Question Wana Business & Management

Preparations for Difficult Projects

What measures would you put in place before you embark on a project which is difficult or impossible to define?

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Answer Expert #26447

Projects can often be difficult to define, and it may be unclear what the ultimate outcomes of a project may be. However, project management steps should always be put in place before starting a project, in order to provide necessary guidance and structure for its completion (Larson & Gray, 2010). In addition to this, risk management strategies can also be employed, which will help identify any potential risks that may impact on the project during its implementation.

Project management is a key aspect of any project, and will involve a number of steps that an organisation can pursue before starting on a project. In essence, project management is “the process of controlling the achievement of the project objectives” (Munns & Bjeirmi, 1996, p. 81), and will involve management implementing different methods to oversee the duration of a project, and ensure its objectives are met. For a project that is difficult to define, a manager will want to ensure that employees are effectively communicating, progress meetings are being held and clear objectives have been set (Slack, et al., 2004).

In addition to this, risk management strategies can also be devised before embarking on a project. There are three main types of risk management strategy: avoidance, control and security (Manuj & Mentzer, 2008, p. 141). Each of these strategies can add a unique element of project planning, and ensure that any potential risk events that may impact on a project are identified, and contingency plans are devised. The combination of both project management and risk management strategies will help an organisation develop contingency plans to ensure a project that is difficult to define is successful (Michalski, 2000).


Larson, E. W. & Gray, C. F., 2010. Project Management: The Managerial Process. New York: McGraw Hill International.

Manuj, I. & Mentzer, J. T., 2008. Global Supply Chain Risk Management. Journal of Business Logistics, 29(1), pp. 133-155.

Michalski, L., 2000. How to identify vendor risk. Pharmaceutical Technology, 24(10), pp. 180-184.

Munns, A. & Bjeirmi, B., 1996. The role of project management in achieving project success. International Journal of Project Management , 14(2), pp. 81-87.

Slack, N., Chambers, S. & Johnston, R., 2004. Operations Management. 4th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education.