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The process of business management is becoming so dynamic in the globalized world that managers are faced with new challenging tasks and one of which is planning. The business leaders need to develop critical understanding to enable them plan business operations effectively and efficiently. These challenges have led to the development of techniques to manage planning within an organization which includes project management and scenario planning. In this presentation we analyze the two recommended techniques to be used by managers in planning as well as bringing out their implications on the managers and their organizations.
Definitions of Project management and Scenario Planning
Project management is the process where knowledge, expertise, tools and techniques are applied to project activities to meet specific project objectives. The individuals involved as well as those affected by project activities are referred to as stakeholders. The project management has nine areas of interest which are project integration management, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, communication, risk, and procurement management. A project in itself is a temporary undertaking by an organization to develop a unique product or service. These projects are unique and temporary and frequently have a sponsor and involve uncertainty (Schwalbe, 2009). Thus the project management involves the supervision of the entire project from the beginning to its conclusion.
On the other hand, scenario planning is a technique that can be utilized to view and learn what the future might turn out to be and from which the corporate strategy is developed. It is a model that analyzes alternative future environments from which organization's decision might be based. It describes expected scenarios by developing stories that indicate how the future might unfold and how they might affect the operations of the organization. This technique is used for strategic planning whereby it is used to manage the uncertainties of the future. Therefore it is an organized technique for illustrating possible future trends and how decisions of the organization could be made (Lindgren & Bandhold, 2003).
Comparison between Project Management and Scenario Planning
Project management is involves an elaborate plan which include drawing up of human capital allocation, materials, equipment and specific methods to be used in the project. On the other hand, the scenario planning analyzes the expected future trends and assists the managers to plan for the best alternatives to the operations. Thus the two techniques enable managers to manage projects effectively with specific clear steps to be followed in various situations. Since the project management is composite process, there is need that eventualities are well planned. Thus there is need for scenario planning to be involved in the elements of project management to reduce risks (Select Knowledge, n. d.). Therefore when managers are able to utilize both techniques they are able to produce quality project with limited mistakes. This means that the two methods have similar planning objectives making it possible to be used simultaneously.
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The other similarity between project management and scenario planning is that the organization benefit from both of them. The leaders are able to make decisions and generate reports based on the project management time plan. Moreover, the scenario planning enable leaders to decide appropriate actions to take based on the expected future business trends. Thus both techniques come in handy for the leaders to make effective decisions. The leaders will in turn use these methods to make the organization success. The combination of managers' soft skills and the both planning technologies ensure the best performance in an organization (Schwalbe,).
Difference between Project Management and Scenario Planning
The first difference is that project management controls a very complex task whereas the scenario planning involves small scenarios which are analyzed separately. This means that the project management us bulk and requires a lot of input from several stakeholders. A manager cannot accomplish a project without working with other individuals. It needs understanding manager who does not order everybody around but rather works closely to ensure each person delivers on their area of specialization (Select Knowledge, n. d.). However, a scenario does not involve a lot of people and can easily be controlled with selected individuals with high reasoning skills.
The other difference is that the scenario planning is futuristic based on trend analysis to identify strategies for long term planning. The scenario planning technique assumes that the future will be different from the current status of any business (Jisc Infonet, 2010). It is based on probability which and considering alternative views of the future. However, the project management is a current process based on already established decisions being implemented. This means that the managers of a project management are under pressure to deliver on a specified project. They only get paid whenever a job is done successfully and results achieved (Select Knowledge, n. d.).
The techniques impact the organization in different ways. The project management has immediate results to the organization when a project is completed and a new product or service established. This means that the organization could benefit from a project management as soon as the task is completed. The profits from a project could be realized quickly and can be quantified as resulting from increased business and new customers referred by satisfied customers (Gido & Clements, 2009). However, the benefits of scenario planning are not immediate and difficult to assign value. The scenario planning helps in risk analysis and management that will involve the organization in the future and ensure that the continued operations due to wise decisions made after consideration of all scenarios that might come into play (Jisc Infonet, 2010).
Technique which is Better Aligned to My Workplace
The technique that is better aligned to my workplace is the project management. This is because my organization deals with product manufacturing and as such the future risk is low and may not need a scenario planning. However, the development and innovation of new line products need project management to oversee their innovation up to the level they are produced as finished products. The project management will manage all the costs, processes, quality standards as well as duration of implementation. The project managers will advise my organization's management on the costing and expected returns from the project. Therefore the scenario planning would not work because for a product to be considered viable, the risk should have been analyzed and accepted.
I would recommend to the management that whenever it is introducing any new product, a project management technique should be implemented. The first step should be to put in place the rules governing the project management. Thereafter the project managers and all stakeholders are identified with each being allocated specific tasks in a project. The organization should the allocate budget and give the task of the project to the managers. They would then monitor the progress of implementation through periodic project management reports and appraisals.