A paper presented to the first Engineering Congress, The Institution of Engineers, India - Calcutta, January 1987

Introduction | Definition | Traditional | Hard-Soft | Environment
Characteristics | Concepts | Control | Breakdown | Fundamentals
Prerequisites | Summary | Appendix A | Appendix B

Typical Capital Project Management Environment

In any capital project, the project group to be managed will consist of consultants, contractors, specialists, the staff of the owner and the project management organization. A typical situation is shown in Figure 1. Each person or unit in the group often has two "bosses", the project manager and his "home" department or firm. This dual reporting relationship is often referred to as a "matrix" structure and accounts for much of the complexity of project management on a large project.

The project manager will be required to direct operational activities such as design, procurement, and construction. He will state his requirements for such management support activities as estimating, scheduling, accounting and forecasting.

In addition, on a larger project, he will require other more specialized services such as financial accounting, payroll, systems development, personnel, legal, public relations and property acquisition. Because they do not normally affect project control decisions, these activities are usually carried out by independent departments or companies, not directly under the project manager's supervision. Nevertheless, if the project manager is to get the quality of information and service that he needs, he must maintain good relationships with all such parties.

The project manager will also be required to report to upper management or the owner on a regular basis. For this he must render a succinct digest of the available information on progress, forecast, resource requirements, and actions required.

Figure 1: Project management in a corporate environment

Figure 1: Project management in a corporate environment

By comparison, top management's interest will tend to focus on expenditure to date, forecast final cost, and the scheduled commencement of an operating cash flow.

Hard & Soft Projects  Hard & Soft Projects

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