Every business operates with their own unique techniques, and while functioning they undertake different projects that help them accomplish the organization goals.
Before going to the term, “project management” it is important to understand what actually a project is?
A project is not a routine operation of any organization; it is temporary in nature and has specific beginning and end. As a project have specific requirements, thus a project manager needs to define clearly the scope and requirements of the projects he manage.
With particular set of operations that aims in achieving a specific goal a team is set. They are brought together with the aim of achieving the goal and completing the project. They mat sometimes even from different territories and also from different organizations too.
For different type of organizations, projects can be of different types. Like for a construction company, construction of a new bridge can be considered as a project, whereas for a software company, developing a new application for their client can be a new project!
All of these are to be met within a time frame and well within a defined budget.
To complete the project on time by delivering all the requirements, it is necessary to manage every aspect of the project skillfully and this is where project management comes in.
What is project management?
Project Management thus can be defines as a science of organizing the different components required for completing a project by producing the expected deliveries within the limits of the project’ constraints.
For organizing and managing the project, it is necessary to manage the application of skills, knowledge, tools and techniques that will lead to meeting the project requirements.
It is entrusted to project managers who have the necessary skills for delivering the project expectations and meeting the project deadline within the specific budget. It is project managers who, with their expertise and skill, act as the change agent who will share and distribute every aspect related to the project among the project team member and the organization as a whole.
Components of project Management
A project will be considered successful when it met the goals set within the defined project constraints. For this, the project management must have the following core components.
- Defining the business need and the necessity of the project.
- Analyzing the requirements of the project by specifying the expected results, services or products to be delivered. It is necessary to estimate the required resources and the time period.
- Preparation of the business case study to justify the investment will have positive effects.
- Securing necessary corporate agreements and find sources of fund.
- Developing the project management plan and its implementation.
- Motivating the project team by leading from front.
- Managing different issues related to the projects that consist of risks and changes.
- Monitoring the progress of the projects in respect to the plan.
- Managing the project’s budget.
- Maintaining relationship with different stakeholders and communicating the progress of the project with them.
- Closing the project when it is appropriate (the project delivers the expected requirements, or, closed if it is no longer aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives…).
Project management is performed by applying and integrating the project management processes, which are logically grouped into five process groups.
Processes of project management
The processes of project management fall under the five groups:
At this stage the project is defined with high level specifications and a specific goal, like developing a new product. In this stage the project manager is assigned and provided with a list of project deliveries and the expected outcomes of the different set of activities.
The most important phase in project management as the entire project activities are defined in this stage. After establishing the project scope, refining the objectives and defining the different activities, the project managers estimate the activities duration and cost, and establish the activities dependencies with respect to the project constraints.
Each milestone for the project is set in this stage and then it is decided that how each step will affect the others. The resources required for meeting those milestones are also defined and the cost incurred for the same is also determined.
Even the risks associated with the project are ascertained and the constraint that may arise is also gauged. The whole planning from gathering resources to completion of project is then baselined.
Once the plan for the project is completed, it is time for execution. The project teams are formed and the resources are allocated so that the work is completed within time. The project activities are performed to complete the defined work in the PMP (Project Management Plan) in order to satisfy the project expectations.
Monitoring and Controlling
The most important tasks while managing a project!
During the project lifecycle, the project manager need to monitor every phase and compares the actual status with the planned one. If there are any deviations then corrective actions are also taken.
Finally, the project closing activities are undertaken to finalize all activities and to formally close a phase or a project. Lessons Learned are then updated (or recorded if not previously written during the project lifecycle).