Project Management Approaches


Literature Review
Project Management Approaches


·                BACKGROUND
·                PROJECT PROCESSES
·                PROJECT GROUPS
·                KNOWLEDGE AREAS:

The Association for the Project Management (APM) was developed in early 1990s. Two years later in 1992, its 1st version was produced by the APM members based on the expert judgement. In 1996, this Body of Knowledge was updated in 3rd version with 40 key areas which were classified in 4 major groups:
·         Project Management
·         Organization and People
·         Processes and Procedures
·         General and Management
APM approached the Center for Research in the Management of Projects (CRMP) at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) to conduct an experimental research on the same. As a result, they come out with 4th version of the APMBOK with additional 2 topics listed under its 7 headings.
Three years after this release, APM approached University College London (UCL) to conduct further to update this 4th edition. After carrying out rigorous reviews, 5th edition was released in 2006. This edition had a number of re-sequencing and renaming of topics. Some more topics were added too.(Morris,2005)
In the latest edition of APMBOK, it has 7 sections consisting of 52 topics. These sections are:
1.      Project Management in context
2.      Planning the Strategy
3.      Executing the Strategy
4.      Techniques
5.      Business and Commercials
6.      Organization and Governance
7.      People and Profession

Project management is the most efficient way of implementing a new change. It achieves this by:
·         Defining what has to be accomplished
·         Developing a plan to achieve the same
·         Using proper project management techniques and tools to plan, monitor and maintain the progress
·         Employing skilled member to make a team for project management.
Project management should be applied throughout the project lifecycle, from concept definition, implementation to maintenance. (Harrison, 2004)
The diagram below illustrates the project management process:


Project Success Criteria:
Project success criteria should be clearly defined before development is initiated. Success criteria can be defined in a number of ways:
·         Body of knowledge as goals
·         As “requirements”
·         As critical success factors or key performance indicators
Requirements refer to technical requirements. Key performance indicators are taken as measures upon which the project will be judged. Critical success factors are measurable factors which are most conductive to achieve success in the project.
Key performance Indicators are determined at the beginning of the project. They reflect directly on the goals of the project. They provide basis for project management trade-off decisions. And at the completion of the project these KPIs will confirm the acceptability of the project.
Project Management Plan: 
The documentation of the project’s success criteria is called strategy plan or project management plan. It is the most important document in the planning, monitoring and implementation of the project. It is used as the reference for managing the project. It includes definition of overall objectives and statements on how project should be achieved, estimation of the time required and also the budget with quality policy.(Morris, 2005)
Value Management:
In a project, value means achieving balance between various needs and the resources. Fewer the resources are used or the greater the satisfaction, greater is the value.
At level of strategy, it can be expressed in terms of
·         Costs vs benefits
·         Parameters vs objectives
·         Expenditures vs needs
·         Investments vs outcome
Value management is a well-structured means of business decisions and of increasing the both effectiveness and competitiveness. It consists of a series of structured workshops, guided by a value management specialist. (Connaughton, 2006)
Risk Management:
It is about identifying, assessing, allocating and managing all types of project risks. Risks exist in all type of projects and businesses as a consequence of uncertainty. In a project, risks can be called those factors that may cause a failure to meet the project’s goals. Risk management can be done by either immediate or contingency response to identified risks.(Chapman, 2003)
Quality Management:
Quality management covers:
·         Quality planning
·         Quality control
·         Quality assurance
Quality Planning is identifying and recording the actions necessary to achieve the standard of product that the customer requires. Quality control is the collection of the processes for planning and monitoring the project to make sure that the quality level decided is being achieved. Quality assurance is the set of processes, required to demonstrate that the work has been performed according to the quality plan.(Dale, 2003)


Work Content and Scope Management:
Defining project scope and breaking this into manageable piece of work is the fundamental aspect of effective project management. This can be achieved by 1st producing scope definition and then breaking the same in Product Breakdown Structure (PBS) and finally the same into a task oriented hierarchy, i.e. a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
The WBS initiates the development of Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS) and the Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS).(Badiru, 2003)
Time Scheduling/ Phasing:
Effective planning and meeting the deadlines of timing and phasing is a main skill of project management. Scheduling consists of activity definition, schedule development and schedule control.
Activities are normally controlled or scheduled by using techniques like Bar Charts or Networks. The concept of critical path is central to network scheduling. This part of management is also affected by resource management.
Resource Management:
It typically covers resource allocation and its impact on schedules and budgets.
Budgeting and Cost Management:
To do cost management successfully, project needs to be forward-looking. Typical information needed for the same are:
·         Budget, based on WBS
·         Obtaining and recording accruals
·         Measurement of work accomplished and value earned
·         Cash flow
·         Variance analysis(Smith, 2002)
Change Control:
Although plan is defined in the start of the project only, but most of the projects go through changes in it at some point of their evolution. Changes can be equally useful and unnecessary as well. It is very necessary that the proposed change is formally controlled. All approved changes should be properly documented and well communicated.

