Brown Bag Series: How to Effectively Manage a Project

What is a project?

A project is a temporary endeavor or work performed on time by an organization to create a unique product or service. It has a definite beginning and a definite end.

Who is a project manager?

Project managers are change agents, i.e. they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team.

What is an IT project?

This is the application of both the science and art to planning, organizing, implementing, leading, and controlling the work tasks performed to create  an information system  to meet the goals and objectives of an organization.

IT project management involves 3 key process which are:

  1. The process of defining: a project, developing a plan, executing the plan, monitoring progress, and taking corrective actions.
  2. The process of managing: the competing demands and trade-offs between the desired results of the project (scope, performance, quality) and the natural constraints of the project (time and cost).
  3. The process of leading: a team that has never worked together before, to create a system within a given time interval within a stipulated budget and resource constraint.

There are many IT project management phases being used, but the most common phases implemented  are as follows:

  1. Definition: starts as soon you as you get approval. As a Project Manager, you need to document the following: 
    • why is the project being undertaken
    • what is the funding source? 
    • what are the success factors ? 
    • the competition within the company
    • What is the impact on existing processes. 
    • Draw up a project charter.
  2. Initiation- This stage is also known as the Kickoff stage. Some of the points to be documented/discussed include
    • deliverables(Success/Failure Criteria) 
    • primary Stakeholders. 
    • scope boundaries. 
    • clear identification of Priorities
    • strategy for handling Risks.
  3. Planning– the tasks involved in the planning stage include
    • defining and developing project plan
    • finalizing the makeup of project team 
    • preparing Work Breakdown Structure 
    • how to get deliverables and who to deliver 
    • how to get the job done 
    • Clear identification of project development, staging and testing environment
  4. Execution– the execution stage involves coordinating people and resources to implement the plan. i.e making it happen, getting it done. Others are 
    • identifying variances from the project plan.
    • tracking progress
    • finding corrective measures.
  5. Controlling/Monitoring or Evaluating– monitoring and measuring progress of the project are the key tasks in this stage. Others are 
    • identifying variances from the project plan.
    • tracking progress
    • finding corrective measures.
  6. Closing – the final stage involves formalizing the acceptance of project final deliverable. This phase involves handing over and off the project and facilitating client acceptance, transition and closeout of project.

Which other project management phases do you know about or have you adopted? Tell us more about

 

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