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Project management

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  • 1. Project Management MethodologyBy Dr M alik Khalid MehmoodProject management in the modern sense began in the early 1960s,driven by businesses that realized the benefits of organizing workaround projects, and the critical need to communicate and co -ordinatework across departments and professions.Project management is no small task. It has a definite beginning andend, and is not a continuous process. Project management uses varioustools to measure progress and track project tasks. Projects need a d-hocresources, as opposed to businesses that have dedicated full-timepositions.Project management methodologies consist of four to five process groups, and a controlsystem. Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, project management usesthe same basic processes. Process groups typically include: 1. Initiation 2. Planning and Design 3. Execution 4. Monitoring and Controlling 5. Closing1. InitiationAll projects start with an idea for a product, service, or other desirable out come. Theinitiation process group determines the nature and scope of the project. If this stage is notperformed well, it is unlikely the project will be successful in meeting the businesses needs.The key project controls needed, are an understanding of the business environment andmaking sure all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies shouldbe reported and a recommendation made to fix them.The first project document is the project charter, whichincludes: Business case Scope and deliverables Objectives Resources needed Milestone plan and timeline Cost estimate Risks and issues DependenciesThe charter answers the basic question, "What are we trying todo?"2 . P l a n n i n g a nd D e s i g nAfter initiation, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail. The main purpose is toplan time, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to manage riskeffectively during project execution. This is recorded in the project management plan. Aswith the initiation process group, a failure to plan adequately lessens the projects chances ofsuccess.Project planning includes: Developing the scope statement Developing the schedule (Gantt chart) Developing the budget Selecting the team Creating a work breakdown structure Identifying deliverable Risk planning Communication planning
  • 2. 3. ExecutionExecution consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the projectmanagement plan, to accomplish the projects objectives. The execution process involvescoordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of theproject. The deliverables are produced as outputs from the processes performed as defined inthe project management plan.4 . M o ni t o r i n g a n d C o n t r o l l i n gThe monitoring and controlling process group involves managing and tracking the project,so potential problems can be identified quickly and corrective action taken. To do this theproject management plan is used. Monitoring and controlling includes: Measuring the ongoing project activities (where are we, against where we should be?) Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope) against the project management plan and the project baseline (where should we be?) Identifying corrective actions to address risks and issues (how can we get back on track?) Managing changes using our change control process (what is the impact of this change?)The monitoring and controlling process group ends once the project has achieved itsgoals and objectives as detailed in the project contract. A project may be stoppedbefore completion for various reasons, including changes in the business, lack ofresources or higher priorities.5. ClosingProject closing is an important part of project management, sometimes overlooked. A projectthat is not closed will continue to consume resources.Closing a project means finishing all activities across all process groups, splitting up theproject team, and signing off the project with the customer.At this point it is important to know how well the project has performed. This is done usingthe project closure report. It communicates how well the project has performed against itsoriginal business case, quality measures, cost, duration and tole rances.Rather than leave valuable project experiences locked in people’s heads, its a good idea tocomplete and publish a lessons learned report. This is used to pass on valuable learning thatcan be applied to future projects.P r oj e c t Cont r olProject control is that part of a project that keeps it on -track, on-time and within budget.Project control begins early in the project with planning, and ends late in the project withpost-implementation review.Projects should be assessed for the right level of control needed: too much control istime-consuming, too little control is risky. If project control is not carried out correctly, thecost to the business should be clarified in terms of errors, fixes and added costs.Typical elements of project control are: Overall business strategy Standards for new systems Project management policies Change management

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