This document outlines the project planning and management tools developed for ensuring the successful completion of the MBL1 program and specifically the first Human Resources Management assignment by MBL Group CEN404A. It focuses on planning, control, review and adjustment of activities related to meeting the requirements of the program for the group and for individual members. Lastly, as evaluation is made of the planning and implementation process with a view to identifying continuous improvement opportunities throughout the program.
The process provided the group members an opportunity to learn to manage a project as well as their time and colleagues. The HR project assignment was submitted in time and the rest of the activities planned remain on course. However, more effort and time than originally anticipated was invested in ensuring that this first assignment meets the set quality requirements. Project Management has become a very important and powerful tool in enabling organisations or individuals achieve their goals when faced with complex tasks that require co-ordinating resources and activities within the constraints of time and cost.
While projects may vary in terms of size, all of them go through common phases and the tools to manage them are significantly similar. Typically, a project will go through planning, scheduling and control stages, each of which requires clear definition of tasks, means of accomplishing them and how to time phase them within given cost constraints. It also important that the desired outcome is clearly defined and that a team with a project leader is put together with the mandate of planning and executing the project.
In the case of MBL1 for Group CEN404A, a number of outcomes were defined by the Unisa School of Business Leadership for each of the six subjects. Each of these requires either individual or group effort to accomplish. The approach taken by the group was to list and rank all of these activities in order of priority at the beginning of the program. Thereafter, responsibilities were assigned to individuals and sub-groups and their progress monitored through weekly reviews.
All resources required were identified, together with control procedures, possible risks and quality requirements. The led to the development of a master project plan, captured in Microsoft Office project format, which was further broken down into smaller projects, such as the Human Resources Group Assignment 1. The biggest single challenge in managing this project turned out to be the management of time and group effort. As time progressed, the group identified weaknesses in the original plan and made changes accordingly.
However, no major changes were made to the initial project plan. The HR assignment provided the group with a lot of insight into better ways of managing the rest of the activities for the MBL program. Two group members are allocated responsibility for one group assignment. Other members are free to participate in the development of the final document although accountability for the final products rests in the hands of the appointed two individuals.
Allocation of the first group assignments was based on the professional disciplines where the individuals were strongest or practicing in their work environments. On the second assignment this would not necessarily apply as individuals opt for assignments they feel are most challenging to them. ‘Experts’ in each field still play an active role in guiding the direction and progress of the relevant assignments. (See list below)