What is Project Management?
In this blog post, you’ll know the depth of Project management. Learn the major aspects of project management from an expert.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the process of organizing and managing a project's requirements, resources, schedule, and risks. Projects are typically managed in stages called "phases," "stages," or "cycles."
If you want to know about Project management, you first need to know about the project. Your first question should be what is meant by a project?
What is a Project?
According to PRINCE2®,
A project is a temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.
Projects are the means by which we introduce change
Change: Projects introduce change
Temporary: After the change, business as usual resumes
Cross-functional: Different skills working together
Unique: Every project is unique and produces a unique product
Uncertainty: Introduce threats and opportunities
Now take a personal example, you may arrange a musical event in a community,
It is temporary, it introduces a change to the locality, you need a team to arrange the event, it is unique in terms of time, venue, it has uncertainty like permission from local authorities, weather conditions, security etc.
According to PMP,
A Project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
Temporary endeavor with a beginning and an end.
Creates unique product, service or result.
Is Progressively Elaborated.
Distinguishing characteristics of each unique project will be progressively detailed as the project is better understood.
"A project is a finite endeavor - having specific start and completion dates - undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value. This finite characteristic of projects stands in sharp contrast to processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent functional work to repetitively produce the same product or service."
Now you are ready to ask:
What is Project Management?
Project management is the planning, delegating, monitoring and control
of all aspects of the project, and the motivation of those involved, to achieve the project objectives within the expected performance targets for:
Time, Cost, Quality, Time, Budget, Scope, Benefits, Risks
In our example of a musical event, we have time, cost, budget, scope, risk, quality, benefits and all the elements. How is the cost of the event, how long it takes to arrange the event, what is the scope: duration, number of signers, number of songs, what type of songs, How we select the songs (procedure of selection), How we will ensure the quality of the program, what are the risks? Any risk in terms of weather, approval, or audience. What are the benefits of the program, who will realize the benefits? We manage all these through project management.
Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan.
Now I have a question for you, as you know what is project and project management,
WHAT Do you think, are you a project manager or not?
Do you ever run any project in your life?
How was your performance?
I always said, this should not be the question, of whether we are project managers or not?
In reality, we all are project managers.
Are you thinking, about how we all are project managers in real life!
Let’s take an easy example, whenever you are moving from place A to B, you need to think about time, risk and cost.
All three are project management characteristics.
You have many events in your life like a birthday party, a tour to the city, all involve planning, time, cost, certain risk, and quality of the event, all these are project management characteristics.
That is why; main question is how efficient we are as project manager.
Also according to PMP, Project management is:
• The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements
• Project Management is accomplished through the application and
integration of the processes such as
– Monitoring and Controlling
• Due to the nature of change, managing a project is iterative and goes through progressive elaboration throughout the project’s lifecycle
You may also need to know the difference between project and operation lik:
You may think, then why do people need to learn project management? I arrange all my events myself!
Yes, that might be true and you are a good candidate for project management. At the same time, it also may happen, you do not know how much you are overspending or doing extra work as you are emotionally attached to the event.
Let's share some of the examples
Worldwide project failure costs $500 billion per month; yes, this is surprisingly huge.
Failure rate of project "at risk" projects is between 50% and 80%.
Why Project Fails…
Inexperienced Project managers, Insufficient measurable and reports
Lack of clearly defined purpose
Lack of quality control, progress control – so that projects do not reveal their exact status/risk/issues until it is too late
Poor estimation of duration, resources, activities and cost
Lack of communication - Leading to products being delivered that do not meet the requirements, unacceptable or unusable product
Cultural and ethical misalignment
People learn project management to know how to:
Deliver to budget, quality and time, while mitigating risks, managing interdependencies and identifying opportunities.
Use a Structured approach with controls to provide a delivery methodology that works repeatedly and will enable you to successfully deliver projects.
Design plans and reports to meet the needs of each level in the project team and Project Board, therefore, improving communication and control.
Manage projects or work in a project environment using the most globally recognized project management method
There are many project management methods, among them, one is PRINCE2®. This is the most popular and 69% of project managers follow the PRINCE2® method, the second one is PMP.
Let us learn about PRINCE2® first, then we can learn about others.
PRINCE2®, a project in a control environment is designed for organizations but you can all apply the learning in your personal life.
PRINCE2® is very easy to understand and implement.
INTRODUCE BY SIMPACT SYSTEM LIMITED in 1975
CCTA PUBLISHED PRINCE in 1989
UPDATED in 1996
BECOME PRINCE2® in year 2000
Updated again in 2009, 2013 and 2017
Latest VERSION is PRINCE2® 6
Standing for PRojects IN Controlled Environments - Most adopted project management method.
The PRINCE2® Project Methodology consists of…
How to Tailor PRINCE2® to suit in Project environment
PRINCE2 Foundation and
Let me take you a bit further,
PRINCE2 principles: The principles are the guiding obligations and good practices which determine whether the project is genuinely being managed using PRINCE2.
