Operations Management / Supply Chain Management

Module 02: Project Management

The text authors present a project as a series of related jobs directed toward some major output and requiring a significant period of time to perform.  Projects typically have the following things in common:

  • Numerous sequential and interrelated activities
  • Unique set of events
  • Finite with a beginning and end date
  • Limited resources and budget
  • Many people involved
  • Goal oriented
  • Results in an end product or service

Project management then involves all the activities of planning, directing and controlling resources (people, equipment, materials, etc.) to meet the technical, cost and time constraints of a project.

Project Management is not just a theoretical concept -projects are evident all around us in everyday life and each one of us is likely working on one or more projects at a time.

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Take this course for example.  Does it have multiple step?  Does it have a finite time period?  Does it take resources?  Think of examples in your own life right now and try to relate the concepts presented in this module to one of your real life situations.  This should enhance the learning experience of you.  Also, take a look at the Video on Project Management at Hard Rock’s Rockfest, which the authors include in the Multimedia Library on MyOMLab.  You may find this quite interesting.

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Projects usually represent significant events and require significant investments in resources and capital.  Project cost increases over time as more an more resources are committed and risks also increase – in terms of missed project milestones and / or required changes.  Often, project scope can change dramatically as time moves forward.  This is especially important to manage because any change in scope impacts projected completion dates and cost.  Risk is high at the beginning of a project because there are many uncertainties.  Cost is low because costs are primarily related to planning and initiation.  However, the relationship changes over the course of the project.  In general, costs go up but risks go down.  With proper planning, scheduling and controlling, risks and can be effectively minimized and milestones can be met.