This is part of an extended management course. You can dip into it, or follow the course from the start. If you do that, you may want a course notebook, for the exercises and any notes you want to make.
Implementing business strategy usually means starting one or more projects. Whilst nothing would please me more (as a former professional project manager) than to devote a series of blogs to a thorough description of project management, that is not the role of these blogs and also, The Project Management Pocketbook already covers that ground.
So I shall limit myself, in the next few blogs, to some of the essential models that a project manager will need. We will cover:
- The Project Lifecycle (here)
- The Triple Constraint (from 4 March 2014)
- Stakeholder Management (from 11 March 2014)
- The Critical Path (from 18 March 2014)
- The Gantt Chart (from 25 March 2014)
- Risk Management (from 8 April 2014)
Once the dates are passed, these links will work.
Four Stage Project
There are as many ways of representing the lifecycle of a project as project managers, but they all contain many of the same features, just different language for the stages, different choices of how detailed to be, and different graphical metaphors for how to draw it.
Here, we will use the version in the Project Management Pocketbook.
Define the purpose, aim, objectives and scope of the project to evaluate whether it makes good business sense and is therefore worth proceeding to the planning stage. Good business sense here means consistency with your organisation’s mission, vision and values, and a reasonable expectation that the benefits will exceed the costs.
Put together a detailed specification for what your project will produce and then use this as the basis to plan what you need to do, in what order, at what time, with what resources and allocating work to which people. Calculate the cost of your plan to create a budget and compare that with the benefits you will get if your project delivers to its specification and you can create a business case. You business case will guide your decision whether to invest in implementing your project.
Now deliver your project, constantly monitoring for risks, changes, delays, overspends and the quality of your delivered products. Intervene where necessary to maintain control. At the end of the implementing stage, you can hand over the last of the things you have created to your customer, boss or client. Will they accept them? Only if they are fit for purpose.
How did it go? What did you learn? How did team members perform? Was it all worthwhile? Take this new knowledge into your next project and do that one even better.
From the Management Pocketbooks series: