Project Management is the art of managing all the aspects of a project. Lets understand the definition and important concepts of project management along with the role of a project manager in detail.
Articles on Project Management
A project is an activity to meet the creation of a unique product or service and thus activities that are undertaken to accomplish routine activities cannot be considered projects.
Project management is very important in production of goods and services. The article disusses in detail about the characteristics, life cycle, activities and techniques of project management.
The rational approach to organizations is appealing to most managers because of the comfort factor in such an approach. Lets discuss in detail the rational approach towards project management.
Given the recent trend towards viewing people as assets instead of just another factor of production, managers in service sector companies use the open systems approach to project management.
Project Management and its practice have become indispensable to the modern day project manager and they form the basis of much of what is achieved during the project. Lets understand the importance of project management for the organizations.
There are several components of project management that encompass the spectrum of project management. The article discusses the components of project management along with the role of the project manager.
Team management during a project involves various activities like - team member selection, team building strategies, conflict management within diverse teams etc. Lets discuss all these activities in detail.
There are several models of behaviour that the project manager can draw upon in his or her work. These modles include - Maslows need hierarchy model, Herzbergs Hygiene theory and McGregors theory X and theory Y etc.
This article addresses the question: Should Project Managers behave like Prima Donnas? The question is about the role of the project managers and the ways in which they steer the project towards completion.
In contemporary organizations, it is essential for project managers to have exceptional soft skills like communication, people management, conflict resolution, and mentoring skills. Indeed, it has become impossible for project managers to grow or even survive in organizations if they do not have these skills. This article discusses some essential soft skills that project managers must have to attain greater heights in their careers.
This article examines the art and science of bidding as an essential skill for project managers. The key themes in this article are that bidding must balance the external needs of the clients with the internal capabilities of the vendors so that neither the client nor the vendor loses in the bargain. In addition, this article also makes a case for the interests of the employees to be protected in instances where project managers bid aggressively which results in extra stress and work for their teams.
There are several types of cost associated with the projects like - fixed costs, variable costs, direct costs, cumulative costs etc. Let us study all these costs in detail.
This article details the high level project plan and the components of the same. The project plan consists of - Project Objectives, Work Breakdown Structure and the Responsibility Matrix.
The article tries to portray some concepts of the project management processes taking an example of an automation tool for a maintenance project in a software company.
Large IT projects are difficult to manage and usually are beset by delays and cost overruns. Hence, vendors must follow some rules when managing large IT projects and this involves several aspects some of which are discussed in this article. The key theme in this article is that large IT projects need active involvement of all stakeholders and not a single project manager who does multitasking.
Rework in a project can arise due to change in scope. This results in modification of project baseline and as a result changes have to be made to the project management plan, resource plan, schedule plan etc.
Every project manager is tasked with the selection of resources and people for the project. The project manager has to ensure that he or she intelligently goes about procurement of materials.
Communications planning involves identifying the information and communication needs of the stakeholders. Project communications are both internal and external.
Project integration management refers to the process of tying everything in place. It is the process that integrates all the disparate processes and provides a focus for the project.
The art of project management calls for an increased vigil on quality and related processes. The project manager is expected to be aware of the best practices that are used for the project.
This article is about the difference between Quality Management and Quality control. These two terms are often used interchangeably without understanding the difference between the ways in which they relate to the overall processes of the project management.
Quality Frameworks like Six Sigma, ISO 9000 and Baldridge are required to ensure that companies derive a source of competitive advantage in the way in which they produce superior products with minimal errors.
This article discusses the difference between time and material billing and fixed cost billing from multiple perspectives. This article also discusses which is preferable when and the emerging trend of billing in fixed cost mode. The key theme of this article is that irrespective of which form of billing the contract is drawn up in, both sides must adhere to the terms of the contract without invoking the penalty clauses.
This article discuses why project managers should not overpromise and underestimate at the same time. The key themes in this article are that while overpromising leads to cost and time overruns, underestimating leads to the clients moving away and hence, both must be avoided for a successful actualization of client outcomes.
This article discusses the vital need for project managers and software project managers in particular to be person independent. The key themes in this article are that in case an employee has a personal emergency, resigns suddenly, or is asked to leave by the company, the project should not suffer and hence, this article discusses strategies, policies, and procedures in addition to processes that would make firms person independent.
This article examines the importance of ethics for project managers. By using examples and real world situations, this article explains why it is important for project managers to be ethical and follow the rules and regulations while executing projects. Moreover, this article also looks at some consequences for unethical behaviour especially in the context of longer-term sustainability and reputation of the organizations.
This article examines the common reasons for why most projects run into problems and suggest some ways in which such problems can be handled if not avoided. While it is impossible to have projects without problems, it is also the case that the art and science of project management can be perfected to produce the best possible outcome for all stakeholders.
Project Managers must master the art of dealing with disruptions using data and gut feel. They must also anticipate the Known Unknowns and the Unknown Unknowns to ensure that they are prepared as well as react and respond accordingly. Moreover, they must not succumb to Analysis Paralysis and drop the ball during disruptions. The example of the US Military Planning cited in this article is intended to illustrate how to deal with disruptions.
It is not enough for project managers to be good at planning and yet fail at implementation. Indeed, most projects fail because they suffer from poor implementation and lack of on the ground knowledge. Thus, it is the case that project managers must keep their eyes and ears to the ground and seek and receive feedback from all personnel irrespective of whether they are part of the planning or the implementation team. Lastly, project management must also contain a manager with implementation experience so that the success of the project is guaranteed.
Project Managers can benefit from Knowledge Management Systems wherein they use the learning and the insights from past projects to deal with uncertainties and risks. Indeed, most reputed organizations have elaborate templates and risk management plans in place to help newbie project managers. Apart from that, personal sharing of insights and learning is also recommended. Lastly, Quality Frameworks such as SEI CMM have set models in place to ensure that organizations evolve to a stage where each new iteration is better than the previous one.
We live in an age of disruptions. So, project managers must be prepared to deal with disruptions by using a combination of data driven risk management as well as by employing plain common sense and gut feel. Apart from that, they must intuit and sense the impacts of disruptive events and prepare. While the Known Unknowns can be estimated, the Unknown Unknowns have to be simply deal with as they arise.
Everyone is talking about Agile in the Managerial world. However, what it means for Project Managers in their 40s and steeped in what were once cutting edge now obsolete is something that needs more attention from them. In this article, we discuss ways and means Project Managers can “embrace” this “hot” methodology which is already the “Talk of the Town” as far corporates are concerned. The key theme in this article is that it needs more of a mindset change for managers to be Agile and that transitioning to it requires some adjustments on their part.
Nearly 80% of all projects fail to deliver on time. In this article, we explore the reasons for such delays and suggest some solutions that can be adopted to redress the problems. We also argue for realistic budgeting of time and caution against aggressive commitments to clients that though attractive for revenues initially often make a dent in profits eventually. In addition, we bat for use of technology to aid the project managers in identifying and addressing delays.
This article discusses the opportunities and challenges of project management when employees work from home and when workplaces go virtual. We argue that the long dreamed about Digital Age is upon us and hence, it is up to us to make such visions a reality. We also offer some suggestions on how to manage the downsides and take advantage of the upsides of virtual workplaces in New Normal.
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