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Introduction to Projects and Project Management

Question:

Discuss About The Project Methodologies Control And Quality?

The report addresses the critical components and activities involved in projects. It looked at the meaning of the project and the techniques, tools and methods that project managers can use in executing the project. Project managers need to formulate project plans that provide guidelines on how project will be executed. The report was able to provide the different ways in which quality and controls can be maintained in projects. In addition project managers need to consider cultural differences and legislations affecting projects. The external environmental factors can impact projects negatively that should be the reason for project managers to plan its activities.

The project is any activity which has a limited time period that is focused to achieve end results and objectives. Project management techniques are known to be effective means of delivering the objectives within the required schedule, costs and resources constraints  (Bourne, 2015). The process of project management is useful in ensuring triple three constraints are accomplished. Project deliverables are accomplished with the aid of project stakeholders ensuring expectations are met. Each project is different in different regions due to different needs of the community, and resources. Project managers are in charge of projects and are expected to achieve deliverables within a specific time period. Project management involves the process of using tools, techniques and methods to ensure projects are achieved (Bryde, Broquetas & Volm , 2013). Project managers are expected to employ different methodologies, tools and techniques are available to them. One characteristic of the project is that it has a start and ending period which means it has a project life cycle. The several project life cycle stages available for a project include: conceptualization, initiation, planning, implementation, and project closure. Each phase of project life cycle requires different activities and functions.

The conceptual stage involves coming up with suitable project idea originating from different sources (Cleland, 2013). The project manager follows by clarifying the project idea by carrying out a feasibility process and appraisals. The two processes are useful in justifying the workability of the project idea. The planning phase in a project involves coming up with several plans that can be used for implementation of the project. Examples of the project management plans formulated include: scope management plan, risk, quality, communication, and control, resources, schedule, monitoring and evaluation, and team management. The implementation includes processes involved with executing the different project plans. A project manager is expected to implement project activities based on the triple three constrains (scope, budget, time). To ensure that implementation is per project briefs, plans and expectations of the stakeholder’s controls are needed. The project controls are focused to achieve the required quality that is through processes like monitoring, evaluation and controls (Gido & Clements, 2014). Once the project objectives have been met the project is closed and handed over to the owners of the project.

Project Life Cycle Stages

Quality is the required standards and expectations in achieving project objectives or deliverables. It is the work of project managers to ensure project activities are of required quality. Quality management in a project covers philosophy, assurance and control processes (Hedman, 2013). The project manager will need to show commitment that by taking a leading role in ensuring quality is maintained and implemented. One role of the project manager is to begin with formulating quality philosophy. The quality philosophy is a concept used to guide the implementation of the project quality management policy. During the planning phase a quality management plan is formulated to help quality processes in projects. Projects can form be guided by the use of quality management system (QMS). The QMS is a formalized type of system that documents responsibilities, processes, and procedures of achieving quality objectives and policies.

Quality assurance is a process in which the project team provides confidence that all quality requirements will be fulfilled (Felix, 2013). The project organization needs to provide confidence to different stakeholders that activities and functions will be achieved according to specified requirements and standards. One way of having a quality assurance process is through a project quality charter that shows how activities will be achieved with specific measurable guidelines. Example of the project quality charter is presented in table 1.

Table 1 Quality charter

Project activity

Time to deliver

Owner

Remarks

Filling complaints from customers

Within 1 week after filling

Project manager

The most preferable method used in ensuring quality assurance is through project quality audits (Burke, 2013). The quality audit compares the actual performance over the planned standards. 

Quality controls involve processes involved with fulfilling quality requirements in projects (Kendrick, 2013). Project controls involve processes that involve data gathering, analytical processes used to forecast, explaining and influence resources and schedules of achieving a project. Controls provide additional tools that can be used to correct and make decisions in projects  (Hedman, 2013). The project need to employ suitable techniques, tools and methodologies to ensure quality is controlled. Inspections are part of quality controls that need to be carried out at different intervals to check compliance and report on the same for corrections (Voegtlin, Christian, Moritz Patzer, and Andreas Georg Scherer, 2012). The development of a control system for a project becomes a suitable project policy that managers need to take consederation. A project manager will need to document a project quality lists that will aid control of quality. Example of quality checklists can be presented in table 2.

Activity

Remark

Yes

No

The plan was implemented according to national policies

The activity was achieved according developed plans

There are several environmental factors that can influence performance of the project. Example is legal issues and cultural differences (Huber, 2014). Legal issues form external factors that a project manager need to take in consideration to avoid severe consequences. The legislations include compliance and licensing needs that need to be approved in a project if legislations are ignore they can be of risks to a project. During the planning process the project manager will need to identify the various legislations and formulate ways of addressing them (PMI., 2013). Legal issues affect the project at each stage from start to the end. Effective use of cross-cultural project teams can provide a source of innovative thinking and diverse experience to improve the likelihood of project success and to enhance the competitive position of the organization. However, if not managed carefully, cultural differences and related conflicts can interfere with the successful completion of projects in today's multicultural global business community.

Project Methodologies and Tools

Cultural differences are important in evaluating differences among stakeholder needs and expectations. Stakeholder analysis is important in management of different needs of the various parties from a divergent cultural heritage (Hegney, 2016). To achieve project goals and avoid cultural misunderstandings, project managers should be culturally sensitive and promote creativity, respect, and motivation through flexible leadership. Every project is unique because of dynamisms involved among project teams and stakeholders (Kloppenborg, 2014). Good techniques in management of teams are important in team development to ensure that every one is working towards project objectives (Kloppenborg, 2014). During the feasibility stage the project is able to gather information relating to project stakeholders cultural differences and be able to formulate a stakeholder register.

