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Project Management Essay: Governing Issues Encounter by East-Europe Project

Question

Task

Consider the following scenario

The following scenario will discuss some common issues in which a project may experience in its lifecycle.

2010-2018, the East-Europe project was undertaken to create a connection between Greece and Italy via underground tunnel, presented one of the largest privately funded construction projects ever undertaken. It required the cooperation of two national governments, bankers underwriting the funding for the projects, numerous contractors and several regular agencies. The construction and engineering of the tunnel required the use of new technology and required significant modifications during the project due to unexpected conditions and changes required by various parties.

At the end, the project was completed, but it was late and over budgeted. The promotion of investments in the Tunnel was a challenging multinational affair drawing in institutions from several countries. In the last report (2019) presented by Jack Miller, the senior project leader, the project experiences some difficulties that resulted in project failure in some milestones, requiring the project managers to re-think and reschedule project planning for a few times between 2013 and 2016. For example, the success key factors announced by the board of directors were not fully aligned with the strategic priorities announced by the Italian government and Greek government. Lack of clear communication by senior management and the ministerial ownership and leadership was also another issue that negatively influenced effective engagement with stakeholders such as project sponsors, service and manufacturing providers and other third parties. Jack also found that mechanisms such as flexibility in emergent and situational needs during the project execution and standardisation of governance practices could better help the project professionally pass its own milestones. This could also help the project managers to better disclose and report project milestones for future planning. At the technical level, however, Jack found that the effective project team integration between clients, suppliers and the entire supply chain was lacking. Jack knew that this issue was associated with inability of the project managers to build an effective organizational culture that impacts the attitudes of people through top management support, synchronised communication structures and dedicated network structure.

Although the project was completed, it seems that the project experienced some issues at both strategic and technical levels. Indeed, assuring that a project delivers the business objectives and benefits as expected is associated with the project governance.

According to the above scenario, you are required to address the following questions by writing 2000 words project management essay:

- To what extent do you agree that project governance plays a crucial role in project success?

- According to this scenario, what institutions are responsible for project governance?

- What do you recommend for similar projects experiencing these issues at both strategic and technical levels?

Answer

Introduction
This project management essay is based on a scenario to portray project governance importance and role of project governance. There is a specific scenario where some relevant theories are used to understand the role of project governance, institutions responsible for project governance and related recommendations are provided to deal with similar technical and strategic difficulties. The scenario is about the East-Europe project, specific problems the project authorities have faced, and this document is prepared to analyze those issues according to project governance.

In an overview, the scenario discussed some technical and strategic difficulties that lead to delay in project completion and allocation of additional expenditure. Therefore, this document is prepared to visualize the technical and strategic issues that the East-Europe project faced and consider project governance theories to demonstrate roles, responsibilities of project stakeholders and further recommendations to handle those issues. The primary content of the document is to focus on project governance and its relevance in terms of critical benefits to the project success and meeting project goals timely (Musawir et al., 2027; Sirisomboonsuk et al.,2018). The scenario of the East-Europe project is portrayed in view of Jack Miller, senior project leader; the authorities of the project should be notified to conduct appropriate governance activities.

Role of Project Governance, Institutions Responsible for Project Governance, and Recommendations
Project governance is considered as a supervisory activity that is managed with an organizational model and the governance is led with project life cycle. The governance process provides the project manager to conduct decision-making models, follow effective processes, encompass structured team management and control the project towards a successful delivery (Derakhshan, Turner & Mancini, 2019). Project governance can define, communicate and document the persistent project activities with ensuring project success. The scenario of the East-Europe project can be defined based on a combination of agency theory, stakeholder theory, and Transaction Costs Economics (TCE). In stakeholder theory, the stakeholders should be involved in the group of people that are influenced by the project outcomes and the organization (Macheridis, 2017). Here, in a given scenario, the lack of team management could be resolved using stakeholder theory; where, the managing authority should support the stakeholders with effective team management to achieve better project outcomes. Whereas, in Transaction Costs Economics (TCE) theory; the project can address effective budget or cost management to guide the stakeholders with contractual responsibilities (Musawir, Abd-Karim & Mohd-Danuri, 2020; Mashiloane & Jokonya, 2018). On the other hand, agency theory can resolve issues in the relationship between the managing body and project stakeholders. This theory can easily define the strategic conflicts with prioritizing their goals.

Here are some components that are part of project governance; the components are identified as;

Governance model: The project scope, complexity, risk, stakeholders, and importance are part of organizational values and the organization should establish a baseline to manage critical elements to align project governance (Khan et al., 2019). This component is highly essential for the East-Europe project as major strategic and technical difficulties can occur due to defective governance models.

Engagement of stakeholders: The governance plan can reach its fruition when the stallholders are engaged in the governance activities (Joslin, 2019). In the East-Europe project, stakeholder engagement is crucial to avoid project delay and over-budget constraints. Jack Miller should identify necessary project stakeholders to achieve shared interest and critical responsibilities to reach project success.

