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Various approaches to Project Management

Before we go into the merits of different approaches we will view the following stages though which every project goes through.

A) Project Formation: 1) Priorities 2) Procedures and 3) Schedules;

B) Buildup Phase: 1) Priorities 2) Schedules and Procedures;

C) Main Program: 1) Schedules 2) Technical and 3) Labor;

D) Phase-out: 1) Schedules 2) Personality and 3) Labor.

Approaches:

Functional:

In this approach the project is assigned to a functional unit having maximum interest in making the project a success or will be keen to implementing it. The functional elements of parent organization are adopted as the basis of administration of the project.

Matrix:

Matrix organization was developed to take advantage of pure project organization with some of the better features of the functional organization. With the result it can take a wide variety of specific forms according to demand of the project

VIRTUAL:

Virtual project management is the system by which virtual teams collaborate for a finite period of time towards a specific goal.

Solution Preview

MANAGING PROJECTS - TEAM APPROACHES:

Functional:

In this approach the project is assigned to a functional unit having maximum interest in making the project a success or will be keen in implementing it. The functional elements of parent organization are adopted as the basis of administration of the project.

Advantages:

I) as project is followed on the format or structure of the parent organization the design need not be changed;
ii) There is optimum flexibility in the utilization of the staff as they can be assigned to work on any project required to be done at any time irrespective of their original positions. It enables the organization use additionally a diverse technical pool.
iii) Depending upon the allocation of functional units to a project with limited scope it can be completed efficiently, effectively and timely using available skills.
iv) Employees can always go back to the parent organization. They will have a place to go back if anything goes wrong.
v) In the functional division the individual experts see it as a route for their personal advancement as the successful completion of the project will reflect their energy, use of specialized experience and knowledge and above all adoration by the higher management of their accomplishment.

Disadvantages:

:
In absence of due focus people have tendency to pay more attention to their functional responsibilities than the project. The engineering department may not pay the same attention to the project responsibilities that it does to the functional department.
In the process other units will be forced to wait resulting into delay of the completion of the project.

There is always lack of communication between the units. The dedicated functional staff considers itself responsible for completion of that part of the job which has been given to it rather than the entire project. It results in undue delay in the completion of the project, escalation of cost much beyond the budget.
Employees do not have any motivation as they see it as additional burden on them. They fail to identify themselves with the project.

MATRIX:

Matrix organization was developed to ...

Solution Summary

Projects can be managed in various ways. But they all have their relative merits and demerits. Approach to any of them depends on the type of the project, resources available, time at the disposal to complete it. The top management in consultation with the various experts has to decide which approach will be best.

The basic idea is to keep in mind the objective of the project and effectiveness of the approach to be made. Any delay in the completion of the project escalates the costs and reduces the profit margin.

The strategic factors of interest are: i) Project Mission, ii) Top Management support, iii) and Project's action plan.

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