Project management is a term used to denote a process where the main aim is to define, plan, monitor, and manage available resources to achieve desired goals while carrying out a project. Projects are of various types as some may be a part of another work or it may be the only body of work to undergo execution (Business link 2011). Projects target yielding change; consequently, project management aims at bringing the change through organized use of the available resources. To ensure that these changes happen, project managers use various principles that act as their guide as they execute the necessary to bring a project to completion (Cleland and Ireland 2006).
Understanding the principles of project management
Project management principles form a stronger foundation for project managers to base their work on, compared to understanding the entire techniques involved in the practice. Project management principles refer to a law or a general truth on which other theories and practices of a project base their foundation. Principles within a project should deliver a wealth of things, such as they should have the ability to express an idea or concept to the intended group (Greer 2006). In addition, the principles are general, hence, acceptable and applicable universally. They should also provide a platform on where to base the required research and practices. There are various principles relating to management of a project and the basic ones are, the manager needs to put his effort on completing the project within the provided period, within the budget constraints, and has to deliver the acceptable level of quality. In addition, the project manager has to engage in a systematic planning, detailed to the core and team involving. Another principle elucidates that the manager should give crystal project details, may it be within the process of completion or at the end of the project. Finally, project managers must set priorities to ensure that they deal with the crucial things first (Wideman N.D.).
Importance of defining success or failure criteria when managing projects
The various measurements that a project manager can apply to determine if a project is successful or a failure needs to show the required classification, a fail or success. Such a standard of measure serves many purposes, such as determining when the project is completed, as checking-off activities on a list does not provide enough assurance that the project is complete (Wideman N.D.). In addition, it is necessary to define success or failure when managing projects as they provide the ultimate answer, whether the activities are on the right path to yield the required results. Ultimately, project definition as a success or a failure provides the manager with the opportunity to judge whether the project needs a repetition or recommendations (Frese 2003).
The benefits of different systems of managing projects
Project management system refers to modern tools used by project managers in their work to make sure the scope of the project is maintained. Concurrently, the management systems keep the project within the initial budget as planned, until completion. Finally, project management controls offer a schedule to follow during the period of carrying out the project.
Planning a project
Draft of a project initiation document
Project title: Winning Customers
Client organization: Smiths Cuisine
Client name: Smith Richards
The project’s client is Mr. Smith Richards who is the owner of Smiths Cuisine, a new restaurant whose aim is to win as many customers as possible. Their problem now is the low customer turnover experienced on a daily basis. The project aims at finding and implementing the best solution to ensure that the restaurant will experience a high turnover in customers. The project’s objectives are to develop an explicit advertisement to focus on the restaurant’s products and the interior comfort it also displays.
The project’s scope is getting potential clients to know of the existence of Smiths cuisine, its products and the comfort it offers when one is inside the restaurant. In turn, this will lead to a high customer turnover.
The initial step is to know the budgeted amount that Smiths cuisine is willing to spend on this project. Afterwards, determine the different products the cuisine is offering and, the comforts available. Finally, determine the various means of advertisement suitable for Smiths cuisine in relation to the budget available.
Most businesses, if not all, require advertisement to ensure people are aware of the products. In addition, advertisements act as attention seekers and attractions to customers; hence, spending money to carry out advertisements is an investment, which in return, ensures more margin turnover at the place of work. In this case, Smith Richards has all the reasons to initiate advertisements, in turn, increase his daily turnover.
Currently, the only constraint that will be of an issue is the budgeted amount Smith is willing to spend on the project. The amount allows us to advertise only in circulars and posters. However, this will still provide enough means of communication to potential customers.
Plan a project using planning techniques
The plan is to undertake a comprehensive research aimed at acquiring the products offered at Smiths Cuisine. The next step is to come up with an exquisite design on the advertisement circulars and posters. While making these designs there are various crucial factors to take into consideration, they include integrating all the required information about the cuisine and the benefits of visiting it. The next step is to set up a distribution pattern to follow when supplying the circulars and putting up posters.
Risks to on-time completion of a project
Risk assessment within a project proves to be one difficult task to carry out, as risks are unpredictable. Constraints are also part of the risks that one can experience when carrying out a project. On-time completion of a project can experience various risks that can bring the project to late completion, such as errors. The errors experienced may be human or technical errors, all bringing the project to a slow process (Haughey 2011).
