Guide to Project Management
A project is an assignment or task taken up to achieve a specific goal. The development and introduction of new services or of a management information system are instances of a project. A project is different from the continuous or day-to-day processes of a company. It is confined within cost, time, and quality constraints. As a consequence to it a special team of expertise is appointed to manage a project.
Handling a Project - The Project Manager's Role
Project management as the name suggests is all about nurturing or handling a project. This is done with the aid of requisite knowledge about the project, skills and techniques to complete the project within fixed tenure and resources. Project management involves step-by-step procedure along with a prudent approach towards the project.
At first the concerned organization prepares an outline of the project. This includes knowing and writing down what the project is all about, the cost involved in the project, the amount of resources needed. A thought is also given to the tentatively earliest possible time within which the project can be completed. Once the budget and other nitty-grittys about the project are known the organization looks for sponsors and a project manager. If the individual sponsoring the project is skilled and efficient enough, he too can be its manager.
The project manager then appoints a team of people to work under him. Together with the team the manager of the project prepares a project plan. This plan is not just about the cost and time factors but also regarding the manner in which the project is to be initiated and handled for the course of the project. This requires lot of discussions and settlements between the project manager and the team of employees.
Project Implementation Stage
The implementation stage of a project is where the project is put to execution as decided. While executing a project its progress and managing changes need to be carefully monitored. At this point in order to harness the resources well the project manager might feel the need to expand his team. For instance marketing of the product may be suffering due to more heed being paid to its manufacturing or due to lack of good marketing executives. This may also involve contacting new companies and organizations. Thus a set of people needs to be readily appointed to take charge of this. However then it is always at the onus of the manager to equip the new members with a proper and complete knowledge of the project. In some cases training may also be imparted.
Project Completion Stage
After all these stages are over, the project comes at its stage of completion. This is known as the close down stage. Here the project manager safely handles the completed work in the hand of the client or the customer. Once a project is finished and handed over, a project review meeting should be held to study the work done, encourage if something good was discovered during the project and also learn from the mistakes made. These should also be documented and later published in warts and all. This acts as a great help in future assignments