Where do you see the main differences between a standard and an international project? Please provide some personal and professional examples to illustrate your perspective.
WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT? 1.3Section 1.2 defined projects as bringing beneficial change to
an organization. In other words, the results of projects should bring value to an organization, rather
than destroying value. Consequently, that organization needs to manage the resources used for
projects carefully. Project management deals with what it takes to manage projects to create value
for organizations. The Association of Project Management (APM) (2006a: 3) defines project
management as ‘the process by which projects are defined, planned, monitored, controlled and
delivered such that the agreed benefits are realised’. This definition indicates that project
management takes a staged approach to reduce complexity and ensure efficiency. Several phases
connect the beginning of a project with its end. This is also known as a project life cycle or project
management life cycle. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) (2004: 20), ‘There is no
single best way to define an ideal project life cycle’. Depending on the organization and the nature of
the business it is operating in, there may be sub-phases such as the development of prototypes, the
approval of such prototypes and the ramp up for mass production in a manufacturing project. Frame
(2002) postulates that the project life cycle should by default include after sales service in order to
increase customer satisfaction with the outcomes of projects and to smooth the interface between
projects and operations management. Typically, the project life cycle consists of four main phases
as depicted in Figure 1.2. Let me briefly explain the main tasks of the four phases. PHASE 1
INITIATING The initiating phase is also often called the front-end or kick-off phase. The need or the
opportunity is confirmed. The project concept is developed after the overall feasibility of the project
has been carefully considered and determined. In this phase, the business case for the project is
developed. I will discuss the details of this phase in Chapter 3. PHASE 2 PLANNING The essence of
project planning is to decide what needs to be done in order to deliver the project objectives within
the given organizational constraints. As a result of this phase, the so-called project management
plan or project master plan is delivered, along with the identification of resources required for the
implementation of the project. You can find more details of this phase in Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6.
FIGURE 1.2 The project management life cycle PHASE 3 EXECUTING/CONTROLLING During the
execution or implementation phase, the project plan is implemented, monitored and controlled. In
the case of a product, the product design is finalized in this phase and used to build the deliverables
of the project. Chapter 7 will provide you with further explanations. PHASE 4 COMPLETION The
completion, termination or closeout phase consists of the handover of the product or service to the
internal or external customer. Moreover, a final review of the whole project is done in order to learn
from past mistakes and successes. The project team will be redeployed. Refer to Chapter 11 for
more details. Projects are part of an organization which is endorsed with limited resources only. We
speak about organizational constraints. It is the purpose of project management to deliver projects
on time, within budget and to scope, with an agreed quality level. This is also called the ‘Magic
Triangle’. The constraints emerge because on one hand, only limited resources in terms of time,
financial and human resources are available. On the other hand, a pre-defined scope has to be
delivered with an acceptable quality level. Project management should ensure that a project is
carried out effectively (that the result of the project ‘works’) and efficiently (that the work is done
with minimum effort and cost).
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