Explain what is meant by the term ‘project context’
The project context is the environment both internally and externally that the project is executed in. Project context changes from project to project depending on what is being carried out and where eg. The project context would differ when installing a new IT system within a bank to the construction of a hotel in the city centre. The organisation’s culture and main drivers are considered alongside the nature of the business and their customers. A project manager needs to be fully aware of the factors which can have a large influence on the project using the PESTLE tool which stands for Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environment.
Explain four distinct factors that may influence project context
Political – This considers the internal political issues within an organisation, particularly as projects introduce change which may not be easily accepted by members such as senior management who may express different views. This can affect the way in which a project needs to be executed. External political issues have to be taken into consideration. For an example, on the building schools for the future, this has a massive influence from a national political angle, and also from a local community perspective which will dictate how the project is carried out.
Sociological – When a project is being executed, it must take into consideration sociological factors with regards to the impacts on the surrounding area. This will involve the engagement and consultation with relevant stakeholders involved in the projects, and the sociological trends that exist, and ensure that the project objectives meet the needs of the social factors. Social media is extremely popular in today’s society for communicating key information involving projects.
Legal – All projects have to comply with the legal duties and responsibilities which correspond to the nature of the project. This includes Health & safety regulations, environmental law, data protection act etc. All of the regulations and rules will have an on-going affect to the execution of any project, and the project manager will need to ensure provisions are put in place to comply. On all construction projects, the works be carried out in accordance with health & safety regulations and this can add economic and programme constraints.
Environment – All projects must take environmental considerations into place when executing a project. This can be in the form of legal issues, but also in respect of national and local targets. Within construction projects, they must be carried out with views on waste management, recycling, water consumption, FSC timber use etc. This can also cause delays in respect to programme or greater expense.