Earned Value Management:
Earned value management is process of the progress physically achieved in terms of a cost based measure. Only the cash measures of cost or only the quantity measures of progress are not sufficient. This may lead to serious distortions. Structured estimates-to-finish are also given through earned value based upon accurate assessment of status-to-date.(Fleming, 2000)
Information Management:
Any project produces and absorbs significant quantities of information. Information management covers the management of the systems, processes and data that allow information in a project to be effectively acquired, stored, processed and communicated.
 Distribution of information involves making the required information available to stakeholder in a timely manner.


Effective management of the technical definition can make an enormous impact on the success of the project.

Design, Implementation and Hand-over Management:

Design defines what is to be delivered and how it will be made. Process of design needs to be effectively managed, ensuring that there is:
·         A clear statement of requirements
·         A proper constitution of the design team
·         A clear process plan and an optimum schedule
·         Effective treatment of technology
·         Effective modelling and testing
·         Proper deployment of value management and value engineering practices
·         A clear definition of the scope of the work to be included
·         Effective change control
·         Proper planning of the Hand-over process(Badiru, 2003)

Requirements Management:

It includes the process of defining the customer requirements and building the system requirements before starting the development of the performance specification. Requirements should be clear, well-structured, testable and comprehensive. The requirements definition should be gradually updated with the progress.(Eisner, 2005)

Assessment of the amount of work needed to complete each work stage.

Technology Management:
It is about taking care of these things;
·         Forecasting of the future development in technology
·         Technology compatibility
·         Operational support

Value Engineering:
It is related with optimization of strategic issues. It is structured application of a series of proven techniques.(Connaughton, 2006)
Modelling and Testing:
The project management team should be aware about the benefit of the benefits and costs of computer based modelling of the design. Equipment, software trials, demonstrators and pilot runs are other types of modelling.
Testing can take a variety of forms and it can be carried out against the requirements definition. Prototyping, rapid applications are the techniques which can be used for the testing purpose.
Configuration Management:
It is the process to make sure that the project delivers everything it has ensured, i.e. assets, product, quality, documentations. Etc.(Berlack, 2003)


Commercial issues of the project drive the conduct of the project.

Business case:

It defines the reason behind the project’s requirement and the exact changes need to be done. It includes an outline of the objectives, deliverables, time, cost, technical, safety etc. It also includes information regarding the competitive impact, resource requirements and also major project risks.(Corrie, 2007)

Marketing and sales:

Marketing is nothing but process of matching the resources and abilities of the organizations with the needs. Marketing is also important in securing new busineeses. Sales is process of acquiring the customer orders.

Some other processes under Business and Commercials are:

Financial Management:
Legal Awareness:


Life cycle design and Management:

The Process representing the PLC determines how effectively the project is structured. The basic life cycle has this sequence: opportunity, design and development, implementation, hand-over and pre-project evaluation. The overlapping of phasing, their staffing and management is the main skill of a project manager.


This phase is divided into two stages:
The first stage is about conceptualizing and also about doing marketing. This initial work should be open-minded and enthusiastic. In the second stage, the opportunity should be subjected to a thorough and critical review.

Design and Development:

This stage comprises of processes related to technical, commercial and organizational decisions. Actually this is an opportunity to optimise the decisions without expensing significant resources. In some industries this phase is done with two separate phases with a management gate between the both.(Morris, 2005)

Organization structure:
This defines the reporting structure, processes and procedures of the project. Important issues in structuring the project are: the degree of project orientation, the extent of the project management authority, collocation of project members, work packaging, allocation of resources, definition of control, authorisation, reporting procedures and system and interface management.
There are three basic types of organization structure:
·         Functional: in this type, all the available resources are controlled from their respective functional unit itself.
·         Project: in this type, all the resources are allocated to a project from where they are controlled.
·         Matrix: in this type, resources are controlled functionally by their functional head and regarding their project requirements by the project manager.(Pinto, 2001)

Organizational Roles:
Some organizational Roles are:
·         Project Sponsor- owner of the project
·         Project Manager – person responsible for the development of the project
·         Project Support Office – supports the project through the examination of project status information and provision of help and support if required
·         Project Board
·         Resource Manager
·         Quality Manager
·         Cost Manager
·         Planner

It is the completion of the project to the level of sponsor’s satisfaction. It involves introduction of the product or service being delivered by the project.

