Wednesday 16 February 2022

Project Management: Milestones

Project management is a series of processes for planning, implementing and controlling it. Modern business is increasingly using project methods that are more in line with the accelerating change in technology, customer preferences, and business practices. Let's talk about this in more detail.

In one of the fundamental documents of project management – the PMBoK manual developed by the PMI Project Management Institute – a project is defined as a temporary enterprise whose purpose is to create a unique product, service or result.

The project should create something new for the organizer in the time allotted for him and these he is different from the process.

There are several standards (schools) of project management, and they give their definitions, differing in small details, but all schools include in the perimeter of their methodology the following main defining characteristics:

  • Project timeframe. It must have specific start and end dates.
  • Limited material resources. In addition to time constraints, there are also resource constraints (money, people, equipment, space, etc.).
  • Quality. We are talking about the requirements for the quality of the final product, the criteria that it must meet.
  • Scope of work or content. Boundaries should be clearly defined and their change regulated.
  • Risks. The inevitable attribute of any project is risk. In project management, risks are treated as an uncertainty factor, an event that can change the characteristics of the project: timing, cost, maintenance for the worse and for the better.

Stages of project management

Managing a project means balancing the characteristics described above – deadlines, resource constraints, quality, content and risks – in order to achieve the planned goals and solve the tasks set.

Project management is a series of sequential and parallel processes for planning, implementation, control over the progress of work, making changes, monitoring quality, deadlines, etc.

Project Initiation Phase

The initial stage of project management is its initiation. This is a separate stage at which the main goal of the project and stakeholders (internal and external) are formulated, a manager is appointed, and the initial implementation resources are determined. As part of the initiation stage, the initial content of the project is determined, which is not final, but forms a vision, a basic view. The products of this stage are:

  • Project Charter: A document containing basic parameters.
  • Register of interested parties.
  • At this stage, a concept and a feasibility study can be developed.

How to create a project management system in the company

Even if the company does not specialize in project activities, but periodically carries out investment projects, it makes sense to develop and implement project management procedures. See how to do this and avoid organizational mistakes.

Planning phase

The next stage is planning, which is very important, during which the content of the project is fixed, goals and objectives are set, a sequence of actions for implementation is developed and a calendar plan is formed, the resources necessary and available at different stages of implementation and in different periods of time are evaluated. Also, at the planning stage, the procedure for making changes to the plan is determined. Detailed documentation obtained at the planning stage significantly increases the efficiency of interaction with all project stakeholders. The output of planning processes, and their PMBoK allocates a whole set, is a project management plan, which should reflect:

  • description of the content of the project - before the decomposition of works, you need to collect a complete and detailed description;
  • hierarchical structure of works (IMR) – exhaustively defining the content of the project;
  • set of assets – all assets allocated for the project should be evaluated and consolidated into a single document;
  • description of the external environment - since the project is not a closed system and actively interacts with the outside world, it is necessary to imagine what is happening outside it, what are the environmental conditions;
  • requirements – it is necessary to collect and record all requirements from interested parties, as well as to think over and agree on the rules for making changes to the requirements;
  • budget – a consolidated budget is formed, which contains information on cash needs at all stages (see, for example, how to draw up a budget of revenues and expenditures). The budget should also provide for the possibility of making changes both technically and methodologically - in the form of regulations for making changes to the budget. When managing a construction project at this stage, an estimate is formed;
  • Quality management plan – in recent years, the development of project management has begun to pay much attention to the quality of both the final result and the processes of project implementation. The manager separately allocates time and resources to quality control: the requirements for the project and results are determined in terms of quality, responsible ones are determined, regulations and reporting are formed for quality control;
  • Implementation schedule - the work defined above in the IMR is transferred to the schedule, a time frame is set for them, the sequence of work is analyzed and mutually linked, and time optimization is carried out. A variant of the "output" of the time planning process may be the well-known Gantt graph (see how to build it);
  • human resource management plan – this document reveals in detail the need for people, their qualifications and skills, their number. It is planned when and how many people of the required qualifications should work at each stage in each specific function, how to motivate them, how to organize them, what they need for effective work, what to do when the functionality for a particular employee or group of employees in the project has ended, etc .;
  • A communications management plan is a very important element of planning that can increase the coherence and awareness of all participants within their level of admission. This document defines the forms, regularity, procedure and content of meetings of participants and interested parties, the procedure for the formation of records and archiving of project materials, regulations and formats of reporting and information materials. The purpose of the document is to simplify communications within the team and outside with stakeholders, so that all participants have free access to information according to their status and freely interact with each other;
  • procurement plan - a document on the agreed acquisition of raw materials, materials, intangible assets necessary for the sale in accordance with the rhythm of implementation - "just in time".
  • risk plan – each project contains risks and they must be taken into account, either avoided, insured, or accepted – it is desirable to have a regulation of measures for working with risk situations. But first it is necessary to identify, describe, evaluate and sort in descending order of influence and probability of manifestation - the results of these works are recorded in this report.
  • As you can see, this stage includes not only the processes that relate directly and unambiguously to planning, but also the assessment of resources and constraints, fixing the content of the project, analyzing the environment, but without these processes, planning would not be possible.

