What is project management in Agribusiness?
What is a Project?
“A project,” according to J. M. Juran, is “a problem that is scheduled to be solved.” The term “problem” refers to a gap between where you are and where you want to be, along with an impediment that inhibits easy movement to bridge the gap. Projects are a collection of tasks that must be completed with limited resources to meet specific goals in a particular time and location. As a result, a project is a short-term endeavor used to produce a one-of-a-kind product, service, or outcome. Projects are an investment in which resources are used to build assets that will provide benefits over time in Agribusiness. It is a one-of-a-kind process that consists of a series of organized and supervised activities with start and finish dates that are carried out to meet specific requirements, such as time, cost, and resource constraints.
Short Range Projects:
Short-term projects are those that are finished in less than a year and are aimed at achieving tactical goals. They are less demanding and require little or no risk. They aren’t multifunctional in any way. These projects have a low level of complexity and require limited Project Management tools. Short-term projects are simple to obtain approval, financing, and organizational support. Reduce the defect rate in store number two from 6% to 4%, for example.
Long Range Projects:
These projects carry a greater risk, so a thorough feasibility analysis is required before proceeding. They are often multifunctional. Their main influence is on internal and external organizations over a long period of time. Long-term projects necessitate a large number of resources, as well as breakthrough initiatives from the members.
Why Projects are initiated?
In the following scenarios, projects are started:
- When you’re starting a new company.
- For facility relocation and/or closure.
- To comply with a legal requirement.
- For a variety of community concerns.
- To re-engineer the process in order to decrease complaints, shorten cycle times, and eliminate errors.
- To put in place a new system or process.
- To demonstrate new equipment, tools, or methods.
Attributes of a Project:
In contrast to a program, projects concentrate on a single objective. The end results have an impact on their clients. They must be finished on time (by the deadline), on budget (due to limited resources such as individuals, money, and machines), and according to the specifications (with a certain level of functionality and quality).
In a nutshell, projects are:
- aimed at achieving a specific goal.
- Coordination of activities that are intertwined.
- With a beginning and an end, and a limited duration.
- Susceptible to risks, i.e., every project entails some level of risk.
Characteristics of Projects:
- Projects, as previously stated, are temporary in nature, with a defined start and end date, as well as temporary opportunities and teams.
- Projects are terminated when the objectives are met, or when they are not met.
- The majority of the projects are multi-year endeavors.
- They entail a large number of resources (both human and non-human) and necessitate close coordination.
- They are made up of interconnected activities.
- At the end of the project, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind product, service, or result. Projects are often characterized by some degree of customization.
- Projects cover a wide range of activities that are not simple and may require repetitive actions, as well as some related activities. Project tasks must be completed in a certain order and sequence. One activity’s output becomes an input for another.
- Project management operates in a conflict-ridden environment. Management must compete for “resources and staff” with functional departments.
- There is a constant struggle for project resources and leadership roles when it comes to resolving project issues.
- Clients want changes in every project, and the parent company wants to maximize profits.
- There can be two bosses at the same time, each with their own priorities and goals.
All projects are planned and carried out in the context of social, economic, environmental, political, and international issues.
- The cultural and social environment refers to how a project affects people as well as how people affect the project. This necessitates an understanding of topics such as economics, demographics, ethics, ethnicity, religion, and cultural sensitivity.
- Knowledge of international, national, regional, or local laws and customs, time zone differences, teleconferencing facilities, level of technology use, national holidays, travel means, and logistic requirements are all part of the international and political environment.
- The knowledge of local ecology and physical geography that could affect or be affected by the project is referred to as the physical environment.
Stakeholders are people who own a piece of a company or have an interest in it. Shareholders, directors, management, vendors, the industry, employers, customers, and the community are all examples of stakeholders in a business. The outcomes and goals have an impact on stakeholders. They have differing levels of authority and responsibility. As a result, they should not be overlooked. A project manager should try to handle and meet the stakeholders’ expectations. Both positive and negative stakeholders exist. Stakeholder roles and responsibilities may overlap in some cases.
An engineering company, for example, would also help with funding. Individuals and organizations who are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be impacted as a result of project execution or completion, are referred to as project stakeholders. They may also have an impact on the project’s goals and outcomes. To ensure a successful project, the project management team must identify the stakeholders, assess their needs and aspirations, and, to the extent possible, manage their influence in relation to the requirements.
As previously stated, when engaging in a project, stakeholders have different levels of responsibility and authority, which can change over the course of the project’s life cycle. Their authority and responsibilities range from sporadic participation in surveys and focus groups to full project sponsorship, which includes financial and political support. Stakeholders who fail to accept this responsibility may jeopardize the project’s goals. Similarly, project managers who ignore stakeholders should expect negative consequences for the project’s outcomes.
Some may argue that a stakeholder is an assembly-line worker whose future employment is contingent on the outcome of a new product-design project. A project’s failure to identify a key stakeholder may result in major issues. Stakeholders can influence a project in either a positive or negative way. Positive stakeholders are those who would ordinarily benefit from a project’s success, while negative stakeholders are those who believe the project’s success will have negative consequences.
