Stakeholders and Uncertainty Management
Discuss about the Stakeholders and Uncertainty Management.
Project Management is a discipline that allows the project managers, administration, leaders, and resources to effectively carry out the project activities to achieve project success. There are different standards and methodologies defined to execute and implement project management in the business organizations, such as Projects in Controlled Environment (PRINCE2), Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), Agile Project Management, etc. These standards are applied as per the project categories and requirements taken up by the business firms.
There are certain issues and problems that may come up in the implementation and utilization of the project management standards that may make it difficult to gain the maximum benefits out of the methodologies applied.
One of the most popular and widely used project management methodologies is Projects in Controlled Environment (PRINCE2).There are seven stages involved in PRINCE2 as project start-up, initiating, directing, controlling, managing project delivery, and closing a stage.
The methodology is based on seven principles as continued business justification, learning from experience, defining roles and responsibilities, manage by stages, manage by exception, focus on products, and tailor to suit the project environment. There are also seven themes that regulate the project management guidelines suggested by PRINCE2. These include business case, organization, quality, plans, risk, change, and progress (Pawar, 2017).
The scope of the projects refers to the set of the activities that will be covered by the project resources during the project timeline. Out of the scope activities are also included in the project scope statement to ensure that the clarity is maintained for the project resources and for the client. A clear definition of project scope statement, project goals, and objectives provide the project team with the capability to determine the project schedule, effort, and costs adequately. Also, the flow of the project activities can be estimated easily to avoid any major risks in the advanced stages.
It is often witnessed that some of the project lack clear definition of the project scope and goals. The project management methodologies, such as PRINCE2 and others have the mechanisms to handle these situations up to a certain point. However, scope creep may become difficult or impossible to control in advanced project stages and may result in a lot of re-work.
Project Risks & Uncertainties
There are several risks and uncertainties that may come up during the project execution and other phases. These risks may be associated with the technical or operational aspects or may be in the form of security attacks, legal obligations, ethical issues, resource risks, market risks, environmental issues, and others. The occurrence of such risks and uncertainties may adversely impact the project progress and continuity (Gloria Junior and Chaves, 2017).
The risks with higher impact and probability may become difficult to control and prevent by PRINCE2 and the accountability of the consequences will come on the management and administration. Such scenarios may disturb the project deliveries and success as well.
Communication is the key for successful project. However, it is often observed that the projects lack effective communication channels, especially with the external stakeholders and remote resources. The lack of adequate communication leads to emergence of ambiguities among the project resources and may also lead to poor dissatisfaction rates among the client and other stakeholders.
Most of the project management methodologies promote and support the idea of enhanced communications in the projects. The communication mechanisms also prove to be successful in the resolution and handling of the project disputes and conflicts. The continued lack of communication makes it difficult to handle the resulting outcomes (Zulch, 2014).
Inadequate Stakeholder Engagement
There are internal and external stakeholders associated with every project that contributes to the project success and ability to achieve the goals. These stakeholders have varying degrees of interest, contribution, and influence levels. However, it is necessary to ensure that the engagement of these stakeholders is always maintained through the project life cycle (Ward and Chapman, 2008).
The changing stakeholder expectations, lack of adequate communication, inadequate transparency and clarity among the stakeholders, and project conflicts and disputes may lead to drop in the stakeholder engagement. PRINCE2 and other project management methodologies have an essential requirement of suggesting the mechanisms to efficiently manage the project stakeholder and maintain their engagement in the projects.
Cost-savings and cost-efficiency is desired by every business organization and the strategic project planning and management includes cost-efficiency as one of the core goals. There are various costs that are associated with every project, such as cost of project resources, execution and implementation costs, maintenance costs, cost of trainings, and likewise.
The increased frequency of project risks and other project situations, such as negotiation issues with the suppliers, change in policies and regulations, inflation, interest rates, foreign exchange rates etc. may make it troublesome to maintain the cost-effectiveness in the projects.
The management methodologies may also find it challenging to deal with such factors that may disturb the maintenance of cost-effectiveness.
Planning is the most significant activities that shall be carried out in all the projects irrespective of their size, type, or requirement. There are projects in which the project management and resources do not pay due attention to planning and estimation activities. As a result, there may be enhanced issues and conflicts in the advanced stages. The decision-making and problem-solving activities in the later stages may also have higher complexities (Cunha, Moura and Vasconcellos, 2016).
