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A project has a limited life cycle of a clear beginning, middle and end. The starting point of a project begins by creating a project team of five people. During the life time of a project, all project team members have gone through the defining, planning, executing and closing stages.
Project managing needs a great deal of knowledge, time and team work. A thoughtful consideration has been taken in order to meet the required project objectives, to manage the required changes and to deliver the final output within the scheduled time.
The project is done to learn and exhibit the ability to conduct a proper project and to fulfil the requirements of the course MSc in International Management and Information systems. Through our first group meeting, a project topic which is 'ISO management quality standard' was chosen. But after the first consultation hours with our tutor Mr. Rob van Stratum, the group realized that the topic chosen has a high probability that it may not be completed within the time frame of the course schedule. An Agreement has reached to work on project title 'Importance of organizational structure and cultural '
During the accomplishment of the project, I believe that I have developed a good knowledge in different areas. In this lesson learned log report, I tried to capture the lessons and success that I have experienced during the life time of the project.
Project methodology is a step by step process which can be followed by all group members for delivering a successful project. PRINCE 2 methodologies is used as a guide to successfully carry on our project.
PRINCE 2 is a project management methodology which describes how a project is divided in manageable stages enabling efficient control of resources and regular progress monitoring throughout the project.
Starting up a Project: In this stage, all the group members discuses to make a clear beginning of the project. After the project title is approved by the instructor, project manager is selected out of our group member and discussed how the project is to be carried on.
Initiating a Project: focuses on developing a project initiation document. Before the approval of a project a proper planning needs to be considered to meet the project objective. Project goals, objectives, estimation of project time, resource allocation, quality assurance and risk analysis are properly defined and included in the project initiation document.
Controlling stage: Controlling a project status is one of a key factor for the success of a project.
"Divide and conquer"
Dividing a project into different easily managed stages facilitate effective control of project activities. Work break down structure (WBS) helps a lot to divide projects into manageable stages. It is compulsory to complete the initial stage before starting to the next stage. In every new stage the group members plan for the upcoming stage. The project manager has a responsibility to make sure that the plane is within the project time frame.
Managing Stage: Focuses on what has been done so far and what should be done in the next stage. The project manager is responsible to call for a weekly meeting and send meeting agendas to all group members via email. In the meeting, all the group members elaborate the task that has been done. Group members can suggest about any changes to be done or about the task that has been done by other group members. Having a clear stage in a project helps to easily control and manages a project. Preparation of next stage is also discussed after the review of the current stage.
Reviewing project report, making sure that every deliverables are included.
Quality is checked to meet the expectation. ( Formatting, grammar checking ,etc)
Final delivery of project report
Role and Responsibilities
It is very important to define a clear structure of roles and responsibilities of project team members. Defining roles and responsibilities in a project helps team members to be accountable for successfully accomplish project tasks.
Project manager is a person who is responsible for success or failure of a project. It is the responsibility of a project manager to control that project task is going as per the schedule to meet project objectives. The role of a project manager is to plan, schedule, motivate and control projects.
Building Project Plan
Building a project plan include defining the project scope, project deliverables, constraints, project preconditions, assumptions, team organization structure, communication plan, project quality plan, acceptance criteria and risk analysis.
The project manager has the responsibility of controlling the project effectively to meet project objectives, which includes:
Manage and evaluate the performance of a project
Control project quality to meet project objectives
Prepares the progress report about the task accomplished and send the report to all team members.
Approve and update project change plan if any
The project manager has the responsibility to motivate and build team spirit. It is also the responsibility of a project manager to understand cultural differences amongst team members and resolve interpersonal conflicts if exists.
Project manager needs to have different types of skills to successfully manage a project.
Leadership Skill: Ability to inspire or motivate team members to meet project objectives.
Good Communication Skill
Good personal attitude: to resolve a conflict amongst teams, the project manager should have a good personal attitude.
Ability to work on project management software tools like MS- project.
Team Building- ability to construct a team and work with them in collaboration.
Project Team Members
The project team members are responsible to participate in different activities of a project. It is also their responsibilities to support and control the project planning, like participating in doing the project initiation document. Some of the responsibilities of team members are:
To accomplish the assigned project task on time
Send tasks to all team members via email before the weekly meeting
Maintain project quality
Participate in weekly meetings
Elaborate tasks in the weekly meetings to all team members
Support quality assurance
My role during the project life time was 'Quality Assurance'. Besides doing my assigned task in the project, I had the responsibility to make sure that the project is meeting the expected quality. The following are the responsibilities that I took during the project life time:
Critical check of the task performed by all team members to ensure that the information provided in the report is true and comes from a valid source.
Ensure that the performance of a project meet the project objectives and make sure that the deliverables does not exceed project scope.
Regular formatting and editing of project report.
Support the project manager in insuring that the task is performing as scheduled, so that the final report is delivered before the deadline.
The roles and responsibilities of all project team members are attached in the appendix.
Project Management Tools and Techniques
Gantt chart: is used to plan the tasks when to be carried out, it lists the activities of a project, duration, date and progress to date. (Appendix 4)
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): is a hierarchical structure that shows all the project deliverables and the tasks that needs to be done to complete the project.
Belbin roles: helps to understand the role of a team for better performance. The Belbin role test is attached in the appendix 5
Factors Affecting Project Success
Clear View of Project Objective
It is very important that each team members know the desired outcome of the final project. It helps to reduce mistakes and repetition of work. "Do it once, Do it right".
Contribution of all team members is what makes a project successful at the end. It is important for project team members to understand their roles clearly.
Teamwork is a key factor for the success of a project. Project team members should be willing to collaborate with each others.
Good communication amongst team members reduce confusion and delay in project. It is important for the success of a project if teams are willing to express their ideas, suggestions or comments.
Breaking down project tasks into manageable stages helps to make control easy.
Doing the project management course work was a great opportunity for me to develop my skills in different areas. I believe, the following are the most important ones:
Developed a depth understanding of organizational structure and culture and the impact of having different organizational structure and culture in a merger case.
Developed my skill of using MS project 2010, WBS and belbin roles
Develop team working and good relation with team members of different culture
Improved my communication skill - I believe I developed somehow how to clearly provide my ideas or suggestions to team members.
Developed listening Skill while gathering different opinions and ideas from other team members