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Project Management - In The Real World

Updated on November 7, 2014

Project Management

Real Life - Project Management

The good news! Project Management does not have to be complicated. Do not be frightened and lost in the mystique of managers keeping knowledge to themselves.

In the Real World, it's about common sense and best practices. So, what is really needed to get a Project 'Started', 'Controlled' and 'Completed' with Successful Results?

Every Project Is Different, but luckily there are some simple global Rules to Guide us

Every project will be different, but there are some simple rules that can be applied to all Projects that will keep your focus from wandering and procrastinating, and will hopefully be globally recognised by colleagues and peers. In learning these simple rules you will become confident in managing a project and comfortable in dialog with others. You will know the buzz-words and processes, and know when someone is bluffing their way through. The rest of it is just practice, learning from experience and being confident in your instincts. Importantly in the workplace, you will no longer be fooled by others who pretend they know more than they actually do. It's that simple!

Listen to everyone. Filter what is important, but from experience its usually the people who are directly involved in the Product or Process who have the best knowledge. Really listen to them. The closer they are to the Product/Service or Process, the better the information they will be able to pass on to you. 5 minutes spent talking to the shopfloor worker or supplier on a regular basis, will be better time spent than preparing a 10 page Power Point report for your Director who doesn't even read it in full (or know what it tells them), especially where a one-page update to an evolving Project Plan is all you need. Impressing the shop floor will gain more Project Productivity than impressing your Director. Wear nice clothes, brush your hair and clean your teeth will help your faade that you have impressed a Director. A Director is not interested in you, they are interested in your results, so by keeping the people who 'do' the job happy and informed, your Project will run smoother.

Keep verbal and written communications simple. Keep to the Facts.

So keep it simple keep communicating keep it real life!

Be confident, but do not be arrogant!

Be genuine Be polite, install integrity!

Before you start.....a test question for you. What's most important, Leadership or Management?

What aspect of Project Management Management or Leadership do you think is most important?. (oh yes! there is a difference, as you will find out).

Which Project Management aspect is most important to you

See results

Now its up to You! Engage the PM Rules

Now it's up to you to get the basic facts. Practice and learn from your own and others experiences. There are of course many books, learning material and training courses available. But to get you into the swing of it and to prepare you for the common themes that you will commonly see throughout all these teaching aids, here are the basics of any Project Managers tool box:

Most Important! The People Rules!

Keep it simple, keep communicating, keep it real life!

Be confident, but do not be arrogant!

Be genuine. Be polite. Install integrity!

There are 5 basic Stages to any Project:

INITIATING

PLANNING

EXECUTING

CONTROLLING

CLOSING

There are 7 Project areas of focus:

Cost

Risk

Budgeting

Resources

Contracts

Procurement

Integrity

As an individual manager there are 4 processes that you MUST have control of:

Scope

Time

Quality

Communication

S.M.A.R.T.

All breakdown tasks should follow the SMART philosophy:

Document if each task is 'real' by fitting each task with answers to the following:

Is the TASK:

S - SMART

M - MEASURABLE

A - ADDING VALUE

R - REALISTIC

T - TIME BASED

S.W.O.T.

In keeping your management simple, all you need to do is report each breakdown task with SWOT Analysis:

What are the TASK:

S - STRENGTHS

W - WEAKNESSES

O - OPPERTUNITIES

T - THREATS

S.O.F.T.

In keeping your reporting simple all you need to do is report each breakdown task with SOFT Analysis:

S - SUCCESSES

O - OPPERTUNITIES

F - FAILURES

T - THREATS

The Scope

In defining THE SCOPE (so important to be written accurately and without ambiguity and without implied terms) make sure you:

Do accurately refine the SCOPE

Do conduct a Product/Process analysis

Do conduct a Cost vs Benefit Analysis (CBA)

Do ask for expert recommendations

Do identify alternatives

Always document Scope Changes (SCOPE CHANGE CONTROL):

This is usually a missing element in any plan, but can be extremely useful in learning from lessons and evidence of previously agreed changes

How many times are plans just over written, erasing any evidence of previous decisions?

The Project Management Plan

The PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN will be your primary reference document. This is usually written backwards i.e. documenting what has happened, but it should be the PRIMARY PROJECT MANAGERS DOCUMENT written from the start and from the bottom up.. A 'live' document and primary evidence of an audit trail should anyone need to inspect or takeover the Project.

Statement Of Work (S.o.W.)

The STATEMENT OF WORK (SoW) is also a document that your customers and supplier work from, so it's so important to be clear, accurate and without ambiguity and without implied terms.

The SoW should include:

Project Justification

Product/Process Description

Product/Process Objectives

Product/Process Deliverables

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

An Organisational Breakdown Structure (OBS)

A Build Of Materials (BOM)

Work Packages (WP)

A work package is the modular clear description of an activity to be carried out in the project.

Work packages make up the Project System and are the basic integral elements of the schedule and will appear under WBS elements.

A Work Package should be written as qualitative and quantitative module and should include:

- Start and finish dates

- An unambiguous description of the work element to be performed

- Define the people or group responsible.

