Project Management


Project management is one of the critical processes of any project. This is due to the fact that project management is the core process that connects all other project activities and processes together. When it comes to the activities of project management, there are plenty. However, these plenty of project management activities can be categorized into five main processes.Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.

A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result with a defined beginning and end usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual or operations, which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.

Five main project management processes



Project initiation is the starting point of any project. In this process, all the activities related to winning a project takes place. Usually, the main activity of this phase is the pre-sale. During the pre-sale period, the service provider proves the eligibility and ability of completing the project to the client and eventually wins the business. Then, it is the detailed requirements gathering which comes next. During the requirements gathering activity, all the client requirements are gathered and analyzed for implementation. In this activity, negotiations may take place to change certain requirements or remove certain requirements altogether. Usually, project initiation process ends with requirements sign-off.

Project planning is one of the main project management processes. If the project management team gets this step wrong, there could be heavy negative consequences during the next phases of the project. Therefore, the project management team will have to pay detailed attention to this process of the project. In this process, the project plan is derived in order to address the project requirements such as, requirements scope, budget and timelines. Once the project plan is derived, then the project schedule is developed. Depending on the budget and the schedule, the resources are then allocated to the project. This phase is the most important phase when it comes to project cost and effort.

After all paperwork is done, in this phase, the project management executes the project in order to achieve project objectives. When it comes to execution, each member of the team carries out their own assignments within the given deadline for each activity. The detailed project schedule will be used for tracking the project progress. During the project execution, there are many reporting activities to be done. The senior management of the company will require daily or weekly status updates on the project progress. In addition to that, the client may also want to track the progress of the project. During the project execution, it is a must to track the effort and cost of the project in order to determine whether the project is progressing in the right direction or not. In addition to reporting, there are multiple deliveries to be made during the project execution. Usually, project deliveries are not onetime deliveries made at the end of the project. Instead, the deliveries are scattered throughout the project execution period and delivered upon agreed timelines.

During the project life cycle, the project activities should be thoroughly controlled and validated. The controlling can be mainly done by adhering to the initial protocols such as project plan, quality assurance test plan and communication plan for the project. Sometimes, there can be instances that are not covered by such protocols. In such cases, the project manager should use adequate and necessary measurements in order to control such situations. Validation is a supporting activity that runs from first day to the last day of a project. Each and every activity and delivery should have its own validation criteria in order to verify the successful outcome or the successful completion. When it comes to project deliveries and requirements, a separate team called 'quality assurance team' will assist the project team for validation and verification functions.

During the project life cycle, the project activities should be thoroughly controlled and validated. The controlling can be mainly done by adhering to the initial protocols such as project plan, quality assurance test plan and communication plan for the project. Sometimes, there can be instances that are not covered by such protocols. In such cases, the project manager should use adequate and necessary measurements in order to control such situations. Validation is a supporting activity that runs from first day to the last day of a project. Each and every activity and delivery should have its own validation criteria in order to verify the successful outcome or the successful completion. When it comes to project deliveries and requirements, a separate team called 'quality assurance team' will assist the project team for validation and verification functions.

The advantages of project management

  • Better in delivering services Efficient management can provide a roadmap that can be easily followed and may lead to project completion. Once you know where to avoid pot holes and bumps, it’s certain that you’ll work smarter and not harder resulting in greater productivity that will last for a very long time.
  • Improved customer satisfaction -Whenever you complete any project on time and within budget, the customer will walk away satisfied and happy. So happy customer is one that you’ll see again and again, and he will also recommend your business to hundreds of other people. Greater awareness about your business means greater sales and profits. Smart management of project is done using tools that enable client/manager relationship to flourish.
  • Enhanced efficacy in delivering services-The strategies you used to complete one project will serve you for many future projects.
  • Improved development and growth within your team -Positive results from your project will inspire your team and it will continue to look for ways to perform in a more efficient way.
  • Greater competitive edge and standing-The benefits of efficient management of any projects are visible not only within the workplace, but outside as well. With superior performance, you will enhance your position in the market and will get more business
  • Chance to expand your services-It’s a byproduct of great standing. Good performance leads to even more opportunities to succeed.
  • Better flexibility-The biggest benefit of efficient management is ultimate flexibility. It allows you to firmly map out your strategies on how you want your project to get completed. But, the biggest benefit of this organisation is that when you discover any smarter direction, you can immediately take it. For all types of companies, this alone is worth the cost of admission.
  • Increase in quality-With enhanced effectiveness, there is will considerable increase in quality.
  • Increased risk assessment-When all project players are lined up and your strategy is in place, then all potential risks will jump out and may slap your in your face. Efficient management of projects helps you in assessing the risks and warns you in time, even before you start working on any project.
  • Increased productivity -Increase in quality and better management will automatically lead to greater productivity.

conclusion

Project management is a responsible process. The project management process connects all other project activities together and creates the harmony in the project. Therefore, the project management team should have a detailed understanding on all the project management processes and the tools that they can make use for each project management process.