Project Management Processes
Project management is one of the high-responsibility tasks in modern organizations. It is used in many types of projects ranging from software development, process optimization to developing the next generation fighter aircrafts.
Project Management is the application of KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, TOOLS, AND TECHNIQUES to project activities to meet the PROJECT REQUIREMENTS.
Every project is dependent upon processes, people, and tools and all of them determine how the work gets done. These three essential elements are not equal. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and provides different value to projects.
The processes determine how the work needs to be accomplished and they have been bundled into five groups called project management process groups:
Project initiation represents the starting point of any project. In this process group, all the activities are related to winning a project.
It includes a description of the product of the project, initial documentation of project objectives, and assignment of a project manager.
Critical activities associated with initiating process groups are:
- Creating a feasibility study
- Identifying business needs
- Creating a product description
- Develop a detailed Business Case
- Creating a Project Charter
- Assigning a Project Manager
In this process group, the project plan is derived in order to address the project requirements such as requirements scope, budget, and timelines. It also involves the creation of a Project Management Plan that acts as a project roadmap for execution.
Key activities associated with planning process groups are:
- Collect requirements
- Define scope
- Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
- Define and sequence activities
- Estimate activity resource requirements and duration
- Creating schedule
- Estimate costs and determine the budget
- Planning Human Resources, Quality, and Communications
- Identify, analyze and prepare Risk Response Plan
- Planning procurement
After all the plans are done, in this process group, the project management executes the project to achieve project objectives.
These activities help the project manager coordinate and direct the project resources to meet the objectives of the project plan.
Key activities associated with executing process groups are:
- Direct and manage project execution
- Acquire project team
- Perform quality assurance
- Manage Stakeholders expectations
- Distributing project information
- Develop and manage the project team
- Conduct procurement
During the project execution, reporting activities are essential. The Project Manager will report to the Senior Management the daily or weekly status updates on the project progress.
On the other hand, the client may also want to be informed of the progress of the project. During the project execution, it is a must to track the effort and cost of the project in order to determine whether the project is progressing in the right direction or not.
In addition to reporting, there are multiple deliverables to be made during the project execution. Usually, project deliverables are not onetime deliveries made at the end of the project. Instead, the deliverables are scattered throughout the project execution period and delivered upon agreed timelines.
4. Monitoring and Controlling
During the project life cycle, the project activities should be thoroughly monitored and controlled. The controlling can be mainly done by adhering to the initial protocols such as project plan, quality assurance, test plan and communication plan for the project.
Variances from the project baseline are identified, and necessary corrective actions are undertaken.
The most important activities would include:
- Ensure Quality Control
- Providing scope verification
- Implementing change control
- Configuration management
- Controlling key parameters like cost, schedule, and scope
- Monitor and control risks
Once all the project requirements are achieved, it is time to hand over the implemented system and close out the project. If the project deliveries meet the acceptance criteria defined by the client, the project will be duly accepted and paid by the customer.
Closing activities will be performed even for the aborted/terminated projects.
The key activities would include:
- Auditing procurement documents
- Scope verification
- Closing vendor contracts
- Closing administrative duties
- Submitting final reports
- Archiving project records
In summary, these process groups are common to most of the project across different business areas: IT, Constructions and technology and each one of them plays an important role in achieving the project goals.
- PMBOK 5th Edition