Here are some questions we hear frequently that demonstrate a misunderstanding of project management:
Project management is a specialist discipline. In a well run project, there is a constant array of management issues to deal with, as well as a challenging routine of project management processes.
The Project Manager is responsible for everything that is required to make the project a success - whether directly or indirectly. It is not like a typical hierarchical line management role. The Project Manager is at the centre of everything relating to the project. Controlling the contributions of seniors and peers is just as important as managing the work of the team.
Bear in mind that the Project Manager needs to achieve this without direct control over the participants. The Project Manager will not have power over the leadership, nor the internal and external contributors. Even in the project team there may be loaned staff, part-timers and sub-contractors who will have their prime loyalties elsewhere.
Project management is a complex undertaking, with many stages and processes. It should follow the full business lifecycle, from definition and justification of the project, through to delivering demonstrable benefits for the business.
The project manager's skills are essential from the beginning. The defined approach and its business case will rely on a good understanding of the project process along with reliable estimating and carefully considered planning.
As well as the project manager's prime objective to deliver the results, there are many supporting disciplines and processes. These should ensure that the project will deliver a valuable result without surprises. The foremost need is to monitor the anticipated level of benefits and make adjustments to deliver optimum results. The leadership team should also actively identify and manage risks, issues, changed requirements, quality standards, plus a host of other side issues.
Not all these processes follow the traditional development lifecycle. In particular, it is wrong to consider the project has finished when the new system goes live. That way you will never know whether it delivered the planned benefits and you will probably not achieve them! Management attention must be retained to deliver the benefits - through to the Post-Implementation Review (PIR) and beyond. Some of the project management processes will migrate into continuing line management processes to be used throughout the life of the solution.
Few organisations get the most out of their programmes and projects. Intelligently adapting a company's current approach to adopt the features of best-practice management approaches can lead to considerable benefits. It will ensure your objectives are realistic and will produce optimum benefit. It will seek to deliver the goals with no surprise. It will ensure everything is done to optimise the overall benefit to the organisation, despite changes to the business, changes in the economy and the inevitable snags along the way. In these uncertain times you need to be able to answer the following questions with assurance.
Each project should have a proper definition, for example: objectives, budget, performance measures, accountabilities and timescale. It should follow well-defined project management processes, designed to ensure it stays on track to deliver optimum benefit. To have any degree of confidence in the outcome of a project you need to put in place the right people with the right combination of skills. They should work with the best practice processes and tools to make sure the project is properly defined and run. This needs to be in place before the work starts.
To have any degree of confidence in the outcome of a project you need to put in place the right people with the right combination of skills. They should work with the best practice processes and tools to make sure the project is properly defined and run. This needs to be in place before the work starts.
|ePMbook - Project Management Overview|
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