Evaluating Project Management Practices


Executive Summary

This report is centred on Papke-Shields et al. (2010, p. 659) statement, “Respondents reported that PM practices associated with time, scope, and cost were widely used; practices associated with integration, HR, and procurement were somewhat less; and finally, practices related to communication, quality, and risk tend to be used less frequently.” The discussion reveals that in contemporary organisations, there is an increase in the techniques and tools which are based on the three aspects of scope, time, and cost. This is reflected in the application of some of the leading project management approaches, including work breakdown structure, Gantt chart, and project management software. The case study of Nebras Power show that the company has implemented effective project management techniques, including following the five main stages of initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation, and closing. The report further shows the importance of agile project management techniques, which allows for the adjustment and change according to the environmental factors and impacts.



Table of Contents

Executive Summary. 2

1.0 Introduction. 5

1.1 Purpose of the Report 5

2.0 Project Management Tools and Techniques in Contemporary Organisational Context 5

3.0 Critique of the Approach Used for Programme and Project Management 9

4.0 Core Stages of Project and Agile Project Approaches 12

5.0 Conclusions. 13

References. 14





1.0 Introduction

Project management has become critical in contemporary organisations. According to Aubry et al. (2012), effective project management is the foundation of competitive advantage and the growth and development of a company. However, the project managers, alongside other professionals involved, should demonstrate competence in project management (PM). This is reflected in applying wide knowledge and skills to ensure that the project is executed according to the objectives. Further, these individuals must prepare for potential challenges when managing the projects and pursuing the operations. Some of the consideration areas in project management are cost, human resources, time, finances, and meeting the firm’s objectives. For instance, at Qatar Power Company, several projects are being undertaken, including the transition to clean energy sources, such as the sun. The effectiveness of these projects is centred on competence in the management, which ensures that the organisational objectives are integrated into the global mission and vision of sustainability.

1.1 Purpose of the Report

The discussion below is centred on Papke-Shields et al. (2010, p. 659) statement that states, “Respondents reported that PM practices associated with time, scope, and cost were widely used; practices associated with integration, HR, and procurement were somewhat less; and finally, practices related to communication, quality, and risk tend to be used less frequently.” The paper is centred on what the statement communicates about project management in contemporary companies, a critique of the approach applied for programme and project management at a company, and the key stages of the project from planning, delivery, to closure.

2.0 Project Management Tools and Techniques in Contemporary Organisational Context

Project management has significantly transformed, despite being a young academic discipline. Turner et al. (2013) provide an overview of the project management school of thought and its changes over the decades. This is demonstrated in figure 1 below. A key aspect from the transition and the school of thought is that the PM field has evolved to richness and diversity, involving various concepts and areas. The increasing belief is that in PM, the success of the managers is centred on how they can apply their knowledge and skills in the diverse areas to meet the client’s preferences and ensure the quality of the product and service delivery. Their knowledge is aimed at optimisation of the project resources to achieve the set objective. Across the nine schools, which inform the perspective in PM, issues such as contingency and marketing are the latest. This supports the Papke-Shields et al. (2010) statement that shows a high level of concern for scope, time, and costs and less frequent consideration of quality, communication, and risk management. This statement demonstrates that transformation and growth in the school of thought. In the nine schools of thought, project management mainly aims to accomplish the intended objectives within the client’s stipulated time and through applying the costs.

Figure 1: Nine Schools of Project Management (Turner et al., 2013, p. 8).

The PM tools and techniques in contemporary organisations are mainly in project planning, the foundation of success. According to Naeem et al. (2018), during the planning process, success is ensured by considering costs, schedule, and scope. This informs the project management approaches. For the project managers, competence in planning and implementation should be anchored on ensuring that the project is accomplished within the set time, has used the required costs, and is within the scope. Tereso et al. (2019) provide a list of 70 tools that are used in project management and arrange them according to the level of application, as demonstrated in figure 2.

Figure 2: Project Management Tools Arranged in Decreasing Order of Level of Usage (Tereso et al., 2019, p. 9).

From figure 2 presented above, five tools have been identified as critical in contemporary organisations. These tools are bolded and include project management software for task scheduling, Gantt chart, project management software for monitoring schedule, project management software for resource scheduling, and cost-benefit analysis. The five tools assert that in contemporary organisations, PM practices are associated with time, scope, and costs. Taking the example of the project management software for task, monitoring, and resource scheduling, the practices focus on the scope. According to Khan (2006), managing the scope is the most critical function of the manager. The scope, in this regard, entails the determination and documentation of the goals, tasks, deliverables, deadlines, and costs of the project. These aspects all settle to the three categories of time, cost, and resources.

Effective project management in contemporary public and private organisations is concerned with scheduling activities and cost management. However, the quality should not be compromised, and contingency planning is imperative, which are part of the scope. A case study by Gomes and Romao (2016) on the impacts of applying the project management techniques and technologies reveals that the professionals should demonstrate an understanding of controlling the existing resources. Also, the companies need to adhere to the deadlines, which provide them with the time to accomplish other activities. The impacts of the tools and techniques are reflected in the project success criteria (PSC) and critical success factors (CSF), as shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Project Success Criteria and Critical Success Factors (Romao, 2016, p. 492).

Project Success Criteria (PSC) Critical Success Factors
1-Time. 1-Scope Control. 2-Top Management Support.
2-Cost. 3-Team Engagement. 4-Resource Availability.
3-Technical Requirements. 5-Risk Management. 6-Business Opportunity.
4-Customer Satisfaction. 7-Market Impact  
5-Objectives Achievement. 8-Financial Resources  


From table 1 above, it is evident that time and costs lead in the project management success criteria. The scope is covered in the achievement of objectives and the critical success factors, where the leading aspect is scope control. According to Papke-Shields et al. (2010), quality and risk issues are used the least frequently, which aligns with the PSC and CSF, as shown in table 1 above.

Several project management case studies in Qatar show the leading consideration in PM practices as costs, time, and scope and less frequently in quality, communication, and risks. According to Varghese and Menacere (2012), which aimed at examining the main areas in the strategic issues for the Qatar construction companies, the financial resources were identified as the primary consideration areas. Using the 6S strategic management framework and data collection of 115 companies that hold 99% of the market share, it was revealed that financial resources are the main concerns for the project managers and that organisations strive to have a cash flow monitoring system and project costs. Failure in the construction companies was attributed to the lack of effective strategic management practices mainly concerned with the scope.

In the case of construction projects in the Gaza strip, two leading factors that result in variations in the projects are the timely completion of the projects and the effective use of the resources (Albhaisi, 2016). Other factors are accomplishing the objectives, which inform the development and application of the project management tools and techniques. For instance, using a work breakdown structure (WBS) and a Gantt chart aims to ensure that the objectives are achieved within the stipulated time and cover the project scope. In figure 3 below, it entails a sample and template of the Gantt chart. The activities that entail the project’s scope are matched with the timelines for the different activities and stages. This demonstrates that in contemporary organisations, leading aspects in project management tools and techniques are time, costs, and scope.

Figure 3: Gantt Chart Template.

3.0 Critique of the Approach Used for Programme and Project Management

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