Project management is a one-time carefully planned and organized effort to achieve a specific goal.
Project management includes:Developing a project plan, which includes defining project goals and objectives, specifying tasks or how goals will be achieved, what resources are need, and associating budgets and timelines for completion Implementing the project plan, carefully to make sure the plan is being managed according to plan.
Project management usually follows major phases:
1. Project Initiation
The initiating processes determine the nature and scope of the project. If this stage is not performed well, it is unlikely that the project will be successful in meeting the business’ needs. The key project controls needed here are an understanding of the business environment and making sure that all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies should be reported and a recommendation should be made to fix them.
The initiating stage should include a plan that encompasses the following areas:
analyzing the business needs/requirements in measurable goals
reviewing of the current operations
financial analysis of the costs and benefits including a budget
stakeholder analysis, including users, and support personnel for the project
project charter including costs, tasks, deliverables, and schedule
2. Project Planning/ Designing
After the initiation stage, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail (see example of a flow-chart).The main purpose is to plan time, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to effectively manage risk during project execution. As with the Initiation process group, a failure to adequately plan greatly reduces the project's chances of successfully accomplishing its goals. Project planning generally consists of
determining how to plan
developing the scope statement;
selecting the planning team;
identifying deliverables and creating the work breakdown structure;
identifying the activities needed to complete those deliverables and networking the activities in their logical sequence;
estimating the resource requirements for the activities;
estimating time and cost for activities;
developing the schedule;
developing the budget;
gaining formal approval to begin work.
Additional processes, such as planning for communications and for scope management, identifying roles and responsibilities, determining what to purchase for the project and holding a kick-off meeting are also generally advisable.
For new product development projects, conceptual design of the operation of the final product may be performed concurrent with the project planning activities, and may help to inform the planning team when identifying deliverables and planning activities.
3. Project Execution:
Executing consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project plan to accomplish the project's requirements. Execution process involves coordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan. The deliverables are produced as outputs from the processes performed as defined in the project management plan and other frameworks that might be applicable to the type of project at hand.
Execution process group include:
Direct and manage project execution
Quality assurance of deliverables
Acquire, develop and manage Project team
Manage stakeholder expectations
Test the deliverables against the initial design
4. Monitoring & Controlling
Monitoring and controlling consists of those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project. The key benefit is that project performance is observed and measured regularly to identify variances from the project management plan.
Monitoring and controlling includes:
Measuring the ongoing project activities ('where we are');
Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope, etc.) against the project management plan and the project performance baseline (where we should be);
Identify corrective actions to address issues and risks properly (How can we get on track again);
Influencing the factors that could circumvent integrated change control so only approved changes are implemented.
In multi-phase projects, the monitoring and control process also provides feedback between project phases, in order to implement corrective or preventive actions to bring the project into compliance with the project management plan.
Project maintenance is an ongoing process, and it includes:
Continuing support of end-users
Correction of errors
Updates of the software over time
In this stage, auditors should pay attention to how effectively and quickly user problems are resolved.
Over the course of any construction project, the work scope may change. Change is a normal and expected part of the construction process. Changes can be the result of necessary design modifications, differing site conditions, material availability, contractor-requested changes, value engineering and impacts from third parties, to name a few. Beyond executing the change in the field, the change normally needs to be documented to show what was actually constructed. This is referred to as change management. Hence, the owner usually requires a final record to show all changes or, more specifically, any change that modifies the tangible portions of the finished work. The record is made on the contract documents – usually, but not necessarily limited to, the design drawings. The end product of this effort is what the industry terms as-built drawings, or more simply, “as built.” The requirement for providing them is a norm in construction contracts.
When changes are introduced to the project, the viability of the project has to be re-assessed. It is important not to lose sight of the initial goals and targets of the projects. When the changes accumulate, the forecasted result may not justify the original proposed investment in the project.
Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof. Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned.
This phase consists of:
Contract closure: Complete and settle each contract (including the resolution of any open items) and close each contract applicable to the project or project phase.
Project close: Finalize all activities across all of the process groups to formally close the project or a project phase