Stultiens Project & Management execute Project Management assignments and is providing consulting services in Project Management, such as;
• Project Management / Managers
– construction and capex investments projects
– commerce and change management projects
– strategic business and (political) administrative projects
– research and innovative projects.
• Project Management Teams
– manager, control, quality – HES, purchase – contracts – commissioning , site supervisor, support
• Program Management / Managers
– risk minimization and cost optimization for range of activities / projects
• Process Management / Managers
– implementation, improvement
• Project Management Audits
– second opinion, internal development, risk of or compliance-based auditing, project in progress, major deviations or at closing a project
• Project Plans
– organising project initiatives and drafting project plans
• Post-Implementation Reviews
– lessons learned
• Project disputes & claims
– project recovery, a business solution and minimizecosts.
Project management concept and definition
Project management is the process as well as activity of preparing, arranging, motivating, the managing resources, procedures and methods to attain specific goals in scientific request or daily challenges. A project is a short-lived venture made to create an one-of-a-kind product, service or result with a defined beginning and ending (often constrained by financing or deliverables and usually time-constrained) carried out to meet specific goals as well as objectives, commonly to create beneficial value. The short-lived nature of projects stands in contrast with the normal routine operations (business as usual), which are repeating, (semi)-permanent practical tasks to generate service or products. In execution, the administration of these 2 systems is very different. Project management requires consequently distinctive managerial skills as well as project management approach.
The main provocation of project management is to accomplish all of the project proposed goals and targets while taking into account the preconceived constraints of the commissioned scope and resources and the imposed tasks regarding; time, quality and given financial budget. Secondly, in project management there is the everlasting challenge to optimize the allocation of resources and integrate them to comply with pre-defined objectives.
A project is a unique combination of activities involving:
• a concrete and defined result to be delivered,
• creation of this result has a some degree of uncertainty and risk,
• realization takes place an one-time, non-routine and non-improvisation process,
• the task has a high degree of complexity,
• the result must be realized on a predefined time,
• the available resources (time, money, people) are scarce and are specifically assigned to the project,
• the organization is mostly characterized as a multidisciplinary collaboration,
• the daily operational management is done by a project manager,
• project manager is responsible for the realization of the agreed outcome,
• a principal client is responsible for the end result.
As project management is often mentioned and is direct related to program management and process management, we will explain these methods briefly.
• Project Management
A phased and structured performance of set related activities with the goal to achieve a specific result, wherefore a multidisciplinary cooperation is needed.
• Program Management
For a defined time the performance management of a whole range of divers activities and projects which have a conjunction, to lead to a pre-defined goal with the associated sub-objectives; mainly overall risk minimization and cost optimization.
• Process Management
Performing a set of interrelated or interacting activities, involving actors with different interests are brought together with the goal of achieving an (often abstract) team-wise goal.
Project phasing and controlling
Project management is a structured phased control system of activities and processes
By dividing a project in time dissected parts with each phase result which the defined outcome a project will be more accurate and detailed recorded. At the end of each phase the client can decide to continuation and is able to adjust the criteria. Project work is phasing and decision milestones tested to interim and intended end result(s) and expectations.
Projects imposed to start with requirements, especially the aspects of time, money and quality. In addition, some other as organisation, information and stakeholder management should not be forgotten. Alongside existing capacity and expertise in controlling, risk management and mitigating measures are of significant importance.
Each project must have a schedule with milestones and the progress must be monitored.
Estimates must be reliable, budget unambiguous and cost control and forecasting is necessary.
Demands and requirements must be known in advance, stage and final results should be tested against them.
Methods, roles, tasks, responsibilities and authority including consultation structure should be sufficient and operational.
Include document management, change and deviations registration and accessibility.
• Stakeholder management
Explore and involving parties, besides the internal organization all the other (major) stakeholders; society, market, suppliers, for the prevention of political, environment, legal issues.