Also, at the planning stage, the need to monitor all planned characteristics is taken into account: timing, amounts, quality, risks, etc. Monitoring procedures are entered into all relevant planning documents.

The planning stage described above looks very complex and large-scale, which is justified within the framework of large projects, construction. For medium and small, you should take from the best practice only what is useful and effective in terms of the amount of costs and the result obtained, here the experience and skills of the project manager are very important. Venture capital and software development projects use a radically different approach – Agile.

Inembly about Agile

When developing software, the level of uncertainty is so high that the costs of thorough logging and planning become simply meaningless, at any time all plans will change, and the requirements for the product will change in accordance with the conjuncture, the wishes of the customer, etc.

In this case, use the approach of "agile development" agile (translated from English maneuverable, flexible). The essence of the method is simple - it is necessary to give the result as soon as possible in order to then improve and change what is obtained, in extreme cases, start anew, but no longer go the "first way". However, changes can be made during the entire development period.

Planning in all agile development methodologies boils down to the initial fixation of the list of requirements, the formation of the team and the distribution of responsibilities within it, the planning of the next team meeting to discuss the results achieved or the version of the product obtained. From here, the legs of the adopted codification of software products versions "grow": Version 1.1, 2.3b, etc.

The venture capital business has also adopted this approach, including the internal venture capital divisions of large corporations. In such conditions, an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is created, in which only the most basic requirements for the product are implemented. Then, having passed the market check, the MVP will be finalized in accordance with the agile methodology.

There are several problems in this case:

  • how to fix agreements with the customer in the contracts;
  • how to take into account the likelihood of accidents due to new requirements for the product;
  • how to work with the motive of the project team - to simplify the solution of the tasks, since the importance of having time to make changes by the deadline prevails.
  • Each company that applies agile methodologies is looking for ways to solve these problems on its own, there is no ready-made recipe.


Returning to large projects, the approach that is used for them is usually called Waterfall (from the English Waterfall, cascade) - a cascade model: a model of phased implementation from initiation to implementation and verification.

As part of the implementation, the previously planned schedule of activities is being activated.

For example, in the construction project, the following activities will be carried out at the implementation stage:

  • Preparation of an urban development plan for a land plot (GPZU) or, for linear objects, a territory planning project, plus a land surveying project.
  • Holding public hearings at which the population will be informed about the construction plans.
  • Engineering survey.
  • Obtaining technical specifications (TU) for the possibility of connecting to engineering networks.
  • Development of project documentation.
  • Examination and approval of project documentation.
  • Obtaining a building permit.
  • Development of working documentation.
  • Actually construction.
  • Commissioning.

At the implementation stage, the manager implements the planned procedures for informing all interested parties about the progress of the project, monitors the implementation. The manager makes adjustments, contacts the customer for non-compliance of the design characteristics with the specified ones and the allocation of additional resources.

The implementation stage can be divided into sub-stages, phases.

Project Completion Phase

At this stage, the following results are summed up:

all documentation is collected to prepare for the formal closure of the project;
the information obtained during the implementation is analyzed;
reporting documentation and documentation for closure at the customer is prepared;
reception and delivery of results are carried out;
materials are archived for further use in the following projects.
The project can be completed early, and the relevant procedures are also carried out earlier than the established deadlines.

Operational testing of the products may be required for acceptance.

There is a possibility that revisions and changes will be required based on the results of the analysis and then the project cannot be closed, adjustments are made to the documentation, deadlines, budget. It will be completed only after the acceptance of the results by the customer.

No comments:

Post a Comment