Integrating Project Management Techniques to a Public Service Organization.

Historical Overview

Project management is defined as a discipline that concerns itself with managing and organizing different resources in order to make sure that different projects are completed given various constraints like cost, time, quality and scope.

Project management as a scientific discipline has evolved from many disciplines. Among some of the notable fields, include engineering, construction, and defense. The discipline is an offshoot of Fredrick Taylor’s theories of scientific management. This is especially using the Gantt chart as a tool for project management. The modern project management period started in the 1950s.

During this time, two mathematical models were in existence. These were the project evaluation and review technique(PERT), and the critical path method(CPM).by 1956 there were new technologies for project cost estimation that had been developed by different practitioners including the American association of cost engineers. This association commonly abbreviated as the AACE has been very influential in this discipline and in the year 2006 it released the first integrated process for program, portfolio and program management. This is called the total cost management framework.

Introduction

There are different tools and or techniques of project management in use today. The application of one technique more efficiently than the other depends on a specific organizations structure as well as the industry, it involves its operations.

In its analysis and evaluation, there are different approaches to managing different project activities. These different approaches include the traditional approach, the rational unified process and the critical chain. The main differences between these approaches are that some are incremental based, others are phase based while others are inter active or agile.

Benefits of PM Techniques

Since inception of project management techniques, these tools have had tremendous impact on different organizations and enterprises. Just as project management, techniques are needed within the private sector, their use and application within the public sector is necessary. Both in the private sector and public service organizations the following advantages of project management techniques have been observed.

Firstly, techniques of PM have been seen to improve the process of analysis as well as design of various objectives as well as events in different public organizations, as well as helping to plan work according to the objectives identified. These techniques have also been seen to help in the field of risk management, allocating and estimating resources, as well as directing the progression of various activities within the organization.

Different techniques of project management have also been seen to help in the process of controlling the nature of project execution. In addition, these techniques have been successfully used to prevent defects or to rectify such defects. In any manufacturing process or industry there is always the chance that some of the products or programs will be of sub-standard quality. It is only in rare cases that all of the products are defective. The issue of identified weakness can be diagnosed within the production process but in rare cases, it is realized after goods have already been sold and shipped and thus they have to be recalled back.

Once a weakness has been realized on a program or product the manufacturer has to make necessary arrangements in order to revise that product/program. Revising a product thus can only be done after there has been an identifiable weakness within the product/program. In rare cases after there has been an identifiable weakness, the defect may be very critical, that it may cause the manufacturer to discontinue the production of the program/product altogether.

Techniques of project management have also been successfully used in different organizations for tracking as well as reporting project progress.

In an increasingly changing world customer, demands keep on changing. As a result, it is necessary to apply different techniques of project management in order to identify, manage as well as control organizational changes.

Using project management techniques like PERT it has been shown that the process of quality improvement of our products can be done effectively and efficiently.

List of PM Techniques

Program/project evaluation and review technique

Critical path method

Financial tools (Cause and effect charts)

Project Cycle Optimization

Planning and Management Methodologies

Gantt charts

Total cost management

The Planning Cycle

Event Chain Diagrams

Work breakdown structure

Run charts

Estimating time accurately

Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis and or Stakeholder Analysis and Stakeholder Management.

Recommendation on How to Integrate Those Techniques

Different projects have different initiation and completion times. As a result, it is necessary to note and analyze projects in order to know some critical information concerning the projects and or programs. This information is necessary to help in the process of integrating these techniques.

Such information should include; data on dependent projects, lead times, critical path, projects that can be fast tracked, lag times, amongst others. If this information is available then it will be easier to integrate some of these techniques since the information will prevent us from causing things like project crashing, unwanted delays and or program/project defects. However, in this process of integration caution should be taken to avoid integrating techniques that are very different in the assumptions of their analysis. This is due to the reason that this may cause unwanted effects at the time of the completion of projects.

Conclusion

Public service organizations are establishments that seek to provide goods and services that cannot be provided for by the private sector. Due to this fact, the main objectives of the organizations may not be to make profits or optimization and or maximization of revenue.

Due to this fact, the application of some of these project management techniques may not be in line with the objectives of the organization. Thus, the project managers of such public institutions and or organizations should seek to use the best techniques that are in line with the objectives of the firm and or corporation.

References

Airasian, P., Gay, L. R., Mills, G. (2006). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications (8th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Dick, W. & Carey, L. (2001). The systematic design of instruction (5th Ed.). Longman Publishing Group.