PM Summary of Responsibilities

To summaries the job of the Project Manager,

1. Drive the Project Forward

2. Ensure the project is ON TIME

3. Ensure it is Within Budget

4. Ensure RISK is reduced

5. Ensure your aim for Predictable Results

6. Have a clear TEAM FOCUS

Most of all keep it simple keep communicating keep it real life smile and make your work fun!

Oh!...... and also wear nice clothes, brush your hair and clean your teeth.

And don't forget to RELAX.....

It's important to know how to relax. Get proper advice and start your routine NOW!

Keep it simple! Keep communicating! Keep it real life!

Oh!...... and also wear nice clothes, brush your hair and clean your teeth.

Of course, your comments are always welcomed

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    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 3 years ago

      @Toni-Roman: I know what you mean, it is a difficult area to break into.

    • Toni-Roman profile image

      Toni-Roman 3 years ago

      I have had courses in project management. It would be nice if I could make money as a project manager.

    • profile image

      MartinTim 3 years ago

      I agree. Project management is mostly about common sense and best practices. Managers tend to apply the knowledge they have gained while working on lower ranks. Of course, there are some other factors. And, managers have a key role in business communication.

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Nice summary. Great starting place for formal project management info.

    • Mellithorpe profile image

      Mellithorpe 3 years ago

      Great lens with great details and information. Thanks for sharing.

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @youthministry: Thank you for visiting. I hope it helped.

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 4 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      Great reminders. i had forgotten most of those acronyms.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      A Great Lens,, this information is useful.

    • BinendraWije LM profile image

      BinendraWije LM 4 years ago

      Nicely put.....I especially liked the stress area I need to check out some books some time or the other.Great lens

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @Bercton1: Thank you.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 4 years ago

      A Brilliant lens with a wealth of information. That's the Way to go!

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: Thank you, I appreciate you saying so.

    • HappyTom LM profile image

      Tom Christen 4 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

      A very nice lens! Thank you for this informative stuff. It is great to read and I will definitely come back and read the advices again.

      As LauraCarExpert said communication it is a very important thing, without it nothing goes well. The key is communication...

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      One of my favorite lenses!

    • profile image

      Craig50 4 years ago

      first thankyou for your comments on my lens, in reciprocation, I enjoyed this lense, I was a cost manager on the underground in London and the times i had to meet with the Project Manager and the Planners to sit down and look at where we are at present and how long to go and factor in all the problematic things and looking at budget and making sure we don't have to dip into contingency to much, what a nightmare. We needed your lens back then.

    • LauraCarExpert profile image

      LauraCarExpert 4 years ago

      Communication is definately key for any relationship, especially work. Try to keep a whiteboard visible at the workplace so people can know what part of the project everyone is working on at what time. Great lens, informative!

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @aviwolfson: Thank you.

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens, very insightful!

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @LaptopLeader: Thank you so much for your kind comment.

    • LaptopLeader profile image

      LaptopLeader 4 years ago

      An amazing project management lens!

    • Dashot profile image

      Dashot 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @ErikaV LM: Thank you. I appreciate your kind comment.

    • ErikaV LM profile image

      ErikaV LM 4 years ago

      I loved the way you turned complicated terms into simple and useful knowledge. And I especially enjoyed the feminine touch in your lens! :-)

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @Ben Reed: Thank you.

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Very easy steps that anyone can follow. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      Nicely presented overview of Project Management

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @Rosanna Grace: So kind of you to say. Thank you.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      Lovely overview of project management, thanks :)

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      Wow, very condensed information (a wealth of it!), and a reader will need to go deep into each section -- perhaps you could do a brief analysis of the elements exposed here? (That would be a nice way to update your lens every once in a while, too)

    • Sweetbunny LM profile image

      Sweetbunny LM 4 years ago

      Great information. Thanks for providing the book lists.

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @dean_w: I agree completely!

    • profile image

      dean_w 4 years ago

      Project management is a topic I enjoy studying. It can apply to individual activities, family activities, and group actions as well as workplace tasks and projects.

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      TravellingLight 4 years ago

      Like this a lot! Good pointers, and references to a lot of ancillary but important aspects of project management, like balance and fitness.

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @WebProLive: Many thanks for your positive feedback. Good luck to all your pupils.

    • profile image

      WebProLive 4 years ago

      Fantastic read. We will be sure to be sending our pupils on our project management courses to here for the recommend books. Well done.

    • Normyo Yonormyo profile image

      Normyo Yonormyo 4 years ago

      Thanks for the summation of what project management is about.

    • Carashops profile image
      Author

      Cara 4 years ago

      @Gloriousconfusion: Thank you very much for featuring my lens. You are very kind.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent article. I am now featuring it in my The Secret of How to Achieve Goals - hope that's OK with you?. Blessings

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      On target and awesome info! Very concise and informative! I can't wait to integrate this info into my projects.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Wow! Great information. Really well-done article.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This will be a great page for me to bookmark for a quick reference of PM guides.

      Thank you so much