Chloe Boreham October 23, 2020 Project Management
One of the challenges of explaining project management to people who are unfamiliar with the approach, is that descriptions are often either so high-level as to be meaningless, or so detailed that they are overwhelming. Over the years, I have come to use a model as a framework for introducing and discussing project management tools and techniques. It can be used as the basis for a five-minute explanation of what is involved in project management, but also as an outline for more detailed discussions. The actual model can be found on the Key Consulting website under free templates and info.
The production and agreement of the business requirements is a substantial part of the overall project schedule and may take many iterations before it is finally approved. The project manager usually works with other departments or teams to put the document together. They will probably use Brainstorming and Interviewing techniques to help with this process and may even build a prototype
If you are a manager responsible for managing projects, you will eventually need to delegate tasks to individuals or teams. And so it is important that the tool yo are using to manage the project be able to keep track of who is performing what task, and also allow you to add new documents and notes with ease. Communication is important with any project. You should have the capability to have good communication with your team through email reminders and keep track of how the project is going at any moment. And a good project management tool will allow you to have online discussions with your project team no matter their location. A reliable tool for managing a project is essential and will serve you well.
Complex projects require sophisticated software and scheduling tools, however simpler and more straightforward projects involving only a few people over a relatively short period of time require a much simpler approach. Usually, a simple project will have a few steps which are dependent on other steps taking place first, and will be relatively straightforward to coordinate. An example might be creating and implementing a marketing plan for a one person business, painting a single room, baking a cake, planning a weekend away for two, building a garden shed etc.
To start we will be clear that we are not going to deal here with repetitive implementation / rollout projects where a template plan has been refined over a series of projects and becomes a standard checklist for project management (for example for COTS - commercial off-the-shelf software). This article is about those one off (or initial template try-out) projects. These projects may be within organisations small, medium and large.
With simple projects, a tool such as a Gantt chart may make over complicate the project scheduling. Unless all team members are trained in the tool then the use of the tool may itself lead to poor communication and an unsatisfactory result. A simple project such as those identified above may only require a timetable and/or an action plan. All those in the project team should be communicated with as to their tasks content and timing. Timetables can then be negotiated and agreed, actions lists or diaries/calendars can be used for recording and planning purposes.
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