Working in a project management organisation
Working in a project can be complex, especially if the (regular) line organization provides co-workers temporary and / or part-time on a project and those will encounter different supervisors in different roles of operational, functional, administration management. This In addition to a hierarchical boss who is formally responsible for recruitment, development, promotion and dismissal of the employees.
Sometimes these roles are combined together but this will mainly depend on company policy and the chosen organisation of the project in relation to the existing organization.
Operational supervisor – In principle, the project manager is the operational manager and is responsible for the content of the project and the creation of the project result.
Functional supervisor – the professional boss is responsible for the skilled quality of processes and resources. For the various disciplines there will be several functional supervisors active.
Administrative Supervisor – For completeness, we also mention the administration supervisor – when part of the line organization this manager will be responsible for the supply of manpower and other resources: the balance between their own people and hiring (flexibility, workload) and delivering capacity with the right competencies. Normally in a line organization, these task are done by the functional supervisor but in also a project manager can be the administrative supervisor for if the project team exists of full-time employees.
There are three basic structures for a project organisation
• Project matrix
Operational and functional responsibility is divided, the project manager is the operational supervisor and should align with the functional (and mostly hierarchical) manager of its employees. By appointing a steering committee it is possible to improve information transfer, can resources be effectively utilized and internal conflicts could be prevented. A permanent drawback is always conflicting (departmental) interests and uniting and prioritization of tasks (especially if employees must serve multiple projects).
• Independent project structure
Here the project manager (director) both will be the functional and hierarchical manager. This structure generally will be selected for larger projects, in consortia and often has a stand-alone legal identity. Advantage is a clear management and governance, simple decision-making processes and team loyalty. In contrast, some disadvantages as loss of expertise, acceptance of the parent organizations, job insecurity (at termination of the project)
• Project coordination
The project is carried out basically in the existing line organization and project manager is actually the coordinator with the managing director as the client. Cons of this structure are the absence of a project final responsibility, the risk of sub-optimization by departments and a lack of horizontal communication and project alignment.
Project management process
Project management procedures can be split up in 5 stages;
• Planning or design
• Production or execution
• Monitoring and controlling
Note that some project environments with a significant exploratory element, will have stages added of decision points (go/no go decisions) at which the project continuation is evaluated and also determined.
Determines the nature and scope of the project, such as
• analysing the business needs/requirements in measurable goals
• establish underlying objectives, the principles and preconditions
• capture client expectations (appointment of sponsor, steering committee)
• current operations review (swot analysis)
• financial analysis of the costs and benefits including a budget
• stakeholder analysis, manpower for the project, and users outlook
• project charter including costs, schedules, critical milestones / tasks and deliverables.
During project progress the requirements, goals, principles and preconditions should be formulated firmly and also adjusted to new insights and targets.
Planning and design
After the initiation phase, the project is intended to an suitable level of specification with the primary objective to plan time, cost and also resources properly to estimate the work needed to be done and to efficiently manage risks throughout the project execution. Project plans typically contains;
• define the level of detail, additional specifications and update of project plan
• formation of planning team
• identify deliverables and creating the work breakdown structure (WBS)
• identify the sequence of activities (WBS), dependencies and critical factors
• define and estimate for activities costs, time, and quality
• developing the schedule
• developing the budget
• risk analyses
• define required skilled, other resources and project team members
• statement of organisation and consultation structure, principal customer (sponsor), responsibilities and competence, reporting, project management method
• define management of scope & baseline, requirements, schedule, finance, quality, resources, health-environment, risk, procurement & contracts, communications, stakeholders, changes and hand-over
• gaining formal approval of project plan
For additional procedures, such as communications, scope administration, roles and responsibilities, contracting and risk management, typically a kick-off meeting will be organised to evaluate and to inform all involved team members.
Executing contains the procedures utilized to complete the work specified in the project plan to achieve the project goal.