The management methodologies shall, therefore, ensure that adequate project planning is always involved.
Resolution of Issues – Existing/Recommended PRINCE2 Features
Standardisation is one of the most significant parameters of PRINCE2 that defines every project stage and process. Due to the standardisation of the project tasks and activities, there are lesser chances of miscommunications during the project timeline. Also, the methodology includes seven stages, themes, and principles to manage the project activities, and planning is one of the essential tasks involved in the same. As a result, the issues of poor communications, planning, and decision-making can be easily avoided and handled (Vanickova, 2017).
Another core feature of PRINCE2 is its risk management process and guidelines. The methodology states that the project risks shall be identified in the initial phases and there are controlling and directing stages that are applied in the projects to manage the risks throughout the project timeline. The methodology defines the procedure for risks management by including identification of the risks as the first step. It is then followed by the assessment of the identified risks, analysis and evaluation, treatment and monitoring of risks, control and closure tasks. The project risks and uncertainties can be handled through this process (Lianying, Jing and Xinxing, 2012).
Stakeholders are given a lot of importance in PRINCE2 methodology. Stakeholder assessment and mapping is one of the key activities suggested by the methodology so that the engagement and satisfaction levels of the internal and external stakeholders are always maintained. There methodology supports regular reporting and documentation tasks that also assists in the enhancement of stakeholder engagement in the projects. The stakeholders are provided with the project progress and status updates at regular intervals to keep them involved (Pai, 2010).
The use of standardisation as suggested by the PRINCE2 methodology allows time and cost-savings in the project. The unnecessary project activities are eliminated to save the effort of the resources and to ensure optimum utilization of the project resources. There is lesser time spent on the resources trainings and risk assessment and the activities are carried out in parallel with the project execution. The methodology in itself is also open-source and does not come with licensing issues or use of a lot many technical tools that may enhance the costs for the business organizations.
PRINCE2 is a methodology that is being used and applied globally. There is a lot of information and documentation that is available in association with this methodology. The tried and tested nature of the methodology provides the pros and cons that can be easily evaluated by the manager before deciding to implement the same in the projects. The best suited project and applications can be identified to gain the maximum out of the PRINCE2 methodology (Jamali and Oveisi, 2016).
PRICNE2 is a project management methodology that is predictive in nature with lesser flexibility and scalability. There are seven stages involved in PRINCE2 as project start-up, initiating, directing, controlling, managing project delivery, and closing a stage. There are seven themes and principles that are also involved. The projects that are taken up by the business organizations in the current era include varied components and resources. Also, these projects are subject to frequent changes due to ongoing developments in technology and transforming nature of the market. The customer specifications and requirements may also change frequently. It is necessary for the project management and other methodologies to be adaptive and pro-active in nature to handle all of such changes and transformations. Some of the methodologies that have been designed on these principles include Agile SCRUM framework, Extreme Programming (XP), and others (Stare, 2014). PRINCE2 methodology shall also incorporate features that may enhance its ability to be flexible and scalable for achieving better results.
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Lianying, Z., Jing, H. and Xinxing, Z. (2012). The Project Management Maturity Model and Application Based on PRINCE2. Procedia Engineering, 29, pp.3691-3697.
Pai, S. (2010). Project management (PRINCE2) foundation qualification. BMJ, p.c2140.
Pawar, R. (2017). Benefits and Issues in Managing Project by PRINCE2 Methodology. [online] Ijarcsse.com. Available at: http://ijarcsse.com/Before_August_2017/docs/papers/Volume_7/3_March2017/V7I3-0134.pdf [Accessed 31 Mar. 2018].
Stare, A. (2014). Agile Project Management in Product Development Projects. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 119, pp.295-304.
Vanickova, R. (2017). Application of PRINCE2 Project Management Methodology. Studia Commercialia Bratislavensia, 10(38).
Ward, S. and Chapman, C. (2008). Stakeholders and uncertainty management in projects. Construction Management and Economics, 26(6), pp.563-577.
Zulch, B. (2014). Communication: The Foundation of Project Management. Procedia Technology, 16, pp.1000-1009.
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