EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Effective and efficient project management is the key to developing an organization and implementing solutions that aim to provide for better performance. If an activity is not part of a standard process or routine, it should be project. Projects are the entities of work that aren´t part of the overall value-chain, but are needed to implement improvements, so that the overall value-chain and its processes will still be competivite in the future.
Projects are also the entity to assign "additional" budget to efforts that are deemed necessary, but which are not part of the allocated annual budget for an established organizational unit. In this sense, it is also clear that projects can span the scope of a single organizational unit, vertical as well as horizontal. Projects are therefore an essential and important means to drive performance, change and growth. With this in mind, it becomes clear that proper project management ist needed.
The past decades have seen several project management approaches, from old fashioned waterfall models to modern agile scrum approaches. While there are meaningful difference in the way the project is managed, some basics are elementary to all approaches, some specifics are highlights to each individual method.
The basic elements that every project needs can be found in the Project Management Body of Knowledge, issued by the PMI (Project Management Institute) - which we follow as a basic guideline and which we would be happy to help you implement as well.
The International Project Management Standard by PMI
PMI (Project Management Institute) has recruited volunteers to create industry standards, such as the "body of knowledge", which has been recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This body of knowledge evolves over time and is presented in "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" (PMBOK). The Guide is a document resulting from work overseen by the PMI. Following ANSIs adoption of the PMBOK, ISO too adapted the project managementprocesses from the PMBOK Guide 4th edition in 2012. As of 2018, the latest release of PMBOK was in 2017, when the sixth edition became available.
The PMBOK provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts. It also describes the project management life cycle and its related processes, as well as the project life cycle. and for the first time it includes an "Agile Practice Guide".
The PMBOK Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI. Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases by means of:
- Inputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.)
- Tools and Techniques (mechanisms applied to inputs)
- Outputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.)
The PMBOK as described in the Guide recognizes 49 processes that fall into five basic process groups and ten knowledge areas that are typical of most projects, most of the time.
The FIVE PROCESS GROUPS are:
- Initiating: processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase.
- Planning: Those processes required to establish the scope of the project, refine the objectives, and define the course of action required to attain the objectives that the project was undertaken to achieve.
- Executing: Those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project specifications
- Monitoring and Controlling: Those processes required to track, review, and regulate the progress and performance of the project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required; and initiate the corresponding changes.
- Closing: Those processes performed to finalize all activities across all Process Groups to formally close the project or phase.
The TEN KNOWLEDGE AREAS, each of which contains some or all of the project management processes, are:
- Project Integration Management: the processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the project management process groups.
- Project Scope management: the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.
- Project Schedule Management: the processes required to manage the timely completion of the project. Until the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide this was called "Project Time Management"
- Project Cost Management: the processes involved in planning, estimating, budgeting, financing, funding, managing, and controlling costs so that the project can be completed within the approved budget.
- Project Quality Management: the processes and activities of the performing organization that determine quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.
- Project Resource Management: the processes that organize, manage, and lead the project team. Until the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide this was called "Project Human Resource Management"
- Project Communications Management: the processes that are required to ensure timely and appropriate planning, collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, management, control, monitoring, and the ultimate disposition of project information.
- Project Risk Management: the processes of conducting risk management planning, identification, analysis, response planning, and controlling risk on a project.
- Project Procurement Management: the processes necessary to purchase or acquire products, services, or results needed from outside the project team. Processes in this area include Procurement Planning, Solicitation Planning, Solicitation, Source Selection, Contract Administration, and Contract Closeout.
- Project Stakeholder Management: the processes required to identify all people or organizations impacted by the project, analyzing stakeholder expectations and impact on the project, and developing appropriate management strategies for effectively engaging stakeholders in project decisions and execution.
Each of the ten knowledge areas contains the processes that need to be accomplished within its discipline in order to achieve effectiveness. Each of these processes also falls into one of the five process groups, creating a matrix structure such that every process can be related to one knowledge area and one process group.
A review aims to establish a status quo with regards to how far a project has deviated from its initial plan in terms of time, cost, quality, scope, value and organizational impact. The review needs to be objective and facts based. Any decision that may be dependent on the reviews findings, may not influence the process of the review.
The project review follows the following process:
- Collect original business & objectives
- Amend objectives to reflect generally accepted changes to objectives
- Collect measures and facts about the project
- Compare, analyse and present variances
- Establish lessons learned
- Point out deviations from best practice
- Clarify sense of urgency
- Consult shareholder about future course of action
- Propose going-forward project navigation and command structure
- Establish revised objectives, means to monitor measures and follow-up review structure
If you are not clear about the effectiveness and efficiency of your projects, then have us review these. The outcome will be clarity and improvement. Clarity will give you the means to justify what you are doing. Improvements will make sure, that future projects follow guidelines that drive effectiveness and efficiency.
Program Management is the process of managing several related projects, often with the intention of improving an organization's performance. In practice it is often closely related to systems engineering, industrial engineering, change management, and business transformation.
Program Management goes hand in hand with strategic alignment and change management. Rather than establishing measures about technical or functional progress on a project workstream level, it focuses on the impact and needs that the program - together with all its projects - has on corporate or business unit level.
The program manager has oversight of the purpose and status of the projects in a program. The program manager may achieve such oversight by seeking out critical information from the project managers in order to establish a level of confidence and comfort about the sucess of the projects in a program as well as its interdependencies. The program manager can use this oversight to support project-level activity to ensure the program goals are met
- by providing a decision-making capacity that cannot be achieved at project level or
- by providing the project manager with a program perspective when required, or
- as a sounding board for ideas and approaches to solving project issues that have program impacts.
Collecting, managing and interpreting the appropriate information is a key task in program management. Program Management has its greatest strength when it is free of any political bias, influence or individual agenda (which can be present at project level). Because of this, any leadership team will be well advised when choosing an external consultant to run the program management office.
We can help you set up a program management that gives you all the insights you need to drive change and transformation.