The main characteristics of an external project management structure are the following:
The external project manager acts as an agent on behalf of the client. The consultancy contract is a form of agency agreement. The external system is more flexible than the internal system. External consultants can be hired as required as a function of workload demand. Instructions and communications between the external consultants and the client have to cross the organizational boundary. This boundary acts as an interface and represents a barrier to effective communication. Team allegiance tends to be lower in external structures. The objectives of the external consultants do not correspond to the objectives of the client, and the external consultants owe no allegiance to the client organization. There is no inbuilt knowledge of the firm. This can sometimes be a disadvantage. 1.4.3 The Knowledge Areas Eight of the knowledge areas can be divided into two sections. The first section covers scope management, time management, cost management, and quality management. These are considered primary knowledge areas because they directly impact the project manager's ability to fulfill the objectives set forth for the project. The project manager is the individual responsible for working with all individuals and parties involved in the project to ensure the goals of the project are achieved. The second section of knowledge areas includes human resource management, communications management, risk management, and procurement management. These could be considered enabling knowledge areas: the knowledge areas that enable the project objectives to be achieved through various processes. The ninth knowledge area is integration management. This is an all-encompassing knowledge area. A project manager needs to master all eight of the previously described knowledge areas, as well as develop the ability to integrate these knowledge areas to successfully complete a project. Integration both affects, and is affected by, the other eight knowledge areas. Each phase of project management encompasses certain knowledge areas.For example, in the planning phase, scope planning must take place, which is a part of the knowledge area of scope management. Along the same lines, in the controlling phase, scope change control must
take place, which is also a part of the knowledge area of scope management. As you move through each phase of project management, the appropriate knowledge areas will be covered. Mastering these knowledge areas at each phase of a project is vitally important for project managers as it significantly increases the potential for the project to end successfully. Project managers not only need to master these knowledge areas, but also need to work with the project team, clients, sponsors, and stakeholders to successfully fulfill the requirements and complete the goals of the project.
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