Control and estimation involve many different factors within a project. Project management needs to take control of various aspects of work such as quality, time, budget, and scope. An integrated control process is a vital key of project planning, along with the estimation which is despite being associated with guessing, involves deep financial analysis. The analysis is conducted to realize a plan based on such aspects as deadlines, competitive advantage, save costs and resources, and foreseen risk probabilities.
In this research, such terms as crashing the project and the various factors and conclusions related to this topic will be covered.
The management reserves are the reserves that were made originally for foreseen risk possibilities which can include time reserves and budget reserves. In analogy contingency reserves are reserves made for unforeseen risk possibilities.
If considering a relation between crashing a project and management/contingency reserves it can be seen that when you crash a project you trade money for a time therefore if over time the risk decreases, the usage of the reserves can reduce the time and increase the risk factor. So the crashing according to risk possibilities can be recommended only with fast-tracking (doing several tasks in parallel instead of sequential order), and it is hard to achieve the time and money factor simultaneously.
As a result of management and contingency reserves cover the time factor we might consider the crashing goals and benefits as a risk to follow.
The scope is the goal of the production and a sum of its features, we can also describe it as an interconnecting relation between the project’s factors and the final achievement of the project.
In explaining the impact of crashing the project and the scope we may use the term scope with the most influencing factors which are the time and the budget argument. In presenting this connection we can assume that it is a triangle with each side representing those three elements. As a result, it can be seen that it is impossible to affect one side of this triangle without changing the others. As defined previously of the term crashing the project is reducing the time spent on the project, therefore reducing the timeline of the triangle will affect either the budget or the scope. Reducing without affecting the scope will result in an increased budget. To keep the budget unchanged will result in scope change.
The process of reviewing and approving the changes in the project also can be referred to as change control or change management.
In general, Project Managers should pay a great deal of attention to managing scope. Allowing the project’s scope to change in the middle of the process usually means added costs, greater risks, and longer duration. Many projects fail due to poor scope management. A good change scope management process can be reached in several activities such as:
- Taking the change request and presenting it to the sponsors or for evaluation;
- Having a scope change log to document the changes requested and tracking them if approved or not;
- Adding the changes to the work plan list if the scope changes are approved and updating the project plan.
To track down the plan in the decision to make adjustments and changes, analysis of variables in the project is conducted and forming a repot (variance report). The data collected can be used for further analysis. There are many types of variances reports which can be used the main to focus are:
Estimate to Planned. This report is to spot the difference between what we estimate and how they plan to do the work is, in the process, there might be changes it is better to search for alternatives before the work is actually started. This could be used to make scope adjustments at the start of the project. The estimation process can be oriented on guessing without detailed analysis, so it is a good idea to put a report preliminary.
Planned to Actual. This report is based on improving the future work process. Its variable difference indicates the differences between the planned work and the actual outcome. This report shows the various changes that took place during the project execution, such differences which were resulted from scope change or crashing the project or management change initiated by any factor whether it is a customer or sponsor request or changes in the regulations.
The outcome of this report can be beneficial in future projects; no changes in the results are possible.
Estimate to Actual. This report is a combination of the previous two, to spot the initial; plan assumption and the visible scope outcome to make strategic changes in the ideology, if this outcome proved unprofitable even with plan adjustments through the process based on planning to the actual report. Usually, this report shows the planning and scope change mistakes and evaluates the management and contingencies reserves estimated in the planning process.
For a more detailed analysis, different variables could be substituted to show and point other considerations. The variant with cost-time variables is better suited to adjust to another schedule or to plan a crash in the project, which is usually, determines the possibility of such actions.
Alternatively, unplanned customer change requests may be fully billable, in which case we need to identify those changes as such and invoice accordingly. It is very important to point out that some of the most financially successful groups I have worked with are very adept at writing detailed quotes, assembling solid plans, and then capturing customer change requests and billing for them.
Although many projects may come to their end through cancellation, most projects reach their planned goal. This “conclusion” is a part of the project management process, which is identified as project closure. The project Closure stage is the last phase of the Project plan duration. The start of the Project Closure Phase is determined by the completion of all Project Objectives and acceptance of the end product by the customer or the sponsor. In addition, while preceding the closure of any project, it should be reviewed through overall success by conducting a post-project report. This report helps you to make conclusions and examine whether the project delivered the business benefits, met the customer’s requirements, and remained within scope and budget. It will also help you determine if the project adapted to the management processes such as change Management and scope, or the estimated budget and Management/contingency reserves. Usually, it involves the closure of all the projects records and the reallocating of the staff and reserves.
Dinsmore, P. C. & Cabanis-Brewin, J. (Eds.). (2006). The AMA Handbook of Project Management (2nd ed.). New York: AMACOM.
Richman, L. (2002). Project Management Step-By-Step. New York: AMACOM.
Gray ,C.F.&Larson E.W. (2003) Project Management: The Managerial Process. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.