Project production is characterized by complex sets of activities that must be performed in a particular order within the given period and within the estimated expenditure. Where output of a project is a product, such products are generally characterized by immobility during transformation. Operations of such products are carried out in “fixed position assembly type of layout” which can be observed in production of ships, locomotive and aircraft, construction of roads, buildings, etc.
Characteristics of Project Production
- Definite beginning and definite end: Each project has a definite beginning and a definite end.
- “Fixed position” layout: Where the output of a project is a product, such products are generally characterized by immobility during transformation. Operations on such products are carried out in “fixed position assembly type of layout” which can be observed in production of ships, locomotive, aircraft, construction of roads/ buildings, etc.
- High cost overruns: Often delays take place in the completion of the projects. Such delays are generally very expensive due to escalation in the cost of factors of production and incident of penalties.
- Personnel problems: Project production has many personnel related problems namely:
- When there is a fast build up, staff is either borrowed from other departments or hired for short duration. Therefore, personnel involved in the project have limited (or short lived) interest in the project.
- Since each project has a limited duration, the staff starts spending more time forgetting prepared for the next project.
- Site for the project may be in the underdeveloped region and it may change from project to project which causes dislocation of the normal life.
Importance of Project Production
- Non-uniform requirement of resources: Requirement of resources for project production is not uniform. At the end of the project, resources from the project are redeployed elsewhere in other projects. Even during the life of the project, requirement of resources is not uniform. Generally resource requirement (men, materials, money, etc.) in the beginning of the project is low which builds up fast with the progress of the project as more and more resources are absorbed, and then it levels off until there is gradual cutback as the project approaches completion.
- Involvement of different agencies: A project generally involves many tasks, each having its own specialization to be performed by different agencies. The tasks generally have strict precedence (i.e. certain tasks must be completed before the next begins) amid as such co-ordination between agencies is of utmost importance.
- Scheduling and control: Because of large number of activities, involvement of different agencies and strict precedence requirements, scheduling and control assumes great importance. Some network planning techniques like PERT and CPM have been found to be very useful to overcome the problems mentioned above.