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Assessing The Project Organization Of Repositioning Project In Ethiopian Airlines

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Abstract

Project management methodologies have significant role in the management of successful projects. One of the important parts of project management methodologies is project organization which one of the things to be dealt with at the start of a project. This research will take the Repositioning Project of Ethiopian Airlines (EAL), the Best 2006 African World Class Airline, and tries to compare the organizational structure of the project with what has been prescribed in PRINCE2(CCTA, 1998). PRINCE2 is a known project management methodology in UK and worldwide. Some additional literatures on project organization and governance are used to address the different aspects of project organization and governance. The results of the research show that the repositioning project of Ethiopian Airlines had good project organization except it lacks project assurance and support responsibilities in a systematic manner.

Keywords: Project management methodology, project organization, project governance, project management team

Introduction

Project management methodologies give a designed structure and framework with which organizations can run their various projects in "a controlled and efficient manner" (Gardiner, 2005). The more projects become an integral part of a society and the business world, the more is the need for the proper use of project management discipline. Good project management methodologies can bring about successful implementation of projects in organizations. A right project management method helps to assure every project member knows what should be done and how to do them (CCTA, 1998). This research is not going to use the whole package of project management methodology; it is neither feasible nor necessary. The three factors of PRINCE2 Project Management Team and the other related studies will be used as a framework to assess the project organization and governance of this project. It will focus on the organizational structure or governance part of project management methodology. It will give a brief review of literatures on project organization and structure. The research will then take the Airline Repositioning project of the Ethiopian Airlines. It will examine the organizational structure of the project using mainly PRINCE2.

Literature Review

Background

According to PM Solutions, Inc., project management consulting firm in USA, organizations with a good project management methodology has improved the successful delivery of their projects by 63%. PRINCE2 (CCTA, 1998) is known worldwide as a project management methodology and prescribes detailed processes and structures of managing projects effectively. It is a scalable methodology and can be applied to both large and small projects. It has identified some of the reasons why projects fail. These are a"

Resource and activity coordination problem

Communication problem resulting unwanted product for customers

Time and cost estimation problem

Limited set of measurable objectives

Inadequate resources, activities, and scheduling Planning

Poor controlling mechanisms

Problems related with quality control

Most of these causes of project failures could have been avoided with a proper usage of project management methodologies. One of the crucial parts of project management methodologies is the organization and governance of projects. According to the APM BoK (Body of Knowledge), the organizational structure of a project determines the structure of reports, processes, systems and procedures of the project (APM, 2000).

Projects in a large organization will certainly have their own project organization and structure. But it is important to see how the organizational structures of projects in large organizations are set up and made effective which is hardly touched in the studies of project management methods. The complexities of large organizations require more research as to how they organize and govern their projects.

Project organization and governance

Project organization signifies a temporarily-established team in an organization to achieve a specific task and for a specific purpose (Cleland, 1994). PRINCE2 uses the expression "project management structure" interchangeably with project organization and defined it as "a temporary structure specifically designed to manage the project to its successful conclusion to meet the requirements defined in the Project Brief" (CCTA, 1998). The structure will be helpful in the communication and decision-making process. Moreover, it specifies the responsibilities, goals, limits of authority, relationships, skills, knowledge and experience required for all roles in the project organization. It is an important part of project management practice to define roles at the very beginning of projects.

In principle, the structure of project organization have four layers which carry out "the direction of the project, the day-to-day management of the project, team management, and the work to create the products, that is, the team members" (CCTA, 1998:19). PRINCE2 called the first three layers PRINCE Project Management Team because their focus is on managing the process of the project rather than the involvement needed to bring about the products of the project.

The following figure shows the PRINCE project management structure which consists of roles and responsibilities of those who are involved in the project.

Project Board

Senior User Executive Senior

Supplier

Project Manager

Team Manager

Project Support

Project Assurance

Corporate or Programme Management

Fig. 1: Project management Structure

Source: CCTA, Managing successful projects with PRINCE2, 1998

As the application of project management grows in many industries, the science itself is developing

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