Weddings, parties, development of a software or product etc. are all projects and every project needs a well detailed plan for success to be attained.
Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to achieve project requirements, usually to time and to budget.
The project manager and project team have one shared goal: to carry out the work of the project for the purpose of meeting the project’s objectives.
While no two projects are exactly alike; all projects should progress through the same five project management phases (or process groups):
The Project Initiation Phase is the 1st phase in the Project Management Life Cycle, as it involves starting up a new project. This phase usually begins by defining objectives, scope, purpose and deliverables to be produced.
The first step of the project initiation phase is the organization’s business needs are identified and documented. Additionally, during the Initiation Phase, a large and complex project may be decided to be split into phases, so as to be more manageable and produce intermediate outputs or results.
During the Planning Phase, information is gathered from many sources with each having varying levels of completeness and confidence. This stage involves creating a set of plans to help guide your team through the execution and closure phases of the project. The plans created during this phase will help you to manage time, cost, quality, change, risk and issues.
The planning phase is iterative. Initially it gives emphasis on exploring all aspects of the scope, technology, risks, schedule and costs. Updates arising from approved changes during project execution may significantly impact parts of planning. As a result, greater precision will be put into planning for all aspects of a project (i.e. schedule, costs, resources, etc.) to meet the defined project scope as a whole. This progressive detailing is often called “rolling wave planning” showing that planning is an iterative and ongoing process. During planning all appropriate stakeholders should be involved, depending on their influence on the project and its outcomes.
The Execution Phase aims at completing the work defined during the planning phase to accomplish the project’s requirements. This phase involves coordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the plan. This phase also addresses the project scope that has already been defined and implements approved changes. Normal execution variances cause some re-planning of the work. These variances may include activity duration’s, resource productivity and availability, and unanticipated risks. Such variances may or may not affect the planning of the project but require some analysis. The result of this analysis can trigger a change request that, if approved, might modify project planning.
Monitoring and Control
This phase is related to observing project execution so that potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of a project. The key benefit of this phase is that project performance is observed and measured regularly to identify variances from planning. This phase also includes controlling changes and recommending preventing actions in anticipation of possible problems. This phase includes, for example:
- Monitoring the ongoing project activities against planning and project performance indicators;
- Influencing the factors that could circumvent integrated change control so that only approved changes are implemented.
This continuous monitoring provides the project team insight into the health of the project and highlights any areas that require additional attention. When variances jeopardize the project’s objectives, appropriate processes within the Planning Phase are revisited. This review can result in recommended updates to the planning of the project.
Project closure is the last phase of the project management process. This phase is related to the formal termination of all activities of a project or a project phase, hand-off the completed product to others or close a cancelled project. This phase, when completed, verifies that the defined processes are completed in all phases to close the project ass appropriate, and formally establishes that the project is finished.
“Of all the thing I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal”. Walt Disney
In a nutshell, I guess we can say Walt Disney realized the importance of project management. Now let us take a second and share some activities we didn’t realize were projects and share comments on how these processes can enable efficient management of those activities.
Author: Terver Uza
- On July 11, 2016
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