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Shared Activity: The Organisational Context of Projects
A project is greatly influenced by the organisation that undertakes it. Different organisationshave different philosophies and views on the importance of projects and how closely they want projects to be managed. For example, some organisations place great importance on their projects and view them as essential for the business to function. These organisations may create a smaller, temporary organisation within the larger organisation just to oversee projects. Other organisations place less importance on their projects and view them as a small piece of their organisational strategy. These organisations might use a smaller project team or even a single project manager to oversee the project. Neither philosophy is ‘right' or ‘wrong', but a good project manager can identify the philosophy of the organisation in which he or she is operating and adjust strategy accordingly.
The philosophy of an organisation towards projects is just one piece of the larger project environment. Organisational culture, politics, mission and values also contribute to the project environment. The project environment that an organisation creates can greatly impact a project's budget, timeline, personnel, monitoring, assessment and evaluation. Clearly, a toxic project environment is a large obstacle that can ruin a project's chances of success. One way a project manager can combat a toxic project environment is to assign team roles. In your resources, you will explore Belbin's nine team roles. Assigning a group or individual to one of these roles can help streamline the operations and logistics of a project. In other words, everyone will know what his or her job is, minimising confusion and maximising productivity.
While reviewing Belbin's team roles in this unit's Resources, think about whether team roles should vary from project to project. Should custom roles be made for individual projects? What if the project is highly technical? For example, would an expansion of a family-owned chip shop require the same team roles as a billion pound corporate takeover? This Shared Activity will allow you to apply ideas about the organisational environment of projects to your Final Project business case.
To prepare for this Shared Activity:
Further clarify your scenario by identifying your assumptions about the organisational context for your project. Focus on the following:
• Organisational structure
• Organisational type; e.g., project-based organisation (PBO), project-oriented organisation (POO)
• Nature of the project environment within the organisation (permanent, transitory, internal/external participants)
• The impact of different team roles on a project's chance of success
To complete this Shared Activity:
• Explain whether different organisational structures, contexts and projects demand different team roles or whether all organisational structures, contexts and projects need essentially the same roles for their teams.
Using the scenario you were assigned for your Final Project, explain the impact of including different team roles on that project's chances of success.
Individual Assignment: Stakeholder Analysis
Project stakeholders include any individuals who have an interest in the project that is being carried out. Each stakeholder is involved in the project to a greater or lesser extent, but involvement does not always equate with influence. For example, on the one hand, a junior project manager is a highly involved stakeholder because he manages the details of the project on a day-to-day basis by creating reports, schedules and tasks. On the other hand, the CEO of the organisation is a minimally involved stakeholder because she is only interested in whether the project stays on time and budget while delivering the proper result. The junior project manager has a lot of control over details, but beyond these details, he has little power over the financing of the project and little influence on the project's direction and aims. The CEO is not interested in the details like reports, schedules and tasks, but she has overwhelming influence on the budget, direction and aims of the project. No matter the level of involvement or influence of the stakeholders, each contributes to the success or failure of a project in his or her own way. These groups need to work together in their roles to make the project successful.
The influence and involvement of personnel on a project is something a project manager must understand and, indeed, manipulate successfully. For example, if the project manager needs more money to complete a phase of the project, she should go to someone with the influence to make that happen. Project managers also have to take stakeholder influence into consideration when deciding the direction of the project. It is a project manager's responsibility to identify the stakeholders, understand their requirements and expectations, successfully manage their influence and find a balance of what is required to keep the stakeholders content while keeping the project on track. Indeed, this is a quite a complex, political task. Fortunately, a stakeholder analysis can help.
To complete this Individual Assignment, continue working with the scenario you were assigned for your Final Project. Perform a stakeholder analysis for your scenario, including the following:
• Primary Stakeholders: those ultimately affected, either positively or negatively, by the project.
• Secondary Stakeholders: the intermediaries, those who are indirectly affected by the project.
• Key Stakeholders: those who have significant influence upon a project, or significant importance within the organisation.
• Stakeholder Issues: problems that may arise with various stakeholders.
• Stakeholder Management Strategies: a plan to address stakeholder issues.
Create a Microsoft PowerPoint slide titled, ‘Stakeholder Analysis', that includes the above information.
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Structure and Type of the Organization
The current structure of the organization is centralized that is supportive for the project of new product development and introduction. In terms of theory, this structure is extremely effective in the management and development of product by the provision of following advantages(Lindkvist 2004):
• Simplicity in aligning the corporate strategy
• Cross management of product portfolio
• Identifying the issues of marketing that might impact multiple units of the business
• Providing a better scope to customers with respect to common UI that include factors of interoperability, feel and look
• Eliminating the duplication of costly development