This is the most resource consuming phase of whole project. So it is obvious that the planning for this stage should be up to level of perfection to ensure that the resources are used in the most efficient manner. There should be minimum changes from the Project definition in this stage.

Post-Project evaluation Review:
Importance given to the reviewing of the project performance and the lessons which can be derived from the project is getting more and more recognition. Once the operation phase has started, a post project evaluation review is carried. It covers all pertinent topics of the guide to the Project Management BoK.
Although, this phase is considered only after completion of the project, it should be a fully integral part of the project. So it should be carried out periodically during the course of the project. The resultant information should be fed back to the project and other projects also.


Communication can be using several mediums. i.e. oral, body language, written, electronic etc.
Formal meetings can also be arranged as a means of communication but sometimes they result in waste of time, money and energy. So the project manager should know what meetings are required , when they are required and how they should be properly conducted.(Guirdham, 2004)

Project Manager or leader should be having significant leadership skills. She/he is responsible to identify what has to be done and then to select the team with required skills to do the job effectively and successfully. Leadership is about setting goals and motivating team members and other stakeholders.

Personnel Management:
This includes processes starting from recruiting, identifying labour skills, training, dealing with disputes to handling health and welfare issues.

Effective team work is a must for success of any project. The project manager or the leader should be familiar with the skill of forming a group of people which can work together for the benefit of the project. This can be achieved by using introduction meetings, seminars, workshops etc. Motivating and resolving conflicts are also important part of maintaining team’s performance. Different cultures have different working needs and habits so cultural characteristics of all the team members should be given full consideration. 

It is an art of achieving what you want from a transaction up to optimum extent and also at the same time leaving sufficient content or benefits for the other party so that the relationship between them works well.

Conflict management:
There is a need of conflict management at all the levels of project as different parties involved in the project have different goals and priorities. Conflict management is an art of managing and resolving conflict productively and creatively as well.

Project management is the application of knowledge, skill, tools and techniques to protect activities to meet project requirement.
Project Management comprises of interrelated processes. These processes individually focus on key elements of project management. Collectively they fit together to make the project management unified.
The Project management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is collection of knowledge within the profession of project management. It includes practices which are traditional and proven as well as those which are innovative and are emerging. First time it was documented by American Defence and NASA
Project Management Institute was founded in 1969. Currently it has more than 200,000 members. It is based on these two assumptions
1.      Knowledge and practices are applicable to most of the management activities
2.      PMBOK is beneficial to both for project practitioners and teachers or auditors.
PMIstarted forming general criterions for project activities in 1969. In 1983, they came up with PMBOK standardization for the first time. In 1996, they released the very 1st edition of PMBOK and later updated in 2000 and 2004. (Sherrer, 2009)

Project processes can be divided in two major categories:
1.      Project Management Processes – describes and organizes the work of the project.
2.      Product Oriented Processes – specifies and creates project product.

Processes can be organized in one of the five groups explained below. Each group contains one or more processes.

1.      Initiating Processes: Approval of the project or project phase
2.      Planning Processes: consists of processes which help in devising and maintaining a workable plan to fulfil the project needs
3.      Executing Processes: It includes task of co-ordinating people and other resources to execute the plan.
4.      Controlling Processes: Secure the project goals by recording and establishing the project progress, identifying planning deviations.Also includestaking corrective actions.(Hamilton A, 2005)
5.      Closing Processes: These Processes bring the project to and orderly end and formalizes the acceptance of the project.

