Project Management

Project Management

The Process of Project Management

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques applied ‎to project activities in order to meet the project requirements. Project management is a ‎process that includes planning, putting the project plan into action, and measuring ‎progress and performance‎.

Applying good project management discipline is a way to help reduce the risks. Having ‎good project management skills does not completely eliminate problems, risks, or surprises. ‎The value of good project management is that you have standard processes in place to ‎deal with all contingencies.‎

Managing a project includes identifying your project’s requirements and writing down what ‎everyone needs from the project. What are the objectives of your project? When everyone ‎understands the goal, it’s much easier to keep them all on the right path.‎

Make sure you set goals that everyone agrees on to avoid team conflicts later on. ‎Understanding and addressing the needs of everyone affected by the project means the ‎end result of your project is far more likely to satisfy your stakeholders. Last but not least, ‎as a project manager, you will also be balancing the many competing project constraints.‎

On any project, you will have a number of project constraints that are competing for your ‎attention. They are cost, scope, quality, risk, resources, and time.‎

‎Cost is the budget approved for the project including all necessary expenses ‎needed to deliver the project. Within organizations, project managers have to ‎balance between not running out of money and not underspending because many ‎projects receive funds or grants that have contract clauses with a “use it or lose it” ‎approach to project funds. Poorly executed budget plans can result in a last-minute ‎rush to spend the allocated funds. For virtually all projects, the cost is ultimately a ‎limiting constraint; few projects can go over budget without eventually requiring ‎corrective action.‎

The scope is what the project is trying to achieve. It entails all the work involved in ‎delivering the project outcomes and the processes used to produce them. It is the ‎reason and the purpose of the project.‎

Quality is a combination of the standards and criteria to which the project’s products ‎must be delivered for them to perform effectively. The product must perform to ‎provide the functionality expected, solve the identified problem, and deliver the ‎benefit and value expected. It must also meet other performance requirements, or ‎service levels, such as availability, reliability, and maintainability, and have acceptable ‎finish and polish. Quality on a project is controlled through quality assurance (QA), ‎which is the process of evaluating overall project performance on a regular basis to ‎provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards.‎

Risk is defined by potential external events that will have a negative impact on your ‎project if they occur. Risk refers to the combination of the probability the event will ‎occur and the impact on the project if the event occurs. If the combination of the ‎probability of the occurrence and the impact on the project is too high, you should ‎identify the potential event as a risk and put a proactive plan in place to manage the ‎risk.‎

Resources are required to carry out the project tasks. They can be people, ‎equipment, facilities, funding, or anything else capable of definition (usually other than ‎labor) required for the completion of project activity.‎

Time is defined as the time to complete the project. Time is often the most frequent ‎project oversight in developing projects. This is reflected in missed deadlines and ‎incomplete deliverables. Proper control of the schedule requires the careful ‎identification of tasks to be performed and accurate estimations of their durations, ‎the sequence in which they are going to be done, and how people and other ‎resources are to be allocated. Any schedule should take into account vacations and ‎holidays.‎

Your project may have additional constraints that you must face, and as the project manager, ‎you have to balance the needs of these constraints against the needs of the stakeholders and ‎your project goals. For instance, if your sponsor wants to add functionality to the original ‎scope, you will very likely need more money to finish the project, or if they cut the budget, you will have to reduce the quality of your scope, and if ‎you don’t get the appropriate resources to work on your project tasks, you will have to ‎extend your schedule because the resources you have to take much longer to finish the ‎work.‎

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