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Project Management Walmart ProjectBusiness Plan

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¶ … Project management is an area of concern for the majority of large companies, and should be considered as a primary component in most business ventures. When most individuals think of project management they likely imagine a construction foreman in a yellow hard-hat perusing blueprints whilst deciding what his/her next move should be. In actuality, the project manager is like the quarterback of a football team, everything (at least on offense) runs through him. He is the leader and the man who determines the overall success of the team. There are other almost as equally important individuals, but the reason why quarterbacks are so highly valued, is because in reality they are the ones who are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the team accomplishes its goals and objectives.

Key Principles

Philbin and Kennedy (2016) wrote that a project manager who wishes to experience success on a project needs to ensure that there are effective communications and engagement between the various project participants, partners, clients and other stakeholders. There are a wide variety of other principles of successful project management besides effective communications and engagement however; one of the most important things to remember includes the fact that a pre-determination on whether the project is of a viable nature, whether the project should even be initiated, is of dire importance. If a project is doomed from the very beginning, then it is likely to cause more headaches than it is worth it to even start the project. Is the project a good use of resources, is the project worthwhile, will it provide a reasonable return on investment, are all questions that should be asked before the project is approved.

Keeping in mind the fact that projects are temporary in nature is another principle along with the fact that each project should have an ending date or a timeline that keeps the project manager (and the team) on track for completion of the project. Creating a timeline allows the project manager to not only track the progress of the project, but also allows him/her to assign responsibilities for completing tasks along the path to completion. By assigning the tasks to a specific individual or individuals, the project manager can ensure that the best possible person will be assigned to each task. There are intrinsic tasks to almost every project and Sarkisov, Stoyanova and Dli (2013) found that the way to solve most intrinsic management problems is through the use of intrinsic methods and sources; employees are not only good intrinsic sources, they can also offer intrinsic solution methods.

Risks are inherent in every project; what if the project fails to accomplish the set goals and objectives? That is just one of the risks that has to be considered. Other risks to consider is that the project will take too long to complete, that the project will be too costly, and that the project itself can be derailed. Weighing the risks against the rewards that the project will likely provide is a good method for determining whether the return on investment meets any criteria set forth by the firm.

Another principle in project management is developing a project plan that takes into account the employee's strengths and weaknesses and how those can be used to the best advantage; this is a skill that a proficient and effective project manager needs to develop in order to efficiently manage the project.

Two other principles are key in project management; that is how the design process is developed and the quality of the design product.

Volker (2010), Abdirad and Nazari (2015) found that the structure of the tasks as well as the flow of information throughout the project design provides a more likely successful conclusion to the project. Some of the intangible requirements of the design help to address such concerns as the employee's character, innovations, creativity and sense of place (Sebastian, 2005).

Project Management Systems

As mentioned above, an important and key principle to successful project management is to create a process that will lead to success. Creating a process is a relatively simple matter as long as the correct system is in place. In today's modern electronic world there are a myriad of project management systems that provide the project manager with the ability to command and control all aspects of a project and most tout the idea that the system can bring forth successful completion of the project on time and within budget. Many management software systems feature benefits such as the ability to plan, schedule, and inspect the project in an ongoing and consistent manner. The more comprehensive project management systems capabilities track key tasks and milestones and allows the manager to select certain features to be communicated to project employees and/or stakeholders. Selecting the proper management system, and implementing it, is an important cog in the successful completion of the project. Some of the features that should be considered by the project manager in choosing the correct system includes; 1) the ease of navigating through the system, 2) how the system allows management of the project resources, 3) provides reports and documents in a timely and efficient manner, and 4) provides end-to-end management capabilities (especially for larger projects).

Considering the project management system can be as easy as determining the four above factors, but oftentimes the company will already have a project management system in place. If that is the case, then the project manager should ensure that he/she is knowledgeable and comfortable with that system.

Project Leadership

According to Philbin and Kennedy (2016) a project leader needs to tackle problems as they present themselves during the project life cycle by developing appropriate responses to mitigate those problems. Tackling project problems are only part of what a project manager is responsible for; he/she must be prepared with a project schedule, timeline and ensuring that all the employees buy into the project and put forth their full efforts to achieve success. Some of the things to remember in project management is that when working with schedules and employees, is to (for the most part) allow the employee to set the deadline based on his/her workload and level of comfort; employees can then be part of the intrinsic solution methods as stated previously in this paper. Being a good project leader takes more than just showing up and telling employees what their particular job(s) are. Giltinane (2013) states that "a leader's role is to elicit effective performance from others" (p. 36). Ensuring an effective performance can be a difficult task; especially if something goes wrong with the project, or the project's progress is being hindered in some manner. Depending on the project, a collaborative approach will often work best, but in the end there almost always has to be a person of authority and responsibility, a person in charge. That person is the leader of the project. Of course, just because an individual is titled as the project manager does not necessarily mean that he/she is a true leader.

Leadership, and leadership styles are important cogs in the smooth progression of a project. Describing leadership can best be done as providing a plan or instructions to employees who will then be motivated to complete a project. Tiffin (2014) stated that there are a variety of leadership styles but establishing a leadership style that displays a common purpose is the first step to success.

Participative Leadership

The participative style of leadership seems to be much more conducive to project management; it allows for discussion, debate and collaboration between the members of the organization and the organization's leaders. Bennet (2014) stated that for a truly effective leader, you must calculate what's the critical matter at hand, and figure out the best path to reach success; in order to accomplish that task, input is needed, usually from more than just one source. Other individuals and groups need to participate (hence, the term participative) in the process. The participative leader is one that inserts himself into the group as more than just a leader, although he would often be facilitating the conversation or discussion, it would likely be more as a member of the group rather than in the explicit leadership role. Once the group was able to come to a consensus upon the path or actions to take, then the leader can revert back to the role of responsibility for ensuring that whatever actions are necessary for successful completion would be initiated and taken by the various members of the organization. Grasmick, Davies, and Harbour (2012) found that participative leadership is not only highly interactive and dynamic, it is a developmental process for building environments for broad participation. Broad participation is exactly what a project manager needs from his/her team (there is no "I" in team).

It would seem likely therefore that the project manager -- as a leader -- would want not only his staff and the employees working on the project to buy into his/her philosophy, but the other stakeholders as… [END OF PREVIEW]

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