Project Management Features and Characteristics

Introduction

Project management is a very important aspect that if well implemented, can go a long way in the realisation of the success of a business. It has distinct characteristics that differentiate it and makes it stand out from the normal organisational activities.

This report will aim at focusing on Project management as a whole. Project management is a systematic outline that needs thorough planning and evaluation of key factors to be effective (Jugdev, 2005). These factors include the project manager. He or she is a key player in project management, crucial aspects such as his or her roles will be analysed. Then other aspects such as the communication with the other employers, and how this communication can lead to a positive outcome, his relationships with other employees and requirements needed will also be carefully scrutinised (Sinclair, 2002).

The second important element discussed is the team. The team is also beneficial. The relationship between the team, which is the employees and the project manager, factors that should be considered in team management, the roles of the teams and selection of the team is a priority in project management (Sinclair, 2002). Without a good team, the adoption or implementation of the strategy will be hard. A strong team is vital in the insurance of efficiency and effectiveness (Sinclair, 2002). The third factor that focussed on is the organisational structures. These are also of importance when dealing with management.

This report aims at focusing on features emphasised in project management and that characterise it. The approach used aims at focusing on the topic of project management as a whole. This paper concludes that project management is different and effective as compared to the other organisational structures due to the unique characteristics it has, especially when it comes to its key factors which are the project manager and teams.

Project Management

Project management identifies the tasks and objectives of a project. Project management must have a clear outline of how the task is going to be achieved while paying consideration to the budget and resources that will be used to achieve the goals in the specified timeline. This careful scrutiny and analysis that is part of the project management process are what sets it apart from the other organisational skills (Fisher, 2011). A key figure, when it comes to project management and heavily accounts for the effectiveness of project management majorly is the project manager.

The project manager

The project manager has a number of defined roles, which are vital, for success and is in charge of a team that meant to help him (Jugdev, 2005). Success, in this case, refers to the accomplishment of the tasks and objectives of a project in the best possible way. That is why a firm grasp of what the task of a project manager is, what skills they should have and their career path are extremely valuable. A project manager should have a number of attributes (El-sabaa, 2001). These include:

Human Skill

This is the ability of the project manager to be able to lead. This is evident in the way he works with his group as well as in the way that he affects the teams’ cooperation. His or her team ranges from his superiors, equals and even his subordinates. One’s behaviour towards his group also comes into play (El-sabaa, 2001). A project manager should learn to work with people. This will enable the effective flow of information in the workplace as well as strengthen the work relations in the office through proper understanding and motivation. A skilled project manager should have an ability to read the actions and words of his group to know what they are communicating and should be able, to communicate effectively, with others (Fisher, 2011).

Technical skill

Knowledge of technology to be used is tremendously valuable. The project manager must have the necessary technical skills needed in the understanding and proficiency of tools needed for the implementation of methods, procedures, and techniques. This is also a fundamental aspect because he or she will be better equipped in the supervision of his team, as well as in planning the project (El-sabaa, 2001).

Conceptual and organisational skills

The manager should be able to develop a clear picture of the outcome, as a whole; hence, he or she should have a clear strategy of how to achieve it. This involves knowing how different elements affect each other and how to coordinate them well. This also involves complementing the whole project with single projects (Jaafar, 2001). Conceptual skill goes hand in hand with organisational skills because a clear organisation is vital in achieving the overall concept (El-sabaa, 2001).

Career specification

Career refers to one’s occupation. It also entails the acquisition of knowledge and skills throughout one’s life. Factors that are indispensable in the grasp of a career is the movement on a path after a period, which translates to a promotion. The coordination of an employee and the organisation and the existence of an occupational identity The project manager should be social, friendly, energetic, understanding, communicative, tactful, self-confident and ambitious. He or she should always make sure that leading others towards the objectives is the number one priority (Fisher, 2011). This means that the career path of a project manager should be clear and distinct to aid him or her to do the task effectively (Jugdev, 2005).

Requirements of a project manager

The project manager should be able to:

  1. Manage the team and motivate them to work towards achieving the task
  2. Develop an effective project plan
  3. Manage the budget
  4. Deal with the stakeholders
  5. Communicate effectively with the other managers to ensure the smooth flow of the project
  6. Schedule the tasks
  7. Be flexible

Organisational Structures

An organisation needs an elaborate organisational structure to achieve its goals. An organisational structure serves to aid in task allocation, coordination and strategising of plans to achieve the organisation’s goals. They are of different types and are dependent on the task. Businesses are left with the choice of choosing the most effective model that will suit their company. Examples of these organisational models are line, functional, bureaucratic, network, matrix etc. (Atkinson, 1999).

Teams

Teams are necessary for any project to be done. This ranges from committees, workgroups, to taskforces. They do various things such as accomplishing research, increasing creativity, and providing an effective structure, which is flexible (Atkinson, 1999). Teams should be able to satisfy a number of factors at once. These include individual needs; the team members should be sociable, have self-actualisation and participative management. They should be organised for productivity, effectiveness, and development (Sinclair, 2002). For a team to be effective, it should be task-oriented, have an individual motivation formula, has a clear leader, and be able to work effectively as a whole (Sinclair, 2002).

Setting up a team

The first step for the project manager in setting up a team should be to make a list of all the tasks that the team needs to do. The roles that the team members need to fill should then be outlined. The roles are to be matched with the task. The group members should also be able to bring something different to the table, so they should have different skill sets. This, however, varies depending on the task (Sinclair, 2002).

The project manager should then analyse people from the company or external sources who will be the best candidates to accomplish the tasks. This decision should also be made based on who works well with the other, and the ability of the candidate to work in a team. The last step is communicating to the selected group members, the task ahead, and what their individual input to the project will be (Sinclair 2002).

Conclusion

Project management has some unique elements and characteristics that must be well planned and organised for it to be realised. These characteristics make it different from other organisational structures. It also uses a different approach as compared to the other organisational activities. Careful consideration should be placed on the use and proper utilisation of the resources. Other decisive factors to be considered in project management are the project manager and the teams. These characteristics are special and unique to project management, especially when it comes to their role and method of implementation.

The project manager is a key player in management, and he or she can solely determine the failure or success of a team based on his skills and relationship with the employees and employers. A strong team will go a long way in ensuring the success of a project as the task will be achieved efficiently. A strong team will also guarantee the best results. Organisational structures aid in the completion of tasks. They simplify the task and ensure that professionalism is exercised. Project management is a very important aspect of management.

References

Atkinson, R. (1999). Cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a phenomenon, its time to accept other succes criteria. Project management, 17 (6): 337-342.

El-Sabaa, S. (2001). The skills and career path of an effective project manager. Internal journal of project management,19 (2), 1-7.

Fisher, E. (2011). What practitioners consider to be the skills and behaviours of an effective people project manager. Internal journal of project management, 29 (8): 994-1002.

Jaafar, A. (2001). Management of risks, uncertainties and opportunities on projects: time for a fundamental shift. International Journal of Project Management, 19: 89-101.

Jugdev, K. (2005). A retrospective look at our evolving understanding of project success. Project management journal. 13(4), 18-28.

Sinclair, A. (2002). The Tyranny of a team ideology. Project Management. 16(6), 32-47.