An Introduction To Project Management Basics
Project Management Institute (PMI), has defined Project Management as "the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project."
Project management primarily focuses on planning, managing and organizing the available resources. Some of the activities that should be a part of project management activity are to efficiently guide the project team through all phases and execute the project successfully. Other activities include identifying and efficiently managing the project life cycle and implementing it to the user-centered design process.
Goals and Objectives Project Management
The objectives and goals of the organization can be achieved in an efficient manner through proper project management. Project manager plays a key role in managing the project. They forecast all the risks that might arise during the production process and ensure that all the risks are addressed with a proper plan. By following a good project management structure the employees will have a good understanding about their roles and responsibilities, they will also be aware of the schedule of the deliverables and will have the opportunity to plan their schedule accordingly. A good project management structure ensures that the project is completed within specified time period and within budget.
Project Management Institute has identified nine key areas within project management, and they are as follows:
Human Resource Management
Building an Efficient Team and Communication Mechanism
Building efficient project team
It is the responsibility of a project manager to select members for the project. The project managers can pick team members according to their experience and also familiarity in similar kind of projects.
One of the core quality of a good project management structure is building an efficient team and designing a good mode of communication to ensure that all the team members and stakeholders have complete information about the project. For this, the project manager has to conduct regular meetings with the team members, stakeholders and top level management.
Project Phases, Life Cycles, and Incorporating User-Centered Design Principles
To have a better control on the project, the project is divided into different phases. Each phase defines the tasks and activities that have to be completed within specific time period. It also outlines how many team members will be allocated in each phase so that all resources are used to their full potential.
Project Life-Cycle and UCD
A project life-cycle refers to all phases of a project, from initiation to completion of the project. When defining the project life-cycle, the first phase in the cycle is referred as zero. According to PMI, there can be four to five phases in a project life-cycle. Some may even contain more phases, it basically depends upon the complexity and size of the project. Most of the companies across the globe make use of Agile or Waterfall life-cycle approach. You can also incorporate user-centered design (UCD) best practices and methods. A user-centered design process includes planning, collecting and analyzing data, writing content, designing and developing and testing
Project plan plays a crucial role for effective project management. When the project manager designs a project plan, they have to ensure that they include all user-centered design best practices and methodologies
A project plan consists aspects such as objectives, scope, budget, and team roles and responsibilities, schedule, assumptions, dependencies, risk assessment and management plan, and change control plan.
Basically, a project plan outlines a complete set of activities that needs to be undertaken by team members. It is also possible that the sponsor may request some new changes in the final product, in that case, the project plan must be updated accordingly. Then project manager may also include charter agreement in their project plan. This decision has to be taken by the project manager depending upon the project requirements. A project charter is a document which is signed by the project sponsor.
Scheduling is one of the key aspects of project management.If the project is not properly scheduled then it might lead to a project failure. Scheduling basically defines what are the activities that have to be carried, and also clarifying who is responsible for carrying out these activities.
Projects and project management processes vary because of their size and complexities involved in each project. It is advisable that the project managers gain a thorough understanding of the project requirements and implement all the phases of project management to smoothly execute the project.