In light of the globalization process, more and more projects nowadays engage multiple resources at both regional and international levels. At this point, the analysis of specific problems has become the concern of the global community, although the project could be initiated at a local level. For instance, the project promotion on obesity control could be the plan of a specific educational establishment that in turn can advance and attract both governmental and non-governmental organizations, along with the companies and corporations which are concerned with their corporate image and reputation in the community. Hence, adherence to social and cultural values could become a win-win solution for all stakeholders involved in the project accomplishment, even though it concerns non-financial purposes. Therefore, the project on control obesity in the educational establishments could become the major topic of discussion and activities of multiple organizations, establishments, and agencies involved. Even though the project is associated with the educational environment, it can still relate to the development of the business project that would further create some business ventures and alliance between multiple companies and organization which can take advantage of corporate social responsibility and introduce new ideas to the market.
Background and Problem Description
Obesity percentage in the United States is constantly increasing due to the lack of effective programs that would embrace holistic management of the problem. It implies that the healthy eating culture is poorly managed in family, educational, and social environment. In the majority of cases, parents fail to control what their children eat and how they perceive the conception of an active lifestyle. Such a situation occurs when parents are not able to control their caloric intake themselves, presenting a negative model of behavior for their children. Second, an educational environment and lack of knowledge about healthy diet can prevent both children and their parents from understanding of the treats of excess weight gain (Wechsler, McKenna, Lee, & Dietz 2004). As a result, the major approach to management could be associated with the problem of negative images and constant advertizing of fast food. Therefore, educational establishment should integrate a new program both for instructors and for student on basic aspects of health lifestyle and its influence on the social status and success of an individual (Wechsler et al. 2004). Indeed, comprehension of new dimensions and management of standardized issues could provide an emphasis on the broader conception of healthy mind, leading to the physical health.
With reliance to the above present concerns, it is highly essential to initiate a new educational program on obesity control at school that would allow to promote new disciplines on obesity as a part of healthy lifestyle course for students. It can also introduce new materials, books, leaflets, and activities among children, as well as engage parents into the procedure of changing their stereotypes and outlooks on dietary habits and physical activities. Change process will be presented according to the Lewin’s change management model that is composed of three stages – unfreeze, change, and refreeze (Sarayreh, Khudair, & Barakat 2013). This framework could help the participants of the project to change their outlooks on eating habits and active lifestyle.
Major Project Objectives
The major project objectives are confined to the following issues:
1. To explore the current educational plans on reducing obesity among children in school;
2. To examine parents’ perceptions and attitudes regarding the implementation of obesity programs at schools;
3. To evaluate instructor’s awareness and experience in promoting obesity control programs at schools.
4. To test the result through children’s physical and psychological assessment and create a new business idea for promoting and engaging people into healthy lifestyle patterns of behavior.
Project Manager’s Responsibilities
In order to initiate a successful project management, it is crucial to evaluate the extent to which project management skills and responsibilities are employed and understood within the specific project time span (Young 2013). In this context, the responsibilities on implementing the project plan will be imposed on the instructors who will lead the course, on the researcher who will compile the material for the courses, and counselors who will be conducting meetings with children before, during, and after the course, and parents who should also provide psychological support to their children and engage directly into the program. All these responsibilities and duties must provide a significant improvement in the outlook on healthy lifestyle through the understanding of potential advantages in changing the behavioral patterns. The program, however, will involve psychological theories, practical assignments for students, and theoretical information for parents.
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Project Planning, Scheduling, and Budgeting
The project will start with the assessment of schedules and deliverables. Table 1 presented below provides the list of objectives and assigned time period for their accomplishment.
|1.||Knowledge Gap on Obesity at Schools||To explore the current educational plans on reducing obesity among children in school||3 weeks|
|2.||Parent’s reluctance to expand the knowledge on outcomes of unhealthy eating.||To examine parents’ perceptions and attitudes regarding the implementation of obesity programs at schools||2 weeks|
|3.||Lack of educational programs at schools to integrate healthy lifestyle habits.||To evaluate instructor’s awareness and experience in promoting obesity control programs at schools.||2 weeks|
|4.||Children’s low awareness of excess weight outcomes.||To test the result through children’s physical and psychological assessment.||2 weeks|
Task Assessment and Resource Needs
While introducing new theoretical course on a new subject, a primary attention should be paid to the books, theories, power point presentations, and videos revealing new knowledge about healthy lifestyle, such as right dietary habits, physical exercises, caloric intake, list of products for organism enrichment with nutrient elements and vitamins. Further, the program will also require specialized equipment for measuring the physical health of children involved in the program, such as BMI, fat percentage, caloric intake, and blood pressure. Apart from the measurement equipment, the instructors will need certain facilities and PC for students to participate in presentations and distribution of theoretical materials. Children will also have to present their essays and projects for showing the extent to which they conceive the information provided.
