The Basics of Project Management

(Information, 2002) Project is an undertaking to meet established goals within cost, schedule, and quality objectives. The project manager is the person who has the ability, skills, and talents to manage a project.

Project Management brings together and optimizes the resources necessary to complete the project successfully. These resources include the skills, talents, and cooperative efforts of a team of people, facilities, systems and tools, technology, techniques, information, equipment, insight, knowledge, and experience.

Stage 1: Defining

The success of a project depends on a clear definition.

  • Starting with discussion and analysis
  • Writing the project definition
  • Setting the final objective
  • Listing imperatives and desirables
  • Generating alternative strategies
  • Evaluation of each alternative
  • Testing the primary strategy
  • Choosing a course of action

Stage 2: Planning

A successful project produces an outcome that performs as expected, on deadline, and within cost limits. 

  • Establishing the project objective
  • Choosing a strategy for achieving the objective
  • Breaking the project down into sub-units or steps
  • Determination of the performance standards for each sub-unit
  • Deciding on the time required to complete each sub-unit
  • Planning the stages of the project and a detailed time table
  • Designing the cost of each sub-unit and aggregate costs into the total project budget
  • Planning the staff requirements, including the number and kind of positions, qualifications, duties, and responsibilities.
  • Deciding on the training needs of the project team members
  • Developing the necessary policies and procedures
  • Documenting the project plans and procedures

Stage 3: Implementing

When the project begins, the project manager has many responsibilities.

  • Establishing standards
  • Monitoring performance
  • Providing feedback
  • Taking corrective action

Stage 4: Completing

The project is to deliver an outcome to the client; according to the established project parameters.

  • Testing the project outputs before final delivery
  • Delivering the project output to the internal or external clients
  • Assessment of the project output with the client
  • Documenting the problems encountered, solutions, methods, lessons learned
  • Performance assessment of project staff 
  • Preparing recommendations for future projects