For the past 20 years, I have managed quite a number of projects, both cultural and technological, for many different clients worldwide. Throughout this experience I have developed a particular sense to envision the project from start to finish, and developed the motivation and resilience needed to bring them to success without going over budget or schedule.
Understanding processes, earned value management for forecasting, effectively resource allocations, knowing the capabilities of the team members, appropriate budget estimation and fast response ability in assessing changes, are some of the practical strategies and tools that can be applied to any size or type of project, and will drive it to successfully satisfy goals and meet objectives.
Poor planning is one of the top reasons projects fail. Realistic project estimations need a level of analysis and planning. You need to know the full scope of work your team will be doing before you can even begin to consider an estimate. A project management is divided into 4 phases, including:
PHASE 1. SCOPE MANAGEMENT: Project conception and initiation; Start at the end, clearly defining the scope of the project, specifying the project goals and objectives expected to be deliver and when are they expected to be delivered.
PHASE 2: PROJECT CHARTER: Project definition and planning; Set guidelines and rules to be followed and develop an action plan, organize, and control or activities. Foresee risk and problems. Determining the budget and time required. Outline steps and quality plans to achieve the project goals.
PHASE 3: PROJECT EXECUTION: Project launch; Coordinate and monitor the development of activities attending the restrictions are the time, scope, limitations, quality and budget.
PHASE 4: PROJECT CONCLUSION: Project performance and control, to reach the point where the project was defined as successfully finished in the first phase. Project Delivery.
Once the Project Management Plan has been developed, Earned Value Management (EVM) helps project managers to measure project performance. It is a systematic process used to find variances in projects based on the comparison of worked performed and work planned. EVM is used on the cost and schedule control and can be very useful in project forecasting.
“If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?”
– Steve Maraboli
SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGER PERSONAL SKILLS AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE ::
The Project Management Book of Knowledge of the Project Management Institute informs of what are the tasks, skills and knowledge needed for a successful project manager and specifies the performance areas (domains) considered more important, critical, and relevant to manage each stage of the project. However there are certain skills that are a must have for a successful project manager:
✓ Business acumen ✓Organizational and operational awareness ✓Time management/Prioritization ✓Situational awareness ✓Benefits realization ✓ Decision making ✓ Delegation techniques ✓ Presentation abilities ✓ Emotional intelligence ✓Interpersonal skills ✓Active listening ✓Problem-solving abilities ✓Coaching, mentoring, training, and motivational techniques ✓Communication channels, tools, techniques, and methods ✓Configuration management ✓Conflict resolution ✓Facilitation ✓Relationship management ✓Diversity and cultural sensitivity ✓Generational sensitivity and diversity ✓Leadership tools, techniques, and skills ✓Negotiation and influencing skills
On the other hand, a skillful project manager should have specific technical knowledge:
✓Management techniques ✓Project finance principles ✓Knowledge management ✓Meeting management techniques ✓Brainstorming techniques ✓Team-building techniques✓Applicable laws and regulations ✓Peer-review processes ✓Data gathering techniques ✓Customer satisfaction metrics ✓Expert judgment technique ✓Risk assessment techniques ✓Change management techniques ✓Quality assurance and control techniques ✓Information management tools, techniques, and methods ✓Virtual/remote team management techniques ✓Stakeholder management techniques
TASKS AND SPECIFIC SKILLS FOR EACH STAGE OF THE PROJECT:
STAGE 1 :: INITIATING A PROJECT:
In this early phase of the project, it is necessary to apply knowledge and skills of strategic management, putting into play both, analytical skills and benefit analysis techniques. It is also need to be aware of the elements of the project charter and estimation tools and techniques.
STAGE 2 :: PLANNING OF THE PROJECT:
For this stage the project manager needs to be aware of the appropriate techniques for cost management planning, including project budgeting tools, change management planning, Communications planning, Contract types and selection criteri, Estimation tools and techniques, Human resource planning, Lean and efficiency principles, Procurement planning, Quality management planning, Requirements gathering techniques (e.g., planning sessions, brainstorming, and focus groups), Regulatory and environmental impacts assessment planning, Risk management planning, Scope deconstruction (e.g., WBS, Scope backlog) tools and techniques, Scope management planning, Stakeholder management planning, Time management planning, including scheduling tools, and Workflow diagramming techniques.
STAGE 3 :: EXECUTING OF THE PROJECT:
During the execution phase, it is necessary to keep continuous improvement processes, pay close attention to the Elements of a statement of work and the Interdependencies among project elements, Project budgeting tools, Contract management, Quality standard tools and Vendor management techniques.
STAGE 4 :: MONITORING AND CONTROLLING THE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
In this stage, the project manager will measure performance measurement through tracking techniques (e.g., EV, CPM, PERT, Trend Analysis), and process analysis techniques (e.g., LEAN, Kanban, Six Sigma), as well as pay close attention to the financing of the project principles, the project control limits (e.g., thresholds, tolerance), implement project monitoring tools and techniques and best practices and quality standards (e.g., ISO, BS, CMMI, IEEE), quality validation and verification techniques, through quality measurement tools (e.g., statistical sampling, control charts, flowcharting, inspection, assessment). It will also be necessary to identify and analyze risks and prepare risk response.
STAGE 5 :: CLOSING THE PROJECT
For this last stage, the project manager will use techniques for project review techniques and transition planning, such as archiving practices and statutes, compliance (statute/organization), contracts closure requirements, close-out procedures, performance measurement techniques (KPI and key success factors) and feedback.
Source: ©2015 Project Management Institute, Inc.
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