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Overview of Project Management

Overview of Project Management:

Background:
Project Management is the application of a broad base of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to realize a project. It is a systematic and a logical process. Project visibility is a very important concept that should be considered by all the small business firms that are considering implementing project management. A project cannot be seen for most of its life time. A project becomes visible only as it grows. The non-visibility part of the project can cause problems for the management of a small business firm. It is essential for small businesses to know the business drivers for the business. It is essential for the project to have a formal project plan. The stakeholders need to be identified. It is essential to ensure that the target dates established for each milestone should be deliverable. Companies should have a process in place in order to monitor project risks. A feasibility study should be carried out before deciding to implement project management techniques. It is essential for small businesses to adhere to goals through continuous monitoring and control using schedule, budgets, audits and contracts. There should be a feedback mechanism and metrics should be established at different points. The project manager should be an ethical person who would efficiently coordinate, direct and control the project. Approximately 34% of all projects succeed in the real world. An average project has a 43% overrun cost. Project would have to pass through the following five stages:
a) Conception phase
b) Definition phase
c) Planning and organizing phase
d) Implementation phase
e) Project clean up phase

There should be a definite deadline for completing the project. It should be measurable. There should be interim deadlines/milestones for the project. The success for a project means that:
a) It must get completed
b) It must be completed within the budget
c) It must get completed within allocated time
d) It must perform to satisfaction

The project management process basically consists of the following five steps:
1) Grouping the work into packages that acquires the properties of the project. The packages are related to one another, contribute to the same goal and are bound by time, cost and performance targets.
2) The project manager is responsible for coordinating, directing and controlling the project.
3) The project should be supported internally within the organization as well as externally through vendors.
4) It is essential to build commitment through negotiations, coordination and focusing on goals through schedules, budgets and contracts.
5) Ensure adherence to goals through continuous monitoring and control

Objectives:
Following my discussion, you will:
- Have an overview about implementation of project management in your company
- Be aware of the attributes of a great project manager

Video Link: Project Management Tips

Description of the Video:
The video discusses the concept of project management. The video initially discusses the attributes of a great project manager. They are:
a) Drives results
b) Organized
c) Communicates effectively
d) Builds and leads a team
e) Flexible
f) Subject matter expert
g) Decision maker
The video states that a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. Project has a definite beginning and end. It is not an ongoing endeavor.
Project management is essentially a framework, decision making model and a questioning technique. It is the practice of defining and achieving targets while optimizing the use of resources (time, capital and people). Project management is a set of approved templates and guidelines designed to share critical information and coordinate teams across a company’s internal functions.

The video states that the project management process essentially goes through five processes. They are:
a) Initiate
b) Plan
c) Execute
d) Control
e) Close

The video discusses some of the initiating questions. They are:
a) Who are the stakeholders?
b) Why are they the stakeholders?
c) What is the project’s priority? How ill it affect the management of the project?
d) What is success? How will a company know as to whether it has achieved the goal?
e) Who will formally accept the results?

The video discusses as to whether Microsoft project should be used for handling the project. The kind of project management technique adopted depends on the prior experience of the firm and the project manager. It also depends on the complexity of the problems that need to be addressed. It is essential to find out as to how much of project management is necessary for a firm. The firms should not over do the project implementation process. The guidelines in the project management system help in deciding as to which questions should be asked. The templates remind the firm that questions need to be asked.

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