Project Management And Innovation In Process Industries

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Project Management And Innovation In Process Industries

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Project Management And Innovation In Process Industries

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Project management approaches and tools play an important role in accomplishment of the projects. It helps to address the dynamic external factors and internal constraints of the project. Hence, it is important for the project team to understand the different approaches of project management and the elements that either complement or integrate each other for better project management and project delivery (Wysocki, 2009). The paper has been developed to present a literature review to analyse strengths and weaknesses of three different project management approaches. Furthermore, the study will present the elements of project management tools to discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
Comparative Analysis
Through the survey of the previous literature, three of the best project management approaches have been identified as discussed in the following section.
Traditional Approaches
According to the traditional approach of project management, the goals and scope of the project remains fixed till the completion of the project. The project starts with initiation of the deliverables that leads to project planning and design. The plans and designs are prepared by considering various assumptions (Rose, 2014). After the completion of planning and design, the project control and monitoring phase starts in which the project team keeps a tight watch on the activities of the project to check whether the project is progressed according to the milestones. The project is executed to check the quality of the deliverables. Finally, the project completion reports are prepared to complete the project.

Quick completion of Project: It leads to quick completion of project due to no re-designing and planning (Gray, 2007). The project is controllable and increases the feeling of security.
Do not involve changes in plans: Traditional approach does not involve any changes in plan that delivers the project on the planned result (Gray, 2007).
Simple Planning: Traditional Approach involves simple planning and designing of projects. It does not consider many uncertainties that make it easier for the project team to carry on with the project.


Do not consider uncertainties: The world is uncertain and not predictable. Hence, the approach does not consider any uncertainties which are a major weakness of the approach (Gray, 2007).
Chances of failure of project deliverable: The traditional approach does not consider the uncertainties in the real world that may lead to failure of the project.

Critical Chain Approach
The Critical Chain Approach is used in projects that have certainties of hindering constraints. It is assumed that at least one process will create problem in completion of the project. Hence, a critical path is developed to mitigate those constraints and a separate plan is prepared to overcome the constraints. According to this approach, at first the constraint is predicted, then analysed and at last the constraints are removed (Redway, 2015). Previous data and information are used to minimise the chances of occurrence of such assumed constraints. Hence, it is a scientific approach of project management that involves behavioural study and mathematical calculations to identify the impact of the uncertainties and ways to mitigate them.

Consider uncertainties: It considers uncertainties that increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the project.
Better delivery of project: It is used for projects that have chances of uncertainties. Hence, a proper assumption of uncertainties leads to better delivery of the project (Howes, 2011).


Delay in completion of project: There is a chance of delay in the completion of the project (Howes, 2011). A better planning by considering the prior data and information can be helpful to seek better completion of project.

Extreme Project Approach
Extreme Project Approach is mainly used to handle dynamic problems like changing demand of the customers. It involves continuous process of planning and re-designing. Hence, there is a need of flexible project management strategy that could be helpful in meeting the dynamic uncertainties during the project (Maylor, 2015). It is important to note that there are certain projects that does not have proper clarity regarding the requirements and needs proper market research. An extreme project approach is primarily used to conduct project with high level of uncertainties.

Consider dynamic uncertainties: It considers dynamic uncertainties that reduce the chances of failure of project.
Effective completion of project: It is mainly used for complex projects that need re-planning to seek the desired results.
Deliverables are appropriate: The deliverables are according to the desire of the stakeholders that increases the quality of the project (Kerzner, 2011).


Re-schedule leads to delay: The continuous re-scheduling and re-planning leads to delay in the completion of the project.
Failure of budget: There is a chance of failure of budget because of dynamic uncertainties in the project (Kerzner, 2011). Hence, there is a need of flexible budget to conduct the project.

