What is Project Management?

What is Project Management?

82-Blog-What-is-Project-Management

 

What is a Project?

A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.

And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.

What is Project Management?

Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints. The primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget.

TOS

Project management processes fall into five groups:

Initiating

Planning

Executing

Monitoring and Controlling

Closing

Initiating

The initiating processes determine the nature and scope of the project. If this stage is not performed well, it is unlikely that the project will be successful in meeting the business needs. The key project controls needed here are an understanding of the business environment and making sure that all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies should be reported and a recommendation should be made to fix them.

The initiating stage should include a plan that encompasses the following areas:

analyzing the business needs / requirements in measurable goals

reviewing of the current operations

financial analysis of the costs and benefits including a budget

stakeholder analysis, including users, and support personnel for the project

project charter including costs, tasks, deliverables, and schedules

Planning

After the initiation stage, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail. The main purpose is to plan time, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to effectively manage risk during project execution. As with the Initiation process group, a failure to adequately plan greatly reduces the project’s chances of successfully accomplishing its goals.

Project planning generally consists of

determining how to plan (e.g. by level of detail or Rolling wave planning);

developing the scope statement;

selecting the planning team;

identifying deliverables and creating the work breakdown structure;

identifying the activities needed to complete those deliverables and networking the activities in their logical sequence;

estimating the resource requirements for the activities;

estimating time and cost for activities;

developing the schedule;

developing the budget;

risk planning;

gaining formal approval to begin work.

Additional processes, such as planning for communications and for scope management, identifying roles and responsibilities, determining what to purchase for the project and holding a kick-off meeting are also generally advisable.

For new product development projects, conceptual design of the operation of the final product may be performed concurrent with the project planning activities, and may help to inform the planning team when identifying deliverables and planning activities.

Executing

The execution / implementation phase ensures that the project management plan’s deliverables are executed accordingly. This phase involves proper allocation, co-ordination and management of human resources and any other resources such as material and budgets. The output of this phase is the project deliverables.

Monitoring and controlling

Monitoring and controlling consists of those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project. The key benefit is that project performance is observed and measured regularly to identify variances from the project management plan.

Monitoring and controlling includes:

Measuring the ongoing project activities (‘where we are‘);

Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope, etc.) against the project management plan and the project performance baseline (where we should be);

Identifying corrective actions to address issues and risks properly (How can we get on track again);

Influencing the factors that could circumvent integrated change control so only approved changes are implemented.

In multi-phase projects, the monitoring and control process also provides feedback between project phases, in order to implement corrective or preventive actions to bring the project into compliance with the project management plan.

Project maintenance is an ongoing process, and it includes:

Continuing support of end-users

Correction of errors

Updates to the product over time

Monitoring and controlling cycle

In this stage, auditors should pay attention to how effectively and quickly user problems are resolved.

When changes are introduced to the project, the viability of the project has to be re-assessed. It is important not to lose sight of the initial goals and targets of the projects. When the changes accumulate, the forecasted result may not justify the original proposed investment in the project. Successful project management identifies these components, and tracks and monitors progress so as to stay within time and budget frames already outlined at the commencement of the project.

Closing

Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof. Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned.

This phase consists of:

Contract closure: Complete and settle each contract (including the resolution of any open items) and close each contract applicable to the project or project phase.

Project close: Finalize all activities across all of the process groups to formally close the project or a project phase

Also included in this phase is the Post Implementation Review. This is a vital phase of the project for the project team to learn from experiences and apply to future projects. Normally a Post Implementation Review consists of looking at things that went well and analysing things that went badly on the project to come up with lessons learned.

Project managers

A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, engineering, architecture, computing, and telecommunications. Many other fields in production engineering, design engineering, and heavy industrial have project managers.

A project manager is the person accountable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the triple constraint for projects, which is cost, time, and scope.

A project manager is often a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the firm they are representing. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the contracting party, and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client satisfaction, can be realised.

