Project Management 101 for Newbies

DEFINITIONS

A project is a planned set of interrelated tasks executed over a fixed period and with cost and other limitations. It is a transient endeavour, undertaken to achieve intended objectives, defined regarding outputs, outcomes, or benefits.

It is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives. Learning the fundamentals of project management is a valuable asset every company should have.

WHAT DEFINES A PROJECT?

A project is a temporary activity. This means that a project is planned for a set period. This period could be weeks, months, or even years. Building a business website could take mere weeks, but building a country’s defence force submarine capability could take twenty years or more.

A project has a specific objective. It is typically a unique goal, and could mean constructing a building, adding an e-commerce website to an existing bricks-and-mortar retail store, building a city freeway to reduce traffic congestion, or developing a disaster relief programme.

Funding is usually defined at the project planning stage. The project may evolve around this financing and the quality or quantity of the finished product could reflect on the amount available.

The project could be out-sourced, involve a group of people with specific skills unrelated to the entity requiring the product, or sub-contracting companies to provide specific resources like software or product development.

Control could involve key targets of time or funding points that can define progress.

A project is a complex system with critical interdependencies. It requires effective planning, management and leadership

WHAT DEFINES GOOD MANAGEMENT?

a good management of your business project is crucialProject management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet the project requirements.
Processes
These processes fall into five groups:

• Initiating
• Planning
• Executing
• Monitoring and Controlling
• Closing

Project Management Knowledge

Knowledge draws on ten areas:

• Integration
• Cost
• Human Resources
• Stakeholder Management
• Scope
• Quality
• Communications
• Time
• Procurement
• Risk management

Business management is also concerned with these, but project management brings a unique focus shaped by the goals, resources and schedule of each project.

A DISCIPLINED APPROACH TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Project management as a profession is recognised by the rapid, worldwide growth of project management as a recognised and strategic organisational discipline, a subject for training and education and has many opportunities for a career.

Different methodologies have developed since this discipline began to be recognised in the mid 20th-century.

Types of Project Management Techniques
• Traditional
• PRINCE2
• Critical chain project management
• Process-based management
• Agile project management
• Lean project management
• Extreme project management
• Benefits realisation management

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

It has become common for businesses to define and separate changes to their way of operation from their normal business operations. Upgrading equipment, software, advertising campaigns, can be defined as a project, with time and cost constraints which can be measured and analysed.

Big government business like Infrastructure represents their core function regarding projects. This allows them to be more accountable for funding, operations, and measurable effectiveness because they are contained within their parameters, scope and outcomes.

Cost benefits can be measured with before and after analyses, and planning such as a disaster relief plan can be measured by their implementation efficiency.

Project management is now integral to the way of doing business, whether you are a mom-and-pop store, or a defence force building submarines.

It is merely a matter of scale.

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