Friday 15 April 2022

Postulates, rules and principles of project management



The article discusses the most important postulates, rules and principles of project management for companies that plan to implement project management according to the author's version.

1. Project management is necessary primarily for the owners and top managers of the organization

Often in organizations, the request for project management arises from below (from the heads of departments or directions), but by and large the owners and management companies should be more interested in the form of the management system. The management system of the organization changes with greater resistance of the team. Established connections, rules of the game and relationships in the team resist change. If the owner and top managers do not understand why it is necessary to change the management system to a project one, then it is better and cheaper not to start such a project.

2. Proper goal-setting is the basis for the performance of the management system

When setting tasks by a manager to a subordinate at all levels from the owner of the company-director to the head of the executive department, it is important to maintain the continuity of goals. 


Try to build a hierarchy of company goals and make sure that the goals of a particular department and its performers correspond to the overall goal of the organization. Of course, the performers themselves do not need to know all the nuances and details, but senior management must be sure that there are no contradictions between the various departments and the main goals of the organization in order to avoid the "swan, cancer and pike" effect.


If there are several goals, determine priorities, since at a particular point in time when making a decision, two goals are likely to enter into conflict (resource, financial, temporary) - it is important to understand which goal at this stage of the organization's development is more important. Tomorrow, the priority or lineup may change, but that will be a different story.

3. Project manager first of all manager

Choosing a project manager is not a trivial task, but you need to proceed from the fact that his task is primarily to manage the project. Of course, it is good if the project manager is well versed in how to get the product (the result of the project), but it is much more effective for the company if at any time all projects are manageable, transparent, with visible problems, than if the project manager will personally perform part of the work or "help" the performers. Remember, in the management system, everyone must do their own thing and perform their tasks, the only way to achieve outstanding results.

4. A bad plan is better than no plan

At the very beginning of the journey to reorganize the management system, two fundamental approaches meet:

  • Never planned, no need to start;
  • Planning is of poor quality, so you need to start by drawing up the perfect plan.


In both cases, it is impossible to get a plan that you can work on. In the first it simply will not be, and in the second it can be made and "polished" indefinitely. In general, the process of drawing up and updating plans should be treated as an ever-improving process. The quality of planning strongly depends on the qualifications, the employees who make it up. The quality of the implementation of the plan depends on those who perform the work according to the plan. 

It is impossible to teach everyone to work correctly at one point in time and once and for all. In addition, the "right" will change in time along with the change in external conditions. The best way is to start planning in bulk:

  • Structure of works to stages;
  • Estimate work by role;
  • Evaluation of materials in an enlarged manner (by groups or sets);
  • Evaluation of finances in stages.


Having worked with an enlarged plan model, say a year, it is reasonable to analyze what data is missing, where the largest losses are, what is not transparent in accounting. Based on the analysis, make adjustments to the planning model. In general, this is reflected in the quality management standards.

5. Evidence gathering is as important as planning

Does a plan without fact make sense? No. And a fact without a plan? Yes! But in importance, they are equivalent, as they affect each other as follows:

  • All plans are drawn up on the basis of previously fait accomplis. No evidence today – no plans tomorrow;
  • Factual data is collected for a specific purpose – to understand whether we have achieved (or will achieve) results in the given indicators of the project (deadlines, budget, etc.) or not. There is no point in collecting labor costs, spending time and effort of employees on this, if this data is not used in any way;
  • Updating of plans is possible only on the basis of actual data and only if their detail is sufficient.
  • It is strongly recommended to consider the processes of planning and collecting evidence comprehensively - this will eliminate unnecessary and unnecessary alteration of planning and fact-gathering models, save the strength and nerves of employees who will prepare and process this data.
  • Sometimes, in companies with a long history and established traditions, planning is problematic to start. In this case, it is recommended to organize the collection of actual data in the context of project tasks (income / expenses, income / payments, start and end dates of tasks, labor costs for tasks, material costs). This will give an understanding of the scale of the problem in principle, and based on this, proceed to planning.

