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What is project management? Mistakes,Recommendations

What is project management?

Project management is the management of a time-limited and coherent set of activities and processes that aim to implement, create or change something specific.

Project management represents proven and described procedures, organized efforts, dealing comprehensively with the implementation and management of a defined set of activities. The purpose of project management is to ensure effective management of a set of activities so as to deliver the expected result and benefit. Project management thus represents the application of knowledge, skills, activities, tools, and techniques to the project so that the project meets the requirements for it and achieves its objectives.

In the form of a project, it is possible to realize different types of products to customers or different activities within the organization. There are organizations that deliver their products to customers solely in the form of a project, such as construction companies, single-piece enterprises or IT companies that deliver the implementation of various information and communication technologies. There are also organizations for which the supply of their products in the form of a project is complementary, which does not mean that project management is not suitable for them. In fact, most organizations are affected by project management, whether they are aware of it or not. It is only a measure of its use and intensity. Every organization makes organizational changes or changes its information system and these are by their nature a complete set of activities aimed at introducing change.


Project management within the organization includes an inherent matrix organizational structure that is related to the balance of powers and responsibilities of the project manager towards other project or line managers, but also to the powers and responsibilities of all project participants, i.e. the entire project team.


Project management can be performed using various tools/software that has different functions depending on the project's needs or projects to be managed. Project management tools range from the simplest to enable project registration, Gantt charting, and complex systems for large Enterprise Project Management and Enterprise Resource Management systems and include system coordination capabilities projects, risk management, financial planning, capacity planning, and optimization, and more.


What are the most common mistakes we make in project management?

  • Initial decisions in the project preparation phase are taken authoritatively, without thorough analysis and discussion in the team. The hasty and often erroneous decisions of the managers must then be corrected in the next phases of the project.
  • Individual project activities are defined according to rough estimates and inaccurately. Little attention is paid to a thorough analysis of time and financial requirements. The result is further corrections in the project management phase.
  • Project management is directive, without good communication and cooperation with individual employees. One of the important qualities of a project manager must be his ability to pull people and activate them. The terms of the project are usually not only fulfilled because, as is typical of us all, people postpone their responsibilities and begin to deal with the task only when the term actually "burns".

Also, read: Channels of communication

Some recommendations for successful project management

  • It should be ensured that only one person is responsible for the project at a time.
  • Regardless of the pressure, do not start a project without a signed contract and clarified project parameters, timeframe, and funding for the project.
  • From the beginning of the project, it is necessary to stick to the defined scope of the project, which must be clear to the owner (investor) and a member of the design team.
  • It needs to be thoroughly analyzed whether the project budget is in line with its scope.
  • When organizing work on a project, it is important to focus on results and not on people being employed.
  • The larger project must be divided into smaller parts that can be defined and measured.
  • Thoroughly elaborate on the organizational structure of the project with a clear definition of responsibilities and powers.
  • Devote enough time to build and develop the design team.
  • To ensure that the quality of the project is not reduced when concentrating on deadlines and budget.
  • To elaborate the project budget in detail (each activity in the project entails certain costs), time schedule and control system for timely detection of deviations in the project.
  • Problems that arise not to hide in the project, but to openly discuss them and solve them together with other team members.
  • Documenting every project activity - which seems unimportant, can later be very important.
  • Resolve project changes by contracting with partners.
  • It is necessary to have constant contact and information between the designer, the owners, and the suppliers.
  • The project needs to harmonize the activities of several specialists and the perspectives of different professions, which requires good communication.
  • Serial activities need to be replaced by a parallel project organization so that individual activities run concurrently and quickly.

Three categories of project management

The essence of project management belongs to the broad category of project management engineering, which can be simply divided into three categories according to different fields of application. They are information project management, engineering project management, and investment project management.



In the IT information industry, the purpose of a company's project is to overcome a certain technology or complete a certain product, it is necessary to introduce information project management procedures to perform tasks. In the course of carrying out engineering projects such as construction, bridges, and horticulture, engineering project management should be used. And investment project management is applicable to the control of the financial investment field, focusing on avoiding financial risks. It can be seen that in different industries, project management has different titles and different emphasis.

Nine systems of project management


The project management system is a systematic concept. Whether it is information project management or engineering project management, it will involve the use of the system. The nine major project management systems are proposed by the American Project Management Institute. By studying these basic nine major knowledge systems, a set of effective project management programs can be designed.



Project integration management: The core of project integration management is "coordination", which needs to comprehensively summarize the needs of all parties, and can balance gains and losses, and avoid risks. The content of integrated management includes project plan development, project plan implementation, and project comprehensive change control. It can be said that the overall management of the project is a difficult task that requires managers to think globally.

Project scope management: Project scope management is a more complex concept, which refers to the process of defining and distinguishing what a project includes and excludes. This will allow project managers and executives to reach a consensus. The content of project scope management includes: determining project requirements, defining the scope of planned projects, implementation of scope management, scope change control management, and scope verification.

