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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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Discuss the principal reasons why project management has become such a popular business tool in recent years. [MO1.1] 


I believe project management has become a popular business tool in recent years is because it provides a compelling replacement to day-to-day business operations. According to the text, project work is continuously evolving, establishes its own work rules, and is the antithesis of repetition in the workplace (Pinto, 2009, p. 5).  I also think that project management allows for more adaptability in an organization, a trait that is imperative to remain competitive in today's global marketplace. The adaptability, as well as problem-solving capabilities,+ that project management enables allows companies to innovate and develop products that will be competitive in current and future markets.

References:

Pinto, J. K. (2009). Project management: Achieving competitive advantage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Suppose that you are in charge of a production line. What is expected of you as a process manager? Now suppose that you are assigned the task of making a radical change to the production process. What then would be expected of you as a project manager? [MO1.2]


As a process manager, it would be my responsibility to improve efficiency within the line and ensure there is not waste.  As a project manager, on the other hand, improving efficiency comes from researching outside solutions that can be applied to the line.  In order to make a radical change I would be responsible for incorporating projects that develop better processes to the lines, whether it be through technology or better personnel management, that would improve the internal structure as well as the line.

Describe the basic elements of the project life cycle. Why is an understanding of the project life cycle relevant for understanding project management? [MO1.4]

According to the text, the four distinct phases of a project life cycle are conceptualization, planning, execution, and termination.  Conceptualization is the first phase and is where the initial goals of the project are developed.  The planning stage is where budgets, teams, schedules, and other plans are developed.  The execution stage is where everything is put into motion, where teams execute the goals and plans developed in the first two phases.  Lastly, termination happens when the project is completed and delivered to the customer.  

This life cycle is the core philosophy of a project manager.  It is important for a project manager to understand these stages because they are the waypoints at which the project team can evaluate both its performance and the project's overall status (Pinto, 2009, p. 13). These stages help keep track of of where a team is at in a project and what resources are required.  


References:

Pinto, J. K. (2009). Project management: Achieving competitive advantage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Compare and contrast the three organizational structures discussed in the text: functional, project, and matrix. Provide examples that show the difference between the three, including some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. [MO1.5]


In a functional organization, employees that perform similar activities are grouped into departments. This organizational type is the most common in business.  Examples of functional types of departments are research and development, accounting, marketing, etc. This structure works best in small organizations that target a small number of products.  It can allow a company to be great at improving a single product, but doesn't scale up well.  A larger company that uses the functional organizational type may find itself plagued by lack of innovation, communication, and long decision wait times due to the hierarchy.

Project organizations are structured by grouping people into teams.  These teams operate on a temporary basis as that is their exclusive focus.  Boeing is an example of a project organization, since each project is a self-contained business unit with a dedicated project team. This type of organization is highly adaptable and flexible, making it great at competing in the global market.  The problem with this type is if a project manager fails to proper plan and define precise goals then project teams may be confused which could effect the product.  It is important for a project manager to be a strategic and thorough planner otherwise the organization will lose its profits.

Finally, a matrix organization is structured by creating a dual hierarchy in which functions and projects have equal prominence (Pinto, 2009, p. 48). Matrix types seek a combination of functional organization and a pure project form.  This type is not particularly the best at anything but is highly adaptable.  It is different than the other two in that it is highly efficient at allocating resources to different areas and relies heavily on internal structure for problem solving.  Matrix organizations fail when it's diversity is unable to mesh, such as process and project managers that are unable to work together.

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