Project management is a field that involves planning, organizing, and resource management with the purpose of excellent accomplishment of stated project goals and objectives.
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A project refers to a temporary undertaking that has an agreed timeframe and aims at producing a product or service that is unique in its characteristic and that it will beneficial to the end users. This aspect of timeframe in project differs from processes and operations which exhibit permanent and semi-permanent aspects and tend to replicate products or services. A project incorporates the constraints and risks with respect to cost, schedule or the outcome of performance (Management Library, 2009).
Every project must pass through a series of project development stages. Hence project development process will exhibit the same major development phases regardless of the method used.
The initiation stage
This stage involves determining the nature and extent of the development. The initial stage is very important and needs to be performed keenly for it defines whether the project will be able to meet the needs of the business. The knowledge of business environment is vital for it acts as a crucial project control and therefore needs to be incorporated into the project. It is in this stage where anomalies are detected and corrective measures are undertaken. The initiation stage needs to have a blue print that contains the following parameters; assessment and quantification of the business needs, review of the operations, model design of the way the final product will operate, equipments required and contracts requirements, a budget that analyses the cost and benefits of the project, analysis of the stakeholders which include the end users and the support personnel and finally the project charter which exposes the costs, tasks of support personnel, deliverables and a schedule (Management Library, 2009).
Planning and design stage
It is in this stage where the system is designed and involves coming up with a model of the final product. It is the task of the testers and end users to test the model. Controls in this stage need to be set up to ensure the intended product would posses the specifications of the project charter. This stage ensures that the product design is acceptable by the project sponsor, end user and exhibits business requirements, the product design functions as is supposed to, can be produced within the stated quality standards, time and available resources.
This stage involves processes that are used to complete the work as stated in the management plan in order to facilitate the accomplishment of the requirements of the project. Execution stage entails coordinating human and other resources and also integrating and performing of the project activities as per the project management blue print. Thus the deliverables are the outputs from the performed processes as stated in the project management master plan (Chatfield, 2003).
Monitoring and controlling stage
This stage involves processes performed that tend to oversee the execution of the project such that arising obstacles can be pin pointed earlier and corrective measures implemented to control project execution. Monitoring and control stage ensures the performance of the project is checked and evaluated as the project advances so as to reduce variances from the project management plan. Hence monitoring and controlling phase has the task of measuring project activities, monitoring the variables of the project, identifying actions to correct the risks and issues and to prevent factors that might interfere with accepted changes.
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This is the final phase of the project development cycle and it thus formalizes ending and acceptance of the project. It in this stage where the administrative personnel do have the task filing and documenting of the activities and challenges faced during project development. This phase is twofold; project closure which finalizes all activities thus formally closing the project and contract closure which is important for it marks the completion and settlement of the contract that applies to the project (Chatfield, 2003).
Organizations need to incorporate project management for it is able to detect the dangers and problems ahead for it involves the process of planning, organizing and controlling of activities so as to ensure that the projects are accomplished successfully despite the risks involved. The process often begins prior to resource commitment and goes on until the project is completed. It is the task of the project manger of the organization to ensure that the final result satisfies the project sponsor or purchaser and it was able to be completed within the specified time without committing extra resources not included in the budget (Management Library, 2009).
Organizations must exercise planning and control of all activities and resources to be involved in a project. The project manager must understand how various human resource operate and to appreciate their unique skills and talents, their methods of working, problems and their weaknesses and this needs very wide general experience. Therefore project management is more of general management; hence organizations need to have it for smooth operations and to ensure that resources are utilized efficiently (Chatfield, 2003).
Resources are scarce and therefore organizations are faced with constraints and if not well planned and organized may lead to their collapse. Hence organizations need to have project management to evaluate and oversee the implementation of their projects.
Donors are not ready to commit their money to organizations which lack project management department hence its necessity for it contains master plan of how the project is to be carried out up to its completion stage plus the estimates of the costs involved and this earns an organization confidence from the donors through accessing more funds.
Management library, project management, 2009. Web.
Chatfield, Carl (2003).A short course in project management. Web.
US department of veteran affairs (2005): project management guide. Web.