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Context Statement.docx


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Context statement establishes the project's external framework and environment. The context statement defines the role of the project within organisational strategy and its contribution to organisation’s goals and objectives.

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Context Statement.docx

  1. 1. Nader Jarmooz 2012
  2. 2. Every project exists within a context• The Context statement establishes the external framework for the project in relation to organisational gaols and objectives• It sets the scene for the project, its outcome, and relevance in terms of the organisational strategy• It identifies the external factors that can influence the project and its external dependencies
  3. 3. The context statement – in conjunction with the Scope statement – should be developed at the project definition stage and will have a profound input into the project Rationale statement.The context statement helps senior management with decision making in terms of prioritisation of the project in relation to available resources.
  4. 4. Projects do not exist in a vacuum, nor are they divorcesfrom the organisation’s other activities. Though eachproject is unique and a stand-alone endeavour,nevertheless, it must make valid contribution to overallorganisational objectives and goals. When establishing the project context Young (2006)recommends that the project, its timely outcome, andrelevance to other projects within the firm’s portfoliomust be considered in order to align the undertakingwith organisational strategy.
  5. 5. Project contextualisation defines and validates theexternal factors. when developing the context it isimperative to consider the following issues: Legal and statutory obligations professional standards technological advances financial and economic factors national and international boundaries dynamic and evolving market geopolitical issues socioeconomic benefits and constraints
  6. 6. Defining the context requires close examinationof the problem statement. The first questions tobe considered are:•why the project should go ahead?•what does the project aim to achieve?•how will it interact with other planned projects?
  7. 7. To answer the above questions it is important toconsider the project’s ‘fit’ within overall organisationaldirection and identify the benefits it offersField and Keller (1998) suggest if the ‘fit’ is identified atan early stage, then it may be possible to address awider set of organisational concerns and increase theavailable resources in recognition of the increasedvalue and fringe-benefits it offers to the organisationbeyond its planned scope.
  8. 8. Conversely, if the project does not fit within theorganisational strategy, then the feasibility of theproject becomes doubtful and resources will beallocated to more ‘fitting’ projects.Turner (1993) defines the context as an abstract concept,though it also includes the environment where thephysical activity within the constraints of economic,social and ecosystem in which the project exists
  9. 9. Turner (1993) argues that the context has three primaryelements:1. Project and corporate strategy: the organisation needs the result to fulfil its obligations and achieve its long term objectives,2. The parties involved: the needs of stakeholders, users, supporters, and parent organisation must be identified and managed,3. Strategic management of project: the project manager, project team, and stakeholders must be in unison with regards to understanding the project purpose and objectives; and recognise issues in respect of the triple constraints of time, scope, and resource management.
  10. 10. Therefore successful management of a project within itsidentified context requires adoption of a strategicmanagement approach.Organisational strategy and strategic management can onlybe achieved within a given particular context and isdependent on the enterprise, its activity, and the greaterenvironment (Macmillan and Tampoe, 2000).Therefore the context has great bearing on the project scopeand determines the strategic issues that the project needs toaddress.
  11. 11. Context encompasses both fact and perspective, and can be bothobjective and subjective depending on the final outcome andpoints of view. Project context provides the fit withinorganisational strategy and customer requirements with regardsto its goals and objectives.The context relates the project to its wider environment andestablishes justification for its approval and continuation.One important point to consider is the ever changing façade of agiven context in response to a changing internal and externalenvironment. Therefore, the project context must remain dynamicand match the requirements in a rapidly changing world in orderto provide a viable and timely solution.
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  13. 13. Field, M, and Keller L, 1998, ProjectManagement, London, International Thomson Business PressMacmillan, H, and Tampoe, M, 2000, Strategic Management,Oxford, Oxford University PressTurner, J.R., 1993, The Handbook of Project-BasedManagement, Maidenhead , McGraw-Hill PublishingCompany,Young, T, 2007, Successful Project Management, 2nd ed,London, Kogan Page Ltd