What Drives Project Management?
Projects are the assimilated ideas that bring the theoretical planning, modelling and visions into practicality. The constructive approach utilised by project managers helps in giving a final form and structure to concepts.
Project management is a critical aspect for any business since it consists of different procedures that make it possible for creating and implementing changes, reshaping existing models within an organisation and others.
As defined by experts, project management refers to the delivery of something unique that carries value to people. These valuable commodities could be knowledge, skills, tools and techniques for suiting end-users preferences.
With changing times and the growing pace of how businesses are conducted nowadays, several organisations require projects that have a consistent degree of value attached to them. Projects are the modern gateways for sustained growth, company’s performance and for delivering results.
Projects are the flag bearers for changes since they address the scheduling and resource issues faced by organisations and create pathways that will help them deal with problems successfully.
Project management as a field looks after the planning and organising different corporational people and their resources. The project managers need to showcase greater levels of rational thinking and decision-making for setting up parameters that lead to the achievement of objectives, competition of tasks and identifying different life cycles that need to be used for creating projects.
The different areas of project management are all inclined towards making positive changes in organisational junctures and ensuring that businesses continue to maintain their ideal profits.
There are several reasons why project management matters for both companies and their clients. It offers a platform for bringing new ideas, is a source for channelised growth, and helps companies stay relevant with changing times.
A varied set of individuals are employed as a part of the project management team to look after planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and completing projects. These capable individuals need to be well-versed with theoretical and practical competencies that govern these domains.
Enrolling for the best executive courses on project management offered by leading universities across the country can allow learners to widen their perspectives about roles, responsibilities, principles and other vital components that make up this job arena.
There are certain descriptive areas of knowledge that comprise project management; these include the following:-
risk management and
Project managers need to develop a robust plan that brings the ideas, visions and theoretical models into practicality and helps companies achieve their desired goals.
What Comprises a Project Management Plan?
A project management plan is developed to deal with changes, solve problems, render terrific solutions, and help businesses better their income returns. Modern-day projects are short and fast-paced, complying with the needs of current times to develop effective pathways that iron out flaws.
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An executive program in project management will teach newcomers in this sector about different areas that constitute any given project and its utilisation in delivering results.
There are several factors that undergo a project, and there are numerous controllable factors that need to be implemented along with the project’s particulars. There are specific project needs that must be fulfilled in order to achieve more with projects.
The structures and planning for projects are spread across different industries to suit their preferences and help them stand the test of time.
Any project that requires long-term sustenance needs to have the following major components:-
Like any relationship sets boundaries that are developed to avoid excessive interactions with other parties, the same can be said about projects. There is an explicit managerial side dedicated to setting up the scope for projects.
Scope management is a set of agreements between project stakeholders for setting up boundaries within a project. There are several statements regarding parameters that concern a given issue or a problem, justification of project objectives and other vital elements, recognises the changes that need to be made amongst others.
Boundary setting is a critical aspect for projects since they avoid confusion and help in performing tasks without getting overwhelmed. It is a great practice to ensure that the business performs as expected and not two steps are repeated.
The objectives really set the tone of projects since they offer how a given assignment should progress further for making developments. The goal setting is a critical component of any project, and it must be done through conducting meetings with senior executives and stakeholders.
The goals must be concise, clear and achievable in the given time frames and need to be in compliance with organisational vision and mission statements. Any new developments made in projects- however big and small need to undergo project objectives set up by businesses.
All new installations, refinements and other additions made towards projects that lead to an outcome must find their place in the project objectives portion.
There are different project goals that need to be achieved in a due period of time; therefore, they have a set deadline for the same. Objectives are what drives a project forward and in the right direction towards keeping the project updated.
Organisational resources are the crucial portions of organisations that combine to setting up physical aspects and their space for completing project requirements.
Resources are deemed another critical aspect of the project management environment since they offer the raw materials and human workforce required to bring that project into practicality.
The resources column of any given project needs to contain the ideal staff number, requisite set of skills that staff members possess and their academic credentials.
Moreover, the resources section needs to maintain a blueprint for all the desired processes, project stages, and other production aspects.
Human resources are the greatest asset available to project managers that, if managed effectively, can lead to superior results.
Therefore, managers need to be adept in people dealing, communication skill-sets and must be able to lead their troops for achieving results.
