Project management scope, time and cost

Q.1.C. How should scope, time and cost be planned monitored and controlled on projects and how does this relate to integration? Provide a series of at least 20 actions to plan and control scope, time and cost using the strengths of both the PMBOK model and the PRINCE2 model.

Solution:

Introduction

The scope, cost and time management are three separate bodies of knowledge areas in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) [1]. These knowledge areas are described in detail in PMBOK study guide, but this report gives a brief explanation about what purpose they serve and how they are used.

Scope Management

In general PMBOK defines different ways of how the scope of a project can be managed and controlled. The scope management is divided in the following five processes [1].

  • Scope Planning.
  • Scope Definition.
  • Creating WBS.
  • Scope verification.
  • Scope control.

The above mentioned processes will interact with each other and also with the other bodies of knowledge. These processes document clearly help to define the projects limits, risks, hypothesis, constraints, organisation, milestone and etc. The WBS (Work Break-down Structure) is used to subdivide the projects workload and this is done for better or management and control purposes. In general the scope of a project is decided or planned at the scope planning or definition stage. In WBS structure creation all the major deliverables are divided into smaller and manageable components. After the project completion the formal way of acceptance is known as scope verification and all the changes and project scope is controlled in the scope control process [1]. Based upon the project requirements each of the process will require or employ one or more persons or group of persons. All those individual process will occur at least once in every project and might also occur in the project phases if the project is divided into phases.

Time Management:

Basically a project manager should be highly skilful in managing their own and their team time. The best efficient way to manage the time is by scheduling activities. The estimated time, cost and their resource requirements plays a key role in scheduling the activities [2]. Similar to scope management, time management also have different methods and process to manage and control the project time as described in PMBOK. There are six Project Time Management processes and they are as follows [2]:

  • Activity definition this identifies the specific scheduled activities that are performed to produce the deliverables.
  • Activity sequencing - gives a detailed idea about the interdependencies and dependencies among the scheduled activities.
  • Activity resource estimating - the type and the amount of resources required for each scheduled activity are calculated.
  • Activity duration estimating - calculates the total time required to complete a scheduled activity.
  • Schedule development this involves reviewing of the activity sequences, duration and resource requirements which is used to create the project schedule.
  • Schedule control - manages the changes made to the project schedule and it is a part of monitoring and controlling the process groups [2].

The project time can be easily controlled and maintained, if the above mentioned steps are followed precisely by the project manager.

Cost Management:

Project cost management helps to monitor and record all the costs that are associated with the project or caused in the project development. The essential processes that are used to manage the cost are [1, 4]:

  • Cost Estimating - the fairly accurate cost of the resources needed to complete the project are estimated.
  • Cost Budgeting - estimated costs of individual activities or component are aggregated to establish a baseline cost or rough budget.
  • Cost Control all the changes to the project budget are controlled and the issue that create the cost variance are influenced.

Integration Management:

Project integration management is first and foremost concerned with all the processes in a project to accomplish the project objectives. Generally integration management is related to the scope, time and cost management of a project. This includes the processes and the activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the Project Management Process Groups. Integration is concerned with effectively integrating the various project management processes that stem from the project management process groups to accomplish the project objectives [3]. Therefore if any changes made to the scope, cost or time and this has to be integrated in all aspects of the project and this known as integration management. In some cases if there is a any changes made to the time, cost or scope or even if minor change might affects the whole project and even sometimes in a catastrophic levels. Therefore all the changes to the different bodies have to be integrated immediately [3].

Techniques:

We can follow the below actions in order to plan and control the scope, time and cost of a project using the strengths of both PMBOK and PRINCE2 [1, 4]:

  • Build up a project charter a general document describing the need for the project deliverables and explaining in an extensive manner.
  • Acquire the project authorization from the sponsor and employ a project manager to take over the project.
  • Explain the scope of the project brief report of the project scope and scope management plan.
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - subdividing the project processes or work load into smaller components or processes and define the sequence of project activities to carried out.
  • Cost is estimated for each and every activity in the WBS and the resources required for each of them.
  • Estimate the total time required to complete each and every activity in the WBS.
  • Budget and Expense plan is build.
  • Develop a project schedule.
  • A formal quality plan is developed.
  • Project communication plan is created.
  • Organize and acquire staff.
  • Work packages are authorized this includes distribution and allocation of work to individuals or teams and control on quality, cost and time.
  • Risk management plan is developed.
  • If required plan and acquire the outside resources (Outsourcing).
  • Organize the project plan.
  • Close the project planning phase.
  • Revisit the project plan and re-plan the original accordingly.
  • Execute the project activities.
  • Control the project activities.
  • Close the project or project activities.

Conclusion:

Thus with the help of the above mentioned methods it is easy to control the scope, time and cost management. The changes to anyone of the management such as cost, time and scope should be integrated to the project.

References:

  1. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge 3rd edition. PMBOK Guide.
  2. Project Time Management, http://www.anticlue.net/archives/000763.htm, viewed on April 20th, 2010.
  3. Project Integration Management, http://mithuns.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/project-integration-management/, Viewed on April 18th, 2010.
  4. Ireland V and Finegan A, Applied Project Management I course material, 2010, The University Adelaide, Adelaide.

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