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IDENTIFY AND EXAMINE THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROJECT MANAGEMENT, AS A DISCIPLINE AT YOUR LEVEL AS AN INDIVIDUAL,

ORGANIZATION AND AS A NATION. AS A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT YOU ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT ADDRESS THE ABOVE CHALLENGES AND TAKE THE OPPORTUNITIES EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY.
INTRODUCTION Individual, organizations, and nations (governments) always seek to achieve various goals but in most instances they are faced with some challenges. Time, cost, and scope are three main constraints faced in the implementation of any activity. In undertaking any activity, one is likely the deal with the time available to get the work done, the amount of money needed and what must be done to produce the end result of the activity. When these individuals, organizations are able handle these constraints effectively in their quest to ensure productivity, they become successful in achieving their goals. CHALLENGES OF INDIVIDUALS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND NATIONS THE INDIVIDUAL: Mainly individuals are faces with the problem of identifying their goals and making the best use of resources available to them. Many people are not able to carry out their activities effectively because they do not plan towards those activities. Poor goal setting couple with lack of planning poses a challenge for many individuals hence their inability to maximize their use of resources. Time is an essential resource many people fail to utilize effectively. People do not take pains to consider the amount of time it take them to carry a task through. Managing time therefore hinders the individual from achieving considerable amount of work done within a period. They sometimes waste this resource because they have not scheduled their activities in a proper manner. Most individual are also burdened with unfinished work, just because they did not count the cost. ORGANIZATION: Many organizations are faced with challenges that threaten the growth of their business. Clarity in the scope of the business functions as well as business requirement not been well-defined are two main constraints organizations are likely to face as they work towards reaching their goals. When the organization does not clearly define its scope of business, the various departments within it do not work together in harmony and this affect the output of the organization. By defining exactly what the business is about and establishing clearly what the departments are required to do, the operations of the business become smooth and achievable. Sometimes because of lack of clarity, the organizations are not able to meet customer needs for their product and services. Businesses are driven by the needs of the customers therefore organizations that are not able to address the needs of the customer will not succeed. Because business requirements are not well defined, usually, goods may be produced which may fall short of the expectation of the customers. It also leads to increase cost of production. Since requirement were not followed, the cost of the product is likely to go up as rework may be required. THE NATION: In a nation there are a lot of competing needs a government will have to address. Various sector of the economy requires attention of the government who may have very limited resources to respond to the demands. Even within the same sector, various regions or geographical

areas will also demand the attention of government. Efficient means of utilizing resource to meet the need of the society becomes a major challenge for the government. In Ghana for instance a lot of projects are being carried without the necessary due diligence to know how long and how much the project will cost, hence we have a lot of uncompleted project scattered across the country. Government have not counted the cost. Project are not planned well to cater for contingencies which results in huge project cost. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AS A DISCIPLINE A project is any temporary endeavour which creates a unique product, service or result. Activities of Individuals, organizations, and nations could therefore be considered as project when it has a time period and a specific product or service is likely to be generated from that activity. On the other hand, project management is a systematic process used to initiate, plan, execute, control and close project to meet defined objectives and the expectations of all stakeholders. The science and art of project management provides a roadmap for efficient and successful implementation and completion of projects. Project management being a discipline therefore focuses on providing a systematic direction to direct the activities that takes place on a project. This may include managing risk, directing people (assigning task, tracking process, etc), and coordinating with people and system outside scope of the project to be sure that it is delivered on time and within budget. The Project Management Institute (PMI) an international organization for project management professionals has broken the discipline of project management into knowledge areas. The knowledge areas are integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources communication, and risk and procurement management. The Integration knowledge area focuses on coordinating project management activities and processes to ensure that the project goals and objectives are achieved within the defined constraints of the project. That is putting the various pieces of the project into a cohesive whole in order to complete the project in a faster, cheaper and with fewer resources while meeting the project objectives Scope knowledge area involves the identification and definition of all the work required to successfully complete the project while ensuring that unnecessary work is not included in the project plan. Under this knowledge area, the work is broken into manageable pieces to avoid changes that could lead to increase cost. Time Management comprises the work required to create realistic time estimates, and an approved schedule for the completion of project activities in the most timely manner possible. Time management processes help to create options to compress the schedule in order to meet the required end date. Cost Management processes encompasses the work required to create realistic cost estimates, and ultimately an approved budget for the completion of project activities in the most cost effective manner possible. It helps to remove guess estimates and reduce unpleasant surprises as work progresses.

