Applying Project Management

November 11, 2010

EE606 – Applying Project Management- Blog posting by Kimberly Williams, November 10, 2010

Project management consists of defining and planning, monitoring and controlling all aspects of a project to achieve project objectives on time within specified cost, quality and performance. There are several approaches to managing a project, such as agile, interactive, incremental, and phased approaches. Whatever approach is used, consideration should be given to the project objectives, timeline, cost, and the roles and responsibilities of all participants and stakeholders [3].

Successful project selection is the first step in project management. Effective managers project by define and plan their project. They initially define the scope of the project so it will include the areas you are responsible for. Understand the organizations boundaries, look at any potential risk in the project scope that you may not be able to manipulate and try to restrict these or eliminate them from the project areas [4].

Always obtain management support, an if there is authorization to proceed, draft a charter of the responsibilities and scope, which should indicate what will be expected, the general project rules, and how the project will obtain resources to complete the job [2]. Review your organizations policies that govern the way projects are executed, and understand the project selection and approval process. Be sure to converse with management regarding the charter until there is an agreement made.

For project success it is important to understand and document the requirements. Without written requirements statements, there is no way to account for changes and manage customer and sponsor expectations. It will serve as the basis for the plan, for the cost and schedule estimates and it will allow for management for changes as the project progresses [1]. If there are unclear requirements, make assumptions and document them. Use version control for the requirements and manage the changes. If significant changes occur, revisit the cost schedule estimates.

Document a realistic plan by documenting the link between the project scope, description, staffing and procurment estimates, and the schedule and iterate them until it fit the organizational goals. Create a project plan and use it to communicate to the stakeholders the intentions of the project effort. Break the project into phase, incorporate the phase into your project schedule and plan updates to the scope, cost estimate, and schedule before the transition review meeting. Structure the work within each phase into intermediate and lower level milestones and link tasks or deliverable production. Write a break down structure to help map charge numbers, schedules, project metrics, etc. Try to reconcile the project scope, resource budgets, and schedule goals [5].

To build your project team, always develop a staff plan based on your resource estimates of quantities of people required. Select key people for the project team, and speak with each individual to determine their interest level and to confirm their commitment to working constructively and productively on the project [4]. Assess your risk by identifying areas of the project where there is uncertainty where there may be a negative impact and designate these as project risk. Once risks are identified establish management actions to avoid, mitigate, monitor, and manage your potential risks. Add the risk to the project plan and relay them at your management review meetings.

Finally you are ready to execute your project. Organize a kick-off meeting for your project team and make everyone take full responsibility for their project areas, manage the scope, schedule baseline carefully, and make sure the metrics are implemented to monitor all important functions of the project [2].

Reference

1. “Applying Project Management Concepts to R&D.” Eldon Larsen

http://allbusiness.com/management/1001264-1.html

2. “Applying Project Management Skills.” Speech & Language Therapy in Practice. 2006

http://www.speechmag.com/content/files/sattyboyes.pdf

3. Kerzner, Harold and Saladis, Frank P. “Value – Driven Project Management.” John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2009

4. “How to Apply Project Management Prince 2 – Engaging Senior Management in Your Projects.” David Hinde

http://www.your-career-change.com

5. “Starting a Project.” James Chapman

http://www.hyperthot.com/pm_step_by.htm

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