Demonstrate how you would communicate project plans to stakeholders
One on one communication forms the best method of communicating with the stakeholders. Stakeholders look up to the project manager to deliver high quality work hence communicating with them directly, presenting the progress in paper work and showing evidence of the project advancement presents the best way of keeping the stakeholders in the loop.
Implement a project according to a project plan
In relation to the above project, winning customers in Smiths Cuisine, the project starts by identifying all products the eatery is offering and their prices. It is worth noting that their prices are subsidized on comparison to the restaurants nearby, creating a point of attraction to the customers. Next, we need to look for a magnificent circular and poster designer who will come up with an exquisite design that will attract people to read the details. Following the designing of the posters and circulars, the next step is supplying them, and we are to target the pedestrians on the streets who form an easy target to reach. Moreover, the people on the roads in their cars near the traffic lights when they go red are also an easy target to reach (Cleland and Ireland 2006).
Use project-monitoring techniques to monitor the project
The posters and circulars are definite in number; hence, the project aims at supplying all of them. One way of monitoring the project is checking on the number of circulars supplied. Another way of monitoring the project is checking on the ratio of the turnover after the supply of the circulars to the turnover before the project begun. In turn, this will show if the project is productive or nonproductive.
Develop contingency plans to ensure on-time completion of a project
Contingency plans serve as a vital aspect when planning for the unseen or when a possibility presents itself that things might not work out as planned. Hence, in the above project, a contingency plan would be to plan for more fieldwork people in case the targeted time elapses without supplying the number of circulars required. This will ensure that at least the number of targeted circulars will be supplied, in turn, increasing the chances of reaching the targeted daily turnover of customers at Smiths Cuisine (Vallabhaneni 2009).
Section Four Outcomes and recommendations of the project
On meticulously reviewing the results, the comparison of the previous period’s turnover before the project and the turnover record of Smiths Cuisine after the project clearly show that the restaurant has gained more customers.
Analysis shows that the target was 50% increase in customers for one month and apparently, the project helped meet that target. Reason being, the outcome shows that the customer number, one month after the project terminated, increased by about 52%. The project was carried out within the budget constraints. This ensures that the official follow and implement the plan correctly. The first target, which we accomplished, was to supply all the circulars and posters on time, within one month. The second target was increasing the customer turnover at the cuisine by 50%. The other target was finishing the project within the budget constraints.
To improve on the project and ensure better outcome, various measures can be implemented such as increasing the budget volume. In turn, this will provide the cuisine with a wider range of advertisements means, such as billboards, television and radio adverts, among others. Subsequently, it will ensure that more people get to know about Smiths Cuisine, their attractive products and their comforts. Consequently, the cuisine will experience more customers and greater profits. Moreover, an increase in the number of the people working in the field by supplying more circulars and posters will attract more people to the cuisine. As the project evolved on advertisements, better designs on the circulars and posters will also attract more people (Cleland and Ireland 2006).
Project management has provided me with the platform to base my ideas and future practices concerning projects at my place of work. It has also offered me the opportunity to study the basic ways of carrying out and managing projects, monitoring their progress, analyzing the results and implementing the practical part to ensure better results in future. Projects are implemented mostly on a group work basis, and one of my strengths I posses is working efficiently in a group as I am a devoted listener, and accommodate other people’s thoughts easily. However, I have a weakness in relation to project management, which is working under deadlines; I find it exerting psychological pressure on me, thus, making me strain too much but with time, I can adjust and change for the better.
List of References
Business link, 2011, The basic principles of project management, viewed from http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1085941166&type=RESOURCES
Cleland, D, & Ireland, L, 2006, Project Management: Strategic Design and Implementation, McGraw-Hill Professional, New York.
Frese, R, 2003, What is success, what is failure, and how can you improve your odds for success? Viewed from http://www.umsl.edu/~sauterv/analysis/6840_f03_papers/frese/
Greer M, 2006, 14 Key Principles for PM Success, viewed from http://www.knowledgetrain.co.uk/project-management-training-course-article008.php
Haughey, D, 2011, Project Planning a Step by Step Guide, Project Smart, viewed from http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/project-planning-step-by-step.html
Vallabhaneni, D, 2009, What’s Your MBA IQ?: A Manager’s Career Development Too, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey.
Wideman M, R, n.d., Fundamental Principles of Project Management, viewed from http://www.pmforum.org/library/papers/1999/pmprin.pdf