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Project Life Cycle

Project Life Cycle
Project Formulation and Project Life Cycle What is a Project? “A temporary endevour leading to a product / service or result ”  A project is any series of activities and tasks that: • Have a specific objective to be completed within certain specifications • Have defined start and end dates; • Have funding limits (if applicable); and • Consume resources (i.e. money, time, equipment).   Characteristic Features of a Project: • Has a mission or a set of objectives. Once the mission is achieved the project is treated as completed. • Has to terminate at some time or the other (temporary in nature)  • The project is one single entity and its responsibility is assigned to one single agency. • Calls for team-work, the members of the team may come from different organizational units, different disciplines, and   geographic regions. • Has a life cycle represented by growth, maturity and decay. • Is unique and no two projects are similar, even though the plants set up are identical. The organizations, the infrastructure, the location and the people make the project unique. • Change is a natural phenomenon with every project throughout its life span. Some changes may not have any major impact, but some  may change the very nature of the project. • The happenings during the life cycle of a project are not fully known at any stage. As time passes, the details are finalized successively. • Is always customer-specific. The requirements and constraints within which a project must be executed are stipulated by the customer. • Is a complex set of things. Projects vary in terms of technology, equipment and materials, machinery and people, work ethics and organizational culture. • A substantial portion of the work in a project is done by sub-contracting. The greater the complexity of a project, the greater will be the extent of work performed by subcontractors. • Is exposed to risk and uncertainty and the extent of these depend upon how the project moves through the various stages in its life span. • A well defined project has lesser risk and uncertainty, whereas an ill-defined project faces greater degree of risk and uncertainty. Project Life Cycle: The Project Life Cycle refers to a series of activities which are necessary to fulfill project goals or objectives. The different phases are as follows:   a) Concept or initialization phase In this phase, the project idea emerges and the #management decides on the need for a project. A project which is well conceived can be later implemented successfully. b) Project Definition Phase •The techno-economic viability of the project is checked •The technical configuration of the project is identified •The performance requirements, sub-systems, key equipments etc.- purchased •The cost estimates with limits are identified •Schedule of implementation is identified c) Growth or Organisation Phase Organizations, during this phase, undertake the following actions: a)    Establishing the infrastructure and enabling services for the project b)    Project engineering and design c)    Setting up Project Organization and staffing d)    Appointing a project manager e)    Preparing schedules and budgets f)    Obtaining necessary licenses and clearances from the Government g)    Raising finance h)   Developing systems and procedures for monitoring and reviewing project progress i)    Procedures for inviting tenders and awarding contracts j)    Site preparation and development k)   Procuring equipment and materials l)    Work packaging This phase covers both paper work connected with project planning and also implementation activities.  Planning is necessary to avoid crisis management; it makes the implementation phase to run smoothly. d) Implementation Phase The activities include: 1)  The preparation of specifications for major equipment and machineries, 2)  Placing orders with vendors for the supply of...
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Project Identification and Screening

Project Identification and Screening
Project Identification and Screening The seed of a project arises merely as an idea – a need or opportunity that is weighed, scrutinized, and eventually developed into a project which is managed through the project life cycle. The most critical question one has to ask would be ‘Are we doing the right project?’ Because a problem well understood is half done. In many segments that rely on a culture of project management, the project officially begins with the official approval of the project, which is not so in the development sector, where the project life more commonly begins with a Project Identification and Screening Phase. Say Yes to Project Success: Winning the Project Management Game Let us cruise through the steps in Project identification and Screening: SEARCH FOR NEW IDEAS •What are the objectives? •Brainstorm to generate alternative solutions. –Emerging market trends. –SWOT analysis. –Other constraints •Shortlist candidate ideas for detailed scrutiny. MOTIVATION •Projects are a means to accomplish –Individual or family objectives –Organizational objectives –National or global objectives •Project Identification begins in response  to the specific need or the objectives OBJECTIVES To increase profits To minimize threats of losses To become more competitive To provide help after a disaster To train people in a new area To reduce pollution in Delhi To become a successful entrepreneur SWOT ANALYSIS   A tool that detects the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. In particular, SWOT is a basic, straightforward model that measures what an organization can and cannot do as well as its probable opportunities and threats. The method of SWOT analysis is to take the information from an environmental analysis and distinguish it into internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external issues (opportunities and threats). Once this is over, SWOT analysis determines what may assist the firm in accomplishing its objectives, and what obstacles must be overcome or minimized to achieve desired results. • Objectives • Experience • Resources • Environment pressures • Keeping these factors in mind an analysis of strengths, weaknesses , opportunities and threats is made to identify and select suitable       projects. STRENGTHS • Experience and expertise • Financial position • Capital raising capability • Industrial contacts • Foreign collaborations WEAKNESSES • Newer unfamiliar technologies • Inability to raise huge investments • Lack of experience • Lack of trained personnel • Inability to forecast market trends OPPORTUNITIES • Emerging technologies • New products with new markets • New processes with better features • Special financing schemes • Government and other incentives THREATS • Competitors • Poor state of the economy • Outdated technology • Unprofessional management skills • New products and services BRAINSTORMING • A good means to generate new project ideas • Focus on uninhibited participation by a group • Listing of ideas without suppressing creativity at source • List of ideas subjected to screening and evaluation subsequently SCREENING OF IDEAS  Poor  Fair  Good  Vgood  Excellent (1)     (2)      (3)      (4)      (5)    Weight •Cost              *                                       20% •Risk                          *                           30% •Return                                 *                 40% •Hazard          *                                        10% •(score = 2×0.2+3×0.3+4×0.4+2×0.1= 3.1) CRITERIA IN SCREENING PROJECTS • Investment • Rate of return • Risk • Likely profit • Payback • Similarity to existing business • Expected life • Flexibility • Environment impact • Competition Let us look at the following example – REDUCING VEHICULAR POLLUTION IN DELHI Brain Storming IDEAS GENERATED IN BRAIN STORMING – REDUCE VEHICULAR POLLUTION IN DELHI Restrict registration of new vehicles Enforce strict emission regulations for vehicles Ban diesel run vehicles on road Introduce MRTS – Mass Rapid Transport System for the city Encourage use of car pools Grow more trees/ green belts in the city Declaring no traffic zones in the...
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Attitude

Attitude
Attitude and Job Satisfaction What is attitude? Attitudes are evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people or events –Stephen Robbin. They also represent an ‘affective orientation towards an object.’ It simply means what one feels and thinks about something. Elements of attitude: Cognitive components – opinion or belief Affective components – emotion or feeling Behavioral components – intention to behave The interaction of these three components determines the way in which an individual develops an attitude towards something. Sources: Society Friends Teachers Family Members It also forms on the basis of the level of admiration we have over an object or persons. People also try to imitate others and attitudes are gradually formed on that basis also. In some attitudes formed are less stable, in some they even dominate the whole life. Types: Organizational behavior uses the concept of attitudes in relation to nature of the job and its influence on the performance of the persons. Accordingly, Job Satisfaction Job Involvement and Organizational Commitment, are the three kinds of attitude a person could have with respect his / her job or organization. Job Satisfaction: In “Job Satisfaction “, Stephen P. Robbins writes about five factors which make a person satisfied with his or her job. These factors are Mentally challenging work Equitable rewards Supportive working conditions Supportive colleagues and Personality-job fit. Cranny, Smith and Stone define job satisfaction as employees’ emotional state concerning the job, considering what they anticipated and what they actually got out of it. In fact, an employee with low expectations can be more satisfied with a certain job than someone who has high expectations. If one’s expectations are met or surpassed by the job, then one is happy and satisfied with the job. Job Involvement: Job involvement has been defined as an individual’s psychological identification or commitment to his / her job. As such individuals who display high involvement in their jobs consider their work to be a very important part of their lives- In other words for highly involved individuals performing well on the job is important for their self esteem. Organizational Commitment: Three important elements of a committed individual would be Identification with the organization’s goals and/or mission Long-term membership in the organization and intention to remain with the organization, often termed loyalty High levels of extra role behavior- behavior beyond required performance- Often denoted to as citizenship behavior or pro-social behavior. Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Leon Festinger developed this theory which explains the relationship between attitude and behavior. It refers to”any incompatibility that an individual might perceive between two or more of his or her attitudes, or between his or her behavior and attitudes.” Attitude Surveys: This is a tool that helps to collect information about the levels of attitude among the people. In most companies these kinds of surveys are conducted with the help of different rating scales like Likert scale offering five or seven alternative choices for each of the statement developed for attitude measurement. Summary: Research conducted on attitude and job satisfaction in Indian workers has made clear certain points as given below: Attitude is positively correlated with efficiency Absenteeism will bring down satisfaction levels Unions, negatively affect the employee attitude and job satisfaction Attitude researches and surveys will improve...
