component 1 defining the act of project management.pdf
Project management for Masters students DS
13th June- 29 Juin 2014)
By MASENGESHO KAMUZINZI (PhD)
Components to be discussed
• Component1: Defining the concept of project management
• Component 2 . Theorizing Act of Project Management
• Component 3: Project management as an applied science :
a practical framework
• Component 4: Project initiation process
• Component 5: Brief discussion on project planning and
implementation, monitoring and evaluation
COMPONENT1: DEFINING THE CONCEPT OF PROJECT
- What is a Project?
- Why is the concept of project important?
- Characteristics of a Project;
- Project Levels
- Classification of Project
1. what is a Project?
• 1. Introduction :
• The first objective of this component is to develop a common
understanding on the concept of “project management”.
• As you move on ahead in your career, you will likely face (most of
you have yet faced) more complex managerial challenges.
• In your daily activities as public or private servants, you always
deal with challenging cases implying complex decision making,
dealing with diversified issues and some time with exceptional
cases, using predefined (and even unconventional) resources...
• As far as the management of project is concerned, these
challenges may involve:
• The coordination of different people with different specialties;
• The completion of many tasks in precise sequences of time;
• The expenditure of a predefined budget (sometimes with “rigid”
• The respect of diversified external standards set up by different
• The respect of challenging deadlines, etc;
• At the end, these challenges can create uncertainty while a project is
supposed to run according to a predefined rational plan.
• 2. Some definitions
• Economists , bankers and other fund suppliers define generally a
project as “the smallest unit of investment composed by well
defined activities to be considered in the case of programming.” (see
for example PPBS initiated by military organizations);
• Project is any item of investment:
• (1) aiming at achieving well defined objectives;
• (2) Involving well defined activities to be implemented in a specific
period of time;
• (3) Using predefined resources to attain well defined outputs that
can be evaluated separately.
• A project can be also understood in terms of economic development
behavior as a purposeful and minimum sized unit of activities,
implemented in a specific location, with a specific budget and that
set in motion a sequence of further development moves.
• In public sector, a project can be understood as an instrument/a
practical intervention designed to link policy and programme
objectives to a specific problem faced by a particular group of
beneficiaries of these policies. It is designed to deliver measurable
benefits to this specified targeted group.
• New projects usually contain a great deal of risk, uncertainty, and
complexity that need to be managed carefully.
• Finally, we can define the project as a well defined work-plan
devised to use specific resources to achieve specific objective(s)
within a specified period of time.
• In sum, the four basic attributes of a project are:
• a course of action-work-plan;
• specific resources;
• specific objectives and activities;
• definite time perspective.
• Discussion: what is the link between project
management and classical management as defined
by F.W. Taylor (1911)?
3. Why is the concept of projects important?
• Poor implementation of development programmes can be
traced to poor preparation, implementation and
monitoring of projects.
• The coordination of many different people, the completion
of many tasks in precise time, and the distribution of
scarce financial resources to realize targeted activities
require deep understanding of the concept of project and
its implication in practice.
• Projects are catalytic agents of economic development. In
that sense, they initiate the process of development,
production, employment and income generation.
• In a context dominated by new public management philosophy, where efficiency,
effectiveness and accountability are becoming keys values highly legitimated in
public institutions, public management based on programmes that are
“operationalized” in well defined projects (with long term objectives) are good way
of organizing complex activities, setting substantial objectives, rationalizing
resources and orienting the implementation, monitoring and evaluation in order to
attain the expected outcomes.
• In this perspective, well defined projects contribute to improve the management
of existing units as their provide the framework of the future activities of the
• In a context of dependence on external resources, projects are good way of
clarifying the needs (rational diagnosis), defining the objectives, costing the
activities to be done, etc.
• In this perspective, well defined projects are good instruments of negotiation of
4. Characteristics of a Project
• Though, various connotations have been given to the concept of a
project, most of them have four basic characteristics:
a. Investment pattern;
b. Benefits or gains;
c. Time limit; and
• In short, “the project is an economic activity with well-defined
objectives and having a specific beginning and end.”
• It should be amenable to planning, financing and implementation
as a unit where both costs and returns are measurable.
• From the point of view of resource allocation, a project can be
considered as: “A proposal involving capital investment for the purpose of
developing facilities to provide goods and services”.
• The goods or services, which the project seeks to provide, differ widely. A project
- The establishment of one stop center providing medical, psychological, legal
support to victims of sexual or domestic violence;
- The development of a traffic police software enabling UR or te Mineduc to collect
and analyze the statistics on a number of issues (finance, admission rate, dropout,
- The provision of additional training facilities to a particular group of beneficiaries;
- The provision of additional of specialized medical services in the CHUB, etc
5. Project Levels
• Project work in its broadest sense takes place at three levels:
• At the national level, where national investment plans are
formulated, priorities among sectors are established, and the
Macroeconomic framework of policies for economic growth
is put in place ( in Rwanda we use to say inkingi za politiki ya Leta).
