No two projects are exactly the same. Even if two projects have the same goals, many aspects can be different. Second, a project is temporary with a defined start date and end date. Third, a project is goal oriented: It revolves around the primary goal and considered done when the goal is achieved. Lastly, projects must meet or exceed stakeholders’ expectations in order to survive. It is said, the technical dimension represents the “science” of project management while the socio/cultural dimension represents the “art” of managing a project.
To be successful, a program manager (PM) must be a master of both mentions (Gray & Larson, 2008). The technical side of the management consists of the formal, disciplined, pure logic parts of the process and relying on formal Information systems. The technical dimension Includes planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Clear project scope statements are written to link the project and customer and to facilitate planning and control. Creation of the deliverables and work structures facilitate planning and monitoring the progress of the project (Labiates, n. . ). The socio/cultural dimension in contrast to the structured world of reject planning, involves the chaotic, often contradictory world of implementation. Whether written as a mission statement, spoken or merely understood, corporate socio/culture describes and governs the ways a company’s owners and employees think, feel and act (Gray & Larson, 2008). Establishment of a temporary sub-culture during a project is necessary within the larger organizational environment, combining the talents of a variety of professionals working to complete the project.
Estes (2009) states, corporate cultures are mysterious by nature: They are Intangible, whiff and evolve over time, and difficult to monitor because they are comprised of the ideas, beliefs, and values of a variety of independently thinking individuals. However, recognizing that all business cultures are based on the goals of the company, they are comprised of the experience and performance of its leaders and employees, and proper management of subcultures can further the vision of the company and help achieve its goals.
Shaping a project’s culture is a must for PM to stimulate teamwork, high levels of personal motivation, capacity to quickly identify and resolve problems. Overall, the manager must build a cooperative social network among a variety of allies with different standards, commitments, and perspectives. Successful MS balance their attention to both the technical and socio/cultural dimensions of project management. The solo/culture plays a big role In determining how well a business will do (Entrepreneur, 2010).
An Integrative approach to project management Is one In which all the parts are Interrelated; operational, strategic, and Include leadership (Ostentation, 2008). This approach is important because it can give an organization a competitive gage In today’s environment. Ay & Larson ( none two parts to an integrative approach. First, projects must have a strong link to the organization’s strategic plan, which is directed toward meeting the customer’s needs. Second, an integrative approach provides a system for the actual implementation of the projects.
This includes an information system supporting decision making and a social/cultural environment encouraging positive and active contribution from team members. The functional team approach has different advantages and disadvantages. The major difference is the functional team approach “employs” totally from within the organization. Parker (2003) cited advantages of the functional team: Projects follow the format/structure of the organization. So, the organization’s design does not have to be seriously changed.
Maximum flexibility of staff; people assigned to work on whatever projects needs to be done at anytime, regardless of their “native” position. This provides for a diverse technical pool. If project scope is narrow and all the functional units have been appropriately assigned, then skills can be used to efficiently complete the project. People’s careers will remain constant; they will always have a position to return to. Gray & Larson (2008) cite disadvantages including: Lack of project focus is often an issue because people feel obligated to their functional responsibilities before their project responsibilities.
The difference in priorities of one unit can affect other units as well. If the staff feels obligated to their functional responsibilities before their project duties, and other units are waiting on departments before they can begin, then the project will be delayed. Coordination/communication between the units is slow and inefficient. Dedicated national staff only commit to their portion and not the project as a whole. Due to the reasons stated above, the project will take longer to complete. The Following are reasons for low motivation of the staff: Project can be seen as a burden, a distraction from their normal duties.
A lack of; dedication to the project’s goal, ownership or identification with the project are causes for low motivation. Matrix arrangements seem to be the best of approaches but then again it depends on the environment this will be used for. It is very efficient; resources can be shared among multiple rejects. Flexibility provides for a diverse utilization of resources and expertise within the organization (Dave-winter, 2009). On the other hand this kind of arrangement can bring tension between managers in the form of dysfunctional conflict.
It can be stressful for the employee since every project participant has at least two bosses. It can be slow since agreements have to be forged across multiple functional groups (Gray & Larson, 2008). The virtual team (VT) approach is when more than half of the team members are not in the same physical location. The team upends on technology to communicate, rarely or never meets face-to-face. Managing a W involves the whole spectrum of communication strategies and project management techniques as well as human and social processes in ways that support the team (Unbar, Oklahoman, Romano, & Employ, 2002).
Beerier, Beerier, & Balmier (2008) cited the advantages of a W: Developing better practice; knowledge sharing networks of professional communities; fostering cross-functional and cross- divisional collaboration; increasing ability to initiate and contribute to projects across organizational boundaries. Business Link (n. . ) list on their website disadvantages of a W: If not properly managed people may have a tendency to feel forgotten and even asserter Day ten organization.
