4.0 Managing Projects (Part 1) – Time & Project Budgets

Adopting the six stages clarifies a project, making it simpler to manage. What precisely does project management entail?

To begin, project leaders and teams are responsible for the following components:

1. Team

A project team is made up of individuals who will work together to accomplish the project’s objectives. The group is often composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds, each of whom brings unique information and abilities.

2. Goal

A wanted outcome (or objective) is desired for a product. Something is realized at the conclusion of a project. A new piece of software was developed, an organization was reorganized, or a bridge was constructed. Occasionally, the project’s objective is ambiguous or less well defined. Numerous initiatives require that the objective be adjusted as the project progresses

3. Resource scarcity

Time and money are always limited when it comes to finishing a job. No project is entirely free of time constraints.

4. Uncertainty (Risk Management) 

One of the distinguishing characteristics of initiatives is that their success is never guaranteed in advance. Even if the intended outcome has been obtained, it is unclear if it will be accomplished within the given budget or timeframe.

It is fairly uncommon for a project to take three times as long as anticipated and cost twice as much. Additionally, it is very uncommon for just 30% of the initial project team members to remain on the project once it is completed.

While project managers are responsible for a variety of tasks, they actually steer projects using just five parameters:

  • Money
  • Time
  • Quality
  • Organization

These five characteristics, which are often referred to as ‘control factors,’ are discussed in more detail below. Control elements are included into project planning, progress monitoring, and reporting.

Time #

The time element shows itself in a project via task deadlines and the amount of time required to complete these activities. Schedule management entails completing things on time.

  • Determine which activities should be carried out during which phases of the project.
  • Calculate the duration of each action.
  • Determine the order in which tasks should be completed.
  • Distribute personnel and supplies.
  • Distribute activities across a period of time.
  • Establish the most critical deadlines.

 Monitoring progress: #

  • Keep an eye on progress.
  • Keep an eye on deadlines.
  • Rearrange timetables.
  • Report on the actual time frame for the project.
  • Analyze and explain why some activities took much longer or shorter than anticipated.

Timetables are created using a work breakdown framework (WBS). A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a breakdown of the activities that must be performed in order to accomplish the project’s objective. To create a time plan, you must first determine the amount of time required for each job, as well as who will perform each task and when. The bar chart or Gantt chart is a widely used time management tool.

A rapidly expanding organization was constantly expanding its portfolio of initiatives. As the business became busier – its goods were in high demand – the employees started to feel under pressure to work in a frenzy in order to accomplish all of the tasks that required completion. Personnel desired increased hiring. Due to the expense, management was reluctant to do so and instead pushed current employees to work harder. How much work could the team manage effectively? This issue seemed to have no satisfactory solution, since the organization lacked a timekeeping system.

When a new project was started, an estimate of the estimated number of hours was created, but no one ever verified during or after the project to see whether this estimate was accurate. Nonetheless, project managers were encouraged to maintain control of their endeavors. The project managers complained that they lacked control over the initiatives in the absence of time records. After all, they had no idea how long it took to complete a project’s duties, and there was no way to adapt.

One project manager wanted to track his team’s hours. The registration revealed that the project required four times the number of hours first anticipated. Following a warning to the project leader for allowing the project to spiral out of control, management decided to implement a time-tracking system.

After many months, it became clear that a number of bottlenecks existed. It was discovered that almost all of the projects had been over budget. In reality, individuals allocated to a project for one hundred hours often require three times that amount. This openness resulted in the emergence of new problems. On the one hand, there were certainly insufficient people to successfully complete the projects. Additional staffing was required. Providing adequate staff came at a high expense. On the other hand, the projects seemed to have been offered to consumers much too cheaply (for far too few hours). The management was concerned that if they started charging for additional hours in their estimations, they would lose business.

Project Budgets #

The financial aspect of the project is reflected in the project budget. Money management within a project entails ensuring that expenses stay within budget. Given that the bulk of expenses in most projects are labor-related, the variables of money and time (labor hours) are inextricably linked.

Money in project plans: #

  • Establish the team members’ compensation.
  • Calculate the team members’ hours.
  • Assign funds to team members for specific tasks.
  • Determine the cost of materials and tools.

 Monitoring of funds in transit #

  • Keep an eye on cash flow.
  • Bargaining with suppliers.
  • Ascertain the accuracy of the first cost estimates.
  • Make adjustments to budgets.
  • Arrange for budget modifications with the customer and/or client.
  • Compile financial reports and statements for projects.
  • Conduct a thorough analysis of the final financial report.