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Table of contents page
1. Project management: an explanation 3
1.1 Project management in 4 steps 4
1.1.1 Step 1: problem and aim formulation 5
1.1.2 Step 2: project planning and organization 6
1.1.3 Step 3: execution and management 8
1.1.4 Step 4: evaluation and correction 8
1.2 Final remarks 9
2. Checklist 10
This reader is part of a series dealing with job oriented skills and aims at providing persons
with practical skills in the field of project management.
Project management is presented with step-planning and a model. Such a model does not
reflect the complex reality, but is simple and useful. Added to the reader is a checklist and a
number of annexes, which we hope will enhance its usefulness.
Drs. M.G. Altena
Drs. W.G. Bekkering
Ir. J.J. van Veldhuizen
Translation: K.M.L. Slot-Lim
Revised version: Brian Thompson 2009
General: A person is capable to complete a project properly in cooperation with other
persons within a set period of time.
Objectives concerning knowledge
* the person can define the term project management
* the person can explain the used models.
* the person knows the meaning of the acronym TOQIF
Objectives concerning skills
* the person can, with the help of a step-plan complete a project and obtain the required
This means with regard to:
PROBLEM AND AIM FORMULATION
* the person formulates, in a concrete, attainable way the (partial)problems and aims of the
project, together with others, who are involved in the project.
PLANNING AND ORGANISATION
* the person makes a task analysis and assigns the formulated tasks to others in the project
in such a way that the implementation of the project will be optimal
* the person formulates, in cooperation with others, a plan, to safeguard time used,
organization, quality, information and financial aspects (TOQIF).
EXECUTION AND MANAGEMENT
* the person is capable to safeguard the TOQIF-aspects in such a way that the application
meets the demand of the client.
* the person keeps control in a correct way, on the execution of the tasks.
* the person is capable of reporting (in writing or oral) in such a way that others involved in
the project are always kept up to date concerning the progress in the project.
EVALUATION AND GUIDANCE
* the person evaluates the executed tasks during the various phases in relation to
formulated aims and the defined planning.
• the person makes an analysis of the problems encountered during the various phases of
the project and, in cooperation with others involved in the project formulate a satisfying
1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT: an explanation
What is project management? Briefly: project management is a work method to solve a
problem in a systematic way, within a given period of time. This working method is useful for
assignments and work situations, whereby concrete results must be obtained. It is a
method aiming to guide a work process.
Project management asks for planned action but also creativity is required, because a
project is never a routine job. Often it is a job, which has to be carried out in co-operation
with several people acting from their various disciplines.
Project management is:
- systematic / planned / methodical action
- a clear task / assignment / question
- a complex activity
- result oriented
Project management is not:
- suitable for routine work
- suited for ad hoc situations
The model used in this reader is derived from three other models.
In the first place: aspects from the model for general management are used. These are
management principles and management processes from policy development and execution
and skills such as: formulation of aims, planning, decision making, execution, control,
evaluation and communication.
Then also the model of the management cycle is used. Finally the problem solving model,
which is used in the integration project in our curriculum is used. In the latter model focal
points are: problem recognition, design, decision and execution.
Certain aspects of project management will not be further developed in this reader, because
they will be developed in other readers in this series. These are for instance subjects as
teamwork and reporting.
1.1 Project management in 4 steps
In a project we will work always in steps or phases. It is also of importance to name the
various aspects in the assignment. In the above described model we have adopted four
STEP 1 PROBLEM- AND AIM - What is the request ?
FORMULATION - What is the final aim ?
- What do we not want ?
STEP 2 PLANNING AND ORGANI- - Who does what, how and when ?
SATION - How do we inform each other ?
STEP 3 EXECUTION AND MAN- - Work according to plan
AGEMENT - Control on implementation
STEP 4 EVALUATION AND - Do things go well ?
CORRECTION - Do we have to review aim and plans?
1.1.1 Problem and aim formulation: "THINKING"
A project must be based on a clear formulation of problem and aim. In this phase we must
find out, the exact extend of the problem. This investigation results in a situation sketch/-
analysis. This in turn must result in the formulation of a concrete problem.
In addition the problem or question must be split up in sub-questions viewed from different
- what is the situation ?
- what is the question ?
- what are the sub-questions ?
- what are the different angles ?
Once the problem is clear, the aims of the project can be worked out. Aim and result can be
described clearly. Of course attention is paid to feasibility and implementation. Often it
proves that the question was not formulated clearly. This then must be reviewed.
- when is the problem to be solved ?
- when has each question been answered ?
- does the final product meet the demand ?
- is the final product sufficiently concrete ?
- have formulations of questions and problem been sufficiently concrete ?
- is clear what is not wanted ?
This phase can only be rounded off if there is continuous communication with the client and
project team. By such continuous communication, misunderstandings about the assignment
and final aim can be avoided.
- communication between client and project team
- is there agreement about problem and aim formulation ?
