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Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, managing, leading, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. Project management is a composite activity with multiple dimensions. Depending on the type and class of project this management activity can be very complex. To make a project successful, the following principles are necessary assets in creating a path to completion. These principles of project management can be applied to any level or branch of a project that falls under a different area of responsibility in the overall project organization.
Project Management Principles
During the initiation process, the nature and scope of the project is defined. Without careful planning of this process, the project is unlikely to meet the needs of the business. Here, need an understanding of the business environment and need to make sure that all controls are incorporated and all deficiencies pointed out and adjusted. Everybody working on the project needs to understand the nature of their involvement: for what is each person responsible, and to whom are they accountable? Without clear roles and responsibilities, nobody will know precisely what he or she is supposed to be doing (and everybody will pass the buck at the first sign of trouble). In such a chaotic environment, the progress of the project will be seriously jeopardized.
After the goals are set in the initiation phase, planning will incorporate details that are specific to make the project work. It is important to take the time to carefully plan out a project, as a poorly planned project will take much longer to complete. Important elements including budget, schedule, risk involved, activities needed, and resources are carefully planned in this phase.
Planning is essential. It helps to: -Communicate what has to be done, when and by whom -Encourage forward thinking -Provide the measures of success for the project -Make clear the commitment of time, resources (people and equipment), and money required for the project -Determine if targets are achievable -Identify the activities the resources need to undertake.
This is when the plan is put into action. This phase will also need precise management of people, time and resources. Communication is essential to be successful in execution. It is vital that clients and customers think carefully about the products, or deliverables, they require, before the project begins. The clearer they can be about their requirements, the more realistic and achievable the plans that can be produced. This makes managing the project much easier and less risky. During the execution phase, issues should be carefully tracked so that the project manager and other team members are aware of any problems that come up during execution.
Monitoring and Controlling
Monitoring and Controlling a project is the process or activities whereby the project manager tracks, reviews and revises the project activities in order to ensure the project creates the deliverables in accordance with the project objectives. Project control really happens close in proximity with project execution. Project control involves monitoring the project for risks and keeping those risks at bay. It also involves keeping changes in the project to a minimum. Project control often mistakenly gets lumped in with project execution functions, but it’s important not to do this. At times, during the control phase, project managers may find that a given risk or problem forces them to revisit phase II – planning. This is because some risks or issues that come up and were unforeseen may make the project, as planned, unable to reach completion. Good project managers will implement a system to monitor and control their project’s progress to ensure project success.
Even a project needs to be closed. This is the phase where there is formal acceptance that the project has ended. This not only includes project closure, but contract closure as well. When a project is complete it is advisable to conduct a controlled closedown. This allows the formal handing over of the final product of the project to the staff responsible for its continued operation. Closing the project includes steps to ensure that all of the aims have been met. Formal acceptance and sign off procedures are carried out to check that all the project products meet the required quality standards.