6. The boiler method is the root of many problems

The boiler accounting method is very common due to its ease of use. You don't need almost anything (except for the bare minimum) to start using it. And everything seems to be considered, cloves to cloves, penny to penny, but as soon as the problem comes (failure to meet deadlines, increased budget, lack of materials) it is not at all clear why the problem arose. On what project, at what stage of the project, on what task of the project and at what moment. 


Moreover, the actual size of the problem and the time of its diagnosis (realization that there is a problem) are directly proportional to the size of the boiler. If the boiler is equal to the organization, then when the cash in the current account runs out and becomes the moment (well, maybe a little earlier) of diagnosing the problem. If the boilers are equal to the project, then at the end of the project you can answer the question of whether there are problems. If projects are long, it reduces manageability. Strive to reduce the size of the boilers, which can be controlled in the period of 1-2 weeks, as well as so that the amount of risk is acceptable in the event of a problem.

7. Automation system of accounting in project management is urgently needed

Is it really necessary to have an automation system in order to start applying a project approach to the management of the organization. Management theory says nothing about this, leaving this question to those who are actually going to implement project management in the organization. For management, project data (plans, facts, reports, schedules, etc.) are needed and all of them can in principle be received (prepared) and transmitted without an information system. The automation system in this matter is only a tool that allows you to do all the necessary operations faster, more accurately, store the results, present in the desired form. 


However, if you implement project management without an information system, then the question immediately arises among the performers - what tool to use when preparing data on projects. If we bypass this issue altogether and leave the adoption of such a decision to the executor himself, it turns out that everyone will prepare information in his own format, different structures and forms of presentation. Such an approach will entail huge labor costs for processing the information received. Therefore, ideally, it is necessary to choose an information system simultaneously with the transition to project management. For a specific information system, regulations are developed and employees are trained.

8. In project management, the most important resource is people

In project management, in fact, human resources are managed. Through the management of the project team, the project and its parameters are managed. Accordingly, all successes or failures are the merits of employees who performed or did not perform correct or not very management tasks. Therefore, in order to increase the number of successes and reduce the number of failures, it is necessary to work continuously with the staff. Namely:

  • To teach theoretical aspects of project management. Especially for senior staff;
  • Conduct a collective and personal analysis of the results obtained;
  • Involve personnel in the evaluation of work, analyze the actual indicators for a sense of involvement in the result (both positive and negative);
  • To develop and improve the motivation system to achieve the most important goals for the company;
  • Use a mentoring system for young professionals.
  • It is important to remember that all financial losses lie in the incorrect, incomplete or untimely use of the company's resources.

9. Accumulation and transfer of knowledge is the key to success

This thesis can be attributed not only to project management, but also in principle to any management system. It is important to accumulate formalized experience in the implementation of projects. This will allow:

  • Save time on evaluation of future projects;
  • Evaluate future projects more precisely;
  • Carry out more accurate adjustment of the planning and accounting processes for projects;
  • Train employees and transfer knowledge between them.



10. Transform all activities into a project format

If your organization is not engaged in the production of the same type of products, then this rule will allow you to apply the same approach to all activities of the company. Often, the project approach is considered only as a tool for managing projects related to the main activities of the company (let's call them external). At the same time, a large layer remains unattended (let's call them internal), for example:

  • Projects for the development and preparation for the release of new products
  • Investment projects
  • Financial projects (loans/deposits, etc.)
  • Economic activity
  • IT Infrastructure Management
  • Non-core activities
  • Other

At the same time, such activities have all the features of projects (goals, deadlines, tasks, required resources and finances, materials), but each with its own specifics. This rule provides the following benefits:

  • The total budget for the company (planned and actual) for external and internal projects is automatically formed;
  • Automatically generates a load of resources involved in both external and internal projects. Resource overload and actual labor are correctly detected;
  • Automatically generates a procurement plan for all projects, both internal and external
  • It is possible to build a flexible motivation system for employees involved in both external and internal projects

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