Introduction to Project management
We all make Project management to manage our private lives: moving, preparing for a wedding or preparing for a trip abroad and some of us are led to manage large-scale projects in their professional lives. Here are some examples of very different professional projects that come to mind: preparing a humanitarian mission to Vietnam over a period of one year, building a house to receive homeless people, setting up a new software accounting management within a bank, launching a new type of organic biscuit with dietary properties at a food giant, launch of a new drug against arthritis at a pharmaceutical giant.
The characteristics common to each project are the constraints of delay, cost, and resources. When a country receives the Olympic Games, the date to be respected cannot be postponed so some projects cannot bear a delay. Others are more flexible in their time.
How to define the management of a project?
It is the set of human and material means to reach a goal in a definite time. To succeed in the management of a project, it is necessary to cut it into several phases and to place these phases in time, that is to say to affix a date of beginning and end to each phase, that is what one calls for project planning , and for some projects with tight deadlines, some phases overlap over time. For each phase of the project, we assign human resources, ie people with the skills required to meet the objectives of the project phase. We must also define and monitor material and human costs.
When you have to manage a project, you have to ask the question of the structuring method of the project, the nature of the division of the project into nested subprojects, the planning of tasks, the anticipation of resource requirements, the nature and control of these resources and finally the monitoring of costs and deadlines.
Give meaning to your projects
Before you go head to head in the management of a project, it is wise to ask yourself the real questions: what are the real objectives of the project. Because if you give meaning to the projects in which you are involved, you will work more effectively to the success of this project (s).
Project management software
To help us better manage a project and achieve the project’s goal (s), many project management software packages exist on the market. I will present you several on this blog. The best known are Microsoft Project and Open Workbench. I also installed a freeware called Gantt Project.
The risks of the project
Each project has risks that it is wise to anticipate and evaluate. The human dimension of the project is very important and should not be overlooked. The effective management of a project therefore also involves the management of project risks, that is to say, factors that can delay or hinder the project: lack of human resources adapted to the nature of the project, absenteeism or sick leave a person difficult to replace, lack of funding, etc …
Here are some key success factors for a project:
- A competent project manager who masters a good project management software
- Human resources with skills adapted to the nature of the tasks of the project
- Proper assignment of a resource to tasks that match its skills
- A sufficient budget
- Good motivation for the entire project team