Challenges of instituting best practices of project management
Information and Communications Technology is becoming important on the manner in which the government manages information and deliver services. As a result, Victorian Government invested on ICT across various public sectors. It is vital that project managers be in a position for balancing the complex project: time, scope, money, and people. Such factors make it vital to undertake project management training as an essential step to manage the unexpected obstacles experienced in different stages of the project. The key to efficient management of project is the people. Budget management is one the greatest challenge for project managers specifically the large and long-term engagement (Ding, 2015, 328). As a result, these factors contribute to unchecked slow scope creep eating through the budget almost without detection. In such cases, the project managers often find themselves several months or years from go-live without money left in the budget. In some cases, budget problems result from failure by the management to monitor and communicate continually with the stakeholders as such would ensure incorporation of all project requirements. Moreover, failure to communicate the project milestones in real time, dilution of project accountability and responsibility, and budget performance significantly contributes to budget constraints. For example, audit on Digital Dashboard project reflect failure in budget. The Yarra Valley Water—Improving Infrastructure Management System Program initial budget was $17 million. The programme has several components and the major component was a replacement asset management system, which had an original cost estimate of $6.8 million (Victorian Auditor-General, 2016). From the procurement process, the project manager underestimated the cost of AMS component. Initially, the board failed to approve the project; however, it later approved it at $23 million reflecting an addition of $3.17, which is 12 per cent than the initial budget.
Another challenges experienced include management of expectations including impractical deadlines, re-allocation of resources, and inadequate stakeholder engagement. It is vital to be realistic; therefore, clients have to accept the realistic deadlines. If the project manager needs build a reputation by getting the project done, then it is important to meet the deadline that is imperative to the success. There are several costs of missing the deadlines including loosing the confidence of the stakeholders, opportunities for business growth, incurring overtime, high stress, and poor engagement that burn the workers (Clements & Gido, 2012, 188). It is vital that the project meets the deadline since it is not only properly planned to each detail and resource, but is realistic. Consequently, schedules leave room for the uncertainty and unexpected results. Failure to meet the deadlines could arise from inefficient and ineffective provision of sufficient resources including human, time, and money. Whenever some of the stakeholders lack interest in the project, then they are likely to bring down the project to standstill leading extension of deadlines. For example, the Victorian Government delayed the commencement of Fines Reform Act 2014, which introduced changes in the collection, and enforcement of the fines in Victoria. The aim of the new IMES was to support the amendments through the Act by improving debt collection (Victorian Auditor-General, 2016). The government scheduled the Act to commence of 1st July 2016. Due to the problems associated with the building IMES, the government delayed the commencement for future date.
To some extent, the project managers lack adequate skills undertake a given project resulting in informed decisions. Some managers usually do not undergo through the project management training, which assist in the determination of the required competencies, assessment of the available workers, and issuing recommendation for training, outsourcing, and hiring the addition team members. Besides the skills, lack of adequate leadership qualities could also present a great challenge. With such skills, the project managers would ensure accountability in some decisions they make. The leadership qualities of a project manager often shine whenever each team member takes responsibility in the achievement of the required objectives. Conversely, without accountability in the decision made, the project could come to a complete halt (Kujala, Brady & Putila, 2014, 46). Flawed project management is featured with the unproductively blames. Failure to direct these challenges and the stakeholders towards a common is a vital aspect in effective management of the project. For example, University of Melbourne intended to develop a Student Management System Project; however, due to poor advice and poor project management style, the project experienced greater challenges (Victorian Auditor-General, 2016). The institution allocated a contingency for the project to manage tightly the cost. With the two years of the delay, the cost of the project increased reflecting the extension in the cost of the team and additional expenses associated with remedial work.
Recommendations to overcoming the challenge
It is vital that project manager considers budget first in every project. Therefore, they have to stay on top of the budget each time through updating it on timely basis to forecast the actual charges from weekly performance before and re-forecasting the budget for the remaining segment of the project. Through such activities, it would be easier to combat budget surprises. In most cases, the project fails to meet the outlined deadlines due to poor planning (Kujala, Brady, & Putila, 2014, 45). Moreover, to prevent extensions, it is vital to plan all the details, resources, and setting realistic timeframe through scheduling to eliminate uncertainties and unexpected surprises. Project manager need to assign the team members distinct responsibilities based on their skills and availability; using appropriate project management tools to ensure accurate and update into the plan. With such tools, it would be easier to identify the tasks on schedule and those running late. Ensuring adequacy in skills of the project manager and accountability in the decisions made is an important step in ensuring production of quality project output. Moreover, the project manager should posses adequate leadership skills for managing issue to do with the morale of the stakeholders, manage the differences among the stakeholders, and ensure timely delivery of the project objectives.
. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning. Effective project managementClements, J. P., & Gido, J. (2012).
(2), 325-338. 4, Key Project Management Based on Effective Project ThinkingDing, R. (2015). Project Closure Aiming for Maximum Value.
(11), 48-57. 9, IJBMKujala, J., Brady, T., & Putila, J. (2014). Challenges of Cost Management in Complex Projects.
SmartSheet. (2016). The Ultimate Guide to the Critical Path Method (CPM). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://www.smartsheet.com/critical-path-method
Victorian Auditor-General. (2016). Digital Dashboard: Status Review of ICT Projects and Initiatives – Phase 2. Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.audit.vic.gov.au/publications/20160309-Digital-dashboard/20160309-Digital-dashboards.pdf