Quality management processes ensures that the work of the project conforms to internal quality standard and processes to meet the project requirements. This helps to avoid defects and dissatisfaction The acquisition, developing, managing, and motivating team member is the focus of the human resource process of project management. The Communication process on the other hand addresses the planning and implementation of strategies utilized throughout the project to provide timely and accessible distribution of relevant information to project team members and other stakeholders. Communication is tailored in a manner where all interested parties receive the required information at the appropriate time during the course of the project. In project management, the issue of risk is high on the agenda. Effort is made to identify the potential risk either negative or positives that may impact the project. Plans are therefore put in place to mitigate the identified negative risk and how best to take advantage of the positive risk associated with the project. Proper risk management help to reduced problems associated with projects. Project normally involves the acquisition of goods and services from external organizations. Procurement management therefore deals with such related issues by determining what is need, create and execute contract where needed and management them throughout the project. REQUIRED RECOMMENDATION FOR ADDRESSING CHALLENGES OF INDIVIDUALS, ORGANIZATIONS AND NATIONS As a project consultant who has gain knowledge in the discipline of project management, there are certain key recommendations that could be suggested to individuals, organizations and nations to take advantage of and apply it to their situations to tackle the challenges they face. It has been proven scientifically that regardless the nature of challenge, the application of the methodologies of project management process helps: 1. In planning which save time and money by proactively addressing risk before they occur. Most individual, Organizations and nations do not factor in risk in their planning when pursuing any activity. Project management takes cognizance of the possibility of encountering risk which has the potential to delay project and increase cost to some extent. If organizations are to take advantage of the benefit of applying project management principles, they will be able to identify the risks associated with projects, quantify and have plans in place to mitigate the risk to avoid delays and cost in the execution of project. For example if an organization wants to implement a new human resource policy, the organization could adopt project management strategies, the identification of all associated risk to the implementation of the policy will be identified and mitigation plans outline to rectify any such occurrence for the effective implementation of the human resource policy. 2. Eliminate the need for changes in the course of the project. Changes to project cost up to 100times as much as if they were made early in project planning. Project management ensures that all stakeholders of a project are identified and their views and opinion considered in the planning and implementation of the project. In this way all concerns of the stakeholders are taken care in the project to avoid any complains and unsatisfied results or

services. Nations especially those in Africa stand a better chance of avoiding encounters with the general public in the implementation of some social services. There have been incidences of conflict between communities and government in the executing of projects just because the end users of the project were consulted. Any project that follows project management methodologies would definitely include the view of all who matter to the project those whom the project affects positively or negatively. 3. To promote teamwork and communication across departments. With project management, communication plays a very significant role. In this regard, all those who are concern with the project are kept in the known on the progress of the project which facilitates the completion of the project on time as all complains are identified and addressed. Project management also provides an avenue for coordination among the human resources. Team building is highly promoted to ensure effective delivery of the objective of the project. Tasks are assigned accordingly and efforts are made to develop the capacity of team members. 4. To predict cost and make more informed decisions. Because activities are broken down into manageable task, it makes it difficult to over look some important details of cost under project management methodologies. The cost of the project can therefore be known before the start of the project which takes into account contingency cost for any eventualities. This help individual, organizations, and nation to venture into project knowing to some extent the exact cost so that they can plan for the funding. The challenge of starting project and encountering huge additional cost becomes a thing of the past if individuals, organizations, and nations adopt methodologies use in executing project activities. CONCLUSION It has become evident from the above that maximizing resources, defining scope of activities, and meeting the needs of stakeholders are some of the challenges individuals, organizations and nations face in their quest to ensure success in whatever they do. Project management methodologies as discussed helps to deal with these challenges since project scope, cost, time quality, risk, procurement among others are taken into consideration before and during the implementation of project. This results in effective planning, elimination of changes to the project, team building and prediction of cost before project start. Project management therefore has the keys to effective help individuals, organizations and nations to be successful in their endeavours.