Wordsworth Moon. Project Management. July 21st , 2021.
Risks are any events which can adversely affect the successful outcome of the project. I've worked on projects where some of the risks have included: staff lacking the technical skills to perform the work properly, hardware not being delivered on time, the control room being at risk of flooding in a major thunderstorm and many others. Risks will vary from project to project but it is important to identify the main risks to a project as soon as possible and to plan the actions necessary to avoid the risk, or, if the risk cannot be avoided, to at least mitigate the risk in order to lessen its impact if it does occur. This is what is known as risk management.
Once you have begun to execute the project tasks and activities, you will begin controlling the work and the times it takes to complete it. Controlling the project is not as difficult as it sounds if you have good management support. Again, try and remember that your resources (those doing the work) are responsible to the stakeholders and management to ensure that they are completing their assigned work, on time. Your role is to ensure that everyone knows what tasks and activities they are supposed to be working on and tracking that completion on the project plan. From there, at regular intervals, you need to report progress to management. Management won't typically want to know every task that is being done, but they will need to be apprised of what tasks are behind schedule. You always need to have a "point of escalation" plan in case things go south. It is a good idea to also set up a weekly meeting with all of your resources to discuss tasks, completion, issues and other items affecting the project. This becomes your leveraging tool for managing people not in your area and not under your direct management. This also allows a forum to be in place so that everyone is on the same page when issues or questions arise about tasks and activities.
Project management is a term that in some respects appears ubiquitous, yet in practice, it seems to still be relatively confined to big business. While this may be the case, the underpinnings of project management are actually quite simple and can be adapted by virtually anyone. But, before we get too far down this path I think it is important to look at what project management is...and what it is not.
By the nature of most projects never going exactly to plan, changes will need to be made to the length, direction and type of tasks carried out by the team. This has to be fully documented by the Project Manager in the form of 'change control'. Change control involves the Project Manager in documenting requests for change, identifying the impact on the project if the change is to be implemented (e.g. will it affect the finish time of the project, will the project run over budget, are there enough resources) and then informing all stakeholders of the implications and alternatives that the request for change has identified. The implementation phase ends once the project has achieved its goals and objectives as detailed by the key success criteria in the Project Definition Report.
The implementation phase is about tracking and managing the project. The first thing that happens when the project begins is to use the Project Definition Report to create a project plan which defines how to perform what is detailed on the PD report. The PD is more of a summary of the project, so a detailed project plan must be created to fill in the fine detail of how the project will be run. The project plan is the central document that is used to manage the project for its duration so getting agreement and acceptance from all of the team on aspects such as the project milestones, phases and tasks, as well as who is responsible for each task, associated timelines and what deadlines are to be met.
Importance of Project Management is an important topic because all organizations, be they small or large, at one time or other, are involved in implementing new undertakings. These undertakings may be diverse, such as, the development of a new product or service; the establishment of a new production line in a manufacturing enterprise; a public relations promotion campaign; or a major building program. Whilst the 1980's were about quality and the 1990's were all about globalization, the 2000's are about velocity. That is, to keep ahead of their competitors, organizations are continually faced with the development of complex products, services and processes with very short time-to-market windows combined with the need for cross-functional expertise. In this scenario, project management becomes a very important and powerful tool in the hands of organizations that understand its use and have the competencies to apply it.
So far as the mechanics of the Charter, here are some definitions. The "objective" is really just stating what the project should accomplish. The scope of the project is simply defining the parameters or boundaries of what will be done to accomplish the project. The things that need to be done to make the project a success are called deliverable. These are packages of work that need to be done, either individually or collectively, for the project to move along as planned. Finally, the authorize are the ones that have the authority to say yes or no to the project and ultimately the ones that are going to pay for it. The authorize are also called Stakeholders...not because they love beef, but because these are actually the people that have the highest "stake" in the project being done right. Sticking with our wedding planning theme, the stakeholders might be the Bride, Groom, Parents and the minister.
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