Organizations are evolving rapidly in this ever-growing business environment. And to gain a competitive edge over others, one needs to have effective project planning and management directives in place.
Virtually, each and every organization undertakes projects and executes various planning and management methodologies to make them successful. Right project management fundamentals can really make or break your projects, as they provide the baseline and frameworks to scope projects, utilize resources, streamline workflows and mitigate risks.
What is Project Management?
Before we get into project management fundamentals, let us first understand what a project is. Project is a “temporary endeavor initiated with an aim to build a unique result or product or service”. It is unique, non-repetitive, and is defined by project constraints- a budget, a crystal-clear scope and a set of requirements to be met.
Project Management is defined as the management of a project’s budget, scope, and schedule in order to make it successful and eventually satisfy the needs of the stakeholders.
The three fundamental areas cited are:
- Culture: initiatives taken to create a mindset for optimal project management
- Talent: focus on talent management, formal knowledge sharing, and apt training of staff
- Process: establish and implement best business-standard practices and processes to support project management
- Project Sponsor: The role of a Project Sponsor is slightly above a project manager and their job is to deal with the funding, resources, and support for the specific project. The person has a key role in the project's success. A project sponsor can either be internal or external to the enterprise.
- Project Manager: This person looks after the project team along with the day-to-day administration of the project. A project manager is directly responsible for the project’s success. For larger projects, organizations can have a team for project management
- Project Team: The team or a person handles the technical work related to the project and reports frequently to the project manager
- Stakeholders: the group of people who are directly or indirectly affected by the project and its outcome is known as stakeholders. These can include investors, sponsors, government regulators, customers, top management teams, and so on.
- Project Integration Management: This includes all the components that do not fit well in other categories. It can include project changes, developing project management plans, etc.
- Project Scope Management: Scope is the first step of setting your objectives and goals. It should be defined during the planning phase of the project management plan itself. Plus, the changes should also be mentioned clearly.
- Project Cost Management: Estimating the costs of the project, along with its monitoring and controlling throughout.
- Project Time Management: Set up, monitor, and enforce the project’s schedule, milestones, and deadlines.
- Quality Management: Defining quality standards across the project and monitoring quality throughout.
- Stakeholder Management: Identifying each stakeholder and satisfying their requirements
- Stakeholder Communication Management: Communicating with stakeholders, recognizing their needs, and making sure they are involved as per their power and interest level
- HR Management: Defining the “people” requirements in a project, hiring them, and training them to make sure they help the organization achieve the desired result
- Project Risk Management: Identifying the risks/bottlenecks and finding ways to mitigate them
- Project Procurement Management: Acquiring professional consultants and contractors that will handle procurements and make sure the job gets done.