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To start off with, let’s think of project management as the art of managing all aspects of a project. The most direct outcome of efficient project management is the ability to achieve a set of goals efficiently and effectively, including in the minimum amount of time needed.
The main objective of project management is to organize, execute and control the project to achieve project goals and meet stakeholder expectations.
Common Characteristics of a Project
- Timeline: A project has a definite timeline with an identifiable starting and endpoint.
- Resources: A project has limited resources of capital and manpower.
- Tools: Special type of tools and techniques are used for project management (Gantt Charts, etc.)
- Team: Project management requires a diverse team extending across departments and functions.
Stages of Project Management
The Project Management Institute (PMI) advocates the following stages of project management which could be helpful to anyone who is assigned with tasks of managing a project.
Project Initiation Phase
This is the first stage of project management. At this stage, the project is initiated and defined at a complex level, which may include conducting a feasibility study. Such a study or discussion may be required to decide whether or not the project should be carried out in the first place.
Project Planning Phase
This is similar to the foundation of a house. During this stage, a project management plan is developed. This includes individual plans regarding the project scope, cost, technology, communication, resources and risks. It provides the relevant guidelines assisting in using the right resources and addressing challenges faced during the process. It also dictates important information to the project team such as the cost and time frame. A solid project plan will determine the outcome in every stage of the project.
Project Execution Phase
This is where the action plan comes into play. The team will incorporate resources, effort and knowledge to produce the expected outcome. What takes place during the project execution phase determines whether your project is going to be successful or not.
Project Monitoring and Control
Execution goes hand in hand with this activity. This is a measure of performance or the progression in accordance with the project plan. The progress of the project should be monitored closely, ensuring that previously set indicators are achieved while “scope creep“ is managed. Indicators play an important role in determining the success of tasks needed to complete the goals or objectives of the project. This phase is vital to make sure that unnecessary time, energy and cost is not incurred so that the project won’t fail.
Project Closure Phase
Once the targets are achieved, the final output can be offered to the customer. This marks the completion of the project. During this stage, the output is delivered to the customer either in the form of a product or a service. Reviewing the entire process, relieving resources and rewarding and recognising the team members will help in developing better projects.
If you carefully work on the following stages of the process you will begin to see projects reaching unimaginable success!
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