Responsibilities and accountability: The stakeholders held accountable and allocation of proper responsibility to them is highly recommended for completion of sub-tasks assigned to the project (Iqbal et al., 2020). The shared responsibilities of the stakeholder can share the burden of work and tasks can be completed with shared efforts.

Meeting and reporting: The project leader, Jack Miller should set a communication plan for adhering to meeting sessions and reporting activities for the project stakeholders. When the project communication plan is prepared; the project can progress through milestones, decisive meetings, and achieving project goals with necessary inputs used in-place.

Risk management: The risk management in East-Europe project is another critical component for managing project governance; this risk management plan can oversee the issues this project can face or mitigate them as per the likelihood and influence scoring.

Control process: The control process in this given scenario can provide a set of restrictions to be planned to keep risk impacts on control, handling conflicts, and resolving intangible issues. Therefore, senior project leader, Jack Miller should set a goal of measuring performance of other stakeholders in the project. The performance measurement can identify slipping of deadlines, slacking off time and causing gradual delay (Li, Akintoye & Holt, 2017; Nyawira, Namusonge & Oluoch, 2018). The project manager can easily decide when to use a contingency plan to deal with delays of the project based on performance metrics.

Stakeholder communication: The stakeholder communication plan is another huge factor towards achieving project success. The communication plan is known as a tool to learn about issues from other stakeholders, understanding the lack of expertise or skill set during the project execution, and lacking experience in the team (Laine, Korhonen & Suomala, 2020). The communication plan easily pinpoints the conflict issues, stakeholder skill requirements, and dynamic requirement of resources in the project.

Assurance on project success: The project assurance should ensure effective management of risks and handling issues over delivering confidence in the project outcomes (Godenhjelm, Sjöblom & Jensen, 2019). Assurance of project governance ensures effective metrics to reach project success and suitable project performance.

Based on the above-mentioned components, the role of project governance is crucial to reach project success. As per the scenario of the East-Europe project, the project faced a lack of communication issues between Italian and Greek Government bodies. The project success factors were not clearly identified according to the project’s strategic priorities. Moreover, technical issues such as lack of team management, flexible resource allocation, and lack of effective organizational culture were encountered. These risks can be avoided to a significant extent; if the authorities have employed suitable project governance in the project execution. The roles of the project governance are;

Clear communication from governance can deal with lack of clarity in project’s strategic priorities. Therefore, the stakeholders can learn about the project’s goals and hence, they can focus on critical activities of the project to ensure timely completion (Lappi & Aaltonen, 2017). Sharing of information can be effective for streamlining the project progress with managing authority and the team can dynamically modify their project activities based on management’s review of project progress.

Resolving issues and risk management is another benefit of project governance. The role of issue resolution is effective for conducting the project with participation from all stakeholders. The project manager should be responsible for preparing an issue resolution plan to benchmark identified issues and deal with suitable solutions (Volden & Andersen, 2018). Moreover, the risk management should be conducted with proper risk assessment for scoring the risk impacts. The risk assessment can warn the manager about potential issues in the project and proceed with pre-defined safety mechanisms.

Suitable allocation of roles and responsibilities to the stakeholders can allow the project manager to estimate the performance of the stakeholders so that the project manager can supervise the project process (Iqbal et al., 2020). The project manager can report to the managing authority about the progress and can update the project timeline, objectives, and intermediate milestones to accelerate the progress. Following a single point of accountability towards reaching effective team management, the East-Europe project authority would be able to identify the conflict among the team members.

There are specific resources that are essential to project governance as a system. The resources are identified as; policies, processes, functions, regulations, responsibilities, and procedures. These resources are essentially adapted to project governance so that several roles can co-exist during the project execution (Sirisomboonsuk et al., 2018; Derakhshan, Turner & Mancini, 2019). The roles in governance can prepare a suitable framework to work with issues and difficulties. The roles are identified as;

Owner of the project: The owner of the project should be stated to take responsibility for business representation. The project manager can directly report to the owner for variable changes in the project (Macheridis, 2017). The owners can keep the project leader or manager accountable for project progress.

Key stakeholders of the project: The key stakeholders in the project should comprise a project management board; this group should include sponsors, fundraisers, and investors; customers for the product, clients of the project; and suppliers (Mashiloane & Jokonya, 2018). The key stakeholders should be kept limited to achieve efficient management activities.

Advisory team for the project: The advisory group of the project should conduct efficient management and advise the progress to the managing authorities so that the project board can take help from this group to address efficient decision-making.

Based on the concerned parties mentioned, the project governance framework should be prepared to ensure a clear architecture of information flow and sharing. The project governance framework should be developed to keep the stakeholders engaged with the project growth, gradual accomplishments of the project activities and avoiding risks of delay (Khan et al., 2019; Iqbal et al., 2017). The project governance framework should be based on three primary bodies of the project; project board for approving documents, portfolio board for approving funding allocation, and project manager for taking responsibility in daily decision-making with the following business case. Moreover, there should be a project team; the project manager would run the team to deliver the vision of the project that is defined with the project plan (Li, Akintoye & Holt, 2017; Godenhjelm, Sjöblom & Jensen, 2019). The project governance framework should be developed for ensuring success and timely completion of the project.

