Project Management Process

For the uninitiated, they will have to start learning and understanding Project Management 101 in plain and simple English. While there are many books available on the subject of project management and what it is all about, majority of the books are filled with technical jargon that sounds like an interstellar language for many. Let us try explaining it in plain Earth language then.

A project is a temporary undertaking that requires a number of activities to complete, which someone is devoted to finish within a specific period of time. The intention of a project is to create something that has generally not been done before and will serve a function. Often a project manager will choose to use online project management software.

A project has four basic elements that are interrelated. These basic elements are resources, time, money and scope. A project manager will need to simultaneously and effectively manage all these elements together for the project to be a success.

Project management is a technique to get things done faster, in the right way and in a cost-effective conduct. However, managing a project is different from managing the technology entrenched in the project. A project can be broken down into four different stages. Each stage is important and should be treated just as essential as the other stages. The four stages of a project are Defining the Project, Planning the Project, Executing the Project and Closing Out the Project.

Defining a project is the first but frequently skipped process of project management. However, this is also an extremely vital step. This is the time to really think about and determine what outcome you would like to have. This is the part where it will be decided who is going to be in charge, what the budget is going to be, and if the project is really worth undertaking.

Planning a project is the second stage which is just as crucial but also often skipped. During project planning, decisions are made with regards to the tasks that need to be done to complete the project, the project timeline and the development of the project schedule. This is the period when you think about the possible problems that might crop up, and build a plan to handle those problems that may arise.

Once the planning of the project is set, the Execution Phase starts the project off. This phase takes up a great deal of the project’s implementing time, and consists of getting done tasks as well as the communication with team members. Other significant parts of this phase is problem solving, adjusting to changes, staying within budget, and ironing out problems between team members.

The Close-out phase is where the product is set to be ready for launching and all pertinent administrative tasks completed. The close-out phase is also where you look back at the project and evaluate what went wide off the mark, what went pretty well and what could have been improved. The information you get from this phase will provide valuable lessons for you to make sure that your next project will go better than the last.