project management, tools, process, plans and project planning tips Here are rules, processes and tools for project planning and project management. While project management skills are obviously important for project managers, interestingly the methods and tools that project managers use can be helpful for everyone. A 'task' does not necessarily have to be called a 'project' in order for project management methods to be very useful in its planning and implementation. Even the smallest task can benefit from the use of a well-chosen project management technique or tool, especially in the planning stage. Any task that requires some preparation to achieve a successful outcome, will probably be done better by using a few project management methods somewhere in the process. Project management methods can help in the planning and managing of all sorts of tasks, especially complex activities. Project management is chiefly associated with planning and managing change in an organization, but a project can also be something unrelated to business - even a domestic situation, such as moving house, or planning a wedding. Project management methods and tools can therefore be useful far more widely than people assume. Project management techniques and project planning tools are useful for any tasks in which different outcomes are possible - where risks of problems and failures exist - and so require planning and assessing options, and organizing activities and resources to deliver a successful result. Projects can be various shapes and sizes, from the small and straightforward to extremely large and highly complex. In organizations and businesses, project management can be concerned with anything, particularly introducing or changing things, in any area or function, for example: * people, staffing and management
* products and services
* materials, manufacturing and production
* IT and communications
* plant, vehicles, equipment
* storage, distribution, logistics
* buildings and premises
* finance, administration, acquisition and divestment
* sales, selling, marketing
* human resources development and training
* customer service and relations
* quality, health and safety,
* legal and professional
* technical, scientific, research and development
* new business development
* and anything else which needs planning and managing within organizations. Successful project management, for projects large or small, tends to follow the process outlined below. The same principles, used selectively and appropriately, also apply to smaller tasks. Project management techniques are not just for project managers - they are available for anyone to use.
project management process
1. Agree precise specification for the project - 'Terms of Reference' 2. Plan the project - time, team, activities, resources, financials - using suitable project management tools. 3. Communicate the project plan to your project team - and to any other interested people and groups. 4. Agree and delegate project actions.
5. Manage and motivate - inform, encourage, enable the project team. 6. Check, measure, monitor, review project progress - adjust project plans, and inform the project team and others. 7. Complete project - review and report on project performance; give praise and thanks to the project team. 8. Project follow-up - train, support, measure and report results and benefits. 1 - agree precise specification (terms of reference) for the project Often called the project 'terms of reference', the project specification should be an accurate description of what the project aims to achieve, and the criteria and flexibilities involved, its parameters, scope, range, outputs, sources, participants, budgets and timescales (beware - see note below about planning timescales). Usually the project...