|Type of paper:
|Project management Human resources Business management
According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PBOK), a project is defined as "a temporary endeavor which has a beginning and an end, and it must be used to create a unique product, service or result," (Abohilal, 2017). Project management involves the planning, organizing, and control of a particular project from its beginning the end. This paper seeks to focus on human resource projects, giving the characteristics of a successful project plan, monitoring the project progress, and reviewing strategies to be used in risk management of projects.
What It Means to Direct and Manage Project Work Successfully
All projects are bound to six constraints; scope, time, cost, risk, quality, and sustainability. To successfully direct and manage project work, the project should operate within the six constraints. In terms of scope, all projects are initiated to fulfill the desired end goal, which may be a good, a service, or a result. A project that is successfully directed and managed should be able to adequately fulfill or surpass the purpose for which it was created.
Regarding cost, all projects are budgeted for, giving an estimate of the expenditure. Subsequent funding is provided by the project stakeholders, such as the management, owners, or lenders. Successful project work should be able to operate within the set costs without going over or under the set amounts. Operating within the budgeted amount means that the resources used are maximum utilized at an optimum level (Koecher, 2018).
By definition, a project is a temporary endeavor meaning that it is limited by time. During the planning and design phase of a project, a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is made. Another tool is usually the Gantt chart, which gives the activities in the project and their respective timelines. A successfully directed and the managed project should run effectively from the date it is set out to run to the stipulated closure date. A project can even be carried out and closed before the set closure date.
Great projects usually require the highest quality output at every stage. Total quality management should be practiced throughout the project life cycle that is project initiation and conception, project planning and design, project implementation, project monitoring, and control, and lastly, project closure (Abohilal, 2017). A successfully directed and the managed project should abide by the principles of total quality management, and the result, product or service, should be of excellent quality.
Projects are exposed to many risks. The inherent potential risks should be identified before the beginning of the project. Project risks include technical risks, change of requirements, financial risks, legal risks, as well as unforeseen circumstances. A successfully directed and managed project should have risk management strategies in place way before the beginning of the project. The risks that occur during the project should be successfully managed so as not to influence the result of the project. Having a risk mitigation plan is key to managing project risks.
The last aspect of successfully managing projects is ensuring project sustainability. Sustainability is usually in terms of environmental sustainability, economic, and ethical sustainability (Wang, 2013). The human resource projects should be sustainable in that the benefits should still be relevant in the long term foreseeable future. All projects are bound to end, but their benefits should go far and beyond time. Well managed project work should be sustainable.
Strategies to Manage and Sustain HR Project Progress
Budget management is a crucial strategy in the management and sustainability of Human Resource projects. Earned Value Management (EVM) provides essential methods in estimation of the final budget of projects (Abohilal, 2017). To calculate the final budget, a human resource project manager should consider the time value for money, the delay in employer payment as well as the employee's cash flow in different phases of unemployment. Resource planning is essential in budget management. The HR projects are only manageable and sustainable if the budget allocated to them is well managed. Projects will not run if there are no funds to advance them.
Total quality management is also an essential strategy in managing and ensuring the sustainability of HR projects. Quality management has a direct impact on project management. It should be a continuous process which aims at constant improvement of the project. Quality management is a very repetitive cycle involving measuring quality, updating the procedures, measuring and updating processes until the desired end quality is achieved (Wang, 2013). Quality is measured by the functionality, performance, reliability, consistency, and completeness of a project. A well-established quality plan and model should be implemented to achieve the intended quality goals.
Communication and facilitation strategy is highly efficient in the management and subsequent sustainability of a project. There should be adequate and complete information shared between the project managers and the work teams involved in project implementation. The lines of communication should be elaborate to avoid operating a project based on rumors. Effective channels of communication include meetings, memos, and other forms of written communication. Information should be timely, transparent, concise, and adequate consideration should be made to the feedback received after communicating.
Regular monitoring and control are also essential. A project should be monitored and controlled to align it with sustainable goals. A project should be continuously monitored against the desired goals. Any deviations, especially the negative deviations, should be assessed and then the Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA) should be taken (Koecher, 2018). The monitoring and control should be on the timelines, budgets, project goals, and the quality of deliverables.
