Projects are different from normal day-to-day work. Projects are defined unique pieces of work that are generally expansions or new concepts containing some element of business risk that will have a beneficial change to the greater community or organization. These projects usually have clear deliverables set out within specific constraints usually based on scope, time and cost. Projects are different from standard business operational activities as they usually consist of unrepeated processes that differ from, however; contribute to or support day-to-day repetitive processes, have a defined time line, independent budget with limited or defined resources (both material and human) and will improve the community’s overall status.
Project Management consists of a set of skills, a suite of tools and a series of processes used to successfully complete a specified project or defined work.
- Skills comprised of knowledge, experience and training reduce the risk in a project by appropriately managing the work.
- Tools improve the overall success of the project by systematically and thoroughly capturing the required information and making sense of the data so that informed decisions can be made.
- Processes are systems and techniques that are employed to keep the project within budget, on time and in scope as well as to identify and manage those incidents that threaten any one of these tenants. Some of these processes are Change Management, Continuous Quality Improvement(CQI), Time Management, Risk Management and Financial Management to name a few.
Every project or work has a life cycle starting with the initiation of the project where the business need is identified and scoped out in respect to an acceptable solution that is detailed in either a PID or Charter. Once the project concept is approved in principle energy is moved towards planning the project. Project planning takes into consideration of developing a project plan that considers: Resources; Finances; Quality; Risks: Communications; Procurement; and Client Product Acceptance Criteria.
Only after the project plan has been developed, approved and funded can the project go into execution, this is normally the longest and most resource intense phase of the life cycle. This is the dynamic phase where the work is completed, monitored, changed to meet the deliverable criteria that was pre-established in the project charter and plan.
Once the work has been satisfactorily completed the project can come to closure, this is where the identified deliverables are released to the community for use. This is where all of the resourcing, procurement and work force is de-mobilized and the project is reviewed and the appropriate documentation and reporting is finalized.
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) (PDF Download)