1.      Initiating Process Group:
Processes in this group frontally authorize a new project. They can also occur during the transition phase of the project. These processes include the project manager and the project management team. Processes concern to the high level business activities, scope, requirements, and feasibility analysis and product selection decision. Project can’t begin until a proper project charter is established and formally approved.
Initial Process group has three outputs: Project Charter, the stakeholder Register and the stakeholder management strategy.
2.      Planning Process Group:
This group contains highest number of processes. It consists of processes which do task of information collection and project planning. Planning Processes are heavily intertwined with executive and monitoring and controlling processes.
These processes cover almost all the areas of the project:
·         Scope
·         Risks
·         Budget
·         Quality
·         HR
·         Procurement
·         Communication
·         Schedule
All these Planning processes lead to a comprehensive project management plan. This plan is not static but it keeps changing as new information becomes available or any proposed changes in the project are approved.
3.      Executing Process Group:
It consists of the processes which lead to project’s final result or help in achieving its product. It is the most budget and time consuming part of the whole project. Apart from execution related activities, this group also consists of processes related to team development, procurement, and distribution of project information.
The purpose of the executing process is to get the work of the project itself done. So Project manager is supposed to protect the team from unnecessary meetings, problems or distractions. She/he is expected to have sufficient expertise in the the subject matter of the project to be able to direct the project without distracting the team very often.(Dinsmore, 2006)

4.      Monitoring and Controlling Group:
It is about making sure that the project plan is followed, keeping an eye on the variances from the project plan, team issues, and managing procurement. Also they are supposed to make sure that the newly approved changes are properly managed.

5.      Closing Process Group:
This group contains processes which help in formally ending the project. This includes delivery part, archiving project document, providing performance information and also settling contracts.
If the project is cancelled or terminated, even then also closing processes take place.

The Project Management processes can also be categorized by subject matter into 9 knowledge areas.
1.      Integration Management
2.      Scope Management
3.      Time Management
4.      Cost Management
5.      Quality Management
6.      Human Resource Management
7.      Communication Management
8.      Risk Management
9.      Procurement Management

1.      Integration Management:
In this area, processes take care of the task of integrating, coordinating and unifying project. Nearly all processes interact and they depend on each other. So misinformation in any of these will result in a fatally flawed budget.

Integration Management is the only knowledge are that includes processes from each of the five Process Groups.
Initiating: Develop Project Charter
Planning: Develop Project Management Plan
Executing: Direct and manage project execution
Monitoring and Controlling: 1. Monitor and Control project work. 2. Perform integrated change control
Closing: Close the project(Harrison, 2004)

2.      Scope Management:
Processes in this area identify the work required to complete the project successfully. Scope management deals with the project scope only considering that the product scope is outside the project management boundaries.
This area ensures that the deliverables adhere to the project scope and at the end formally accepted by the customers 

Planning:1. Collect requirement. 2. Define Scope. 3. Create WBS
Monitoring and Controlling: 1. Verify Scope. 2. Control Scope

3.      Time Management:
This area includes processed necessary to build and control the project schedule and also makes sure that the project completes on the agreed-upon timeline.
Accurate schedules depends upon the other data, so there are some processes whose outputs are concerned with activity definition, sequencing, resource estimating and duration estimates.

Planning: 1. Define Activities. 2. Sequence Activities. 3. Estimate Activity Durations 4. Estimate Activity Duration. 5. Develop Schedule
Monitoring and Controlling: Control Schedule (Badiru, 2003)

4.      Cost Management:
Processes in this area are more focussed on planning, estimating, and controlling costs so that the project can be finished and the product can be delivered within its approved budget.
Several formulas are used  to measure and forecast the costs and budget in this area.

Planning:  1. Estimate Costs. 2. Determine Budget
Monitoring and Controlling: Control Costs.

5.      Quality Management:
In every project, the deliverables should meet the requirements of the project. Processes under this are make sure of the same.
These processes are compatible with both the International Organization for Standardization and some proprietary quality approaches like Total Quality Management and Six Sigma. (Woodward, 2006)

Planning: Plan Quality
Executing: Perform Quality Assurance
Monitoring and Controlling: Perform Quality Control

6.      Human Resource Management:
Every team needs to be organized and managed for the project. Processes under this area take care of the same for the project to be successful. This area also covers also several organizational behavioural theories involving motivation, team building and team performance.

Planning: Develop Human Resource Plan
Executing: 1. Acquire Project Team. 2. Develop Project Team. 3. Manage Project Team

7.      Communication Management:
Processes in this area make sure that the information and communication needs of the stakeholders are taken care of. Also the information should be available in the timely manner.
Basically, processes in this area do communication planning, information distribution, performance reporting and managing stakeholder.

Initiating: Identify stakeholder
Planning: Plan Communication
Executing: 1. Distribute Information. 2. Manage Stakeholder Expectations
Monitoring and Controlling: Report Performance

8.      Risk Management:
Risks are events which can affect one or more project objectives. So the goal of the processed under this area is to decrease the probability of negative events and uncertainty. They identify the risks, analyse them and with proper planning manage them. (Thompson, 1998)

Planning:1. Plan Risk Management. 2. Identify Risk. 3. Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis. 4. Perform Quantitative Risk. 5. Plan Risk Responses
Monitoring and Controlling: Monitor and Control Risks

9.      Procurement Management:
In those projects which require some resources and outside products and services, the processes under this area do the task of purchasing, vendor selection, contracts management and also make or buy decision.

