Project Management as a Business Tool

What are some of the principal reasons why project management has become such a popular business tool in recent years?

Project management brings in many benefits to a company making it a popular business tool. The advantages serve everyone involved in the project management process. The business tool increases efficiency in the delivery of services given its capability to promote specialization. It provides a system that allows the project manager to direct the project with ease to completion. Once the manager knows where to avoid pitfalls, they increase the possibility of delivering quality services. Project management also improves growth and development within the team. Since the business tool increases customer satisfaction, the outcome often inspires the manager and their team to perform more efficiently. Excellent performance also results in more opportunities for advancement.

Additionally, project management increases risk assessment. It keeps costs, timeframes, and resources to budget and indicates the weaknesses and strengths of the strategy before the team commences working on the project completion. Further, the business tool offers enhanced flexibility. It helps map out the strategy that the project manager wants to take to ensure timely and efficient completion.

What do you see as being the primary challenges to introducing a project management philosophy to most organizations? That is, why is it difficult to shift to a project-based approach in many companies?

The efficiency of project management, however, depends on the ability of the manager and the staff to use it for their tasks. Organizations should address project management challenges before introducing the project management philosophy. A major project management challenge is the inability to set realistic deadlines. Many managers have problems finding alternative approaches to address the tasks to complete a project on time. Faulty initial deadlines can also cause project delays if the management lacks adequate training.

Besides, a lack of good communication culture can stop the tool from delivering quality. Some project managers and team members do not appreciate the essence of providing sufficient information to all the members of their teams. They should determine effective communication flow and develop a checklist associated with the schedule of what information they ought to convey.

Another project management challenge is competition for resources. Projects compete for resources leading to the inability to complete many projects with limited resources. Insufficient team skills also prevent most organizations from benefiting from project management. Most organizations assign project management duties to their teams depending on availability. Lack of training puts the project implementation process at risk.

What are the key characteristics of all project process?

When a manager considers they have a project, they look out for certain characteristics. One of these characteristics is predictability, which refers to the possibility that a task will occur during a specific period. Projects have different degrees of predictability. Projects that an organization has been undertaking for a long period have higher predictability than new conceptions.

The next characteristic is the probability that project resources will be available at the right time. If a company cannot access resources for the completion of the mission, the venture is not a project. Some projects such as those with high predictability have resources for their completion more readily available than projects with low predictability do. Projects should also have a reoccurrence. This element determines how many times the organization has conducted the project in the past and the degree of variance between them.

Describe the basic elements of the project life cycle. Why is an understanding of the life cycle relevant to our understanding of projects?

Projects have four elements in their life cycle. The first element is the initiation. At the initiation stage, the project manager determines the approach that they will use to obtain the desired results. Common tactics used at this stage include Project Charter, Milestone Reviews, and Business Plan, among others.

The next element is planning. It involves the appointment of all the tasks for the entire project and incorporates the description of the criteria and risk analysis for the completion of the task. Common methodologies used at this stage are Business Plan and Milestone Reviews.

The following phase in the cycle is controlling and execution. The main element in this phase is the execution of various duties to solve the project problem. Risk Analysis, Business Plans, and Score Cards are among the main methodologies that organizations use at this stage.

The closure is the final phase that comes after the completion of the task. Writing formal reports, the reward for the teams, and formal closure of the project is part of the closure stage. The understanding of the project life cycle enhances one’s appreciation of requirements for project completion.

Consider the studies on trait theories in leadership. Of the characteristics that emerge as critical to effective leadership, which seem most critical to project managers? Why?

The Central Traits of Gordon Allport’s Trait Theory offers appropriate personality traits for project managers. That theory forms the basic foundation of personality. Project managers should exhibit positive central traits to help them develop their identity as effective leaders. The leaders should have distinct virtues including intelligence, flexibility, openness to learning, and self-efficacy.

The trait theory properly attributes the general characteristics that form the foundations of personality to effective project management. Project work requires teamwork. Therefore, the manager should have group management skills and uphold integrity. Also, project managers with self-efficacy, competency, and strong personality can resolve challenges, such as competition for resources, lack of skilled workforce, and timing faults. Competent managers with a strong personality find no difficulty consulting widely. As a result, the managers can boost the performance of all the team members by inculcating positive work ethics in them. The trait theory is, therefore, the most appropriate tool that offers critical information for enhancing project management.