Project Management Strategy and Tactics
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The tactics to be adopted are the procedures and methods that an organization should employ in order to fulfill the objectives.
- Situation and set of alternatives whose outcomes are not measured on a monetary scale.
Assess the utility function for the situation. Some projects outcome cannot be qualified on monetary basis due to their nature. The improvement in quality of life which a project brings alongside is the only way we can evaluate their success. These consequential program outputs that impact clients can include the higher probability that those who successfully complete their degree course in a given field get meaningful employment.
Calculating the percentage of their relative outcomes helps in assessing their degree of success. Programmes that have led awareness on early cancer detection can be assessed through improved health in future. Reduced fatal road accidents may be witnessed by strictly enforcing the regulation on speeding of vehicles. The outcomes to these projects can thus be immediate or achieved ultimately or just in between depending on the nature of the project. Here interventions are highly influential to results to be attained even though there is no logical connection that has been statistically tested. The utility function of these alternatives is that it is easier to evaluate the value of success by the better living standards of the end users or vice versa and this gives tangible evidence of the project outcome and downplays evaluation through increased monetary gains which may not be sustainable and their consequential environmental problems.
- Significant strengths and weaknesses for the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). Identify a minimum of two examples for each strength or weakness.
AHP has the ability to rank choices in their order of their effectiveness to meet conflicting objectives. This occurs when judgments are made in relative importance or desirability based on flexibility of the services offered, the operability reliability thus competing machines should not have an upper hand because calculation on how they also achieve their goals is judgmental.
Strength of AHP is in its ability in detecting inconsistent judgements.Thus contrasting statements are systematically established and their sequence is assessed for routine errors committed
Weaknesses of AHP are based on their use of mathematical appliances because they employ matrices which seemingly have similar mathematical form, positive reciprocal matrix for example if number 9 represents ‘a’ then it is implicated to be more important than ‘b’ and we write 1/9 to illustrate the relative importance of B in relation to A, thus its regarded as unreasonable.
Another weakness arises when scale is maliciously changed from 1 to 9 to be 1 to 29 end result numbers called value for money vector (VFM), changes in the magnitude and the impression is that one thing is illustrated to be better than another in unseeingly unquantifiable magnitude e.g. if VFM (0.392, 0.405, 0.203) implies that A and B are relatively at 0.4 and C is at 0.2 but that does not mean that A and B are good as twice as C. All in all AHP is a useful technique in differentiating competing options when the objectives are in a wide range but math’s involved is not complete and users do not need understand math to apply technique. Major limit is that it illustrates only relativity in the value for money.
- Significant strengths and weaknesses for the MAUT with examples
MAUT (Multi-Attribute Utility Theory) is a program that helps project managers to make favorable decisions when faced with many choices and queering towards achieving many varied objectives which are at the end integrated for the success of the project. Establishments of plants that are more sophisticated and inclusive are made using MAUT in various departmental levels so as to make better choices to arrive at multiple objectives. When dealing with the human resourcing, MAUT helps in selecting the best candidate for promotion because it gives an opportunity to analyze each candidate by their strength based on time keeping, leadership qualities team player, professional development and organizational skills.
Weakness of MAUT is in the estimating of all crucial outcomes so as to implement a performance based appraisal system. An outcome of greater concern to an organization may not be listed. The actual utility is hard to estimate this MUAT as it is to identify the most important variable of outcome. Many organizations do not do utility based estimations thus MUAT is least applicable as per the current status in organizations.
Some strengths of MUAT are its ability to involve people by non tangible aspects: qualitative assessment which gets to the root of problems to be addressed. It is more inclusive as it mitigates many interactive objectives.
- Are the axioms underling the AHP reasonable or ambiguous?
The axioms underlying the AHP or rather the analytical hierarchy process are not useful if they fail to characterize AHP.All in all they are less useful because the methodology of analytical hierarchy process has so many fatal flows.
The AHP axiom of independence needs to be relaxed so as to accommodate the observations that are drawn from such. The circumstances under which this axiom can be relaxed include the following;
- Paired comparisons of all the alternatives in groupings of single-criterion problems. Examples of problems where the criteria employ the same underlying measurement with both the attainment of the goal and the available alternatives are deduced objectively. This shows that all illustrations provided are single-criterion based problems as per the AHP. The AHP axiom of independence is thus inapplicable in those situations and thus is not violated.
- By considering the consequences of failing to distinguish a specific criterion as an attribute of the available alternatives and the clusters of alternatives, they are different in hierarchic structure. Transformable problems sound as if they can be multi-criteria problems which are actually single-criterion problems, thus their failure to recognize such facts can lead to undertaking incorrect syntheses thus arriving at false conclusions.
- Organizational structure links different people department and functions in order for them to interact together.
Fig. 1: the organizational structure of WRB
- Check the organogram above.
Size of organizational structure should be proportional to its population and also its geographical dispersion. Most recent forms of organizational structure are matrix, flat and networked. The design of organizational structure is predetermined by technology level and the individuals who are performing the tasks Organogram of water plant in my local community
Assumptions are that each category of many contains several individuals and thus we could not mention them by names. The arrangement does not just illustrate the senior personnel at the top. The objectives of this structure are to illustrate the chain of command for effective consultations directed to the right authority by the stake holders.