Comparing the above mentioned project management approaches, it can be seen that traditional approach is mainly used for static projects that do not involve much uncertainties (Lefley, 2014). On the other hand, critical chain approach is used for conducting projects that involves critical activities. In the case of extreme project approach, it is only used for dynamic projects that involve changing desire of the stakeholders and high level of uncertainties (Lefley, 2014). Hence, it is important for the project team to understand the level of uncertainties involved in the project while choosing the best and suitable approach of project management.
Supportive Elements of Project Management Tools and Systems
Through the identification of the three significant project management approaches, some of the supportive elements of project management tools and techniques have been discussed in the following section to create substantial argument.
Project Evaluation and Review Techniques (PERT)
PERT has been identified as one of the most significant statistical tools that can be precisely utilised in project management (Desmond, 2014). The PERT has been critically designed by the US Navy to analyse project tasks and deliverable.

Compelling managers to set up planning: PERT has offered the project managers to establish the most suitable plan according to the resources and scheduling. Therefore, the project manager has got a firm grip on the project controls to identify each of the most appropriate events attached to the project.
Concentrate on crucial project elements: PERT technique has concentrated on the critical elements of the projects that are required to be corrected. The statistical analysis of PERT can evidently identify the elements required to be corrected for efficient project work (Colin & Vanhoucke, 2015).
Deliver forward-looking control: By developing efficient network system with the subordinates and managers, PERT can deliver forward-looking control to identify the right tactics to be followed.


Suitable for long-scheduled project management: Due to the ‘activity-time’ of the operations in PERT, the technique is perfectly suitable only for the projects that have long schedules. Hence, most of the project managers do not consider the technique during the project reporting.
PERT emphasis on time but not cost: Another significant weakness of PERT has been the emphasis on time only. Through the statistical analysis of PERT, project leaders can only identify the time but not the cost of the works (Gelbard, Pliskin, & Spiegler, 2012). Therefore, such tool can create massive strategic problems to organisational management.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Work Breakdown Structure is one of the crucial project management tools to plan out major tasks and activities in a structural way. Breaking down the crucial tasks attached to the project management, such instrumental tool can help to manage the tasks in an efficient way.

Divide the tasks into smaller units: WBS has allowed breaking down the major tasks of the project management in smaller units so that responsible delegates can perform the activities providing efficient skills and resources (Collyer & Warren, 2009).
Deliver proper scheduling and resources planning: The sequence and schedule planning can be efficiently defined through WBS. Meanwhile, by improving the resources planning, accurate forecasts based on WBS may save project cost on staffing.
Aid budgeting planning: By identifying the project management risks and schedule of delivery, WBS can aid budgeting planning by monitoring the risks associated with the project works.


Vague tasks may be attached to the project management: In the meantime, vague tasks have been one of the disadvantages of WBS tool. As the structure of WBS has to be included each significant tasks according to the project planning, sometimes project managers have found it difficult to include the most significant tasks. Hence, some of the less prioritised tasks have to be added that can cost time and investment.
WBS may get outdated in quick order: Most importantly, as project scheduling usually alters according to the change request, WBS can get quickly outdated. Hence, updating the WBS can become a challenging task during schedule change.

Gantt Chart
Gantt chart can be identified as one of the significant project management system tools that deliver a visual representation of scheduled tasks effective for project leaders and project team members. Gantt charts can deliver a firm control on the time management to complete the tasks according to the given limit.

Clarity on tasks and timelines: Gantt chart can clarify the tasks and timelines associated with a project in a visual way so that the team members can identify the tasks. Meanwhile, Gantt chart can replace frequent meetings so that precious time can be saved (Gergert & Ponomareva, 2015). Along with that, meaningful Gantt chart can add external motivation to the team members to focus on their ability to complete the tasks allocated to them.
Time Management and Flexibility: By showing the adverse impact of delaying the project work, Gantt chart can foster significant collaboration among the team members. On the other side, in the case of the change request, schedules may have been revised to adjust the changes. Such instrumental facilities have been the strengths of Gantt chart technique.


Relying on Work Breakdown Structure: Gantt chart of a project has significantly relied on the WBS that may have been already developed. Sometimes, significant milestones can be seemed to be missing from the WBS. Therefore, the risk of recreating the entire project schedule will be attached if Gantt chart has been constructed (Raz & Michael, 2011).
Suitable for smaller project management tasks: Gantt charts are perfectly suitable for smaller project works as the milestones of multiple tasks cannot be added in the form of a Gantt chart. Once the length of the tasks, stretch passes the segment of the Gantt chart, the functionality of the tool has been reduced.

