Friday 11 February 2022

Project management fundamentals



Project management basics

"projects" have been ubiquitous in people's work and life, and play an important role in our work and life, people care about the success of projects and explore ways to make them successful. project is a technical term, with a scientific definition, its characteristics and its laws. project management is a methodology that has relatively uniform content, requirements and techniques. in this article, we will start from the basic concepts of project and project management, and learn and apply the basic knowledge of project management.


1. the project is a temporary effort to provide an independent product, service or outcome. features of the project include:

(1) temporary (one-time, but does not mean that the time is short)

(2) unique products, services or achievements

(3) gradual improvement (progressive details): step-by-step, continuous accumulation

(4) resource constraints: labor, cost, etc

(5) purpose: time, cost, quality, scope of the four elements of trade-offs. goals have three characteristics: multi-objective, priority, and hierarchical


2. the difference between project and daily operation:

3. the project is a means to achieve the organizational strategy. 

organizational (such as enterprise) strategy is a plan for the overall, long-term and basic problems of the organization, and strategic management includes three processes: strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and strategy evaluation. typical basis for project approval: market demand, operational needs, customer requirements, technological progress, legal requirements.


4. typical information system projects have the following characteristics, and mastering these characteristics is conducive to identifying the key points of project management:

(1) the goal is not clear

(2) demand changes frequently

(3) intellectually intensive

(4) the design team is huge

(5) designers are highly professional

(6) there are many contractors involved

(7) contractors at all levels are scattered in various places and have complex interconnections

(8) a large number of hardware and software systems need to be developed in system integration projects

(9) the project life cycle is usually shorter

(10) a large number of new technologies are usually adopted

(11) the requirements for use and maintenance are very complex


5. project management is to apply various knowledge, skills, means and technologies to project activities to meet the requirements of the project. project management can be understood in the following ways:

(1) project management is a management methodology, which is a recognized management model, rather than an arbitrary management process.

(2) the object of project management is a project, that is, a series of temporary tasks.

(3) the functions of project management are completely consistent with those of other management.

(4) project management uses system theories and ideas.

(5) the project management function is mainly performed by the project manager.


6. basic characteristics of project management:

(1) it is a complex work with many uncertainties

(2) be creative

(3) centralized leadership and the establishment of a special project organization are required

(4) the project leader plays a very important role in project management

(5) socio-economic, political, cultural, natural environment, etc. on the impact of the project


7. for effective project management, it is not enough to master project management technology, and the knowledge areas required for project management include the following five aspects:

(1) project management knowledge system. such as "5 major processes and 10 major management"

(2) knowledge, standards and regulations in the field of application. such as industry standards

(3) project environmental knowledge. including social environment, political environment, natural environment

(4) general management knowledge and skills. such as finance, sales, procurement, contracts, business, supply chain and other daily management

(5) soft skills or interpersonal skills. includes: effective communication, influencing an organization, leadership, motivation, negotiation and conflict management, problem resolution

note: the knowledge of the five aspects does not exist independently, but intersects with each other, as shown in the following figure:


8. the three common international mainstream project management systems and certification methods are different, which are as follows:

(1) ipma/ipmp (international project management association/international project management professional qualification certification) qualification level division: a level (senior project manager), b level (project manager), c level (project management expert), d level (project management professional)


(2) pmi/pmp (american project management institute/project management professional qualification) has only one level, equivalent to ipmp-c level, and is valid for 3 years.


(3) prince2 (from the united kingdom, project management king certification, is a process-based structured project management approach) 4 elements: principles, processes, themes, project environment. 7 principles: continuous business validation, lessons learned, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, phased management, exception management, product focus, tailoring to the project environment. 7 topics: business case, organization, quality, program, risk, change, progress. 7 processes: project preparation process, project guidance process, project initiation process, stage control process, stage boundary management, product delivery management process, project closing process.