Planning: Plan Procurement
Executing: Conduct Procurement
Monitoring and Controlling: Administer Procurements
Closing: Close Procurements

·         Project Types:
PM’s BoK is generally used in projects having large size, whereas APM’s BoK is used in Medium and Large size Projects both.

·         Input and Output:
In PMBOK Approach, Input and Outputs are clearly mentioned whereas in APMBOK approach the are not.(Morris, 2000)

·         Comprehensiveness:
APM’s Book of Knowledge is more comprehensive in terms of the knowledge required to accomplish projects than many other BoKs.
Its represents a broad generalization of knowledge compared to PMI. There are 4 levels of certification provided in APMBOK while PMI are more heavily focused on their PMP (Project Management Professional) certification.

·         Orientation to methods:
PMBOK is highly method oriented, whereas in comparison of the same APMBOK is less method oriented. (Crawford, 2004)

·         Strength and influence:
In terms of strength and influence, APM is not having strength as much as PMI but it is locally influential where it tends to practice. So it follows a more traditional and professional role.

·         Globally acceptance:
APMBOK is accepted globally. Even the French and German Book of Knowledge are modelled on the APMBOK

·         Flexibility:
APMBOK is based on competency assessment via exams and certifications; it is not as flexible as PMBOK. APMBOK is not a set of competencies but comprises of a general competency framework for use in organizations.

·         Traceability:
PMBOK has facility of traceability whereas the APMBOK doesn’t have the same.

·         Adoption Level:
PMBOK’s Adoption Level is High, whereas APMBOK’s Adoption Level is Medium.(PMI, 2008)

·         Reliance on Project Manager: 
APMBOK’s emphasis is in the management of people (soft skills) rather than being manager-focused. The contradicting view and use of the framework in APMBOK will need to rely on the competence of the project manager in handling and managing project accomplishments.

·         APMBOK unlike PMBOK does not makedistinctive differences between its core and functional project management topics.

·         In APMBOK, the approach is to define and briefly (on average less than two pages) discuss each of its 52 topics supporting the same through substantial references. This has the advantage of enhancing usability by keeping the number of pages down.(Chin, 2010)

·         Morris, P.W.G, 2005, “The Management of Projects”, pp 1-113
·         Harrison, F L, 2004, “Advanced Project Management”, pp 1-32
·         Connaughton J N, 2006, “Value Management in Construction: A client’s Guide”,pp 12-15
·         Chapman C B & Ward S, 2003, “Project Risk Management”, pp 19-21
·         Dale B G, 2003, “Managing Quality”, pp 49-101
·         Badiru A A, 2003, “Project Management in Manufacturing and High Technology Operations”, pp 98-155
·         Smith N J (ed), 2002, “Project Cost Estimating”, pp 5-89
·         Fleming Q W &Koppelman J M, 2000, “Earned Value Project Management”, pp 12-13
·         Eisner, H, , 2005, “Essentials of Project and System Engineering Management”, pp 15-20
·         Berlack H R, 2003,“Software Configuration Management”, pp 111-121
·         Corrie R K (ed), 2007,” Project Evaluation”, pp 123-189
·         Pinto J (ed), 2001, “PMI Project Management Handbook”, pp 89-200
·         Guirdham M, 2004,“Interpersonal Skills at Work”, pp 85-90
·         Sherrer J A, 2009, “Project Management Road Trip”, pp 56-150
·         Hamilton A, 2005, “Management by Projects”, pp 12-15
·         Dinsmore P C, 2006, “The AMA Project Management Handbook”, pp 32-40
·         Woodward J F, 2006, “Construction Project Management”, pp 67-90
·         Thompson P A, 1998, “A Guide to Project Management Risk Analysis”, pp 34-45
·         Morris, P.W.G., M.B. Patel and S. H. Wearne, 2000, “Research into revising the APM Projec”t, pp 11-21
·         Crawford, L., 2004, “Global Body of Project Management Knowledge and standard”, pp 45-49
·         PMI, 2008, “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”, pp 1-121
·         Chin, C.M.M, 2010, “Defining & Classifying Project Management Methodology”, pp 211-300