The recommendations for project governing authority are to follow some critical activities that are mentioned as;

The governance team should be reviewing the project progress and should approve the charter if the project plan is aligned with business case. The charter should be prepared according to the project business case and the charter should be approved when it meets the business goals.

The governance should include a monitoring team for reviewing the project management plan. The monitoring team should be able to visualize the project plan along with suitable resources allocation.

The governance team should be responsible for introducing change management to the business case if they require maintaining the project outcome within a different scenario. For instance, in case of organizational crisis or emergencies, the project authority should adjust timeline; allocate additional resources or stakeholders to meet the business case.

The change management should be approved from the governance team and the hierarchical decision-making should be followed to achieve approval of the change management.

The governance should review and approve project delivery and development strategy; the project manager should report to the authority for their solutions in critical scenarios of project success.

Conclusion
Corporate governance and project governance are related based on scalability; these two are not similar. The corporate governance works in an up-scaled version of the local government, consumers and suppliers who have direct influence on the project outcomes. The corporate governances can ensure the successful completion of internal actions of the project. Therefore, corporate governance should be placed for ensuring internal activities completion within project deadline, the project governance can include corporate as a stable function to ensure parts of the project completion. The project management in project governance is suitable for managing the entire combination of activities and controlling the work and responsibilities for the successful completion. Based on the critical evaluation, it can be concluded that the governance is mainly focused on creating a better project management environment so that the organization can ensure the management authority’s performance. Managing authority should be entirely responsible for governing the project; hence, the project manager should focus on reporting the intermediate results to the governing body. The project would be successful when the governance is successful and the governance can bring success to a specific project as well. Therefore, suitable recommendations are proposed to project governance authority of similar projects facing strategic and technical issues.

References
Derakhshan, R., Turner, R., & Mancini, M. (2019). Project governance and stakeholders: a literature review. International Journal of Project Management, 37(1), 98-116.

Godenhjelm, S., Sjöblom, S., & Jensen, C. (2019). Project Governance in an Embedded State: Opportunities and Challenges 1. The Projectification of the Public Sector, 149-168.

Iqbal, S., Rehman, K., Asghar, W., &Haider, S. A. (2020). Comparative Analysis of Effective Project Governance Practices and Benefit Realization Management for the Successful Execution of Projects in NGO Industry. Journal of Accounting and Finance in Emerging Economies, 6(4), 941-952.

Iqbal, S., Rehman, K., Asghar, W., &Haider, S. A. (2020). Comparative Analysis of Effective Project Governance Practices and Benefit Realization Management for the Successful Execution of Projects in NGO Industry. Journal of Accounting and Finance in Emerging Economies, 6(4), 941-952.

Joslin, R. (2019). Project management methodologies, project success, project governance, contingency theory, agency theory, and stewardship theory. In Project management methodologies, governance and success (pp. 17-30). Auerbach Publications.

Khan, A., Waris, M., Ismail, I., Sajid, M. R., Ullah, M., & Usman, F. (2019). Deficiencies in project governance: an analysis of infrastructure development program. Administrative Sciences, 9(1), 9.

Laine, T., Korhonen, T., &Suomala, P. (2020). The dynamics of repairing multi-project control practice: A project governance viewpoint. International Journal of Project Management, 38(7), 405-418.

Lappi, T., &Aaltonen, K. (2017). Project governance in public sector agile software projects. International Journal Of Managing Projects In Business, 10(2), 263-294. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijmpb-04-2016-0031

Li, B., Akintoye, A., & Holt, G. (2017). Empirical study of project governance among Chinese project management professionals. International Journal of Architecture, Engineering and Construction, 6(2), 29-39.

Macheridis, N. (2017). Governance of higher education-implementation of project governance. Tertiary Education and Management, 23(2), 85-102.

Mashiloane, R. E., &Jokonya, O. (2018). Investigating the Challenges of Project Governance Processes of IT Projects. Procedia computer science, 138, 875-882.

Nyawira, C., Namusonge, G. S., &Oluoch, O. (2018). INFLUENCE OF PROJECT GOVERNANCE ON THE PERFORMANCE OF COMMUNITY BASED HIV PROJECTS IN KIAMBU, KENYA. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Project Management, 3(1), 75-91.

Sirisomboonsuk, P., Gu, V. C., Cao, R. Q., & Burns, J. R. (2018). Relationships between project governance and information technology governance and their impact on project performance. International journal of project management, 36(2), 287-300.

ulMusawir, A., Abd-Karim, S. B., &Mohd-Danuri, M. S. (2020). Project governance and its role in enabling organizational strategy implementation: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Project Management, 38(1), 1-16.

UlMusawir, A., Serra, C. E. M., Zwikael, O., & Ali, I. (2017). Project governance, benefit management, and project success: Towards a framework for supporting organizational strategy implementation. International Journal of Project Management, 35(8), 1658-1672.

Volden, G., & Andersen, B. (2018). The hierarchy of public project governance frameworks. International Journal Of Managing Projects In Business, 11(1), 174-197. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijmpb-04-2017-0040

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