Project planning is intended to structure a foundation for the execution and control phase of a project. When a project is properly planned out project success usually becomes imminent (Zwikael, 2009). Evidently, the importance of planning is illustrated in the article: “Benchmarking of project planning and success in selected industries” by (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006) as it indicates the evaluation of project planning quality across several different industries. In particular, these industries consisted of: construction and engineering, services, software, communications, production and maintenance.
The studies incorporated questionnaires that were developed for project managers in each industry. The purpose was to analyze which field had the best practices in regards to project management planning quality. To further contrast, the project management planning quality (PMPQ) model evaluates the project planning; it incorporates the processes being performed during the planning phase of a project by both the project manager and the organization (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006 pg
3). The results from the studies were intriguing as the construction and engineering industry scored the highest in quality planning and project success over any other industry (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006 pg 7); it indicates that this is due to the extensive organizational support that project managers have and because the construction and engineering industries are more project oriented (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006 pg
7). This could symbolize that the added benefit that project managers have in respect to organizational support alleviates more influential value in the planning phase (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006). In fact, it enables project managers with the necessary level of alignment, support, resources, communication and problem solving capabilities (Bourne, 2012).
The area of project management that I work in is very analogous to that of the construction and engineering field (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006). Currently, my organization is very saturated with small to complex projects that run our daily operations. That said, one important aspect that my organization recognizes is that quality planning is very crucial as it creates major benefits such as: eliminating or reducing uncertainty, improving efficiency in operations, obtaining a better understanding of the project objectives, and providing a basis for monitoring and controlling work (Zwikael, 2009 pg
2). Like most, quality planning for my industry becomes essential because huge portions of construction projects require a lot of planning in order to achieve project success. Without proper planning one cannot proactively complete the planning portion of the project efficiently. This can lead to catastrophic outcomes such as cost and schedule over runs (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006 pg 5).
In relation to the PMPQ model that was used to analyze the previously mentioned industries, my industry in particular will greatly benefit from implementing such a model for quality planning as it will highlight major areas that may need to be addressed or improved (areas such as cost and schedule overruns, technical performance, customer feedback, etc.).
This information will illustrate the pros and cons that will entice an effective mitigation plan. Additionally, from this study we will be able to analyze specifics regarding the project manager and the organizational efforts towards quality planning; do we need added support from top management or more effective planning from our project managers. Furthermore, by becoming aware of the quality planning will facilitate us to improve on other processes like the work break down structure (WBS), requirements breakdown structure (RBS), and conditions of statement (COS) which are all functions of planning.
As a result of properly organizing these processes we will be able to utilize efficient estimates regarding task durations since they rely on a proper planning strategy. Having accurate estimates will sanction our project managers to effectively allocate costs and resources to each specific task without any overruns. This is essential in ensuring a successful project since the majority of construction projects are more likely to run into financial and schedule conflicts (Zwikael & Globerson, 2006).
Likewise, a well-developed prioritized planning strategy will focus on reduction and/or elimination of variations within task durations (Wambeke, et al, 2011 pg. 2). This is a critical element to organizations in the construction industry since variations within task durations are the major cause of project failures. (Wambeke, et al, 2011 pg. 2). Overall, the thorough findings of the article by Zweikail and Globerson (2006) is a good foundation to base process improvements related to quality planning.
The data retrieved initializes that most of the poor planning is the direct result of very little to no organizational support or weak project management planning. However, it is also very beneficial to have such data as it opens up a broader area to improve on existing weaknesses within the organization. Having such a study implemented in my current field will hone to these weaknesses and will drive a better percentage of success for future and upcoming projects.
Bourne, L. (2012), ‘PMI: Voices on project management’, [Online], Available from: http://blogs.pmi.org/blog/voices_on_project_management/2012/04/what-does-a-project-sponsor-re.html, viewed: 29 September 2013. Wambeke, B, Hsiang, S, & Liu, M 2011, ‘Causes of Variation in Construction Project Task Starting Times and Duration’, Journal Of Construction Engineering & Management, 137, 9, pp. 663-677, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 29 September 2013. Zwikael, O 2009, ‘The relative importance of the PMBOK® Guide’s nine Knowledge Areas during project planning’, Project Management Journal, 40, 4, pp. 94-103, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 September 2013. Zwikael, O. Globerson, S. 2006, ‘Benchmarking of project planning and success in selected industries’, [Journal], vol.13, no.6, pp. 1-13
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