Project planning is one of the significant steps that must be put in action before setting out on a particular project (Zadeh 1992). Project planning helps the participants of the project to get prepared financially, physically and psychologically for what is coming ahead (Kyburg 1964). Some of the areas that require thorough preparation include budgeting for the project, choosing leaders and sponsors of the project, drafting time schedules, among others.
The team also needs to be prepared to counter risks in the course of the project (Chang 1980). This essay will describe the project of tree planting that the author was actively involved in. The purpose of the project was to participate in nationwide environmental conservation efforts. The project is related to other projects like wildlife conservation and eco-tourism.
Tree planting is among one of the most important noble virtues in the world. This is because the world has realised the urgent need to protect the ecosystem and secure the future through tree planting, which has a positive impact on environmental conservation. It is because of this same reason that the author set out on this important exercise together with a team of fifty people. The following is a step by step account of the proceedings and undertakings of the group.
First and foremost, the team had to come up with leaders who will be at the helm of each activity. The activities were assigned to each and everyone in the team using a highly effective work breakdown structure. This arrangement ensures that no single task is left unattended to and that each and every single person has an active role to play in the entire process. Furthermore, it promotes the efficiency of the project because each person has to take care of his or her duty, unlike the general execution of tasks where some team members may be reluctant to participate fully.
There are various activities which are included in this tree planting project. First and foremost, the team had to acquire permission from relevant authorities to plant trees in a given piece of land. This was done with much ease. Other arrangements such as the purchase of seedlings and the availability of water for watering the seedlings were taken care of in good time. The next step was to get tools such as spades, wheelbarrows and watering cans to use for planting the seedlings. All these items had earlier been included in the project’s budget, and so the only thing remaining was to purchase them.
The budget of the project amounted to a significant figure that couldn’t be easily acquired. Luckily, the team had begun saving for this same event a few months back. The funds available were, therefore, enough to get the team everything that was required during and after the exercise. The funds were also sufficient to take care of expenses that were unplanned for, and that came up unexpectedly in the course of the project.
The project sponsor, Karl Peters, also played a big role in availing the funds to be used in the project to the team. In fact, a percentage of more than fifty of the total funds was contributed by him. The project sponsor, together with the project manager, Alex Dickson, was kind enough to stay with the team during the entire project and offered their help in case of anything. This act demonstrated their dedication to the project. Other project leaders also played their part in ensuring the success of the project. For instance, the steering committee or working party worked tirelessly in order to plant the desired number of trees before the evening came.
For any project to come out as a success the way it did, a number of assumptions have to be made (Shafer 1990). In this project, one of these assumptions was that the good number of trees planted by the team on that day would play a significant part in conserving the environment in the near future. This assumption provided a propelling force that was a driving factor towards the achievement of the objectives of the project.
There were also a number of risks and constraints that worked against the objectives of the project. According to Chapman (2006), there is no project that lacks risks. However, it is the measures put in place to counter the risk that is of most importance (Crouhy and Galai 2000). One notable constraint was the attitude of the public towards the tree planting exercise. The team members were taken to be gardeners who were employed to plant trees.
A major risk that faced the project was the possibility of the withering of the seedlings. The exercise was conducted on a hot summer day, and the heat could have possibly scorched the seedlings to death and consequently terminated the project. However, the fast planting speed of the team saw them finish planting before the midday sun could catch up with them.
In conclusion, risk planning is a significant exercise that should be implemented before the beginning of any project. It helps to prepare the participants of the projects for the real project and risks involved in it. It is also important to keep a risk log in a bid to assess the progress of the project after every stage. From the this essay, it can be seen that a project has a lot of activities that demand total organisation. Finally, it is the efficiency of the managers and the whole team that will guarantee success to the project.
Apgar, D (2006) Risk intelligence: learning to manage what we don’t know. Boston, Harvard Business School Press.
Bazerman, M and Watkins, D (2008) Predictable surprises: the disasters you should have seen coming, and how to prevent them. Boston, Harvard Business School Press.
Bernstein, P (1996) Against the gods. The remarkable story of risk. New York, John Wiley.
Chapman, R (2006) Simple tools and techniques for enterprise risk management. New York, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Chang, S (1980) Risk analysis. New York, Plenum Press.
Crouhy, M. and Galai, D (2000) Risk management. Milton, McGraw-Hill Professional.
Culp, C (2001) The risk management process: Business strategy and tactics. Sydney, John Wiley & Sons.
Kyburg, H (1964) Studies in subjective probability. John Wiley & Sons, New York NY.
Schwartz, P (1997) The art of the long view: Planning for the future in an uncertain world. Sydney, John Wiley & Sons.
Shafer, G (1990) Readings in uncertain reasoning. San Mateo CA, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc.
Zadeh, L (1992) Fuzzy logic for the management of uncertainty. New York, John Wiley and Sons, New York NY.