Project Phaseout

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As in the main program stage, schedule is the major source of conflict during project phaseout. If schedule slippage has occurred in the main program stage (and it most certainly will have), the consequences will surely be felt in this final stage. During phaseout, projects with firm deadlines develop an environment best described as hectic. The PM, project team, and functional groups often band together to do what is necessary to complete the project on time and to specification. Cost overruns, if not outrageously high, are tolerated—though they may not be forgiven and they will certainly be remembered.

Technical problems are comparatively rare during phaseout because most have been solved or bypassed earlier. Similarly, working interfaces have been developed and put in place. If the project involves implementing a technology in an outside client's system, technical conflicts will probably arise, but they are usually less intense.

Thamhain and Wilemon [30, p. 411 note that personality conflicts are the second-ranked source of conflict during phaseout. They ascribe these conflicts to interpersonal stress caused by the pressure to complete the project, and to individuals' natural anxiety about leaving the project either to be assigned to another, or be returned to a functional unit. In addition, we haye observed conflict, sometimes quite bitter, focused on the distribution of the project's capital equipment and supplies when the project is completed. Conflict also arises between projects phasing out and those just starting, particularly if the latter need resources or personnel with scarce talents being used by the former.

The upshot is simple. As we noted in the first section of Chapter 1, conflict is an inherent characteristic of projects, and the project manager is constantly beset by conflict. The ability to reduce and resolve conflict in ways that support achievement of the project's goals is a prime requisite for success as a PM. The primary tool to accomplish conflict resolution and reduction is negotiation, and the method of handling conflict established in the project formation stage will set the pattern for the entire project. Therefore, the style of negotiation adopted by the PM is critical.

Much has been written on conflict resolution. Burke's classic paper |5] on the confrontation-problem solving method of resolving conflicts is offered as a "Reading" at the end of this chapter. The similarities between the confrontation-problem solving technique for conflict resolution and win-win negotiation covered in the following section are quite striking. Dyer 1111 also writes of resolving conflicts, focusing on conflict between members of a team, and [2| is a general work on the subject.

1 Consensus Feasibility S,

1 Consensus Feasibility S, factice il's Archipel Da.

In 1979, Quebec conducted a short interdepartmental evaluation to assess the need for a feasibility study evaluating the costs and benefits of constructing a dam for watershed development within the St. Lawrence river basin in the Montreal metropolitan area. The evaluation concluded that a feasibility study that considered the hydroelectric power generated, the flood control possible, and the shoreline restoration for recreation for the 3 million local area residents was justified. It was recommended that a central authority act as project manager for the study and that arbitration procedures be instituted for the interests of all affected parties.

Thus, a new body called "Secretariat Archipel" was created to directly supervise the feasibility study. Secretariat Archipel,

Source: R. Desbiens, R. Houde, and P. Normandeau. "Archipel Feasibility Study: A Questionable Consensus Approach," Project Management journal, March 1989.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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