Introduction to Project Management
In this Topic, we are going to learn about the Introduction to Project Management. As it’s widely known, Henry Gantt was one of the pioneers of project management who developed the popular Gantt Chart, which is used as a diagram for project management.‘Projects’ are tasks that could be part of our routine lives or any business. Projects could be anything from preparing a meal at home or organizing a vacation tour. And, if it’s business or work-related, developing a website or software, product or a tool, construction of a building can be termed as ‘Projects’.
Thus, the project is an endeavor, with a set of temporary tasks implemented to attain targeted objectives within defined time, scope, resources, and cost. The distinguishing factor between ‘project management and ‘management’ is that the latter is an ongoing process while the former has a definite span of time and deliverable. In simpler terms, ‘Project Management is a process which requires the application of knowledge, skills, and expertise, tools and techniques as well as deliverables to make the project a success so as to attain the desired objectives/goals.
Elements of Project Management
As we learned about the Introduction to Project Management in the above section, so let’s understand the five elements:
- Initiating: The first stage of PM, where formalizing of the project plan, charter and scope are defined so as to determine the cost, resources, timeline, and budgeting for the project.
- Planning: The most crucial stage of all, this stage includes strategist the scope of a project, identifying risks, if any and developing mitigation plans by creating a set of tasks to administer the project.
- Executing: This is a stage where the project team is ready to launch or administer the project. The tasks are delegated and resumed so as to keep track of the project and efficiently manage the same.
- Monitoring/Controlling: At this stage, evaluation of project performance is undertaken by comparing the real-time results to the defined actuals so as to ensure all the goals and deliverables are met.
- Closing: The last stage of a project where deliverables are surrendered to the customers, forwarding of documents to the business, the release of resources, and notifying the closure of the project to the stakeholders are carried out.
Apart from the above-mentioned phases, project management also includes many discrete functions such as defining project scope, schedule, resource, and budgeting. Procurement, managing risks, communication, and negotiation with the stakeholders also form an integral part in the management of the projects.
Types of Project Management
After going through the wide Introduction to Project Management and the five elements, we are going to explore the different types of project management which are developed to align with the requirements of particular industries or different types of project. Let’s explore them.
- Waterfall PM: As the name suggests, this is the conventional type of PM that follows the traditional pattern wherein the next task is resumed only after the completion of the previous task. Therefore, project timeline and attention to the sequence of tasks is paramount in this type of PM. In this type of PM, the team size goes on expanding as the smaller tasks are finished and the larger ones begin.
- Agile PM: The IT sector were the pioneers who use this type of PM. Unlike the conventional one, Agile follows the continual process of improvement through monitoring, continuous follow-up, and interactions with the team members as per the business conditions. Thus, it helps in identifying and rectification of errors without having to resume the entire process all over again, which is a plus!
- Lean PM: Lean PM is based on the principle of avoiding waste of time and resources. It practices the methodology of creating more value from less, which is primarily based on the Japanese way of functioning. So, the lean way of PM focuses on adding value by the elimination of everything else that fails to add value!
Role of Project Manager
The Project Manager is the ‘captain of the ship’ who is leading the project team, plans and executes a project. The project manager is required to ensure whether or not the project is in alignment with the customer’s vision and quality standards. The success or failure of the project is bestowed on the shoulders of the Project Manager.
Here are the roles and responsibilities of a Project Manager:
- Identifying and defining the project scope, timeline, resources and developing the budget.
- Formalizing the identified factors and putting forth the documents, preparing schedules and charts.
- Monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the progress to the stakeholders
- Conducting risk analysis, managing risks, and developing mitigation plans.
- Communicating and negotiating with the stakeholders
- Maintaining the quality standards of a project.
- Monitoring and managing the results as per the defined actuals.
- Closing the project by analyzing the results and communicating the same to the stakeholders.
Want to start a career in Project Management? Here is what you need to know:
As organizations are continually striving to improve the success rates for their projects, there is a substantial and emerging market for skills in project management. Globalization has resulted in a demand for project management roles. Whichever be the industry, project management professionals are in constant demand. Every organization in every sector are in need of project managers. Be it public or private sector, or an NGO, the demand for project managers is increasing. Therefore, keeping it as a career option will definitely land you with many job opportunities in different sectors around the world. Since project management is a job with great responsibilities and requires specific skill-sets, the compensation offered for project managers is quite good.
A professional course/degree in project management would enable to acquire skills in any professional tasks, develops expertise in handling stakeholders, managing risks and resources. There are many different types of certifications available for those willing to kickstart their career in project management. Having said so much about project management and its applicability in today’s world, don’t miss an opportunity to make your dream career in project management!
This has been a guide on Introduction to Project Management. Here we have discussed the basic concept, role, five elements and the types of Project Management. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –