Project Management

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What is a Project?

A project can be defined as:-

A management environment that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more products for a specific purpose

The normal characteristics of a project are

  • A finite and defined life cycle
  • Defined and measurable products
  • A set of activities to achieve the products
  • A defined amount of resources
  • An organisational structure, with defined responsibilities, to manage the project

A project by its nature is a temporary structure that is created to deliver a specific benefit or objective.  When the work has been completed the project is disbanded.

Why do projects fail?

Some of the main reasons why projects fail are:

  • Lack of customer involvement
  • Lack of project management
  • Lack of communication
  • Inadequate planning and preparation
  • Poor product specification (Scope creep)

It is during the start up phase of a project that the foundations for its success or failure will be built.  It is worth spending effort during the startup phase to build a sound foundation.

What is Project Management?

Project Management involves the day to day management of a project and includes:-

  • People management
  • Contract management
  • Generic planning including process charts and critical path analysis
  • Quality management
  • Budget control

Project Management Steps

The key steps in a project are

  1. Start up
    • Define the Business Case
    • Define the project board
    • Define the project team
    • Create the project  brief
    • Indentify possible issues
    • Indentify possible risks
    • Create product breakdown structure
  2. Planning
    • Speak to users of the business products
    • Set customers and suppliers expectations
    • Agree project specification and budget
    • Review business case
  3. Implementation
    • Carry out project tasks
    • Keep stakeholders informed of progress and issues
    • Review Business Case
  4. Closure
    • Ensure the correct product has been delivered
    • Get agreement that the project is complete and can be closed
    • Analysis and document what went well and where improvements could have been made
    • Archive all project documentation