Project Management Activities
Project Management is the adequate application of skills and techniques to make a project meet it requirement and stay within the budget. Having a good project management in place reduces risks or surprises in project execution, although it does not completely eliminate it. Nonetheless, it provides a medium by which all contingencies can be efficiently managed. PM activities are the stages or phases into which managing a project is divided. Four basic stages of Project Management activities are the Initiation, Planning, Execution and, Closure stages. Controlling or monitoring stage is also included by some school of thought. Understanding the PM life cycle is essential, be it for a big or small project, modest or large business goals having corporate implications. Having the project management activities laid out helps keep project on track and organized.
Basic Activities in Project Management
At this stage, identification of needs and problems, and opportunities is done. The person in charge of the project, usually the project manager, brainstorms and proffers solutions to the need and problems. The project manager also finds ways of seizing all opportunities presented. Initiation stage also features figuring out the project objectives, its feasibility and major deliverables attainable.
Project management steps for the initiation stage
The initiation stage can also be broken down to smaller steps which are:
Feasibility study of the project which helps in identify the primary problem the project will solve and whether your project will deliver a solution to that problem .
Analysing the scope by defining the depth and breadth of the whole project.
Deliverables should be highlighted by defining the product or service the completed project would provide.
Identification of the project stakeholders and developing a business case by comparing the potential costs and benefits for the project.
Work statement or project initiation document showing the flowchart of the project life cycle.
Getting to this stage means the project has been approved based on the business case, statement of work, or project initiation document developed. Hence a schedule for the project is prepared and the project team is chosen, with larger projects broken into smaller tasks. Within the larger projects, during this phase, smaller goals with high potential for success are created.
Steps involved in the planning phase activity are:
Project plan creation: This is the identification of the project phases and timeline. The tasks to be performed and possible constraints are delineated here.
Designing the process maps and workflow documents, and, representing symbolically the project timeline and key landmarks.
Estimated budget are used in creating a financial plan. This simply means that the estimated cost is used to regulate the budget in order to obtain an optimal Return On Investment (ROI).
Resources are gathered to build an efficient team, with everyone equipped with the necessary tools both software and hardware to complete their tasks
Foreseeing potential roadblocks and risks: Here, potential problems can be adequately prepared and risks posing threat to a project can be successfully alleviated.
A detailed explanation of the plan goes a long way in propelling the project team to the execution stage.
With the approval of the project obtained, appropriate project team on ground and, a developed plan, the project can now enter the execution stage. It is at this stage the project manager works the most, as he is responsible for organizing the team, managing the timeline and ensuring the project is kept on track.
Project management steps for the execution phase
Creating tasks and organizing workflows: Allocating each team members with the appropriate task to avoid drudgery and overworking of the personnel.
Briefing team members on tasks: Training, if necessary, is organized in order to properly explain to, and guide the project team members on how to go about the task at hand.
Updating all the concerned project personnel, stakeholders, clients, and the management
Monitoring quality of work: Team members are supervised to ensure timely delivery and high quality result.
Managing budget: Neither overspending nor under-spending is good for a project as it can cause a premature termination of or a substandard project execution. But an effective budget management to keep the project in-check with respect to resources and assets available circumvents such conditions.
Here, once the job is done, the project manager provides the final deliverables and releases project resources. The manager determines whether the project is a success of a failure in disguise by evaluating all factors that contributed to the completion of the project.
Steps for the project closure stage may include the following:
Overall performance in accordance with project goals is analysed.
The whole participating team is also analysed to determine whether they were on schedule with their goal delivery.
Conduction of a post implementation review in order to prepare for future projects.
Expended and unused budget allocated are all accounted for. All unused are stored for future projects.
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