Global team members all working together is extremely important while managing scope, schedule and other project management functions which could prove to be challenging also plays a vital role in ensuring team effectiveness (Payne, 2012). In a global work environment, communication is definitely a critical success factor and the right project management practices would benefit any organization.
A communication strategy or principle is important to execute a global project spread between several different locations. A feeling of belonging to the same team in a project, cultural bridge and geographical distance could be achieved from a successful communication strategy. Certain aspects would need to be considered when a project management team is developing the communication strategy during the start-up phase of a project.
In a global work environment, the infrastructure for information sharing is important. This infrastructure channel is important so that everyone involved in the business would be able to get access of the information needed besides over-bridging different cultures. Adaptation of the best technologies would make communication much easier such as databases, file sharing, conference and video calls to name a few (Oglesby, 2017). Moreover, recognition of different types of information communicated in a global work environment is important which would allow the organization to decide and assign the team that is responsible for the various information. In fact, the suitable framework of project management should be adopted for proper standardization and consistency of the information content management which is of great importance in handling the business practice.
Project management focuses on the control of a project during the start-up phase. The status of the project is measured by the project manager involved and further progress is made known to everyone involved. Moreover, frequently repeated status reports on different management levels would largely help the organization to get things done systematically. If this aspect is not considered, important information could get stuck or filtered easily on different levels in the organization (Spinner, 2016). In addition, economic control should be separated from the time and task control as it may be difficult for the team to see the overall figures in the progress reports. Thus, qualitative measurable outcomes could be focused on a global level through the transfer of budget control within the local organization.
Simplification of project control would prove to be successful in communicating and reporting project status. For example, “traffic light” reports with a dependency diagram which are simple could be chosen over advanced methods (Gould, 2015). This simple method would make the project status obvious regardless of the reporting culture ending up in a clear overview of all the issues needed for immediate action from the top management. Different colours could be highlighted for the key issues, milestones and decision points in accordance with their status such as green for running issues, yellow for high-risk issues and red for behind schedule issues (Hoffer, 2015). Everyone would be able to grasp the importance of the most urgent issues to discuss through this method. Organizations would be able to manage cases and disputes efficiently through this method.
The structure principle is important whereby the goal, resources and time are the three pillars to stand on (Craig, 2010). The timeline should consist milestones that mark major phases of the work scope. Gantt chart would be a great tool serving as a spreadsheet consisting the data and timeline. Any tasks within the organization could be easily sorted out through this chart. This chart also avoids delay in work as tasks that are sequentially dependent on one another could be linked to each other saving time. Organizations would be more systematic with the adoption of Gantt chart as the current work scope is tabulated into a simple table form spreadsheet as seen in the diagram below. Using a new method which has been efficiently done in many projects would definitely benefit organizations.
Furthermore, the success of an organization depends on the suitable project management methodology (PMBOK, 2017). Organizations would benefit from an excellent project management methodology that suits the practice requirement instead of their own general methodology. For example, Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and Projects in controlled environment (PRINCE2) could be considered by organizations. However, many businesses are complex in nature and therefore agile project management principles would be more beneficial for these organizations such as iterative, adaptive and extreme methodologies. The strategic execution framework (SEF) model which demands a detailed review in the project management domain is another best practice methodology (McConnell, 2018).
Transparency within the organization is extremely important to make the objectives and goals a reality (Trepper, 2016). Tools such as real-time dashboard window would benefit organizations through filing of report status which is being constantly updated by team members in the organization. The dashboard simplifies the job with easy-to-read displays of graphs and charts which could also be shared or printed out for meeting purposes. The graphs and charts would further help in analysing and reporting effectively as the reports could be customized with the assistance of the dashboard window tool.
Competent feedback mechanisms would definitely benefit organizations. Internal communication consisting feedbacks and reviews are important to understand the flaws in conducting a business. The advantage of this mechanism is preventive initiation and corrective actions which would definitely benefit the organization immensely (Quick, 2017). The feedback mechanism is also important in detecting issues, challenges, shortcomings and further provides a medium for suggesting future ways for better improvement. This mechanism should be an ongoing and continuous process instead. Organizational learning and training needs could be initiated if the issues are identified at an early stage which also helps in reducing risks (Adams, 2012). If the feedback reviews demand of organizational changes, then the top management of the organization should consider alternative solutions in the management. Change management is an effective strategy to use when there is new implementation systems, solution or changes in organizations (Lientz, 2015). The changes would provide direction towards future, align culture with people besides helping in overcoming people and organizational resistance while implementing best practices.
Another best practice of project management that would benefit organizations are managing risk. Risk is an event or condition that is uncertain which could result in either a positive or negative impact. This practice could be used in effectively identifying, assessing, controlling and eliminating risks through practices, tools and procedures. Other important processes include risk identification, monitoring and controlling risk as well as undertaking qualitative and quantitative risk analysis. As a best practice, risks should be constantly monitored throughout the organization. In managing and mitigating risk for an effective management, risk register, issue and risk logs are important and useful (Schimmoller, 2015).
Accountability principle plays an important role in project management practices in ensuring that everyone performs well (Graham, 2017). Accountability also acts as a medium to measure success by identifying team members who are top performers. The organization could acknowledge key employees by rewarding them. On the other hand, training or direction could be given to the underachievers for a better and effective performance. The team would succeed as a whole when everyone is able to deliver their designated tasks on time. Motivating the team occasionally through affirmative emails and thanking the whole team for delivering good results is the top management’s responsibility (Vanhooren, 2019). Being a motivator with full commitment would be a leading example to the whole team in completing the required tasks.
Although best project management practices could lead to better results for the organization, there are some implementation challenges due to diverse viewpoints regarding the use of those practices (Snead, 2017). Senior leadership role is crucial in shaping the organization. Existing project culture influences the implementation of best practices and the organization. The focus of the top management should be on key challenges areas while implementing best practices. This is because, effective management is dependent on the top management for support and direction which influences the success of best practice project management implementation (Levene, 2018). Top leadership support is essential to align the top management goals with the organization goals. The way in which clients accept or reject the final work depends significantly on the top management support. Adopting correct methodology, proper planning and execution of the job scope depends on the leadership support along with sufficient funding for the organization.
For proper project planning, consideration in implementing best practices of scope, time and cost also known as the triple constraints is necessary (Friedlein, 2011). A detailed work plan must be developed by organizations after obtaining the top management consent. Best practices that need to be implemented, outline of strategic resources required and the time-line for adopting and implementing the project management best practices should be covered in the work plan. The necessity of discussing the project plan initially with all stakeholders involved before finalizing is crucial since best practices covers the entire organization. Any cost variance or scheduling errors during the execution of best practices should be closely monitored by the top management as execution of the plan within the budget and time may be a big challenge (Crawford, 2016).
Guidelines and Standards
Clear guidelines and standards for proper execution of projects is necessary besides tools. If there is no proper guidelines or standards in place, then it would be easy to compromise the quality of the deliverable job scope which may have negative impacts. The success of the organization depends on maintaining strict guidelines and standards during the implementation and support stages. The information must be circulated and made available throughout the organization for future use after the guidelines and standards have been defined. The organization’s success could be achieved through consistency of applying the comprehensive guidelines and standards (Steve, 2018).
There are many excellent practices for project management that could be adopted by organizations. Unknowingly, organizations have been using some project management practices in executing its daily tasks and work scope. It is important for the organization to track down the best practices that suits and benefits the organization be it its own best practices as well as project management best practices. The key is to adopt and test new practices besides maintaining a knowledge base that lists down the details of the organization’s job scope and further improving the organization’s overall management practices.
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