Hi Guys! This is the second article regarding project management discipline. I hope you guys have read the first article. In this article lets talk about project management process.

In the process of project management, there are four main phases. They are,

  • Initiating the project
  • Planning the project
  • Executing the project
  • Closing down the project

Project Initiation

Project initiation is the starting point of any project. In project initiating, the activities are perform to assess the size, scope and the complexity of the project and to establish the procedures to support later project activities. The activities performed in the project initiating can me mentioned as follows.

  • Establishing the project initiating team
    • Involves organizing an initial core project team members to assist in accomplishing the project initiating activities.
  • Establishing the relationship with the customer
  • Establishing the project initiation plan
    • Defines the activities required to organize the initiation team while it is working to define the goals and scope of the project. Final outcome will be SSR form (System Service Requirement).
  • Establishing management procedures
    • When establishing procedures you are concerned with,
      • Developing team communication and reporting procedures
      • Job assignment and roles
      • Project change procedures
      • Determining how project funding and billing will be handled.
  • Establishing the project management environment and project workbook
    • Focus to collect and organize the tools that you will use while managing the project and to construct the project workbook.
    • Project workbook is an online or hard-copy repository for all project correspondence, input, outputs, deliverable, procedures and standards that is used for performing project audits, orienting new team members, communicate with management and customers, identifying future projects, and performing post project reviews.
    • It is used by all project members.
  • Developing the project charter
    • Project charter is a short, high level document prepared for both internal and external stakeholders to formally announced the establishment of the project and to briefly describe its objectives, key assumptions and stakeholders.
    • It ensures that you and your customer gain a common understanding of the project.
    • It helps to announce to the organization that a particular project has been chosen for development.

Project Planning

Project planning focuses on defining clear discrete activities and the work needed to complete each activity within a single project. The activities performed in the project planning are described below.

  • Describing project scope, alternatives and feasibility.
    • The purpose is to understand the content and complexity of the project.
    • During this activity, you should reach agreement on the following questions;
      • What problem or opportunity does the project address?
      • What are the quantifiable results to be achieved
      • What needs to be done?
      • How will success be measured?
      • How will we know when we are finished?
    • Identify the alternative solutions and determine the feasibility of each alternative solution. (or move to the off-the-shelf application)
  • Dividing the project into manageable tasks.
    • Divide the project into manageable tasks and then logically order them to ensure a smooth evolution between tasks.
    • Prepare work break down structure – the definition of task and their sequence
    • Prepare Gantt chart – a graphical representation of a project that shows each task as a horizontal bar whose length is proportional to its time for completion.
      • Task precedence is not there in the Gantt chart.
      • It represents when an activity begin and end.
    • Designing too much tasks increase the complexity of project management.
  • Estimating resource and creating resource plan.
    • Estimate resource requirement for each activity in the project.
    • Creating resource plan.
    • It helps assemble and deploy resources in the most effective manner.
      • COnstructive COst MOdel (COCOMO)
      • Contains parameters that were derived from prior projects of different complexity.
      • Three project categories
        • Basic
        • Semi detached
        • Complex or large
  • Developing a preliminary schedule
    • Use the information on task and resource availability to assign time estimates to each activity in the WBS.
    • Enables setting target starting and end dates of the project.
    • We can represent the schedule using Gantt chart or Network diagram.
      • Network Diagram – a diagram that depicts project tasks and their interrelationship.
      • Only the individual task items are drawn on the Network Diagram.
  • Developing a communication plan
    • The goal of this activity is to outline the communication procedures among management, project team members and the customer.
  • Determining project standards and procedures
    • Provide way to develop high quality system.
    • It is easy to train new team members when clear standards are in place.
  • Identifying and assigning risk
    • Identify the source of project risk and their consequences.
    • Risk might arise from,
      • The use of new technology.
      • Prospective users resistance to change.
      • Not availability of critical resources.
      • Competitive reactions or change in regulatory actions due to the constructions of the system.
      • Team member inexperience with technology or the business area.
  • Creating a preliminary budget
    • Create a preliminary budget that outlines the planned expenses and revenues associated with your project.
  • Developing a project scope statement
    • It is useful to make sure that you, the customer and the project team members have a clear understanding of the intended project size, duration and outcomes.
  • Setting a baseline project plan
    • This baseline plan provides an estimate of the projects’ task and resource requirements and is used to guide the next project phase execution.

This is how the project initiation and planning is done. Let’s discuss the project execution and closing down the project topic in the next article. Hope you have a clear idea about the content of this article.