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Management Assessment 1
Heading: Management Assessment
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Management Assessment 2
QUESTION 1: Basics
a) Discuss the following: what is a project, what is project management, and the main
phases of a project life cycle?
What is a project?
A project refers to a collaborative enterprise, which often involve design, or research that
is planned carefully in order to achieve a specific goal. Projects are mostly termed as short-
term social systems, which are constituted by teams in, or across firms so as to complete
specific activities under time, deliverables and financial constraints. A project is not part of
the usual business operations, but it is created once, it is specific, and temporary (Westland,
2007, pp. 1-202).
What is project management?
Project management entails a discipline of organizing, planning, securing, and managing
resources so as to attain particular goals. It is the art and science of organizing parts of a
project. Sen (2009, pp. 4-21) maintains that a project could be a launch of a service, new
product’s development, wedding, or a marketing campaign. The basic challenge involved in
project management is to realize entire project objectives and goals while honoring
predetermined constraints. Some of the typical constraints include time, scope, budget and
time. The minor, but more pushy, challenge lies in the optimizing the allocation and
integration of inputs essential in order achieve the preconceived objectives (Dinsmore &
Cabanis-Brewin, 2011, pp. 475-480).
Main phases of a project life cycle
Heldman (2009, pp. 15-20) notes that regardless of the kind of project, project
management takes a similar pattern of definition (initiation), planning, execution, control,
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Management Assessment 3
and closure. A project cycle begins with definition or initiation stage in which a project
manager defines the project details, and what the project users expect to attain by carrying
out the project. It also entails an outline of project deliverables, and the results of the
particular set of tasks. Here, the project manager works with firm’s manager or sponsor who
desires to have the projected enforced and other stakeholders; those individuals who have
considerable interest in the project’s result. Moreover, it entails documentation of business
case, feasibility study, and terms of reference, and establishment of project office.
According to Lock (2007, pp. 347-350), the second phase of project management is
planning of the project in which all the activities involved are defined. Here, the project
manager outlines all tasks or activities; how they are connected; how long each of the tasks
will take; and how every activity involved is tied to a particular deadline. This stage also
enables the project manager to establish the links between activities so that, for instance, if a
certain activity is five days late, the project tasks connected to it will reflect the same delay.
Similarly, the project manager may set milestones; dates by which significant project aspects
should be met.
Moreover, Westland (2007, pp. 1-10) maintains that the second phase includes the
definition of the requirements for the completion of the project. Here, the project manager
establishes the number of people or resources required in project implementation; costs or
expenses incurred in the project and other necessities in the implementation of the project.
Kerzner (2010, pp. 172-180) says that a project manager is also required to manage risks and
assumptions regarding the project, as well as identifying possible project constraints.
Normally, constraints are associated with schedule, budget, resources, and scope. An
alteration of one constraint will naturally affect other constraints. For instance, a budget
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Management Assessment 4
constraint can influence the number of individuals who can work on the project; hence
causing a resource constraint. Similarly, if extra aspects are added to the project scope,
resources, scheduling, and budget constraints will be affected (Kerzner, 2009, pp. 1-30).
The third, Lock (2007, pp. 347-350) argues that the phase of project management entails
project execution. This stage concerns the building of the project team. Here, the project
manager is aware of the number of resources required in the implementation of the project.
Besides, the project manager allocates the available resources and assigns the budget to
certain activities in the project. Upon carrying out the aforementioned activities and
responsibilities, the project starts.
The fourth phase of project management is project control. Here, the project manager is
responsible for updating the project plans so as to reflect real time taken by each activity. By
monitoring the details of the project’s details, the project manager can understand how
suitably the project is going on overall. Some products like Microsoft project enable the
administrative features of project management (Köster, 2009, pp. 39-45). Lastly, there is the
project closure stage that involves the business owner or project manager pulling together the
project team and other stakeholders to analyze the project’s final result. Further, staff is
released; deliverables are handed down to the client; and completion of post enforcement
reviews (Kendrick, 2010, pp. 58-65).
b) What is a Responsibility Matrix and how would it be used in project management?
Gido (2009, pp. 118-125) asserts that a responsibility matrix is a significant
communication tool in project management that identifies individual or departmental roles
assigned to accomplish various categories of tasks. It lays down the key activities involved in
the project and clearly details the roles and responsibilities of every stakeholder in the
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Management Assessment 5
project. Biafore (2010, pp. 175-180) notes that a responsibility matrix is useful in project
management in that it helps identify clearly various roles and responsibilities every
individual involved in the project. It is most appropriate in a complex situation that involves
many individuals participating in the project. It eases the setting of expectations and ensures
that stakeholders know what is required from them. Taylor (2008, pp. 104-104) says that a
responsibility matrix various roles are displayed on columns, while deliverables appear on
rows. Further, its purpose is to achieve clarity and consensus on who does what so that the
project manager can define columns that contain sensible details (Spiess, 2008, pp. 153-155).
QUESTION 2: Priority Matrix
Identify real life examples of a project that would fit each of the following priority
scenarios, support your answer with some explanation:
a) Time-constrain, Scope-enhance, Cost-accept
In such a situation, time or schedule is fixed; cannot be changed, but scope of the project
can be optimized and the cost is reduced so as to make the project successful (Harris, 2006,
pp, 264-270). For example, planning a wedding that should take place at a specific date.
Here, its scope will be optimized or adjusted, while the costs will be reduced. This is
because the wedding must take place at the set date, and therefore, the planning committee
ought to accept changes in the costs incurred and enhance the scope, while conforming to the
fixed time (Ślęzak, 2009, pp. 144-147).
b) Time-accept, Scope-constrain, Cost-accept
In this case, time and cost can be adjusted or reduced, without changing the scope of the
project (Harris, 2006, pp, 264-270). For instance, constructing a residential house will entail
adjustment of time and costs so as to fit the scope that will remain fixed (Taylor, 2008, pp. 104-
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