Wednesday 16 February 2022

Project Work Management

Work is defined as a set of interrelated actions aimed at achieving the desired result for the planned (given) time interval (by a certain date). The work inherits the main features of the project - timing, volume, budget, resources, risk, etc. - and is an integral part of it. In this sense, the project can be presented as a set of interrelated works.

The amount of work refers to its most important characteristics and can be expressed in different quantities: labor intensity, duration, cost, etc.

If the volume of work is expressed in its duration, then the start dates (early start and late start) and the deadlines for the completion of work (early end and late end) are distinguished. The exact values of the start and end dates of work are determined when calculating the schedule. In addition, the work usually has a planned cost and need for resources.

The planned resource requirement is determined based on which resources and in what quantities should be used to complete the work of the project. The source of information for this can be normative indicators, CPP, the content of the work, the objectives of the project.

The planned cost of work is generally determined on the basis of the planned need for resources necessary to perform it, and the cost of a unit of resource. There may be situations when it is impractical or difficult to assess the need for specific resources for work (administrative work, services, etc.). In this case, the planned cost is determined either by the standards for these types of work, or on the basis of concluded contracts, or as a result of expert assessments and previous experience.

Duration of work, planned resource requirements and cost are interrelated indicators: a change in one of them will lead to a change in the rest.

The definition of works includes the identification and documentation of the actions that must be carried out to achieve the objectives of the project.

Focus is the most important and integral characteristic of the project. The definition of its goals is preceded by the development of a mission (strategy). Already on the basis of the formulated mission, goals are determined and specific tasks of the project are established.

The content of the project means the activity necessary to obtain a result (product) with specific characteristics and functions. In turn, the content of the product (the result of the project) determines the characteristics and functions that should be included in the product. The content of the product should not change, this is correlated with the requirements for it as the final result. The content of the project is also not subject to change, as it must correspond to the approved plan. If these requirements are met, the project activity will ensure the creation of the required product. Accordingly, the content of the project should be represented only by those works that are necessary for its successful implementation.

The main processes of project content management:

  • - initiation of the project;
  • - content planning;
  • - control over the change of content.

Initiation is the process of identifying the need to implement a new project or the fact that the project should move into a new phase. Initiation results:

  • - a set of documents (contracts, orders, resolutions, etc.) formally confirming the existence of the project. It should include directly or in the form of links to other documents: a description of the purpose for which the project was undertaken, a description of the product of the project;
  • - definition/appointment of the project manager (manager);
  • - Restrictions on the timing of the project, its financing, etc. When implementing a project under a contract, the restrictions are usually the terms of the contract;
  • - assumptions - forecasting of certain factors affecting the implementation of the project. In general, assumptions take into account a certain degree of risk.

Planning the content of a project involves decomposing its objectives into smaller and more manageable components in order to:

  • - determine estimates for the cost, time and resources of the project;
  • - establish a basis for measuring and monitoring the progress of the project;
  • - to distribute the rights and obligations for the project, to determine the degree of responsibility.

The result of content planning is the structure of the division of project work, on the basis of which a list of works is compiled. They should contain a description of each work so that their performers understand what is required of them and how they perform their functions.

As a result of the analysis of the developed structure of the division of project works, it may be necessary to adjust or supplement its goals, which in turn will affect the change in content.

2. Scope is one of the most important characteristics of the project work and is determined after the development of the CPP on the basis of standards, expert assessments or existing experience. The concept of "volume" can be used to determine the labor intensity, duration, cost, etc.

The duration of the project and its component works, on the one hand, is limited by a fixed/desired date of its completion, established either by a contract with the customer or by other external conditions, for example, the release of a particular product on the market. On the other hand, the duration of the work can be determined from its volume and the performance of the resources required to perform it.

In general, the amount of work is a fixed amount, and the duration of its implementation in practice is determined by the overall performance of the management resources. A manager is a resource whose time of use directly affects the duration of work. For example, in construction, the duration of mechanized work is first determined, the rhythm of which sets the entire construction of the project schedule, and then the duration of manual work is calculated.

The cost of work in the general case directly depends on the number of resources assigned to perform it. Since the most significant and irreplaceable element of the project is the time of its implementation, it is through effective planning of resources and costs that the optimal time for the completion of the project can be achieved, therefore, at the stages of initiation and development of the schedule, it is necessary to take into account the following:

  • - whether it is possible to ensure the completion of the work and the project as a whole in a shorter time, with the availability of additional resources and funding;
  • - whether it is worth applying new technologies in the performance of work and how this will affect the time of project implementation and its costs;
  • - whether the need for limited resources is correctly calculated and whether they are optimally distributed among the works of the project.