Moreover, it would be helpful if managers conduct regular meetings with inventory suppliers, raw materials procurers and other officers that are directly involved with collecting and delivering products, goods and other items required for projects.
Risks and their Management
Each project involves a certain degree of risk, the level could be varying, but there needs to be a system that looks beyond normalcy. The risks and hazards involved in a project can significantly hinder achieving success with that project objectives.
Today businesses are highly wary of how risks can negatively impact their revenues, growth and incomes. Therefore the managers set up mitigation practices well in advance for dealing with risks and hazards.
Risks and other activities can essentially derail a project’s progress and make their achievements null. Hence, it is always advised to develop excellent and actionable risk management strategies.
There are several reasons as to why risks need to be recognised and dealt with at the earliest. Since risks are identified at the later stages, the project managers might face difficulty in addressing those issues and might have to scrape off the entire project and other developments made towards the same.
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Therefore, potent risk managers need to be roped in who possess specialisation in working with nuanced software that identifies risks and controls them at nascent stages.
Risks need to be analysed and dealt with efficiently for avoiding any mishaps at later stages of project development and deployment.
The project schedule is a vital part of a project and keeps a time constraint over different areas of project development. This section is entrusted with the tasks of keeping an eye over different aspects of projects and need to ensure that the project meets its ideal deadlines.
Any delays caused by slacking off at work, inadequate supply of resources, shortage of staff personnel, and other reasons need to be noted down and shown to organisational or industrial leaders.
It’s the duty of project managers to make sure that their team members deliver projects on time. In case of expectations such as power cuts, insufficient funds and other aspects, managers need to bring it to their seniors’ notice.
Delays, however, can negatively impact a project’s development since they can make a project adrift from its expected delivery date. There are set milestones that need to be achieved while developing projects.
Today, modern corporate working environments leverage several applications and software that give an overview of a project’s progress and tell team members about upcoming deadlines.
This software includes Jira, Slack amongst others, that allow teams to delegate tasks between themselves and check the status of each one through the app’s features.
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It’s an excellent tool for managing large projects that has several layers attached to them; since it makes room for confusion and non-completion of tasks, Jira and Slack allow users to see the progress of different particulars pertaining to a project.
Project budgeting is perhaps the most vital aspect of project management. The leading courses offered by several universities across the country shed light on how proper budgeting is essential for ensuring success in this field.
The IIM project management course is a well-formulated program that offers complete coverage over teaching students about setting reasonable budgets.
Project budgeting is a crucial factor for estimating the rough cost of a project and the monetary resources available to managers working for a company.
The costs vary depending on the nature and size of the projects.
Large scale projects have budgeting documentation that can be several pages long.
Since there are different arrears involved, managers need to take care of these costs, such as labour charges, material procurement costs, operating costs and other electrical charges.
Knowing and establishing a project budget is vital for managers to determine the overall cost of a running project and accumulate resources (raw materials, staff personnel etc.) accordingly.
Mastering the art of budget planning requires utilising tools and strategies that work towards giving a clear view of the costs involved.
Conducting vendor bid analysis, determining resource cost rates, performing reserve analysis, figuring out the cost of quality for each of the activities associated with projects, and other techniques need to be imbibed for coming up with the net worth of projects.
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However, project managers must bear in mind that all these tools and software will shed light on the estimated cost of projects. Most of the overhead expenses would be done through assumptions made via previous projects.
Managers must therefore draft up financial plans for developing exact costs and charges incurred during different stages of project development and need to present them to their seniors prior to working on assignments.
Team Skill-Set, Motivation and Chemistry
The composition of team members and what skill-sets they bring to the table can largely influence an organisation’s success with their implemented projects.
As told by Henry Ford- “coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress and working together is a success.”
As described in the quote above, the breakdown of success and its integration with teamwork showcases the importance of employees while auguring projects.
First and foremost, project managers need to bring the best of talent on board and make them a crucial part of their teams. Building a team with requisite skill-sets to come out triumphant for achieving milestones set by organisations.
The quality of team members broadly defines the outcome of projects, and thus businesses need to vet out the makeup of their team for dissecting their skills and capabilities.
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Next up, project managers must delegate tasks to their team members to align with their goals. Moreover, managers need to set up the level of team commitment, daily/weekly work output and other factors that influence work breakdown structures.
