The scenario is a business owner wants to expand the building in which the business in occupying, but the business owner does not know where to start. This is the point where the business owner needs to incorporate project management. To understand project management, the business owner needs to know what a project is, the basic phases of the project life cycle and purpose, and the importance of project management for an organization to accomplish tasks. Once the business owner understands project management, the expansion can begin.
Project management does not need to be complex. Taking the time to understand the process will help an organization achieve maximum success. What is a project? Projects are any series of activities or tasks that have a characteristic of possessing a specific objective needing to have accomplishments within certain specifications, possessing a specific start and end date, possessing a budget to keep, uses human and nonhuman resources, and are multifunctional in nature (Kezner, 2009). A project is anything that helps a company improve on its operation, product, or marketing.
When one thinks of a project, the words build, move, and non-routine come to mind. Project life cycles A project life cycle is a logical sequence of activities to accomplish a projects objectives or goals. The project life cycle has five major stages that most organizations use: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closure. These stages help a project to stay on time, budget, and within scope. As with most plans, a project must broke down into smaller stages depending on the size, scope, and resources that will be in use during the project.
Project initiation A project must start with an idea. Because everyone has a different idea of what can help a company, all the projects must go through a selection process. During the initiation stage, several steps will be accomplished. All the projects will go to management for review and a selection of the best project given resource limits will get approval. The recognition of benefits of the project will also get an approval from management. All preparations of the documents will need to be complete to help get the project approval.
The final step is the assignment of the project manager (Kerzner, 2009). Project planning The planning stage is the most important stage in a projects life cycle. The planning stage is when the aspects of the plan will be laid out on the table. The actual work to accomplish, the quality and quantity of work, and the resource needs to define. A plan of action will be put into place that will include the scheduling of all activities, the budget, the time, and the objectives.
Once the plan is put into place, an evaluation of all the risks can be accomplished to ensure the project will be a success (Kerzner, 2009). Project execution The execution stage is when the project work actually starts. During this stage is when the project manager will negotiate for the project team members he or she will need for the project. The project manager will also be directing and managing the work by holding meetings to ensure everyone understands what he or she is to do.
The manager will also be working with the team members to help them improve on any process that is not working (Kerzner, 2009). Project monitoring and controlling The project monitoring and controlling phase is one of the critical steps in the process. During the monitoring and controlling phase, the project manager is tracking the progress of the project. In monitoring and controlling the project, the project manager will analyze the variances and know the impacts of the variances if something goes wrong or gets off track.
By analyzing the variances and impacts, the project manager will be able to make adjustments if the need arises. Project monitoring and controlling also helps to compare actual outcomes to what the predicted outcome is (Kerzner, 2009). Monitoring and controlling a project will help the project manager see exactly what is going on and what needs fixing before a major crisis can begin. Project Closure The last phase of a project is the project closure. During this phase, the project manager will verify all the work has been completed within time, budget, and specifications the client requires.
Once the client has approved the project, the contract will have closure, all financial aspects of the charge numbers will have closure, and all administrative paperwork will have closure (Kerzner, 2009). The project closure process will ensure the project is complete and no other issues will arise. Importance of Using Project Management An organization needs to stay competitive or it will not survive. When an organization initiates a project, project management needs to be in place to ensure several items are not forgotten. Project management helps to elevate barriers that may present itself during the project.
Project management will help identify responsibilities to individuals to ensure all activities are accounted for, minimizes continuous reporting activities, identifies time limits, measures accomplishments against plans, can identify problems before the problems become too big to handle, helps with corrective actions of problems, and can improve estimating capabilities for future projects (Kerzner, 2009). Project management is a way for organizations to make sure their projects are on track and can be accomplished within the specifications, time, and budget.
Without project management, the project may not even get off the ground, and if the project does start it may not finish at all. Conclusion A project is any task that meets certain criteria such as time, budget, and specific objectives. A project has a life cycle that includes five steps: project initiation, project planning, project execution, project monitoring and control, and project closure. Each step in the project life cycle is important to the success of the project in different ways.
One needs to know what the project is, how to progress in the project, working on the project as a team, knowing what is happening during the project, and know when the project is complete. Without the use of project management, organizations may possible not survive in the world market because every day individual’s want new and better items to play with or have in their homes. Project management is an important part of any organizations, and by understanding what a project is, the organization will have an idea of what projects to complete to meet the objectives of the organization and the expectations of its clients.