SIM335 Managing Projects: Project Management Essay

Core Principles of a Project and their Importance

The main characteristics of a project include the budget, schedule, objectives, and quality. Suffice it to say that they are all these are very crucial aspects of a project. The schedule determines the timeframe as well as how long it will take to project completion, while the budget outlines the expected resource allocation. The budget and the schedule are very crucial in project management because they can affect the continuation of a project. A failure to adhere to the specified budget or schedule will can result in project cancellation. The objectives of the project are what outline targets that are included or excluded in the project. The quality of the project is determined by the specifications laid out in the objectives. At the end of the project, the success or failure can be judged based on whether the objectives were achieved or not.
Scope of the Project in the Case Study

The scope of a project is the main objectives that the project aims to achieve along with the goals that need to be achieved. In the ABEK case study, the scope of the project includes:

  1. To move some core operations of ABEK limited to the new building within two months.
  2. To provide members of staff who are sharing offices, new premises in the new building.
  3. Expand the current production capacity of the old manufacturing site.
  4. Spend only an estimated budget of £1m on the project


Full Project Gantt chart

Net Present Value (NPV) as a Cost Appraisal Method
NPV is a financial appraisal technique that puts into account all the cash flows that will take place during the course of the project, as well as when they will occur. In this case future cash flows will be adjusted to reflect the present value. The main advantage of NPV is that it accounts for the time value of money. Furthermore, it also accounts for all the cash flows that will be accrued throughout the entire life of the project. Such a method presents a very accurate figure especially if the project will last a number of years.
Risk Assessment and Management in the Project
The project is faced by a number of risks that can affect the achievement of the project objectives. Some of the major risks include a loss of revenue by the company during the shifting process, budget constraints, among other notable risks. The team will have to make a qualitative risk assessment to evaluate the probability of occurrence of any of the risk factors. These have to be factors that can impact the schedule, scope, quality, and cost of the project. A risk response plan will be used to manage the risk and provide a means of responding in case of occurrence e.g. risk transfer, mitigation, acceptance, avoidance etc.
Quality Methods to ensure that the Project is completed
It is important to note that providing the best quality to any client should be of utmost importance. In this regard, I will use both monitoring and control to ensure that the quality of the project is maintained. I will monitor and keep track of all the materials used during construction as well as ensuring that the proper methods are used. All the subordinate staff and members of my team will be vetted by me for quality assurance purposes. Further, I will ensure that I control the supply of the material so that I can pick the suppliers with the best quality products. Such level of control ensures that I have control over every important detail of the pr


1       Introduction. 6
2       Prerequisite Project Management Skills. 7
3       Developing Project Team.. 8
4       Project Management Process. 9
4.1        Initiation Phase. 9
4.2        Development 10
4.3        Project Management Plan. 10
4.3.1         Cost Management Plan. 10
4.3.2         Scope Management Plan. 12
4.3.3         Risk Management Plan. 13
4.3.4         Risk Planning Process. 13
5       Implementation. 14
6       Monitoring and Controlling. 15
7       Conclusion. 15

1          Introduction

ABEK Ltd is a developing company that has been operational since 2007. They specialize in the supply of motor parts to a number of companies in the automotive industry. Most of the companies that make use of their service are national, regional, and some international companies.
However, the company operates from a single manufacturing site that also serves as office accommodation measuring 25, 000 square meters. The company has about 250 staff managed by a GM. Thus, the company seeks to expand and open up a recently acquired building that sits alongside the present manufacturing site.
The main aim of the project is to ensure that the new facility meets all operational requirements, while also ensuring that the company does not experience any supply delays to customers. As the project manager I set out to prepare a proper project plan. The project plan, as shown by this paper, is a very important element in a project. This project plan outlines the required Project Manager skills along with the project management process (Winter et al., 2006).

2          Prerequisite Project Management Skills

The project manager is the person tasked with giving the project a direction, and they are always expected to certain project objectives that include the budget, schedule, and the scope. The project manager plays a very important role in the project and thus, they have satisfied certain criterion that will give them the ability to make the project a success.
Possession of the following project management competencies will ensure that I complete the project effectively (Baker, Murphy and Fisher, 2008):

  1. Project management Skills: these are the skills that will give me the ability to prepare budget plans and estimate costs, make report analyses, follow up on the project’s progress, and conduct audits.
  2. Integration skills: A project manager has to have the ability to understand technical drawings of a building as well as the functional drawing so that they can be able to co-ordinate with the other workers on the project (Cheng, Dainty and Moore, 2007).
  3. People skills: the ability to communicate effectively is a very crucial project managerial skill. They have to motivate and manage others to complete the project. Authority as well persuasion skills will make it easier for them to be leaders (Brill, Bishop and Walker, 2006).
  4. Knowledge of the organization: A project manager will have to negotiate and co-ordinate with many people from within the organization. Such knowledge will make it easier to solve problems as well as unforeseen challenges (Cheng, Dainty and Moore, 2007).
  5. Technical skills: the integration of the project requires that the PM has some technical knowledge of the project. Technical skills increase the chance of success of a project.