Project management knowledge draws on ten areas:

Integration

Scope

Time

Cost

Quality

Procurement

Human resources

Communications

Risk management

Stakeholder management

All management is concerned with these, of course. But project management brings a unique focus shaped by the goals, resources and schedule of each project.

Sources:

http://www.pmi.org/About-Us/About-Us-What-is-Project-Management.aspx

https://www.apm.org.uk/WhatIsPM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_management

http://www.projectmanagement.org.za/

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About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

Project Management – A CCN Perspective

posted in: Construction Chat 0

 

 

CCN+ A NEW WAY OF MANAGING YOUR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

 

Building a building has always been a very complex process – but in today’s hyper connected and increasingly legislated world this takes on a whole new meaning.

 

CCN + Opening Screen
CCN + Opening Screen

 

Developers are faced with the demands of ever changing legislation, and the requirement to employ what seems to be a never ending list of specialist consultants to ensure that they are compliant with current legislation. Construction professionals are placed under extreme pressure to comply with the demands of rapidly changing construction technologies and new regulations – at lightning speed – all within a framework of ever diminishing professional fees.

 

CCN+ Project Plan
CCN+ Project Plan

 

Sound communication practices are now, more than ever, a vitally important aspect of getting construction projects completed on time and within budget.

 

“That’s why we invented CCN+” says Director, Mark Grant. CCN+ is an online document management and project management service that allows all participants in the construction process to collaborate and be clear on the status of all construction documentation, from sketch design to detailed shop drawings.

All participants, including building developers, can be kept “in the picture” as to the status of all documentation,

including the construction programme itself, and information released to contractors for construction can be tracked and properly controlled. No more myriad emails floating around with copies of drawings that are out of date!

 

 

CC+ Construction Drawings Issued
CC+ Construction Drawings Issued

 

CCN+ has looked into international best practice to put in place a highly configurable platform, based on rock solid, secure and scalable technology, specifically tailored to the South African market. Prices for use of the service vary depending on features required and the degree of user self-management possible, but normally the cost of the platform, per project, can be easily accommodated within the normal disbursement allowances made for commercial projects.

If you are interested in getting your next construction project under control – feel free to contact Sianne de Gaye on sianne@ccn.org.za for an online demo.

About Mark Grant

Mark Grant is Director of Construction Communication Network, CCN, South Africa.

What is a Project?

posted in: General 3

What is a Project?

What is a Project?

I googled the definition and got the following: (1) An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim (from www.oxforddictionaries.com) and (2) something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme (from www.dictionary.reference.com).

Well the definition of Project at www.L2B.co.za is OPPORTUNITY. Yes, that’s right, OPPORTUNITY!

We source information on new construction that is planned and add it to our website as a Project. These Projects are potential Leads that can be accessed by our subscribers through the various stages it goes through, namely: Conceptual (idea) Procedural (studies) Design (drawings) Tender (pricing) Awarded (whoo-hoo got the job) Underway (building) and last but not least, Complete (finished).

We are dedicated researchers (my team of ‘investigators’ and I) that are constantly updating our projects with relevant information as we follow the progression of each project.

So, where does my definition of OPPORTUNITY take place?… Everywhere!

At each stage, there is an opportunity depending on what you do. Whether you are interested in the Private Sector or Public Sector, Project Management or only interested in Private construction work, it is worth your time and energy to investigate subscribing to Projects at Leads 2 Business. For example in Conceptual stage, a Professional Team is needed (could that be you?), once the drawings are done in the design stage,  a Quantity Surveyor is needed to draw up the Bill (this can be priced on our L2Q platform – but that is a story for another day), are you the Contractor that is going to be Awarded or are you the Vendor with the beautiful light fittings that you are so keen to install in a new building for everyone to admire? Oh yes, don’t forget about the scaffolding required and security needed on site.

Think about it, I have mentioned so many OPPORTUNITIES already, make sure you are not the one missing them.

About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.