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Project management is applied to various tasks in our lives and work. it provides skills and knowledge that are used to control and manage the introduction of new initiatives or changes. Projects are determined in terms of the time, scope, procurement, quality and cost (Clement and Gido, 2009, p.13). It entails a number of activities that must be done in the specified time, under a fixed budget with the given resources. It is noted that project management is not limited to organizational or institutional initiatives but can be applied to personal and school items. The expectations are that the acquired project must be handled with appropriate project management tools and techniques in order to achieve the project goals.
There are important aspects of any project; one of the most important of these is the project manager. The project manager is tasked with the responsibility of making sure that the principles, tools and techniques are applied effectively to make sure that the project succeeds. In this respect, as a student doing a dissertation, I will be the project manager in charge of my project. My responsibility will be to make sure that the project principles are observed in the research proposal and the final report. The project will take the time line between 10th September and the 20th November of this academic year. This time will be used to write the research proposal, collect data, analyze, write reports and make the necessary corrections as suggested by my supervisors. The project will encompass any resources in terms of time and finance as it is available to me. The project will involve several people, the project manager, who will also the researcher, fellow students who will be consulted, and the supervisor will give expert opinion.
Principles of Project Management
Significance of the Study
The first principles entail the purpose of the project, which is demonstrated through, the significance of the study to the society, the contributions it makes to current knowledge and the outcomes of the reports (Clement and Lewis, 2006, p.17). Therefore, the dissertation proposal and reports must address the significance of the recommendations as they apply to the society, knowledge base and the research questions. This then will entail the identification of appropriate research questions. Research questions to be addressed in this dissertation will address the main and specific objectives. They will ask on how much the topic is relevant to current societal and research environments. The dissertation must address the applicability of the recommendations and the viability of the research method. If the reports are based on sound academic principles the dissertation them must be able to defend the ideas proposed.
Relevance of the study
At the same time the dissertation must be relevant to current academic standards. This will be proven through the literature review which gives strong background of the research problem that is based on other researches. This section will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of other researches and how the dissertation will address and resole them in the report. At this point relevance will also be proven with a problem statement and explained through the provision of the significance of the problem. The project cannot exist without the identification of a problem or the reasons of having the project. The significance of the problem is sued to explain with relevant academic and theoretical support the reasons for the project. Relevance is used to explain to any donor of the project, support group, and programme the importance of the project.
Feasibility of the dissertation
The project must also be feasible. This is achieved through the identification and use of locally available resources like time, finance and human resources in the project development. The dissertation will take into consideration the resources in terms of finance; time allocated by the institution, research materials available in the library, online resources and classroom materials. Furthermore, feasibility will be achieved through a listing of the activities that will be carried out during the research stage. At this point the project will utilize any research method that will be deemed fit to collect the necessary data. Some of the research methods that will be used by this report are like data analysis, qualitative analysis, questionnaires and interviews. The feasibility will not be complete without identification of the limitations (Lewsi, 2006, p.14). The possible limitations of the study will entail the difficulties the study discovered in the research methods, the data analysis report of the findings, the analysis of the budget, time and resources.
Accuracy of the Dissertation
The dissertation project must be accurate for it to qualify as an academic material. This will be achieved though its ability to be congruent with the theoretical predictions of available data and studies that have been achieved in the past (Lock, 2007, p.23). The reports must also make reference to expert work and must cite each literature review with proper expert references. At the end of the report proper verification of data must be made by referencing the source of the data, techniques used to acquire the data, methods used to quantify and analysis the data.
The dissertation must also be accountable, therefore the project manager, or the research student will make detailed accounts of the actions taken and the decisions made during the research. At the same time this will be achieved through justification of any regress made from the original research design this will then be supported by any acknowledgements of any limitations.
Objectives of the dissertation
The objectives of the dissertation are only said to be viable if they meet a certain standard. The first is that they must be specific; this means that each objective must have a detailed point of focus. Therefore, in the dissertation specific objectives will be attained if they mention; the topic of the project, the time for meeting a certain plan, the methodologies in the research, the data collecting tools, data analysis and any other detailed account that relates to the project. At the same time they must be measurable, which is achieved through the use of the word "have gained, achieved." The objectives will also be assignable to the relevant persons related to the project and must be realistic in attainment. This means that they are within budget, time slot and within the qualifications of the project participants (Kerzner, 2009, p.13).
Project Management Tools
The project research will take into consideration several project management tools and techniques. These are supposed to make sure the project is successful; therefore the project will be undertaken according to the following project management tools (Haynes, 2002, p.45).
The first resource is finance which will entail the amount of money available to the project. This is either from funding from the department or faculty or the amount of money in the pocket. Planning for this will entail a detailed budget that will entail the identification of all the functions, aspects, resources and items for the project that need to be purchased. It will also give the details of any outside help in terms of an analyst's, internet access or any material assistance used in the project. It should also consider the finance used by the project owner for transportation, and expenses when conducting research.
