Project management fundamentals

Project management refers to a set of activities with different dimensions. It depends on the type of project and the requirements. The management activity could be quite challenging. We can say that it is a discipline that includes planning, organizing, managing, leading and securing resources to arrive at the goal.

It has a defined beginning and is usually constrained by time, quality, deliverables and budget.  The primary challenge of project management is to accomplish all the project objectives and goals amidst constraints and risks.

In a nutshell, we can define project management as the proper application of skills, knowledge, tools and techniques to meet certain requirements.

To achieve a successful project, one has to complete the five phases of project management and its related principles. It applies to any type and level of the project:

  1. Initiation of the project- ideas and plans related to it should be examined thoroughly. Hence, a decision-making team is needed to identify the feasibility of the project. The common goal here is “what should be done?” this question will lead to creating the structure plan. It is the phase when project managers will set a project timeline by creating milestones. It will correspond to the anticipated results and costs as milestones represent different steps of the project.
  1. Definition and planning- the ideas or project scopes should be put in writing with a detailed outline on how to carry out the tasks. It is when estimating or budgeting the cost of materials, workforce, and permits were discussed. A precise definition of the project is crucial as many projects would go wrong at this stage. Thus, the entire team should be part of it. The manager should define the goal of the project using the SMART paradigm (specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, and time-bounded).
  1. Execution- tasks, and resources will be distributed to the rest of the team at this phase. Everyone should know their roles, commitments and responsibilities. Likewise, this is the perfect time to discuss vital information and related issues. Structure plans, flow charts, and reports should be produced at this phase. It helps everyone to determine the status and lapses of the project, and they will have the chance to come up with solutions. Risks and potential problems should also be identified early so the managing team can look for other possible approach or strategies and avoid delaying the project.
  1. Control- along with the process, project managers will check and compare the status and overall progress of their work. They might do revisions, rescheduling, and other necessary adjustments to complete the project on time. The Project Manager is responsible for managing the team and securing the approval of the client all throughout the process. It includes reports, meetings, and escalation of issues that cannot be resolved by the team. Thus, he or she needs to have strong interpersonal skills, sense of responsibilities and better understanding managerial concepts.
  1. Evaluation- after all the tasks is complete and the project is finished, an evaluation takes place which the client has to approve. It is essential to see if the team succeeds and if they were able to achieve their objectives and goals.

Project management and its process may vary from one industry to another. However, the steps above are part of the traditional elements. It also revolves in three parameters which are resources, quality and time.

Risk recognition is also a vital part of every project management activity. It is normal for any project to be confronted with risks. Thus, the team should be conscious and strict when it comes to implementation of tasks, appointments, schedules and performance.

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