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Essay Paper on Successful Project Execution

James William

The term project life-cycle is used broadly in project management and in the framework of the Project Manager’s tasks and errands. The project life-cycle refers to a group of phases or stages all along from project start to project end. Management implies overall control on the project after breaking it into several stages. Each phase production feeds the subsequent phase. The ending of each stage is noticed by a review to check and confirm whether the project should carry on to the following stage or not. Project Manager is the ruler and head in charge all through the project life-cycle.

 The project cycle involves the starting point which is the initiation stage, the planning stage, the execution and the closing. The Initiation where the project starts with the document of the case, feasibility study, selecting the team and specifying the place. Project Initiation is the first stage in the Life Cycle and fundamentally includes starting up the project. First we define the project’s purpose and capacity, the validation for commencing it and the clarification to be implemented. It is significant to hire a skillful team, set up an office and present an end of stage assessment. The Project Initiation stage includes several steps beginning with a business case then undertaking a feasibility study followed by establishing the terms of reference then appointing the project team along with setting up an office and finally performing a phase review.

After identifying the project and appointing a qualified team, the process enters a detailed Project Planning phase. This includes producing a set of planning papers to help direct the team all through the project. The Planning Phase entails finishing several key steps starting with creating a sum of plans covering the project, resources, financial issues, quality, risk, acceptance, communications, procurement and then contracting the suppliers and finally performing the phase review. During the planning stage, in depth planning is carried out and the final Project Plan can officially be updated as further planning whenever necessary. Planning also involves setting up the baselines of the “triple constraints” i.e. requirements, schedule and cost. For a thriving planning it is crucial to openly clarify the requirements baseline concerning what is incorporated and what is expelled. The baseline should be accepted by the “Project Steering Committee”. The Requirements baseline is an official controlled document; and for any changes it should be approved by the Project Steering Committee. The project schedule too is a “Schedule Baseline”, used for evaluating and as a reference for schedule performance. Whereas the “Cost Baseline” is the official budget assigned for the project. Baselines are meant to be the “Triple constraints of requirements, cost and schedule” they are the key restrictions through which the project rolls on.  The triple constraints are interconnected. For example, if the requirements baseline varies due to an improvement of functionality, after being accepted, this will regularly affect schedule and cost; thus imposing a change in the schedule and cost baseline. Baselines must be well-known and built in at the beginning of the project. Baselines should only change from time to time and with the approval of the Project Steering Committee. Establishing and maintaining the baselines is a significant task for the Project Manager. Without them, “scope creep” occurs and may lead to failure in the whole project.

 The Work-breakdown Structure (WBS) is founded from the requirements baseline using a project tactic. From the WBS, a reasonable sequencing of all involved activities can be recognized and a sketch out diagram is performed. The WBS allows the PM to find out the resource necessities of the project. It helps the PM to maintain a side view of staff, tools, hardware, software, supplies concerning their quality and quantity. Formerly as the resource requirements are specified, activity intervals can be assumed for the stuff already settled on the WBS. Activity intervals mainly depend on the resources assigned to the activity. Activity intervals are notified by team members according to their assumptions and experiences.

On finishing the set up Diagram and Activity Durations, methods such as “critical path” can be utilized to build up the project schedule. On acceptance, the schedule is officially the schedule baseline. Then the “cost baseline” can be deduced. The “cost baseline” is a time-staged budget, utilized to evaluate and check cost performance on the project (PMBOK, 2004).

The WBS is a crucial project management implement, and is fundamental for effectively putting together and controlling a project. The WBS tool identifies all of the tasks and activities that must be achieved on the project.

The WBS is utilized all through the project in several phases.  The WBS is a clear and unambiguous statement of precisely what needs to be done on the project. It also encourages in depth planning and certification. It is a deliverable oriented that spotlights goals on project deliverables during execution.  WBS makes responsibilities clear and helps to allocate resources for different activities.

Planning involves emerging a risk plan and a quality plan as well as a communication plan. The risk plan identifies the risks and defines strategies taking into consideration the estimated risks, the highest impact and pressure on the project and the best way to minimize the effect. Recognizing the risks and planning how to handle them  is an activity should not occur throughout the project not only at the beginning. Risk management entails recognizing the risks, quantifying it through assessing the impact on the project and creating a risk response plan.

Contingencies should always be on hand to control risk. They are funds set to the side for any sudden risks and cannot be released unless approved officially. Planning also includes quality planning, assurance and quality control according to principles and standards for each project specification. The PM is responsible for communication requirements that may include stakeholders, team, clients, project steering committee and all parties involved. The communication technology is vital in planning; it is the database that can be easily used at any time by team members.

Planning is significant at the beginning of the project and is highly required at this stage.  Though, planning is not a onetime occasion and for the whole project. Planning starts at the project initiation or concept phase. It is then at its most powerful existence for the duration of the project planning stage, but also goes on with the project execution stage. Project planning is also repetitive, and there is always a way of planning to monitor changes and modifications with new information and experience gained through the project. This is the role of the controlling processes – that takes place all through the project lifecycle. The controlling process may draw attention to the need of a corrective act or the implementation of a workaround – this will necessitate planning.

During planning, great project managers should think about the worst that may occur through the project cycle and plan alternatives for pits that might take place. Planning also should plan to refine and reform along the way till the end and managers should keep in mind that usually “no one gets it right the first time”.

With an obvious identification of the project and a set of comprehensive project plans, the next stage to enter is the Execution segment of the project. In this stage the deliverables are actually built and existing to the customer for acceptance. While each deliverable is being created, a set of management procedures are taken on to check and control the existing deliverables. These procedures comprise organizing time, prices, quality, adjustment, risks, communication and contacts, suppliers, clients, contractors and subcontractors. Just the once all the deliverables have been formed and the client has accepted the ultimate result, the project is all set for closing.

Project Closure is the stage in which releasing the absolute deliverables to the customer takes place.   It’s the time to supply the project documents to the business, finish dealer contracts, release project resources and announce project closure to stakeholders. The last left over step is to take on a Post Implementation evaluation to categorize the level of project achievement and note any instructions or mistakes learned for further future projects.

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