The total project costs for each period are defined as the sum of direct and indirect costs (overheads). The latter are related to the provision of the project implementation process and include administrative costs, costs associated with the organization of work, advertising deductions, loan payments, rent, etc. Overhead costs are not directly related to any of the work packages or specific work. Any reduction in the project implementation time will lead to their reduction, if this type of cost is a significant proportion of the total costs of the project. The reduction in its duration will be expressed in financial savings.

Direct costs are associated with the expenditure of funds for the remuneration of workers, the purchase of materials, equipment, with obligations under sub-contracts. They can refer to work packages and individual works. Ideally, the duration of the work is planned in such a way that the direct costs of its implementation are minimal, but as soon as there are restrictions, there is a need to reduce the duration. The nature of direct costs is such that they increase in volume while reducing the duration of the work. Therefore, if it is necessary to reduce the time of project implementation with a minimum increase in direct costs, it is necessary first of all to reduce the duration of those critical works, the cost of which depends relatively little on the duration or is the smallest with the same duration reduction periods.

As a result, the total cost curve for a project has a point at which a minimum budget is required to implement the project.

Thus, schedule data (duration), resources, and costs as the main controls of a project are interdependent — changes in one of them lead to changes in the others.


3. Content is understood as a description of the work to be performed and the resources to be provided. For effective content management, it is necessary to determine:

- works to be performed;

- sequence of works;

- duration of work;

- the need for resources and the cost of work.

In any case, the description / definition of work and resources for their implementation is an important stage in managing the content of work.

The definition of works includes the identification and documentation of individual works that must be performed to achieve the project objectives defined in the CPP. In this process, it is necessary to define the work in such a way that the goals of the project can be achieved.

The toolkit for defining work includes:

- Decomposition, which is the division of project elements into smaller and more manageable components. The main difference between applying decomposition in this case and defining the content of the project is that the results here are described in terms of work, not objectives;

- A list of works or part of a similar list from a previous project is often used as a template for a new project. The list of works for the CPP element from the current project can be used as a template for similar CPP elements.

The result of the definition of works are:

(a) A list of works that includes all work to be performed in the course of the project. It should be formatted as an extension of the CPP to certify that it is complete and does not include work that is not required to implement the content of the project;

b) additional details for the list of works, such as restrictions that must be documented for their further use;

c) modernization of structures of division of types of activities. When using CPP to define work, the project team can identify missing target items or identify the need for adjustments to the goal description.

Resource planning (description) includes determining which physical resources (people, equipment, materials) and in what quantities should be used to carry out the work of the project. Resource planning is directly related to the preparation of the estimate.

Resource requirements planning is based on:

  • - definition of the content of the project;
  • - development of CPP;
  • - experience of previously implemented projects;
  • - normative or project documentation;
  • - Descriptions of the existing reserves of resources in the organization. The description includes a definition of the potential resources that will be considered in resource planning;
  • - policies on recruitment, procurement of materials, rental of equipment, etc.

Resource scheduling management methods are reduced to methods that allow you to optimally plan the need and distribution of resources between works.

There may be situations when the resources assigned to a particular work are the main factor determining the timing of its start and end. In this case, your own resource calendars are drawn up, according to which the work is performed.

When assigning limited resources to works, it is necessary to take into account their consumption limits, which in the future will allow for an analysis of the profiles of their use. Existing software products for calendar and network planning support from one to two limits of consumption: normal and maximum. The normal consumption limit characterizes the amount of resource that can be provided to perform work under normal conditions per unit of time (for example, for an employee it is 8 man-hours per day). The maximum limit of consumption characterizes the amount of resource use per unit of time that can be provided with additional costs (10-12 man-hours per day).

When analyzing the usage profiles of limited resources, the correspondence between the limits of their consumption (ability) and the need to perform work is determined. In some cases, a resource conflict occurs when the need for a resource exceeds its maximum consumption limit (for example, simultaneous work uses the same resource).

To optimize the allocation of resources and, in particular, to resolve resource conflicts, equalization methods are used that take into account the limits of resource consumption and allow them to be used most efficiently. Resource leveling eliminates spikes in resource usage and sets the usage level below the maximum limit, shifting some work to later dates.

Typically, the following alignment methods are used:

  • - normal - work is planned for a later date due to the reserve time until the appearance of the required amount of resource;
  • - partitioning - the work is divided into several parts, each of which requires the required amount of resource to perform;
  • - stretching - reducing the intensity of resource use by increasing the duration of work;
  • - compression - in case of excess of the resource - reducing the duration of the work by increasing the intensity of the use of the resource.

Effective time management is associated with the achievement of performance. A result-oriented activity diagram is an important management tool. It differs from the traditional one - with a focus on the task, covers a one-year period of time and is compiled for each reporting period by setting new goals.

No comments:

Post a Comment