Scope and Scheduling in Project Management
Defining the scope in project management is one of the most crucial and integral parts of management, as it allows the organization to most effectively distribute its resources and workforce. Scope, as a term, refers to the relative requirements a project will have during the process of its completion. It outlines the key processes, stakeholders, and possible constraints of a project. In a business, every action a company takes is intricately tied to its market performance and its ability to be successful, making any mistakes especially dangerous. A project that wastes too much company resources may not be worth undertaking, and careful considerations need to be put in place to ensure no losses are suffered. In the context of project management, this means decisively defining the scope of the project and allocating the needed resources to it accordingly. Staff numbers, the amount of physical and monetary resources, as well as the timeframe of a particular project, are defined beforehand to effectively optimize the process.
Scheduling, similarly, is an important consideration to take, as it allows the company to measure the progress and effectiveness of its strategies against specific milestones. Scheduling as a process refers to listing all of the activities, goals, and milestones a project must reach during a specific period of time. An efficient schedule also includes the variety of resources needed to meet the set goals and the timeframe to complete each step. Managing the project’s schedule allows managers to minimize time spent on each activity needed and track the rate of progress during a specific project.
Both of these considerations need to be taken into account to make both the organization and the particular project successfully. Ensuring that a chain of activities and interactions brings a maximum amount of profit and results while minimizing the potential losses in resources is an integral component of work on a project. High-quality scheduling allows the team to reach their desired goals in a fast, organized, and collective manner, making the role of each person well-defined and valued. Understanding the scope, similarly, aids in setting the boundaries on the needed activities, making the process of undertaking a project more profitable and streamlined.
Behavioral Skills in Project Resourcing
Besides the concrete planning, some specific behavioral skills and competencies are needed to effectively handle project resourcing. In my opinion, four of the most important behavioral skills a manager needs are identifying what each person needs to accomplish, making correct and honest estimates of the work required, making people work overtime, and assembling an effective team (Kloppenborg et al., 2019). While a number of other considerations also go into project resourcing, these ones are most needed to ensure that the project work goes smoothly and every person is able to make their contribution.
First, identify what each individual must do for a particular project. In an organization, it is often needed to regulate the activities of multiple people, managing teams and their collective work on a particular subject. Each individual has their own set of skills, attitudes, competencies, and capabilities, thus making them more suitable for particular kinds of tasks. A manager must have the ability to identify both the strength of team members and the needs of the project, to reach a compromise between the two. Each person must be assigned to fill a particular role in a cooperative environment so that all of the possible aspects of project completion will be covered. In cases where all people fulfill the same task in a group setting, some needs and considerations may either not be given enough attention, or fully neglected.
The second behavioral competency, making estimates of the work required, is needed to properly schedule activities and allocate human resources during the course of a project. By determining what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how much time it will take, a manager is able to distribute the workload in an informed manner, set goals that will lead to the completion of a project, and make sure that the employees are not overworked. For the general success of a project, careful, and most of all, honest estimates, are needed. By relaying truthful information to the team, a manager can make sure that they are fully informed and able to manage their own workload according to the goals set before them.
Assembling an effective team is the next behavioral skill one must take into account, as it determines the ability of a group of people to both work together and achieve their milestones. Team compatibility, the skills of each member, relationship dynamics, and previous experience are all important to consider. Only by thoughtfully constructing a team can a manager ensure that all of the project’s different facets will be taken care of. Compatible and capable teammates compensate for each other’s weaknesses and boost their collective productivity.
The last behavioral skill that will most likely be needed is the ability to convince people to work overtime. While every project has its own scope and schedule, following them perfectly can be a challenge, due to a number of external and internal hindrances. That is why a manager must be capable of asking the workers to work more than was intended, in some cases. As overtime work is generally time-consuming and invasive of a person’s free time, a good manager must be able to provide their workers with sound reasoning and initiative to dedicate more time to a project. Without such a skill, a project can often fail to meet its deadlines because of mistakes made during the process of completion.
There are also other factors to consider, which all much need to be evaluated and managed. They include selecting the right people, ensuring that they are able to do their job, managing schedules, and arranging the process of group work (Kloppenborg et al., 2019). Each of these considerations is useful and much needed in its own ways and must be given thought to depend on the current project and the circumstances of its organization.
Budgeting and Costs
To determine the budget of a project, I must consider all of the possible costs it will include. Project costs stem from a variety of sources, with two main types of costs being direct and indirect. Direct costs include specific considerations such are the price of labor, materials used, equipment, and other types of resources. These can be estimated and calculated beforehand, during the process of defining the scope of a project. Indirect costs, on the other hand, are costs that are not tied to particular objects but need to be paid to continue operation. Indirect costs can include the process of quality control and utility costs. By considering the combination of both direct and indirect costs a project will take, its estimated budget can be established. Cost aggregation is a process that is also important to budgeting, as it allows the company to more accurately determine the costs of a particular project (Cost Aggregation). It is done by taking the costs of each individual part of the work that will be done, called an individual work package, and summing them up into a single cost.
A project risk, as a component of project considerations, can be understood as a variable leading to unknown outcomes, either negative or positive. Any unexpected or unpredictable changes in the internal or external parts of a company can have an effect on the completion of a project. The first step towards recognizing project risks is identifying the potential and possible risks you can imagine. Both negative and positive outcomes must be considered, and such activities should be completed in a team setting, as a way to maximize the possible risk assessment (Bonnie, 2018). The second step of the consideration would be to determine how probable an outcome is, and how high is the chance of a particular risk presenting an issue. Each considered risk can be categorized as high, medium, or low, depending on its probability. Finally, the consequences of each risk should be accessed, including the effects a number of them or a particular combination might have (Bonnie, 2018). This multi-step process can allow a manager to effectively identify, rate, and expect most risks.
In closing, it can be said that the process of project management is multi-faceted, and requires an individual to regulate a number of concerns, both for themselves and for others. Correct scheduling and planning are the most important aspects of the process, as they define what approach to completing a project is taken. After resolving issues of budgeting, scope, and goal-setting, a capable manager should be able to assemble a team that will finish the project, each member taking a particular part of the process under their care. The careful, smart, and versatile approach to optimizing the work of a group of people is key to good project planning.
Bonnie, E. (2018). Project Risk Assessment (Ultimate Guide to Project Risk, Part 1). Wrike. Web.
Cost Aggregation. Project Management Knowledge. (n.d.). Web.
Kloppenborg, T. J., Anantatmula, V. S., & Wells, K. N. (2019). Contemporary Project Management. Cengage.