A project is a sequence of activities that has a definite start and finish, an identifiable goal and an integrated system of complex but interdependent relationships. Project Life Cycle consists of sequential phases through which projects undergo. The phases are important in planning a project since they provide a framework for budgeting, manpower, resource allocation, scheduling project milestones, project reviews etc. All projects go through the following stages whether big or small.
1. Project idea /conception
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An idea regarding intervention in a specific area to address and identify a problem is developed or formed. Sources of ideas include
- Market demand where one may be facing increasing demand thus becoming a problem
- Technological changes- this forces an organization to change in order to make use of the new technology
- Natural calamities like fire, floods, landslides, drought etc.
- Resource availability- makes use of the available resources
- Political considerations
- Need to avail basic requirements or necessities to a community
2. Project Identification
After conception of ideas, potential projects arising from the ideas crystallized above are identified.
Any project aimed at delivering a product or a service has to go through phases in a planned manner in order to meet the requirements. It is very important to measure the performance of the current status of the project at anytime against its planned version. This helps to tackle any unexpected deviation in time, efforts and cost. It is possible to work according to the project plan only by careful and close monitoring of the project progress.
It requires establishing control factors to keep the project on the track of progress. The results of any stage in a project, depends on the inputs to that stage. It is therefore necessary to control all the inputs and the corresponding outputs from a stage. This is achieved through devising proper controls for every stage.
A project manager may use certain standard tools to keep the project on track. The project manager and the team members should be fully aware of the techniques and methods to rectify the factors influencing delay of the project and its product.…
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Risks are those events or conditions that may occur and whose occurrence has a harmful or negative impact on a project. Project risk management aims to identify the risks and then take actions to minimize their effect on the project. Project risk management entails additional cost. Hence project risk management can be considered cost-effective only if the cost of managing project risk is considerably less than the cost incurred if the risk materializes.
Components of Project Risk Management
Important components in project risk management are:
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- Risk Assessment – The assessment and identification focuses on enumerating possible risks to the project. Identify the possible risks and assess the consequences by means of checklists of possible risks, surveys, meetings and brainstorming and reviews of plans, processes and products. The project manager can also use the process database to get information about risks and risk management on similar projects.
- Risk Control – Identify the actions needed to minimize the risk consequences. Develop a risk management plan.
In the critical path method of scheduling projects, the duration of each activity is usually defined with a reasonable degree of certainty. For some projects, it may be difficult to estimate a reasonable single duration for one more of the activities in the project schedule. The Program Evaluation and Review Technique or PERT method of project scheduling, uses three durations for each activity and the fundamental statistics to determine the probability of a project finishing earlier or later than expected. Although the PERT method is not used extensively in engineering and construction projects, it provides valuable information for assessing the risks of a schedule slippage in a project.
The PERT method uses an arrow network diagram to show the logical sequence of activities in a project, whereas the CPM uses a precedence diagram. In a PERT diagram, activities are represented by an arrow with circles at each end of the arrow. The circles are called events that represent an instant in time. The circle at the beginning of the activity represents the start of an activity, and the circle at the end of the arrow represents the finish of the activity. The major difference between the PER method and CPM is the estimation of durations of activities.…
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Project planning is the process of identifying all the activities necessary to successfully complete the project. Project scheduling is the process of determining the sequential order of the planned activities, assigning realistic durations to each activity, and determining the start and finish dates for each activity. Thus, project planning is a prerequisite to project scheduling because there is no way to determine the sequence or start and finish dates of activities until they are identified.
Techniques for Planning and Scheduling
The technique used for project planning and scheduling will vary depending upon the project’s size, complexity, duration, personnel, and owner requirements. The project manager must choose a scheduling technique that is simple to use and is easily interpreted by all project participants. There are two methods that are commonly used in project management for the purpose of project planning and scheduling: the bar chart (sometimes called the Gantt chart) and the Critical Path Method (sometimes called CPM or Network Analysis System).…
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A project is an endeavor that is undertaken to produce the results that are expected from the requesting party. A project consists of three components namely, scope, cost and schedule. When a project is first assigned to a project manager it is important that all three of these components be clearly defined. Scope represents the work to be accomplished, i.e., the quantity and quality of work. Cost refers to costs, measured in dollars and /or labor-hours of work. Schedule refers to the logical sequencing and timing of the work to be performed. The quality of a project must meet the owner’s satisfaction and is an integral part of project management, which is shown as an equilateral triangle to represent an important principle of project management: a balance is necessary between the scope, budget, and schedule.
In any project, there is a certain amount of work that must be performed and an associated cost and schedule for producing the work. Any increase/decrease in scope of work requires a corresponding increase/decrease in cost and schedule. Not only should the scope, cost and schedule be well defined, but each must be linked together since one affects the other, both individually and collectively.…
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