Management Tools—Project Planning Procedures

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb057412
Pages7-11
Publication Date01 Sep 1985
AuthorA. Keith Redway
SubjectEconomics,Information & knowledge management,Management science & operations
Management
Tools—Project
Planning
Procedures
by A. Keith Redway
Introduction
This article describes procedures for managers to use to
undertake a project and how to control the necessary ac-
tivity once it is initiated. In order that the manager can en-
sure the smooth running of all activities through to a suc-
cessful conclusion, he must use the manpower at his
disposal to the best effect, commit the financial resources
available economically and meet the necessary time
deadlines. This requires a significant effort in planning. The
better prepared he and his staff are, the greater are the
chances of the project reaching a profitable conclusion.
The following sections of this article deal with the typical
elements required to make a
plan,
and with those factors
which have to be considered and controlled in order that
future activities take a predetermined course leading in the
desired direction. Each one of these elements should be
written up as one or more procedures to define the project
for all management and staff concerned, so that all under-
stand the background to the project, its objectives and their
responsibilities to it.
The Plan
All other factors being equal, the man or company that suc-
ceeds makes fewer mistakes than the competition. The pro-
cess of doing more things correctly can be planned. It is
difficult to make provision for unforeseeable factors, but
con-
tingency items can be inserted into a plan as a precaution
against unexpected changes in direction.
In planning a strategy, very broadly, all normal commercial
business activities may be divided into routine daily activities
(repetitive paper processing or production of goods, for ex-
ample) or one-off unusual exercises (a company take-over
or the construction by a company of new office buildings
or factories for itself). Whichever type of activity a company
engages in it requires the tools to do the job—the plann-
ing,
objectives, organisation, schedule, reporting procedures
and controls to monitor achievement progress and
financing.
Among the best of tools to organise or plan purposeful ac-
tivities are procedures which may be written and published
to appraise all staff of the
plan.
The Procedures
During the initial weeks of the scoping of a scheme or pro-
ject, amongst the many items requiring definition are the
management methods by which the objective will be realis-
ed.
These are the administrative or organisation guidelines
to be followed, as opposed to legal, political or technical
requirements. The management plan envelopes and co-
ordinates all other requirements so that, at the appropriate
times,
all parties who have a necessary input to the total
process make their contribution towards the end product.
In general terms the main subjects dealt with in a project
scope and procedures manual should be, typically:
Project purpose or objectives;
Job scope or size;
Basis of feasibility;
Division of responsibilities;
Responsible personnel;
Organisation chart and job descriptions;
Financing arrangements;
Agreements—contracts;
Schedule—programme;
Administrative arrangements and plan of execution;
Cost and progress reports and controls;
Legal, planning and insurance, and
Implementation or construction.
During the initial conceptual phases of a scheme the above
headings may represent proposed ideas, future develop-
ments or plans. Then, during the progression from proposi-
tions to actual confirmed plans, the manual will evolve into
a firm working document, with actual facts recorded under
the appropriate headings, which will have been modified
to fit in with the firmed-up arrangements or job progress.
Most of the subjects listed above require a written procedure
or instruction describing how and when what has to be
done.
These procedures should be specified in such a
man-
ner that all staff on the job work together in a consistent
co-ordinated manner. New personnel coming on to the job
can soon find out how to do their duties, without disrup-
tion to the surrounding organisation.
IMDS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1985 7

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