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Project time managment - Essay Example

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In project management and performance evaluation, baseline refers to the conditions put in place for given milestones during project planning and implementation. These conditions could target project start points, intermediate stages or project end. The baseline measurements of…
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Project Time Management: Why Is It Critical To Develop a Time-Phased Baseline to Plan a Project and Manage Its Performance? ]
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Introduction
In project management and performance evaluation, baseline refers to the conditions put in place for given milestones during project planning and implementation. These conditions could target project start points, intermediate stages or project end. The baseline measurements of a project could be the vital signs at the start, during the implementation, or at the end of a project that represent the expected or approved time, cost, or processes1. Thus, project success or failure should be evaluated by comparing the expected or approved project time/schedule, cost, scope, and technical changes with the realized performance with regards to these parameters2. This paper explores the importance of developing a time-phase baseline for project planning, management, and performance evaluation.
The Importance of Time-Phased Baseline for Project Monitoring
For a project’s successful implementation and effective monitoring, cost- and time-phased baselines are some of the key approaches often used. Specifically, since most projects have definite periods for completion, a time-phased baseline for project planning and implementation is highly recommended3. Without such a baseline, there would be nothing to measure project progress against, during or after its implementation. Time-phased baseline helps in comparing the projected time value of against the delivered time value. That is, has a project really been completed and used within the anticipated time or has the estimated quantity of project been delivered in the planned time4? A time-phased baseline for project planning and evaluation thus assists in answering the question of whether a project has been started and finished at the expected time5. By being in a position to measure the budgeting of time in a project, stakeholders are better placed to detect and address problems such as delays and stoppages for improvements. A time-phased baseline thus helps project stakeholders to evaluate how well a project runs and to measure the accuracy in time estimations6. Additionally, once the accuracy of time estimation has been established, time-phased baseline for project evaluation can be used for similar projects or modified for other related projects. Time-phased baseline thus helps one to assess his/her ability to estimate project cost, labor, time, and overall performance. Importantly, time-phased baseline helps in establishing whether enough time has bee allocated for the different project phases7. That is, any over- and under-estimations of time are dealt with once detected. Finally, time-phased baseline is useful in allocating workforce for specific phases and activities during project implementation8. If time-projections are not met, such outcomes could help identify where labor and time are lost, thus alleviating such problems in future projects9.
Conclusion
Time-phase baseline project planning, management, and evaluation are critical in the timely completion of projects and economical use of labor and other resources. Generally, project stakeholders need time-phased baselines for assessing overall performances as it offers the basis for comparing not only time but also cost and project outcomes.
References
Bamberger, M., Rugh, J., Church, M., and Fort, L. “Shoestring evaluation: Designing impact evaluations under budget, time and data constraints.” American Journal of Evaluation, 25, 5(2004): 37.
Burke, R. Project Management Planning and Control Techniques, Fourth Edition. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
Cleland, D. Project Management: Strategic Design and Implementation, Third Edition. New York: McGraw Hill, 1999.
Larson, Eric, W. and Gray, Clifford, F. Project Management: The Managerial Process, Fifth edition. New York: McGraw Hill, 2010.
Meredith, J. R. and Mantel, S. J. Project Management: A Managerial Approach, Fifth Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
Project Management Institute. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Third Edition, Project Management Institute, 2011.
Project Management Institute. Exposure Draft of a Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge - PMBOK Guide. Newton Square: Project Management Institute, 2004.
Winston, Royce. "Managing the Development of Large Software Systems" in: Technical Papers of Western Electronic Show and Convention. 1970. Accessed on September 10, 2012 from http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/spring2003/cmsc838p/Process/waterfall.pdf
South Australian Community Health Research Unit. “Using Evidence to improve outcomes for Communities: Evaluating your Project.” Accessed on September 10, 2012 from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:KYacawanzjIJ:som.flinders.edu.au/FUSA/SACHRU/PDF/briefs/pracb_1_Evaluating_Your_Project.pdf Read More
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