New entrants to vulture working oaten nave a sense that they are “not doing enough,” leading to working longer hours to Justify still being valued by the company causing burn out. Loss of opportunity to network and transfer knowledge informally. Actions get overlooked because team members assume someone else is responsible. Managing people you have never met is challenging. Dedicated team can be very effective since they can quickly complete a reject and their cohesiveness creates a high level of motivation among employees. It does not disrupt operations or take away the organization’s resources.
The team has a strong and dedicated focus to the project; it comes before anything else. The project manager has much more freedom to control the team (Gray & Larson, 2008). Projects are completed much more quickly due to the dedicated effort. They are unified in their effort, offering support to each other. People with different types of skills commit themselves to help optimize the project even though it may not be their area of expertise (Gray & Larson). Disadvantages: This arrangement can be very expensive since extra personnel have to be hired and new resources required.
There can be duplication of effort within the organization. That is, there can be engineers for the functional departments and dedicated engineers for the project. Project members start to feel disconnected with the organization. This situation can produce the “let-down” situation when the project is completed and the team members have to return to their functional duties. Sometimes, the full range of technical impotence needed for the project cannot be obtained due to the “closed” or “contained” nature of the project. There is again the “we-they’ syndrome.
Team members want the credit for themselves (Gray & Larson). The infrastructure and post-project transition can be very difficult since this can create the dilemma of where to place the personnel once the project has been completed. In a functional or, perhaps, a matrix approach, they may have a position to return to. There are two dimensions to successful project management: The technical area and the social cultural area the PM has to master. The technical dimension relies on the formal information system available for the project, which includes planning, scheduling, and controlling the projects.
If the PM is well trained in the technical side of project management, in terms of budget plan, scheduling, and creation of deliverables then they will be able to break it down into manageable components (Gray & Larson, 2008). Therefore, the PM will be able to plan and monitor the progress of the project. The cultural side of project management centers on the combination of divergent set of professionals that come together as a project team. This temporary social system works together to complete a project, the PM must be able to shape a project’s culture that will stimulate team work and high levels of personal motivation.
The PM must also develop a capacity to quickly identify and resolve problems that threaten project (Gray & Larson, 2008). Gray & Larson (2008) defined formal project management as: Completing a project on paper before the actual project begins, creating a detailed plan, and then executing the project according to that plan. In a formal project management environment, the PM must follow procedures and raciest as defined by an imposed standard, such as the PM. These project management techniques are driven by rules. The emphasis is on following the plan.
MS need to correctly analyze the organization’s existing culture, and evaluate it gallant ten cultural attributes anemia to conclave project goals. Any Ms, when trying to implement new strategies, will discover that their strategies will fail if they are inconsistent with the organization’s culture (NDIS, n. D. ). Organizational culture is different Just as one person is different from another. Culture forms how people interact day to day, within the context of the organization. You have to observe how the people of an organization get along in order to find ways for them to work together as a team.
For example, if the organization has a culture that encourages innovation and collaboration among the various staff members, then it is already “project oriented;” therefore, a functional only or functional matrix may prove to be the best approach towards new projects (Gray & Larson). Consequently, MS must first possess a clear understanding of the project goals for the organization and identify the actions needed to reach those goals. Strategic plans are implemented primarily through projects (e. G. A new product, a new information system, a new plant for a new product). The PM is responsible for completing the project on time, on budget, and within specifications so the project’s customer is satisfied. If the project is not linked to the strategic plan of the organization, resources devoted to the project are wasted and a customer needs may not be met (Gray & Larson, 2008). This lack of connectivity occurs more in practice than most would believe. Three efferent types of projects impacting an organization are; compliance, operational and strategic.
Firstly, compliance/emergency projects are must do projects and usually have penalties if they are not implemented (Gray & Larson, 2008). The term compliance describes the ability to act according to an order, set of rules or requests; and to ensure that the company provides and maintains an institutional framework that gives assurance that all applicable rules & regulations, laws, policies and procedures are adhered to. Benjamin (2008) in his article, Reputation risk caused by compliance failure can be costly! Tied three levels of compliance to consider in any framework: First, compliance with external rules that are imposed upon an organization as a whole; second, internal systems of control that are imposed to achieve compliance with the externally imposed rules; third, is often ignored. This is the realm of stakeholder interaction and best practiced in a court of public opinion. The conduct of rules governs the manner in which a business conducts itself in its relationships with stakeholders. These rules impose minimum standards of acceptable conduct upon regulated businesses.
Furthermore, Benjamin listed key lessons for managers to learn from other companies’ failures: Companies need to comply with the laws, rules, regulations and policies governing behavior of the organization; each of us is responsible for making sure our own conduct and the conduct of those we supervise fully complies with all applicable laws and regulations; finally, recognizing that even the appearances of misconduct or impropriety can be damaging to the reputation of the organization, and steps must be taken to avoid them.
Secondly, operational projects are those needed to support current operations. Projects are associated with the operation of the organization and typically involve operational goals, scarce resources and multidisciplinary teams. Lastly, strategic projects directly support the organization’s long-run missions.