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1. Summarizes how the project manager or team exhibited exceptional and ethical project management practices. Often, the project manager (PM) is faced with an issue that is not easily resolved by theory or the knowledge acquired from formal training. These types of problems are usually not of a technical nature and more often tend to be ethical or human resource issues (Stare, 2011). The satisfactory answer is often debatable and may suit one set of circumstances and yet not another. It is these difficult issues where the PM must draw from their practical experiences, moral and ethical obligations, and sometimes the rule of law. For example, international projects take the PM out of the comfort zone of the local laws and customs that they are used to working at home. In many host countries, doing business results in uncertainty and inconsistencies from the way business is conducted at home. Sometimes a practice that is permissible in the foreign country is not at home (Stare, 2011).
Will making a payment to a foreign government official to obtain permits, licenses or police protection be seen as a bribe or just facilitating and expediting to get things done? That is why it is useful to have a set of guidelines. Companies should have a set of best practices or code of conduct to assist them, however, many do not. Here is a list of questions to use and may be proven useful in deciding a correct approach: Are you following rules that are generally understood and accepted for the task taking place? For example, in poker, bluffing is accepted as part of the game. Are you comfortable publicly discussing and defending your action? Would you be comfortable if your friends were aware of it? Is your family ok with it? Would you want someone to do it to you or to your family?
What if everyone acted that way? Would the resulting society be desirable? Are their alternatives that rest on firmer ground? Some countries such as the U.S. have a legal framework, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for conducting business abroad. For instance, it states with respect to bribery that it is a crime for a bribe to be made to a foreign official or political party for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or for directing business to another person even if this flows through an intermediary or consultant (Quade, Birkenkrahe, & Habermann, 2012). However, not all payments are defined as bribes. Payments for routine government action are allowed under the FCPA including the dispensing of permits, licenses and police protection as noted in the example. Thus, it is important to distinguish between those that are acceptable and unacceptable by noting the various laws of both your own country and those in your host country.
As organizations increasingly adopt the practice of project management to achieve their goals, project managers must be adept in the soft skills, political savvy, and conflict management skills that are vital to project success. Project success relies directly on the ability of project managers to communicate, negotiate, and influence within a project environment that inevitably involves politics and conflict (KENNEDY & HUSTON, 2012). It is important for the project manager to approach difficult issues with care and conduct their affairs within the appropriate ethical and legal framework. Some of the PM guiding principles are gained from the company value statements, and codes of conduct. This will provide the project manager, along with his or her experience, the additional resources to resolve tough situations.
2. Discusses the role of the project manager or team, the organizational setting, the recipient’s approach to project integration management, and obstacles that had the potential of adversely impacting the triple constraints. Some of us are familiar with the term, triple constraint, which refers to the three way conflict between scope, time, and cost. The constraint is often represented diagrammatically by a triangle. What the diagram attempts to show is that if something change in any constraint it should impact the other two constraints in some way. For example, if you increase the scope of a project, this will have the effect of increasing the time taken and thus the cost of the project (DiVincenzo, 2006). Also, if you reduce the time taken, but you are not prepared to reduce the scope, then clearly it’s going to cost more to complete the project. Triple constraint is one of the least understood, but most important keys to understand in project management.
The discipline of project management is about providing the tools and techniques that enable the project team and not just the project manager to organize the work to meet the constraints. Another tactic to project management is to consider the three constraints as finance, time and human resources. If you need to finish a job in a shorter time, you can throw more people at the problem, which in turn will raise the cost of the project, unless by doing this task quicker you will reduce costs elsewhere in the project by an equal amount. A project management graphic aid, which is a triangle, can show time, scope, and cost objective as the sides of a triangle, instead of the corners. Project management could used a pair of triangles called triangle outer and triangle inner to represent the concept that the intent of a project is to complete on or before the allowed time, on or under cost, and to meet or exceed the required scope (Anantatmula, 2010).
The distance between the inner and outer triangles shows the hedge or possibility for each of the three elements. Bias could be shown by the distance. The example of a project with a strong time bias was the Alaska pipeline which essentially had to be done on time no matter the cost. After years of development, oil flowed out the end of the pipe within four minutes of schedule. The illustration of the time side of triangle inner was effective on the top of the triangle outer line. This was true of the scope objective line also. The cost line of triangle inner, however, was outside since the project ran significantly over budget.
This is a good relationship of Performance, Cost, Time, Scope, and shows that a project can pick any three. Projects and initiatives are more likely to meet objectives and achieve success when change management and project management are being both used and integrated (DiVincenzo, 2006). An integrated approach increases the effectiveness of project delivery and increases the chances that sustained change happens. Integration of change management and project management enables the practitioners doing the work to be more aligned, the activities to be more effectively sequenced and the tools being used to be even stronger. Regardless of the specific approach to integrating people, processes, tools and methodologies, integration of change management and project management will provide a more complete approach and solution to creating sustained and meaningful change in the organization.
Anantatmula, V. S. (2010). Project Manager Leadership Role in Improving Project Performance. Engineering Management Journal, 22(1), 13-22. DiVincenzo, T. (2006). Project managers stay in charge and out front. Occupational Outlook Quarterly, 50(2), 19-25. KENNEDY, D., & HUSTON, M. (2012). Don’t promote the villains. (cover story). Industrial Engineer: IE, 44(10), 28-32. Quade, S., Birkenkrahe, M., & Habermann, F. (2012). Manage Projects Smarter: Picking Tools for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning, 5(3), 43-47. doi:10.3991/ijac.v5i3.2175 Stare, A. (2011). THE IMPACT OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND PROJECT ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE ON PROJECT PERFORMANCE IN SLOVENIAN ENTERPRISES. Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, 16(2), 1-22.