What is project management?
The art of managing uncertainty and delivering business value
The purpose of project management is to plan, organize and manage resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project objectives and outputs that give the target group the capability to achieve identified outcomes and realise needed benefits.
It includes specialities such as communication management, business and benefits analysis, scope management, time and cost management, quality management, resource and stakeholder management, risk and issue management, change management.
Why invest in project management?
Effective project management implementation that is tailored to your organisation will result in sizeable gains being realized in efficiency, organization, and accountability. In turn this will enable your organisation to become more responsive to change. In combination with a systems approach or portfolio management you will be able to proactivly engage in change initiatives at the right time.
What tailored methodology will suit your organisation?
Before we look at some of the well known standard options, let’s consider the scenario where you do not have a standard project management methodology.
1: Individuals will carry out activities in the way they think most suitable, this will lead to multiple different work process to achieve similar outcomes.
2: Each project and quite likely individuals within projects will use their own templates and tools, resulting in mismatches, duplication of work and poor communication.
3: It will be difficult to work pro-actively as a team, as it is difficult to know what others will be doing next. This is exasperated for people who may transfer between projects.
4: Team members are likely to be unsure as to what is expected of them or how they will be measured, which is likely to increase anxiety and stress in the team.
Having an effective common project structure within an organisation makes it much easier to transfer knowledge and work pro-activly. People can focus on delivering the results that the project was initiated to deliver, rather than trying to re-learn how things are done each time.
Agile Project Management / Product Development Methodologies
The Agile Project Management concept focuses on creating the environment that provides organisations with the capability of rapidly and effectively adapting. Maximising the opportunity of achieving the business goal, through individual projects or portfolios of projects and programmes.
To be agile there must be disciplin and high levels of trust, respect and responsibility. Implementing an agile method does not make your organisation agile, you need to change the culture and the way of doing things.
PRINCE2 Projects In a Controled Environment
PRINCE2 is a structured project management method that enables an excellent governance structure with a focus on the project always having a justifiable business case. The governance structure with defined roles, responsibilities and accountabilities enables you to build accountability, trust and respect. PRINCE2 is a generic methodology, meaning it can be tailored and used across a wide range of business areas and industries.
The seven core processes and their sub-processes define a common and repeatable structure for managing projects and ensure that decisions are taken by the right people. It is this structure that facilitates agility because the decision makers have the right information at the right time on which to base their decisions.
|Core Process||Who owns the process and ensures collaboration|
|1||Starting Up a Project||Project Manager|
|2||Directing a Project||Project Board|
|3||Initiating and Planning||Project Manager|
|4||Controlling a Stage||Project Manager|
|5||Managing Product Delivery||Technical Team Leader|
|6||Managing a Stage Boundary||Project Manager|
|7||Close the Project||Project Manager|
Each of the core processes is owned by either the Project Manager, Project Board or Technical Team Leader, ensuring clarity and accountability which in turn leads to more effective governance of projects.
Core process 5 Controlling a Stage, is not only about control. This process and its sub processes or activities help facilitate the project teams daily work. In other articles on this site you will also see this process referred to as Facilitating and Controlling Project Delivery.
Through the use of core process 5 “Managing Product Delivery” one project management governance model can be used with different project production methods. This enables organisations that are involved in a wide range of industries to use a common project management governance model.
PRINCE2 works well with agile practices and critical chain scheduling and can effectivly be applied in organisations wanting to implement lean and agile project management.
See how PRINCE2 can comply with the Agile manifesto
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) evolved from the Theory of Constraints body of knowledge. It is recognized by PMI as an effective scheduling method. Critical Chain scheduling enables us to improve time management and keep a focus on product delivery dates. You will find more information on this in the complimentary guide “Estimating US&ATs and Critical Chain Scheduling of Projects”.
Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes, are a set of tools that help improve understanding and communication. While most project management methodologies acknowledge the need for good communication, they leave it up to individuals to find out how to implement good communication.
PMBoK Edition 5 and the PMI Community
PMI’s PMBoK is a standard of general best practices and processes in project management, based on contributions from many project management specialists from different walks of life.
The PMBoK standard is a guide rather than a specific methodology. One can use different methodologies and tools (e.g. agile, waterfall, PRINCE2) to implement the project management framework.
The PMI community is made up from members and volunteers where one can learn from each other. While the PMBoK is a great refernce source, the real value comes from being engaged with others working in the profession of project management.
If you want some quick advice on project management please give me a call:
If you would like more help then I can supply these services at a reasonable rate.
1: If you currently have an ad-hoc or waterfall approach and want to work more lean and agile I can guide your organisation through the transition.
2: Hands on management of projects
3: Running workshops to get your team going