Project management, the basics


We live in a world of constant change, organisations must modify its products and services in order to compete. Organisations use projects to implement innovations. The equation of change is as follows:

More change = more innovation = more projects  

Have you been in meetings where managers said things like these:

  • We are currently working in development phase but we don’t know how much money this project will cost
  • The market has not received this product as how we expected
  • We will go “live” 6 months behind schedule
  • This functionality is not what I was asking for
  • The project is over budget
  • Do you know our business objective?

If you have been in this kind of talks, good project management is the solution to your problems.

Project characteristics:

  1. Each project has a beginning and an end
  2. It produces a unique product or service

Projects are different from daily operations as this doesn’t have an end date (depending on the business model) and produces similar products. Think of daily operations as a restaurant.

Project constraints:

The challenge of every project is to make it work and be successful within the Triple Constraint being quality (scope), cost (resources) and schedule (time).

  • Something quickly and to high quality, it will be expensive.
  • Something quickly and cheap, it will not be of high quality.
  • Something cheap and to high quality, it will take a long time

Scope/Quality: the scope of a project clearly expresses the desired final result of a project.

Resources/Cost: when talking about the cost of a project, we are talking about what needs to be applied or assigned to the project in terms of money and effort in order to make things happen.

Time/Schedule: the amount of time required to complete each and every component of a project.

Tip: “When it comes to pushing out the date or being flexible about the scope, prefer the latter. When you are pushing the date this is like saying you need more money.”

Project life cycle:

Project life cycle
The project life cycle has the following phases: Definition, Planning, Execution, Closing and Evaluation. The major challenge of every project is Challenge: to align the project with business strategy and objectives and communication with stakeholders.

Project risks:

Project risks
Based on the project life cycle, the major risks are: Not having support from Top Management and No alignment with strategy and business objectives

2 thoughts on “Project management, the basics

  1. Vikash Kumar June 15, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    Hi
    Thanks for exploring your knowledge. Every project manager should know these points during projects:
    Expenses
    Quality
    Time period.
    Every project manager follows the project life cycle for accomplishing the projects in given time period.

    • Carlose Lopez June 15, 2016 / 12:05 pm

      Thanks Vikash to share your point, agree every project has a start and end and this timeframe must be taken into account.

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