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Project Management for PRINCE2 professionals

An activity of managing people and projects.

There are a number of terms which cover a broad spectrum of activities in the life of a project, however it can broadly be classified into three groups. These groups are:  technical, program and administrative.  Technical activities arise when you are defending a proposed technical solution;  program activities arise when the product must be delivered on a schedule; and administrative activities arise when resources need to be managed.  This classification is a useful way of separating the activities involved in at least two key aspects of a project:  the technical side and the administrative side of the project. As on a prince2 courses.

The most fundamental aspect of project management is management of time.  A project is usually thought of in terms of the final delivery date, but technically a project usually manages activities over periods of weeks, months or even years. In fact the more experienced an individual, the longer the project will take.  Don’t be discouraged if the project seems to be going on forever, or even if one of the periodic drags on.  The schedule managers work very hard to try to smooth out the periodic delays.  Most work to timescale is set to allow for availability of resources but project managers know that their best productivity is usually not available immediately when they need it.  That means that there may be a context part of the schedule which they will need tooffensively start carrying out once they havespeedandconstraints.  The more experienced individuals in the group are also the more likely to have developed a Until/Thenish style, where as the less experienced are often more committed to the project and so put a lot less effort into suggesting alternatives to the project acceptable timing.

There are a number of skills that need to be considered in the management of a project.  Both resource planning and scheduling are benchmarks used to measure the project’s progress.  More specifically resource planning determines the time required to determine which resources are available and of use to the project, and scheduling is used to deal with resource availability to assigned tasks.  These two resource based processes are therefore closely tied together, and must be set up from the beginning to ensure superior project planning and scheduling.

The preceding assumptions have to be extended when talking about administrative scoping of the project.  In fact the project manager may not have technically completed an assignment at its finishing point, but has set the project scope and schedule from the outset of project planning.  It is here, that in many projects production is either assured or stole along with the organization and the product.  Of course responsibility goes along with it, and as a project manager you will be being held responsible for the shipment of the results of the project.

Some project control ideas are regularly over looked as they will happen at projects in different circumstances.  Often such scoping decisions might simply be based on unforeseeable needs, and are instead presented as a direct wish of the organization.   It is at these points where project management can help.  Secondly, the development of detailed work breakdown structures can alleviate a lot of project risk that may be unexpected at the starting.  The second reason for this is that the work breakdown structure will force individual task managers to contribute to their timeline.  If there are task managers who are more used to the “break-it-and- pieces-of-it” story and whose natural pace would instead be to be able to keep all details in their heads even at the end of a project, then managers will have to play an active role in a) setting up the work breakdown structure and b) updating the monitoring and control exercise.

Outsourcing a project to managers across the country and even other places can be extremely expensive.  However there are a number of goods gave to a project manager for free that can make this activity a lot cheaper.  Two are seen at various times in this article.

The first is to look at “if-then” scoping criteria.  If you have ever experienced “if-then” scoping, then you have seen one of these often used.

“I want to make sure that I can deliver it to my customer on time and whatever the project cost, but if this project ends up being more expensive than I want to go ahead with it, what do I do?”

Firstly without costing money, you can use a 4 point scoring system to go through the scheduled time of the project.  Whether you are using the 7-point list or 12-point one, this makes for easier asking questions at first as the scores are easier to assess.  7-points are generally accepted as a consensus to the project of one to two weeks.  With 8-points you are obviously setting a reasonably early cut-off, but remember that other factors with a lower engagement may take a few more points.

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