Project management utilises a set of knowledge, skills, experience, tools and techniques to fulfil the needs of a project. A successful project manager meets the objectives of the project within the agreed-upon time frame while staying on-budget. The important thing to remember about project management is that it is concerned with completing a task on a fixed schedule with much of the responsibility falling to the project manager (PM). As a project may source many people with varying skill sets, looking at things from a different vantage point will allow for organisation to reign over chaos. Fitting everything into a compartmentalised plan will increase the odds of completing the project when it is needed.

The process of project management can be broken into five phases:

1.      Project Conception and Initiation –initial brainstorming phase
Here the proposed project will be evaluated to determine its impact on the organisation and how soon it realistically can be implemented. This is the phase to conduct research and decide on feasibility.

2.      Project Definition and Planning –goal identification and road mapping phase
The team will use this phase to hammer out a budget and make a schedule. A good outline will ensure that plans come to fruition, so make sure to use a proven goal-creation method: S.M.A.R.T. or C.L.E.A.R.

3.      Project Launch or Execution - task distribution phase
The time has come for action! Tasks are distributed to the necessary teams/resources and people are notified of expectations. It can be helpful to have meeting in which all involved teams are brought up to speed on their responsibilities. Often the Project Launch or Execution phase is done in conjunction with the following phase, Project Performance and Control.

4.      Project Performance and Control – monitoring phase
PMs are integral to this phase of project management as it requires comparing the current project against the plan laid out in the Project Definition and Planning phase. It requires keeping teams on schedule, reminding them of deadlines and upcoming work to be completed. PMs should be aware of any road-bumps by keeping the lines of communication open with team members. Plans should be adjusted accordingly.

5.      Project Close – completion and evaluation phase

Once a project is in the final stages of completion, it must be run past clients. After it is deemed fit, the end product should be evaluated for successes and opportunities for improvement. Things that were not completed over the course of the project are identified, and the final project budget is calculated. All documents related to the project are compiled and a final report is made. 

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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