IntroductionProject management is one of the most important concepts in contemporary business practice as companies and major organizations are expanding at a very high rate. One of the primary reasons for the development of new projects is the fact that organizations are dynamic entities that change from time to time following changes in such macro variables as technology and economic factors (Anderson 2010). Technology may render a machine outdated and obsolescent. When this happens, the organization has to either upgrade its machinery and equipments or purchase new pieces of technology. It is imperative that the organization acquires the latest and most innovative machinery and equipment so as to keep up with the existing market conditions and perhaps gain competitive advantage.
Project management is fundamentally concerned with the coordination of all those activities that relate to the particular project and those that are particularly meant to ensure success of the project. It is important to note that the activities involved in project management are interrelated and any change in one of the activities affects all the others in terms of time, cost and other resources (Trietsch & Baker 2012).
The projects that are managed within an organization vary in size and type. There are long term projects whose lifespan extends beyond one financial period whereas the short term projects are those whose lifespan is less than an accounting year. This paper seeks to explain the various project management tools that are employed in the management and running of technology-based projects, in light of a company that is undertaking an organizational overhaul in the operating system. The Gantt chart Invented by Henry Gantt ninety five years ago, this is a project management tool concerned with the planning, coordinating and laying a track on particular activities of a project (Besner & Hobbs 2012).
The chart is a presentation indicating the relationship between time and activities. The chart is drawn in such a way that the time or duration of the project, also known as the project life cycle is on the X-axis. The horizontal axis represents the projects predicted life cycle while the Y axis, commonly referred to as the vertical axis, represents the activities involved.
For instance, if carrying out investigations relating to the report is the first step; such a step is represented by drawing a horizontal bar on the chart horizontally at the top of the chart. It is drawn indicating the approximate time it can take. This is to say that the project life cycle which is at the horizontal axis is broken down into weeks and months depending on the estimated life of each stage. It is important to remember that the Gant chart does not indicate the relationships among the activities.
As such, they cannot indicate the dependencies among the processes and activities. In this particular case, the project manager could employ the Gantt chart to estimate the time needed for all the activities. Since the organization does not intend to disrupt the activities of the other stakeholders and remaining members of the technical support unit, they can draw the Gantt chart in such a way that some activities will take place simultaneously (Chou 2012). The activities can take place concurrently since some of these activities are independent of each other.
In the event that the activities depend on one another, they cannot take pace concurrently since one relies on the outcomes of another. In this particular case, the project manager can arrange the activities in such a way that the training and the installing of the operating system take place concurrently. It is worth noting that since the workers and employees of the organization have been using the windows XP operating system, some of them may require training and briefing on how to go about the windows 7 operating system.
The project manager can as well use the overlapping property of the Gantt chart to cater for the needs of the technical support unit. The diagram below shows the grant chart for the project over the one year time line.