Natasha O'sullivan November 12, 2020 Project Management
Now, you will notice that some of these tasks will be ongoing throughout the project, like managing team performance, assuring quality, and schedule control. Before each project, you should make a checklist and a list of deliverables that will keep you on track throughout your project. There will be a lot of similarities from project to project, so after the first time this will be very easy to do. You may want to schedule yourself to do some tasks weekly or monthly, depending on the task and the length of your project. Maybe you want to add in some of your own tasks, or maybe there are some that you can live without, but this is a great start to managing any project.
Prior to creating the project schedule the project manager must have a work breakdown structure (WBS), an effort estimate for each task, and a list of resources with availability for each resource. Once these data are established a project scheduling tool can automatically do much of the tedious work of calculating the schedule. However, before a project manager can use such tools, he should have an understanding over concepts like WBS, dependencies, resource allocation, critical paths etc. These are the real keys to planning a successful project.
Then you bring in your techies to ask them to prepare a project scope document along with a report, in which the specific technologies and the steps to carry out the plan are decided. The scope and the feasibility of it are studied and a decision on whether to take it up or to pass on the offer is made. This official document contains everything from primary goals of the scheme to the deliverables expected of it. Once the document is perused and the upper management gives it a green signal, the project is considered as taken!
Project Managers are all too familiar with the project triangle. We know we can shorten a schedule by either (a) reducing the scope of the project, or (b) adding more resources to it. Unfortunately, management either has not seen that triangle or, more likely than not, simply chooses to ignore it. Consequently, Project Manglers who are more interested in pleasing upper management than keeping honest have come up with their own universal algorithm for shortening project schedules. Take the number of days that need to be cut from the schedule, divide it by the number of major milestones, and then deduct that number from the duration of each milestone. In other words, if a project comprising of 4 major milestones is estimated to last 6 months, but you need to reduce it by one month, you`d take 20 days, and divide it by 4. Take the answer (5), and deduct it from the duration of each milestone. And voila! Works every time.
One of the features of checklists is that they can be designed to extend hierarchically, such that a sub-checklist could be developed to facilitate any or all of the checks above (e.g. a stakeholder analysis checklist or a risk management checklist). The PMI, training firms and PMOs would do well to promote checklists more strongly - project managers like to use checklists; not many want to read through an overweight methodology. And managers like checklists because they improve quality and instill consistency.
All the documents prepared all along the execution of the scheme must be lucid and articulate, so that everyone in the team and the stakeholders get to understand, each and every issue of it. This is an essential ingredient for a successful project. The final issue in project management is getting the user to check on the plan and see to that they are satisfied. A disgruntled user will not only reject the plan, but would also leave a bad reputation for the organization. So assuming that the requirements are met the customer is made to sign a customer satisfaction form and then the project is declared closed. The resources used on it are released and the project manager gets a day off!
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