• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Planning, monitoring/control and the 2016 budget (2)

budget-cut

Also in recent times, the government and a lot of businesses have been finding it difficult to manage projects effectively while operating within tight budgets and dwindling revenues.

With this in mind there are lot of things government and business officials could learn from the world of programme and project management to make their lives easier and achieve their developmental and strategic goals and in the process improve the quality of life of the citizenry and investors/shareholders. Sound project controls and management cost about 2 percent to 5 percent of the entire capital outlay, but savings of about 15 percent in time and 20 to 30 percent in costs are achieved.

Project management ideals and philosophies:

The project/program management practice by nature encourages transparency, accountability (when and where does the buck stop?), discipline, good governance, integrity, capacity building, logical reasoning and continuous process improvement. Project management is all about strong and purposeful leadership and stakeholder involvement and satisfaction. It is also about taking charge, assuming responsibility and making sure things are done in the proper way and manner. Studies worldwide have shown that project management delivers the kind of headship, guidance and lucidity of thought needed to help in the proper and efficient management of funds, people and other resources required in achieving the planned objectives of businesses (big, medium or small) and the developmental goals of the government. Project management is about engaging, solving problems and delivering intended results through an organized, well thought-out methodology. Businesses and MDAs that have a rooted project management mind-set possess competitive advantages as far as their operations are concerned. This is why leading corporations and government MDAs worldwide use the concepts of program and project management to manage, execute, monitor and control every facet of their operations, strategic and developmental initiatives.

Planning:

Planning can well be described as thinking about, a step by step conception, orderly course of organising and walking through the tasks and activities needed to reach a desired objective and intent. Planning serves as a roadmap and strategy with a clearly defined milestones and deliverables in realising set goals. The planning process involves the creation, putting together and maintenance of a course of action or document to be followed as closely as possible throughout the life cycle of what is to be created or achieved. It can also be referred to as an arrangement, an aforethought, setting up or groundwork. The process of planning starts from when objectives are set, to when the plans are implemented and when comparisons are made with what is in the original plan and its effectiveness.                  

It involves answering the questions: (1) What must be done in the future to reach the project objective? (2) How it will be done? (3) Who will do it? (4) When it will be done? (5) How much will it cost?

Importance of planning:

Planning for anything is of great importance, most especially if it is a worthwhile project. The key to a successful project outcome or endeavour is in the planning. Without planning there is no master plan or blueprint to follow and things are done haphazardly. While there are very few studies conducted to measure the value of planning in relation to its cost, it has been established that corporations and government departments/agencies with excellent planning culture and programs experience steady growth and development in comparison with those that does not. Projects are undertaken to explore an opportunity and in doing so planning is required. The experience gained and lessons learned from the execution of such projects are always very useful as organisational process assets. The depth and quality of proper prior planning will surely produce excellent results.

As one of the five (5) processes in project management, planning is the most important. As part of a company’s strategic goals or part of the developmental policies of governments, projects are constantly embarked upon. The planning process starts when the high level feasibility studies, project assumptions, constraints and the scope/statement of work have been considered and reviewed. This process extends from the conceptual stage through the design stage and all the way to the delivery stages.

To be continued next week

Ayodele Akingbade