Project management tutorial

1. Project -key definition

A project means a group of activities that need to be done in order to accomplish a set ob objectives in a specific time and with available resources. A project has many phases that must be done until it reaches its end.

1.1. The Scope of the project- this is the most important thing about a project. A complex scope must be broken down into small pieces and chunks of activities to facilitate easier management. The scope is what moves everything.

1.2. Resources- in this category we can find everything that we need for a project: people, machines, material, information etc. Each of the resources has its importance for the project and the project manager should know how to deal with each one and how to plan their use. A good project means a large use of resources which in general cost money so the cost should be optimized always.

1.3. The Schedule - a good schedule disables the lack of time because by setting milestones you avoid loosing time. And time is money, so a good schedule is an important key to success!

2. Project Life Cycle - each project has many and different stages and phases. But the most important ones are in each project:

2.1. Project Initiation Phase - this is the beginning of each project and it's based on the requirements received. In this phase you define the project, it's scope and it's limits. The Project managers allocates a certain budget and gives the schedule.

2.2. Project Planning phase - this involves the drawing of the plan, the resource plan and the schedule considering also the budget.
In this phase milestones are established and the work is broken down into smaller pieces and activities than can be done easier. After you complete each activity, you move on on the next one and so on until you finish them all.
In addition, in this phase you must also plan how to use the available resources and budget so you won't realize after a time that they are all gone and you cannot finish the project anymore. So you must consider also the risks and allocate the budget according to them.
The way you set milestone goes like this:
-first you split the project into subprojects and further split them into activities or tasks.
-you identify the duration taken to complete a task.
-you identify the resources needed to complete a task.
-you identify how this tasks is connected with other tasks.
-in the end, you arrive to certain parameters for every task: the earliest time for the task and the later time for the task. Practically, you will be in between these values. In addition, you'll also find an optimistic value for the duration of the project and a pessimistic one. The most likely duration is what matters the most because this is probably what will happen.

3. The role of Project Manager is a very good one during the planning phase of the project. After this phase ends, he continues to assume the overall responsibility for the success and the failure of the project. His main objectives are:
-to choose the team;
-to set milestones;
-to calculate the duration of the project;
- to arrive at an optimal project plan and to avoid resources conflicts;
-to ensure that the team members stay focused on the objectives and remain motivated during their work;
-to envision possible risks and their impacts on the project;
-to handle risks in a professional way when they appear;
-to interact with the customers and ensure that they are satisfied;
-to ensure the success of the project.

Other resources

  • Keys to a Successful PMO (Project Management Office)
    Over the past ten years the number and rate of implementations of PMOs (Project Management Offices) has been consistently increasing as organizations have begun to regard themselves as project-oriented entities. Possibly the most important business driver behind this trend is the globalized fast-paced marketplace which forces firms that want to keep up with customer expectations, competition, and shifting economic conditions to perform more and more efficiently using fewer resources. This article describes the essentials of PMO and provides readers with some guidelines to successfully establish a PMO.
    Read more: Project Management Office
  • Project Closure Phase
    The project Closure Phase is the last phase of a Project. It starts upon completion of all Project Objectives and acceptance of the end product by the customer. Having a formal closure is the key to avoid disputes with a customer or with an internal client and it helps improve the efficiency of the next projects.
    Read more: Project Closure Phase
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