Risk Management Strategies
The first risk management strategy is to understand and to control the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The WBS is a hierarchical framework which gives an outline of the project and breaks it down into smaller portions. The tasks can also be broken down and assigned to respective project teams and respective timelines. The breakdown makes it easy to identify the potential risks under each activity and to address them accordingly.
Time management is another key strategy. This will involve increasing overtime so that the project may be completed within the established schedule. Time management will avoid the risk of a project going beyond the cost or affecting the scope and quality (Wang, 2013). During the normal working hours, the project teams should be motivated and supervised to do as much as they can. When the progress is not fulfilling, there should be subsequent working overtime.
The third risk management strategy will be to research the challenging issues early enough. The challenging issues are the ones that eventually lead to occurrence of undesired risks. There should be a risk management committee devoted to this task. The committee should be provided with essential details on the project so that they may be able to assess issues early enough and come up with solutions to mitigate them.
The fourth risk management strategy will be to closely manage all project changes and subsequently document the changes (Koecher, 2018). Project changes may be caused by stakeholder decisions, regulatory change, and business strategy change, changes in technology and changes in the work teams. The changes should be properly managed by the project manager and all changes should be documented to be part of the lessons learned.
The Work Breakdown Structure is the most important strategy because it will cover all the other strategies. This is because the WBS will break down all activities in terms of their time management, risk management in early stages, change management and subsequent documentation.
Actions in Project Closure
Project closure is the final stage in the project life cycle. The first action a project manager will take on project closure is holding a retrospective meeting. This meeting will serve to collect feedback on the project and to assess the performance of the project (Wang, 2013). The outcomes of the project, as discussed in the meeting, should be recorded. The participants in the retrospective meeting should be the work teams involved in the project, the project manager, as well as the contractors and project stakeholders.
The second action, which is the most key, is the preparation of a project closure report. The report should contain the project name, the stated goals, the project date of initiation, the stated deadline versus the actual delivery date, the projected budget versus the actual budget, the team members and stakeholders involved in the project, the project milestones, the project's challenges, and recommendations for future projects to be undertaken. The project closure report is handy to the organization for the sake of taking future projects.
The third action a project manager will take in project closure will be celebrating the project. Organizations should not transition from one project to another without celebrating the success of a previous project. This may be a small party involving the project team and the stakeholders, where each will get to appreciate another for the excellent work done. Another way of celebration may be through an appreciative email to those involved. Such celebrations motivate the project teams to be more involved in the other coming projects.
Significance of Information to Project Teams
Projects are discrete in that they have a beginning and end. During the end, the respective project team disbands then moves to the next chapters. There is significant learning during the project. However, there is limited scope to capture the lessons learnt into a shareable form which can be used in future (Koecher, 2018). Many times, the learning fades so others cannot benefit from the gained insights. Project leaders should understand the great value of capturing the lessons learned. In the process of capturing the lessons learned, the team should be engaged to harness the knowledge and to point out the lessons learned all through the project.
Capturing lessons learned aids in providing insights during the project and to enhance performance even beyond the project. If a cost benefit analysis is done, the value of capturing lessons learnt will definitely outweigh the implementation costs, especially when done in collaboration and mutual trust within the project team. Learning should be captured at every stage in the project life cycle. This will aid in building capabilities for those involved and to form a school of knowledge that can be referred to in future. The lessons learned should be well documented, preferably in the project closure report.
To successfully direct and manage a project, the project needs to operate within the constraints of time, cost, scope, quality, risks, and sustainability. Several strategies aid in managing projects such as total quality management, budget management, and constant monitoring and control. Risk management is also essential, and the strategies under risk management include risk avoidance, risk reduction, risk sharing, and risk acceptance. All in all, information is key to the success of a project, so the project manager should effectively provide information to the project teams.
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Essay Sample on Progress, Results, and Finalizing the HR Project. (2023, Mar 01). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/progress-results-and-finalizing-the-hr-project
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