What Is a Project

Topics: Project management, Management, Critical path method Pages: 22 (2883 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Resource 11.
(Created by the Institute for Development Management, Botswana for the NGO Institute, STF. (Some materials in this module have been extracted from “A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge, 3rd. edition, 2004)

What is a project?

“A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service.”

The Three P’s

Working definition of project management

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations from a project. (Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge Project Management Institute 2004)

Project Management in Your Organization

• What are the current methods of project management in your organization?

• What project management issues is your organization facing?

Important Characteristics of Real Life Projects

• Accomplish with shared resources often only available on part-time basis • Require cross-functional team work
• Involve uncertainty and are subject to change during execution • Subject to specific deadlines and time and resource constraints • Project manager often lacks functional authority over team members Proven Benefits of Project Management

✓ Provides clear roles, responsibilities, activities and schedules for team efforts ✓ Includes a method for considering the consequences of decreasing or increasing funds, resources, time, or quality ✓ Specifies a detailed plan of how to achieve our objectives ✓ Assists in the realistic assignments of tasks and responsibilities to team members according to the skills and resources available ✓ Gives structure to communicating the progress of projects ✓ Allows teams to identify potential problems and take preventive action early ✓ Keeps management officers and project stakeholders well-informed and supportive ✓ Helps manage pressure for expanding the scope of projects without proper decision criteria and analysis of changes

Diverse Skills Needed for Project Management

• Planning skills—the ability to plan the use or organizational resources of time, personnel, budget, facilities, equipment, and supplies to achieve organizational objectives

• Technical skills—the specific professional technical skills needed for a project.

• People skills—the ability to manage and motivate people who will implement the project activities, communicate effectively with stakeholders, and resolve conflicts and interpersonal problems.

What skills make the best project managers so good?

1. Communication: listening, persuading, negotiating
2. Organizational: planning, goal-setting, analyzing
3. Team building: empathy, motivation, team spirit
4. Leadership: sets example, energetic, vision, delegates, positive attitude 5. Coping: flexibility, creativity, patience, persistence 6. Technical: experience, project knowledge

Project Management Method


Step 1: Select project

Define project scope: Selecting Priority Projects

• Where do we begin?
• Project selection can be a difficult process, especially when there are a large number of potential projects competing for scarce dollars. • Some selection methods are highly intuitive; some very political. • Others try to add rigor through more scientific selection processes.

Two rules to follow:

1. Make selection process transparent (who is involved, process used)

2. Make criteria used to evaluate projects explicit (spend time defining your criteria clearly)

Selection Criteria Matrix: Un-weighted Criteria

Project Agreement

What: A written description that clearly communicates what the project is (and is not)

When: Ideally, at the beginning of a...
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