An Introduction to Project ManagementPosted on
What is Project Management?
Project Management is the management of project activities that result in a successful completion and result. This brings together all the components of a project to enable the identification, planning, scheduling and control of the project requirements.
It can be described as a process that brings together resources and tasks to achieve a defined goal on time and on budget which is generally overseen by a Project Manager, Program Manager or Contracts Officer.
In order to fully understand and successfully execute projects it is necessary to understand the fundamental nature of a project and ideally have undertaken a formal Project Management qualification such as the Diploma of Project Management.
What is a Project and who’s involved?
Everyone at some time in their life will undertake a project. Projects come in many forms, from renovating your home or bathroom to building a fifty storey building. Each project has differing degrees of complexity and therefore requires different resources, team and management skills.
The more complex the task, or project, then generally the more project management training you’ll be required to have completed.
If, for example you are regularly involved in the oversight of projects then it’s highly recommended that you hold a formal project management qualification and may be a Project Manager or Project Supervisor.
For anyone who is overseeing a significant portfolio of multiple projects which are of significant dollar value then this person would generally be recognised as a Program Manager and would have completed a formal project management course such as the Diploma of Project Management or a Degree in Project Management.
The results of projects are everywhere. The latest smartphone, a new building, a new transport timetable. Each of these products or services is unique and required planning, people, resources and a collection of completed tasks.
A project has been described as a ‘temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or results’ which has the following major characteristics:
• It has an established objective (goal).
• Is an event with a defined start and end dates (temporary).
• Has generally never been done before (unique).
• Has specific cost, scheduling and resource constraints.
• Usually involves many departments or professionals.
What is a Project not?
Projects are not every day work which requires a person to do the same type of work on a daily basis. A project is only done once and on completion results in a new product or service. Working in a call centre responding to customer enquiries is routine or repetitive work but building a new house is unique and is therefore a project.
Project Frameworks and Methodologies
If you scan the newspaper for project management positions, such as Project Manager, Program Manager, Contracts Administrator or Project Administrator, you will increasingly see references or requirements to PMBoK, PRINCE2, Agile and many other project management methodologies.
A methodology can be described as a system of methods, principles and rules used to regulate a discipline, in this case our discipline is project management. Methodologies can be either proprietary, which means they are marketed under a registered trademark and must be purchased, or non-proprietary and can be used for free.
The 3 most popular project management methodologies in use are:
Whilst undertaking a Project Management Course such as the Diploma of Project Management offered by Australis, you’ll learn the fundamentals of a range of project management methodologies such as those outlined above.
PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments ) Version 2
This methodology was developed by the UK Office of Government Commerce to provide guidance on project management for its public projects and is now used extensively around the world. The PRINCE2 structure is based on 4 components – principles, themes, process and tailoring.
The Agile methodology was developed to manage projects such as software development where the end product may not be clearly defined at the start of the project but develops or evolves over the life of the project. These types of projects require flexibility and the ability to manage change as it occurs.
Agile provides this type of flexible project management environment through rolling wave planning and scheduling development cycles. This allows the work that is known to be planned in detail and future (less known) work to be planned at a higher level with less detail. As the known work is nearing completion, planning for the next iteration (rolling wave) begins using findings and experience from the previous iteration. At the end of each iteration stakeholders and customers are able to review and evaluate the project’s progress to determine if it is still in alignment with the client’s needs.
PMBoK (pronounced ‘pimbock’) is an acronym for Project Management Body of Knowledge. This methodology was created by the Project Management Institute of America Standards Committee (PMI) and is recognised for its project management best practice.
This methodology was originally created to standardise and document generally accepted project management principles, information and practices. It provides an understanding of the key tools and techniques used and can be applied to projects of all sizes and complexities and is the primary methodology taught in a general project management course due to its flexible, yet comprehensive nature.
This Australis Diploma of Project Management online course uses the PMBoK methodology and it provides the more comprehensive and widely used set of project management methods within industry today whilst at the same time providing you with a highly flexible framework within which to develop and execute projects.
PMBoK has 10 knowledge areas and processes.
A process is a set of inter-related actions and activities that are conducted to achieve a result, that is, a product or a service that has already been specified. Every process has inputs, tool and techniques and outputs.
Processes run throughout the project and cover elements or knowledge areas of the project:
|1. Project integration management||Aspects of the project are effectively managed and coordinated.|
|2. Project scope management||All project work is included.|
|3. Project time management||The project is completed within the timeframes that have been set.|
|4. Project cost management||Project is completed within the budget constraints that have been set.|
|5. Project quality management||The project satisfies the quality standards, specifications etc. that have been determined.|
|6. Project risk management||Address all project risks and comprehensively manage and proactively address these.|
|7. Project procurement management||Acquisition of all externals goods and services to meet the project requirements.|
|8. Project communications management||Communication is completed in a timely, appropriate and targeted manner.|
|9. Project human resources management||Effective use is made of all human resources required for the project.|
|10. Project Stakeholder engagement||Identify and prioritise the stakeholders.|
Project Management Training
To become a Project Manager, Program Manager, Contracts Officer or Project Administrator you will need to undertake formal Project Management Training. The Australis online Diploma of Project Management covers all of the key concepts required to be able to develop a Project Management Plan and Execute the project through to successful completion.
This online course is based upon the PMBok methodology and will provide you with an excellent grounding in the key aspects of Project Management and prepare you to take on a key Project Management Role within a variety of sectors.