Time will be accounted for through the creation of a time plan, or a work plan. These will entail the identification and listing of all the steps that will be followed from proposal writing, presentation, defending, data collection, analysis, report writing and presentation. Every step between the two will be listed down and a time frame allocated to each (Hamel, 2007, p.32).
The next item in the resources is persons who are important to the project. The first person is the project manager; I will be in charge of the project as it entails my dissertation. I have the responsibility of coming up with the project title, the identification of the problem, objectives and goals. I should also give a rationale for the study and support my ideas with appropriate academic literature with proper expert citation and referencing. I should come up will relevant research methodologies as applied to the field of study and with the help of literature materials I will be able to generate research questions that will guide me as I collect and analyze data. My duty in the whole process will be to write the proposal, defend it, collect and analyze data and write a report of the findings.
The other relevant person is my supervisor and any faculty staff who can offer me academic guidelines in the development of the project. This supervisor/s is a member of the faculty staff who is in charge of the course work. They will assist in the guidance and academic advice on the development of the project. They are supposed to go through the reports and give their opinions and recommendations. Furthermore, together with the examination body they will grade the paper accordingly. Their knowledge and skills in academic research will be useful in the dissertation.
In this list is any person who will assist in the collection and analysis of the data. Meanwhile my fellow students will be a vital part of the project as they can offer discussion forums to help in the development of the project.
This will show all the activities in the project process, it will entail the budgets, the time schedule, the project plans, the reports and presentations of the projects and the time frame for each action. This is inconsideration that the time for the project will run from September to November. This chart will show a simple analysis of the plan, work plan and budget of the whole project.
This will offer important themes and focus for the future directions of the project. This technique requires that the project focuses on the objectives, goals, missions and strategies in the implementation. Strategy then will entail the identification of the dissertation objectives; this will be covered in the main and specific objectives. One of the main objectives of the project is to make sure that the selected problem satisfied and solved using appropriate research methods and following expert referencing.
The only means by which strategic management is achieved is if the project follows four main activities as proposed by the techniques. One of them is the reviewing and the definition of the organizational missions. For this step the dissertation will them make sure it reviews and defines the missions of the project. Every participant of the project and I included must make sure that the project achieves its goals. Therefore, the proposal stage must clearly define the goals and mission.
The second logical step will be the setting of the long term goals and objectives. The identification and creation of the proposal marks the first step in the setting of the short term goals, these will then help in the achievement of the long term goals and objectives. Objectives that are deemed to be long term are those linked to the end product attained at the end of the project period.
The third step is the analysis and the formulation of the strategies that will help reach these goals. These are seen in the work plan or time plan, that has clear identified main activities and the time allocated for each. A time plan is a means by which this dissertation will lay down its strategies. However, to make sure that the technical goals are achieved the dissertation will include a methodology that will entail every research method technique and plan that can give the desired results. This will also involve the methods and techniques that will be used in the collection and analysis of the data. It is important that the planning stage remembers to incorporate this in the strategy plan for the dissertations and report plan (Cleland, Lewis, 2006, p.20). This will entail in depth detailing of the persons, methods, tools and resources that will be used to collect, analyse, store and present the data ad reports.
In project management, a project team is responsible for the enhancement of stakeholders' ability to contribute and augmenting the functioning of the team as a group. Owing to the simplicity and duration of the project, the projects team will consist of ten people in possession of diverse skills. The projects manager is responsible for managing the project at hand. In this case, owing to the experience of the strategic manager in strategy articulation, he will form a fundamental addition of the projects team. The marketing manager will be part of the projects team due to his marketing abilities, which will augment marketing of the party to different stakeholders. The financial manager will be in charge of the project's finances. The productions team leader can act comfortably as the project's team leader as the project needs a team leader in addition to the projects manager (Phillips, 2010, p.41).
The project will engage two members of staff for technical expertise on the technological aspects. These staffs will be responsible for ensuring that proper procedures are observed. Moreover, two sales personnel will be involved in the project as part of the efforts of the human resource to ensure adequate staffing. Therefore, the two sales executives will make up part of the projects team due to their ability to find solutions for increasing the sales volumes. Their ability will be valuable in formulating solutions to the risks that may plague the project. The facilities manager will be part of the projects team due to his evaluation ability. The final member of the projects team will be another employee from the projects staff who will work as the project's developer. This selection is based on a selection process checklist conducted from the company's employees' profiles, which clearly indicate the expertise of each employee. After the selection of the projects team, a projects charter will be prepared to allow the stakeholders to understand the specific roles of the projects team. The selection of the projects team augments proper and efficient management of the project.
