What is a project?
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or specific result. The temporary nature of projects means that they have specific start and finish dates. A project has clear goals and objectives which are agreed upon by the stakeholders but it also has constraints such as budget, time and resource limitations. Projects typically involve multiple tasks which may be carried out by one or more people.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling resources in order to meet these stated goals within the context of the above mentioned limitations.
There are four main project management approaches:
1. The “waterfall” approach which is a linear process where the various phases of the project are completed sequentially in a fixed order. This approach is a “big design up front” (BDUF) approach, meaning it tries to identify every detail of the project upfront. It relies on predictability and reliability and when a change needs to be made, it can cause significant downstream delays.
2. The “rapid prototype” approach focuses on quick and cost-effective development through the production of a prototype that will help identify potential risks or solutions to issues within the design before final implementation
3. The “agile” approach includes iterative development cycles where requirements can evolve through collaboration between developers and end-users, where software is produced in a series of short development cycles (often referred to as sprints), and where requirements are prioritized based on the most important features for the customer.
This approach is becoming popular with those looking to reduce costs by getting products to market faster while still maintaining some flexibility within their design.
4. The “lean” approach focuses on waste reduction in all processes and ignoring anything that is not a direct value-add to the end user of their product. This approach has been popularized by Japanese companies looking for ways to reduce costs while maintaining high quality standards
What is a project management methodology?
Project management methodology consists of the processes, practices and tools used to manage a project from initiation through completion. It is important to define how the project will be managed at each phase of development so that stakeholders know what to expect.
What are the phases of a typical project management process?
1. Project Definition: The project team outlines their goals and objectives, and the project structure including deliverables, resources requirements, timelines, risks factors and constraints.
2. Project Planning: The project plan is created to outline tasks that need to be completed as well as identify deadlines in order to achieve the goals set out during the project definition phase
3. Execution: The work of a given stage or phase must be completed in the time allowed.
4. Monitoring & Controlling: Once the work of a given stage or phase is completed, it is reviewed by one or more persons authorized to make changes.
5. Closing: the project and its deliverables are formally accepted before beginning of subsequent stage or phase.
6. Project Evaluation: The final evaluation of how well the project goals were achieved
How can success of a project be measured?
Project success can be measured by analysing key performance indicators such as:
- The quality and timeliness of deliverables;
- Frequent or unexpected changes; and,
- Delays in meeting deadlines or milestones
Why is project management important for businesses? What are the benefits?
Project management is a process for achieving specific goals and objectives. It can be done in many different ways but the basic objective is to ensure effective utilization of resources, coordination among team members and successful completion of work within the given constraints. When applied effectively, project management makes it possible to save time and money, achieve greater efficiency or productivity and meet customer expectations.
What is the difference between projects and other types of management?
Projects have a definite start and finish date whereas this is not always true of other types of management approaches. Projects also focus on achieving specific goals, objectives or outcomes whereas there might be more general goals in strategic management or operational areas. Project management emphasizes overall coordination of resources and factors such as time, cost and quality.
All information and details in our articles and information have been compiled to the best of our knowledge. However, they are provided without liability. This information cannot replace individual advice in specific cases.
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