Online Resource Guide to Project Management
Project management involves the planning, organization, and management of resources to achieve specific objectives of a project or assignment. It is a temporary process that should be completed within a given time frame, and is different from daily operational activities. A project manager has to produce the best results possible under constraints such as scope, cost, and time. Good project management can provide added value to organizations, resulting in better profits and customer relations, as well as improved staff efficiency.
Initiation is the first step in project management, and addresses the nature and scope of a project. A project manager needs to perform tasks such as analyzing business needs, costs, benefits, current operations, and understand the needs of support personnel and users, influenced by the project. The initiation stage has to be performed well in order for any project to be successful.
Planning and Development
The planning and development stage requires a project manager to create a detailed plan to manage the project. The objective is to allocate time, budget, and resources appropriately, so that the project will be completed according to client expectations with minimal risk involved. In this stage, the project manager has to: determine the most effective way to plan, select a team to execute the project, develop a scope statement, identify deliverables, breakdown the tasks of the project, find the most efficient way to complete deliverables, estimate resources needed for each task, and determine the time and cost required for each task before seeking a supervisor’s approval of the plan.
Production and Execution
This stage involves the execution of the project management plan. The project manager will coordinate resources and people to ensure that project progresses according to plan. He or she also has to make sure that all aspects of the project can be properly integrated to produce the best results. Project managers should be prepared to address and correct any problems that develop during the project, this could be anything from an underestimation of funds to changes in the needs of a client.
Monitoring and Controlling
When the project plan is being executed, the project manager has to monitor all the processes of the project, so that he or she can identify outcomes that deviate from the plan. If a problem occurs, he or she needs to take the necessary measures to overcome modify the plan to meet any new developments. The tasks that the project manager needs to perform in this stage include measuring ongoing activities of the project, comparing outcomes with expectations, finding solutions to problems that arise, and making appropriate changes to project plan if necessary.
After the project is complete, it is typically submitted for a formal approval. The project files should be archived, and the contributions of team members during the project should be documented. The project manager needs to confirm completion of all project activities and close the project formally. After a project has been closed, it is usually achieved for future reference, files included in a closed project may include copies of any contracts, proposals, important emails, and a project itinerary.
Project Manager Career Resources
As various industries in the public and private sectors continue to grow at a rapid rate, there will always be a great demand for capable and well-organized project managers. Project managers are needed in many different industries, including construction, real estate development, architecture, engineering, manufacturing, agriculture, banking, business, telecommunications, computing, pharmaceuticals, and biotech. The career of a project manager can be very challenging, but it also brings excellent financial and personal rewards.