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Assessing the extent of Congruence of Theory and Practice in other Project Management Areas and commenting how far the Project Management Discipline is from a Project Management Body of Scientific Knowledge 9
Projects can be complex but they can be easily managed when an appropriate approach is employed to manage them. Projects such as the mega sporting events are found to have an important vision, which is the legacy they create that have a long-term effect on their host countries. However, how these projects are managed before the events take place affect the value of the legacy created. When the project is well managed, the value of the legacy is enhanced, and this is what the international awarding bodies, advice countries to do otherwise, spending a lot on hosting the events and failing to have a valuable legacy is not good business as it brings only losses. Project management is a process that is applied in every industry to enable an organization to meet its goals and objectives effectively (Pellegrino & Hancock, 2010; Bridge, 2015). The purpose of this paper is to explore the knowledge behind project management processes and understand its effectiveness by using the sporting industry as a case study. The discussion ends with a conclusion that sums up the findings.
Legacy seems to be the principle justification in holding mega events like the Commonwealth Games especially when finances are inadequate to support the events to be of the required standards. To be able to make a legacy, an event needs to be of standard and extraordinary in terms of creating more benefits for the region or country in the long-term. Thus, the events that are planned for legacy purposes are those that are developed to fulfill certain goals in future because, legacy is made to remain after the event is over. In other words, the legacy concept can be part of the vision that mega events have and thereby, creating more meanings of these events (Pellegrino & Hancock, 2010).
The value mega events creates for a country has made national governments find interests in holding the events which include- Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Paralympics, and others. The main interest the governments have is to enable their countries change for the better, which can be said to be a realization of a dream. The change that would otherwise have taken ages to actualize. The mega events are the global sporting competitions that have a significant impact in various dimensions locally and internationally within a short period. The organization of these events involves integrated efforts of the national government, local agencies, and international bodies in the field of sporting which are organized as federations and associations. The sporting events are developed to have features that able to attract audience locally and internationally and have an impact on the country hosting it. The hosting country can increase the impact by projecting its local cultures. Thus, the preparations of the mega events are more complex than the usual sporting competitions as a huge amount of money is invested in improving infrastructure, security, and logistics. Such efforts and the impacts of the mega events on the country make the country move to a higher global position socially, economically, politically, and culturally (Pellegrino & Hancock, 2010).
Preparations for the major events in sporting are very critical because, it is easy for an event to leave behind a wrong legacy, which also goes away with failed investments, missed opportunities for development and unfinished sporting stadiums. To prevent these negative outcomes, governments need to find partners to support in the development and maintenance of the required infrastructure. In the development of the vision for hosting, the mega events, the governments need to collaborate with other stakeholders in formulating the vision as engaging them early enough wins their support in the preparations. Preparations for the mega events require adequate time and they are enabled by having short-term goals. The success of the preparations and actualization of the vision created demands the governments to collaborate with the community and the private sector and maintaining political stability. Involving the private sector and the community helps a government to ensure the country meets and maintains the required standards politically, environmentally, economically, culturally, and socially. Nonetheless, the vision created should be realistic and should be clear to all stakeholders who include the nationals and they all should appreciate the complexity of the mission developed to achieve it. The governments also, should not assume that the achievement of the set vision will be automatically successful without being committed to the vision and having a strong leader to guide in realizing the vision. Those countries/regions that have succeeded in creating a legacy after holding mega events have found it wise to maintain and improve their investments in effort to hold more events in order to secure or improve their global positions. However, the influence and recognition countries develop globally from the legacy they create in hosting the events is found to have created a competition among countries. In this regard, countries are found spending more to ensure that their investments are better than their competitors’ in effort to win the bid to hold the events. Thus, the qualifications for holding the events are becoming tighter and ultimately, many countries are becoming unable to meet the requirements (Pellegrino & Hancock, 2010).
The concept of legacy that influence decisions to hold mega events is noted to have been used to enlighten countries from the 1980s to make use of these events in changing their status quo locally and globally for the better. The impacts of the events are found to be associated with the interests of the government, business leaders, and the nationals. In that, the events encourage quick economic growth, create employment opportunities, increase businesses for organizations, improve business operations because of having better infrastructures, and others. More so, the events enable the governments to recognize and value the support they get from other local stakeholders, which include the private sector and the nationals. Thus, each legacy that an event leaves behind in a country, is given time to make its returns before another event is held in the same country. In line with this, countries are advised to consider past legacies when preparing for upcoming mega events, as they are important in creating the vision and considering the actions to take to achieve it (Pellegrino & Hancock, 2010).