Business leaders from a community that will benefit from an industrial expansion project, for example, may be positive stakeholders because they see the project’s success as bringing economic benefits to the community. Environmental groups, on the other hand, will be negative stakeholders if they believe the project would harm the environment. Positive stakeholders’ interests are best served by assisting the project’s success, such as assisting the project in obtaining the necessary permits to proceed.
The interests of the negative stakeholders would be better served if they could stymie the project’s progress by demanding more thorough environmental reviews. Negative stakeholders are often ignored by the project team, putting their projects at risk of failure.
Some of the most relevant stakeholders are as follows:
- a) Project Manager: The person in charge of overseeing the project.
- b) Customers, End Users: Customers, also known as end users, are the people or organizations who will use the project’s product. There may be several layers of clients. Customers for a new pharmaceutical product, for example, may include doctors who prescribe it, patients who use it, and insurers who pay for it. Customers and users are synonymous in some application areas, while in others, customers refer to the entity purchasing the project’s product and users refer to those who will directly use the project’s product.
- c) Performing Organization: The Company whose employees are directly engaged in the project’s work.
- d) Project Management working on the Project: Project Administration Members of the team who are directly engaged in project management operations are referred to as “Working on the Project.”
- e) Project Team Members: This is the organization that is responsible for carrying out the project’s tasks. It consists of those who are directly engaged in project activities.
- f) Sponsors: The individual or organization that contributes financial or in-kind resources to the project.
- g) Influencers: Individuals or organizations who are not directly involved in the acquisition or use of the project’s product, but who may have a positive or negative impact on the project’s outcome due to their position in the customer or performing organization.
- h) Project Management Organization: The Project Management Organization, if it exists in a performing organization, would be a stakeholder if it has direct responsibility for the project’s outcomes.
There are several different names and categories of project stakeholders, affecting internal or external, owners and investors, vendors and contractors, team members and their families, government agencies and media outlets, individual people, temporary or permanent lobbing organizations, and society-at-large, in addition to these key stakeholders. Stakeholder naming or grouping is mainly used to determine which individuals and organizations consider themselves to be stakeholders. Stakeholder expectations must be managed by project managers, which can be difficult because stakeholders may have very different or conflicting goals.
- The manager of a department requesting a new management information system may prioritize cost, while the system architect may prioritize technical excellence, and the programming contractor may prioritize profit.
- At an electronics company, the vice president of research may define new product success as cutting-edge technology, the vice president of manufacturing may define it as best-in-class practices, and the vice president of marketing may be more concerned with the number of new features.
- A real estate development project’s owner may be concerned with timely completion, a local government’s desire to maximize tax revenue, an environmental group’s desire to reduce negative environmental impacts, and nearby residents’ desire to relocate the project.
Projects and Strategic Planning:
Projects are the means by which an organization’s strategic plans are carried out. The strategic considerations that must be kept in mind when planning projects are as follows:
- The demand on the market (e.g. constructing a new refinery).
- Organizational requirements (e.g. For the purpose of generating income, a university offers new courses).
- Requests from customers (e.g. DSL is launched by an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- Technological necessity (e.g. new video games, new cell phones with cutting-edge technology).
- Legal stipulations (e.g. Toxic waste disposal center, child labor control project).
Projects are commonly broken down into smaller components or subprojects to make them more manageable. Individual subprojects are treated as projects and managed accordingly. They may be outsourced or subcontracted.
The Triple Constraint of Project Management:
Meeting stakeholder expectations and needs necessitates balancing competing demands such as cost, quality, scope, and timeliness.
- Where Q is Quality, S is Scope, and T is Time, Q = f (T, C, S)
- Balancing these three factors has an impact on project quality.
- Projects fail because:
- a) Estimates are incorrect;
- b) Time, talent, and resources are insufficient or applied incorrectly.
Examples of Projects:
- In a revenue collection organization, designing and implementing an auto tax filing system.
- Managing your department’s website.
- Taking care of a contaminated site’s environmental cleanup.
- Organizing a University reunion.
- Coming up with a new product or service to sell.
- Affecting a change in an organization’s structure, staffing, or style.
- Creating or acquiring a new or modified data system.
Operations and Projects:
The staffs conduct operations, which are ongoing and repetitive activities. Here are a few examples:
- Continuous manufacturing • Financial management and control
- Distribution of goods
Projects are temporary and one-of-a-kind, and they are carried out by teams that include:
- Team and individual roles that are clearly defined
- Communication systems those are both open and effective
Good performance is rewarded in a visible way, and bad performance is constantly pressured to improve. The following are common characteristics shared by operations and projects:
- They are both carried out by people
- They are both limited by resources
- Both are planned, carried out, and monitored.
- Type I Projects – Large Engineering Projects: These projects, such as construction projects, have well-defined project methods and end-project requirements.
- Type II Projects – Product Development Projects, Early Space Projects: These projects have ill-defined project methods but well-defined project end goals.
- Type III Projects – Software Development Projects: In these, the final product’s shape is being worked out. They have well-defined project processes, but their project end requirements are poorly defined.
- Type IV Projects – Organizational Development Projects, Vision Definition, and Training Impact Assessment: They have ill-defined project methods and end requirements.