In business, projects are characteristically unique operations which are conducted to meet particular goals. Examples of projects could be:
- The designing of software, the purpose of which is to enhance employee productivity,
- The construction of a building which will house community events, or
- The designing of a website to lower call volume to a business.
These are just a few examples and the list can go on for days. All of these categories of projects need a team of people who are responsible for various aspects of the delivery. For instance, you’ll probably see a designer, developer as well as copywriter working on website design projects. In many instances, a project manager is allocated to these projects in order to ensure that the team provides the project on time, under budget in addition to meeting its stated goals.
‘Project management’ is defined as the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge as well as experience in order to achieve detailed project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within the agreed parameters. Project management has final deliverables that are constrained to a finite timescale as well as budget.
A key factor which distinguishes project management from generic ‘management’ is that it has a final deliverable and a finite timespan, as opposed to management which is an continuing process. Owing to this a project professional needs a wide range of skills; often technical skills and definitely people management skills in addition to good business awareness.
What is a project manager?
Project managers perform the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling as well as closing projects. These people are accountable for the entire project scope, project team, resources, in addition to the success or failure of the project.
A project manager, with the assistance of their team has multiple responsibilities which encompass the five project stages of a project life cycle (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring as well as closing).
- Integration management: Creating a project charter
- Stakeholder management: Pinpointing stakeholders
- Integration management: Building a project management plan
- Scope management: Identifying and controlling scope, establishing a work breakdown structure (WBS) in addition to requirements gathering
- Time management: Planning, defining, as well as developing schedules, activities, estimating resources in addition to activity durations
- Costs management: Planning and estimating costs, and deciding on budgets
- Quality management: Planning as well as identifying quality requirements
- Human Resource Management: Planning in addition to identifying human resource requirements
- Communications management: Preparing communications
- Risk management: Planning for as well as identifying potential risks, performing qualitative and quantitative risk analysis in addition to planning risk-mitigation strategies
- Procurement management: Planning for as well as identifying required procurements
- Stakeholder management: Preparing for stakeholder expectations
- Integration management: Directing as well as managing all work for the project
- Quality management: Doing all facets of managing quality
- Human resource management: Selecting, developing in addition to managing the project team
- Communications management: Overseeing all aspects of communications
- Procurement management: Taking action on securing necessary procurements
- Stakeholder management: Controlling all stakeholder expectations
Monitoring and controlling
- Integration management: Monitoring in addition to controlling the project work as well as managing any required changes
- Scope management: Validating as well as controlling the scope of the project
- Time management: Managing the scope of the project
- Costs management: Regulating project costs
- Quality management: Maintaining the quality of deliverables
- Communications management: Controlling all team in addition to stakeholder communications
- Procurement management: Managing procurements
- Stakeholder management: Controlling stakeholder engagements
- Integration management: Closing all stages of the project
- Procurement management: Completing all project procurements
Project management may seem to be complicated however chances are that you’ve already been involved in a process such as this one. So the next time that you’re planning your friend’s birthday, know that you’re essentially working on a project and that you are your own project manager!