1.1.2 Step 2 : Project planning and organization : ‘REFLECTING’
The question here is: who does what and when and in what way, in order to reach the
formulated aim. It thus concerns the activities, the order in which they have to be done and
By splitting up the problems in partial questions and the final aim in intermediate smaller
aims, one may be able to produce an activities plan with a logical sequence and a clear
To reach this objective a task-analysis is required. It's aim is to split up an assignment in
clear sub-tasks, which later-on will be distributed among the different project members.
Activities and job will be ordered and grouped with that aim.
- split up the main question
- formulate partial aims
- make a task analysis
Once the task-analysis is made, the partial tasks can be distributed. Also agreements will be
made about time planning, organization, quality control, information and communication and
finance, the so-called TOQIF-aspects (TOQIF is the acronym for each of the mentioned
management aspects). TOQIF is a means of aid to structure organization and planning
before, during and after completion of the project. Each of these aspects will be explained
* Time planning
Activities are placed against time in a graph. What comes first and what thereafter ? When
must an activity be rounded off ?
- set deadlines
- set time available per activity
- schematic appraisal
- realism in planning
The plan must show clearly who carries which responsibilities (obligations and task
distribution). Also it must be clarified who will be involved in communication with the client
and when meetings will take place. Also it must be predetermined how decision making will
- establish roles and obligations
- agree on partial tasks
- organize meetings
- establish decision making
- what means are required
* Quality control
During execution of the project it is of importance to control the quality of all work done. One
could call this evaluation. However quality control can only be called so if clear quality
criteria had been formulated before. In addition it must also be known how these quality
criteria should be tested and by whom.
- how will the evaluation be done ?
- by whom will the evaluation be done ?
- intermediate evaluation must also be done.
- when to evaluate ?
* Information and communication
It should be made clear in advance to all who are involved in a project, how they can get
information and when information will be provided. Information can be passed on in the form
of meeting notes, intermediate reports, partial reports and results and the final report.
To avoid problems a planning for distribution of gathered information must be made
including the question of confidentiality of information.
- who gets information
- way of informing
- what is confidential information
- what happens with the archives
How much are the costs and who pays, is at this stage the question. A budget must be
prepared showing distribution of funds over means and activities.
When all TOQIF-aspects have been included in a plan, the plan must be discussed with the
- regulate financing
- produce total budget
- estimate costs per part/phase
1.1.3 Step 3: Execution and management: ‘DOING’
In the first two steps only preparatory work has been done. There after tasks are carried out
according to plan. It deals with management of the implementation. In this phase the
accent is put on motivation and control.
- motivation of team members
- control on the execution of tasks
- management of TOQIF aspects
1.1.4 Step 4: Evaluation and correction: "JUDGING"
From doing problems may evolve. Set aims are not reached, assignments cannot be
implemented, situations change, etc. It is therefore of importance to evaluate on a
continuous basis, the progress of a project: how are the executed jobs judged in view of the
formulated aims ? Have targets been reached ? Why yes, why not ?
In project management it is important to keep an over-view of executed jobs in order to be
able to monitor progress. It is then possible to draw conclusions on the basis of product and
process evaluation, such as:
* the team is satisfied about progress and continues the jobs
* project progress needs correction in view of its aim or work methods (internal
* project execution must be adjusted in relation to planning
* project execution must be stopped
If there are real problems, then the steps of problem solving have to be followed, in order to
come to a new set-up. This requires of course new negotiations with client.
- review set aims.
- review TOQIF aspects
- indicate frictions and problems
- if necessary: make a careful problem analysis and review the project
- keep in touch with all involved
1.2 Final remarks:
The term "project management" has been explained now. This explanation hopefully has
contributed to a well ordering of the complex assignment and to passing through the steps
and phases in the required way. The step plan could be a good point of departure. It is
thereby important to realize that each step has its own unique function, but also that the
various steps form part of a total.
2. CHECKLIST PROJECT MANAGEMENT
KNOWLEDGE WITH REGARD TO SUBJECT Yes More No
• the person knows the theory dealt with in this reader
PROBLEM AND AIM FORMULATION (step 1)
• the person has translated the assignment in a concrete problem
formulation with partial questions.
• the person has formulated attainable project aims
• the person has, where needed, adjusted the problem aims in
agreement with client
PROJECT PLANNING / ORGANISATION (step 2)
• the person has made a clear task analysis, tasks have been properly
• the person has made a work plan, including: time planning, phasing,
task distribution (TOQIF).
EXECUTION AND MANAGEMENT (step 3)
The person has
• controlled task execution.
• kept control of the TOQIF aspects.
• has motivated the members of the team.
• has correctly taken care of oral and written communication.
EVALUATION AND CORRECTION (step 4)
The person has
• continuously evaluated progress in relation to aims and planning.
• effectively taken action in case of bottlenecks in a problem solving way.