11 July 2020

Introduction to Project Management (Most Important in Modern Era)

Introduction to Project Management




What of Project?


Simply put, a Project is a series of tasks that need to be completed in order to reach a specific outcome. A Project can also be defined as a temporary endeavor with some sets of inputs and outputs required to achieve a particular goal within a stipulated time frame and has at least a deliverable. Projects can range from simple to complex and can be managed by one person or a hundred.


Now, what is Project Management?


Project management is the way a person organizes and manages resources that are necessary to complete a project. People that manage projects are known as Project Managers. A project is a piece of work that is not a process or an operation. It has a start, an end, and goals


Project Pitfalls


More than half of the projects are facing the following issues due to the non-availability of a good project management process.
1. Delayed Schedule.
2. Cost Over Run.
3. Requirements are not fulfilled.
4. Customer satisfaction is compromised.
5. Quality is compromised.
6. The project is finally unsuccessful etc…..


To overcome such situations, the correct method of project management must be followed. There is a number of project management methodologies available in the world to define a strong process within the organization. The correct project management process for a project will help in the successful implementation of the project and avoid all the above-mentioned issues.


Project Management is basically managing the projects. Now a project is any temporary endeavor that has a definite start and definite end. We will be discussing all the processes available in project management as per PMBOK. But it is very important to use these processes. In such a situation the role of the Project Manager becomes of utmost importance. If a project manager is a leader then he will definitely succeed, unless there are some unforeseen risks that arrive in the project.


Now, we will be discussing Project Management in detail and we will try to cover all aspects of Project Management from Knowledge Areas and Process Areas. The Life Cycle of the project moves in the following steps.


Project Life Cycle


1. Project Initiation.
2. Project Planning.
3. Project Execution.
4. Project Monitoring and Control.
5. Project Closure.


Project life cycles stages


1. Project Initiation


Project initiation is the initiation point of any project. At this stage, 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 to complete 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, the project initiation process ends with requirements sign-off. The main activities involve are Pre-Sales, Requirement-Gathering, Requirement Analysis, and Requirement Sign off.


2. Project Planning


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.


3. Project Execution


After all, paperwork is done, in this phase, the project manager 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.


4. Project Monitoring and Control


During the project life cycle, 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 the 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 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.


5. Project Closure.


Once all the project requirements are achieved, it is time to hand over the implemented system and closeout the project. If the project deliveries are in par with the acceptance criteria defined by the client, the project will be duly accepted and paid by the customer. Once the project closeout takes place, it is time to evaluate the entire project. In this evaluation, the mistakes made by the project team will be identified and will take the necessary steps to avoid them in future projects. During the project evaluation process, the service provider may notice that they haven't gained the expected margins for the project and may have exceeded the timelines planned at the beginning. In such cases, the project is not a 100% success to the service provider. Therefore, such instances should be studied carefully and should take necessary actions to avoid in the future.


Knowledge Areas


Also, Project Management Practice covers the following knowledge areas (as per PMBOK6). PMI (Project Management Institue) defines knowledge areas as, "An identified area of project management defined by its knowledge requirements and described in terms of its component processes, practices, inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques." in PMBOK. PMBOK is a Project Management Body of Knowledge. According to the PMBOK® Guide — Sixth Edition, there are ten knowledge areas in Project Management. However, these are not limited to. When you are working in cross-functional groups, you need to learn other knowledge areas too.


1. Integration Management
2. Scope Management
3. Schedule Management
4. Cost Management
5. Quality Management
6. Resource Management
7. Communications Management
8. Risk Management
9. Procurement Management
10. Stakeholder Management


project knowledge areas


We will discuss these knowledge areas in a separate post.  Stay Tuned and subscribe to my Blog.


Conclusion


Project management is a responsible process. The project management process connects all other project activities together and creates 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.



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