Saturday, 17 July 2021

Project Management Processes







Project management is an integrated process. Actions (or absence) in one direction usually affect other directions. This relationship makes it possible to balance the objectives of the project - often improvements in one area can only be achieved by deteriorating in another. To better understand the integrated nature of Project Management, we will describe it through the processes it consists of and their relationships.

The term process is not adopted in Russia in the context in which it is further used. Processes are then understood to be actions and procedures related to the implementation of management functions. This understanding of processes is accepted in the international community. Since the purpose of the project management is to lay out the basics of project management, which takes into account Russian characteristics and at the same time meets the standards adopted in the world, we preserve the terminology as far as possible.

This chapter is an introduction to the concept of Project Management as a set of interconnected processes that will be detailed in subsequent chapters.

Project processes


The project consists of processes. A process is a set of actions that yield results. Project processes are usually carried out by people and break into two main groups:

  1. Project Management Processes - related to the organization and description of the project (which will be detailed in more detail);
  2. Product-oriented processes related to product specification and production. These processes are determined by the lifecycle of the project and depend on the application area.
  3. In projects, project management processes and product-oriented processes overlap and interact. For example, project goals cannot be defined without understanding how to create a product.


Process groups


Project management processes can be broken down into six main groups implementing different management functions:

  1. Initiation processes - deciding to start a project
  2. Planning processes - identifying the goals and criteria for a project's success and developing work schemes to achieve them;
  3. Execution processes - coordinating people and other resources to execute the plan.
  4. Analysis processes - determining whether the plan and the project's implementation are consistent with the goals and criteria for success, and making decisions about the need to apply corrective impacts;
  5. Management processes - identifying the necessary corrective effects, harmonizing, approving and applying them;
  6. completion processes - formalizing the project and bringing it to an orderly finale.


Overlaying process groups in phase.


Project management processes overlap and occur at different intensity at all stages of the project, as illustrated in the picture.

In addition, project management processes are linked by their results - the result of one becomes the initial information for another...

Finally, there are relationships between the process groups of different phases of the project. For example, closing one phase may be an entry to initiate the next phase (example: the completion of the design phase requires customer approval of the design documentation required to begin implementation).

In a real project, phases can not only precede each other, but also overlap.

Repeating initiation in different phases of the project helps to control the relevance of the project. If the need for its implementation has disappeared, the next initiation allows time to establish it and avoid unnecessary costs.

Process relationships


Within each group, project management processes are linked to each other through their inputs and exits. Focusing on these connections, we will describe individual processes through:

Entries are documents or documented metrics according to which the process is executed.
Exits are documents or documented indicators that are the result of the process.
Methods and means are the mechanisms by which the entrance is converted into an exit.
The processes described below are typical of most projects and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Initiation processes


The initiation includes the only sub process - Authorization.

Planning processes


Planning is important for the project because the project contains things that have not been done before. Naturally, planning involves relatively many processes. However, it should not be assumed that project management is largely planning. The planning efforts should be measured against the objectives of the project and the usefulness of the information received.

Recall that it is necessary to distinguish between the goals of the project and the objectives of the product of the project, which means the products (or services) created or produced as a result of the project.

The goals of the product are the properties and functions that the products of the project should possess.

The goals of the project are the work that needs to be done to produce a product with predetermined properties.

During the course of the project, these processes are repeated many times. The project's objectives, budget, resources, etc. may be subject to changes. Different project teams can develop different plans for the same project. And project management packages can make different schedules for the same raw data.

Key planning processes


Some of the planning processes have clear logical and informational relationships and are implemented in the same order in almost all projects. For example, first you should determine what work the project consists of, and then calculate the timing and cost of the project. These basic processes are performed several times during each phase of the project. Key planning processes include:

  • Goal planning - problem-setting (project justification, main stages and goals of the project),
  • Decomposition of goals - decomposition of project stages into smaller and more manageable components to ensure more effective control,
  • Determining the composition of operations (works) of the project - compiling a list of operations, which consists of the implementation of various stages of the project,
  • Determining the relationship between operations is to compile and document technological relationships between operations
  • Assessment of the duration or volume of work - an estimate of the number of working time intervals, or the amount of work required to complete individual operations,
  • Determining the resources (people, equipment, materials) of the project - determining the total number of resources of all kinds that can be used on the work of the project (organization resources) and their characteristics;
  • The purpose of resources is to identify the resources needed to perform individual project operations;
  • Cost assessment - determining the cost of a project operation and assessing these components for each operation, resource and assignment;
  • Scheduling the work schedule - determining the sequence of the project' performance, the duration of operations and the distribution over time of resource requirements and costs, based and taking into account the restrictions and relationships imposed;
  • Budget Assessment - Application of cost estimates to individual project components (stages, phases, timing);
  • The development of the project execution plan is the integration of the results of the remaining sub processes to draw up a full document.
  • Determining the criteria for success is to develop criteria for evaluating the performance of the project.

