Project Management: The Three Critical Aspects Of Project Context

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The Important Aspect of Project Context

1.0 Introduction

The following report aims to scrutinize one of the major components of projects and project management i.e. project context. Here it becomes essential to mention that the notion of project context on the on-field projects and as well in academic is not well understood and is often deemed as less important. However, while referring to the Project Management Body of Knowledge and as well as in other different knowledge bodies, the notion of project possesses considerably higher importance in comparison to the value which is given to it and its aspects in a practical scenario. Drawing on the literature, there can be identified numerous factors that can contribute to the success or failure of a project. However, the current report focuses on one of the important dimensions of a project which is considered as project context. Therefore, the current essay aims to comprehend the notion of project context along with the different aspects that are associated with it. Through this essay, the readers will be able to realize the importance of considering project context in a project environment meanwhile, the readers will also be able to understand different aspects of project context should be managed while ensuring the success of projects.

2.0 Discussion

2.1 Project Context

Project context is deemed as the environment in which a project operates, business or projects are entities that operate in an environment where the external influence on projects and businesses are mandatory. The findings of Tereso (2019), the researcher have further stated that since the project is the entity which is under the influence of the external environment hence, it becomes essential to determine those specific factors or measurers that are responsible to affect the project. The findings of Kerzner (2019), has suggested that though the influence of the external environmental factors is considered crucial while discussing the influence of the factors that has the tendency to affect businesses. However, the findings raise one of the important aspects of the understanding project, and the researcher’s findings suggest that both the internal and external factors comprise project context. This suggests that the external environmental components do not merely form project context however, it has also been discussed that both the internal and external factors are essential to discuss while defining the project context.

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One of the comprehensive definitions for the project context has been discussed through the findings of (Joslin, 2015). The findings define project context as any information that can be utilised to depict the situation of the project, the findings further states that this information includes both the physical and mental aspects. In addition, the research defines the physical aspects of the project as the project environment and the knowledge repository of previous projects. On the other hand, the mental aspects which are the other dimension of the project context comprise social, emotional and informational states. The study of Petro (2019), also raises an important point for the notion project context by suggesting that different projects have different contextual issues hence, it becomes vitally important to understand project context.

Further, the findings of Martinsuo and Geraldi (2020), has also suggested that if a project context is ignored then, there is a greater possibility that projects are exposed to risks. For instance, the two similar projects working on two different contexts will definitely have different dimensions and outcomes as their external and internal contexts are different and that affect the project environment. Nonetheless, the findings of Simões (2020), has also asserted that project contexts are measured through PESTLE factors that are referred to as Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Ecological and Legal. Though the importance of understanding and considering each and every step of project context is considered crucial, however, some of the most important and critical aspects have been discussed below. The below discussion covers the discussion over three of the critical aspects of project context that are economic, technological and legal.

3.0 Three Critical Aspects Of Project Context

3.1 Economic

The economic aspect of the project context is considered as one of the most critical aspects because of the numerous reasons. It is mainly due to the reason that economic factor is directly linked to the financial feasibility and viability of a project. The findings of Hasan (2020), suggests that the economic component of the project context is concerned with forming the balance for the longer-term benefits of a project because of the cost that is to be applied to the project. Here it becomes essential to mention that the long-term projects are found more affected because of the changing economic situation of the environment where the project operates. The findings of Herrero (2020), has also endorsed the above viewpoint by justifying the importance of considering this aspect of the project context. The main reason for this has been defined as the interest rate that tends to fluctuate because of the changing economic situation.

Since the project involves the involvement of diverse stakeholders, machinery, procurement and other aspects that are subject to the changing economic situation in terms of interest rate, therefore, this leaves a significant impact on the financial viability and feasibility of the project. Though in the project business case, project initiation and even in the planning phase, the margin of this aspect is always considered, however, the dynamics of the environment are still unpredictable and challenging to predict to what extent the project feasibility and financial viability is get affected and whether there is enough risk appetite that the project can hold in terms of finance (Bockholt,, 2020). As discussed, the success of a project is greatly dependent on the financial feasibility and viability of a project, therefore, it becomes vitally important to consider this aspect of the project context mainly because of the association between the economic dynamics and the project financial controls.

3.2 Technological

While considering the definition of the project, projects are a unique set of deliverables that are intended to provide unique products and service meanwhile, they are merely be undertaken for the specific purpose. By considering the above definition, it can be stated that projects are aimed to deliver specific product or project outcomes, however, this involves the integration and support of different internal and external factors that contribute to the successful management and completion of a project. Among different factors, the technological factor is also being identified as one of the crucial external factors and the aspect of the project context. The findings of Butler, Vijayasarathy and Robert (2020), suggests that the alignment of the internal technological capability with the external technological dynamics is crucial for project success. For instance, considering the case of developing a conventional car parking mechanism in a well-developed society say New York. It is evident that the dynamics of car parking has changed considerably because of the use of cutting-edge technologies. However, if a project is undertaking by utilising conventional technologies, then such a project will definitely fail.

