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Project planning and control methods

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Project planning and control methods came to be in the 1980s with the introduction of microcomputer software. In the 1990s project management was accepted into the mainstream business as a means for developing new products and services. In the 20th century project management appears to be the solution to many of the challenges confronting global business enterprises (Gray, C. & Larson, E., 2003). Trends such as the globalization of business operations increase in mega mergers and acquisitions, increased focus on results, need for speed in delivery, and pressure for accountability have fueled a growth in project management activities across the organization. Traditional organizations are undergoing significant changes, which are being driven by the advances that information technology is bringing to the business world (Gray, C. & Larson, E., 2003). Project management must include management of product life cycle. Gray and Larson states that the shortening of the product life cycle is perhaps the most enormous force driving changes in the process of managing projects. The average life cycle of all products 50 years ago was in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 years. Now it is estimated that the life cycle for all products is three years. High-technology firm executives estimate that the average life cycle of products to be six months. Short life-cycles increase the number of projects an organization will have to handle simultaneously. ...read more.


Furthermore, if one partner has a dominant equity position over the other, than a competitive alliance is also desired. A cooperative alliance is preferred when partners have similar technologies or know-how and contribute equally. Alliances combining same value-chain activities which complement talents and share the same degree of risk also prefer a cooperative alliance over competitive. Whether projects are domestic or global in outlook, there are competitive risks involved. This risk results from the changes in the competitive environment. When a project is global, the project manager may not be able to develop a complete understanding of the foreign markets. It is important to remember the strength of cultures and traditions that shape and differentiate the nation's society. Failure to learn the unique features of the foreign competitive environment may result in failure to identify potential risk that could have a serious impact on the project success. Global projects have rewards to be gained but these must be weighed against the risk that might incur. Domestic products are not exposed to as much competitive risk. They do not need an additional due diligence in assessing market potential nor additional costs of reducing and managing risk; however, neither do they have access to the potentially high rewards from a successful global strategy. The biggest obstacle that project managers must endure when managing a project across multiple ethnic backgrounds is culture. ...read more.


www.globalsavvy.com There are three challenges in managing a remote team: poor communication between team members, poor management/leadership, and lack of support and direction for member of the team. These three challenges indicate the importance of leadership role when managing a virtual remote team. When team members do not work in close proximity building trust among them is difficult. Some essential recommendations for managing a virtual remote team are to: * Have face-to-face meeting at key times * Have a clear agenda and document actions * Focus on team member similarities * Communicate regularly * Give performance feedback Because leaders/managers can not see team members, it is easy to forget that people are working in context that are different and that they might have different support needs, resources, and demands. There exists a wide array of challenges involving project management with members of a different ethnic or cultural background. Environmental, political, legal, economic, and cultural differences can act as barriers towards completing projects. Due to these factors, it becomes extremely important for the project manager to step in and make an assessment of its team member's ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries. A look into past performance reviews as to how well they work within a team constraint and possible work issues with other employees, should information on potential conflicts that may arise. Project managers should never just look at skill-set as the determining factor in putting together a team, because other intangibles may outweigh an individual's ability to handle the project. ...read more.

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