What is Project Management?

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to achieve activities within a project’s requirements.  A project is temporary, in that it has a defined beginning and end, and therefore defined scope and resources.  A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of tasks designed to accomplish a singular goal. The Project Management Institute is the most prolific organization for project management associations.

Most projects follow a traditional methodology as outlined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The 5-phase methodology has been outlined below:

  • Initiating – Typically a project at is initiated through an intake.  This determines, among other things, what the current state is, what the expectations are of potential resources, etc.  Once the intake is validated by the client, a project manager is assigned to create a project brief that formalizes the project.
  • Planning – A project brief is created including, but not limited to, background, strategic alignment, objectives and/or expected outcomes, project approach, scope and milestones.  Planning may also include developing a Gantt chart, stakeholder engagement plans and/or identifying risks.  The project brief is reviewed by the project board and/or team and, once signed, formally launches the project.
  • Executing – The activities that are set out in the project plan are put into motion and the deliverables that were outlined in the project brief are executed.  Outcomes are also monitored and controlled during this phase to prevent the project from derailing or ultimately failing. 
  • Monitoring & Controlling – The over-arching activities that run throughout the duration of a project and help provide oversight on whether the project is in ‘control’ of its execution.  Typically, activities include managing project schedule, budgets, resource plans, risks, etc.  This phase may also include corrective actions to help bring project activities back within control.
  • Closing – The project is formally closed by preparing a closure report and often includes a lessons learnt discussion.  At the project closure, ongoing operation of the project outcomes is transferred to the unit.

Other common methodologies include PRINCE2, a structured approach to project management that is used when projects can be delivered within a clearly defined framework.  PRINCE2 (PRoject IN Controlled Environments, version 2) focuses on the output delivery of a predefined set of products and is sponsored by an organization called, AXELOS

Other types of project management methodologies include the Waterfall Method (common in agile software project management where tasks follow each other in quick, sequential succession) and the Critical Path Method (CPM) (where a critical path representing the heaviest strain on resources is mapped throughout the life of the project to help Project Managers understand and optimize the schedule).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Change Management & Project Services office uses each of the services described to work towards a unique solution for the initiatives presented.  Other services include Change Management, Project Management, Process Improvement, and Business Analysis.  By blending the tools and techniques described above, we will work with our customers to help define and create a solution that increases value for the unit, reduces waste, and achieves the requirement of the change/project.

If you want to know more about our services contact us here.