Project Management is an application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements and in order to obtain benefits and control not available by managing projects individually. A program is defined as a group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. The objective of project management is to make the final deliverables in a finite time and budget.
There are six constraints of Project Management:
What is a Project?
PMI defines a project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The temporary nature of projects indicates that a project has a definite beginning and end.
Characteristics of a Project
A project has several distinguishing characteristics:
- The definition of project describes the following two characteristics:
- Project is temporary in nature, but has a definite start and end date.
- Project produces a unique output. The output can be product, service, or result.
- A Project comes to an end when:
- Its objectives are met; or
- The sponsor decides to terminate the project as the objectives cannot be met or are no longer required.
- Project work is different from operational work. Operations consist of ongoing, repetitive work.
Feature of Project Management
- For a group of projects to be classified as a program, there must be some value added in managing them together as a program.
- A project need not belong to a program, a program will always have projects.
- A program is designed to deliver some strategic benefits to the organization; the benefits could be tangible or intangible.
- A project manager focuses on fulfilling the requirements of a project, whereas a program manager focuses on delivery of benefits to the organization.
Project Life cycle
- Initiation – Initiation is the step for checking the feasibility and measuring the worth of the project.
- Planning – The planning phase involves making a blueprint for achieving the project’s objectives.
- Execution – The execution phase involves the allocation of resources and making of the deliverables.
- Monitoring – The Monitoring phase involves project Manager monitoring and controlling the working of the project and ensures the project is going as per schedule.
- Closure – The closure is the final stage of the project, where everything, including what went wrong and what went right all through the process is summed up.
Key Focus areas of Project Management
- Scope – Scope Refers to the inputs provided to take the project from the first step to the last step. The scope determines the feature, boundaries, budget, and deadlines of the project.
- Schedule – The Schedule is a plan of performing a specific work within a particular time interval and achieving the desired objective. The Schedule refers to the starting date, the finishing date, and the duration of the project.
- Cost – Cost refers to the process estimating, allocating, and monitoring funds needed in a project. There are actions taken now and then in the project to ensure that the project is on budget.
- Quality – Quality refers to what a customer or a stakeholder requires from the project deliverables. Quality includes processes and activities that are to be performed to meet the objectives and requirements for which it was undertaken.
- Resources – Resources help in carrying out a specific task in a project in the best possible manner. Resources can be people, equipment, funds, facilities, or anything else that is needed to meet the project requirements.
- Stakeholders – Stakeholders are the ones who have an interest in the deliverables of the project. Stakeholders can be part of the project team, project manager, project sponsors, customers, or users.
- Communication – Communication amongst all stakeholders is an essential aspect of project management for successful project execution. Improving communication increases the ration of success and decreases the probability of risk.
- Risk – A risk is an unexpected event that can affect anything in a project, people, technology, processes, or resources. Every project has a certain number of risks, and to do a successful project; one must first identify the risk to deal with it efficiently.
- Procurement – Procurement refers to the act of obtaining the materials and services that are needed to meet the project goals. Procurement includes the need to purchase, rent, or contract with some external resources.
- Critical Success Factor – Critical success factor refers to the elements that are necessary for an organization to achieve the project’s objectives. Critical success factor may differ from one organization to another, depending on their respective goals. Measure is Key Performance Index.
- Deliverables – Deliverables refers to the output within the scope of the project. There can be one or more deliverables within a single project; these deliverables may be the items that are to be sent externally to a customer or a stakeholder.
- Work Breakdown – Work breakdown is an efficient deliverable approach that refers to the division of a task into smaller components. The smaller parts make the task-independent and more manageable for the team.
Project Management Tools
Project Management Tools helps to keep the streamline flow in the Project Management Process. The tools, the team or an individual to carry out the steps of the project Management in an effective and efficient manner.
Essential features of a Project Management Tool
- Real-Time Reporting – Real-Time Reporting enables the access of data at different locations of the project management. Once can access data at any time about the project’s current status.
- Risk Analysis – Risk analysis helps to identify, analyze, and respond to the risk quickly and efficiently.
- Collaboration – The Project Management tools must allow for collaboration so the whole team can work together. Collaboration not only makes the task easier, but also increases the productivity of the project.
- API Integration – API or Application Programming Interface enables the sharing of data and applications between devices. The tools with API integration allow seamless connectivity amongst the team.
- Customizable – Project Management tool must be easy to configure according to the organization’s needs. There are business patterns that change every day, so having a customizable tool is an added advantage.
- Simple to Use – Project Management tools need to be suitable for your project. One needs to find a tool that will have a pleasant interface and increase work productivity.