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Good project managers are people with an excellent entrepreneurial mindset. This allows them to think about a project beyond the basic skill set needed to manage it., it is the project manager’s job to direct teams and team members to the finish line. At the end of the day, the project’s success or failure rests solely on the project manager’s shoulders, and he or she is the one responsible for the end result.
Activity & Resource Planning
Planning is instrumental for meeting project deadlines, and many projects fail due to poor planning. PM must define the project's scope and determine available resources, set realistic time estimates and evaluate the teams' capabilities.
Organising & Motivating a Project Team
A great PM will put their team front and center to develop clear plans that stimulate the team to reaching full potential. The less bureaucracy the better. Many factors must be managed when dealing with "people".
Controlling Time Management
Often, a clients judgement of success or failure depends on whether a project was delivered on time. Therefore, meeting deadlines is critical, as is communication when defining, sequencing, estimating, developing and maintaining a schedule.
Cost Estimating & Developing the Budget
A PM must keep a project within its set budget. Even if a project meets a client's expectations and is delivered on time, a failure to constrain cost creep could render the project a failure. PM's constantly review the budget and plan.
Ensuring Stakeholder Engagement
A project may have many stakeholders and they must be suitably identified in project plans. A stakeholder has the ability to curtail a project and there are various types of stakeholder and influence, internal and external.
Analysing and Managing Project Risk
The bigger the project, the more likely there are to be unintended and unplanned hiccups. Whilst inevitable, PM's know how to identify and evaluate potential risks before the project starts, and then avoid or minimise their impact.
Monitoring Project Progress
During the initial stages, PM's and their teams have a clear vision and high hopes for a desired result. However, when negative events occur, the PM needs to monitor expenses and performance for efficient corrective measures.
Managing Reports & Necessary Documents
Great PM's can present comprehensive reports that document all requirements and results. Also, the projects history, actions taken, risks mitigated > known as lessons learned (assets); this helps PM's on future, related projects.
Ensuring Client Satisfaction
A key responsibility of every PM is the minimising of uncertainty, to avoid surprises and involve the client in the project as much as practicable. Effective communication will help ensure the client is aware and happy with performance.
Project Process Groups
These processes help you define a new piece of work – either a complete new project or the phase you are about to begin. They ensure you have authority to proceed.
This process often begins with a business case, which outlines the objectives, purpose, and deliverables of the proposed project. Stakeholders are identified and requirements are documented.
Key outputs include the project charter which assists with planning in Phase 2. In addition to explaining the business value of the project, the charter outlines the objectives, scope, resources, and budget.
– Any feasibility testing should also take place during this phase..
These processes help you define objectives and scope out the work to be done. They also encompass all the work around planning and scheduling tasks. Complete project or current phase.
- Project costs i.e. the budget
- Duration i.e Schedule
- Required deliverables and quality
- Communications and Risk Management
- Measures of success
A PM utilises these processes as they carry out your project tasks. This is the ‘delivery’ part of project management, where the main activity happens.
The project manager typically uses a kick-off meeting to introduce key tasks and milestones to the team, and discuss the project in detail.
The main activities associated with project execution include resource management, tracking work, team meetings, and reporting on progress. The project manager should regularly assess progress and adjust the original project plan as needed.
These processes let you track the work that is being done, review and report on it. They also cover what happens when you find out the project isn’t following the agreed plan, so change management falls into this Process Group. You’ll run these processes alongside those in the Executing Group (mainly, but alongside the other Groups too) so you monitor as you go.
Monitoring is conducted in parallel with project execution.
Using KPIs and other metrics defined in the project plan, the project manager monitors progress and performance to avoid scope creep.
Finally, these processes let you finalise all the tasks in the other Groups when you get to the point to close the project or phase.
Once the project is completed, run a post-mortem to document lessons learned for future projects. It’s also important to recognize and celebrate success.
Finally, reassign resources and update project documentation, including any collaborative project sites.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you may need to tailor the five phases as appropriate.
PMI (Project Management Institute) PMBOK Guide 6th Edition
> 5 PM Process Groups
> 10 PM Knowledge Areas
> 49 PM Processes
> 7 PM Processes
> 35 PM Activities
> 7 PM Principles
Frequently Asked Questions
- A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.
- project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organisations and across multiple geographies.
The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market — all are projects. And all must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that organisations need.
Project management, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
It has always been practiced informally, but began to emerge as a distinct profession in the mid-20th century.
PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
A project management office (abbreviated to PMO) is a group or department within a business, government agency, or enterprise that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization. The PMO strives to standardise and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects.
Project managers are the people in charge of a specific project or projects within a company. As the project manager, your job is to plan, budget, oversee and document all aspects of the specific project you are working on.
They are organised, passionate and goal-oriented people who understand what projects have in common, and their strategic role in how organisations succeed, learn and change.
- Project managers are change agents: they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team. They enjoy the organised adrenaline of new challenges and the responsibility of driving business results.
- They work well under pressure and are comfortable with change and complexity in dynamic environments. They can shift readily between the "big picture" and the small-but-crucial details, knowing when to concentrate on each.
Project managers cultivate the people skills needed to develop trust and communication among all of a project's stakeholders: its sponsors, those who will make use of the project's results, those who command the resources needed, and the project team members. They have a broad and flexible toolkit of techniques, resolving complex, interdependent activities into tasks and sub-tasks that are documented, monitored and controlled. They adapt their approach to the context and constraints of each project, knowing that no "one size" can fit all the variety of projects. And they are always improving their own and their teams' skills through lessons-learned reviews at project completion.
Project managers are found in every kind of organization -- as employees, managers, contractors and independent consultants. With experience, they may become program managers (responsible for multiple related projects) or portfolio managers (responsible for selection, prioritisation and alignment of projects and programs with an organization's strategy).
And they are in increasing demand worldwide. For decades, as the pace of economic and technological change has quickened, organizations have been directing more and more of their energy into projects rather than routine operations. Today, senior executives and HR managers recognize project management as a strategic competence that is indispensable to business success. They know that skilled and credentialed practitioners are among their most valuable resources.
The role of the project manager encompasses many activities including:
- Planning and Defining Scope
- Activity Planning and Sequencing
- Resource Planning
- Developing Schedules
- Time Estimating
- Cost Estimating
- Developing a Budget
- Creating Charts and Schedules
- Risk Analysis
- Managing Risks and Issues
- Monitoring and Reporting Progress
- Team Leadership
- Strategic Influencing
- Business Partnering
- Working with Vendors
- Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis
- Controlling Quality
- Benefits Realisation
Finally, senior management must give a project manager support and authority if he or she is going to be successful.
Useful PM Knowledge Links
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|Online||The Digital PM||Training | How-to Guides | Tools | Topics | Podcast||Learning|
|Online||Project Management .com||Webinars | Templates | Community | Topics | Knowledge & Tools | Events||Website|