Principles are university accepted, more like morals, Be a good human, Be polite, Be nice to everyone, Do not do harm to anyone
The themes describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually and in parallel throughout the project.
Themes are more like first impressions about anything. What comes to your mind when you listen to a word or think about something. What comes to mind when you think about night or dark?
Absence of sun or light, right? Need light to move, should avoid certain areas to avoid mugging or unavoidable incidents, right?
One more example, what comes to mind when you think about visiting a country where war is going on? Risky, dangerous, etc. So this theme,
Processes are a set of coordinated activities. In PRINCE2® processes The processes describe a progression from the pre-project activity of getting started, through the stages of the project lifecycle, to the final act of project closure. Each process has checklists of recommended activities, products and related responsibilities
The seven (7) PRINCE2® principles
Continued Business Justification
Learn from Experience
Defined Roles and Responsibilities
Manage by Stages
Manage by Exception
Focus on Products
Tailor to suit the project environment.
7 crucial themes, limitless benefits:
Business Case answers the why questions? Sets out the justification for each and every project, clearly highlighting what is required and, crucially, when.
Organization theme, answer who will do what? Project roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, for truly seamless project management.
The quality theme, answer what actually the customer will get. A generic method based on proven principles, when you adopt PRINCE2®, quality is assured.
Risk, find answers for all what-if scenarios. Risk analysis and management are key to any project’s successful delivery.
Planning, answering questions like, (How? How much? when?) Specialist aspects of the project can be easily integrated with the PRINCE2® method, for true success.
Change theme, address changes in the project by asking what is the impact on this change. Change may come from customers, corporate, executives or may need external circumstances. For a change, having a clear definition of a project’s configuration management, issue management and change control are key to all you seek to achieve.
Progress, answer where are we? Where are we going? Should we carry on? Project control mechanisms are clearly set out for key project personnel. Progress also helps us to keep the momentum, maintain continued business justification.
Starting up a Project process is part of “Pre-Project”. Main delivery of this process is the Outline Business Case.
Directing a Project is performed by Project Board and used to Authorize Project/Stage, approve Business Case and Give ad-hoc direction to Project Manager
Initiating a Project delivers a different management strategy, Refined the Business Case and produces Project Initiation Document (PID) which contains a project plan
Controlling a Stage deals with assigning tasks to Team Manager, accepting Tasks from Team Manager, Report to Project Board and escalating issues/Risks to the Project board. Controlling a Stage and Managing Product Delivery is optional in the Initiation Stage. Usually, those processes are only invoked if the Initiation stage take a long time or complex delivery is involved
Managing stage Boundaries mainly look after updating the business case with up-to-date information and seeking approval for starting a subsequent stage. This helps us maintain continual business justification principle and theme.
Managing Product Delivery is concerned about accepting and delivering the work packages assigned by Project Manager and performed by Team Manager
Closing a Project invoked at the last stage or can be invoked if the project is close prematurely
Before you leave, you also need to know about just few more things
What PRINCE2® Does not Provide
Specialist aspects: E.g. Business Analysis, Software Development Life Cycle
Detailed Techniques: E.g. Critical path analysis (planning), and earned value analysis (in progress control).
Leadership Capability: E.g. Leadership, motivational skills and other interpersonal skills
Only Techniques that have a specific PRINCE2® approach: Product-based Planning and Quality Review Techniques
What Makes a Project a ‘PRINCE2® Project
All PRINCE's principles are applied
Minimum requirements set out in the PRINCE2® themes are applied
Project processes that satisfy the purpose and objectives of the PRINCE2® processes
Using PRINCE's recommended techniques for using alternative, equivalent techniques.
PRINCE2® Projects in Context
Program: A temporary, flexible organization structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organization’s strategic objectives. A program is likely to have a life that spans several years.
Portfolio: The totality of an organization’s investment (or segment thereof) in the changes required to achieve its strategic objectives.
Proven best practice. Organizations are already achieving objectives.
Provides a common vocabulary –effective communication among people.
Clearly defined roles. Structure for accountability, delegation, authority – ensure Project Governance
Product focus clarifies what project will deliver, why, when, by whom and for whom
Meet the needs of the different levels in the management team
“Manage by exception” – provide efficient and economic use of management
Ensures Focus on the viability of the project– rather than simply completion / Delivery
Defines a Thorough but economical structure of reports
Ensures that stakeholders are properly represented in planning and decision making
Promotes learning and continual improvement in organizations
Promotes consistency of project work and the ability to reuse project assets
Facilitates staff mobility and reduces the impact of personnel changes/handovers
Facilitate assurance and assessment of project work, troubleshooting and audits
Training/consultancy Organization available to support organization for adopt PRINCE2®
A standard provides
Rules, guidelines or characteristics
used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose
Does not state how activities should be carried
A method, such as PRINCE2®,
Provides activities to be done, together with roles and
techniques for undertaking these activities.
A body of knowledge
looks at what a competent project manager should know
Focuses on what and how to do it.
Let us finish, here today, if you want to know more about PRINCE2® please click this link.
If you want to know more about PMP, another popular project management process, click here.
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