Tuesday 25 January 2022

Project Administration: Concept, Principles and Processes



Project administration is an essential part of the work of any modern organization aimed at obtaining results. The quality of its implementation depends on the success of the implementation of programs and the speed of achieving the set goals of the organization.

What is it Project administration

Any activity needs to be clearly monitored and coordinated. In particular, this applies to the implementation of various ideas and programs. Project administration is a guide using tangible, intangible and human resources to achieve optimal performance relative to financial, time and quality indicators. Its need is due to the following factors:

  • Without control, it is impossible to timely and harmoniously solve a large number of problems. To unite the efforts of specialists and give them a single direction, a coordination system is needed - this is the administration of the project.
  • Achieving the goals is possible with the availability of resources from internal or external sources. Finding funds is another task of the manager.
  • The implementation of actions to achieve the goals requires the development of a management structure and a clear organization of the process.

Main elements

The concept of project administration can be divided into the following main elements:

  • Purpose. This is the final result that is planned to be obtained as a result of the project. It is expressed in a numerical temporal meaning.
  • Complexity. This is a list of tasks that need to be solved to achieve the ultimate goal, as well as the relationship between these processes.
  • Uniqueness. The project is a one-time undertaking that should not be repeated unchanged in the future. Even duplicate ideas can differ significantly in the implementation environment and resource structure.
  • Time frame. Each plan has start and end points, which are characterized by calendar parameters.
  • Life cycle. These are the stages that characterize the degree of achievement of the set goals.

Principles of administration

Managers should be guided by the following basic principles of project administration:

  • clear formulation of objectives and planned outcomes, taking into account the likely risks;
  • identification of responsibility centres not only for the project as a whole, but also for its individual components;
  • creation of an effective system of work planning and forecasting of parameters;
  • managing the progress of implementation;
  • creation of an effective team that will be motivated by common interests.

Task Types

In the theory of project administration, there are three types of tasks. Namely:

  • Detailed. These are tasks of the lowest level, they ensure the functioning of the project.
  • Compound. They belong to the intermediate and higher levels. Directly related to the subject area of the project.
  • Milestone. This is a zero-duration task, which represents the completion date of a particular stage of work.



The organization of project administration may differ slightly, depending on what type of project it belongs to. According to the spheres of activity, there are:

  • •    Technical (construction of buildings, introduction of new production technologies, software development, and so on).
  • •    Organizational (creation of a new enterprise or reorganization of an existing one, introduction of new management systems, and so on).
  • •    Economic (introduction of new budgeting systems or central planning, etc.).
  • •    Social (reforming the system of social security and social protection of employees, as well as environmental responsibility).
  • •    Mixed.

By size, there are:

  • •    Monoprojects (have a specific purpose and purpose).
  • •    Multi-projects (consist of several monoprojects).
  • •    Megaproject (target programs consisting of a complex of monoprojects and multi-projects).

According to the intended purpose, the following are distinguished:

  • •    Investment (creation or renewal of fixed assets with the involvement of external funds).
  • •    Innovative (development and implementation of new technologies or control systems).
  • •    Research (development of new products or production methods).
  • •    Training and educational (advanced training of employees).
  • •    Mixed.

What does the Project Administration Department do?
In large enterprises, administration issues are entrusted to specialized departments. In small organizations, this is done by a manager or a general director. Project administration implies the following activities:

  • •    organization of meetings, their recording and monitoring of the implementation of decisions taken;
  • •    collection of reporting information;
  • •    preparation of certificates and presentations;
  • •    selection of information for the manager's speech;
  • •    preparation of schedules for the implementation of projects;
  • •    organization of reception of project participants;
  • •    coordination of meetings;
  • •    execution of instructions of the project manager;
  • •    adjustment of calendar plans;
  • •    informing interested parties and sending documentation;
  • •    documentation support of the project.


Main participants of the projects

Its participants play an important role in the administration of the project. Here are the main stakeholders of the project:

  • •    The customer is the future owner of the project results. It defines the requirements for parameters and performance. It also provides financing using its own or borrowed funds.
  • •    The initiator is an employee who, realizing the need for the project, makes a proposal for its implementation. This person can work in the organization or be invited from outside.
  • •    A curator is a person who monitors the process of project implementation and directs it. He exercises overall control and supports the project.
  • •    Manager - a person who is directly responsible for the administration of the project and its implementation.
  • •    Manager - provides daily management of the team that works on the implementation of the project.
  • •    Investor - a person or organization that provides the implementation of the project with financial resources.

