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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Notes on Project Management

Project Structure - notes taken from my reading (long ago now!)

Bruce, Andy and Langdon, Ken (2000) Project Management, London: Doring Kindersley , ISBN 0 7513 2793

5 Stages of Project 
1.     Initiation - agree a vision staing exactly what it will achieve
2.     Planning - identify objectives agree on actions resource, order and  schedule tasks, validate plan with all to gain commitment
3.     Motivating - implementing the plan by leading team - use authority of sponsor to focus plan, keep communication flowing
4.     Monitoring - project performance against objectives and time targets, monitor problems and changes that throw project off , have regular progress reports, organising team meetings, identifying milestones that will measure your progress; use logic to overcome problems and to manage and incorporate changes 

5.     Closing - record experiences for future reference

Key features - focus on priorities, track performance, overcome difficulties, and adapt to change (flexible and responsive approach); may be time consuming initially, but in the long term it will save time, effort, and reduce the risk of failure
Defined start and end - start up and close down stages
1.     Some projects are repeated often, but they are not process because they have clear start and end points
2.     Routine work can be distinguished from projects because it is recurring, and there is no blear end to the process
Organised plan - planned methodical approach is used to meet project objectives
1.     Good planning ensures a project is completed on time and within budget  - having delivered the expected results
2.     An effective plan provides a template that guides the project and details the work that needs to be done
Separate Resources - allocated time, people, and money on their own merits
1.     Some projects operate outside normal routine of business life some within , all have separate resources
2.     Working within agreed resources is vital to success
Teamwork - project team
Teams take responsibility for and gain satisfaction from their own objectives while contributing to whole organisation
Projects offer new challenges and experiences for staff
Established Goals - bring results in terms of quality and/or performance
1.     Project result in a new way of working, or create something that did not previously exist.
2.     Objectives must be identified for all those involved in the project

Identifying key players and their roles - everyone must understand the reason for their involvement in the project and what its impact on them will be

1. Sponsor - initiates a project, adds to the team's authority, and is the most senior team member - financial or moral backing
Roles -
1.     ensures that the project is of real relevance to the organisation
2.     helps in setting objectives and constraints
3.     acts as an inspirational figurehead
4.     may provide resources
2. Project Manager - responsible for achieving the projects overall objectives and leading the project ream.
1.     Produces a detailed plan of action
2.     Motivates and develops project team
3.     Communicates project information to stakeholders and other interested parties
4.     Monitors progress to keep project on track
3. Stakeholder - any other party who is interested in, or affected by, the outcome of the project, consult regularly, assist in motivating others, may control resources
Roles -
1.     contributes to various stages of the planning process by providing feedback
2.     Might only be involved from time to time
3.     May not be a stakeholder for the entire project if his or her contribution is complete
4. Key Team Member - assists the project manager and provides the breadth of knowledge needed
1.     Makes a major contribution in examining feasibility and planning a project
2.     Lends a technical expertise when needed
3.     Is directly responsible for project being completed on time and within budget
5. Team Member  - full or part - time person who has actions to carry out in the project plan
1.     Takes responsibility for completing activities as set out in the project plan
2.     Fulfils a specialised role if involved as a consultant, or as an individual who is only needed for part of the project
6. Customer - internal or external person who benefits from changes brought about b the project
1.     Strongly influences the objectives of the project an how its success is measured
2.     Dictates how and when some activities are carried out.
3.     Provides direction of the project manager
7. Supplier - provider of materials, products, or services needed to carry out the project
1.     Can become very involved with, and supportive of, the project
2.     Delivers supplies on time and provides services or goods at a fixed cost, agreed with the project manager at the outset

Define Project
1.     Opportunity to develop skills
2.     Review work to determine tasks in project
3.     Draw up list of people who might help
4.     Build a rapport with your main stakeholders
5.     Make sure you core team consists of people you trust
6.     Make sure that people understand what you are aiming to achieve
7.     Ask colleagues to read goals - revise
8.     Expect revise and enhance project plan several times
9.     Learn to accept the inevitability of change
10.  You can hop for the best but always plan for the worst
11.  Make an issue of a new project so people know it is happening
12.  Monitor from start to finish- problems occur anywhere along the way

Essentials for Success
Having Clear Goals
1.     Project goals must be clear to everyone in project
2.     Scope of project must remain consistent so that achieves what it set out to accomplish - no significant changes in scope or extent.
3.     people must be committed to project
1.     Keen, skilled committed team vital to success - management skills of project manager paramount
2.     Best team - guide in right direction - ensure that members benefit from the experience
3.     Choose team carefully and provide training
4.     Ongoing support of sponsor/superior and other interested parties need from beginning
Planning and communicating - check with superior that budget and time-scale have been agreed from outset - act early so won't run out of time or money (project development)
1.     Resources available when you need them - front end planning of people, facilities, equipment, and materials
2.     Detailed complete plan guides the project and is the document that communicates your overall objectives, activities, resource requirements, and schedules
3.     Keep everyone inform of the plan and update them when it changes
Being Flexible
1.     Think ahead and anticipate - change plans in flexible and responsive way
2.     Original plans change with circumstances and requirements change as project unfolds
3.     Re-evaluate plan regularly and adapt it accordingly
4.     Recognise the need for change, implement it and measure its impact effectively

Define the Stages - start with a flourish and end positively
Points to remember
1.     new project should be viewed as an exciting opportunity to ring new skills and knowledge to the organisation
2.     The team should be encouraged to build friendships and to help one another by making constructive suggestions
3.     A system for recording what the team has learned should be established early on

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