7.1 INTRODUCTION

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Generally, procurement is part of the Project life cycle, so its processes are closely related to those of Project Management and they follow the restrictions set by the project framework. In case that a project is implemented exclusively by external resources (resources that are not owned by the public Contracting Authority), procurement may be perceived as “the project” and as such it passes through all phases of project life cycle. In any case people involved in public procurement need to know how a project is managed throughout its whole life cycle.

The aim of this Chapter is to introduce the reader into the basic principles of Project Management while presenting various tools and techniques required for delivering success to a project. In this perspective the guidance and tools provided consist a general methodology1 [ The present methodology was elaborated taking into account many widely used methodologies and guidebooks in Project Management, such as PRINCE2, PMI’s PMBOK Guide, NYS Project Management Guidebook, APM Methodology, EU Project Cycle Management Guidelines, MS Project 2000 (online & offline help). ] that will facilitate the Contracting Authorities, and specifically the Project Managers, in:

 

Planning, monitoring and controlling the parts of the project which are implemented with own resources (in-house production)
Planning a project that will be implemented by external resources in order to be clearly specified in the tender documents
Managing the tendering process itself
Monitoring and controlling the contractor’s performance against the predefined project plan  

 

It should be noted that the following subchapters comprise a basic reference to the Project Management and as such is neither comprehensive nor all inclusive. However, it examines all managing processes for the whole Project’s life cycle that is from project initiation2 [ Project Initiation is briefly presented in this Chapter for enabling the reader to form a complete view of the activities that take place during the whole project life cycle. Analysis of the activities to be performed and specific guidance is provided in Chapter 1.] to project closure.

There are hundreds of different definitions regarding the meaning of Project Management. Regardless of how the various definitions are phrased, they are all based on a common ground, which is the way you manage processes in order to undertake a project successfully in terms of scope, time, money and resources. In this context, if we would like to give a general definition of Project Management we could say that:

“Project Management is the application of skills, tools, techniques and processes to plan, coordinate, implement, monitor and control a project successfully”

It is important to note that many of the processes within project management are iterative in nature. This is mainly due to the existence of and the necessity for progressive elaboration in a project throughout the project life cycle. This means that the more you know about your project, the better you are able to manage it.

Apart from the tools, methods, techniques and processes, an effective project management requires organisational support, as well as teams as building blocks.

The project management process, as happens with any other process, receives certain inputs (business need, problem or opportunity) and constraints (time, cost, quality, technical aspects, social, political and environmental conditions, legal restrictions, etc.) and by applying the appropriate mechanisms (techniques, tools, equipment, organisation, human resources, etc.) it produces specific output (project deliverables). The following diagram illustrates the project management process.

Figure 7-1: The Project Management Process

 

A good project management discipline will not eliminate all risks, issues and surprises, but will provide standard processes and procedures to deal with them and help prevent the following:

1.Projects finishing late, exceeding budget or not meeting customer expectations
2.Inconsistency between the processes and procedures used by different projects managers
3.Unorthodox way of delivering success to a project through high stress levels, significant amounts of overtime and based solely on the goodwill of some individuals 
4.Project management seen as not adding value and as a waste of time and money
5.Unforeseen internal or external events impacting the project

 

 


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