ST JOHN’S UNIVERSITY OF TANZANIA FACULTY OF HUMANITIES AND EDUCATION GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENTCOURSE NAME : PROJECT PLANNING ANDMANAGEMENTCOURSE CODE : GE 308COURSE INSTRUCTOR : Ms MIRUNATURE OF WORK : INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENTNAME REG NoKIONAUMELA, LIVINGSTONE M. 2008/2639QUESTION: The major challenge facing project manager now days is how best they can negotiate or manipulate the project environment. Using explain the statement.
SUBMISION DATE: 27TH MAY 2011, AT 10:00 A.MProject management is a series of activities embodied in a process of getting things done on theproject done by working with members of the project team and with other people in order toreach the project schedules, cost and technical performance. In project, process is a series ofaction or operations that brings about an end result tat is attaining its cost, schedule and technicalperformance objectives (Cleland and Ireland, 2006).Project management is an art of directing and coordinating human and materials resourcesthroughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objective of scope, time quality, time cost and participant (stakeholder) satisfaction( Wideman, 1990).Generally Project manager is a person who performs managerial functions of forecasting andplanning, organizing, commanding, motivating, coordinating, and setting stages fordifferentiation of managerial activities from the technical activities of the enterprise and all theseare carried out of commitment of resources on the project. Also wherever the project is taking place, all project managers need to be professionallyqualified and familiar with the local standards and codes. In order for manager to be as accurateas possible from the start, professional qualification and familiarity with local codes andstandards is essential. Lack of these skills leads the project manager fail to integrate variousproject environments for effective attainment of the pre determined goals.Project environment is the surroundings in which a project is undertaken, and it includes air,water, land, natural resources pollutions, humans and their interaction that is social, political andeconomic both within and outside the project boundaries (Kohli, 2006).Virtually all project are planned and implemented in a social, economic, and politicalenvironmental context and have intended and unintended positive and negative impacts, so the
project Manager should consider project in its cultural social international, political and physicalenvironmental context1.Understanding this environment also involves, identifying the project stakeholders and theirability to affect its successful outcome. And this leads to the possibility of influencing thisenvironment in a positive way, for the better reception of the change which the project isdesigned to introduce. Also project manager must work with people to achieve the best results,especially in the highly technical and complex environments such as those involving modern dayconstruction projects (Wideman, 1990). Cultural and social environment, the team needs to understand how the project affects peopleand how people affect the project. This may require an understanding of aspects of the economic,demographic, educational, ethical, ethnic, religious, and other characteristics of the people whomthe project affects or who may have an interest in the project. The project manager should alsoexamine the organizational culture and determine whether project management is recognized as avalid role with accountability and authority for managing the project (Gido and Clement, 2008).Also under cultural and social environment communication is very important part for the projectsuccessful. Many project managers and team members do not provide enough information toenough people, along with the lack of an infrastructure or culture for good communication, sothe deficit of the communication make the stakeholders to lose hope in effective participation onproject implementation. In order to have a clear internal and external environment for effectiveimplementation of the project, proper communication flows for project members and develop achecklist of what information like reports needs to be conveyed to project participants.For example there have been the project in Dodoma dealing with rain water harvesting in whichafter the completion of the project, the villagers continued in using water collected in naturaldepressions or man-made reservoirs but have shown very little interest in adopting thetechnology. Also the observation were made from the fact and showed that, although thebenefits of the technology have been very well demonstrated in Dodoma, very few individuals orvillages has adopted the construction of their own reservoirs (Hatibu and Mahoo 1999). This1 http://www.e-projectcoach.com/understanding_the_project_environment.htm
