This article is to let you introduce you to the world of project management especially through the eye PMI project management professional.
If you are new the Project Management then be aware there are some new technical terms that you will read. But don’t worry I’ll try my best to explain them.
So let’s get started.
Q1: What is project?
In layman term a project is work that has a specific begin and end date. So dates are important in project specially the end date, i.e. when is that work going to finish.
In more technical term as per PMI standards.
“A Project is temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result”
Q2: When and why does a project start?
A project could be initiated due to number of reason, e.g.
- Market Demand: when most of potential or existing customers have a need or demand of a specific product or service. To serve that need project can be initiated.
- Business needs: Requirements that a particular business must meet such as recording of it transaction.
- Customer Requirement: When customer asks for particular need that should be fulfilled.
- Technology Advances: When core technology on which the business is running advances so to take advantage of its advancement project taken. for eg. iOS is upgraded to from 5 to 6 version so applications needs to be upgraded and should be called as project.
- Legal Requirements: Sometimes laws also require business to change /add its process or deliverables.
Q3: When and Why a project Ends ?
A Project should end when the objective for which it is initiated has been met. However there could be other reasons also when project can end such as:
a) Project Scope. When the scope of the project changes beyond the minor scope creep, it may call for a new project and terminating existing project.
b) Cost: when the cost of project exceeds beyond its allocated budget.
c) Time: When project is not getting completed on its scheduled time
d) Resources: When there is short supply of resources may be human or Infrastructure and hence project cannot be completed.
e) Technical Reason: Many times a project starts well but latter on as details emerges it could stop due to unrealistic, ambiguous requirements or specifications. Sometimes lack of planning, poor risk management or obsolete results are also reason for premature death of a project.
Please note premature end of project is not always a bad thing. Sometime you save money/time/resources/reputation by terminating the project early rather than completing the substandard project which is not wanted or used by anyone.
Q4: What is Project Management?
Project management is the application of Knowledge , skill, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. As per PMI standards, Project generally goes through 47 process divided under 5 Process groups. namely:1) Initiating. 2) Planning. 3) Executing. 4) Monitoring & Control. 5) Closing.
Each process is further categorised under 9 Knowledge areas namely:
- 1) Integration Management.
- 2) Scope Management.
- 3) Time Management.
- 4) Cost Management.
- 5) Quality Management.
- 6) Human Resource management.
- 7) Communication Management.
- 8)Risk Management.
- 9) Procurement Management.
Q5: Who is Project manager and what he do?
A Project manager (PM) is person assigned by organisation to achieve project objectives. One of the main purposes of PM is to satisfy needs, i.e. Project needs, task needs, team needs, individual needs, management needs. A project manager should possess competencies in three areas 1) Knowledge (what to do). 2) Performance (how to do). 3) Personal & Interpersonal skill (Attitude, Leadership, Motivation, Influencing, Negotiations, communication, Decision making)
Q6: What happens after projects ends successfully?
After Project has ended successfully i.e. in technical terms Project is close. It is handed over to Operation Management.
Q7: What is Operation Management?
Operation management in contrast with Project management is of repetitive nature. It’s more of a permanent type job rather than temporary. Where Project has definite begin and end date, a operation management does day2day job of organisation. Operational management create Business Value while Project Management creates “Greater” Business Value from investment.
Q8: So what is Business Value?
Business Value is total sum of Tangible ( monetary, equity, Fixtures, processes, Utilities) and Intangible assets(Goodwill, Reputation, Recognition, brand value) of organisation.
Q9: What are main challenges of Project Management?
In classical terms it can be answered as managing triple constraints of Time, Cost and Scope. There are three more constraints added lately in addition to three, i.e. Risk, Quality and Resources.
This concludes this topic of introduction to Project management. In subsequent Articles I’ll discuss the Process that a Project under goes during its life cycle and will start with process of Project Charter. We will follow natural approach in understanding each process i.e. first we discuss all process in Initiating Group, then Planning, then Executing and so on.