Project management basically indicates managing a project to ensure the quality outcome in desired time constraints. Project management is a vast topic by itself and requires right decisions and right execution to be done. Here I would be sharing my view of project management.
There are basically three pillars of Project management. They are:
We will walk through each pillar and understand how to concrete them hard so that the roof doesn’t fall 😉
A project plan is one of the most crucial elements of any project. The project plan is like “a wheel on regular transport bus “, without the wheels you just can’t make it work. Let me list out some questions which I have come across about project plan along with my answers to them:
How details should be the project plan?
Well, it should be as detailed as possible. The project plan should not be constrained to just an overview but each timeline for specific modules of the project should be mentioned. It’s like going to the grocery store to buy different items needed for your home, it’s just easy to ask the shopkeeper to take each one by one based on a list your wife made. If you don’t have a proper list, you may end up purchasing tomato instead of potatoes.
Who is responsible for making the project plan?
It’s more about who is leading the project. He/she, who is the project manager / Leader should make the plan. And this person should be someone who has already worked on a similar project. If its about fixing a short circuit, you should ask an electrician to plan to resolve the issue and not a carpenter.
How to include time constraints in project plan?
It’s very important that the project plan addresses the time constraints. Some tips which I could give is that one the project lead should always set the time to a day before. If the work is to be done by 2nd of October, in project plan make it as 1st of October. This helps in completing the project smoothly, as often we may not get desired outputs at the desired time, so in the worst case, we always have a “backup time” to use. This responsibility of having an emergency time just in case is up to the project manager as he/she makes the plan.
The second pillar can also be called the center of any project. In project implementation or execution phase we will have all the factors listed in the project plan lined out in the arena as manuals for the players to follow. And when the time comes these players lead by the captain would rush to conquer the field with all they have.
Now after this odd explanation you may come across the following question.
Who are these players?
These players are a dedicated bunch of people who like to do things. And these players are handpicked from the available resource pool (Resource Management). These resources are selected based on their capability and job role just like you can’t tell an engineer to do a surgery because he/she is not a doctor.
What about the manual?
Well, the manual is basically the project plan and instructions given by the project manager, which the players should follow.
Why are these players vital factors in project execution?
Ahm…! You can’t play football without players right. And if you want to win the game, you should have good ones, especially the ones who never stop going after the ball.
So where is the project manager in this phase then?
The project manager is right there in the front leading the team to victory. He/She can either be a coach who instructs the team or a captain who plays along with the team. I basically prefer the captain as you would understand the team better when you play along with them. And these project managers should always be concerned about the satisfaction of the team because you would always want the team to stay in unity and play in their best shape.
And finally, the project execution is all done and it’s time for relaxation. Well not yet actually! We still have one phase more to cover. We now would be having some backed up or planned time we have with us from the project plan if all went well. We utilize this time to check if everything went well. This is also the phase where you deliver the project to the client and get a sign-off.
Now comes the question: What now?
Well its not over yet. We should get a few details from the client. One important thing is feedbacks and suggestions which would be the cement to building the pillars for the next project.
So, then it’s over, we tell a bye and sign of, right?
Not necessarily, we could always establish a relationship with the client, so that he/she stays connected and when we are of further requirement we could rush to his/her doorsteps fast. And we could always arrange a lunch/dinner with the team to celebrate the final sign off of the project. This would ensure that the players are ready to join us in the next match. If players or client becomes unsatisfied we may not have a match to play with players or players to play a match.
All these three pillars are equally important and it is always necessary to strengthen this pillar with right materials time to time.
Now that you know my view of project management. I have a request to make, I am in the phase of learning like all of you and would love to hear your part of the story as well so that I could improve along with you.