shows that the project manager faced the challenge to manipulate social environment for thesustainability of the project by drawing the social interest.Political environment, project manager needs to be aware of the project boundaries that can benational, regional, and local laws and customs, as well as the political climate that could affectthe project (Cooke and Tate, 2005). For example the failure of the rain water harvesting projectin Dodoma can be due the lack of regional policy and strategy that supports the development ofrain water harvesting system for crop production (Hatibu and Mahoo 1999). Physical environment, that is the project will affect its physical surroundings, some teammembers should be knowledgeable about the local ecology and physical geography that couldaffect the project or be affected by the project (Kohli, 2006). Each project has a specific physicalenvironment that favors its success or failure. For example establishment of tea plantation inDodoma, physical factor will be a major limiting factor due to the fact that, the crop needs highrainfall with low temperature where have low rainfall and high temperature.Economic environment that is with price fluctuations of the project inputs, the project managerneeds to be aware economic situation where he / she are establishing the project on how the priceof inputs is stable, doing this helps in making estimation of the cost of the project. In order forproject controls to be effective, the project management team should have regularly scheduledupdate meetings (with a consistent structure) and standardized reporting formats. This will helpensure that information is clear and unaffected by varying ways of tracking and reporting costand schedule. Being unaware of the economic situation creates the challenge to the projectmanager to manipulate project environment (Verzuh, 2008).Technological environment, this helps in simplifying the accomplishment of project activities.Various tools have been developed and have changed the projects environment tremendously andhad brought more comprehensive impacts on projects like information technology includingcomputer, cellular phones and other productive machines, which had led to the effective storageand dissemination of information and increase in productivity respectively. So projects managerneeds to be skillful in selecting the technology which is appropriate to the project. And wrong
choice of technology will lead to the failure of the project manager to manipulate physical, socialand competitive environment of the project (Nickel, Mchugh, and Mchugh, 2005).For example dam construction using manual labour will take a long time in its accomplishmentthan that which uses capital intensive (machines) which will take short time in tasksaccomplishment.Competitive environment, here the competition can exist in terms of labour, resources, andmarket where the project outputs are going to be consumed. These competitions can be causedby the presence of many projects which are in need of the same resources, labour, market andcapital. So if the project manager knows about these environments he / she will be able tomanipulate the environment and being able to achieve the intended goals of the project (Nickel,Mchugh, and Mchugh, 2005). For example private school and government school both need thesame resources, market and capital; this environment makes the school owners to be creativemaking sure that their intended goals are achieved within the competitive environment.The global environment, understanding this environment is very important for the projectmanager. For example in a globalized market, many industries are facing a lot of pressures due tothis factor. Tariff barriers are virtually falling and labour has become more mobile. Further, dueto productivity improvements and advantages in economies of scale some foreign firms arecapable of competing with local firms on price, quality and delivery. The impact of thesepressures befalls on project management too (Walker, 1984).Conclusively, to be effective manager an individual must have management as well as technicalskills, due to the fact that engineers often consider their career limited in the functionaldiscipline, they look toward project management as career path opportunities. But becoming aproject manager entails learning about psychology, organizational behavior, interpersonalrelations and communications, where all these skills makes the maners to manipulate andnegotiate on various project environment for efficient and effective realization of the predetermined goals of the Project.
BIBLIOGRAPHYCleland, D.I. and Ireland, L. R. (2006), Project Management: Strategic design andImplementation, 5th ed. McGraw – Hill Professional New York.Gido, J. and Clement, J.P. (2008), Successful project management, 4th ed. Cengange Learning,New York.Kohli, (2006), Project management handbook. Tata McGraw – Hill Education, New York. Hatibu, N. and Mahoo, H. (1999) Rainwater harvesting technologies for agriculturalproduction: A case for Dodoma, Tanzania. Sokoine University of Agriculture Morogoro.Nickel, W.G., Mchugh, J.M. and Mchugh, S.M. (2005) Understanding Business, 5th ed.McGraw-Hill Irwin. New York.Verzuh, E. (2008),The fast forward MBA in Project management, James Wiley and SonsWalker, A. (1984), “Project Management in Construction”, Granada, LondonWideman, R.M. (1990), Managing the Project Environment, A E W Services, Vancouver, B.C.,CanadaWEBSITEShttp://www.e-projectcoach.com/understanding_the_project_environment.htm