I agree that the problems in the story are avoidable with better conformity to standards, good communication with parties involved, and analysis of impacts on stakeholders. Many major projects are under the scrutiny of federal, state, local, and/or professional regulatory agency regulations (Schwierking & Anantatmula, 2015). This is particularly important for projects whose implementation, service, or end-product affect the security or safety of stakeholders. Failure to comply with standards set by these agencies may result in unforeseen events that could expose the project manager to litigation by stakeholders (Schwierking & Anantatmula, 2015). Compliance is about conforming to a law, rule, requirement, or standard. The structure of project management compliance comprises standards, procedures, and processes that should be adhered to or followed to ensure that stakeholders understand their responsibilities and roles. The compliance structure makes it possible for project managers to gain control over the management of the project’s deliverables, time management, budget, and scope. Poorly managed projects cost American government agencies and companies about $150 billion annually (Sanjuan & Froese, 2013). Major factors contributing to poor project management practices include failure to match project management practices with best practices and the unawareness or lack of conviction by project organizations about the value of applying various project management practices (Sanjuan & Froese, 2013).
Analysis of the project’s impact would have avoided the problems associated with the project as the project manager would understand the views of various stakeholders, including the government, the community, the project team, and other experts who would point out the dangers of the negative impacts of the projects to the residents (Watt, 2012). Poor communication is associated with a greater impact later in the project (Rajkumar, 2010). Communication accounts for nearly 90 percent of a project manager’s job. As a result, the project manager must ensure that all parties get the right message right at the right time (Watt, 2012).
While one can agree with the author that project management requires people who know how to learn the rules, create a safe environment, and know why they exist, one can disagree with the claim that innovative people cannot apply and comply with standards. Innovative people do not face hurdles that make them ineffective communicators or less stakeholder-focus. As such, innovative people working in project management should familiarize themselves with the best practices and standards set by various regulatory bodies to create a safe environment for all.
Risk management is one of the areas covered in the story where the project manager focuses on cost minimization and ignores risks that may occur during the execution or after the project (Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017). There was a need for the project manager to conduct a quantitative and qualitative risk assessment of the impact of the project. The planning phase is ideal for risk management, where the project team identifies anything that may pose a threat to the project (Watt, 2012).
Many reasons contribute to the failure of projects. The findings of a survey conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers reveal that poor definition of goals and objectives account for 12% of project failure, lack of support from the top management accounts for 16%, and inadequate project planning and estimation accounts for 30% of project failures (Taljaard, 2018). The study also reveals that the application of established project management approaches enhances success as revealed by key performance indicators of benefits, budgets, schedule, scope, and quality. The study concluded that one of the factors driving success in project delivery is establishing a Project Management Office (PMO). The PMO refers to a department in the business or organization that maintains and defines standards for project management within the organization. The PMO is responsible for providing project management oversight and support functions to ensure that the organization remains responsible for the management of projects (Taljaard, 2018).
Project management is also associated with the creation of organizational value. Expenditure on project management does not always positively impact profits and revenues (Thomas & Mullaly, 2007). While project management is embraced due to the promise of improving efficiency, improving project management does not always lead to cost savings and may also lead to an increase in costs in the short run. In many cases, project management improvement does not result in high cost and revenue impacts. Bust is more linked with improvement of less tangible aspects of the project, such as meeting stakeholders’ expectations around process, quality, timing, and cost. As such, the organization is likely to benefit from the organizational value in many areas of the business, including satisfaction, business outcomes, process outcomes, business outcomes, return on investment, and aligned use of resources (Thomas & Mullaly, 2007).
Project management contributes to the competitive advantage of a firm. Implementing project management in an organization helps establish a strategic value chain that will give the organization an edge over competitors, especially in markets and sectors and markets of high risk (Project Management Institute, Inc., 2010). Organizations become more competitive due to the enhanced ability to deliver projects within the budget and on time hence making it possible for them to release new products that are successful in the market. Findings of one study show that about 90 percent of senior executives describe project management approaches as important or critical to ensure they remain successful and successfully deliver their projects (Project Management Institute, Inc., 2010). Implementing project management in the organization brings value to the firm due to the increased ability to deliver to customer demands. To ensure that the company maintains its competitive edge, there is a need to align project management strategies with strategic business goals. PMOs are powerful links in managing and establishing the connection between results and strategy. Organizations embrace project management to improve project results and control spending. Using project management during economic recessions leads to an improvement in success rate, cost savings, and reduced risks (Project Management Institute, Inc., 2010).
Project management helps in saving time and money (Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017). This is possible through the right planning where the organization can ensure timely project delivery and within the planned budget. This is one way of ensuring efficiency in allocating financial resources and avoiding delays that could make the project costly. Project management also helps in improving internal communication. The project management framework allows communication between project teams and other stakeholders, ensuring accountability, responsibility, and transparency. Other benefits of project management include termination of failing projects, meeting stakeholders’ expectations, timely response to risks, optimizing the use of resources, and management of constraints such as resources, schedule, costs, quality, or scope (Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017). Project management is associated with improved project performance and success (Fernandes et al., 2020). If the project’s success is limited to scope, time, and cost, then project management is regarded as having the potential to provide operational value. As such, strategic value can be realized if there is a clear link between how effective and efficient a project is performed and how the project’s services and products provide value to the business (Fernandes et al., 2020).
- Fernandes, G., O’Sullivan, D., Pinto, E. B., Araújo, M., & Machado, R. J. (2020). Value of project management in university–industry R&D collaborations. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business.
- Project Management Institute, Inc. (2010). The Value of Project Management. https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/white-papers/value-of-project-management.pdf
- Project Management Institute, Inc. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® guide)–sixth edition (6th ed.). https://book.akij.net/eBooks/2018/March/5abcc35b666f7/a%20guide%20to%20the%20project%20management%20body%20of%20knowledge%206e.pdf
- Rajkumar, S. (2010, July). Art of communication in project management. In PMI® Research Conference: Defining the Future of Project Management, Washington, DC. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
- Sanjuan, A. G., & Froese, T. (2013). The application of project management standards and success factors to the development of a project management assessment tool. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 74, 91-100.
- Schwierking, J., & Anantatmula, V. S. (2015). Project Management and Regulatory Compliance: The Missing Ingredient? ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282993934_Project_Management_and_Regulatory_Compliance
- Taljaard, K. (2018). The Project Management Office (PMO). Owner Team Consultation. https://www.ownerteamconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Insight-Article-054-The-Project-Management-Office.pdf
- Thomas, J., & Mullaly, M. (2007). Understanding the value of project management: First steps on an international investigation in search of value. Project Management Journal, 38(3), 74-89. https://doi.org/10.1002/pmj.20007
- Watt, A. (2012). Project Management (2nd ed.). BCcampus Open Education.