3          Developing Project Team

The team for the ABEK project has to be made up of able team players with leadership skills and the ability to be motivated to perform duties effectively without supervision because of the magnitude of the project. The success of the project is hinged on my ability as the project manager to come up with a strong team. I had the preference of setting up a project team because the team synergy is bound to generate more output than if the individuals worked alone. Furthermore, most people work better when working with a team (Heagney, 2012).
I will ensure that the team possesses the following characteristics that will ensure the team has a high level of efficacy:

  1. Every team member is encouraged to take part and they each have a personal involvement in the activities.
  2. Information, skill, and ideas are discussed and shared by the team. The team’s ability is greater than the sum of each individual member’s ability.
  3. Everyone is supported by the team to develop a sense of belonging.
  4. The virtues of respect, trust, and goodwill become inbuilt among all the individuals. In this regard, communication has to be encouraged and all problems will be simply overcome.
  5. Discussions about new ideas should be the norm. This dictates that persuasive skills be implemented and practiced (Meredith and Mantel Jr, 2011).

The most important team member is the Project Manager, and I have to possess certain skills to be able to run the team.

4          Project Management Process

The project life cycle varies according to the project and it can span anywhere from a week to several years. This is highly dependent on the magnitude, and complexity of the project. In this case, the four phases include the Initiation, development, implementation, and commissioning phase.

4.1         Initiation Phase

Initially a committee from ABEK will set out to discuss the project and whether it benefits the company. Also, it is in this stage that I will set out to determine the scope of the project (Wysocki, 2004).
According to Brill, Bishop and Walker (2006) as a project manager I will carry out the following duties:

  1. Prepare a project charter that outlines the objectives, scope, and participants in the project. The project charter clearly outlines the expectations and requirements of the project
  2. Hold the first project meeting. This will give the members of the team a chance to meet and familiarize themselves, as well as to get accustomed to some details of the project.
  3. Identify the ABEK company stakeholders of the project through a stakeholder’s analysis.
  4. Prepare a business case to justify investment in the new building.

Proper execution in the initiation phase will ensure that the rest of the stages are easily accomplished.

4.2         Development

During this phase I develop and lay out the schedules and plans for the project. The planning process communicates the project information to the stakeholders as well as the members of the team (Burke, 2003). Project development is often the most important phase. The root cause of project failure is usually poor project planning. Planning also includes defining the practices that will make it possible to unify, coordinate, and combine all of the project’s activities.

4.3         Project Management Plan

The main goal of this phase is to lay out all the project processes that are crucial to the success of the project, and ultimately come up with a set of plans. These sets of plans are known as the Project Management Plan (PMP) which will manage the project until completion (Wysocki, 2004). The PMP is the most important document is this project, and the success of the project is hinged on my ability as the project manager to come up with a proper plan (Meredith and Mantel Jr, 2011).
Project Management Plan Constituents include:

4.3.1        Cost Management Plan

In this section, the processes for controlling and managing costs will be described.    Resource Planning

Resource estimates for project will be updated when there is a shortcoming in any of the following: software, hardware, human labor, equipment, and materials if they are believed to cause a delay in the schedule (Kerzner, 2013).    Cost Estimating

Cost estimates for the project were arrived at using the bottom-up method where the activities at the bottom of the WBS were first estimated and then worked up through the WBS. This included all project costs including human resource, facilities, materials, building equipment, services, as well as special categories, such as an inflation allowance (Heagney, 2012).    Cost Budgeting

The cost baseline along with the approved budget can only be adjusted through a laid out and formal control procedure. The budget presents the authorized funds to be used in the project. The budget will put into account all the personnel costs, indirect and direct costs, as well as the cumulative costs to develop a plan using the Top-Down budgeting approach (Dionne, 2013).    Cost Control

Cost ensures that the project remains on budget without compromising on quality and making any changes to the scope of the project. According to Cicmil et al., (2006) cost control will be accomplished through

  • Monitoring the progress of the jobs against the spent funds
  • Monitoring cost performance to locate variances from the approved baseline
  • Ensuring disbursement does not surpass authorized funding
  • Managing variations when their occur
  • Ensuring that request for changes are acted upon in a timely way
  • Influencing the factors that bring about changes to the cost baseline
  • Informing all relevant stakeholders of the sanctioned changes

4.3.2        Scope Management Plan

This defines how the project necessities will be defined and how the scope will be verified and controlled (Meredith and Mantel Jr, 2011).    Scope Verification

All requirements will be received by the store keeper from ABEK and added to the inventory list. Quality assurance will take place before any of the deliverables are received. This will be through measurements, inspection, and testing (Cicmil et al., 2006).    Scope Control

The project status will be monitored by the team through weekly updates shared at the group meetings. Changes to the scope baseline have to be approached following the guidelines stated in the change management plan below.    Schedule Management Plan

This plan lays down the procedures to be followed when updating, managing, and controlling the baseline schedule (Wysocki, 2004).