• At the sector level, where priorities for investment within each sector
are determined and the issues and problems affecting the
development of the sector are addressed.
• At the project level, where individual projects are identified,
prepared, and implemented and attention is given to their technical,
economic, financial, social, institutional, and other dimensions.
6. Some classification of projects
• There is different types of classification of projects
• 6.1. Classification based on the possibility of rational quantification
• Quantifiable projects: e.g. industrial development, power generation, road
• Non-quantifiable project: e. g projects involving for example psychological
wellbeing, quality of education,
• 6.2. “Sectoral” classification based
• Security services
• Agriculture & agriculture related sector
• Irrigation and Power sector
• Industry and Mining sector
• Transport and Communication sector
• Social Service Sector
6.3. Classification based on techno-economic characteristics:
• Projects are sometimes classified on the basis of their techno-
economic characteristics, useful in facilitating the process of
• Capital intensive or labour intensive projects ;
• Balance of investment in machinery and in human resources;
• Human resources based or raw materials based projects depending
on the availability or none-availability of certain goods, services,
6.4. Classification based on size: Large –scale, medium scale, or
small-scale projects depending on size of total project investment.
6.5. Classification based age and experience: e.g.
- New Projects
- Expansion Projects
- Modernization Projects
- Diversification Projects
6.6. Services based classification : e.g.
- Welfare Projects
- ICT Service improvement projects
- Research and Development Projects
- Educational Projects, etc.
7. Some keys aspects used to evaluate the relevancy of a project
7.1. Preliminary aspect:
• 7.1.1. Product/service characteristics
• i. Choice of a product/service
• ii. Technical characteristics of the product/service
• iii. Uses of the product/service
• 7.1.2. Human aspects (preferences)
• i. Consumer /stakeholder preferences
• ii. Nature of competition/ contestation
• iii. Potential demand
• 7.1.4. Technical aspects
• i. Location
• ii. Scale of operation
• iii. Manufacturing process
• iv. Plant and machinery
• v. Plant layout
• vi. Work schedule
• 7.1.4.Financial aspects
• i. Expenditure on fixed assets
• ii. Current assets
• iii. Working capital
• iv. Short and long-term finance
• 7.1.5. Economic
• i. Utility to society
• ii. Employment generation
• iii. Additional development
• iv. Social benefits
7.2. Feasibility Aspect
• 7.2.1.Financial viability
• i. Costs and benefits
• ii. Risk characteristics
• iii. Viability
• 7.2.2 Profitability
• i. Short term Profits
• ii. Medium term profits
• iii. Long term profits
• 7.2.3.Financial Projections:
• I. Sources and use of funds
• 7.2. Socio-economic desirability
• i. Social goals
• ii. Desirability of the project from the larger social angle
• iii. Returns.
• Conclusion on point 7: The evaluation of the relevancy of
a project needs the combination of multiples
competencies from different department and even from
8. General principals of project management
• 1. Ideally, a project management should satisfy three conditions. First
it should complete all project objectives within due date/time.
Second, a project should be completed within original budget. Third,
it should maintain a standard of quality that satisfies stakeholders.
• 2. Project management should be based on good planning. A detailed
and precise plan is the essential factor for successfully managing a
project. Planning should also accommodate changes in environment.
A person in charge of the project should continuously update his/her
plan in line with recent changes.
• 3. Project team members should share a sense of planned work. As
managing a project is an endeavor against limited time and budget,
team members should make concerted efforts to complete a project.
A system should be in place to continuously remind team members of
deadlines and objectives.
• 4. Transparent communication is indispensable. A project manager
and team members should be crystal clear about the expected
final outcomes of a project and this is impossible without good
communication. Any hint of vagueness about project objectives
should be eliminated through good communication.
• 5. Balanced responsibility and authority is a must for a successful
project manager. A project manager with many responsibilities but
not sufficient authority or a project manager with little
responsibilities but with too much mandate both negatively
impacts upon project outcome.
• 6. Successful management of a project cannot be guaranteed
without the best staff. A project manager should be allowed to let
go less than average people from project team members.
Presence of the good workforce can compensate for lack of time
or money. Needless to say, a project manager should foster an
environment where team members have necessary tools and
• 7. The project status should be closely followed and
shared among project team members. Important
issues, progress and assumptions should be
recorded and shared. Poor documentation is the
same as no progress has been made with the
project. Regular reviews of project status can
enhance project quality and pin down problems
before they get out of hand.
• Reading carefully the article “Leveraging Coordination
in Project- Based Activities: What Can We Learn From
Military Teamwork? “
• Summarize in 10 points lessons