What is project management?

What is a project?

A project is an activity that:

  • is temporary having a start and end date
  • is unique
  • brings about change
  • has unknown elements, which therefore create risk
  • Generally projects are formed to solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.
  • Business as usual activities can often be mistaken for projects.

Common project terms

Deliverables: Tangible ‘things’ that the project produces

• Milestones: Dates by which major activities are performed.

• Tasks: Also called Actions. Activities undertaken during the project

• Risks: Potential problems that may arise

• Issues: Risks that have happened

• Gantt Chart: A specific type of chart showing time and tasks. Usually created by a Project Management program like MS Project.

• Stakeholder: Any person or group of people who may be affected by your project

What is project management?

Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints.

A successful Project Manager must simultaneously manage the four basic elements of a project: resources, time, money, and most importantly, scope.

All these elements are interrelated. Each must be managed effectively. All must be managed together if the project is to be a success. The resource that can be leveraged to the greatest extent in all projects is the people involved.

Who is a project manager?

A person with a diverse set of skills –management, leadership, technical, conflict management, and customer relationship who is responsible for:
– initiating,
– planning,
– executing,
– controlling,
– monitoring,
– and closing down a project
Project Managers are essentially jugglers. They must make sure that everything keeps to task, that potential issues are quickly eliminated and the project is delivered on time, all the while making sure everyone knows what is happening and the project quality and budget are acceptable.

Specifically they:

  • direct all activities required to successfully meet the project objectives
  • manage risk – scanning ahead for potential issues and resolving them before they become a problem
  • solve problems – recommending alternative approaches to problems that arise and providing guidance to the Project Sponsor
  • track and report project progress
  • communicate to all stakeholders in the project

Steps of project management

Traditionally (depending on what project management methodology is being used), project management includes a number of elements: four to five project management process groups, and a control system. Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, the same basic project management processes or stages of development will be used. Major process groups generally include

• Initiation
• Planning
• Production or execution
• Monitoring and controlling
• Closing

Why do projects fail?

1. Poor project and program management discipline

2. Lack of executive-level support

3. Wrong team members

4. Poor communication

5. No measures for evaluating the success of the project

6. No risk management

7. Inability to manage change

A project has a degree of UNCERTAINTY. In project planning many assumptions are made regarding:

• access to resources.

• resource capability.

• impact of environmental factors.

• These assumptions are not always accurate.

• Requires project managers to re-assess and trade-offs between requirements, costs, and time. Above all, be PRO-ACTIVE.

Measuring project success

We measure the success of a project using 4 major project constraints, specifically:

– Scope.

– Cost.

– Schedule (Time).

– Customer satisfaction (quality and performance)

Project constraints

• Project scope – Have all the project requirements (i.e., deliverables) been completed?

• Project cost – Is the cost of the project close to the amount the customer has agreed to pay?

• Schedule – Was the project completed on time?

• Customer satisfaction – Is the customer happy with the quality of the project?

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Arnab Ghosh

My name is Arnab Ghosh. I have been working as a Corporate professional for the past 19 years. After completing my graduation from City College {University of Calcutta}, I started my career with R.S.Software India, followed by Vedika Software Pvt.Ltd. Have worked with industry giants such as Convergys, Satyam Nipuna Services, Wipro BPO, Tata Teleservices Limited, Aircel, TaxiForSure, Brainware University among others. I am a certified trainer from Aircel Academy – Manager As a Coach & Trainer. I have also completed certifications from TBO Academy & Alison Education in the field of “Soft Skills“, the knowledge of which I apply to my students at my University regularly. I have also successfully completed “The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing” certification from Google and “Digital Marketing Course” from TBO Academy. I was awarded “Google Analytics for Beginners” certificate by Google after successfully completing their course. I have achieved CEFR level B2 (Upper Intermediate) in a test of English proficiency from the British Council English Score. I am a bundle of drive, energy, commitment, and dedication and firmly believe in living my life in my own terms, be it working my heart out to achieve business targets or enjoying my spare time doing things that give me joy and feelings of contentment. My hobbies include reading books & listening to music and blogging. I sincerely believe that one should never lose focus in life and that one has to put in a lot of hard work & effort to reach the top.