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4 Conclusion

The primary thrust of this course has been to emphasise the need for all organisations to acknowledge the influence of their environments and, in turn, the impact of organisations on their context. We have argued that the commercial environment is characterised primarily by the growing trend toward globalisation. To a much greater extent than ever before we live in a global village where goods and services will be produced wherever they can be provided at the least cost. Consumers in the West
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3.2 CSR reporting

We mentioned earlier three reasons for environmentally friendly behaviour, effectively deriving from personally held values, niche marketing or regulatory pressure. To a large extent the same holds true for ethical behaviour.

Some organisations have a long tradition of good citizenship, ranging from the UK social housing of Bourneville or Port Sunlight, through to community involvement schemes from such as Xerox and IBM. Financial sponsorship of good causes, whether that be artistic end
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3.1 Codes of conduct

One of the principles of the European Union Emissions Trading System discussed by Schultz and Williamson (2005) is that an organisation accepts responsibility for the performance of their suppliers. In an age where multinational corporations are able to reduce the production costs of their goods and services by offshoring it to whoever can meet the specification at the lowest cost, what responsibility do they have for the conditions under which production actually occurs?

One of the fir
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2.2 Regulatory initiatives

Box 2 Political will

‘We know the solution: sustainable development. The issue is political will.’

Prime Minister Tony Blair, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2 September 2002


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2.1 The response of business

For most of human history, our influence on the planet has been small (i.e. sustainable). The waste produced by our presence has traditionally been dealt with by a process of dilution; burying things, or perhaps dumping them in the ocean, was a viable proposition because we were few and the land and the oceans were vast. Mankind was a minor perturbation on the planetary ecosystem. But with change as the ever-present factor, we grew in both numbers and influence.

In the last century, the
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1.2 Offshoring

The premise is straightforward. Given modern telecommunications capability, it matters little where telephone support is based. India, with a large population of English-speaking graduates and low (by Western standards) wage rates is an obvious choice. The significant cost-savings look very attractive to many organisations.

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1.1 Globalisation

Globalisation is something we tend to take for granted, mostly in the form of the remarkably low prices we pay for our consumer goods. When the first pocket calculator was launched in the UK in 1972, it cost £79 plus tax, an amount close to the average monthly take home pay.

Ten years later came the original IBM PC. Replete with a 4.77 MHz processor, 64kB RAM, a 12″ monochrome monitor (and an optional floppy disk drive!), it carried a UK price tag in excess of £1500, at that time a
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the need for organisations to acknowledge the influence of their environments

  • understand the impact organisations have on those environments.


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Introduction

‘Environment’ is one of the more popular words in the management lexicon, most generally understood to be referring to ‘something outside’. But common usage today often interprets the Environment (with or without the capital ‘E’) as referring to the planetary ecosystem. On that basis the Environment includes such things as global warming, the state of the ozone layer, deforestation and the means of energy generation. Organisations need to coexist with their environment, responding
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References

Craig, S. and Jassim, H. (1995) People and Project Management for IT, Maidenhead, McGraw-Hill.
Elbeik, S. and Thomas, M. (1998) Project Skills, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Gulliver, F.B. (1987) ‘Post-project appraisals pay’, Harvard Business Review, March–April.
Sabbagh, K. (2000) Power into Art, Lo
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Conclusion

In this course, the issues that arise in bringing a project to a close have been examined, and ways of evaluating a project have been discussed. The key components of project closure have been identified and discussed and their importance in ensuring that the aims and objectives of a project have been successfully attained, have been explored. You should now be able to plan an effective project closure. Problems often need to be resolved at the closure stage, and those managing projects need
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4.2 Personal self-evaluation

You could also carry out a personal self-evaluation, to contribute to your own development as a project manager. You can develop a list of questions to evaluate your own performance:

  • Were the project objectives achieved?

  • Did the project stay within budget?

  • How were problems that occurred during the project been resolved?

  • What could you have done differently to improve the final result?

  • <
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4.1 Introduction

Managing a project provides considerable opportunities for self-development, but these can be lost if you become too immersed in delivering the project to remember that you will move on to other work once it concludes. For many managers, taking responsibility for a project is a time-bounded task with clear objectives and a fixed budget. A project usually involves managing staff, finance, operations and information across the boundaries of departments and functions, with complicated interactio
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3.8 Following up the report

The evaluation report will often contain recommendations for further actions and these may lead to new project ideas. Recommendations may relate to processes and procedures within the organisation. Project evaluation and debriefing can be a learning experience for the organisation as a whole, as well as for individuals. For example, British Petroleum gathers the lessons learnt from post-project appraisals in a series of booklets that are then used as guidance for writing project proposals. In
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3.7 Analysing and reporting the results

When planning what data to use in the evaluation it is helpful to consider how the data will be analysed. Usually, there are a lot of data, perhaps in several different forms. If you have set clear objectives, it should be possible to identify the data that are relevant to each issue. It is usual to follow the steps below:

  • consider numbers, for example how much has been achieved at what cost;

  • consider quality, whether appropriate and
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Planning an evaluation

The evaluation should have clear aims and objectives. It is also helpful to decide where its boundaries should lie – how much or how little is to be evaluated?

Activity 4

0 hours 20 minutes

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3.4 Evaluation at the end of a project

Different types of evaluation may take place at the end of a project. A common one is determining the extent to which the project outcomes have been achieved. This is often done in a meeting of the sponsor, key stakeholders and project team leaders, and sometimes informed by reports from key perspectives. An evaluation of this nature may be the final stage of the project, and the main purpose might be to ensure that the project has met all of the contracted expectations and can be ‘signed o
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3.3 Evaluation during implementation of a project

At this stage the project activities are monitored to determine how their timing, quality and cost match the plan. The results of this monitoring are reviewed to see whether the plan needs to be modified. New environmental conditions may indicate the need to change the organisation's strategic direction. It might be necessary in that case to re-align the project, so that the outcomes relate to the new direction. In some cases it may be necessary to abort the project, if it is no longer approp
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Closure checklists

It is helpful to consider closure as, in effect, a mini-project, and to plan for it as a distinct set of activities. We have seen that, once the project has been recognised as successful and all of the key milestones have been achieved, reaching the final milestone – closing the project – can seem an anticlimax. One way to focus attention on the work that still needs to be done is to prepare a detailed checklist.

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