Considering the legacy concept when deciding to host mega events attracts further developments in the country as foreign investors develop confidence in the country and choose to be part of those that enjoy the returns of the legacy created by making their investments there. Thus, legacy refers to the consequences of hosting mega games and their effects on the country. The consequences vary as well as the periods of their effects. Hence, legacy is actually the outcomes that are planned and unplanned and therefore, can be good or bad, tangible or intangible (Defroand, 2012). The success of a mega event is one that is able to make reasonable returns for its host in reference to the high costs incurred in preparing it, which includes completion of the events and the value of its legacy. That is said to imply that an event that has a less valuable legacy is costly for its host and therefore, it becomes unreasonable to hold it. A less valuable legacy is described to be one that attracts a short-lived economic boost from tourists, event participants, and foreign investors. Nonetheless, it is claimed that an event that is well planned and managed has the potential to increase the value of it legacy more than the one that is not run properly. Thus, the international sporting federation and associations state that it is not good business to award the events to countries when chances are high that they will leave them economically impoverished. That is, the international bodies refrain from awarding the events to countries that have not proven to be active and effective planners for the events (OECD, 2010).
The planning of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games involves a committee established to look at the legacy that the games will bring to the region and the committee began to operate in 2013. One of the committee’s goals is to establish the value the legacy will have for Gold Coasts and align it with the planning processes for the games. The step that Gold Coast has taken is noted to be realization that a legacy of a mega event becomes successful when it is considered as a vision for the event and steps taken to actualize it are incorporated planning. Thus, planning for a mega event in this context becomes a strategic plan aimed at making the event become successful. In this regard, Gold Coast strives to employ the best principles/practices in order to improve its strategies aimed at increasing the value of the legacy to be created by the 2018 games. Hence, the committee is currently busy borrowing from cities like Manchester and Melbourne that successfully implemented their strategic plan and realized a high value of the legacy created by the mega events they each held. More so, the committee is also keen to study the issues that have been found to reduce the value of the legacies especially lack of commitment and poor planning (Gold Coast Legacy Advisory Committee, 2013).
The Gold Coasters are noted to have celebrated the news that they would be hosting the “2018 Commonwealth Games”. To them, hosting the mega games is a great opportunity to promote their region to the rest of the world and to change the future of the city for the best interest of the coming generations. Gold Coast is claimed to be a city that is led by development opportunities and therefore, it is a favorable place for businesspersons, investors, workers, and learners. Commonwealth Games is a sporting event and its success depends on the support the community will give and in reference to what drives the city, the Gold Coasters are geared to maximize their efforts to capitalize on the opportunities the games have. Thus, the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a catalyst to make Gold Coast stronger in reaching the standards of the capital cities that have held the games before and the citizens are inspired and are involved in the legacy planning (Queensland Government, 2013).
Australia has hosted the mega events four times now and hosting the events in Gold Coast will be a commitment the city will deliver culturally, socially, and economically. The Commonwealth Games that have been held in the country before are celebrated for the legacy they left behind in enabling the country to undergo several transformations in the last two decades. In tourism, Australia has improved its tourism performance globally and its position in successfully hosting the mega events. In the preparations of the 2018 events, the government is noted to be committed in ensuring excellence of the games and has already allocated funds to improve infrastructure and to address other standard requirements of the games (Candidate City File, 2017).
Gold Coast is in the sixth position in terms of its size when compared to other Australian cities. Thus, its success in winning the bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games was highly competitive internationally. The experience and successes that Australia has had in holding past events and its passion to ensure the games are excellent are all said to contribute to the city’s successful bid. The Australians are claimed to acknowledge the benefits the events have for their hosts and appreciate what it takes to realize them. Some of the efforts that Australians have employed and maintained are- ensuring political stability, promoting national democracy, and reforming public policies to ensure equality, a better future, and humanity. The national government has employed the legacy concept in the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast and the legacy aims are to make tremendous improvements in the community economically and environmentally. The government and other stakeholders are confident of realizing the vision because, Gold Coast has held other mega sporting before and therefore its potentials is well known globally. Hence, the 2018 event is perceived to attract over 10millions of tourists to the city every year and therefore, the government is obligated to ensure that the infrastructure developed is sustainable to support the long-term effect the planned legacy will have. Currently, the required infrastructures required is already in place and other partners supporting the efforts of the State Government are the Federal Government, tourism agents, and other local stakeholders (Candidate City File, 2017).
