Project management Guide

What are the project management topics covered

This section explains the fundamentals of project management which is considered both a science and an art.  You will discover everything you need to know about project management including some definitions, its history, project management frameworks and the project lifecycle with each of the key phases from initiation to closing.  It will give you a good understanding of how to successfully implement any type of projects.

Topics

  1. What is a project
  2. What is project management
  3. What are project management goals
  4. What is project success
  5. What is project management history
  6. What are project management methodologies
  7. What is a project lifecycle
  8. What is risk management
  9. What is team management
  10. What is resource management
  11. What is expectations management
  12. What is managing dependencies
  13. What is quality assurance
  14. What is project closing
  15. What is project documentation
  16. What is a project best-practices
  17. What are the project industries
  18. What is programme management

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Project

What is a project

A project is a temporary endeavour which has a defined beginning and end, usually constrained by date, budget and specific deliverables.  It is undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, usually to bring about beneficial change or added value.
The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (also called operations), which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management.
A project has the following characteristic:

  1. It is a temporary endeavour: it has a defined beginning and end
  2. It is undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives: beneficial change or added value

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Project management

What is project management

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.
As define by the Project Management Institute, project management is "the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements".  It is all about producing results on a specific project by respecting the time frame, cost and quality.

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Project management goals

What are project management goals

The primary goal of project management is to successfully deliver a project within the scope, time, budget (also known as the project management triangle) and to the highest possible standards. 
The secondary goal is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs (resources, time, technology…) necessary to meet pre-defined objectives.

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Project success

What is project success

By definition a project success is based on the delivery of the initial requirement within the scope, time and budget. It is also important to consider project success from an investment perspective where value to the business adding with a substantial return on investment.
Some of the questions worth considering at the beginning of a project includes:

  1. What is project success (from a client, sponsor, PM, team, ressource manager perspective)
  2. What are the project success criteria’s (acceptance criteria)
  3. Why do project fail (communication, resources, sponsor..)
  4. How to reduce the probability of failure (risk management, industry knowledge..)

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Project management history

What is project management history

The history of Project management can be traced back to the 1950s when it became recognized as a distinct discipline combining management discipline with engineering model.  Two mathematical project-scheduling models were developed in those time including the "Critical Path Method" (CPM) and PERT.
Soon after a variety of organizations started to systematically apply project management tools and techniques including Henry Gantt, best known as the father of a planning technique known as the Gantt chart and Henri Fayol, creator of the five management functions that form the foundation of the project management body of knowledge
In the later 60’s the International Project Management Association (IPMA) was founded in Europe and was soon followed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the USA. with both organisations  offering a variety of certifications.

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Project management methodologies

What are project management methodologies

They are a variety of Project management Methodologies and some of the most important include Waterfall the more traditional approach, PRINCE2 with its structured framework and Agile/Scrum being more iterative and enabling faster changes to the project.
The various approaches to manage project activities include:

  1. Waterfall (traditional)
  2. PRINCE2 (structured)
  3. Critical chain project management (CCPM)
  4. Process-based management
  5. Agile project management
  6. Lean project management
  7. Extreme project management
  8. Benefits realization project management

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Project lifecycle

What is a project lifecycle

The Project Lifecycle is the different processes taken by a team to deliver a project from initiation to completion. The project is usually constrained by date, budget and specific deliverables and is undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, that should add value or is a beneficial change to the business. 
A traditional project lifecycle has the following key stages normally completed in sequence:

  1. Project initiation phase should determine the nature and scope of the project (the why of any project). 
  2. Project planning and design is the act of defining the blueprint of the why, when and who of a project
  3. Project implementation consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project plan to accomplish the project’s requirements
  4. Project monitoring and controlling consists of those processes performed to observe project execution
  5. Project completion is the formal acceptance of the end of project or version

In an Agile/SRUM methodology the planning, execution and monitor phase will be done in an incremental fashion every week/sprint.

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Project prototyping

What is risk Project prototyping

Project prototyping: simulates only a few aspects of the final product
Discover the benefits of Software prototyping, where only a few aspects of the final product is implemented  in order to get user feedback as soon as possible and to gauge the accuracy of initial project estimates and whether the deadlines and milestones proposed can be successfully met.
Prototyping, which derives from the Greek word meaning primitive form, is a method to deliver an early sample of a product to test a concept or validate an assumptions.  It often serves to provide specifications for a real, working system.
Discover the benefits of Software prototyping, where only a few aspects of the final product is implemented  in order to get user feedback as soon as possible and to gauge the accuracy of initial project estimates and whether the deadlines and milestones proposed can be successfully met.

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Project budgeting

What is project budgeting

The project budgeting is the act of precisely estimate  all the costs required to complete all the project tasks. It is usually based on a top level budget created at the scoping phase.  The typical budget usually sums up the costs for the direct resources required (staff, equipment, services…) but also other related cost such as training, travel and operating costs.

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