9. the organizational system, culture, style, organizational structure and other factors of the project 

organization will affect the process and results of project management, of which the impact of the organizational structure is the most direct and is often used. there are three types of project organizational structures: functional, matrix, and project. the specific differences are as follows:

(1) functional organization, the core characteristics are: project manager<< functional manager

(2) project-based organization, the core characteristics are: project manager>> functional manager

(3) weak matrix organization, the core characteristics are: project leader< functional manager

(4) balanced matrix organization, the core features are: project manager = functional manager

(5) strong matrix organization, the core characteristics are: project manager> functional manager, the advantages and disadvantages of matrix organizations are as follows:

(6) composite tissue. 

because most organizations have the characteristics of people and multiple projects operating simultaneously, composite organizations are often used, which combine the combined characteristics of the above structure.

note: regardless of the organizational structure, project team members should try to be physically placed in one place.

the characteristics of the above five organizational structures are summarized as follows:

10. the project management office (pmo), 

also known as the project management center or the project management department, is the core department that formalizes and standardizes the practice, process and operation within the organization, and is to improve the maturity of organizational management. the role is to coordinate the overall functions when various work resource conflicts arise between the various functions of the organization. 

Pmo can exist in any kind of organizational structure. according to the needs, you can set up a pmo for a project, a pmo for a department, or a pmo for an enterprise, and all three can exist at the same time.

the type of system, culture and style of the implementation project organization, organizational structure, etc. will have a direct impact on project management, and the organizational structure often plays a role in restricting the availability of resources required for the project and the conditions under which resources are obtained. therefore, at the beginning of the project, it must be clear that choosing a suitable organizational structure will promote the efficiency of project management and thus achieve the success of the project. in the following, we will enter another proposition that affects the success or failure of the project: the project life cycle model.



Life cycle model of information systems projects

The project lifecycle refers to the series of stages that a project goes through from initiation to closure, and the life cycle provides the basic framework for managing the project. in this article, we will focus on the project life cycle model method and the typical six life cycle models, distinguishing between their advantages and disadvantages, so that they can be flexibly applied in practice.


11. there are three model methods for the project life cycle:

(1) predictive life cycle.

the predictive lifecycle (also known as the fully planned-driven lifecycle) is the earliest in time in the project lifecycle, the time and cost required to determine the scope of the project and the time and cost required to deliver it.

prioritize the case for a predictive lifecycle: a good understanding of the product to be delivered, a solid foundation in industry practice, or a single-time delivery of a single shipment that benefits stakeholders.

(2) iterative and incremental life cycle.

in the iterative and incremental lifecycle, the project phase (also known as iteration) purposefully repeats one or more project activities as the project team's understanding of the product increases. the iterative approach is to develop the product through a series of repetitive, cyclical activities, while the incremental method is to incrementally increase the functionality of the product. iterative and incremental life cycles take both an iterative and incremental approach to developing products.

projects that are iterative and incremental can also be advanced in phases, and the iterations themselves can be sequential or overlapping. in one iteration, all the activities in the project management process group are executed. at the end of each iteration, one or set of deliverables is completed. subsequent iterations may improve these deliverables or create new deliverables. in each iteration, the project team took into account the feedback and incrementally patched the deliverables until they met the phase exit criteria.

in most iteration life cycles, a high-level framework plan is developed to guide the overall implementation, but a detailed scope description is developed for only one iteration at a time.

prioritize iterative and incremental lifecycle situations: organizations need to manage changing goals and scope, organizations need to reduce the complexity of projects, or partial delivery of a product benefits one or more stakeholders without impacting the delivery of the final or bulk deliverables. large, complex projects are often implemented iteratively, which allows project teams to take into account feedback and lessons learned during the iteration process, thereby reducing project risk.

(3) adaptive life cycle.

adaptive life cycles (also known as change-driven approaches or agile approaches) are designed to handle large volumes of change and gain ongoing stakeholder involvement. adaptive lifecycles also include the concepts of iteration and increment, but the difference is that iterations are fast (usually once in 2 to 4 weeks) and the time and resources required are fixed. while early iterations focused more on planning activities, adaptive projects typically perform multiple processes in each iteration.

situations where adaptive approaches are preferred: where a rapidly changing environment needs to be dealt with, where the needs and scope are difficult to determine in advance, or where small incremental improvements can be defined in a way that benefits stakeholders.


12. the general project life cycle structure can be divided into four stages: 

starting the project, organizing and preparing, executing the project work, and ending the project (this phased method is used for communication with non-professionals, not to be confused with the project management process group). the characteristics of the project life cycle include the following 2:

(1) the cost and labor input is low at the beginning, peaks during the execution of the work, and quickly falls back at the end of the project.

(2) risks and uncertainties are greatest at the beginning of the project and gradually decrease as decisions are made and deliverables are accepted. throughout the life cycle of the project, the influence of stakeholders on the project is becoming smaller and smaller, and the cost of change is gradually increasing.