The vision of Gold Coast City that was established in 2009 is to create a sustainable future socially, economically, and environmentally. Thus, the choice to bid for the 2018 Games was part of the city’s mission to achieve its vision. The themes noted to drive the city’s vision include- being an example to other cities, creating a city that is safe for everyone which includes inclusivity, and thriving economically to improve life (Candidate City File, 2017). In this regard, some of the improvements the city can make on its planned legacy are- determining how different the legacy would be from those that other mega events hosted in the city have created. The effort would be important because of justifying the reason why the mega events should be held. More so, establishing the difference is important in order to allow the other legacies created by the other mega events held in the city adequate to make their returns. Another suggestion attached to this is that the committee planning the legacy should establish the period when the next events should be held in order to ensure that the vision of the 2018 games is clearly realized. By doing this, the stakeholders would be motivated to see the achievement of the goals with time otherwise, the stakeholders will develop resistance when too many events are taking place and making it difficult to track the impact of each of their legacies.
Project management involves a lot. The effort includes establishing the objectives of a project and making them clear to all stakeholders, determining what is required to implement the project, and making a careful plan of the implementation process. Planning in this case is noted to be important in order to balance how demands for scope, quality, costs, and time are to be effectively met. Besides clarifying goals and objectives, project management assists in identifying areas that that problems and related risks and guides project leaders to incorporate required controls that reduce deviations from the set standards. Another advantage of project management is to assign tasks to certain positions to ensure accountability and prioritizing tasks. Thus, project management is more applicable when a task is complex and requires many people with different capabilities to handle it (Garland, 2013; Dubey & Kamat, 2016).
Procurement in project management is a process that includes all the tasks of acquiring or purchasing products and services required in the project. Thus, tasks such as- managing contracts that are issued by external suppliers or buyers, developing or processing purchase orders created by project leaders are part of the procurement process. The process generally involves procurement planning, making purchases, supplying, and closing purchases. In regards to accountability, the procurement department is charged with the responsibility of supplying what is needed within the project’s constraints. The constraints are those, which include- time, set budget, product/service quality. Nonetheless, the procurement department may fail to make the expected delivery if it is not well equipped. That is said to imply that in project management, just as all focus is put on the skills required to deliver the project, attention also should be put to look at what is needed to create a procurement department that is able to execute its role in the project (Garland, 2013; Dubey & Kamat, 2016).
A project is a task that has a definite time to begin and end, and it is systematically executed. At its inception, its relevance is established, its goals and objectives defined, and relevant stakeholders are identified and communicated to about it and their involvement. In the planning stage involves determining the scope of the project, the budget, breakdown of the work needed to execute the project, creation of an effective communication structure, and management of associated risks. Planning helps project leaders to- save resources in terms of money and time, establish process accountability, enable engagement of the project’s stakeholders, and other important needs in the execution of the established short-term goals and objectives. The execution cycle involves implementing what has been planned and outputs are checked against the set goals. In this cycle, the role of procurement is also very active in helping the developed team execute the plan according to the set goals and objectives. The closing cycle includes making process improvements or taking corrective actions where deviations have been identified and establishing measures to sustain the new development in the long-term (Garland, 2013; Dubey & Kamat, 2016).
Today, organizations have many projects to do handle because changes are inevitable. Project management is applicable in every known industry and it is intensively used by organizations. The processes involved in project management helps an organization in building a culture that is focused on its vision and mission by making things happen systematically. Thus, unlike other approaches, project management supports the initiation of an idea and its successful implementation. In this regard, it is established that the theory that project management upholds is one that is goal oriented or in reference to the congruence theory, project management is very much similar to organizational development processes (Tan & Matthews, 2009).