- An organization with an ineffective or cumbersome structure.
Water Resources Board is an example of an organization whose structure requires some amendments. Although it was formed after the governments’ city council could not sustain water supply for the large number of people in the city, the organization was to be for the people, with the people by consulting through public rallies on how they (citizens) wish to be served. Currently, much of the implementations are done without prior consultations and thus public feels aggrieved that it is working to attain personal benefits beside the fact that it is funded by public funds.
A minor problem like a leaking pipe currently can make the residents go thirsty for a month as it happened in October last year. Changing project management has been adversely blamed because people do not have a permanent person to address their plight. To reverse these, the managers need to concentrate on delivering to the stakeholders and not the employer so as to win their support.
The employer should select a competed manager by employing MUAT and retain him or her for some longer period. Income collected should be ploughed back for improving service delivery.
Encouraging open dialogue with all stakeholders instead of listening to a few individuals with hidden agendas reduces the chances of compromising a project’s progress. One on one dialogues are good for those who do not like airing their views in public.
Proper definition of project parameters like aims, objectives, vision and boundaries will help curb unmanaged expectations of the over zealous stakeholders.
In effective communication by managers also speaks negatively about a project. Only one subject email with clear subject line so that the agency and the relevance of the email is easily determined.
- Risk Management plan for job seeking project
This documentation will be geared at foreseeing the risks that I may be exposed to. Estimating the ineffectiveness in carrying out the project and creation of response plans prior so as to mitigate those risks that may occur will boost my preparedness. Even though risks are inevitable there is need to curb them no matter they are of small or huge impacts.
To be successful on a project, there is need to first accept the risks that may occur and then anticipate the impacts. Some risks will be avoided by following other plans that seem to be favorable and least vulnerable to misfortune. If the overall activation need to be undertaken ,there should be no shying away from them, then one has to mitigate them so that their ‘shocks’ will be absorbed into the system. This will be done through lessening their impacts on my operations. If one will not be able to handle the risks being facing then it is advisable to transfer them to a third party. How I shall ease the factors that may interfere with successful completion of my project can not be defined and documented, so i shall be tackling them as i see them necessary. Job seeking has no established duration and i shall continue trying till i luckily secure a suitable job based on my career and interests. Allocation of resources to this project is not possible as requirements for this task will vary with the standards of potential employers. However to address the risk of running short of cash at the onset of the process, i shall be applying only those jobs which i do not incur large expenses for traveling to attend interviews and expensive delivery of assessment documents.
- Job description for the configuration manager of a project
Configuration manager is administrative and coordinates various activities on behalf of other managers. These activities need collective and decisive consultations before giving the go ahead. Configuration manager thus assumes the overall responsibility where many are involved but only final voice speaks on behalf of others. All configuration items need to be named and identified for easy planning. Configuration considers special operation requirements so that both external issues affecting planning are well considered in drafting management plan. The choice of any particular item over others is based on the priorities set by configuration manager.
There is need to clearly represent the responsibility matrix that designs each manger the assignments he should undertaking and how they can interfere to share information and ideas with others in the project. The matrix defined responsilities are all handed to this manager to evaluate, analyze consult and finally decide inclusively. Drafting of the criteria’s to be followed when documents are issued of other copies are distributed to other departments. The procedure for submission and issuing of configuration items is also carried out by configuration manager. The filing structure adapted for all categories of configuration items need to be defined for both software and hardware so as to assert some order in prioritizing agendas.
- Objectives, variables and constraints
The project under question is Water and sanitation project.
- To be the lead organization in provision of clean and safe water for household consumption,
- To empower the local community in use of environmentally friendly means of garbage disposal,
- To ensure that every household has access to piped water supply by the year 2015.
- To upgrade the sewage system where leakages had been reported by the local residents by the year 2013.
- To increase the efficiency of water treatment so as to serve more people because the increasing industrialization has led to increased population.
Constrains arise in carrying out its operations because of the extensive area covered and emigrants are adding population each day. The earlier set date of 2015 is too near and almost unattainable. Budget constrains have limited implementation, staff numbers and necessary plant equipment. Location has called for more discussions as nearby firms argue that the waste disposal to the nearby river is partially treated and is affecting the aquatic life.
Environmentalists have put more pressure on the organization to relocate its premises and if they win the filed suit, more expenses will be incurred. The limited acreage of land does not allow for further expansion to meet higher demands in the future. Regular changing of hands on the management has negatively affected the measures undertaken to improve service deliver in the organization. Failure to retain managers is sending the wrong signals to the stakeholders and they no longer feel to be part of the project.
Achieving high efficiency without scheduling tasks and activities
Achieving objectives without proper schedules is hard to attain as they correlate with planning. Efficiency in executing a projects’ phases of implementation needs to be prior planned to avoid mix up of activities, allow more time to consult before undertaking a plan of action. Failure to schedule especially when control of an activity is not possible is inevitable and its success is based on sheer luck .The concurrent manner of executing duties in scheduled projects impairs the levels of success. Schedules discourage optimistic stakeholders when they fail to be achieved in the stated time bracket. Timely interventions can be made if proper schedules are in place because it allows mitigation of risks as probability of occurring is anticipated. Flooding in WRB premises was not expected and it distressed both the users and managers.
