Project management is one of the most effective means by which to manage and control just about any project. Construction management, Information Technology, Engineering are just a few of the many fields that are positively complimented and capable of utilizing project management to benefit processes from beginning to end as well as providing a platform for inclusion of all team members and an excellent level of communication to keep shareholders, corporate boards fully informed about a project. In addition, it provides the Project Manager with a means to “overview” the status of the project without having to micromanage team members, and allows them the freedom and flexibility to utilize their talents. Project also points out weaknesses in the project and team members as well. So, the following areas will be points of discussion: 1.General project management practices. 2.Allocation of resources. 3.Resolution of over allocated resources.
General Project Management Practices
All projects begin with a plan to get the work done. From there the project manager applies “best practices” based on his/her interaction with the owner, shareholders, and project team. On occasion there may be a tendency to “jump” right into the project without proper planning, but considerable time and money can be saved as well as increase in quality of the project. (Karim, 2011) So the following aspects to be included in the project definition would be:
1.Project overview, objectives, and scope. 2.Assumptions about the project, risks, and approach. 3.Organization, getting shareholders to approve and buy-in to and approve the project by signing the signature page for the project document. 4.The initial cost, duration and front end efforts are important even though they are just the “best guess” estimates that can change throughout the life of the project. Regardless of what occurs in the project, it is imperative that the project manager pay close attention as the project progresses. His/her quick actions are what will help the project to successful or unsuccessful for that matter. So, the importance of resource allocation is key here.
Allocation of Resources
Allocating resources on the front end of a project is also a lesson in estimating a “best guess” for the project. However, as the project manager more closely reviews the different aspects of the project allocated resources whether they be first, second, or third iteration (if any exist) will be pointed out by PM software such as MS Project. Its correct use will allow over allocation to be corrected which in some cases may bring the project in earlier and under budget. (de Sousa) In my analysis, the Huntsville Plant Project will not be ready by June 2012. In fact, it appears that the project will be extended to completion to take place at July 6, 2012 according to the project schedule.
The approximate duration of the project is 64 weeks from the planning phase through final phase of distribution. To allow the project to complete on or closest to the project finish date, the over allocated resources could be used to bring the project closer to the approximate completion date of June 30, 2012. (Gido & Clements, 2011) esolution of Over-Allocation of Resources
A few examples from the Huntsville of over allocation are:
1.Item # 8 (Establishing Building Concept) is scheduled for 11 days, but could be reduced to 6 days ending on 5/8/11 which would decrease the lag by 5 days allowing item # 9 ( Create Building Design) to perhaps begin on 5/10/11. I chose to allow one day of lag in the event of inclement weather which most always throws a damper on most business behavior/activities. In this case, creating the building design can begin 5/11/11 and run through
5/14/11 with 2 days of lag remaining. 2.Item # 3 (Select Architect) could also be streamlined to 4 days instead of 11 days. 3.Item # 12 (Obtain Permits and Approvals) could be shortened by moving the start date to 5/15/11 to get the required approval from the municipal planning commission in a more timely fashion to keep the project on track.
So, (Site Prep) could begin closer to 6/24/11 4.Item # 19 (Procure Equipment) could be shortened by one month to 10/11/11 giving 30 days lag. The Huntsville project shows over allocation of resources during the months of April, May, June, and July of 2011. However, careful review of the Resources Worksheet, Resource Graph, and Network Diagram will allow you to make the best use of project resources. The Team Planner can be used to clearly see work resources, and tasks can be dragged to make required adjustments. So, the allocation a resources is very important and should be done carefully, and reviewed often to help with the project final completion dates, avoid cost overruns, and be successful. While there is no such thing as the “perfect” project, we can certainly determine problem areas and resolve them before they affect the project negatively.
Karim, S. (2011, July 20). Best practices in project management — or better practice?. Retrieved from http://blogs.pmi.org/blog/voices_on_project_management/2011/07/best-practices-in-project-mana.html de Sousa, S. (n.d.). My PM Expert. Retrieved from http://www.my-project-management-expert.com/project-management-resource-allocation.html Gido, J., & Clements, J. P. (2011). Successful Project Management . (5th ed., pp. 216-219). Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning. DOI: www.cengage.com
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Topic: Managing Project End-Date and Resource Allocation
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