Project Management Introduction

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What is a Project?
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) , a project is any work that happens only once, has a clear beginning and end, and is intended to create a unique product or knowledge. It may involve only one person, or thousands. It may last several days, or many years. It may be undertaken by a single organization, or by an alliance of several stakeholders. A project may be as simple as organizing a one-day event or as complex as constructing a dam on a river.

What is Project Management?
Project management is a carefully planned and organized effort to accomplish a specific (and usually) one-time objective, for example, construct a building or implement a major new computer system. Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations of a project. The project manager, sometimes referred to as the project co-coordinator or leader, manages the details of the project on a day-to-day basis. This is an ongoing challenge that requires an understanding of the broader contextual environment of the project and the ability to balance conflicting demands between: •Available resources and expectations;

Differing stakeholder priorities;
Identified needs and project scope;
Quality and quantity.

Characteristics of Successful Projects
1.Clear objectives - The most successful projects have clearly defined objectives from the outset. 2.A good project plan - A carefully thought-out plan serves two purposes. First, it allows everyone involved to understand and perform their part in the project. It shows who is responsible for what and estimates how much money, people, equipment and time will be required to complete the project. Second, it serves as a monitoring tool, allowing you to take early action if things go wrong. 3.Communication, communication, communication - Your project is a collaborative effort between all of the individuals and organizations involved. You all need to work together to maintain effective and continual communication between the parties. 4.A controlled scope - Numerous issues will come up throughout your project, and not all of them will contribute to your overall objectives. It is important to stay focused on your priorities, with little wasted time or attention. 5.Stakeholder support - Projects typically involve several stakeholders, who invest time and resources in the project. It is important to maintain stakeholder support throughout the project, so the project team can meet its objectives.

Planning Your Project
Every project has a life cycle, composed of the phases it goes through from beginning to completion. The broad phases are: 1.Formulating the concept, goals and objectives of a project that uses technology to enhance learning and skills development; 2.Applying for OLT funding;

3.Conducting the initial phase (developing partnerships, conducting a needs assessment, community learning asset mapping); 4.Conducting the pilot project;
5.Writing a final report and disseminating your results to others. A project plan sets the ground rules and states them in a clear fashion. This is especially important since projects typically include multiple partners and stakeholders with differing interests and perspectives.

Why Plan?
Ensures that the objectives are clearly stated so that there is no disagreement later on.  Helps you to control and measure your progress. Now that your team members and financing are finalized, you should revisit your action plan and add the specific details that will allow you to manage successfully.  Help you deal with any changes that may occur (and they inevitably do occur!). For example, what if a stakeholder wants to add a new objective to the project? A clear project plan will help you deal with this situation in keeping with the overall...
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