Concise Overview of Project Management


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A concise overview Of Project Management and its history.

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Concise Overview of Project Management

  1. 1. A Concise Over View of Project Management By Chris Mitchell
  2. 2. Contents 2 Definition of a Project Slide 3 Definition of Project Management Slide 5 Concise History of Project Management Slide 6 Emotions and human psychology Slide 14 Working with Emotions Slide 15 Widely used Project Management Software Slide 20 International Standards and Disciplines Slide 21 References Slide 22
  3. 3. What is a project? • For as long as human beings have existed; projects have existed in one form or another. Be it creating a stone monolith or migrating a web site to another server. 3 • Projects vary hugely in description, cost, scope and output. However a project has a set of defined generic characteristics.
  4. 4. 4 What is a project? • Projects involve a task or set of tasks to deliver a specific goal(s). Projects are finite and not on going. They have a set beginning and end. Whether this be over the period of a day or several years. This stands in contrast with business as usual or operations. • Projects introduce change and are created to deliver set goals that bring about benefits and correct problems.
  5. 5. 5 Project Management • Project management is the planning, delegating, monitoring, control and implementation of a project(s). Plan Delegate Monitor Control • The primary person in charge of running a project is the project manager. Although final accountability falls or can fall to the project board or senior executives responsible for the project. • Simply put project management is getting things done.
  6. 6. 6 Project Management • Project management should be regarded as controlling and managing the project. Delivering benefits and making change. • Ideally the project manager should not be involved in the actual work processes defined within the project. The project managers role is to manage the work (although this is not a set rule and depends on the scope and budget of the project). • E.g. If the project is a construction project. The project manager should not do any of the building, decorating or construction. Him or herself should manage the project and make sure everything is running smoothly. Although in some cases it may be justifiable for the Project Manager to take a hands on role.
  7. 7. 7 Concise History of Project Management • Project management in one form or another has existed for as long as human beings have. Roman architects not only designed structures, but were involved in the management of getting the structures built. • It was not until the 1950s that project management started to become formalised and standard approaches and techniques were applied to projects. • These techniques were primarily developed in engineering, construction and defence programs. • As a pre-cursor to the 1950s, Henry Gantt developed processes for control and planning techniques. He is most well known for developing the Gantt chart that is used across the world today.
  8. 8. 8 Concise History of Project Management • As project management became recognised as a distinct discipline several approaches were developed. • These included the “Critical Path Method” CPM, which was a joint venture between DuPont Corporation (original started as a gun powder mill in 1802) and Remington Rand Corporation (original started as a typewriter manufacturer). CPM was primarily developed for managing plant maintenance projects.
  9. 9. 9 Concise History of Project Management • Booz Allen Hamilton developed the "Program Evaluation and Review Technique" or PERT as part of the United States Navy (in conjunction with the Lockheed Corporation) Polaris missile submarine program. • These processes many of which were developed in relation to defence projects spread to many private organisations. • More recently project management processes have been developed that are adaptable to fast moving environments and modern technology. Such as Agile Project Management.
  10. 10. 10 Concise History of Project Management • Note: PERT and CPM are very similar in their approach; however, two distinctions are usually made. The first relates to the way in which activity duration is estimated. In PERT, three estimates are used to form a weighted average of the expected completion time. • Therefore, PERT is considered a probabilistic tool. In CPM, there is only one estimate of duration; that is, CPM is a deterministic tool. The second difference is that CPM allows an explicit estimate of costs in addition to time. Thus, while PERT is basically a tool for planning and control of time, CPM can be used to control both the time and the cost of the project.
  11. 11. 11 Concise History of Project Management • In project management it has been noted the PERT based models were primarily developed and aimed at large scale, one off, engineering type projects. These approaches are sometimes not practical in applying them to fast moving, multi project environments, as is the case with many companies today. • Using complex models and planning for tasks in projects that only last a few weeks or a few days can cause unnecessary costs, time delays and paper work. It has also been noted that schedules and tasks can change constantly so planning out far in advance is often pointless as schedules can change so often or at least will require being constantly updated.
  12. 12. 12 Concise History of Project Management • Prince2 is a process based method; that has been developed for application in a tailored and flexible approach. Although Prince2 details in-depth initiation and planning at the start of each project. Its management processes can be reduced to just ‘Initiation’ and ‘The rest of the Project’ – as stated in the Prince2 manual and processes. • Although Prince2 can be regarded as having a more traditional approach to project management and uses traditional planning approaches.
