Good project management results from looking at a number of components:-
The Business Case is the information that drives the project. It answers the questions
- Why is the organisation undertaking this project?
- What are the benefits of this project to the organisation?
The business case should be reviewed regularly during the project lifespan and if the answer to either of the above questions changes then it may affect how the project develops.
If there is no valid business case then why is the project being undertaken?
Many projects run successfully with a structure made up of no more than a project manager and project staff. For larger projects there may need to be a more formal organisational structure which includes
- Executive/Senior Management
- Represents the interests of the business
- promotes the business case
- is responsible for ensuring that the project delivers its benefits
- Project Board
- The executive is represented by the project manager
- Is representative of all stakeholders in the project eg.
- Executive / project manager
- Project Manager
- Manages the day to day running of the project on behalf of the project board
- Staff Members
- Responsible for delivering the products or services as defined by the project manager
- Have specialist knowledge and expertise
The project plans are owned by the project manager and
- Provide estimates of costs and timescales
- Detail what steps will be carried out when and by whom
- List key mile stones and decision points
- Detail what resources are required and when
- Used to monitor progress
Controls are the processes and procedures that are put in place to ensure that the project is delivered on time and within budget eg. project meetings
Management of Risk
All projects involve an element of risk. Risk is defined as the uncertainty of an outcome and can be positive or negative. The management of risk involves:-
- Identifying, recording and reviewing all project risks
- Assigning owners to risks
- Minimising the impact of any project risks
Quality is the process of ensuring a product is fit for purpose. It is essential that a project has an agreed set of quality criteria that are measurable.
The final product of a project is made up of collection of smaller sub products. Configuration Management is about identifying all the sub-products and their versions that make up a particular version of the final product.
A frequent cause of project failure is ‘scope creep’. This occurs when changes to a project are not identified and managed, and the project fails to deliver its original objectives. Change control is about managing any changes to the scope of the project and ensuring that all changes are approved by the project board.