Couple Of Answers Which Can Do With Your Feedback Please.

Paul Naybour

Paul Hi, your feedback on the following answer would benefit our study group as well as others.

Project Management in Context


Page 28:  Q3


Explain the problems an organisation may have in implementing a project way of working:


A project way of working entails skills, discipline, trained resource, methods, structure, defined roles etc. in order to introduce a change in an existing status quo.  Fundamentally, a project brings together all of the above attributes in a structured manner to help achieve future benefits or to solve a problem and management of risk.  A project is unique, takes place within a specific time frame (Project Life Cycle) and operates within a predetermined budget to deliver specific outcomes/deliverables. 


In contrast to Project Management, the day to day management of an organisation focuses on business as usual (or Operational tasks).  Business as usual activities are less focused on time and outcomes.  The time frame for achieving goals are long term and continuous.  Organisations have highly procedural working practices to enable effective continuity and oversight.  Products go through a life cycle from Build, through operations to disposal, called Product Life Cycle.


It is this contrasting nature of Project Management and Business as Usual that is prone to inertia or problems for an organisation.  There are three main areas of difficulties in this respect, namely People, Process and Technology.




Areas of Difficulty


Influencing Others

Project Managers will not have direct authority/control over all the people working on a project; e.g. contractors, suppliers, external stakeholders such as regulatory bodies etc.  Influencing these will be an ongoing challenge for Project Managers.


Team Member Prioritises

Line managers of the project staff may have different priorities from that of a Project Manager and staff will find it a constant challenge to decide which take precedence.


Resistance to Change

Project by nature bring about change within an organisation.  Staff will be set in their own ways and a set culture would be built up over the years.  Projects will help break these traditional ways however staff which are affected may resist this change.


Perception of Pessimism

Projects require upfront planning and identification of risks which can be perceived as pessimistic by certain individuals who do not value this upfront investment of time.





Areas of Difficulty


Governance Process

Organisations, especially mature organisation will have rules in place to control the projects (e.g. gateway approval process) which can be looked upon by Project Mangers as bureaucratic and frustrating.  However these are necessary for an organisation to manage risk.


Lack of Process

In contrast some organisation will lack process.  This in itself is challenging as staff would adopt different approach.  Projects will need stability and structure.  Project Managers will need to be aware and interact with a known interface within the organisation; e.g. HR Policies.




Areas of Difficulty


Risk of Innovation

Where the Project outcome is a technical innovation, the associated risks e.g. an unreliable system or computer, can influence the way the project is implemented. This may affect both time and cost.


Competence in New Technology

Implementing new technology may require competence beyond the current level of skills within an organisation.  This results in bringing in high level of Contract or Agency staff to manage implementation of new technology.  Maintaining an intelligent client is important.  This is an informed, interactive, and constructive and partnership approach with suppliers.



1 thought on “Couple Of Answers Which Can Do With Your Feedback Please.”

  1. Another good answer, but maybe too much, the question asks for five points, you have given me loads. Try to restructure the answer around five key points, each made up of two or three sentences.

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