The project closure is the final stage of project. The final phase involves terminating or stopping the project from continuing (Heagney, 2016). There are several reasons that can make a project to be terminated. If the project goal has been achieved and the client is satisfied the project can be terminated (Heagney, 2016). Other reasons that can make a project to be stopped include: depleting of resources supporting the project is exhausted, legislations stopping the project, and stakeholders agree mutually to terminate the project (Lock, 2014). The termination is classified into extinction, addition, integration, and starvation. The termination process will begin after an evaluation process of project performance has taken place and report created on the same.

The project manager will need to formulate a termination process as early as possible it should be a smooth process that would not lead to conflicts (Andrew, 2014). There are several factors that are important to be considered during termination process. The factors may range from documentation, assets, resources and manpower. The termination implementation process should be planned and done in an orderly process and is the role of project manager (Heagney, Fundamentals of project management, 2016). The project manager will have primary duties in termination process as part of the jobs function. The project manager will be required to formulate a project close out check lists that form the basis of instruction and guide during the process (Larson, 2011). Table 3 shows a project closeout checklist.

Table 3 Project closeout checklist

Task descriptions

Action

Required date

Person charged

Yes

No

Accounts were closed

Prepare final technical report

Employees remunerated

Changes have taken place in management of quality in recent times. The quality controls have shifted to have quality management process (Heagney, The project manager leader. In fundamentals of project Management, 2016). The current quality management involves 4 steps (planning, control, assurance and implement). Quality is required every stages of the project, quality planning takes place during the planning process, while quality control and assurance take place during implementation of the project. Changes in quality have shifted it to become a standardization process where products need to be consistent in providing customer satisfaction. Current managers are focusing on quality management systems to aid their operations in projects. QMS presents a document that defines some of the quality preventive and corrective activities. The quality assurance process has shifted to have a conformity assessment process which comprises products and requirements. Quality has become part and parcel of any project where the focus is to compete with other organizations and projects to achieve the end results. Customer satisfaction is based on nature and quality of services and products provided (Heagney, The project manager leader. In fundamentals of project Management, 2016).

Quality Management and Control

Conclusion

The forces of globalization have produced rapid social change, often marked by more inter- and intra-regional disparity, environmental and ecological crisis, social disintegration, violence and conflict. Project methodologies, techniques and tools are important in management of projects. It is then important for project managers to adopt suitable methodologies that help in implementation of the project. The role of a project manager is to take a leading role in implementation and execution of the project based on project management plans provided. The project team should ensure that legislations and cultural differences are taken in consideration during the planning process. Project managers in today's multicultural global business community frequently encounter cultural differences, which can enhance or interfere with the successful completion of their projects. All the processes of the project will need to be delivered based on quality requirements and standards. The concept of project development may be impaired without a good knowledge and successful management of the impact of environmental factors influencing the performance of such projects. Proper controls should be put in place to ensure quality is maintained and becomes part of the projects activities and functions. Project managers, in addition to their traditional functions, must set up a process to scan the environment, to identify potential problems, and to try to establish power relationships that can help in the management of the key actors and factors on which successful implementation depends.

References

Andrew, F. (2014). Effects of risk management in projects. New York: Mc Graw Hill.

Bourne, L. (2015). Making projects work:effective stakeholder and communication management. New Delhi: CRC press.

Bryde, Broquetas & Volm . (2013). The project benefits of building information modelling. International Journal of project management, 31(7), 971-980.

Burke, R. (2013). Project management: planning and control tecniques. New Jersey: Wiley publishers.

Cleland, D. a. (2013). Project management handbook. New York, United States: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Felix, D. (2013). Composition of a Successful Management Team: How Much and What Kind of Experience Makes a Difference? The Journal of Private Equity,, 1(1), 33-36.

Gido & Clements. (2014). Successful project management. Chicago: Nelson Education.

Heagney, J. (2016). Fundamentals of project management. AMACOM: American management association .

Heagney, J. (2016). The project manager leader. In fundamentals of project Management. New York: Adventure works press.

Hedman, K. (2013). Project management professional exam study guide. Indianapolis: Wiley.

Hegney, A. (2016). Managing the team. In Fundamentals of Project Management. New York, Atlanta: Amacom Division of American Management Association International.

Huber, G. (2014). . Facilitating project team learning and contributions to organizational knowledge. . Creativity and Innovation Management, 10(3), 23=68.

Kendrick, T. (2013). The project management tool kit: 100 tips and techniques for getting the job done right. . AMACOM Div: American management Assn.

Kloppenborg, T. (2014). Contemporary project management. London: Nelson Education.

Larson, E. (2011). Project management: the managerial process. New York: Mc Graw Hill.

Lock, M. (2014). The essentials of project management. New York: Ashgate publishing Ltd.

PMI. (2013). A guide to project management body of knowledge . Newtown Square: PA: PMI.

Voegtlin, Christian, Moritz Patzer, and Andreas Georg Scherer. (2012). Responsible Leadership in Global Business: A New Approach to Leadership and Its Multi-Level Outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics , 1-16.

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