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Select a current or past project you have been involved with in your organization or community; this can also be made up
Write a paper of no more than 1,050 words that includes the following elements:
•A brief description of the project, including an identification of the primary goals of the project
•A description of how this project met the definition and characteristics of a project as defined in Ch. 1 of Project Management. Why would you consider it a project rather than day-to-day work?
•A description of the organizational structure, based on the structures discussed in Ch. 2 of Project Management. Explain how this project fits within the organizational structure. Explain the pros and cons of the organizational structure in terms of the project outcomes.
•A description of the culture of the organization that includes concepts from Ch. 3 of Project Management. How did the cultural norms affect this project from a positive or negative perspective?
The attachments is from the book – Project Management: The Managerial Process 6th edition – authors are Erik Larson and Clifford Gary
Project Management Concepts and Applications Paper
A project is a temporary enterprise established and undertaken to generate a unique product, service or result within a defined life span. However, project management is a process which the identified project is initiated, planned, executed, and controlled to ensure the project team work accomplishes the set specific goals and outcomes. Since the process is result-oriented, its primary functions involves balancing the trade-offs between time, cost, and performance while satisfying customers’ needs (Gray & Larson, 2014). This paper describes a number of project management concepts and their application within an identified project I got involved within the community.
In 2014, I participated in a project aimed at reducing the number of obese adolescents within the community. The local public health survey data reported about 55% of adolescents being obese, which increased their potential health risk to various chronic diseases. The project lasted for six months involving five teams that implemented various weight management programs and achieved to reduce obese adolescents from 55% to below 10%. The primary goals aimed at managing the adolescents’ weights to normal weights with respect to their age to weight scales. It also aimed at educating the adolescents and the parents on the potential health risks of being overweight to ensure active participation of community members to the project. Moreover, it aimed at promoting proper community nutrition and body physical activities as a way of managing overweight among adolescents and other community populations.
The project met the definition since it was a temporary enterprise established to accomplish a desired health outcome within the community. Subsequently, this project established its major objectives aimed at managing the weight of adolescents to normal weights with respect to their age to weight scales. Additionally, the project had a defined life span of six months from January to the end of June in the year 2014. It comprised of various department and professionals such as the local public health department, schools, churches, adolescents, parents, physical therapists, nutritionists, and community nurses. The active involvement of entirely all the community through weight management programs namely; body physical activities, nutritional counseling and dieting was a unique something that never existed in the community (Gray & Larson, 2014).
In addition, the project’s performance promoted health to the adolescent and community through weight management programs to improve their health with no community costs since the project was locally funded by the local public health department. The project differed from day-day work since it occurred once and was not a routine from repetitive work. Besides, the project only lasted for a period of six months where new outcome was recorded whereas results from day-to-day work are achieved on a daily basis on various repetitive works (Gray & Larson, 2014).
The organizational structure comprised of five teams namely; the local public health department, community nurses, social workers and volunteers, nutritionists and physical therapists. The leadership from each team ensured commitment and implementation of project strategies and activities throughout its life span. The project management was undertaken by the local public health department that defined the project goals and objectives, as well as strategies to be implemented by the four teams. It coordinated and monitored the progress all the project activities within a central point where each of the team implemented its strategy independently. The social workers and volunteers educated and encouraged the parents and adolescents to participate in weight management programs to promote healthy weights. Additionally, the nutritionist team counseled the community on food choices and diet to promote proper nutrition in weight management. The physical therapists guided the adolescents through various body physical activities including gym and other physical fitness techniques. Moreover, the community nurses educated the adolescents on the potential health risks of obesity while performing continuous weight measurements to monitor the progress (Gray & Larson, 2014).
The benefits of this organization structure allowed a centralized project management; thus, ensuring an effective coordination and monitoring the different project segments to appropriate areas within the community. Moreover, the independent implementation of specific project strategies by each project team eliminated the duplication of activities hence facilitating flexibility, efficacy, and streamlining the project objectives within the set time frame. However, the centralization of project activities delayed the integration process across the functional teams of the project; thus, slowing the project completion time due to the attributed slow response from top hierarchy to the team leadership. Furthermore, it weakened the motivation of project teams due to lack of ownership since the hierarchy management did not directly link the specialists to their professional development (Gray & Larson, 2014).
The organizational culture facilitated a coordinated vertical and horizontal communication between the project teams and top management hence ensuring a timely implementation of all the project activities as stipulated within the project objectives. Moreover, the culture created flexibility and commitment among team members hence supporting and streamlining project operations towards the achievement of core set objectives. Subsequently, the positive cultural norms ensured a fast and prompt implementation of project activities by each of the project team without differing up the top hierarchy. Besides, it facilitated cohesiveness within project teams where members shared a common goal and responsibility towards project objectives. It also created a cross-functional integration between different team members to work closely through expertise while ensuring teams’ commitment and dedication towards accomplishment of set objectives (Gray & Larson, 2014).
However, the weaknesses involved internal strive among team members due to independent implementation of the project activities; thus, creating division among different teams. Subsequently, this undermined the mainstream operations among team members, as well as their assimilation back into their functional units after project completion. Additionally, the establishment of independent self-contained teams limited the technological expertise between specialists assigned to the project such as the nutritionists, nurses, and physical therapists. Consequently, this prevented the specialists from consulting with others within their independent functional project teams (Gray & Larson, 2014).
Project management is a vital organizational tool that helps in managing numerous organizational projects to achieve the set objectives. Its application across a wide range of disciplines allows the organizations to plan, implement, and control the project activities to succeed. Therefore, this makes the fundamentals of project management universal through the use of similar methodology to develop create new products, organize events, refurbish aging operations, and among others.
Gray, C. F., & Larson, E. W. (2014). Project management: The managerial process (6th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education
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