Friday 15 April 2022

Self-development of operational stages of project life cycle



The article deals with the self-development of the project management system at different stages of the life cycle of the organization.

At different stages of the life cycle of the organization, project management is used in different ratios with other types of management. This is due to the fact that the organization is constantly evolving in order to ensure competitiveness in the market. The key to the successful development of the company is the provision of quality products or services.

The initial stage of development of the organization is characterized by the fact that it sets specific goals and deadlines for business development. Management and employees, whose work is based largely on enthusiasm, have little idea of the connection between all members of the company and key audiences influencing the business. All the work of the staff is based on prompt response, since the processes carried out in the internal or external environment are new and unknown to the young organization.

In this phase, operational management takes about 70% of the time, project management - 25% and process management - 5%. The organization does not have a clearly built internal structure - there is no distribution of powers and responsibilities among employees, everyone performs diverse tasks that are most important at the moment to meet the needs of the customer.

The constantly changing external environment continuously affects the company's projects, while its rapid change forces the organization to go through the same processes several times. This is due to the fact that the company has no experience in project management, an established management structure and an established document flow. The main goal of this phase is to show customers and employees that the company has prospects and is ready to develop further. The initial stage lasts about 2-3 years, during which the management must understand that for further effective development it is necessary to delineate the functions of employees, engage in staff training, build a hierarchy and move away from operational management to project management, as well as accumulate knowledge, on the basis of which in the future to create regulations for responding to risks and checking the quality of products (or services).

The second stage of the company's development comes at a time when the management has fully realized that it is necessary not only to meet the needs of customers, but also to achieve the strategic goals of the company by reorganizing the management process. Managers understand that it is impossible to exercise control over all the processes of the organization on their own, so the process of delegation of rights starts. 

Areas of responsibility begin to be divided - the functions of subordinates and leadership are determined. In this phase, the share of operational management is 40%, project management - 30%, operational management - 30%. After the company goes through several business cycles, the management builds a further strategy and determines the development needs of the organization to achieve its goals. With each new project, the understanding of the external environment grows, which leads to a decrease in operational management.

The third stage is characterized by the growth of the company. Much attention is paid to the development of project management, which is already more than 40%. To ensure sufficient competition and gain a foothold in the market of products or services supplied, the company should develop in the following areas:

  • Conduct staff training and attract new experts;
  • Develop a system of knowledge accumulation on project management;


Implement a quality control system.

To achieve a high level of efficiency, the organization requires that its employees have the necessary knowledge and experience. Employee training plays a unifying role in the achievement of the organization's main strategic goals. Due to the rapid pace of change in the external environment, staff must be prepared for new incoming tasks, and as a result, they need to have a sufficient degree of qualifications.

The importance of employee training is confirmed by the following factors:

  • The emergence and use of new technologies, equipment, the growth of communication capabilities create conditions for changing or eliminating any work of projects;
  • High competition and rapid response of the organization in the shortest possible time to external changes are determined by the degree of qualification of personnel;
  • The use of new technologies requires continuous training of personnel;
  • The most efficient and cost-effective option is to increase the impact of existing employees through training than to attract new employees;

According to the law, for some professions it is mandatory to confirm their qualifications.
An additional impetus to development is also the attraction of new highly qualified employees. Not only can they share their experiences and skills, but they have the drive to work for results, which is helpful in an environment where the enthusiasm of other employees is starting to fade.

The process of planning new projects begins to be carried out on the basis of accumulated knowledge from other projects, so it becomes more systematized.

 Project managers use not only the method of expert evaluation, but also evaluation by analogues, methods of group decision-making regarding individual operations of projects. The same type of operations, template projects are revealed. The management and control process becomes structured.
One of the important directions of development is the development of a quality management system, which is characterized by external and internal audits.

The main concepts of project (product) quality management are:

  • Identification and elimination of defects before sending the delivered results to the customer;
  • Investigation and correction of the process, not just defects;
  • Inclusion of quality issues in the planning and design of the project and product;
  • A culture of quality assurance of processes and products in all parts of the organization;
  • Customer satisfaction;
  • Continuous improvement;
  • Improving the efficiency of the company;

Management's responsibility for the delivered results.