Working with team members with diversified skill-sets, abilities, and driven individuals needs to be led successfully. More often than not, when working with a multi-talented talent, it becomes a challenging task to bring them together for ticking off objectives.
Managers need to address these issues at the earliest by bringing together compatible personality types and making the team based on previous experiences.
Project managers can utilise tools and techniques such as the Myers-Briggs Type personality test and DISC profile assessments for everyday purposes.
Project Components: Setting up Projects for Success
Starting a project and delivering value to end-users or clients is based on collecting valuable project components. While performing a project manager role, these individuals need to make decisions related to project goals.
Managing a project involves loads of complexities and challenges that need to be cleared through the critical application of tools, techniques and skill sets that lead to desirable results for organisations.
Current projects require managers to bring a host of problem-solving and rational-based thinking to take care of different aspects. Therefore, the establishment of components in a project is necessary for keeping team members on track and ensuring that projects are delivered within their stipulated time frames.
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Each of the components described above plays a pivotal role in binding the project’s deliverables together and rendering a cohesive roadmap for achieving milestones.
All projects need a predefined scope that allows both managers and stakeholders to stay within the space and to keep their objectives in that defined arena.
Every project incorporates a certain amount of risk, and therefore workable mitigation strategies need to be introduced to nullify its harmful implications. Business moguls set up practical risk management policies that help them deal with hazards successfully.
Project schedule takes care of the delivery of projects, and that they need to stay consistent with deadlines offered by managers.
Project managers must draft up estimated costs that undergo while canvassing projects, and hence budgeting needs to be done well in advance prior to its initiation.
Projects are nothing without their team members, and they are the person that brings forth completed assignments. Managers need to inspire, lead and manage their employees towards successful prospects by delegating tasks as per their competencies.
Garnering success in the field of project management heavily relies on combining these components together for thriving and long-lasting projects.
Today, the project management field has spread its tentacles in both IT and non-IT areas and is improving the quality of technologies and methodologies that are coming through.
Project Management in Information Technology Field
The amalgamation of information technology with project management has led to a win-win situation for both domains since they offer greater and greater ease of use and flexibility.
The installation of new and improved technologies in business settings calls for the upgradations of projects. The integration of both project management with IT can help in rendering innovative solutions for meeting corporational requirements.
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The branch of project management with information technology is referred to as IT project management that aligns organisational objectives with technological inputs.
IT project management is a collective process that includes managing, planning, organising tasks, and accountability for achieving information technology goals.
The scope and magnitude of IT project management requires managers to bring their best skills forward to apply knowledge, align IT skill-sets with project managerial aspects, and leverage advanced tools and applications for driving a project and its completion as decided by corporations.
The plethora of project management courses offered by IIM and other leading universities across the country shed light on how IT fields can utilise project management.
IT project managers are highly skilled, well-informed and reputable individuals who understand their business needs and know when and where to intervene with IT protocols for smooth performance of tasks.
Managers managing IT projects often need to provide a roadmap for integrating information technology practices, rapid technological upgrades and version changes that need to be done for installed IT solutions.
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The IT project management life cycle acts as an excellent passage for bringing in desired changes and overcoming technological challenges.
Understanding The Information Technology Project Management Life Cycle
Canvassing an IT project includes taking different technologies and creating a unified paradigm for managing and developing projects that can help businesses improve their ROIs.
The various phases of project management are used in conjunction with IT procedures to create a cumulative approach for offering solutions to companies.
The different phases of an IT project management design are based on the basic fundamentals that govern these sectors; they include the following:-
Phases Involved in an Information Technology Project Management Life Cycle
The six phases involved in the project management life cycle that plays a significant role in the information technology field include-
Step 1 = Project Initiation
The first step is referred to as the start of a project that managers need to set up and ask themselves and their team members –” as to exactly why they need this project?”
The first stage revolves around defining a set of purposes as to why the project is actually required and what the company aims to achieve with the same.
The project aims and objectives must be clarified with both team members and C-level executives; they must be developed within the scope of the project and must comply with the mission and vision statements of companies.
Then a proposal in the form of a business plan needs to be established that meets the requirements of the project must be written. Project managers need to play a titular role in identifying key aims and goals that the project aims to achieve.
