Other Essential Functions
Projects are achieved through people and their respective skills and abilities. But the number of people and their types of skill varies considerably during the project life cycle according to the level of effort required as we have already seen. Consequently, many of these people are required only for relatively short periods of time. Normally there will be a core group referred to as the project team, led by a Project Manager
Indeed, even the project team is required only temporarily. Thus, careful attention must be given to the assembly of people working together effectively through a clear understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities in a temporary organizational environment. This requires Human Resources Management.
Often these temporary organizational arrangements take place within a traditional management organizational setting. This introduces the concept of a Matrix Organization.
Projects are only launched for purposes of achieving change through predetermined objectives, or at least they should be! Because of the relative uniqueness of every project and the rapidly changing conditions as depicted by the time-effort curve, both mentioned above, the final outcome of every project is always uncertain.
This gives rise to the need for special and constant attention to the forecast final results in terms of meeting the ultimate objectives, including all resources consumed. Based on this forecast, especially if the forecast is unfavorable, it is possible to modify direction by exercising control.
Control is only achieved if all parties to the project clearly understand their respective roles and responsibilities as a result of careful planning and commun-ication. Moreover, the status of the project at any given time is only apparent through consistent and accurate feedback. Often this feedback can only be fully understood through a proper interpretation of the project environment, both internal and external. Responding to the project environment is usually referred to as Public Relations.
Collectively, these activities come under the heading of Communications Management.
People and communication alone are not enough to implement a project. It is the service that people offer that is needed to execute the project. It is a common experience that a major portion of a project manager's time must be given over to procuring peoples' commitment to the objectives of the project. In addition, materials and equipment are also most likely required. The commitment of these goods and services are obtained through Contract/Procurement Management.
Uncertainty was mentioned earlier. Uncertainty is associated with probability and risk. Prudent management will take steps to mitigate the possibility of a less-than-favorable outcome by reducing the project risk wherever this can be achieved cost effectively. This leads to the need for a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the project in the first place, especially if it is a complex and inter disciplinary project. These activities are identified as Risk Management.
Finally, to tie all these PM Functions together, the PMBOK Standards Committee concluded that a further PMBOK section would be required to provide a frame of reference or overview. This section, which is not strictly a project management function, has been given the name Project Management Framework. From an educational standpoint, however, it is another subject area in its own right.
Project Management Framework provides the opportunity in which the concept of a matrix can be devel-oped to demonstrate the interdependencies and inter faces between the respective functions. It also provides the opportunity to take an overview perspective of a number of other aspects of project management. Examples include the process of control, typical project life cycles, the need for project integration and interface management, and the place and impact of project management in the various public and private sectors.
It can also be the repository of some general project management background and information as well perhaps as some of the more universal tools and techniques of project management.