The study of Munkvold (2020), has suggested that considering the technological specification surrounding the project is considered vital for the successful completion of projects, Moreover, with the advancement in the technological sector, the efficiency and productivity of the workforce has also been increased. If two organisations are executing the project in the same project context. Organisation A is well familiar from the importance of integrating technology while an organisation B does not focus to utilise the technology that exists in the surrounding then, it is obvious that the organisation B will likely suffer in providing those project outcomes that will be delivered by the project A in a projected timeframe. Therefore, the consideration of the technological factor is essential while comprehending project context.

.3 Legal

In the management of the project, data protection is the major issues which need to be focused on the legal matter. It is concerned with the effective handling of gathered data by the project managers for which consent has to be taken from the data provider. Legally, the confidentiality of data is significant as it ensures the fundamental rights of a person for not violating freedom. The data protection act 2018 needs to be applied legally that ensures secure the data. Also, it does not allow to use the data for wrong means and transfer of data is also not allowed (Regulation, 2018). The data confidentiality aspect needs to be considered in every business and it does not only include the gathered data, the documented data and confidential agreements also included in it. In case, the data confidentiality is not maintained then it can harm the project success and the data might get used for unfair means.

Legal matters include the safety and health issues which need to be significantly focused. Such issues can endanger the life of a person for which the health-related risk has to be identified according to the nature of the project. The severity of such risk factors needs to be analyzed before initiating the project and interventions has to develop for preventing any incident or injury. The preventive measures of it can include safe clothing, safety glasses, safety instructions etc. The standards of health and safety need to be set time as the precautionary measures. The awareness and understanding of risk factors also need to be developed among the employees of project management to practice safety of health. The health and safety act 1974 were applied to protect from any major and minor accidents during the operational performance and management (Sirrs, 2016). The legal agreements need to include the health and safety act. It includes the compensation amount also in case of treating employee due to major accidents that can severely harm them. The legal protection of gathered data and employee’s health and safety can make the project secure and successful.

4.0 Conclusion

It has been concluded that the above report has focused on comprehending project context. The success and failure aspects have been identified by exemplifying project context. The conventional technology use can make the project fail if in the case when outside technology is not considered, this has also be highlighted extensively. Meanwhile, the economic factor is also essential to consider as the success rely on the viability and financial feasibility. The internal and external technology dynamics and viability aspects of a project are found significant for success, a lot of studies by different researchers has be highlighted. The project context emphasizes on considering the assessment of external and internal work environment in terms of effective management and operational control. The economic factor has to be considered while maintaining the feasibility of project. The common legal requirements of a project has also been discuss which include the data confidentiality and health and safety management of employees. The standard protocol needs to be set according to the identified risk factors.

5.0 References

  1. Butler, C.W., Vijayasarathy, L.R. and Roberts, N., 2020. Managing software development projects for success: Aligning plan-and agility-based approaches to project complexity and project dynamism. Project Management Journal, 51(3), pp.262-277.
  2. Herrero, Á., Hernández-Ortega, B. and San Martín, H., 2020. Potential funders’ motivations in reward-based crowdfunding. The influence of project attachment and business viability. Computers in Human Behavior, 106, p.106240.
  3. Joslin, R., & Müller, R. (2015). Relationships between a project management methodology and project success in different project governance contexts. International Journal of Project Management, 33(6), 1377–1392. doi: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2015.03.005
  4. Kerzner, H., 2019. Using the project management maturity model: strategic planning for project management. John Wiley & Sons.
  5. Martinsuo, M. and Geraldi, J., 2020. Management of project portfolios: Relationships of project portfolios with their contexts. International Journal of Project Management.
  6. Petro, Y., Ojiako, U., Williams, T. and Marshall, A., 2019. Organizational ambidexterity: A critical review and development of a project-focused definition (Doctoral dissertation, American Society of Civil Engineers).
  7. Regulation, P., 2018. General data protection regulation. Intouch.
  8. Simões, E.N., 2020. A decision support system application module-for PESTLE analysis-competitive intelligence algorithm (Doctoral dissertation).
  9. Sirrs, C., 2016. Accidents and Apathy: The Construction of the ‘Robens Philosophy’of Occupational Safety and Health Regulation in Britain, 1961–1974. Social history of medicine, 29(1), pp.66-88.
  10. Tereso, A., Ribeiro, P., Fernandes, G., Loureiro, I. and Ferreira, M., 2019. Project management practices in private organizations. Project Management Journal, 50(1), pp.6-22.


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