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4 Key Strategies on Project Management

Updated on September 23, 2014

Project Management-What is it?

The concept of Project Management is well documented. It isn’t my will to add onto the ever increasing number of articles on project management. What I see as missing from most of the articles on project management is the basics. Now, I am a business writing coach who eats, walk and sleep, preaching about basics. Every good thing in life comes from a solid foundational basic, right? Project management is no different. So, in this hub, I will discuss four basics ideas you must know in project management. Avoiding to me more technical, I discuss the concept in a more concise, yet easy to comprehend and with enough to open your mind the basic ideas about project management.


Project Management defined

Let’s take the phrase apart and defined the two words “Project” and “Management” and then combine them together so you grasp the real landscape of project management.

Project: Project if you like, refers to a group of activities that are temporary and are designed to achieve set goals or results. A project, since temporary in nature is assigned time frame to be completed and the necessary resources to help achieve the project goals

Management

The organization and coordination of the activities of an enterprise in accordance with certain policies and in achievement of defined objectives. Management is often included as a factor of production along with machines, materials, and money. Well let me take it down a little bit simpler from the dictionary I find on top my shoulder. Management is nothing more than simply, planning, organizing and mobilizing your resources to effectively achieve your set objectives or goals. Not bad huh!


What is Project Management?

Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. It’s a strategic competency for organizations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals — and thus, better compete in their markets.




4 Basic Project Management Ideas you must have

The four things which I will describe here, should not be taken lightly. These four things can make or break your project if you are not careful with them. In other words, these are the foundation on which every project is built.

They are;

  1. Resources
  2. Time
  3. Money
  4. Scope

In the discussion that follow, I will discuss each one of them separately for you to fully grasp the big picture when it comes to Project Management.

Resources

Resource management is a key component of project management. You must remember that projects are temporary and so resources may be limited. People, equipment, material are often the main resources you have to manage in order for your project to be successful. of the other two, people are the most critical resources you must manage. People will use equipments and materials right? So if you don't manage people, they will cause you more problem by spoiling or damaging the other two resources, that is equipment and material. They are all equally important so to speak.

Video on project management

TIME

Time is the next most important component of project management. Again, projects are temporary activities and most often, you find yourself as a project manager running out of time. That is when initial proper planning comes handy. You have to plan and document your Task durations, dependencies, and of course the critical path, which I will explain soon.

Planning out when a task starts and when it finishes is important. This gives you a road map to measure your progress against your anticipated project objectives. Equipped with knowledge, you can then distribute your effort and other resources fairly to successfully complete he project. You have to plan for dependencies as well. Those who you will be depending on during the project duration involved must be considered and included int he plan.

When all tasks have been listed, resourced, and sequenced, you will see that some tasks have a little flexibility in their required start and finish date. This is called float. Other tasks have no flexibility, zero float. A line through all the tasks with zero float is called the critical path. All tasks on this path, and there can be multiple, parallel paths, must be completed on time if the project is to be completed on time.

MONEY

Let me explain money here in terms of cost, contingencies and remainders. Every projects incur cost. That is from planing and documentation stage to implementation and monitoring. You will have to pay the people you use. Of course, the equipments and materials and contracted ones as well. So a project budget is composed of the estimated cost, plus the contingency and design allowance, plus any profit. The project manager's job is to keep the actual cost at or below the estimated cost, to use as little of the design allowance and contingency as possible, and to maximize the profit the company earns on the project.

SCOPE

Scope though discussed last here, should be the first thing to be done by the project manager. Project scope gives the project manager a scope of what to expect. It clearly details what is to be achieved int he project. It also show the amount of money needed to successfully complete the project. It is absolutely imperative that any change to the scope of the project have a matching change in budget, either time or resources.


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Summary

A successful Project Manager must simultaneously manage the four basic elements of a project: resources, time, money, and most importantly, scope. All these elements are interrelated. Each must be managed effectively. All must be managed together if the project, and the project manager, is to be a success.

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    • Indi Man profile image

      Indi Man 3 years ago from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

      Easy Project Management tips very handy and well connected base points.

      Remember, Project Management is full of common sense and no-nonsense. :)

      Read some more guidelines here .. http://www.ashfaqahmeds.com/tag/program-project-ma...

    • profile image

      Kylie Wilson 3 years ago

      Wonderful article! This provided detailed information about project management and how to make use of it. Moreover, I have seen a growing demand for Project management certified professionals. With the help of training providers like http://www.pmstudy.com, I was able to prepare for my PMP exam in an efficient manner.

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 4 years ago from Hampton, GA

      Good writing. I definitely had been wondering what Project Management was. This definitely sheds some light on it. Good work. :)

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
      Author

      Ian D Hetri 5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      rfmoran. Thanks much for the read and comment.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
      Author

      Ian D Hetri 5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      tillsontitan. Appreciate your comment. Thanks for the vote and share.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Good stuff here. The basics are often overlooked amid the clutter of detail. Project management is a key to solid business management and growth. Thank you for this excellent advice. Voted up and useful.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Very nicely done Ian. We so often over look the basics and lose the whole thing in the process. You've broken this down so anyone can understand and hopefully pick up some tips.

      Voted up and interesting.