Basic procedures

A number of procedures are performed during the project administration process. Here are the main ones:

  • •    determination of the features of the internal and external environment;
  • •    formulation of the project entity;
  • •    define requirements;
  • •    setting clear, measurable and realistic goals;
  • •    balancing quality parameters and project execution time;
  • •    planning of activities for the implementation of the project;
  • •    adaptation of plans to the interests and needs of stakeholders;
  • •    technical performance;
  • •    control measures.

Project Lifecycle

Project administration is a complex, versatile process that involves several steps related to the project lifecycle

Stage of the project life cycle

Administrative Tasks


- analysis of the initial state;

- collection of data on the project;

- formulation of alternatives and their comparative evaluation;

- examination and approbation of proposals;

- approval of the selected concept by the project participants


- development of the main components of the project;

- preparation for the implementation process


Implementation of the main work to achieve the objectives of the project


- achievement of the final goals of the project;

- resolution of conflict and disputable situations;

- summing up;

- closure of projects

Administration errors

Concepts, principles and processes of project administration give a clear understanding of in which direction it is necessary to move in order to obtain the expected results. However, managers often make mistakes that become an obstacle to achieving goals. Here's what we're talking about:

  • high time spent on finding alternatives and assessing the correctness of the decisions made;
  • top-down planning;
  • insufficiently detailed development of the plan leads to the fact that "pitfalls" are overlooked;
  • starting work without obtaining sufficient amounts of detailed and up-to-date information;
  • track work instead of controlling key metrics.

The difference between modern administration and outdated management systems

The project administration system is continuously being improved. A comparison of the current and past situation is given in the table.

Right away


Orientation to the market economy and private property. The main goal is to satisfy the interests of all project participants with the priority of investors and customers

Orientation to the planned and distributive economy and state ownership. The project is implemented in monopoly conditions in the absence of competition

The criterion of efficiency is the result of the project implementation, expressed in compliance with financial and time norms, as well as the achievement of the maximum profit indicator

The criterion of efficiency is the compliance of the obtained indicators with the planned ones

Significant importance is attached to the human factor. What is important is the project leader who will be able to lead other members of the organization

Essential importance is attached to the theory and practice of management, as well as the organizational structure. The human factor is not perceived as a subject of separate consideration

American "laws" of administration

Modern trends in administration came to us from the West. Therefore, it is appropriate to consider American "laws". Here are the key ones:

  • Do not be afraid of changes in the process of project implementation. As practice shows, none of the important projects ends on time, within the budget and without a change in management.
  • Projects are implemented quickly up to 90% of the readiness level. The implementation of the remaining 10% is stretched in time.
  • Vague goals do not allow you to clearly calculate the cost estimates. This eliminates the annoyance associated with the large amount of project implementation costs.
  • You can never be fooled by the fact that things are going "like clockwork". At any moment, an obstacle or a crisis may occur.
  • The system cannot be rid of errors. Moreover, attempts to correct one mistake will lead to the emergence of new ones.
  • The more detailed the project implementation plan, the more chances to "fit in" with the deadlines for the work.
  • Project teams are skeptical of interim reporting as it is a demonstration of a lack of results.

Factors for successful administration

The successful implementation of the project is facilitated by such key factors as:

  • Clear formulation of goals. This allows you to set the direction of activity for the working group, and also helps to avoid ambiguous interpretations.
  • Competent leader. The administrator must have a sufficient level of knowledge and skills, as well as high qualifications and significant work experience, to implement the formulated ideas.
  • Support of top managers. The administrator and the team should feel an interest from the organization's senior management.
  • Availability of resources. Before the start of the project, the administrator should be provided with full and unhindered access to material and human resources.
  • Full information. The administrator and his team should have constant access to the full amount of information that relates to the goals, current status and conditions for the implementation of the idea.
  • Feedback. All interested persons should be able to communicate with the administrator in order to obtain up-to-date information, as well as to make suggestions.
  • Immutability of the staff. The administrator should make every effort to maintain a permanent team until the end of the plan implementation period.

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