Project time management: Project progress often attaches to the timeline, showing the indivisibility of the two. Being able to complete the project on time and quality is something that every project manager wants to do. Therefore, project time management requires managers to be able to reasonably arrange project start and end times and sub-task development cycles. This can be divided into 5 processes: activity definition, activity sequencing, activity duration estimation, scheduling schedule, and schedule control.

Project cost management: Project cost management requires managers to be able to reasonably and scientifically schedule all completed tasks within a given budget. Project management needs to rely on 4 processes to complete, namely: formulating cost management plan, cost estimation, cost budget, and cost control.

Project quality management: Project quality can be divided into narrow and broad definitions. Project quality in the narrow sense refers to the quality of products produced through project processing, which has certain use-value and incidental attributes. Project quality in a broad sense also includes the quality of project management work. The narrow process of project management quality includes quality planning, quality assurance, quality control.

Project communication management: Project development is not a matter of one person, but requires the collaboration of members of the entire project team. Among them, it is necessary to continuously communicate and cooperate with project team members. Obviously, the importance of communication is self-evident. Project communication management work can include a communication plan, information dissemination, implementation report, and administrative summary.

Project human resource management: In project management, manpower is the fundamental driving force for the project, and the rational arrangement of personnel is also an important management task. Project managers need to complete some steps when setting up human resource allocation: role and responsibility allocation, staffing management plan and organization chart.

Project risk management: Project risk management can be divided into two parts, one is identifying risks and the other is dealing with risks. In the process of project development, it is inevitable that various problems will be encountered, and project risk management is to avoid risks as much as possible to ensure that the project can proceed normally. Project risk management includes these four processes: risk output, risk quantification, countermeasure research, and implementation control.

Project procurement management: Project procurement is a way for the project team to obtain processing materials or services from the outside. Adequate and reasonable project procurement can ensure that the project is completed on time and quality, and unnecessary waste is avoided. Project procurement management is divided into four processes: planning procurement, implementing procurement, controlling procurement, and ending procurement.

Also, read: Effective teamwork in the workplace 

The value and significance of project management

For individuals:
  • Reflect the personal comprehensive literacy of the project manager, and prove the ability, wisdom, and skills of the individual.
  • Improved the individual's professional ability, and also found out shortcomings from work.
  • Build confidence and win the attention of the leadership
For businesses:
  • Able to help enterprises complete specified tasks within the set schedule.
  • can help companies complete the project content at a reasonable cost.
  • Unite internal staff and improve cooperation awareness.
  • The project can bring more income-generating opportunities to the enterprise.

Professional software for project management

These are a really good software for project management.
Also, read: What is organizational communication and what is work meeting? 

Methodologies for project management

Stages of project management
The stages or phases of project management are as follows:

Feasibility analysis: The initial step is to determine how viable or convenient the project is, that is, what it means to carry it forward in financial, logistical and profitability terms. If the investment in a project far exceeds its profitability, there must be other compelling reasons to carry it forward.

Work planning: Then we proceed to enumerate and detail the different tasks that the project will carry out, that is, the steps that will have to be followed, without losing sight of the resources that each step will require and the necessary cost, effort and time estimates.

Project execution: At this stage, the planned tasks are carried out and a report is made of how they occur, that is, what stumbles they encounter, what results they produce and all the information necessary to feed the control stage. This is the stage in which everything planned is displayed.

Monitoring and control: In this step, it should be ensured that the process is yielding the expected results, and the pertinent conclusions must be drawn from the information collected during the execution. Based on these conclusions, strategies may be modified, corrective actions taken and the process directed towards an ideal result.

Project Closure: The completion of a project is also very important since at this stage the entire process is evaluated in retrospect, taking note of the failures, accidents, unforeseen events and preparing a report that serves for the planning and execution of the future projects. This is the learning stage. If the projects are successful, it is here that the backup or backup of the achievements is made.

Benefits of project management

The benefits of efficient project management are not few:
  • Effective disposition of resources and time. Avoiding waste, shortage and other obstacles that would reduce the profitability of the project.
  • Greater control over the destiny of the organization. Since you can visualize and organize (prioritize, rank, for example) the projects to undertake.
  • Greater guarantee of success. Since unplanned projects are at the mercy of what may go wrong, without awareness of what they imply or simply occur in a disorganized manner.
  • Higher learning margins. Since project management finally yields valuable reports regarding the proceeding of the organization and its virtues and disadvantages in the execution of projects.
References:

“Project management” in tic.Portal .
“The 3 methodologies for managing the most used projects” at OBS Business School.
“Project management: concept, benefits and phases” in The Workmeter blog.
"Project management basics: 6 steps to create an infallible project plan" in Wrike




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