  1. The baseline schedule.
  2. The schedule will be managed by the project manager along with his assistant.
  3. The schedule can only be updated when there is a major delay caused by any of the suppliers, and this has to be taken for approval by the ABEK committee.
  4. The schedule along with progress updates will be communicated to the ABEK committee on a weekly basis by the project manager through weekly updates and internal memos.
  5. Key project milestones to include in the schedule include: completion of the planning, requirement analysis, design, development, and test phase.

4.3.3        Risk Management Plan

This plan describes the process and responsibilities during risk analysis, identification, response planning, and risk control activities.

4.3.4        Risk Planning Process     Risk Management Planning

The main goal of risk management is to prevent the occurrence of events that will prevent the achievement of any objective laid out in the scope of the project (Dionne, 2013).     Risk Identification Process

Risk is any unexpected event that, upon its occurrence, has an unwanted effect on any of the objectives of the project. If any event occurs, leading to an effecting on any of the project objectives then it will be classified as a risk. The risk will have to be examined by the team through brainstorming, SWOT analysis, assumption analysis and team meetings (Ahmed, Kayis and Amornsawadwatana, 2007).         Risk Analysis

Once the risk has been identified the team will conduct a risk analysis. This qualitative risk analysis will be used to evaluate and prioritize the probability of impact to the scope, quality, schedule and cost of the project (Giordano, Mathieu and Villeneuve, 2010).           Risk Response Planning

The team will have to engage in a number of activities in order to reduce the threat and improve chances for attainment of the project objectives. High-level risk response approaches will be employed as a means of responding to risks (Ahmed, Kayis and Amornsawadwatana, 2007). These strategies will include risk transfer, avoidance, acceptance, and mitigation depending on the result of the risk analysis.        Risk Monitor and control

Identified risks will be continuously monitored once they have been rectified in an attempt to prevent a reoccurrence. As part of risk control and monitor, the team members should continuously identify new risks throughout the project.

5          Implementation

It is at this stage that the project takes shape. In this case, that is where the new building is going to be completed and ready to be occupied. The new building will be properly divided into the subsequent offices that it will house. The occupants of the new offices will have to move in such a manner that none of the functions of the ABEK will be disrupted. Further, this is the phase at which the outsiders will notice the project progress (Lock, 2004).
It is at the end of this phase that I will be able to evaluate whether the project conforms to the requirements that were laid out at the beginning of the project. The stakeholders will get a chance to examine the new building and confirm whether it is what they desired in the first place. The implementation phase is considered complete once all the project requirements and objectives have been met (Rose, 2009).
It is, however, important to note that it is rarely possible to achieve all project objectives and that they are precisely met as prescribed. Various unexpected even and in some cases advancing insight from the stakeholders might result in a deviation from the original design.

6          Monitoring and Controlling

The process of controlling involves a process of comparing the actual project performance to the initial plan to understand the progress of the project. This is a continuous process that takes place even after project completion. Monitoring the project will involve keeping an eye on the completion of the project to ensure that nothing deviates from the plan (Burke, 2003). These are the main activities that I will be involved in during the execution of the project. To achieve this, I will have to set up a formal process that will be used to regulate any changes in the project. I should also be able to revise some of the project plans to ensure their accuracy, although this will require authorization from the stakeholders first. All problems will be forwarded to the relevant management to ensure that they are resolved quickly. Additionally, I will have to ensure that the cost expenditure, scope, and progress are calculated using the methods laid out in the plan (Baker, Murphy and Fisher, 2008).

7          Conclusion

A project manager can ensure the success of a project, albeit this is highly dependent on the use of a proper plan and control system. The expansion plan by ABEK will be successful if I follow this properly laid out project plan. This project plans covers the most important aspects of proper project management including; characteristics of a project manager, project scope, risk assessment, management of costs, and developing project teams. The most important part of the project plan is the Project Management Process. Suffice it to say that without it the project is bound to be a failure. Likewise, without a proper PMP, it will be difficult to achieve the objectives of the project while still remaining on budget and on time.

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