First published as a paper in the September 2000 issue of the Project Management World Today E-zine of the PMForum web site:
Published here June 2001.

Abstract | Introduction | History of Economic Development
Social Spending | Project Management | Conclusion | References

Project Management

In further consideration of Fig. 1, project expenditure by sector could be entered in a modified Pareto principal using a 70, 20, 10 relationship instead of the 80-20 normally used to reveal the following:



Business Development

Social Development

1st World economies




2nd World economies




3rd World economies




Figure 3. Project expenditure
Source: Own compilation.

Figure 3 is a result of personal observation rather than scientific fact and shows the change in importance of various kinds of projects to different economies. Of particular importance to project management is the fact that published theory and knowledge exclusively features 1st world industrial development projects. What was found at the Commonwealth Forum meeting on project management in New Delhi in December 1998, was that most 3rd world social development projects fail because of this.

Using a model life cycle of a project (fig. 4 below) containing four stages and a strategic work breakdown structure that practitioners are familiar with as a standard reference and applied to the nine sectors in fig. 3 above theory should be developed to explain the similarities and differences of projects in each sector.






1. Start up meeting

1. Site establish

1. Contract close

2. Project Manager:

2. Formal investigation

2. Procure equipment

2. Scope verify

3. Feasibility Study: Project Risk

3. Design

3. Monitor equipment delivery

3. Administration close

4. Resources constraint:
No. of people:
Labour hours:
Total $ required

4. Specify

4. Quality Assurance & Control, Administer Contract

4. Financial close

5. Communication Plan: Stakeholder Analysis

5. Tender

5. Monitor contractor performance & Progress reports

5. Project report

6. Lobby for support

6. Evaluate

6. Install

6. Final meeting

7. Presentation

7. Risk analysis: Product Risk

7. Commission

7. Asset register update

8. Sponsor meeting

8. Negotiate

8. Hand Over

8. Lessons learnt

9. Sponsor approval:
resource use 50% accurate

9. Sponsor approval:
resource use 75% accurate

9. Sponsor approval:
resource use 95% accurate

9. Sponsor approval:
resource use 100% accurate

10. Sponsor(S) accepts resource constraints

10. Contract


10. Team disband

Figure 4. Project Best Practise Model
Source: Own compilation.

In this model (fig. 4) work is completed in a logical sequential order 1-10 within the Proposal stage first. When Sponsors approval is gained, permission has been given to proceed to the Planning stage. Work is then completed in a logical sequential order 1-10 within the Planning stage. When the contract is placed, Sponsors approval is sought for permission to proceed to the Implementation stage. Once gained, work is then completed in a logical sequential order 1-10 within the Implementation stage. Acceptance of the product produced and achievement of the end condition gives permission proceed to the Close-out stage. Work is then completed in a logical sequential order 1-10 within the Completion stage. Completion of the project administration places the project on the asset register and gives permission to disband the team.

Fig. 4 represents a model for a project on one page that is continuously incrementally improvable and has a high percentage of repeatability and reuse. If each strategic work package represents 10 Operational level activities and each operational level activity represents 10 Detail level tasks a total of 4000 detailed tasks can be controlled on one page. The stages themselves can exist at set levels of detail when that stage is entered into i.e. Proposal = Strategic level, Planning = Operational level and Implementation = Detail level. This assists rolling wave planning by eliminating long range inaccurate plans. Because the project is dynamic and the plan is static we know the plan is always wrong but by using levels the plan exists only in the strategic level where the model is always correct. We know the detail exists but it is not recorded onto the plan until the project is ready to achieve a particular stage of the life cycle.

If this concept is used then theory can be developed to describe the 40 strategic level activities, 400 operational level activities and 4000 tactical level activities for each of the nine sectors of development in fig 3.

To start I see key similarities and differences in industrial development projects as having key descriptions such as chemical plant, power station, bridge, dam, engineering, production etc as part of the title. These projects use resources in different ways such as people are established in dedicated centralized teams working full-time on one project at a time. Mostly contractors are used to perform the work of the project, never own staff. Time taken to peruse the project from inception to conclusion is measured in years. Money required for all project costs are of a capital nature and are seen as an investment, which has a payback period.

Most management effort is spent in the implementation stage. Management of change to the original plan is a key activity. Project risk, once commitment to the project is gained, does not feature. Product risk is managed in the planning stage, where impact affects quality, time and cost in the implementation stage. Formal design is completed by an in-house design team. Contracts based on specification preparation, tender evaluation and contract negotiation, are always a part of these projects.

A contractor is normally used to complete the work of the implementation with the client present onsite administering the contract. Project Close is not seen as part of the project. Commercial Operation is not part of the project. Many formal tool and techniques exist which concentrate on the completion of the task.

Business development projects have key descriptions such as business processes, strategy implementation, change management, restructuring, systems development etc. in their titles. The use of resources in these projects is established by using people in distributed cross-functional teams, lateral teams or virtual teams working on many projects concurrently, predominantly own staff used, with assistance from some consultants. Time taken for project completion is measured in hours or days. Money is rarely spent on equipment; often there is no capital spent at all. A distinguishing factor in these projects is that the only costs incurred are in labour hours.

Most management effort is spent in the planning stage. Due to very short implementation periods, changes to an original plan, result in automatic failure. Managing people is the key activity as own staff are used who have other work to do; loyalty to performing the tasks of the project is critical. Project risk requires alignment with the company═s strategic direction while the marketing window of opportunity remains a constant threat to the project. Product risk is managed in the planning stage as part of design, and normally does not feature during implementation due to the extremely short duration of this stage.

Formal design is completed by an in-house design team, including some consultants. Contracts between departments for the supply of labour is a further feature of these projects. Implementation is completed by the same in-house team who did the proposal and design. Project close uses formal approaches but due to work pressure the team members rapidly deploy back to their functional position or move on to other projects. Thus, project closure is not often formally completed. Commercial operation life cycle entertains ongoing modification and changes to project deliverables, often obscuring the end of the project. Few formal tool and techniques exist concentrating on the management of the individual team member.

Social development projects have key descriptions containing words such as rural, poverty, education, healthcare, transport, sanitation, housing, policing, etc. as part of the title. Resources required for social projects use local residents managed by consultants to perform the work. Time consumed for project duration is measured in weeks or months. Money consumed is made up of grant aid, donations and/or government finance, and spent mostly as administration overheads with very little of the money going towards paying the workers or completing the project.

Project managers spend most of their effort in the proposal stage communicating with stakeholders to gain commitment from the community at large, as without this support no effort spent in planning or implementation will meet with success. As the local community supplies labour, education and skills development are key activities during the planning stage to assemble a workforce for implementation. Project risk originates in and impacts on the proposal stage, while product risk is managed in the planning stage and impact effects quality, time and cost in the implementation stage.

Consultants complete formal design. Contract management including specification prepare, tender evaluation and contract negotiation is always a part of these projects, including contracts within the community for the supply of labour. The community complete implementation of the project with very little help from outsiders. Project close is a major event with formal handing over of the project deliverables to the community, done with much fanfare to score political points. Commercial operation of the project is not part of the project. Almost no formal tools and techniques exist concentrating on the involvement of the community.

Social Spending  Social Spending

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