Project Management — a short walkthrough
Distinguishing project life cycle and project management process
The project management process can be similar to all projects and is what I will explain to you here. The project life cycle is on the other hand unique to each project in each industry domain. As an example, a hardware project will have a different life cycle than a sales project or creating a lecture.
For project management, they are separated into five groups, which are not customizable. They are initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & controlling, and finally closing.
Initiation — Project charter
Filling out why you are doing what you are doing. This is separated into six segments: business case, project objective, major deliverables, roles & responsibilities, stakeholders, and assumptions. The role of the project charter is not to go into huge detail, but to give a top-down description
Collecting requirements — Talk to every stakeholder and develop the requirements within the project budget.
Identifying the scope and scope baseline — Important to limited the project to what it will and will not include. Projects have a tendency to swell up and become more and more comprehensive if the project manager doesn't scope it and has a lid on it.
Work breakdown structure (WBS) — Break down the task into small enough packages that you can estimate the time and cost of that task
Gant is about sequencing the work packages. This enables also us to see what tasks can be done in parallel. This in turn opens up the opportunities to “fast track” a project, meaning having more resources on it to work on several subtasks simultaneously.
Cost management and budget — Use WBS. Add a buffer for risks (management reserve), typically 20%.
As a project manager, you need to constantly align expectations and keep the project limited to the initial scope. Stak holders constantly what to gold plate the project. If the suggestions are really valis, you have considered adding them into suggestions.
Monitoring and controlling (M&C)
Measuring the project compared to the plan/measuring the KPIs. The main aspects to monitor are:
- Schedule (and if you foresee delays)
- Determine if the project was finished within budget and on time plus post mortem with team
- Finish necessary due diligence
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the project
- Identify key teammates and hand out rewards
Be aware that the SCRUM and SPRINT methodology to project management is a bit different. The process I described here will typically be conceived as a waterfall method, which can be risky in projects with high uncertainty and which need more agility.