• Acquire and establish, develop and manage of project team
This is project human resources management with crucial outcomes are:
– Acquire project team members; the assembly of an execution phase project team include appointing staff as well as creating resources schedules by negotiations and acquisitions
– Develop project team; consist of carrying out performance assessments and related tasks, such as training and as well team-building for team development.
– Manage project team; includes updates of project management plan and schedules, as well as many others project documents. Task performance evaluation and dispute resolution are part of this procedure.
• Direct and Manage Project Work
The Direct and Manage Project; outputs of this process are deliverables, work performance data, and change requests. It is about leading the project team, ordering to execute tasks and assignments, coordinating and follow up, progress and conduct status meetings etc. Some activities in this process also include managing risks, performing activities to accomplish project objectives, managing suppliers and contractors
• Perform quality assurance
Project quality managements entails auditing of quality requirements and quality control measurements. Some activities are; quality standards and operational protocol, commissioning and tests, acceptance of deliverables and (partial) completion (customer handover), change requests and updates to the project management plan and project documents.
• Procurement & contract management
Project procurement management; key activities in this project include selecting suppliers and contractors, awarding a contracts and agreement. Key are issues as make-or-buy decision, source selection criteria, tendering processes, contract variations.
• Manage stakeholder management
Project stakeholder management has become a major activity in project management execution and it involves managing stakeholder desires, stakeholder demands, as well as attending to problems in the project life-cycle. It also includes the administration of a problem log and change demands of stakeholders.
Monitoring and controlling
Project control should be tuned to keep projects on-track, on-time and within budget.
Project control begins in early stage of initiating a project and ends when project is absolutely closed down (after the lessons learned – post-implementation review), having a comprehensive participation of each step in the process. Each project ought to have a proper level of control needed; a balance between cost and time consuming and sufficient insight and hedging.
In this, project controlling should an independent function in project management and it implements verification and controlling function during the processing of a project in order to reinforce the defined performance and formal goals. Monitoring and also controlling contains those processes done to observe project implementation so that prospective problems can be identified in a prompt manner and needed corrective activity can be taken to control the implementation of the project. The essential advantage is that project performance is obeserved and determined frequently to identify differences from the project management plan.
The tasks of project controlling are also:
• report of project status and key performance indicators
• monitoring ongoing project activities and project variables (against plan and baseline)
• updating the project performance baseline
• co-initiating of corrective actions to address issues and risks properly
• auditing of contracts, liabilities and expenses paid
• administration of change control, permission for execution
• financial accounting such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and project cash management
• supply and create correct all needed and requested project information
• remedy disparities in project parameters
• generation and analysis project regulations
• establish a methods to accomplish an appropriate project structure, project workflow organization, project control and governance
Project control and administration should give most of their attention on risk management, problem solving, forecasting and change management and how effective, quickly and accurate is this done by the project management team.
Change records – with the clients approval on financial matters and other effects – is a highly important task undertaken in contracts management. This obviously applies also to the contract provision to suppliers / contractors and processing of documentation data as “As Build”.
When changes or modifications are presented to the project, the viability, preliminary objectives and targets of the project has to be re-assessed. When the changes accumulate, the forecasted result may not justify the original budget and schedules of the project. Effective project control determines these elements, processes them in a revised time and budget frames and actively monitors the progress.
In project management, control systems are required for monitor risk, costs, quality, interaction, time, modifications, procurement, and also personnel. In addition, auditors must take into consideration exactly how crucial their tasks are to the economic statements, exactly how reliant the stakeholders are on controls, as well as the amount of project controls is existing and needed.
For an extra security and internal development, projects may be audited or reviewed by external consultants while the project is in progress, major deviations occur or when a project is closed. Official audits are usually risk of or compliance-based and management will certainly direct the objectives of such an audit. An evaluation might include an assessment of authorized project administration procedures with exactly how the project is really being handled.
The closing consists of the official acceptance of the project by client and closing all execution and administrative tasks including the archiving of the data and files as well as documenting of lessons learned.