Finally, the last stage will be the implementation of the strategies through the projects. In this phase the dissertation will make use of the plans and goals that were laid down in the planning stage. it will then follow the time plan as it was designed, adhere to the budget of the project and follow every short term goals and plans in order to achieve the main goal.
Dissertation Project plan
The project will therefore follow the following project management process;
Terms of reference: these are the specification of the project. They will entail the description of the purpose, objectives, aims and deliverables. It will also include the statement of the parameters; time, budget, scope, range, authority and territory of the project. The net item is the statement of the people who will be involved and how they will be involved. Finally there must be break points in the process in order to give a review and give progress reports to the faculty and supervisor.
The next aspect is the planning of the project. This is the various stages that will be involved in the project development.
Project time plan and costs must be developed.
The project team must be involved in the planning and development stage.
The identification of the project management tools like Gantt chart and the critical flow diagrams.
Project strategy planning and implementation
Project reports and progress reports.
As it has been realized the success of the project will lie in the manner in which the project manager will manage the entire project. Project management will entail the identification of the tools and techniques that are relevant to the project. In this project the resources like persons, time, and finance are important. It is expected that the project will be feasible and relevant as an academic material. The project must meet academic standards be relevant to current society needs and academic studies. Project management principles have been identified that can help in the management of the project. Principle players in the system have been identified d incorporated into the planning and implementation.
Project management marries well with risk management. Therefore, risk management is part of strategic management and a strategic manager is the best-qualified personnel to deal with risk management. Management of finances and resource is very fundamental for the successful completion of the project. This is because the allocation of the resources and finances is based on the stipulations of the budget and for a project to be completed successfully; it has to run as per its budget. The finance manager is qualified for financial management as his financial role in the company is based on financial qualifications, which can be utilized successfully in managing the project's finances. Owing to his marketing skills, the marketing manager is qualified for marketing the party to the other stakeholders, as he possesses the best skills that can convince the stakeholders on the importance of attending the party (Roman, 2009, p.74). The facilities manager is always in charge of managing the different aspects of the company's facilities.
While developing the stages to be followed in project management, it is important to ensure that imperative aspects such as risk management, human resource capital and strategic management is strictly incorporated into the initial stages prior to the actual project activities. These stages are usually depicted in the Gannt Chart. Most important of all is perhaps the timeline allocated for the project. All projects run on a specific timeline, which is determined, by the urgency and number of activities that need to be done to perform a particular activity. Moreover, communication is an integral part of the project (Meredith & Mantel, 2010, p.29). It encompasses the timely production, compilation, broadcasting, storage and clearance of project information. This requires the utilization of a strong communication network. The person in charge of the communication network has to be in possession of the appropriate technological knowledge of different communication lines. For this reason, the staff member allocated to deal with communications is qualified for due to his vast experience while working as a sound engineer.
The team leader is the most appropriate person to carry out project evaluation based on his role of working successfully with teams. His team leadership skills enable him to work comfortably with each team leader hence, acquiring at a faster rate, the feedback required for the evaluation of the project. Documentation of the project required a person who is qualified in document preparation, the staff member in charge of the preparations for the production documents is highly qualified for the project's documentation.
Flow Chart for the project team
Owing to the fact that strategic management includes risk management, the strategic manager is highly qualified for risk management as it encompasses the scope of his role. Having been involved in a workshops dealing with risk management, I am qualified for joint risk management with the strategic manager. In addition, to the contributions of the strategic manager, the contributions of the whole project team are fundamental for the development of a contingency plan in risk management. The final role of a project manager encompasses procurement management in which the resources required for the project are procured and secured from the suppliers. I have acted as the company procurement officer before the current procurement officer took up this position; therefore, I have the skills required for procurement management. The different leadership and management skills I posses will enable me to act accordingly in my position as a projects manager.
Quality management is also an important aspect of project management that should not be overlooked. The quality of a project is fundamental in measuring the project's success. Quality parameters have to be met by the project or exceeded in terms of exceptional projects. The quality parameters set for the project at hand is such that the quality of the party equalizes with the quality provided by four-star hotels. The human resource must be of extremely high quality to ensure that they deliver a high standard of service delivery, hence bolster the success of the project (Kerzner, 2009, p.33). For this reason, the company should provide human capital whose quality amounts to the value it attaches to its employees. I am highly qualified for this role because I have managed to produce previous projects whose quality exceeded that stipulated by the set quality parameters.
The project will entail a dissertation that will be developed following the rules of project management. It has taken into consideration the tools and techniques that are used in project management. The identification of goals, objectives and the strategic management process has been analyzed. Furthermore, it has taken into consideration the principles of project management; purpose, relevance, feasibility, accuracy and accountability. Budgeting and work plans have been identified as tools that can be used to manage the resources of time and finance. Meanwhile tools like Gantt charts and flow diagrams have been utilized to depict the strategic plan of the project.