Important Steps of Project Management

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By Letícia Pasqualotto 

Every work, be it the creation of a product or a service, has to have a plan in order to be executed to its maximum needs and requirements and ultimately fulfil its purpose. That is the job of the project manager, who will organize a team to make the goal of the company with that product or service happen. The project manager has a number of things to do, since guaranteeing the communication between different teams so the project runs smoothly, to help in the solution of any trouble that appears so the project does not delay on its launch date and everybody hits their goal.    

According to the Project Management Institute, the project manager has to have a set of qualities and skills in order to do his job well. They have to be organized, passionate and goal-oriented, it is fundamental that they understand the strategy for making the project a success. They must work well under pressure and have the ability to “shift readily between the "big picture" and the small-but-crucial details, knowing when to concentrate on each.” (Project Management Institute) so the project runs flawless.

The project manager has to be some kind of mediator; he must have good people skills and must be ready to intervene when necessary, to communicate with sponsors, project team members and outside sources. They are always improving their skills and techniques as well as their teams. As of today, the project manager is an incredible recognized position as “senior executives and HR managers recognize project management as a strategic competence that is indispensable to business success” (Project Management Institute).

A project is both, temporary and unique. Temporary for it has a beginning and an end previously stipulated by the part which will create/fulfil the job and the contracting party, and unique because it does not belong to the company’s routine, it is a specific job to accomplish a specified outcome. In the light of these qualifications, we can agree to the Project Management Institute definition of project management, which is “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements”. So project management is to develop a project thinking about all the steps to its finish solving any kind of unexpected problem along the way.  

As reported by the Project Management Institute, the processes of project management undertake five groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and finally closing. These are the major steps when organizing a project, with them managers are half way through the finalization of the project and can have a sight of the whole picture of the job. However, that is far from all they have to do, managers have to consider, inside these steps, areas like integration, scope, time, cost, quality, procurement, human resources, communications, risk management and stakeholder management.

It is almost impossible to complete a project without some kind of difficulty interfering with it. Yet, it is not impossible to overcome the difficulties that are so recurrent in any kind of project. Here we will see about two essential steps that can help managers to fix mistakes made during the project or even avoid them. First, the project charter, also known as project definition or project statement, it is the base of the project. The chart is a document that officially initiate the project, it states the scope, objectives and participants; it acts as a reference for the participants as it contains the role each team will fulfil. In a large-scale project, a chart can be made for each phase of the process in order to maintain the project organized and to avoid any kind of misunderstanding or miscommunication.

The second important part is the project documentation, it is, as the name says, a document which contains information on project requirements and establish traceability on what has been done, what needs yet to be done, who did what and who will continue doing the rest of the work. The project documentation also specifies the quality of the project, and depending on the level of risk of the project, it needs to be more or less detailed.

Therefore, project management is a plan whose execution can better inform both, staff and customer in matters of objective, cost-benefit, time, and can be adjusted whenever necessary. It is essential for the better function of the company so no one is ever in doubt of their role in a project. Although it has always been in practiced informally, it only “began to emerge as a distinct profession in the mid-20th century” (Project Management Institute). Project management is a practice guided by goals and standards and that makes it indispensable for a company to achieve success.
 
Source: Project Management Institute at https://www.pmi.org/
Profile of the writer http://www.modlingua.com/interns/335-leticia-pasqualotto-english-portuguese-translator.html


 

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