University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Strategic Knowledge Management Technology
The magnitude of the work or activity that qualifies to be a project differs in various states. however, it is very clear that however small the task may be, the need for a project management tool or technique is essential. this will help in the planning stages to achieve successful outcomes. Therefore, project management tool s is required in the project for planning and managing purposes though it is not restricted to business activities.
Some of these projects may involve weddings plans and house relocation. Positive results are expected whenever an efficient project management tool is used to avert problem risks and failures. Project management may involve changing or introducing things hence involve in human resources, financial matters, security and various stakeholders among others.
In a proper project management, there are about six major steps to be followed such as term of reference, planning, communication, monitoring and project completion among others. During this process, project management tools are fundamental in ensuring the success of the project.
This study focus on the 2013 – 2014 relocation project en route projects, which is a consultancy project. There are several tools to be chosen and in this project are communication log a Gantt chart (called project time line) and risk management log (Young, 2003). Each of these tools has its procedures and its benefit as far as this project is concerned.
The choice to use Gantt chart tool and its benefits
The choice to use the Gantt chart in this assignment is almost obvious in the project management field. The tool is named after the founder Henry Gantt, who invented it a more than a century ago (1910). After the concept was outlined, it was remarkably implemented initially during World War 1. The major use of the Gantt chart at that time was by American general Crozier to manage complex weapon production and logistics operations. Since then, many people have used the tool, especially the work breakdown structure (WBS) that has been relevant until today.
To start with, the reason to choose the Gantt charts in my project was that it is an easy-to-use graphical tool among operations and project managers when determining condition of projects. this project includes various activities during the process that require close monitoring over the period to ensure these activities are carried out as planned. As a consultant and the leading project manager, it becomes easy to pay close attention to the progress of the operations to ensure that the functions involved are completed by their scheduled date.
Secondly, the choice to use the Gantt chart is intertwined to the efficiency and reliability it has on project management. That is why Gantt and pert charts remain the two major and commonly used graphical tools among managers in making diagrams on the activities engaged in the project. In fact, the existence of the tool since 1910 has proved major tool although in the recent years it has witnessed some drawbacks, as projects are not fixed whereas daily updating may be tiresome. Nevertheless, people have insisted on using the tool as people have faith on it.
As a fan in diagrams and charts, i decided to use the Gantt charts for my project because it creates complexity. Pictures bring a bigger idea of a situation like this once you master the art of interpreting them. More so, picture or charts yielded by this tool are easy to understand once studied. In fact, Gantt charts helps in organizing thoughts. This is enhanced through the dividing and conquering concept.
On the other hand, the decision to use the Gantt charts was based on its ability to show visibility of the whole project. Once the chart is creating, it was possible to place the chart in either a bigger version of actual version to see the progress. This helped in realizing and reminding me of the objectives as well as when various activities are supposed to take place in the process (Johnson, 2003). This does not require high intellectual ability when interpreting how the project is going on.
Largely, the Gantt charts helped in demonstrating to my clients that i know what is doing in my consultation duty. This is reflected after producing nicely presented Gantt chart showing proper organization of high-level tasks as well as resources allocated to these tasks. It generally helped in sending the bigger picture on whether the needs of the project are met or not as well as determining if there will be a success in the project.
Lastly, the Gantt charts helped in setting realistic periods. The Gantt chart had bars indicating when a particular task or set of tasks will be completed. As a result, it was possible in planning and arranging various functions in a proper perspective. This help in limiting the events during this projects that may end up using much time and resource yet they could not add any value to the project. By studying the charts, it became easier to focus real issues and saved much of my time (Wilson, 2003).
According to Peterson (1991), Gantt charts are fundamental in the planning theory. Planning theory traces its background even during the ancient times. Even in the bible, it depicts how various individual and groups were connecting with agricultural pursuits through planning some of their religious practices.
Similarly, governments and other economic groups are as well using the planning theory to determine the profitable times when there is need to allocate the scarce resources. More so, the entrepreneurs have used this to decide when to deliver good s and services. As a result, they have tried to avert risks that may undermine their activities through planning.
The choice to use risk management log and its benefit
On the second tool used for this project was the risk management log. it is worth noting that project risk management entails a process involved in identifying risks, analyzing risks, developing appropriate responses to risks, and monitoring risk triggers in which as a project manager i had to effectively utilize (Ward, 2003). As a result, it was possible to ensure that risk management is done and that risk triggers were monitored. The decision to use this tool alongside the Gantt chats was the capability to use the tool in identifying, managing, and ranking risks throughout the life of the project.
The use of the risk management logs was preferred because it is very brief and direct on point. As a result, it could be easier to explain to the client on the progress of the project as well as explaining on why some activities may delay as risks engulf the functions. On the other hand, it will be easier for the client to realize the probable reasons for projects delay and understanding the risks and threats that may face the project (Rosa, 2013).
The tool has a risk management worksheet helped in realizing the types of risks likely to be encountered during the project period. To start with, the general risks were categorized as well as the specific risk. The general risks are noted risks likely to recur throughout the life of the project without a specific date associated with it (Cerner, 2001).
On the other hand, the specific risks encompassed risks being associated with a particular date when they may occur during the project period (Bouchaud, & potters, 2000). The clarity on these risks was based on the assumptions or risks based on the probability and the impacts on my project. Depending on the level of probability between probability and impacts on project, various risks were categorized as high, low, or medium. The emphasis should be given to the highly categorized risks to ensure success of the project.
On the other hand, the risk management log was chosen because after categorizing the risks it was possible to formulate contingency plan of action on issues triggering the level of risks (smith, 1999). In this case, the tool played a crucial role in organizing various activities related to the en route project. The contingency plan of actions laid safety measures to avert the project failures led by adversities. .the tool demonstrated a clear picture of sequential commencement and closure of various activities involved in the project. The risk categories were determinant factor on the period used on various functions.
The use of the risk management tool helped in realizing the risks or threats likely deter the success of the project. It started with risk identification to determine risks likely to affect the project and documenting the characteristics of those risks (wells, 1996/1997). Both the internal and external aspects of the project were tracked in which the emphasis on internal risks was on directly controllable items by the project team whereas the external risks were events happening outside the direct influence of the project team.
The tool contribute a final document that is presentable and areas of much interest t=are bolded especially on the probability and impacts. There is a systematic arrangement of causal effects and the outcomes at various stages. This was beneficial in this project in making forecasts and projecting possible changes to avert high risks or threats. With the help of the triggers at the last column, to show ‘how do we know this may be starting to happen?’
Sometimes obvious, but often not. May be worth also noting my responsibility of keeping an eye on this to make alerts on the project. The presence of the ‘contingent actions’ president as to do if the risk does happen (Gottschalk, 2005). . It is useful to think about this at the beginning, as you may need to make preparations or alert people in advance. To repeat, this is all much more important for higher impact/probability risks.
The presence of various project management tools may sometimes be hard for project managers to chose (Howes, 2001). However, good choice of the appropriate tool will be a milestone in achieving a successful project. In this case, the use Gantt charts and the risk management logs were preferred for their ease and presentation to the client. They made it possible to explain to the client on various stages and expected threats during the project life. The link between the client and the project manager is fundamental to ensure the smooth completion of the project whereas the mutual understanding could help in developing trust and long-term relation to make the projects successful.
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