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project management exam

Quick Introduction to Project Management

Project: A group of milestones or phases, activities or tasks that support an effort to accomplish something.

Management: is the process of Planning, Organizing, Controlling and Measuring.

Project Management is the discipline of using established principles, procedures and policies to successfully guide the project from its inception to its completion. Project Management plan is expected to guide all aspects of project from start to finish with the goal of delivering the output on time and in budget.

Project management includes developing a project plan, which involves defining and confirming the project goals and objectives, how they will be achieved, identifying tasks and quantifying the resources needed, and determining budgets and timelines for completion. It also includes managing the implementation of the project plan, along with operating regular ‘controls’ to ensure that there is accurate and objective information on ‘performance’ relative to the plan, and the mechanisms to implement recovery actions where necessary.

Project management methodologies

  • Agile: A methodology used for speed and flexibility, which features short delivery cycles.
  • Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM): An approach that focuses on the use of resources, rather than on timelines.
  • Critical Path Method (CPM): A step-by-step PM technique.
  • PRINCE2: Originated and still widely used by the U.K. government to manage projects, this approach has also been adopted by private industry internationally.
  • Waterfall: A management style that is sequential in nature.

Why we use Project Management?
It is necessary to Track or Measure the progress we have achieved towards a Goal we wish to accomplish. We use Project Management to Aid us in Maximizing and Optimizing our resources to accomplish our goals.

What is the management process?

Here are five project management phases you can use to deliver a successful project outcome.

  1. Initiation or Definition Phase – This step includes the formal start of the project and the scope explanation. Once you receive approval, you will draft your proposal including your risk calculations, finalizing everything in your project charter.

    Ask yourself the following questions during Conceptualization:

    • What is the problem?
    • Will the development of a project solve that problem?
    • What are the specific goals of the project?
    • Do we have enough resources to create and support the project?

    The Conceptualization Phase typically involves:

    • Creation of the statement of work (SOW).
    • Presenting the business case.
    • Creation of a business contract.
  2. Planning Phase – The project manager formulates the best strategy for the team to accomplish the client objective. It may fall on the project manager to choose his/her team members, in addition to requisitioning other resources. Setting the timeline, schedule and communication lines would also take place during this phase.
  3. Execution Phase – The project manager will shift focus during this stage. He/she will implement and oversee all activities that create the result as outlined in the project plan. Prepare for this phase to take up the most time, resources and energy.
  4. Control Phase – Execution and control occur simultaneously. The project manager monitors the team assuring that the projected performance from the planning phase becomes a reality.
  5. Closure Phase – During this last stage, the project manager will facilitate the finalization of any administrative tasks, reporting documentation updating and present the resulting deliverable to his/her executive leadership. This phase begins once the project has been completed.

    The Termination Phase typically involves:

    • The disbandment of the project team.
    • Personnel and tools are reassigned to new duties.
    • Resources released back to parent organization.
    • Project transferred to intended users.

    Ask yourself the following questions during Termination:

    • Are the project’s completion criteria met?
    • Is there a project closure report in progress?
    • Have all project artifacts been collected and archived?

The benefits of following project management approach is as follows:

  • Project management approach will help in handling complex, costly and risky assignments by providing an interdisciplinary approach in handling the assignments. Example: R&D organizations.
  • Project management approaches help in handling assignments in a specified time frame with definite start and completion points. Example handling customer orders by Industries involved in production of capital goods.
  • Project management approaches provide task orientation to personnel in an Organization in handling assignments. Example: Organizations in IT sector handling software development assignments for clients.

Project Manager
A person with a diverse set of skills – management, leadership, technical, conflict management, and customer relationship – who is responsible for: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, monitoring, and closing down a project. THE PROJECT MANAGER Project Managers are essentially jugglers. They must make sure that everything keeps to the task, that potential issues are quickly eliminated and the project is delivered on time, all the while making sure everyone knows what is happening and the project quality and budget are acceptable. Specifically they: direct all activities required to successfully meet the project objectives manage risk – scanning ahead for potential issues and resolving them before they become a problem solve problems – recommending alternative approaches to problems that arise and providing guidance to the Project Sponsor track and report project progress communicate to all stakeholders in the project.

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