Project management is the art of organizing, planning and controlling resources for the achievement of specific goals (Bass, 2008, p.53). The process ensures that the available resources are managed and used effectively to ensure completion of the project within the time limits.
A project management framework is a tool used to monitor the progress of a project (Bass, 2008, p.53). It states all tasks required to be carried out, the timeline for each task and the persons responsible for the implementation of each task. The project management framework includes project conceptualization, planning, execution, monitoring, controlling and closing. In each area, the requirements of the task are given in details.
For a project to run successfully to its closure, proper skills and knowledge must be input, appropriate stakeholders engaged and appropriate tools and techniques used. While the stake holders in a project may vary from those in another, a project manager is required in any project. Technical projects may require technicians from the relevant fields. However, a general requirement is that stakeholders should have the relevant skills and knowledge to run the project.
There are three main critical success factors for any project; time, money and scope. A project is run within a given time frame within a limited budget and resources (Bass, 2008, p.53). There is also a measure of what the project should have accomplished or should look like by the time of closure. Project management as a process ensures that the activities of the project are run on the boundaries of these factors. A variation in one will directly affect the other two. For instance, a reduction of the time would mean an increase on the budget to be able to engage more stakeholders and resources otherwise the quality is compromised.
Project managers have the responsibility of ensuring that the project runs successfully to completion. He ensures that each task described in the framework is achieved effectively (Lewis, 2006, p.84). He builds the project requirements, creates realistic and precise objectives for the project and ensures that the three success factors are clearly defined and well met.
The crucial skills that a project manager should have can be categorized into three; interpersonal, management and technical skills (Bjarne, 2007, p.59). Since most projects involve work teams, the manager should be able to communicate effectively. He should be able to understand the project requirements and communicate them effectively to the stakeholders. He should also be able to motivate the team and ensure that members are working together harmoniously. As a manager, the project manager should have good financial management skills. Even though the project may have a finance manager the manager is the chief finance manager. He should be analytical to be able to determine the impact of the project on the organization or even the society and how to manage it. Considering projects run on a limited timeframe, he should also be a good time manager.
A project manager should have the relevant IT technical skills. IT is a technical field, and for one to be an effective project manager, he should be able to understand the technicalities of the field. Skills on computing, software engineering among other IT skills will be essential.
Leadership is a process where one influences others to do something and thus require one to have good interpersonal skills. The process manager as a leader should have a clear vision of the project and have the ability to effectively communicate it to the stakeholders. Therefore, a good leader will make a good project manager. With the increased adaption of technology in all fields of business and technology, most projects are IT based and therefore there is a large market for IT project managers.
The top management is the core of any project. This is because they are the link between the clients and the stakeholders. They hold the vision and the power to control the three essentials of any project. A committed project management motivates the team, avails the necessary resources on time and directs each process of the project. On an environment project we did in senior high school, we were faced with the challenge of the school management’s lack of cooperation. This led to problems in getting authorization permits from the local authorities at the time, leading to the failure of the project.
Scope management involves collecting all the project requirements, defining the project's scope i.e. the assumptions, deliverables, constraints and framework, creating the work base structure, verifying and controlling the scope (Lewis, 2006, p.78). In IT, a good scope management is essential as it ensures that only the required is included in the project and that it is done effectively and efficiently.
Project: building a home
Scope definition: the project will oversee the construction of a modern house and proper landscape design as per the architectural and landscape engineering requirement. For the project to be rendered complete, the house construction be fully complete, landscaping done and all legal requirements met. Interior design will not be part of the project as that will be left to the client. The project should take 10 months to be fully complete from the day construction officially starts. The project will be funded by a budget of $450,000.
Scope verification: project completion, an official from the department of survey, the lead architect and an independent landscape surveyor will be engaged to verify that the project meets all legal requirements. The lead architect will also verify that the construction was as per his design and plan. The client must verify that all his requirements have been met effectively.
Scope control: a group of construction supervisors appointed by the lead architect will be on site daily to ensure that the architectural plan is followed strictly.
Exceeding the time requirement:
If the project exceeds the deadline set for a valid reason, such as new developments not covered in the scope, it will allowed a reasonable amount of extra time to complete it.
Inadequate resources: The client will be required to add up on the budget to meet the requirement of the plan as long as earlier planned resources are accounted for and no wastage is found.
Bass, B., Bass, R. (2008). . New York. Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Bjarne, K. (2007). Project Management. Theory and practice. Newyork; Nyt Teknisk F
Lewis, R. Ireland (2006) Project Management. Ireland; McGraw-Hill Professional