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Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture
Defining Organizational Culture Business is an integral part of the society; and it influences other elements of the social system, which in turn affect business. The entire sphere of business activities are influenced by the social structure and culture of a society. The social system is influenced by the way the business functions, innovations, transmission and diffusion of information and new ideas etc. Business activities have greatly influenced social attitudes, values, outlooks, customs and traits. However, it is very difficult and, in some cases, almost impossible to change many elements of the social environment in the short run. Hence, a business may have to anticipate and adapt to these uncontrollable external environments. Socio-cultural environment refers to the influence exercised by certain social factors, which are “beyond the company’s gate“. This includes attitude of people towards: Work Wealth Knowledge Family Marriage Religion Education Ethics and social responsibility of business. Belief System Influencing the Action: Culture is something that is evolved in a society over a long period and it represents the unified belief system of a large group of people. An organization can be distinguished from another by way of its culture, since organizational culture is unique in its perspective and methodology. When people from different social backgrounds are made to work under the same roof, a corporate organization acquires a distinct culture. Culture conveys a sense of identity for the organization. It facilitates the generation of commitment to do something noble than one’s own self-interest. Cultural Differences: As business go international, the need for understanding and appreciating cultural differences across countries is essential. Any move from one country to another will create a certain amount of confusion, disorientation and emotional upheaval. Especially, people form Asian countries that migrate to the west are subjected to what is called a “culture shock”, in terms of attitude, working style, language, way of life, dress codes and negotiating styles. Freshers may adapt to these changes quickly, since they are natural and easy to be trained. The problem arises with individuals who had been working under a totally different cultural setup from that of the new cultural environment; they will have to undergo the process of ‘unlearning‘, which is more like swapping old ideas for new ideas. This change process is what both the employees and the management find challenging; but ultimately what needs to be done has to be done. Culture Shock: Multi national and Trans national companies, which have business establishments in different parts of the world, must be prepared to cope with the culture shock. Since huge investments go into their projects, they have to think and analyze about the cultural and social aspects that have a definite impact on the working of organisations. For example, the work attitude of employees in the west might lay emphasis on services and results, oriented towards self-improvement; while that of the Asian counterparts may be patience and sacrifice rooted in emotions and loyalty. Business can be considered as a large social network serving to satisfy economic and social interests; culture acts as the social glue that helps hold the organization together by providing appropriate standards for the behavior of organization members. Slogans of Some Reputed Organizations in the Industry: Nokia: Connecting people Jet Airways: The joy of flying Reliance Industries: Growth is life Citibank: Your citi never sleeps The above cited examples give you a fair idea about what a particular company stands for. The orientation of these companies, expressed in the form of SLOGANS contributed to the successful conduct of their...
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The Need of Math in Management

The Need of Math in Management
Operations Research-Emphasizing the need of Math in Management Business is all about “demand versus supply”. And as is always the case, industries operate in a tight situation, with limited resources and heavy demand, trying to make the ends meet. The production of required quantity with the available resources needs an approach that is quantitative and logical as well. This can be obtained by weighing the odds and choosing the right kind of decision that suits your business plan, be it production, distribution, marketing, selling or any business situation, where there is a need to compare and contrast between alternating decisions, to arrive at an optimal solution. High end mathematical concepts in Operations: Operations research comes into the picture in such situations, wherein, high end mathematical concepts and models are applied to problem situations, to first define the problem and then extract the best possible solution by quantifying the resources available. Quantitative data is then converted into linear equations to maximize the productivity and profit. Profit maximization is generally aimed by most of the firms that operate with limited potential and operations research helps to achieve this through optimal use of the available resources. Application of Scientific Methods: The emphasis is on application of scientific methods, use of quantitative data, goals and objectives and determination of the best means to reach them. Once the data is collected, it is carefully evaluated and the relationship among data is established, which helps in defining the problems and goals. The problem is represented logically to decide the course of action. Say, for example, Linear Programming represents each and every problem situation in the form of a linear equation and tries to allocate resources in an optimal fashion. Alternate decisions are evaluated and the decision that yields the best result in terms of productivity and profit is considered. Measure of Effectiveness: How do you measure profit? The measure of effectiveness will be determining the rate of return on investment, and every possible solution can be weighed against this measure. Theories of probability are also used to predict the success rate of the combinations of variables executed in different ways. But one has to understand that only some variables are controllable and others are not. Say, if the economy experiences inflation or recession, your predictions will undergo a drastic review in purview of the fluctuations in the economy. Similarly availability of labor is always a constraint, either labor is not available or they demand more pay. Simplex Methods: Since voluminous data is involved, computers with multi processors are used to manipulate the data. Mathematical tools like simplex methods, integer programming, graphical methods, transportation and assignment techniques, simulations, game theory and queuing theory can be very well applied to solve complex problem situations with ease. Today’s business world demands more sophistication in terms of technical updations. Evolution of Opeartions Research Techniques: Operations Research dates back to the Second World War period, and the accelerated growth of this discipline in recent years can be attributed to the fact that, researchers have found this useful in solving economic and political problems too. At the same time, critics point out that, application of operations research proves advantageous only to those people who are accustomed to the usage of rapid computing machines and understand the complex mathematical formulae and relationships. Note: Energy: The oil industry was one of the earlier users of operations research techniques to help manage their refinery processes, and operations research technologies are heavily used by all the major oil companies. Manufacturing: Manufacturing organizations continue to use operations research to optimize factory operations. Transportation: Operations researchers execute logistics for air traffic control, trucking, and railroads. Real-time dispatching and delivery truck...
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