Introduction to project management basics
As per a PMI study, demand for project managers is increasing faster than any other occupation. As you are aware, More & more Companies moving to automation to save their operational cost, which resulted in a reduction of the workforce. But, to plan and implement any automation work, you need a project manager. With the arrival of new technologies like AI, IoT new opportunities are created for project managers. While the demand for project managers is going high but availability is low and the skill gap is getting wider. The new challenge is how to meet the ever-increasing demand of project managers
The goal of this article is to provide the basics aspects of project management for beginners. It would help you to learn the basic concepts of project management easily. It is suitable for beginners to learn project management basics and could be their first step towards a project management career.
What is the project?
As per PMBOK (1.2.1 Projects), the project is a temporary Endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. It’s a short and complete definition of a project. A temporary organization is created called the project team to deliver business results agreed in the project contract.
Here, the keywords are UNIQUE and TEMPORARY. A project is done for a specific purpose and the Output of a project could be tangible (physical) or Intangible (e.g. Goodwill) or in between like service. The word ‘Temporary’ indicates that Unlike operation, projects are non-repetitive and temporary in nature- it will have a definite start and end time.
Example of project
The creation of a unique product is considered a project. The work to fix the defects in the product or a Correction/ enhancement to the existing products is also considered as a project.
Construction of building /Bridges and new IT infrastructure and enhancement to existing infra are also considered as projects.
Take the example of a wedding. A wedding is temporary in nature and the objective of the wedding is to create a UNIQUE experience. Quality food need to arrange, the venue for the wedding need to book, arranging camera personal
Characteristics of the project
- Uncertain– A project may face risks and uncertainty. For a Risk, the impact is known to the project team whereas the impact of uncertainty is unknown.
- Cross-functional– Project Manager create a project team from members of different functions
- Temporary – There are a definite start and end time for any projects.
- Change – Project brings change. A project manager works as change agents by influencing the stakeholder who is resistant to change.
- Unique -Every project creates a unique product or service or result
What is the difference between project objective and Deliverables -The project objective is the goal of the project and the deliverable is the product /service/result is given to the customer /sponsor created by the project to achieve the goal?
The aspect of project performance
How do you know if a project is on right track? You can use the Project performance parameters to see how a project is progressing. It is measured in terms of Time, Cost, Quality, Scope, Benefit, and Risk or their combinations.
any of the below aspects or its combinations. It’s also called a constraint. A constraint limit project activity in achieving its goal. The current performance parameter is measured against its planned values to assess project performance.
A stakeholder may differ on what makes a project successful. So, it’s is important to define the project objectives in clear and measurable terms and get stakeholder agreement on what the project needs to achieve to consider it as successful.
A project can be closed once it met its objectives or it can be terminated if funding /resources are not available or if it doesn’t serve its purpose any longer. A change in legal requirements could also lead to the termination of a project.
Lessons learned are captured in the closing stage before releasing resources for another project. So, even a terminated Project is not a complete failure because the lesson learned from that project could be used for similar projects.
Why project fails
A project becomes a failure when it unable to deliver what is required within its accepted constraints. But in real cases, the project success is determined by stakeholder’s happiness with the project outcome. As per PMI research, the failure percentage across all the industries in 2016 is 14%.
The main reason for Project failure, achieving project objectives are:
- Lack of leadership
- Poor estimation of time and cost
- Lack of attention to the benefit
- Scope Creep
As per the latest research report, the success percentage is improvising.
Project & Busines Strategy
Business strategy decides what activities the company will do to reach its business goal. it’s what an organization to do to meet its business goal. While business analysis determines how business value the project going to create, Bustiness strategy determines the context in which the project is being initiated.
In another word, the business analysis identifies how the benefit is created for stakeholders. A business benefit could be monetary benefits or an intangible benefit like reputations or goodwill. But it is the business strategy, which is the main reason for initiating a project. The context in which are project is carried can be categorized into four.
- Legal requirement
- Stakeholder request
- Market demand
- Technological Advance
If any project is not in alignment with strategy, then it needs to be terminated immediately.
Project Management is the application of knowledge (Project knowledge and Product knowledge) a Technique (interpersonal, Technical, or management skill) and Tools (EVM, Decomposition) to achieve its business goal. It deals with planning, delegating, monitoring, and administrate the project. The project manager motivates the project team to achieve the objectives within the expected time & cost.
A project is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of the process. The primary challenge is to achieve the project goal and objective while respecting project constraints.
The benefit of project management
Why do we need project management? Can we execute a project without project management? Yes, such a project bound to fail. Project Management helps organizations to execute project effective and efficient managers. It means getting the right things done. It also helps to execute the project efficiently, which is getting things done right. It also helps organizations to achieve the strategic objectives of the organization.
Project Management and Business Strategy
The company`s strategy identifies a goal and finds a way to achieve its goals. Project Management is one of the ways to achieve corporate goals. An example of a Corporate goal is Excellent Customer support. Companies implement a strategy to achieve their goal and projects is one of the steps in their way to achieving strategic goals. We will discuss more on the business strategy in the next few chapters as well.
Hope this article is informative for you. If you have any question, please leave a comment