13. a project phase is a collection of project activities that have only logical relationships, 

usually ending with the completion of one or more deliverables. the role of the project phase structure is to divide the project into logical subsets that facilitate the management, planning and control of the project. each project phase has the following characteristics:

(1) the end of the phase is marked by the deliverables, which can be transferred or transferred to the next stage;

(2) the focus of work at each stage is not the same;

(3) additional control and management can be exerted according to the characteristics of each stage or the continuous clarity of project objectives in the process, etc., for the successful realization of goals.


14. there are three types of relationships between the project stages:

(1) sequential relationship: a stage can only begin after the completion of the previous stage. this relationship can reduce the uncertainty of the project, but the disadvantage is that it is not convenient to shorten the construction period.

(2) overlapping relationship: when the previous stage has not been completed, the next stage can be carried out, and there is an overlap between the stages. the advantage of this relationship is that it saves time relatively, which is conducive to working quickly, completing part of the results or achieving some goals; the disadvantage is that because the design is not considered from the whole, etc., it increases the project risk and easily leads to rework.

(3) iteration relationship: that is, only one project stage is specified and planned at a time, and the planning and development of the next stage depends on the degree of development of the current stage and the overall decision-making. the advantage of this relationship is that it is suitable for a very unclear and varied environment, while this relationship is not conducive to long-term planning and increases project costs and risks.

15. the project life cycle model is the concretization and best practice of the life cycle model method and the type of project phase relationship, which can be applied by the project manager to different projects, or different stages of the project. there are several typical project lifecycle models:

(1) waterfall model: the most classic software life cycle model, corresponding to the structured method, the software development is divided into: feasibility analysis (planning), requirements analysis, software design (summary design, detailed design), coding (including unit testing), testing, operation and maintenance of several stages, in order to perform in order.

(2) spiral model: it is a software deepening model that emphasizes risk analysis, combining the iterative characteristics of the prototype implementation with the linear sequential (waterfall) model, making the rapid development of incremental versions of the software possible. 4-stage spiral: planning (one quadrant), risk analysis (two quadrants), implementation works (three quadrants), customer assessment (four quadrants).

(3) iterative model: horizontal 4 stages: initial, refined, structured, handover, vertical core workflow: business modeling, requirements acquisition, analysis and design, implementation, testing, deployment.


(5) prototype model: in the case that it is difficult to comprehensively and accurately put forward user requirements at one time, first of all, it is not necessary to do a comprehensive and detailed investigation and analysis of the system, but in line with the developer's initial understanding of user needs, first quickly develop a prototype system, and then realize the final needs of users through repeated modifications.

(6) agile development model: it is a kind of software development ability that responds to rapidly changing requirements. it is an iterative, step-by-step development method with people (user demand evolution) as the core, and emphasizes the close collaboration between the programmer team and the business experts, face-to-face communication, frequent delivery of new versions, compact and self-organizing teams, code writing and team organization methods that can adapt well to changes in requirements, and more attention to the role of people in software development.

16. the waterfall model is suitable for projects with clear or little change in requirements, such as secondary development or upgrade projects. features of the waterfall model:

(1) accept the work object of the activity as input from the previous development activity

(2) use this input to implement the work content that should be completed by the activity

(3) give the results of the work of this activity as a development activity that is output to the next item

(4) review the results of the implementation of the activity

17. the spiral model is suitable for large and complex, high-risk systems. peculiarity:

(1) software development is a series of incremental releases, and in early iterations, the incremental release may be a model or prototype on paper

(2) in subsequent iterations, more complete versions of the developed system are gradually produced

18. the iterative model includes all activities of different proportions at each stage, suitable for large and complex projects, and is characterized by:

(1) take the horizontal direction as the time dimension and describe the entire software development life cycle from the perspective of organizational management

(2) the core workflow describes the static components of the iterative model from a technical perspective

(3) almost all workflows have a workload in all time periods, just different sizes


19. the v model emphasizes the equal emphasis on development and testing, and is suitable for situations where the requirements are clear and the changes are infrequent, and the characteristics are:

(1) the main idea is that development and testing are equally important, the left side represents the development activity, and the right side represents the test activity

(2) for each stage of development, there is a test level corresponding to it

(3) testing is still a stage in the development life cycle, and unlike the waterfall model, there are multiple test levels corresponding to the development stage



(1) unit testing. verify that the software unit meets the specifications, with a primary focus on the smallest unit functioning properly. typically performed by developers.