A Realistic and Optimized Schedule
The realistic schedule will be presented for six months, with two months spent on presentation of theoretical material, two month on practical activities, one month on counseling and diary control, and one month proposed for estimating the results of the project. The additional time will be required for problems and gaps which should be surpassed by children. In fact, the scheduling is an excellent tool for allocation time and resources for each stage of plan accomplishment (Taylor 2008). Therefore, the educational establishment involved should provide the realistic and optimized schedules to trace all the changes within the project.
A Comprehensive Project Budget
Any project requires an accurate calculation and distribution of costs and resources (Meredith & Mantel 2007). Hence, the project budget will divided into three major areas – human resource management, technical insurance, and organization of contest and activities in various facilities. The human resource management implies salaries and wages for the personnel involved in the project. Technical insurance and resources will imply the purchase of specific measurement equipment, theoretical hand-outs, and personal laptops for organizing interactive discussions with children.
Project Execution and Control
Project Performance Evaluation
Instructors should also provide certain materials and numerical information on eating disorders and other dangerous diseases associated with excess weight and obesity to increase their awareness and make them comprehend negative consequences of passive life and fast food eating. The second stage of the program will involve the analysis of lessons and practical assignments, such as physical contests and activities. As such, the instructors could measure children’s weight and fat percentage before the program and after the course in which children would be involved into healthy eating and daily physical exercises. The task of the children is to choose one physical activity they prefer – hiking, bicycle, ski, running, and basketball, workouts, playing in the yard, playing with the ball, climbing, or travelling in the wood. Admittedly, all the activities should be conducted on a regular basis, and children should write down all they eat and do during the day for them to keep control of the changes calories taken. For these activities, they need some equipment to connect with each other via the internet, as well as share their problems, experiences, and knowledge with peers. Moreover, the program will encourage the students to organize a context in different physical exercises. There are also some premises for children to organize a course on healthy cooking, where instructors will share their recipes of healthy and nutrient meals. In response, children could also share their own recipes and explain why they are healthy.
Modernization of life and integration of new social values would be a part of corrective actions for children to realize the value of new vision of life purposes. In fact, cultivating new behavioral patterns is a complex procedure which requires an additional collaboration. In this respect, the educators might also involve other organizations and ventures, such as fast food networks which could also be engaged into the project to show that some types of fast food could also be healthy and nutritious. By the way, McDonalds and many other restaurants are working on such programs to participate in various obesity control projects.
Control changes are closely associated with total quality control mechanisms and measurements (Nohe 2009). They also provide an accurate evaluation of shifts through statistics and numerical results. The project under analysis involves certain percentages regarding children’s physical health and weight results. It also focuses on the analysis of the quality of programs for daily meals designed by qualified experts in this field. Such an approach can help the educator openly trace the shifts and improvement in the course of project accomplishment. What is more important is that the outcomes of the study could be assessed by means of the precise calculations of the average measurement results , as well as children’s level of involvement in the project.
Project Procurement and Contracts
Project Leadership and Communications
It is apparent that efficient communication during project planning is a sophisticated and challenging process for stakeholders and project managers at all stages of accomplishment. Indeed, project managers face a number of challenges because of the nature of the position while regulating and establishing communication that supports project development in general (Kleim 2007). Furthermore, when it concerns to communication with children of different ages, counselors and instructors should resort to specialized social learning and cognitive methods that would maximize the effect of knowledge management and acquisition while delivering a theoretical material during the courses initiated. Additionally, the counselors should organize regular meetings with children to take the notes of any shifts in their behavior, possible concerns and challenges they have experienced, as well as provide viable recommendations for them to overcome those challenges. Furthermore, counselors should also meet with parents who should report about problems and concerns that happen to them and their children in a family environment. In the majority of cases, however, children could not tell the truth to the counselors and instructors, and they are more open to closer people, such as parents and friends. In such a manner, counselors will meet children’s needs not the full extent. The instructors should also make children more open and engaged into specific activities and competitions organized during the practical courses as soon as they acquire new theoretical information.