Activities which can not be prior planned should have reserves set aside for calamities. This way such unscheduled actions can be carried out effectively and without much straining. Scheduling eliminates the probability of making rush, uniformed and non involving decisions which may not be in unison with the objectives and ultimate goals of the organization. Critical chain is followed when schedules are not available on stages whose implementation requires more resources to undertake. In California, garbage collection by trucks was interrupted during repair of McGraw Bridge and the contractor resorted to using train for a short period but it was too expensive to hire youth to carry the baggage to the stations. It also caused much delay and households were holding too much garbage.
- Constraints to a project apart from resources
Lack of cooperation from majority of stakeholders hinders success of projects and managers need to overcome this by spreading awareness about the project before its physical implementation takes place. Natural calamities also distort the balance of projects like earthquakes tumbling down projects; weather changes can impose negative impacts to a project.
Availability of technological know how and technical guidance hinders success of a project which may be having enough resource reserves. Internal conflicts also negatively impact on the progress and implementation in a project. These can be between the individual project managers, technical staff holding varied opinions on the way forward to steer project. Changing government policies can negatively influence the progress of a project by superimposing another similar project that is pursued to serve similar purpose but in a more efficient manner. Political changes can impose changes which influence how people view developments aimed at improving their standards of living. Availability of supportive services can hinder success of a project like means of communication and infrastructure which facilitates movement of material from and into the organization’s premises. Marketing is directly impacted by the existing forms of infrastructure as delivering needs to be timely. Communication with others is the only way people keep in touch with the outside world for exchanging ideas, acquire information and negotiate for and against our opinions.
Legal systems can impair performance if there are conflicts of interest on the environmental concerns, situational clause and suitability so as to coordinate with the projects in the surrounding areas. Abiding by laws and regulations will limit the tussles by avoiding engaging in legal battles which drain project cash while still reducing credibility due to ‘bad image branding’ by those filing law suits.
- Pros and cons of critical chain
Critical chain is a method that emphasizes on resource availability so as to undertake project tasks with less consideration to the planning and management. Project completion is enhanced in the long run. Its application is higher when resources are limited. When these resources are directed to a cheaper plan that was not yet due as per the action plan, time is saved and you do not have to wait inactively. A disadvantage is that other more pressing issues are ignored depending on criterion applied by project manager. The focus of the implementation process is re-oriented and those who are not comfortable with the choices made may start uproar which disturbs project progress.
Project failure looms around critical path because sometimes the managers use this as an opportunity to venture into self vested interests. The Mabati rolling mills was a noble project started by well wishers to enhance better resource management through recycling of metals. This move was welcome until it started manufacturing plastic bags and dumping effluents in the nearby river. The plastics project was started to increase earnings as by then plastics fetched more money. The industry was closed down because of not being environmentally sensitive thanks to critical path.
- Options to a critical path
Crashed projects with in effective critical paths can realize success by applying labor opportunity contribution whereby managers pounce on the most prevalent opportunity available as per the current times especially in the case of very large projects with varied resource demands. This will help in increasing income which can be used for developing a project in another still viable direction.
The scheduling on the most dynamic task helps in conflict resolution. During implementation, some activities are pursued to be not so important as per the current public demands, political climate and or climatic changes. Re-scheduling of activities in the action plan thus evades some activities while prompting implementation of others to interest of some people while demoralizing others. The critical path is by passed and in the long run, conflicts are thus avoided. Also by seeking further improvement through optimizing the project results by setting up proper analysis which present a dynamic scheduling of tasks to enable further improvement thus winning the acceptance of a project by the stakeholders. Optimizing can be done through intensifying an activity which produced admirable results to those it served.Mabati Rolling Mills discovered that addition of more zinc metal enhances the durability of iron sheets and is not expensive. More time and resources were diverted to this desired production.
- Project control system
These are used to keep the organization or project on track timely with operations and be within the limits of the budget. The choice of the systems to employ depends on the nature of the project undertaken. The only way to control the project will be through proper planning starting from planning stage to past implementation. Much control however consumes more time while limiting control is risky. Control systems for costs are the auditors and they explain the relevance of the projects to financial statements. Their responsibility is continuous and intensifies as project advances to assume more complex responsibility. Formally documented controls on operations ensure efficiency and can be dully followed by the enforcers. These documents are law abiding and can be used as evidence in a court of law as evidence of mismanagement. Financial statements control the amounts of budget that can be utilized towards a project and they highly affect the final product. Consultants play a major role in controlling what auditors prescribe for the project; they help in estimating budgets and directly influence expansion of a project. Meetings with stakeholders even when done on annual basis keep the project checked, positive criticisms help to push the management to implement more rapidly.
Barzilai, J. Roots (2006). Notes on the Analytical Hierarchy process.NSERE; Florida
Martinez, D (2003). Manual for Project Management. Greenwood Publishing. New York