial making sure the goals and deadlines of each project or portfolio are met.  Another best practice is delegation. When project managers need support juggling the multiple projects they will delegate tasks to other team members in hopes of getting the projects completed on schedule. When managing many projects, there is quite often a tendency for project managers to take on more work themselves since they feel their team members are already overloaded.  Project managers will delegate all activities so that they can free themselves to work with their team leads to address issues and provide support, as opposed to being locked away trying to do activities that can and should have been delegated. “Establish a project lead for each project or set of projects so that you can act as the overall program manager to ensure all projects are successfully completed.” (AlphaPM, 2012) The last best practice that could be used is methodology. Applying a methodology that is scalable and adaptable to your project needs. The methodology that the organization has established may not work well with all of the projects.

It is necessary to adapt and scale the key elements of the organization’s methodology to fit the multiple projects. One way this could be implemented is by the use of an easy project dashboard for all the projects, rather than one page Dashboard for each project. “This Dashboard can act as a status report, and perform a risk assessment for all projects instead of one.” (AlphaPM, 2012) These tools are useful in managing all the projects by making sure that each projects’ goal and deadlines are met, the level of risk is manageable, there is support from upper management, and the team is working together to take some of the load of the projects off of the project manager. Once these best practices are implemented into the multiple projects, the feasibility of the projects being successfully completed is relatively high.

The challenges that project managers face when managing multiple projects varies. Undertaking any projects has its risks and uncertainties. When adding on multiple projects at once the risks rise extensively. The challenges include, not completed the projects on time, with a time management solution in place, the projects deadlines will not be met. Another challenge is having sufficient resources is available for multiple-project managers. It is a challenge that most multiple project managers face, due to the smaller project size and tactical nature of projects, a multiple-project manager always faces a challenge with insufficient resources. (Patanakul& Milosevic, 2008) Challenges are identified when first delegating multiple projects to managers, when managers have too many projects at one to manage there may often times will not do an efficient job, or meet the deadlines imposed. An important challenge that they might also face is lack of communication. Lack of communication can be detrimental in any organization let alone the management of multiple projects. Not being able to communicate the proper procedures are guidelines can lead to failure and major risk in managing the projects.

There are several other risks that include, the types of projects assignment, do they go with the company ‘mission, the team around the project manager, the support of the management, and the skills and knowledge of the project manager. Throughout the course, it touched on a number of challenges that project managers with multiple projects face, the types of techniques or methods involved in multiple project management, and the roles that it plays. The valuable information has been received in my knowledge of understanding project management and the component of risk management in my further studies. Knowing the proper definition of project management, how it correlates in to business organizations, and the proper criteria in handling multiple project management is essential in furthering the success of the company.

References

Dooley, L, O’Sullivan. (2005). multiple project management: a modern competitive necessity. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1508939&show=abstract

Patanakul, Peerasit, Milosevic, Dragan. (2008). The effectiveness in managing a group of multiple projects. International Journal of Project Management. Retrieved from http://archive.stevens.edu/ses/documents/fileadmin/documents/pdf/MPMEffectivenesRefernces

Six Best Practices for Managing Multiple Projects. (2012). Alpha Project Management Blog. Retrieved from http://alphapm.blogspot.com/2012/06/six-best-practices-for-managing.html

What is Project Management? Project Management Institute. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.pmi.org/About-Us/About-Us-What-is-Project-Management.aspx

Part 2

Overall the knowledge that I gained cannot be duplicated from reading a book. I gained valuable knowledge and information by listening to the lectures, using real world examples, and having to put pen to paper in order to draw better analysis of what was taught. This course has given me a clear understanding of project management and how it can be useful in the business that I am currently in. Project management encompasses more than just the basic tasks of delegating work to other team members and turning in projects by the deadline. Instead, it involves several components that include risk management that is used in several instances other than project management but throughout almost every aspect of doing business. This knowledge will be applied to future endeavors of undertaking courses in management and business. It will be used in work and academic settings as I partake in projects. As I enjoyed most of course, the most challenging aspects of this course which were identifying different best practices for the organizations. Although discuss in part 1, best practices vary and deciding on the right best practice for the project can be tricky and involve much research. However, by going over the course work it became clear and I grasp a clear understanding of using best practices for multiple project management.