According to the PMBOK 3rd edition, A project is defined as a â€œtemporary endeavour with a beginning and an end and it must be used to create a unique product, service or resultâ€. Further, it is progressively elaborated. What this definition of a project means is that projects are those activities that cannot go on indefinitely and must have a defined purpose.
Procurement and Quality processes
The art of project management calls for an increased vigil on quality and related processes. The project manager is expected to be aware of the best practices that are used for the project and is supposed to make sure that he or she adapts them to the use of project management. One area of concern nowadays is the absence of processes in procurement and staffing. These are areas of concern not only to the project manager but also to the organisations. There is a need to balance the requirements of the fast procurement and staffing cycle with that of proper processes to be followed. There has been much debate in many organisations about the lack of quality in recruitment and procurement.
These twin areas of quality and procurement have the aspect of ruining the chances of a successful project and hence the project manager has a responsibility to steer the course and ensure that quality does not suffer. There are several areas of project management that need quality control and there are several benchmarks of quality that can be used to meet these standards.
For instance, many organisations use Six Sigma and SEI CMM level processes to guide them in the art of quality and meeting quality specifications. These are just one instance of how the quality framework is used to differentiate between the processes that are error free and those that need revision and rework. Sampling method prescribed by Kaizen, Six Sigma etc can be used to improve the quality of the processes that are employed by the organisations.
Kaizen, in particular relates to continuous improvement, a theme that would find resonance in the uber-competitive world of today. All organisations strive for quality and to find the edge that would differentiate those from others and thus these initiatives are the ones that the project manager must look forward to and implement them diligently in the workplace.
To address the issues arising out of poor procurement and staffing practices, the project manager has to be in constant touch with one important stakeholder i.e., the procurement and staffing teams and this is where the project manager is expected to show their level of competence by managing the procurement and staffing cycle.