(2) integration testing. check whether multiple units work together according to the outline design description, mainly focusing on successful compilation, business functions, and the data function of each module is normal.

(3) system testing. verify that the entire system meets the requirements specification.

(4) acceptance test. check from the user's point of view whether the system meets the contract requirements definition or user requirements.


21. the prototype model is suitable for system development with unclear initial requirements and low degree of structure of management decision-making methods. features of the prototyping method include:

(1) the user demand is dynamically responded to and gradually incorporated, and the system analysis, design, and implementation are completed at the same time with the continuous modification of a working model, without clear boundaries or clear division of labor.

(2) the system development plan is a process of repeated modification.

(3) the development method is more easily accepted by the user, but if the user does not cooperate well, it will delay the development process.


22. in the prototype model, the prototype requirements and prototype classification are as follows:

(1) 3 characteristics that the prototype should have:

1) practically feasible

2) has the basic characteristics of the final system

3) the structure is convenient, fast and the cost is low

(2) prototypes can be divided into 2 categories:

1) disposable prototype. such prototypes are abandoned after the system is actually implemented.

2) evolutionary prototypes. the construction of such prototypes begins with one or more of the basic needs of the target system, gradually enriches and evolves into the final system.


23. agile development model is suitable for small team development, characterized by:

(1) more emphasis is placed on close collaboration and face-to-face communication between the programmer team and business experts (considered more effective than written documents)

(2) be able to adapt well to changes in demand

Note: Scrum is an iterative incremental software development process, typically used for agile software development. Key roles include Scrum Supervisor (similar to Project Manager, responsible for maintaining processes and tasks), Product Owner (benefit owner), and development team (all developers).

the needs and scale of information system projects vary widely, and only by fully understanding the life cycle model can it be better applied to actual projects, and it is particularly important to choose one or several suitable life cycle models. when a project or project stage determines the life cycle model, it is necessary to comprehensively use the project management process, knowledge areas and other management methods, tools and technologies to implement project management, the following will be the project management of the 5 process groups and 10 major knowledge areas will be elaborated 

Project management 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas

project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the requirements of the project. for a project to be successful, the project team must select the appropriate processes necessary, using a predetermined approach, weighing conflicting requirements for scope, time, cost, resources, and risks to deliver high-quality results. in practice, most experienced project managers recognize that there is more than one way to manage projects. in this article and subsequent serial articles, the 2012 edition of the project management knowledge system guide will be used as a reference to share project management practices.


24. in the fifth edition of pmi's project management knowledge system guide, 


the project management process group is summarized into 5, namely: initiation, planning, execution, supervision and control, and finishing. each group has one or more processes, for a total of 47 management processes, 10 knowledge areas.


25.the project management process has similarities with the pdca cycle (i.e. deming ring). the links of the cycle are connected by results, and some of the results become the basis of another, including:

(1) Plan. This includes the determination of policy objectives and the formulation of activity plans.

(2) Execution (Do). Operate specifically based on known information to implement the content in the plan.

(3) Check. Summarize the results of the implementation plan, distinguish between right and wrong, clarify the effect, and identify problems.

(4) Action (Act). The results of the inspection are processed, the successful experience is affirmed and standardized, and the lessons of failure are summarized and imported.



(1) start the process group. the role is to approve a project or project phase and set project goals.




(5) closing process group. the role is formal acceptance, orderly closure of the project (phase).

27. the 10 major knowledge areas of project management and their roles are:

(1) overall management: string together all management processes

(2) scope management: the project only does what should be done

(3) time management: let everything go according to the established schedule

(4) cost management: calculate the right money and spend it well

(5) quality management: to meet the needs

(6) human resource management: let team members work efficiently

(7) communication management: at the right time, let the right person convey the right information to the right person in the right way

(8) risk management: find out the project risks and make the project risk-free

(9) procurement management: be a good party a

(10) stakeholder management: have a good relationship with the stakeholders to make them satisfied


28. the correspondence between the five process groups of project management and the 10 major knowledge areas:

project management is a comprehensive effort. the comprehensiveness of project management requires that each project and product process be properly coordinated and connected with other processes, so that coordination is facilitated. in the follow-up article, the details of the 10 major knowledge areas and 47 processes, the relevance coordination and flexible application methods will be elaborated

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