Each of the project management tools and techniques has significantly played its part in a project environment. The identified project management approaches have distinct features to evaluate project derivatives. PERT technique has been associated with critical path analysis of a project management (Xie & Zhang, 2013). Such efficient project management tool can create significant visual communication among the team members creating interdependent relationships. Apart from that, PERT technique has provided efficient resource planning to mitigate any issues attached to the project tasks.  On the other hand, Work Breakdown Structure has accurately figured out project deliverable and tasks to be achieved.
By identifying the same, WBS has broken down the tasks into manageable smaller units (Bajgoric, Altinel, Draman, & Ünal, 2012). Along with that, the technique has identified detailed cost estimation according to the time assigned to complete the entire project. Moreover, WBS can contribute to risk identification to reduce the risks to a manageable position. Lastly, Gantt chart has efficiently provided a visual representation of the project tasks following the timelines. Through the identification of potential events in the Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt chart can evolve the contemporary task management system establishing significant completion of tasks (Müller & Söderlund, 2015). However, the efficiency of Gantt chart has been limited to smaller projects. The flexibility of scheduling has been considerable for selecting Gantt chart as one of the most instrumental project management techniques in modern project management. However each of the tools and techniques has supported the above-identified approaches to deliver suitable project management outcomes.
At the end of the discussion, one must develop a significant conclusion on the linkage between the identified project management approaches and the project management tools. Efficient project managers have recognised the size of a project and scheduling arrangement before selecting most sustainable approach for delivering effective outcomes. Therefore, the contemporary project management ideas must be set up based on the most effective project management tools. Herein, both of the identified tools such as PERT, WBS and Gantt chart can deliver significant direction to complete an entire project within the given scheduling and budget. Most of all, Gantt chart can be identified as the most significant tools of the three as the flexibility of scheduling can be included within the project according to suitability. In a given scenario, each of the three project management approaches can be taken into consideration based on the requirement of a project.
Bajgoric, N., Altinel, I., Draman, M., & Ünal, A. (2012). Some aspects of using CASE tools in a Fusion‐based application development project for production optimization. Industr Mngmnt & Data Systems, 102(8), 463-471.
Colin, J. & Vanhoucke, M. (2015). Developing a framework for statistical process control approaches in project management. International Journal Of Project Management, 33(6), 1289-1300.
Collyer, S. & Warren, C. (2009). Project management approaches for dynamic environments.International Journal Of Project Management, 27(4), 355-364.
Desmond, C. (2014). Project management tools. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 42(4), 11-12.
Gelbard, R., Pliskin, N., & Spiegler, I. (2012). Integrating system analysis and project management tools. International Journal Of Project Management, 20(6), 461-468.
Gergert, D. & Ponomareva, T. (2015). Project Stakeholder Engagement: Theoretical Approaches Review. Russian Journal Of Project Management, 4(1), 30-38.
Gray, R. (2007). Alternative approaches to programme management. International Journal Of Project Management, 15(1), 5-9.
Howes, N. (2011). Modern project management. New York: AMACOM.
Kerzner, H. (2011). Project management. New York: John Wiley.
Lefley, F. (2014). An assessment of various approaches for evaluating project strategic benefits.Management Decision, 42(7), 850-862.
Maylor, H. (2015). Project management. Harlow, England: FT Prentice Hall.
Müller, R. & Söderlund, J. (2015). Innovative approaches in project management research.International Journal Of Project Management, 33(2), 251-253.
Raz, T. & Michael, E. (2011). Use and benefits of tools for project risk management. International Journal Of Project Management, 19(1), 9-17.
Redway, A. (2015). Management Tools—Project Planning Procedures. Industr Mngmnt & Data Systems, 85(9/10), 7-11.
Rose, K. (2014). Personal Effectiveness in Project Management: Tools, Tips & Strategies to Improve your Decision-making, Motivation, Confidence, Risk-taking, Achievement and Sustainability.Project Management Journal, 45(2), e1-e1.
Wysocki, R. (2009). Effective project management. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Pub.
Xie, H. & Zhang, A. (2013). Approaches and Processes of the Project Management. AMR, 790, 724-727.

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