The implementation of the quality management system should be carried out in stages so that employees and management smoothly rebuild and understand the need for its implementation. External and internal audits should be conducted to control management, although many organizations usually do not understand why this is necessary.

The purpose of internal audit is to assist the organization's management bodies in exercising effective control over the various parts of the internal control system. The general function of the audit is:

  • Assessment of the adequacy of control systems - the implementation of inspections of management (control) links, the provision of reasonable proposals to eliminate the identified shortcomings and recommendations to improve management efficiency;
  • Performance assessment – the implementation of expert assessments of various aspects of the functioning of the organization and the provision of reasonable proposals for their improvement. The activities of internal auditors for the management bodies of the organization are of informational and consulting importance.

The audit assesses how effectively the project management processes have been implemented. The main types of audit include:

  • Project management audit – determines the correctness of actions in project management, usually used when the project is managed by a project manager with little experience, or who has not yet understood the methodology approved by the organization;
  • Audit of the project plan – provides an analysis of how well the project team has worked out the details of the project;
  • Audit of the progress of the project - assesses the effectiveness of the project team and the likelihood of achieving the goal in the presence of existing restrictions;
  • Audit of the project results – assessment of benefits, satisfaction of the customer and the company's management, collection of recommendations for other similar projects;
  • Technical audits - assessment of the choice of a technical solution, completeness of the problem statement, verification of the final result for compliance with the requirements.

Internal audits are carried out according to the audit program approved in the organization, but not more than once a year. You can, for example, distribute the auditor's workload in such a way as to check different processes at different times. The better the process is tested and more opportunities for its improvement are identified, the better the recommendations to employees in the implementation of the requirements will be. On average, 8-20 processes are identified at the enterprise, the verification of which is distributed during the year.

External audits, as a rule, are conducted by attracted experts and guarantee the objectivity of the results provided. Its main tasks are:

Verification of the accuracy of the information provided in the reports or evidence of their inaccuracy;
Monitoring compliance with legal requirements;

Identify opportunities to optimize resources, including more efficient use of borrowed funds.
The decision to implement a quality control system should be justified. Many managers consider the costs of implementation, obtaining certificates and development of the QMS system unjustified. However, it is the development in this direction that significantly affects the fact that the company was able to achieve strategic goals and gain a foothold in the market of services (goods) provided by obtaining the appropriate certification.

At the fourth stage, the project activity of the organization develops into a process one, since by this time project templates have already been compiled, a fairly large knowledge base on project management has been accumulated, and the same type of processes are embedded in repetitive debugged business processes. The stability of the system ensures both horizontal and vertical connections in the company. 


Very few uncertainties remain, as the onset of risks and response plans are described in detail in the regulations. Operational management is 15%, project management is 20%, process management is 65%. Of course, this is possible only if the external factors of the environment are unchanged, which is extremely rare. Project management allows the company, on the one hand, to constantly implement innovative projects that help maintain competitiveness, and on the other hand, to look for new investment ideas.

Most organizations believe that they have achieved success at this stage and no longer see the point of continuing to carry out self-development. Such an approach can lead to a loss of competitiveness and profits, market share and loss of relevance of the products or services produced due to changed external factors. If the company could not quickly adapt to market trends, the business begins to disintegrate due to an ineffective management system.

In order for the organization not to move into a phase of stagnation, it is necessary to constantly revise the regulations for responding to risks, monitor the quality of the services or products provided, train employees, confirm their certification, minimize the likelihood of detecting errors in management, adapt to the current realities of the market, try to implement innovative projects against the background of operational activities and template projects, meet the needs of the customer, look for new ways to solve emerging problems. The development of the project management system during the life cycle of the organization is an iterative process and consists of the following phases:

  • Obtaining practical management experience;
  • Comprehension of the results obtained;
  • Generalization of the results obtained, creation of project templates, identification of the same type of operations;
  • Creation of various kinds of regulations related to management activities on the basis of accumulated experience;
  • Implementation of QMS;


Regular audit and updating of regulations, standards, approaches to project management in accordance with external factors.

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