In this article the various aspects of project like project definition, characteristics, project management definition, project life cycle, problems in managing a project are covered and its PowerPoint presentation is made.
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Today we see different types of project and it has a wider meaning. Construction of a house or producing a product comes under project management because all these includes a set of activities which is performed by step by step planning, execution and control. A project may be either short term or long term according to its objective. This article helps to know a project in detail i.e. its definition, features, its life cycle and the problems in managing it etc.
Project Definition: “A project is a complex, non-routine, one-time effort limited by time, budget, resources, and performance specifications designed to meet customer needs.” (Project definition, 2009). “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” (Agile work and the pmbok-definition of project, 2005).
Characteristics of a project are as follows:
- It has a set of objective or mission. It is said that if the objective is accomplished the project is successfully completed.
- The project has a definite life cycle including the stages like initiation, planning, execution and control, closure.
- A project usually has a definite time limit i.e. a starting time and an ending time.
- Some projects will have risk of limited resources.
- Each and every project is unique in nature and no projects are similar.
- A project is completed by team work (Project management training and resources, 2009).
It is the order of forecasting, organizing and administrating resources to carry about the successful conclusion of a particular project goals and objectives. It also refers to constructing the project plan, which includes explaining project goals and objectives. Objective stands for how can achieve the goal, what resources are needed.and associate budgets and appropriateness for completion.
Definition of project management
“The leadership role which plans, budgets, co-ordinates, monitors and controls the operational contributions of property professionals, and others in a project involving the development of land in accordance with clients.” (Project management (development management), 2006). “ A set of well-defined methods and techniques for managing a team of people to accomplish a series of work tasks within a well-defined schedule and budget. The techniques may include work breakdown structure, workflow, earned value management (EVM), total quality management (TQM), statistical process control (SPC), quality function deployment (QFD), design of experiments, concurrent engineering, Six Sigma etc. Tools include flowcharts, PERT charts, GANTT charts (e.g. Microsoft Project), control charts, cause-and-effect (tree or wishbone) diagrams, Pareto diagrams, etc. (Note that the balanced scorecard is a strategic management, not a project management technique).” (Definition of general management Terms: Project management, 2009). The main features of project management are multiple user assignment, task group, task types, task status, task priorities, planning the project, project reporting, it is very expensive (Project management (development management), 2006).
Project Life Cycle
A project passes through a sequence of activities in order to accomplish the mission or objective. The major stages in the project are: initiation, planning and design, execution and controlling, and closure of the project.
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Initiation: The first step in which the nature and scope of the project are determined. The success of the project depends upon this stage because evaluation of the environment and control measures are undertaken. All difficulties should be removed in this stage and a initial plan should be prepared by covering the following areas:
- Analyse the business needs and set the goals.
- Evaluation of the present opportunities.
- Characterestics of the project.
- Equipments needed for the project.
- The costs and benefit of the project.
- The personnel required.
- The time duration and responsibilities of the team members.
Planning and design: In this stage detailed description of the system is made. It also include identification and assignment of task to the team members. A risk analysis should be done by making a prototype of the project and testing it. Controls measures should be taken after testing so that the ultimate product will satisfy the specifications of the customer. Product design is done by analysing the requirements of the project sponsor or end user. Detailed planning should be done the areas like resource, finance, quality, communication, procurement.
Execution and Controlling: It is the most crucial stage in the project and the planned tasks are implemented to accomplish the goal of the project. Execution process involves coordinating people and resources. Whole activities of the project are integrated according to the project plan. Controlling includes identifying the potential problems timely and taking corrective actions. The main advantage is that variances can be identified to that of project management plan. Controlling is done by the following steps.
Measuring the actual task (where we are); Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort) against the project management plan and the project performance baseline (where we should be); Identify corrective actions to solve issues and risks (How can we get on track again).
Closure of the project: In this stage the project head ensures that the project is completed successfully and it is handed over to the customer. Administrative activities like documentation and filing are done. (Project development stages, 2008).
Problems in managing a project: It is a complex and challenging assignment because managing time, quality, costs, communications, and human resource is very difficult task. Also coordinating different activities to achieve the project goal in time is also challenging.
A project is a non routine activity which consumes resources like men, material, money and time and includes planning the activities, scheduling time and sequence of work and controlling the activities. Now project management has become more importance in various fields like innovations, business, IT industry for software development, pharmaceutical industry etc and also people use it in every aspects of life even for selecting the shortest route to his office in order to save time and money.
Agile work and the pmbok-definition of project: Definition of project. (2005). Agile Advice. Web.
Project definition. (2009). ISM 4932 0001. 1. Web.
Project development stages. (2008). Business and Companies. Web.
Definition of general management Terms: Project management. (2009). Balanced Score Card Institute. Web.
Project management training and resources. (2009). Visitask. Web.
Project management (development management). (2006). Gharabari.com. Web.