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Project Analysis

Project Analysis in the context of infrastructure project management. Please note that the aforementioned material may not be suitable for project management practices and ideas beyond regional, state, and infrastructure projects.

What is Project Analysis and Why It is Important in Project Delivery?

Established project management models offer a system of knowledge about the logical process of project development. It starts with an analysis of the environment in which the project will take place. Processes, disproportions, deficits, and development potential are explored through the application of appropriate methods and techniques.

The place and role of stakeholders are evaluated with a view to structuring possible partnerships and supporting the project. The main problems and goals of the project are identified. Through the logic modeling approach, the elements of the project and the relationships between them are formulated.

The planning of activities and resources is based on determining the required volume of activities, the types of work, the time for their implementation, the assessment of the resource provision of the defined activities.

Current project management theory and practice pay attention to the effectiveness of its use. To this end, success factors are derived that have a significant impact on the sustainability of the benefits generated by the projects. The nature and relative importance of these factors depend on the specific characteristics of the project. Knowledge of these factors is important in order to achieve better project management results.

Analysis of the environment

Each project is part of a broader “context”. The individual project is influenced by the various economic, social, and political processes that take place in society. A good understanding of the overall context of the project is very important for planning purposes. Environmental analysis answers the question of what kind of environment the project will be implemented.

Environmental analysis

Environmental analysis requires the use of a considerable amount of information and the carrying out of specific studies for the region, the sector, etc. Data on the overall context can be collected from official statistics, from regional and local development plans through surveys, analyzes, and direct observations. The information collected is summarized, systematized, and analyzed.

SWOT analysis and STEP analysis

Two methods are used for environmental analysis: SWOT analysis (analysis of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the development of the region) and STEP analysis (analysis of processes and trends in the region). These popular strategic planning techniques are applied to select the appropriate strategy for the development of the region.

A quantitative description of the existing situation

The analysis of the environment begins with a quantitative description of the existing situation in terms of disproportions, deficits, and development potential. The STEP analysis examines the social, technological, economic, and political processes and trends in the region. The social dimensions are identified with culture, health care, education.

The processes related to the technological state are quite diverse: availability of information and communication technologies, Internet access, technical level, and the ability to adopt imported technologies, etc. In economic processes, issues such as the rate of economic growth, inflation, and the current environment are studied.

Attention is paid to environmental legislation and practice. In the study of political processes, important elements are legislation - labor, tax, customs, political situation, the degree of development of democratic processes, protection of human rights.

Based on the results obtained, a map of the current problems is drawn up, and the causes that led to these problems are examined.

Analyzing strengths and weaknesses and development potential

Environmental analysis continues to explore the region concerned by analyzing strengths and weaknesses and development potential. The use of SWOT analysis serves as a safeguard against setting unattainable goals for the development of the region. It focuses attention on the process of assessing conditions and the environment, on the analysis of strengths and weaknesses, and on the positioning of governing bodies so as to make the most of external opportunities and to address existing challenges in the most appropriate way.

A SWOT analysis requires that the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats be identified in a synthesized form in accordance with their inherent differentiating criteria:

Strengths

Strengths (advantages) of the region, i.e., its potential - those internal conditions and factors (economic, financial, human resources, etc.) that give it a competitive edge;

Weaknesses

Weaknesses of the region, i.e., the difficulties it faces - those internal conditions and factors that reduce its competitiveness and impede its development, current and paramount problems;

Opportunities

Opportunities of the region that are both within and beyond its control - the conditions of the external environment and the tendencies that contribute to the achievement of present or future success and which could positively influence it in the future;

Threats

Threats (dangers), i.e., the likely future that the region expects if no action is taken - the conditions of the external environment and the tendencies which, in adverse circumstances, could negatively affect its development in the future.

A general framework for this type of analysis is applicable, reflecting the interaction of internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats).

Strengths and opportunities are factors for the future development of the region

Strengths and opportunities are factors for the future development of the region. They are the basis for ensuring sustainable development. Weaknesses and threats are the factors limiting the chosen future development. Effective measures must, therefore, be taken into account in order to overcome them or eliminate them altogether.

In order to obtain a consistent set of actions that produce the required result at an acceptable cost of resources, the following sequence of assessment of the real situation in the region has been adopted.

The environment in which the region is developed is evaluated objectively and critically. The environment is purposefully assessed, identifying hazards, i.e., the mandatory restrictions that must be kept in mind in order to exclude costly and ineffective decisions and actions. The other element of purposeful evaluation is opportunities, i.e., favorable conditions (existing or realistically expected in the future) that can be used for faster development.

The state of the region being targeted

The state of the region being targeted is assessed objectively and critically. Evaluation is made by activity lines. The result of the evaluation, compared to other similar regions, is a list of strengths and a list of weaknesses.

Opportunities and environmental hazards are compared with the strengths and weaknesses of the region in the following scheme:

  • Opportunities - Strengths: How to make the most of the two elements?
  • Opportunities - Weaknesses: How to minimize the impact of the weaknesses of the region in order to make full use of the opportunities of the environment?
  • Hazards - Strengths: How to use the strengths of the region to minimize the impact of hazards?
  • Dangers - Weaknesses: How to minimize the two elements?
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Author: BVOP™ Published on: Sunday Nov 17, 2019
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