What is Project Management?

Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters. Project management has final deliverables that are constrained to a finite timescale and budget.

A key factor that distinguishes project management from just ‘management’ is that it has this final deliverable and a finite time-span, unlike management which is an ongoing process. Because of this a project professional needs a wide range of skills; often technical skills, and certainly people management skills and good business awareness.

The Core Components of Project Management are:

Project management is important: without it, you’re relegating your project to chance or chaos, neither of which is ideal so therefore, Project management is the action that helps create and execute that project plan but when you engage in it, there are specific processes and practices that must take place in order for it to be successful. It applies managerial and interpersonal skills to the process of successfully bringing a project from conception to completion according to stated requirements.

  • defining the reason why a project is necessary;
  • capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the deliverables, estimating resources and timescales;
  • preparing a business case to justify the investment;
  • securing corporate agreement and funding;
  • developing and implementing a management plan for the project;
  • leading and motivating the project delivery team;
  • managing the risks, issues and changes on the project;
  • monitoring progress against plan;
  • managing the project budget;
  • maintaining communications with stakeholders and the project organisation;
  • provider management;
  • closing the project in a controlled fashion when appropriate.

Project Management Includes:

  • Project Integration-The stuff that doesn’t fit in any other category, like developing the project management plan itself, making changes to the project, etc.
  • Project Scope- Scope is the work that is included in the project.  It should be defined in the planning phase (i.e. the project management plan) and changes should be well defined.
  • Project Time- Creating, monitoring and enforcing the project schedule, milestones, and completion dates.
  • Project Cost- Estimating the project costs, and monitoring and controlling them throughout the project.
  • Project Quality- Determining the quality standards that apply to the project, and monitoring the quality of work produced.
  • Project Human Resource- Ascertaining the people requirements of the project, acquiring them, and developing them to ensure they produce the required results.
  • Project Communication- Establishing the communication needs of each stakeholder, and making sure they are involved to the required degree.
  • Project Risk- Figuring out who the biggest alligators under the bed are, and how to make sure you never see them.
  • Project Procurement-Hiring the outside consultants and contractors necessary to get the job done, and managing them.
  • Project Stakeholder-Identifying each stakeholder and making sure they’re happy.

Why do we use Project Management:

Project management is aimed at producing an end product that will effect some change for the benefit of the organisation that instigated the project. It is the initiation, planning and control of a range of tasks required to deliver this end product. Projects that require formal management are those that:

Project management is aimed at producing an end product that will effect some change for the benefit of the organisation that instigated the project. It is the initiation, planning and control of a range of tasks required to deliver this end product. Projects that require formal management are those that:

  • produce something new or altered, tangible or intangible;
  • have a finite timespan: a definite start and end;
  • are likely to be complex in terms of work or groups involved;
  • require the management of change;
  • require the management of risks.

Investment in effective project management will have a number of benefits, such as:

  • providing a greater likelihood of achieving the desired result;
  • ensuring efficient and best value use of resources;
  • satisfying the differing needs of the project’s stakeholders.

 

When do we use project management?

Projects are separate from business-as-usual activities and occur when an organisation wants to deliver a solution to set requirements within an agreed budget and time-frame. Projects require a team of people to come together temporarily to focus on specific project objectives. As a result, effective teamwork is central to successful projects.

Projects require a team of people to come together temporarily to focus on specific project objectives. As a result, effective teamwork is central to successful projects. Project management is concerned with managing discrete packages of work to achieve specific objectives. The way the work is managed depends upon a wide variety of factors.

The scale, significance and complexity of the work are obvious factors: relocating a small office and organizing the Olympics share many basic principles, but offer very different managerial challenges. Objectives may be expressed in terms of:

  • outputs (such as a new HQ building);
  • outcomes (such as staff being relocated from multiple locations to the new HQ);
  • benefits (such as reduced travel and facilities management costs);
  • strategic objectives (such as doubling the organisation’s share price in three years).

Who uses project management?

Anyone and everyone manages projects, even if they aren’t formally called a ‘project manager’. Ever organised an event? That’s a project you managed with a team of people, and project management is life skill for all. More formally, projects crop up in all industries and business:

  • Transport and Infrastructure
  • IT
  • Product manufacture
  • Building and Construction
  • Finance and Law