Reflective Essay - Analysis of Managerial Implication - Assessment Answer

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Reflective Essay

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The Flow Chart Of Project Management At Plan International Inc.

Introduction

Plan International is one of the real-service organization that operates globally today. I happen to have been offered an opportunity to work as an intern in this prestigious organization. I reflected on how this organization operates and I were able to come up with a schematic flow chart as illustrated in the diagram below. This paper seeks to discuss the operation of Plan International and how it personally impacted on me.

The flow chart of project management at plan international

Explanation of significance service encounter

I happened to have been engaged as an intern during summer holidays at Plan international organization in Australia. During this time, I was able to come up with a flow chart of how this service organization was operating. To start with, before any project was initiated, there was the initial step of project development (Seo, Lee & Kim, 2012). Project development brought in policy makers and technocrats who would brainstorm about the project that is to be funded within a given locality or within a given community or region. The policy makers at plan international would review the laid down rules as well laws of the nation that governs the state and the establishment of any organization. Among the items that the policy makers would look at in detail is the beneficial aspect of the project to the community in terms of social as well as economic value (Neugeboren, 1991). In addition, the policy makers would look at the environmental impact of the project on the locality that the project would be based. If there is a need for any environmental impact assessment (EIA), the policy makers would document it and pass the information to all the stakeholders.

The second phase in project management that I came to learn when working with Plan International is the creation of project implementation. During this phase the policy makers would pass their concern and deliberations to the technocrats who had a wealth of information on how the project would be conducted and eventually executed. For example, if the project was about promoting girl-child education among the poor people in the slums, the technocrat would be drawn from the education sector in consultation with the government. This is because in Australia and many other countries the provision of basic education is the mandate of the government. The composition of the technocrats would mostly be distinguished ladies and even women with vast information on how to assist the girl-child proceed with her education through the provision of the essential necessities like sanitary towels and food.

The third phase in the process of designing and implementation of any given project is assigning process or task. Here the technocrats would have to identify specific people to handle given tasks. Anyone charged with the responsibility of seeing the project succeed is made to beware that they are obligated to do their duty as stipulated. Assigning tasks always ensures that there is division of labor and specialization. In fact, everyone is assigned a task based on one area of specialization (Toni De, 2012). This phase of assigning task is intertwined with conduction of meetings. This implies that those mandated to do certain task must report what they have come by and raise such events in regular meetings that are held so as to analyze progress. In such meetings, the Agendas basically come from people assigned tasks. These Agendas are deliberated on exhaustively and any point put in writing or in minute form for future reference. This did ensure proper documentation since the minutes were filed and stored in safe cabinets.

Analysis of managerial implication

It is worth to note that as Agendas were being deliberated, there was also monitoring of the status of the project so as to find out if there was any positive progress or their project was stalling rather than moving forward. In fact, monitoring of the project was being done as the secretariat which was located at the headquarters of Plan International. The secretariat would request for biweekly reports from the technocrats and persons in-charge of specific tasks. During monitoring there was also the fourth phase of project management known as “adjustment of the project schedule” which went on simultaneously with monitoring. This adjustment of the project schedule relied heavily on the feedback from the monitoring. For example, there would be needed to adjust the timeframe to achieve certain tasks or need to adjust the budget allocation for a given task among others. All these adjustments would be done within the framework and objective of the project. If the adjustment was not possible, the secretariat based at the headquarters of Plan International would be contacted for further guidance. Moreover, financial implication, for any adjustment would be considered. The budget as well as the expenses incurred in all the phases of the project was monitored and authorized by a Financial Controller (FO) who happened to be the chief accountant of the proposed project. The FO worked under close supervision of the head of the finance department at the secretariat. Occasionally, auditors drawn from the secretariat and even the government would come to audit the accounts of the proposed project. This was basically done to ensure that no single coin from the donors were misappropriated. Personally, I liked this transparency and accountability since it triggered that element of honesty and sincerity in me. What bothered me most was how these editing was done. I felt that the FO and the junior accountants of the project were put under a lot of unnecessary interrogation even in mistakes that they were not directly involved.

The fifth phase in project management that I came to learn at Plan international was purchasing and expenditure phase. Here I observed that the buying of supplies was done through a procurement committee that drew its members from all the departments of the project. Each department had to send a representative to this committee and the representative would also push for the interest of their department. I liked this scenario so much. This is because it gave people the opportunity to lobby for the finances that they needed to bankroll their department. The implication is that if the department was weak, then it would easily be pin pointed since the likelihood of failure of the department was very high. Such failure would call for intervention from the committee and eventually the secretariat.

The second last phase in project management that I realized at plan international was storage of all the information within the database of the project. This database connects with the overall database at the secretariat. The information in the database would be reviewed any time by the Secretariat and even the policy makers to ensure that the project was running smoothly. I found this very interesting and effective way of coordinating a project. If the main objective of the project is achieved, the head office of Plan international would sign off after the inauguration of the project leaving the operation and management of the project to the community. This is because the Plan International wants to ensure that the project they have assisted the community to come up with is sustainable in the long-term. Therefore, I believe that any service to the community as have been illustrated above would continue to be offered by the community themselves to the local resident in a sustainable manner through my observation at Plan International.

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