Project Management from a Practical Perspective Project management from a Practical Perspective Let’s start by saying that most of the important things we do can be considered projects. These types of endeavors, whether they are building a house, creating new purchasing procedures, or implementing a computer system, can all benefit from basic project management techniques. Failure to do so can lead to poor results or even failure. Many people cringe at the mere mention of project management. It conjures up images of boring, repetitive, boring tasks and endless documentation that doesn’t matter. This attitude is not unwarranted, especially if you have worked in large bureaucratic organisations. In these environments, the work of managing a project is often the most important task. However, the real work is not always accomplished. Many project management software applications have a lot of functionality, but they can be too complex and cumbersome for most people. It can be a tedious, time-consuming task to learn how to use these project management software and keep the plan current. It is easy to get frustrated by these seemingly complicated techniques. Let’s get on with the job! ? This is the most common approach and it can lead to serious problems. But what exactly is the job? You must plan a project in enough detail to achieve the desired goals. It is important to know how much detail is needed to keep everyone on track and on task without making the management process too complicated. These considerations must be considered in all projects.
- What is the purpose of this work and what is its overall goal?
- When are we done?
- What are the tasks required to get there?
- What are the most difficult tasks?
- When and how should the tasks be completed?
- Who will actually do the tasks, and where?
- What resources and budget are required.
- What are the likely risks?
- How can we keep things on track and monitor progress?
While you can’t paint every project the same way, there are some principles and tools that should be used for all projects. The Project Charter The Project Charter outlines the scope, objectives and deliverables for the work. It is essential for initiating, planning and executing, as well as controlling and monitoring the project’s progress. It is the ultimate project master document and should be used as the only reference point for all aspects of the project, including goals and objectives, scope, organization and estimates, deliverables and budget. The Charter contains topics that can be supported by additional project control documents. These documents will be identified in the Charter and described as to their purpose and how they are used throughout the project’s life cycle. This helps to limit changes to the master document and provides a mechanism for monitoring and controlling key areas of the project. The Project Charter is also a contract between Project Sponsors and Project Team. Projects of any size are likely to get sidetracked. Imagine a straight highway connecting two cities. Now imagine the back roads that connect the two cities. Most projects will struggle to stick to the highway because everyone seems to have a reason to divert from it from time-to-time. Your job as a PM, is to keep everyone on track.