The congruence theoretical model that project management and organizational development processes strive to establish and sustain is enabling leaders to make changes/projects be perfect as they can possibly be to increase organization’s performance significantly. To achieve this, the model helps the leaders to identify the problem areas that are creating a deviation from the set goals and objectives and establish the importance of the controls/corrective actions taken. More so, the model helps the project leaders to acknowledge the value of the stakeholders in making the project successful (Tan & Matthews, 2009). Bridge (2015) develops this discussion further by elaborating that the resulting “congruence model” is one that is driven by the principle that- people, organizational culture, structure, and tasks are those that influence organization’s performance. The more the four factors are well managed or integrated, the higher the organization’s performance. For instance, an organization could have well skilled laborers but without a proper plan of work or clear goals, the use of these people is insignificant in improving organization’s performance. In regards to culture, an organization could have a culture that does not allow employees/stakeholders to be part of the decision- making processes and this limits the potentials of these people to improving organization’s performance. When the four factors are not well managed or integrated, the model created becomes incongruent and therefore weak in improving organization’s performance. A congruent model therefore is one that ensures the four factors are compatible with each other in a manner that all-important factors that influence organization’s performance are taken into consideration.
A congruent model has several steps needed to improve an organization’s performance. The first one involves identifying which tasks are at the core of the organization’s performance and how to execute them. In this step, people are organized according to whom is to do what in the execution of the tasks and it is based on their individual capabilities. The organizational structure guides how work units are organized to form a team aimed at improving organization’s performance. The culture reflects the attitudes, commitment, beliefs, and motivation that people have towards their work and supporting the organization in achieving its goals. The second step involves evaluating whether each of the four factors are in their best state to support organization’s performance and making necessary corrections. The third step is to plan to create a congruent organizational structure and maintaining it (Tan & Matthews, 2009; Bridge, 2015). Based on what has been gathered, project management discipline is very close to its scientific knowledge.
The main goal of this paper was to explore the knowledge behind project management processes and understand its effectiveness. From the organization of the discussion, the paper has effectively educated what project management processes are and how effective they are. Project management works by putting together four factors, which are tasks, people, structure, and culture, to influence project/organization’s performance. Project management achieves this by creating a congruence model that ensures the four factors are compatible with each other. In the sporting industry, mega events are important projects and important tasks are- identifying the legacy to be created, the activities that need to be conducted to achieve the legacy and how they are to be conducted. The people are mainly the stakeholders; the structure is the organizing how the stakeholders are to be involved in carrying out the task and setting up the communication structure. Culture in this case refers to how motivated the stakeholders are to support the project, their beliefs, and attitude towards the project. From the discussion, Gold Coast can be said to have created a congruent model to support the success of its planned legacy that it is anticipated to be created by the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Bridge, A. J. (2015). Models for engaging public-private partnerships in civil infrastructure projects: A case of ‘having your cake and eating it too’?
Candidate City File (2017). Gold Coast City. Retrieved https://www.thecgf.com/games/2018/Gold_Coast_VOL_1.pdf.
Defroand, J. (2012). London 2012: Olympic ‘legacy’, Olympic education and the development of social capital in physical education and school sport: A case study. Retrieved http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3701/1/Defroand12MPhil.pdf.
Dubey, A. & Kamat, S. (2016). Relative importance of project management knowledge areas in successful completion of project. Retrieved http://www.internationaljournalssrg.org/IJCE/2016/Special-Issue/ICSTSD-ICEEOT/IJCE-ICSTSD-P130.pdf.
Garland, R. (2013). Programme and project accountability: the governance of capital investments.
Gold Coast Legacy Advisory Committee (2013). Assessing legacy. Retrieved http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/comm-games-assessing-legacy.pdf.
OECD (2010). Local development benefits from staging global events: Achieving the local development legacy from 2012. Retrieved https://www.oecd.org/cfe/leed/46207013.pdf.
Pellegrino, G. & Hancock, H. (2010). A lasting legacy: How major sporting events can drive positive change for host communities and economies. Retrieved https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Public-Sector/dttl-ps-alastinglegacy-08082013.pdf.
Queensland Government (2013). Embracing our games legacy. Retrieved https://www.cabinet.qld.gov.au/documents/2013/Dec/CommGames%20legacy/Attachments/Attachment%20-%20Embracing%20our%20games%20legacy.PDF.
Tan, K. H. & Matthews, R. (2009). Operations strategy in action: A guide to the theory and practice of implementation. New York: Edward Elgar Publishing.
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