All this information is included in the project charter, a well-compiled document containing the needs, wants, and requirements that the project aims to suffice.
Step 2 = Project Definition
Upon the finishing and completion of project proposal and charter documents, project managers in the second phase of IT move towards the definition stage.
In the second stage of the information technology project management phase, the objectives that are provided in the charter above are finalised and analysed through seniors.
Furthermore, the requirements, needs, and wants of projects enlisted in proposals are cross-checked and sorted on a priority basis of task completion.
Lastly, the project scope is given a final shape and structure for the same is defined by IT tools and techniques. The project plan picks up pace in this pace and is created using definitive parameters for the growth and success of organisations.
The project costs are estimated for developing the budget, and the required resources are also set in place for the final assortment.
Step 3 = Project Design
The third phase of information technology project management refers to designing and getting it ready for implementation. The project design revolves around setting out in search of finding the best solution for achieving goals and objectives established by organisations.
As the name suggests, in the project design aspect of an IT department, managers need to brainstorm and ponder over ideas that can help in creating designs and prototypes for launching projects.
The project design comes in handy to develop the end product’s final look and is a detrimental factor in ensuring success for companies. Managers need to work in unison with engineers, programmers and creative departments of their organisation to come up with innovative ideas for designing projects.
Once a suitable design has been chosen and picked by managers, they need to write down the specifications of the project and distribute tasks amongst their team members.
Step 4 = Project Development
It’s the action phase for canvassing projects. Project managers get into the thick of things and start working on projects and achieving targets described by companies.
The development phase is where the actual development team comes into play for establishing the route of completing tasks and ensuring that everyone stays on the page while performing their duties.
Their managers assign the development team specific tasks and duties. In addition to carrying out their duties, the appropriate project management tools need to be selected that can assist managers to come up with novel solutions for their projects.
Moreover, the project’s technicalities are outlined, and the raw materials required for the project are set up for ideal results.
Managers need to set a plan of action into motion and at the same time build healthy work relationships with suppliers, procurement officers, designated workers and other support staff to continually inspire and motivate them towards completing their tasks.
The primary goal of the project development phase is to make the entire plan as crystal clear and comprehensive as the managers can so as to avoid any confusion and any issues that may arise in the implementation phases.
Step 5 = Project Implementation Phase
The fifth phase of IT projects includes their implementation in the company’s environments. It’s the stage where all the theoretical planning, thinking, brainstorming of ideas, and discussions come into practice.
The stage also defines the final deliverables for the project and its other components that are at the core of information technology practices. Moreover, since this is the phase where lots of procedures, planning are put into place, it often takes several days to complete.
Managers usually bring a documentation expert to write down the coding, structural processing, schemas, and other vitality that make for good readability for anyone who reads the blueprint of these projects.
Project teams continue to work on their residual tasks and hence need to assess how things are working in other departments; managers need to heed attention towards rectifying issues that can hinder the project’s growth. managers have their jobs cut out in looking over any issues that need to be fixed.
Managers in this phase act as drivers or instead pilots intervening wherever required and monitoring and controlling their work. They need to do a final analysis of raw materials, systems, budget costs and overhead expenses, quality procedures and look out for methods in establishing risk mitigation plans.
Step 6 = Follow Up
The culmination phase is the follow-up step wherein the managers check their projects one last time before it is offered to the customer/client/stakeholder.
The follow up phase is the work that comes after the project in regards to information technology processing is delivered, and it involves getting a support team on board to check for loopholes and means to plug them, training end-users and customers regarding project’s software, creating a foolproof postmortem of reports and other documents.
It also focuses on developing methodologies for future projects. Traditionally, businesses employ managers who work using waterfall methods for completing assignments.
However, specific rigid and strict company’s might also focus on developing projects using agile frameworks.
But whatever rows, most organisations follow the boat with a special impetus to ensure that risks are mitigated at the nascent stages and suitable within organisational work cultures.
Project Management and IT Technologies: Bolstering Each Other
The world of project management has moved into the information technology field, and it has been instrumental in setting up practices that can help businesses boost their revenues.
Given how modern working conditions require regular updates and changes in their systems to suit their client’s needs, corporations seek out measures that can lead to conducive results.
