Project Management in the simplest terms means all the steps or the entire process that is involved in a project. It will usually start with the conceptualization and ends with closure with many steps or sub-steps in the middle. There are some project management courses which delve into the concept of project management in detail. It also means the manner in which knowledge, tools and processes are brought together to achieve project objectives or goals.
Let us take a quick look at what the steps in project management are.
- Project Initiation – This is mainly the conceptualization phase of the project. At this stage, it is mainly an assessment of the overall idea that the project is based on and how viable it is. The business need for the project is also evaluated. These aspects help the leadership team and organization decide whether a project should be initiated or not.
- Project Planning – This is the next step where the plans are drawn up and defined for the identified project. They are laid out in terms of milestones, timelines, accountabilities and the team members who will be part of it.
- Project Implementation – This is an important step which makes the project move into the execution phase where it gets translated into action. The actual project tasks that have been defined are carried out. At this stage, the project manager might face some challenges that arise as a plan is being put into execution. He or she will need to be able to revisit the initial plan and also perhaps rechart its course from time to time. This is one of the most crucial phases that determines the success of the project.
- Project Monitoring – The project planning and implementation can both fall through the cracks if there is no proper monitoring mechanism to explain how the project is moving ahead. Defining the metrics that need to be measured for the project’s success, such as lead time, delays, quality standards, resource effectiveness and so on, are a few parameters to keep in mind. These are useful for evaluation and also to be able to improve the process when it is carried out the next time around.
- Project Closure or Conclusion – This is typically carried out at two levels, one with the client and the other with the internal stakeholders which could be the department heads or even leadership teams.
These are the broad steps that are taken for project management and define it as a whole, in most organizational setups.