Organizations are increasingly using project management techniques within their operations and the specialist language of project management has become more and more commonplace in managerial and executive meetings. This trend is here to stay and it means that managers need to be familiar with project management roles, terms and processes.
Chapter 1 – Project Management Principles
Managers now find that they are frequently involved in projects that are being managed using a formalized project management methodology. Communications forms a key part of such projects and if you are going to be successful in your role as a manager it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of project management terminology, processes, and procedures.
Chapter 2 – Project Management Definition
Everything that an organization does can be categorized either as a project or process. A process is something that happens continually and has a low risk associated with it, whereas a project happens once and has a relatively high level of risk.
Chapter 3 – Project Management Perspectives
Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result. It has a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the constraints on scope, time, quality and budget.
Chapter 4 – Project Organization and Structure
The way in which an organization is structured is largely a result of whether its day-to-day work is process driven or project driven. Every organization is unique and these classifications are only useful in that they illustrate the fact that project management is likely to present more of a challenge in process-focused organizations than in those that are project focused.
Chapter 5 – Projects in a Matrix-Management Environment
In a matrix environment, an individual may ‘belong to’ a particular department but they will be assigned to different projects and report to a project manager while working on that project. An advantage of the matrix structure is that it can lead to a more efficient exchange of skills and information as people from different areas work closely together. A disadvantage of the matrix structure is that it is a recipe for disagreement between the line manager and the project managers.
Chapter 6 – Project Stakeholders Definition
Project stakeholders are individuals, groups, bodies and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution of the project or project completion.
Chapter 7 – Project Sponsor and Project Manager Definitions
The sponsor is responsible for securing the financing and overall resource budget approval and owns the opportunities and risks related to the financial outcome of the project. They may be referred to as the ‘business sponsor,’ ‘project sponsor,’ or ‘executive’ and are usually a senior manager with a direct interest in the business casebehind the project. The project manager has the authority to use cash and other resources up to the limit set in the project charter. If they believe at any stage that the project cannot be delivered within the assigned budget and timescale then they must notify the project sponsor so that remedial action can be taken.
Chapter 8 – Project Life Cycle Definition
There is very little agreement about the life cycle phases of a project and many organizations have their own internal definitions and templates. This is understandable because of the complicated nature and diversity of projects, which can vary enormously in size and complexity. Despite this, all projects can be mapped to the following simple life cycle structure, which involves starting the project, organizing and preparing, carrying out the work, and closing the project.
Chapter 9 – Functional Areas of Project Management
Project management can be organized into functional areas, for example: managing the scope, managing the budget, managing the schedule, managing risk, etc. The reason for doing this is that it allows complex high-level tasks to be broken down into smaller tasks, a common practice when learning something new. For example, when learning to drive you concentrate on specific tasks, such as gear changing, hill starts etc., before you drive on an interstate road or motorway.
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