One of the proven ways to deal with changes and facilitate them appropriately in an organisational setup is to bring in more projects and assignments that adhere to specific work processes, flows and schemas.
The successful implementation of these projects can help businesses stay up to date with the latest trends and other influences taking place in markets and at the same time maintaining their economic growth.
Therefore, project management is vital in ensuring corporate success and making it a force to reckon with amongst its competitors.
The world of IT project management demands a comprehensive set of skill sets.
These managers who work in demanding and challenging IT environments need to possess a set of both technical and soft skills.
Young and aspiring managers bursting on the scene can enrol for a project management course from XLRI and widen their knowledge by building relevant skill-sets. There are several benefits of pursuing project management certification from XLRI, and youngsters can take help from these courses to thrive in their job roles.
The interaction of IT fields with project management leads to extensive managerial practices that assist industries in incurring more profits and maintaining steady growth rates.
Moreover, the project management procedures can be applied in non-IT fields to make a combined shared space for bringing in new and advanced methods of leadership success.
Project Management in Non-IT Fields
“Operations keep the lights on, strategy provides the light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organisation forward.”
The above quote by Joy Gumz sheds light on how project management acts as a driving force behind making successful organisations.
Project management is a practical field that demands complete transparency of operations, processes, team members, setting up blueprints and other factors.
The ideologies and dynamics of project management are applied in non-IT fields; however, they are tweaked to suit a specific domain.
Enrolling on an executive program in project management through a well-established institution will guide new learners about various domains that require project management and its concepts.
Different Domains that Utilise Project Management
Today the art of managing and developing projects isn’t limited to just one domain but rather is incorporated in several areas of work for amassing profits and creating projects that help these sectors grow in modern space.
Several fields introduce project management regardless of their industry; clients, executives, and staff members see the project manager as an individual that acts as a central source of information that ensures tasks get done correctly, on time, and within budgets set by the corporations.
Here’s a list of different domains that utilise project management:-
Project Management in Construction
Project managers need to construct and develop buildings, new office spaces, shopping malls and others. They are roped in by a given company to construct almost everything.
The field of construction requires proven and competent project managers who possess a wealth of experience in building monuments, residential spaces, leading corporate projects and amongst others.
The project managers who work under construction domains need to develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for telling their team members about what needs to be accomplished at different phases.
Project Management in Energy
The managers who work for energy divisions are entrusted with developing new energy systems or improving existing ones. They are hired by either public or private organisations for achieving the end results.
The project managers need to be well-informed about energy changes and need to perform several tasks as a part of this domain.
The roles and responsibilities for project managers working in energy sectors include selection and clearing of sites, gathering bids from contractors, keeping track of materials and equipment, and maintaining a safe environment.
Project Management in Engineering
The engineering project managers do everything from aerospace to manufacturing and designing new products for their companies.
Engineering project managers work in unison with engineers to figure out pathways for developing something unique and solving any challenges they face along the way.
Project Management in Healthcare
The healthcare departments hire project managers to open up new hospital wings and develop an architectural plan to accommodate different hospital beds, rooms, and other enclosed spaces.
Project managers need to collaborate with doctors, department heads, donors, hospital board members, and vendors and cater to their needs and understand their perspectives.
Therefore, healthcare project managers need to possess a robust set of interpersonal skills along with juggling the ability to perform different responsibilities.
Project Management in Pharmaceutical
Pharmaceutical project managers oversee and implement new ideas from conception to sale drugs, medicines, and several other medical treatments. These managers need to work with doctors, researchers, and marketers.
The responsibilities include testing new products, keeping and maintaining records, monitoring risks and hazards, ensuring compliance with medical and legal standards, and getting the word out about new products.
Project Management: A Multi-Dimensional Field
As seen from the article above, project management is a diverse field that suits a variety of sectors and work-related domains. The project management protocols and duties find a home in both IT and non-IT areas.
With the advancements made in organisations today, general management is unable to perform managerial tasks that concern looking after organisational processes, making amendments to existing protocols and others.
General and project management are quite different from each other since they both deal with separate areas. General management explicitly deals with human resources and its management, whereas project managerial duties involve looking after the corporation as a whole.
Aspiring professionals looking to make a name for themselves in project management domains need to possess solid knowledge of both its theoretical and practical aspects. The project management courses offered by IIMs across the country can help them in achieving the same.