Project management is essential for the development and maintenance of a successful project; it is especially important for achieving high performance in your business. A project, as the name suggests, is a temporary endeavour with certain tasks that need to be accomplished in order to achieve a desired outcome. In larger businesses, the project may take the form of a capital investment project, for example, or a strategic process. This is an important distinction because businesses can grow well past what their capabilities permit and moving towards this growth new projects will be necessary. As with a prince 2 Foundation London certification.
A project is a temporary endeavour. Project management however, is a process by which the performance of a project is being planned and managed. This is interesting because “it’s only temporary”. However, projects can take on different characteristics, depending on the type of project. Examples of characteristics, not uncommon in business, are new financial or strategic contracts, new products, new facilities, university research, new accounting methods or new production processes. All such behaviours require a new project management approach that integrates project, operations and change.
Projects are made up of several activities. They can be described by a number of activities and events and can vary widely in timeframes, revenues and costs. These activities can also span a period of time before the work is completed or even be interdependent on each other.
For example, consider a capital anchor launching programme. The launch could be within period of 12 months, 24 months or six months or more. The launch could involve various activities like the production of production materials for the launch, the launch party as well as the commitment of current customers to the launch. Yet the main objective can be to launch the launch early. This assessment of project activities and events for the launch may appear to be quite straight forward until you consider that the launch could be integrated into operations. It would mean that the same personnel working on different activities would be responsible for each other.
You might use project management to control and control activities and this activity might be as simple as to establish a work flow through work queues. However, more sophisticated expectations like way finding, workflow, management of resources, order processing etc. can be exploited in more sophisticated ways. All these can fall into the scope, or base, of a project.
A simple way to differentiate project management from operations is to refer business options that can occur in the operation of projects. These options may be implemented in a cross functional area or may be from a single functional area.
A good project management approach includes full time resources for changes, including one or more cross functional areas. A green-field approach to project management enables a focus on activities working on the original project, which is desirable in comparison to developing a multi-functional project that uses valuable existing facilities. Still, a multi-functional approach can be effective.
Another advantage of a multi-functional approach is that project management can take advantage of the skill sets and experience of more than one area. For example, a project team may include more experience in one or two of the requisite areas than its counterpart from another area.
Project management should examine these two basic management concepts: new projects are temporary endeavours and projects must convert to learnings for the future. There is also another example. In recent years, social agencies have focussed on programs for the previously disadvantaged individuals, but on a project rental basis. This approach enables the social agency to capture the lessons for the future, instead of a key defensive project portfolio that may not be best ally in future. By pursuing both options new tasks can be imitated quickly, as well as new applications for processes used by the current project team.
Project management can be practiced through an array of learning opportunities. To ensure that you learn the basics, check on our resource box the links to Project management books, PMP, PMP exam, training course, and online programs. There are even free online training courses, all designed to offer the best module for you. You must learn to be the project manager, it’s just as easy as marketing a stormy-eye!