In this course we have focused on effective management of the routine activities of a project. I began by considering what a manager can do to ensure that tasks and activities start on time. You should now be able to take the steps that are required to implement a project. Appropriate people need to be appointed to teams and to be clear about individual and group responsibilities. The accommodation and equipment must be secured, together with ensuring that the necessary resources are in place to enable staff to start work.
Once work is in progress one of the manager's roles is to monitor the process, to check if everything is running according to the plan. Usually there will be many deviations from the plan, because of the many events that impact on the daily life of a project. It is usually necessary to make adjustments to the timing and scheduling of activities, and also to the provision and flow of resources. These changes need to be noted in the plan, so that the overall progress towards objectives can be reviewed.
Ways have been discussed in which stakeholders can be kept informed about progress. There are often many different types of stakeholder with different concerns. It is often necessary to use different ways of communicating with these groups to ensure that they support the project or, if there is any conflict, that stakeholders do not present barriers to progress
Predicting, identifying and tackling problems which arise during the life of a project has also been covered. The risk log provides a framework that can be used to make regular checks for potential problems that were predicted in the earlier stages of the project. I identified stages of a project that often present risks. I introduced some techniques that can help identify the causes of problems, including a set of questions to ask before a decision is made and the use of fishbone diagrams and histograms. In addressing risks and problem areas managers must decide how to adjust the plan so as to keep the necessary balance of time, budget and quality, and to ensure that the objectives of the project are achieved.