Auxiliary planning processes


In addition to these basic planning processes, there are a number of support processes that require the use of which depends heavily on the nature of the project. Such processes include:

  • Quality planning - determining what quality standards to use in a project and how to achieve those standards;
  • Organization planning - identifying, documenting and assigning roles, responsibilities, and relationships of reporting within an organization;
  • The appointment of staff - the appointment of human resources for the work of the project;
  • Scheduling interactions - identifying the flow of information and how to interact with what they need for project participants
  • Risk Identification - Identifying and Documenting Risk Events That May Affect a Project;
  • Risk assessment - assessment of the probabilities of risk events, their characteristics and impact on the project;
  • Developing a response - identifying the necessary actions to prevent risks and respond to threatening events;
  • Supply planning - determining what, how and when should be delivered;
  • Preparing conditions - working out supply requirements and identifying potential suppliers.

The relationship between the auxiliary subprocesses, as well as their very existence, depends to a large extent on the nature of the project.

Execution and control processes


Execution refers to the implementation processes of the plan. Project execution should be regularly measured and analyzed to identify deviations from the intended plan and assess their impact on the project. Regular measurement of project parameters and identification of emerging deviations further also refers to execution processes and is referred to as execution control. Execution should be monitored in all of the parameters included in the project plan.

As with planning, execution processes can be divided into basic and supportive processes.

The main ones include the process of implementation of the project plan.


Among the support processes we note:


  • Accounting for performance - preparing and distributing the information required for project participants with the required frequency;
  • Quality confirmation - regular evaluation of the project's performance with the goal of confirming compliance with accepted quality standards;
  • Preparing proposals- collecting recommendations, feedback, proposals, applications, etc.;
  • Supplier selection- evaluation of offers, choice of suppliers and contractors and contracting;
  • Contract control - monitoring of contracts by suppliers and contractors;
  • development of the project team - improving the skills of the project team members.

Analysis processes


The analysis processes include both a plan analysis and an analysis of the project's execution.

The analysis of the plan means determining whether the project plan meets the project's requirements and expectations of the project participants. It is expressed in the evaluation of the plan's performance by the team and other project participants. 

 

During the planning phase, the result of planning the plan may be to decide whether to change the initial conditions and make a new version of the plan, or adopt the developed version as a baseline for the project, which further serves as the basis for measuring execution. In the further presentation, the plan analysis is not singled out as a separate group of processes, but is included in the planning process group, making this group of processes inherently iterative. Thus, the analysis processes in the future are understood processes of execution analysis.

Execution analysis processes are designed to assess the status and predict the success of a project according to the criteria and limitations set at the planning stage. If the forecast is negative, it is decided that corrective effects are needed, which are selected in change management processes.

The analysis processes can also be divided into basic and supportive processes.

The main ones are those analysis processes that are directly related to the project goals and indicators that characterize the success of the project:

Time analysis - determining whether the actual and projected timing of the project's operations is appropriate to policy or planned;


Cost analysis - determining the actual and project cost of operations and project phases with policy or planned;


quality analysis - monitoring the results with the aimof verifying their compliance with accepted quality standards and identifying ways to address the causes of undesirable results of the quality of the project;
proof of goals- the process of formal acceptance of the results of the project by its participants (investors, consumers, etc.).


Auxiliary analysis processes are associated with the analysis of factors that influence the goals and criteria for the success of the project. These processes include:

  • Performance assessment- analysis of performance and distribution of project information with the aim of supplying project participants with data on how resources are used to achieve project goals;
  • Resource analysis - determining whether actual and projected loading and resource performance are planned, and analyzing whether materials are being used to plan values.
  • The analysis processes do not include an analysis of the interaction with the purpose of optimizing the processing of project information, analysis of the execution of contracts with the purpose of timely changes and dispute prevention, and a number of other processes that are not of a regular nature (as an interaction analysis), or form part of the included processes (as contract analysis).


The analysis either decides whether to proceed with the project under the previously planned plan, or determines the need for corrective effects

Management processes


Project execution management is the definition and application of the necessary management impacts with the aimof the successful implementation of the project. If the project is executed in accordance with the plan, the management is actually reduced to execution - to bring to the project participants planned tasks and control their implementation. We are included in these processes of execution. It is another matter if there are deviations in the implementation process, the analysis of which has shown that it is necessary to identify and apply corrective effects. In this case, you need to find the best corrective impacts, adjust the plan for the remaining work and agree on the planned changes with all project participants.

So, management processes are designed to identify, harmonize, and make the necessary changes to the project plan. These management processes are often referred to as change management and are initiated by analysis processes.

The main management processes found in almost every project include:

general change management - determination, alignment, approval and acceptance of corrective impacts and coordinating changes throughout the project.
Resource management - making changes to the composition and appointing resources for the project;
Goal management - adjusting the project's goals based on analysis processes;
quality management- development of measures to address the causes of poor performance.
Among the supportive management processes we note:

Risk management- responding to events and changing risks in the process of project execution;
Contract management - coordination of work (sub)contractors, adjustment of contracts, conflict resolution.

Completion processes


Completion of the project is accompanied by the following processes:

closing contracts - closing and closing contracts, including resolving all disputes that have arisen.
administrative completion - the preparation, collection and distribution of the information necessary for the formal completion of the project.

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