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Project Management

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Project Management

A project that is undertaken by a company consumes resources and has funding limits. The most important thing in project management is making sure that the goals set are achieved efficiently and cost effectively. Thus, management strives to go for methods that will ensure that the project they are doing becomes a success. There are some constraints that a project manager may face when implementing the project. The constraints are scope, time, and budget, and optimize the allocation of inputs to achieve a firm’s set objectives. To counteract the constraints involved a project manager may choose to employ certain methods. They include leveling resources, compressing or crashing projects and imposed durations, or “catch-up”. These methods are accompanied by certain risks that make them less attractive. The risks may result to the project being done encounter some losses (Larson & Clifford, 2010).

Leveling resources is a method employed to look at uneven use of resources in a pre-determined time span and look for ways of rectifying the situation. It tries to level out demand for resources by delaying activities that are not critical now. It does this by employing the use of slack to boost resource utilization. The disadvantage of this is loss of elasticity, which arises from reducing slack. Though resource leveling also guarantees that money and labor are accessible for all competing projects and tasks, it could affect your critical path and thus the project suffers the potential risk of delaying the project as a whole this is brought about by the fact that critical path activities are now affected (Taylor, 2008).

In compressing, a project scope is shortened by adding resources and incurring more costs that are direct. Since the process involves cutting down of some activities, it could lead to the elimination of one or more activities. Crashing, on the other hand, involves adding resources to the critical path to finish a project earlier than expected. With this rush comes the possibility of producing goods of poor quality or using more money than originally budgeted for in the project. The risks associated with cost overruns are brought about by management trying to manage a larger team than they had planned for originally. Quality, on the other hand, is compromised, as new members are not trained properly and they end up coming up with substandard products.

Imposed duration is a date set by top management on when a project will be completed. This is often not supported by the people in an organization from the bottom-up. The dangers of using this approach are that costs go beyond the proposed budget, and some tasks may not be completed in time.” Catch-up” refers to a case in which the project falls behind and management is forced to get additional resources to improve efficiency and “catch-up”. This works only if the schedule difference is resolvable. The risk of employing this method is employees are not motivated to the fullest and may end up burning out because of too much work.

All these methods are beneficial in helping out when a project has encountered a problem. However, because of their repercussions management has to rethink using them. They can however be applied if there is no other alternative. In such a scenario, management is advised to go for the method that will affect the organization least.

Reference:

Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2010). Project management: The managerial process. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Taylor, J. (2008). Project scheduling and cost control: Planning, monitoring and controlling the baseline. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla: J. Ross Pub.

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