Project management

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. It is often closely related to and sometimes conflated with program management.

A project is a temporary endeavor, having a defined beginning and end (usually constrained by date, but can be by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet particular goals and objectives, usually to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management.

The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived project constraints. Typical constraints are scope, time, and budget. The secondary - and more ambitious - challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives.

A traditional phased approach identifies a sequence of steps to be completed. In the "traditional approach", we can distinguish 5 components of a project (4 stages plus control) in the development of a project.

Typical development phases of a project:

  • Project initiation stage;
  • Project planning or design stage;
  • Project execution or production stage;
  • Project monitoring and controlling systems;
  • Project completion stage.

Program Life Cycle

PRINCE 2

PRINCE2 is a structured approach to project management, released in 1996 as a generic project management method. It combined the original PRINCE methodology with IBM's MITP (managing the implementation of the total project) methodology. PRINCE2 provides a method for managing projects within a clearly defined framework. PRINCE2 describes procedures to coordinate people and activities in a project, how to design and supervise the project, and what to do if the project has to be adjusted if it does not develop as planned.

In the method, each process is specified with its key inputs and outputs and with specific goals and activities to be carried out. This allows for automatic control of any deviations from the plan. Divided into manageable stages, the method enables an efficient control of resources. On the basis of close monitoring, the project can be carried out in a controlled and organized way.

PRINCE2 provides a common language for all participants in the project. The various management roles and responsibilities involved in a project are fully described and are adaptable to suit the complexity of the project and skills of the organization.

Project Manager

A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications or software development. Many other fields in the production, design and service industries also have project managers.

A project manager is the person accountable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the triple constraint for projects, which is cost, time, and scope.

A project manager is often a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the firm they are representing. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the contracting party, and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client satisfaction, can be realized.

Source: Wikipedia

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