A Simple Guide to Project Management

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Introduction

Project management is a methodical process for organizing, planning and motivating the resources for achieving success in specific goals or solutions to various problems. It can be defined as the application of skills, techniques and knowledge in order to fulfill the requirements of a particular project. It is specifically for a temporary or a specific project and is not used for ongoing activities. The resources can include both human and financial capital.

Basic Concept

Unlike the program, the project management only focuses on a single specific project at a time. The project can come out successfully within the agreed time period and budget. The main features of the project management are:

  • Defining the main purpose of running a particular project
  • Obtaining all the requirements of the project and delivering the quality project within the estimated time period and resources
  • Getting ready with a business case for justifying all the investment costs
  • Managing all the constraints and risks that can occur during a project
  • Monitoring and analyzing the performance with the planned strategies
  • Continuing proper communications with all the stakeholders
  • Fixing the budget for the particular project
  • Providing motivation to the project delivery team
  • Maintaining the corporate agreement and funding
  • Creating and implementing the project plan for the management
  • Closing the project successfully within the pre determined time scale

Steps for Applying the Project Management Process

The experts and the professional project managers have divided the project management into 5 different steps namely: Initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing.

Step 1: Initiate Projects

The first step is to initialize the projects as soon as the goal is chosen. What is the actual project? Is the office getting moved or a new building is getting constructed? The goal should be very clear for applying the project management. After the identification of the goal is done, the project can be initiated with the following ways:

  • Define project scope: There should be a pre defined scope of the project. You are required to be clear enough about what all activities are included and what all activities that are excluded from the project. The final scope will definitely be finalized in the planning phase.
  • Appoint Project Manager: The project manager needs to be appointed in the initialization stage of the project management. An individual must held responsible for the success or the failure of a particular project.
  • Create Milestones: Milestones are nothing but short goals. If those short goals are accomplished, the success can be enjoyed for achieving them. Large and complex projects may include various short goals.

Step 2: Plan Projects

The second stage of the project management is obviously to make a proper planning. If the planning phase goes on well, half of the project is almost done. The plans can be presented in written forms as documents. Detailed task planning and risk analysis process takes place in this particular stage. To create a successful project plan, the following steps can be followed:

  • Work Breakdown Structure: The whole project can be divided into smaller components and this type of work breakdown structure can be successful for large complex projects. The WBS can include all the expected deliverables and the scope of the project. It is the list of the final outcomes which can be forecasted before the project completion.
  • Estimate Timescale and Resources: You are required to prepare an estimate on how much and what kind of resources you will need for the project. Decide on what timescale you expect the project to get over.
  • ActivSequence: ity The sequence of the activities is needed to be identified and the tasks are to be completed accordingly. The task performance will be successfully accomplished through the GANT charts and with the help of software and tools from Microsoft.
  • Implementation Schedule: The schedule covers the whole of WBS, the estimated timescale and the sequence of activities.
  • Risk Analysis: You are required to brainstorm all the ideas for the risk and the constraints that can be faced during the project. After that the most common cause are to be prioritized and the prevention should be taken accordingly. The contingency plans can be taken well beforehand for preventing the project from the most likely risks and contingencies.
  • Resource Leveling: This is the process where you keep all your levels at the same position according to your budget and time schedule. The project plans are required to be performed accordingly.
  • Communication Systems: The communication system should also be maintained properly so that the status reports and analytics can be availed at a very less time. You need to decide how often the emergency reports can be addressed and what should be the medium of the communication.

Step 3: Project Execution

The project managers need to handle this stage very carefully. The status reports should be generated at regular intervals. The complex reports may need to possess in-depth status reports according to the requirement.

Step 4: Closing the Project

The project should finally be summarized with a proper documentation. The reports may include

  • The distinction between the estimated resource and the actual resource
  • The overall impact of the project
  • Changes during the scope of project
  • Lessons gained from the project

To Summarize

From the article we now know

  • The basic concept of the project management
  • As different projects demand different requirements, the project management process must focus on the specific objectives. Therefore, effective teamwork is very essential to make the project successful. The complexity of the project can vary from creating a small office to organizing an international sports event. The process can take help of various tools and techniques. SDLC (systems development life cycle) can be explained as one of the tool for performing the feasibility study. It can use the waterfall model, Rapid Application Development (RAD) or the spiral model to stabilize the project management process.

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