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Project Closeout and Improvement
The project accomplishment will involve the performance assessment and overall evaluation of children’s and parent’s perception of the project in which they were engaged. The project will also consider the pros and cons of planning, budgeting, quality assessment, and involvement of governmental and non-governmental organization in controlling all the stages of project accomplishment. Admittedly, the project involves educational establishing and volunteering organizations that are ready to provide some technological help. The performance assessment of educational establishment will be provided on the increase in percentage of participants who showed significant results in knowledge acquisitions. Specifically, both instructors and participants will have to pass through the research testing by answering semi-structured questions. The project evaluation will also be accomplished in qualitative terms and will be associated with the analysis of such issues as level of awareness of new information, quality of instructors’ training , statistical analysis of date received about BMI, psychological analysis of behavioral trends, and overall assessment of controlling factors revealed in the course of the program. The applied project can also refer to the analysis of skills and responsibilities performed by the instructor to highlight any shifts and improvement in the sphere of proper management and procurement of all necessary equipment.
The concept of procurement during the project accomplishment will be evaluated in terms of delivery terms, quality of good presented, cost-effectiveness of the products, administration of cost spent on teaching and support services, and control of expenses for organizing various events and activities related to the project (Great Britain: National Audit Office 2006). With reliance on these issues, there is a list of recommendations which could be made to improve a similar project accomplishment in the future. To begin with, it is highly essential to promote a bigger potential for cost-saving, by engaging non-governmental organizations which support the issue and can invest and fund such types of projects in an educational environment. Second, engagement of corporations and companies in educational project could also become a good strategy and beneficial solution for both stakeholders. To be more exact, in relation to an increasing significance of following principle of corporate social responsibilities, more and more leading companies and corporations join various social activities and transparent reporting to earn the community’s trust and establish a favorable relationship with their clients. Similarly, they can also improve their reputation by attracting more customers who are concerned with the major social issues, such as obesity among children all over the world. Healthy lifestyle habits are also among the interests of the most popular corporations such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds. Although these ventures were not previously associated with a healthy style of living, their policies have changed tremendously with the constantly integrating trends of healthy and active lifestyle.
Conclusions and Post-Assessment
Post-assessment can embrace all dimensions, starting from the local assessment of participants’ engagement in the project and ending with the contribution made by larger organizations which prefer being active and invest into the project accomplishment of social importance (Bell, Warwich, & Galbraith 2013). It can also provide new ideas and fresh insights for business development committed to healthy lifestyle habits, such as development of complementary nutrients for people suffering from overweight, or additional programs and products for those who prefer stay in a good shape (Blades, Oates, Blumberg, & Gunter 2014). Indeed, the advertising of healthy lifestyle and physical exercises could also be helpful for the companies producing sportswear and footwear designed specifically for children and family events (Landa 2016; Otero-Souto 2015). This is the case when educational purposes could simply transform into business ideas and promotion of new profitable plans and projects for larger corporations.
In conclusion, the control obesity project at school could seem like an ordinary project that would improve social values and contribute to the development of healthier habits among both children and their parents. However, the project also directs at commercializing the concept of active lifestyle through an involvement of larger organizations, both profit and non-profit that could also take advantage of proposed changes. By providing the necessary equipment and participating in the organization of different practical activities could introduce a mutually beneficial alliance between educational establishments and business ventures which are working on the common purpose. Hence, the genuine purpose of the project is to introduce new behavioral trends and activities for children who suffer from excess weight. The team of experts and instructors, in their turn, will make all possible efforts to introducing new information to the participants. The practical part involves an engagement of technologies and equipment for measuring the outcomes gained. Finally, the involvement of companies, such as fast food networks, and footwear business ventures can be beneficial for them to expand their market segment and advance business activities at a larger scale. Such an approach to project management can become a new step forward in the sphere of branding and commercialization, as well as provide new conditions for quality management and procurement control.