Technology

WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT- STAGES, EXAMPLES, AND METHODOLOGIES

Introduction:

Today, project management is the catalyst for completing the work on time. Project professionals help ensure that an organization achieves its goals through various methodologies. Each project is unique in its way and has a journey of its own.

Table of contents:

  • Stages of Project management
  • Examples of project management
  • Some methodologies of Project Management
  • Conclusion

Stages of project management: 

The Project Management Institute, the world’s largest nonprofit membership association, divides a project into five phases or stages. The association also offers training and certifications in project management. It has set fundamental standards and practices for an ideal project used worldwide.

1.   Stage 1: Initiation of the project: The first step is to define a project broadly and analyze its feasibility. Stakeholders can decide whether they want to go further with the project at the time of initiation by using the following two methods:

  1. Creating a business case document: A layout or framework for what the organization actually requires, how it will be beneficial for them, and meet the expectations in terms of profit.

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  1. Studying the feasibility: A document for assessing the requirements of resources needed and what is already available to complete the project. This also helps determine the cost and other factors whether it’s the right option to move ahead with.
  1. The next step is to conclude these two documents, their objectives, and expectations, and prepare a Project Initiation Document (PID).

2.   Stage 2: Planning of the project: The next step is to outline the project goals and requirements of the project planning. Next, the project manager and its team need to draft a roadmap for the entire project – from defining objectives, identifying the exact purpose, setting the timeline for deliverables, creating a workflow schedule, and arranging the resources required.

3.   Stage 3: Execution of the project: Moving further, this is the step where the actual project begins. The layout is explained to the team members, and work is assigned accordingly. What needs to be done and what is expected is made clear, like- Assigning individual tasks, procuring resources, giving deadlines on a day-to-day basis, following up regularly, and solving any issues that occur.

4.   Stage 4: Monitoring the project: To make sure that everything is going as planned, monitoring is essential. For that, a project manager can use various key performance indicators (KPI) to check the project’s progress, adherence to timelines, keeping everything in the budget, and success. The manager is the point of contact between the team and the stakeholder and is responsible for measuring and updating the project at every stage.

5.   Stage 5: The closing of the project: The last and final step of the project management is project closure. Here, the final project is delivered to the stakeholders and is ready to be evaluated by them. They give the team feedback and ask them to make any changes if required. There are also tools available for audit trail and optimization to complete the process. There are a lot of lessons and additional knowledge to take away from for future projects.

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Some examples of project management:

Project management is used not just in business but everywhere; therefore, using some basic examples can be really helpful. These are really simple, and if you stick to them, the desired results can be achieved without much stress.

1.   Taking requirements from the clients and communicating them to the respective team

The first thing to do is to take the requirements from the client. It is important to have a clear one-on-one meeting in doing so as communication plays a key role. Next, create a blueprint or a rough layout following the client’s expectations and the other necessary details. Once this is done, you’ll know what to build on. The next thing is to have a meeting with your team in order to communicate the project’s objective. Here, be open for an interactive conversation as the team’s inputs can be beneficial for the project. Finally, after having an overall meeting, explain the individual tasks to the concerned person. For example, the technical team will take care of the technical aspect of the project; the content team will take care of the content, a marketing team will handle the marketing, and so on.

2.   Development of the product: 

When the basic outline of the project is prepared and communicated, then comes the time to start working on the product. Since the work of individual members in the team is interdependent, the one who is responsible for the fundamental step will start work first—followed by subsequent people. For example, if an application needs to be developed, the person who does coding will begin the work much prior to other team members. Meanwhile, other departments must also work on their parts so that there is no delay in proceeding from one stage to the other. In this way, a product reaches is completed and reaches the final stage well in time.

3.   Marketing campaign planning: 

The most important step in the marketing of a product. You need to remember that the product that you are developing for a client is not just for them but eventually has to be in the market. Thus, the planning of how to make it visible relies on you. The people who are developing the product become well-versed in how it works, for who it is, what value it holds, etc. This then helps in the promotional and marketing campaign. The planning needs to be done right from the initialization of the product, but the team must be ready to change and adapt to the market’s prevailing trends. A trial of the product can be done before actually launching it in the market. Recording the experiences of the customers can also help in increasing the value of the product and its makers.

4.   Human resource and team management: 

The task force of an organization is the most important asset. Therefore, having good team members is essential for success. Managing human resources could be a daunting task but sorts the major portion of the project if done in the right manner. Having people that are skilled, experienced, or not but determined to make everything work is essential. Not only this, but the project manager’s vision must align with that of the team. Apart from the professional relationship, a personal bond must be initiated as it helps in reaching the maximum potential. Also, upskilling programs and workshops must be organized to keep the team updated with technologies and tools. Incentives provided for the success of a product is also a way to keep them content and motivated.

5.   Testing and maintenance management: 

It is important to complete the project in a given time and make it flawless. The nature of technology is fickle and demands constant maintenance and testing. When a project is ready to be delivered to the client, it is essential that it is tested multiple times. Any operational or functional error must be rectified prior to the case of complaint. Multiple test levels must be there for the smooth working of a product. Also, there needs to be always room for change if asked by a client. In some situations, changes are big and time taking, so the team must be ready to face that. Thus, you need to be predictive of the response of a product. Thus, sending out the product for different people to use other than the ones who developed it is the real test.

Some methodologies of project management:

With rapid technological advancement, methods and techniques for project management are constantly changing. However, there are some standard project management methodologies that project managers have been using for a long time. These are trustworthy and extremely helpful in planning, executing, and optimizing a particular project. The methods can differ in terms of project purpose and distinct industries.

  1. Adaptive Project Framework: This borrows different elements, is processed from other management methodologies, and forms a unique combination. This helps you in the customization of your project according to your requirement. The highlight of APF is the step when you create a project. It suggests you pick the most suitable approach out of the available ones and then adapt your project accordingly. 

Since no project is the same, this methodology is really helpful in adapting to meet the project goals.

  1. Critical Chain Project Management: This methodology mainly focuses on a project’s time and duration.Critical Chain Project Management establishes task dependencies to make sure that the project is completed on time. It also calculates buffers, notifies task completion, assesses progress, and sets priorities. It also allows you to have free time slots (buffer) between critical tasks much prior so that the deadlines do not get affected. This keeps the workflow sorted and hassle-free.
  1. Critical Path Method: This method looks into the entire sequence of a project’s critical activities. From distributing resources to evaluating risks, this works in a way in which you can’t start a task if you haven’t finished the previous task activities. In addition, the system automatically calculates and indicates critical activities based on their complexity and urgency. This makes you work faster, well in time and avoid further problems.
  1. PRINCE2: It is a method that divides the project accountability between the board and a project manager. The board provides all the required resources, and a project manager handles all tasks and activities performed by their team. This offers better control on defining roles, resources, and risk management, reviewing cycles and phases, and emphasizing the end product. PRINCE2 consists of all the essential and favourable tools to look into the project from start to finish.

Conclusion: 

Basic knowledge of project management isn’t enough in a world like today. To deal with complex and new kinds of projects, one needs the right kind of tools. The planning of the project needs to really keep all the factors in mind. The estimation of success cannot be overdone and is a slow process. However, if it sounds a little too complicated, you can always revise it from the basics. Reinventing yourself with every project is the only way forward!

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