Project Management can be seen as a system or a group of defined processes used to organize and manage a project. A Project is defined as a planned program of work to produce a unique product or deliver a service over a per-determined time-frame; it has a start date and end date.
Typically a Project Management program will consist of five processes which are;
- It evaluates the viability and benefit of doing the Project. Key project goals and project charter are defined. Project Champion and Project Manager are appointed.
- Planning. It focus is to document how the project will be carried out over a given timeline. Key project deliverables and milestones are determined and documented. The project budget and schedule are created. Resources for the project are specified. The implementation of Risk Management is a vital part in this process.
- Executing. Is when the physical work begins. The project plans are executed to ensure timely progression of work occurs to reach key milestones on time and complete deliverables. Resource deployment, communicating & resolving project issues and quality control verification are some of the main tasks done in this process.
- Monitoring & Controlling. This process focus is to ensure that the project is delivered as plan at the right time, cost and quality. Progress performance are measured against project schedules and budget plans. Quality of workmanship are verified to ensure specifications are met. Where required Change Management and Corrective Actions are taken to ensure the project continues to completion.
- This final process is done to validate that the project objectives had been met and customer takes delivery of the “product”. It is also where the project is officially ended and the team celebrates. Lessons Learned are captured where required for future projects.
There are two well know project management approaches used these days; PMBOK and PRINCE 2. Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a manual of project management practices, tools and techniques. Projects IN Controlled Environments Second Edition (PRINCE 2) is a project management methodology.
The decision to go with either PMBOK or PRINCE 2 will best be made based on which industry and region you are in. In North America and most part of Asia Pacific PMBOK is better known and used. Whereas PRINCE 2 is better known in UK, Europe and Australia. PRINCE 2 is also seeing rapid growth in China.
Both PMBOK and PRINCE 2 have certification programs. There are many books and references for both PMBOK and PRINCE 2 are available to support in self learning and also in preparation for the PMP and Practitioner examinations.