Importance of project management in social work
Importance of project management in social work

This article explains the Importance of project management in social work. To be able to understand the setting of this thesis it is important to get a general grasp of what projects actually are and how they work. Project Management plays an important role in social work as it empowers people to engage in the project management process. Project management in social work is important for participation and is very critical for sharing project information, and also to build social relationships between project team members and project stakeholders for the collective benefit of all participants.

Projects can come in different shapes or forms and can be used for several different areas. Pack end Orff and Landgren (2014) discusses the concept of precertification from two perspectives, narrow and broad. They state that “the notion of objectification has emerged as projects have become a common form of work organization in all sectors of the economy during recent decades”. The narrow point of view is the idea of projects as an organizational solution to certain types of tasks for handling complex and nonroutine tasks, or that a project can be seen as a temporary organization that is task oriented.

The broader perspective is discussed as “precertification as cultural and discursive processes”. Where you look at the process of precertification not only in a work setting, meaning that the individual organizes activities like projects in a daily life situation since daily situations can be seen as temporary, unique, limited et cetera, just like a project. Importance of project management in social work is needed as projects have become a more and more popular way to structure the work, both within organizations but also as stand alone. Previous project research has concluded that projects could for example be engineering projects that usually need large teams and collaboration is of the utmost importance.

There are also smaller projects, for example construction at work, maintenance, research, development or even product launches. It could also be as common as moving houses or going on a vacation (turner, 2009). The lifetime of projects differ depending on the type of project, a project can be active between two weeks up to five years or even longer as an example.

Clearly there is room for interpretation when it comes to the term project and what it means. as stated in the introduction, several different researchers have had their take on the definition of projects. Turner and müller (2003) provides a clear definition in their work: “a project is a temporary organization to which resources are assigned to undertake a unique, novel and transient endeavor managing the inherent uncertainty and need for integration in order to deliver beneficial objectives of change.

what this definition states is that a project in fact is a temporary organization, meaning that it is time-bound and has an end. Different types of resources are put into the temporary organization to handle this unique and new endeavor, with all its entailing uncertainties, to
reach beneficial objectives already set out. In USA’s study, they investigate the different competencies that can be identified in the various stages in a project. Because of the different stages, different tasks need to be completed. The stages investigated are; the initial phase, the planning phase, the implementation phase and the close-out phase.

Their study shows that depending on which phase the project is in, there is increased workload in certain areas. For example, team building in the initial phase as well as writing and quality checking in the close-out phase. As has been stated previously, regarding the term temporary organizations, different definitions of the term “project” presented health organizations as one of them, therefore, it means that temporary organizations could also be defined as projects (turner & müller,2003).

What previous literature has concluded is that temporary organizations have greater adaptability and changeability capacity, and that these temporary organizations can be evaluated by taking into account the essence of the objectives, length of the project, working group or team characteristics of people performing project roles and responsibilities, as well as learn why project leader is higher than project manager which explains the variety of leadership and organizational styles in project management. Importance of project management in organizations can not be ignored because its one of the components every organization needs to know the importance of project management in social work in order to success and complete projects on time.

Importance of project management in social work

For the purpose of this thesis, the term project will be considered interchangeable with the term temporary organization. further, as has been touched upon previously, project literature also includes the term processes. Literature regarding processes studies how things develop over time and why things develop the way they do which also ties into the changeability of projects and temporary organizations. When it comes to processes in a project setting it is beneficial to define the activities and task that generates the process. Clarification of roles, reporting relations and responsibilities are beneficial to define, when doing that it is easier to understand the process as a whole, which can increase the chances of project success.

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