  13. 13. 13 Concise History of Project Management • Agile project management methods that came out of criticism of traditional project management, started to be implemented and developed in the 1990s. Although initially the roots of this development started in software development as early as the 1950s. • These flexible models (e.g. Agile Scrum, Agile Kanban) have commonly become know as Agile project management. Agile developed mainly within software development, but also for fast paced environments and as a means for a more flexible and efficient approach to project management. • Agile was primarily developed for software development. However it can be used in other environments and involves working closely with the customer and not planning to far a head as schedules can change so often, that planning months or even weeks in advance can be pointless.
  14. 14. Emotions and human Psychology • One of the seemingly most over looked and least understood parts of project management as in many other areas of business, is emotions, ego and all the issues, conflicts and benefits that derive from emotions. 14 • As of today there is no approach and set strategy in any project management approach for emotions and dealing with the issues they can cause. • There is of course risk management, but no specific method or project management knowledge base for working with emotions.
  15. 15. 15 Working with Emotions • To disregard or ignore emotions is as dangerous as disregarding proper planning and management processes. • One large issue in regards to the management of emotions. Is that often people are not willing to accept advice about a character trait because it can hurt their ego. Emotions can be difficult to deal with, but with an open mind set emotions can be dealt with properly and used to better the out come of a project.
  16. 16. 16 Working with Emotions • It is highly important and a good skill to be aware that human character can be developed and changed. • It is not a criticism of a person to point out an improvement they can make about themselves or how they apply themselves to their work. It is merely feedback that can either be accepted or rejected.
  17. 17. 17 Working with Emotions • Human beings can be very bad at listening to or accepting unsolicited advice. A good project manager and all people working on a project should be open to feedback and advice. At least for the sake of the project. The project work should remain a priority over emotional feelings. • Projects should be approached with humility. People with large egos; that make an assumption they are always correct and are not willing to listen to others, can cause disastrous affects on a project. Large egos can create blind sides, disharmony in the team and cut off any chance of correcting badly made decisions. • A person must have confidence in their abilities and have a willingness to listen. A belief by an individual that their decisions are always correct and they are themselves of high importance, so cannot possibly change or be open to feedback, is a primitive, ego orientated type approach. That will often lead to mistakes being made.
  18. 18. 18 Working with Emotions • Transparency about the work being undertaken is also very important. It creates confidence in staff members and limits gossip and misinterpretations. The more staff know about a project and about the company or organisation they work for. The more secure they will feel. • The human brain evolved specifically to survive. This is our primary instinct. The brain taking input from the past; creates opinions and stories based on available data or made up data to fill in the gaps. This way to the brain, the world is manageable and actions can be prepared. • These opinions and stories are often incorrect and based on emotional states or negativity. Transparency limits staff from creating such stories or opinions based on nothing more than hear say or non-factual data. • Finally a calm, mindful, awareness of the project, your own emotions and peoples emotions around you. Will help to create success in projects.
  19. 19. 19 Great project management and being a great project manager: Key characteristics. • Be transparent and open in work where ever possible. • Willing and able to decisively reverse decisions. • Good and prompt communication. • Hard work ethic. • Stay factual. • Good listener. • Confidence. • Awareness. • Focused. • Flexible. • Positive. • Humility. • Dynamic.
  20. 20. 20 Widely used Project management software • MS Projects & Project Server (Microsoft) • Sharepoint (Microsoft) • Basecamp (37 Signals) • Huddle (Huddle) • Open Project (Serena) • Zoho Projects (Zoho) • OmniFocus (Omni Group) • Mingle (ThoughtWork studios) • SAP RPM (SAP) • Jira (Atlassian)
  21. 21. 21 Project Management International Standards and Disciplines. • GAPPS. Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards - an open source standard describing COMPETENCIES for project and program managers. • PMI A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge • HERMES method, Swiss general project management method, selected for use in Luxembourg and international organizations. • The ISO standards ISO 9000, a family of standards for quality management systems, and the ISO 10006:2003, for Quality management systems and guidelines for quality management in projects. • PRINCE2, PRojects IN Controlled Environments. • Team Software Process (TSP) from the Software Engineering Institute • Capability Maturity Model from the Software Engineering Institute • Total Cost Management Framework, AACE International's Methodology for Integrated Portfolio, Program and Project Management) • V-Model, an original systems development method. • The Logical framework approach, which is popular in international development organizations. • IAPPM, The International Association of Project & Program Management, guide to Project Auditing and Rescuing Troubled Projects. • Agile Manifesto
  22. 22. 22 Sources: • Prince2 Manual. Managing Successful Projects with Prince 2. (OGC) • Brilliant Project Management (Revised Edition): What the best project managers know, do and say. (Stephen Baker and Rob Cole). •Enterprise Risk Management & Governance. Advisory Service, Executive Update Vol. 7, No. 3. Cutter Consortium. (Scott Stribrny.) • Wherever You Go, There You are: Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life. (Jon Kabat- Zinn). • Wikipedia. (Wikimedia Foundation Inc) Images: • Wikimedia Commons. • Istockphoto.