Project Management Process
Do you own an organization, and it seems that it is far from being organized? Do you not have a project management process in your organization?
Are your departments scattered and seem to do whatever they feel like instead of doing what is beneficial for the business?
If your answers are yes then it is time to implement a Project management process in your organization.
But what is it?
This article will help you with every question you have in mind related to the Project management process.
What is a project?
Let us understand what exactly is a project before we get into the project management process.
A project is a series of tasks that need to be accomplished in order to meet a particular goal or it can be said that the project is a set of inputs and outputs required to achieve the desired goal.
What is project management?
Now that you know what a project stands for, let us jump right into project management means?
Project management is the implementation of processes, skills, methods, knowledge, and experience to attain definite project objectives according to the project’s requirements within the agreed framework of timelines and budgets.
When it comes to the activities and processes a typical project will broadly have five Project Management Phases.
Therefore, to get through with the project management, learning these phases and Project Management Methodologies is very important.
In this article, we will focus on the key project management phases. For Project Management Methodologies, do read our detailed article on that.
5 Phases of the project management process
As mentioned above, there are five different Project Management Phases in the Project Management Process, they are Project initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Project monitoring and controlling, and finally project closure.
Let us study them in detail.
Project initiation is the first phase out of five phases from the Project Management Phases where the airplane of the project takes off for the destination. Therefore, this phase of the journey provides an overview of the project, apart from the overview it tells us about the strategies required to reach the destination.
The project manager holds a meeting to understand the client’s needs, requirements, objectives, and goals. Hence, it is essential to collect data before-hand rather than the last-minute preparations. Upon taking final decisions to process, the assembling of the project can be done.
What do you think is the outcome of the project initiation phase?
It is a project charter.
What is a project charter?
It is a document that covers the key elements of the project, its key goals, deliverables, scope, etc. A typical project charter comprises of:
- Business mission and vision
- Project goals and benefits
- List of stakeholder
- Scope of the project
- Deliverables required for the project
- Potential risks
- Project budget and resources
This phase comprises of:
Undertake the feasibility study
Understanding the feasibility of the project becomes necessary at the initiation stage of the project. To check the project’s feasibility from legal, technical, operational, and economic aspects. Therefore, having an idea about the problem will help you, solve the issue with appropriate solutions.
Identify the project scope
The scope of the project means defining the length, breadth, and depth of the project. Outlining functions, deadlines, tasks, features, and services are equally important.
Identify project deliverables
The next step after identifying the project is to identify the project deliverables. Project deliverables are the services or products needed for the project.
Identify the project stakeholders
Detailed identification of stakeholders is necessary. Holding meetings with team members to identify stakeholders is a better way. Besides this, one more requirement is to document the pertinent information on stakeholders and what is the impact on them after successful completion of the project.
Develop a business case
Before you develop a business case, check whether the essential pillars like feasibility, scope, identification of stakeholders are in place or not.
Finally, The next step after you are done with this is to come up with a full-fledged business case.
Lastly, forming the right team and creating a statement of work (SOW) marks the completion of this phase.
2. Project Planning
In this phase, a lot of planning related to the project happens. Now that you are aware of the objectives of the project, it is time for making a plan which everyone will follow.
For guiding your team for the remaining phases, a set of plans are made in this phase.
As a result, the plan created at this time will help you in managing cost, quality, risk, changes, and time of the project.
The project plan developed should have all the necessary details related to the project goals.
It should also have objectives and should also include strategies for how to achieve them.
It is the most complex phase of the project management process in which project managers take care of operational requirements, design limitations, and functional requirements.
Project planning includes the following components
Create a project plan
A project plan is the blueprint of the entire project. What do you think a well-framed project plan should have? It should include the list of key milestones, tasks and activities, the time frame, dependencies, constraints involved, and potential risks.
A well-drafted project plan is to help the project manager to streamline processes to meet the end objectives and track the project progress.
Creating a resource plan
Once you have a project plan in place, the next step is to ensure that you have the necessary resources – both in terms of people and materials to ensure you can deliver as per the project plan.
This is where you should create a resource plan that comes in handy.
It provides information about various levels of resources required to complete the project. The documents of this plan specify the labor and material needed for the project. Resources used should have relevant project management expertise. Experience in the concerned domain is a priority.
If you frame a financial plan, it helps in setting the budget and delivers project deliverables without exceeding it. The expense list on the final budget includes the cost of material, labor, and equipment.
So, the creation of a budget plan helps the team to control the cost of the project, so that you can maximize your profits from the project.
Project Monitoring Plan
Have a good monitoring system to keep track of the progress of your project and resources it consumes is a fundamental part of the project planning phase as it helps in monitoring the quality level of the project.
So, for the completion of tasks, only external and internal resources are not enough to assemble a well-balanced team, resources like money, equipment, software solutions, and workplace should be there to complete the assigned tasks.
Anticipating risks and Potential Quality Roadblocks
To identify risks and assuage them, you need to have a risk plan. The plan will have all the possible potential risks, the order of severity and the preventive measures to tackle them. After the identification and tackling risks properly, the quality projects can be delivered on time.
In the project execution phase implementation of the plan, assigning them tasks and allocation of resources are the activities that mark the start of this phase. This phase also involves building deliverables and satisfying the requirements of customers.
What do you think the team does in this phase? The team starts creating project deliverables and pursue the objectives and goals as outlined in the project plan.
So, this phase demonstrates that your project will be successful or not. The success of the project mainly depends on this phase. The final deliverable and shape of the project also take place in the project execution phase.
There are a lot of important things to consider in this phase, listed below are some of them:
Reporting progress of the project
To get the required information and track the issues regularly, it is necessary to get regular updates about the project.
Hold regular meetings
Before you hold the meeting, be clear in your head about the agenda of the meeting and do tell your team members about the agenda in advance. The timely, clear, and concrete communication will not affect the projects going on and future projects.
Manage problems proactively
Problems are invincible. Problems like time and quality management.
Also, the hampering of the team’s morale can occur as a problem, so make sure you have the thought through potential solutions beforehand for every problem that might occur during the life of the project.
4. Monitoring and controlling
This phase is all about tracking the progress of the project as well as mapping the performance of the project. To check whether everything goes smoothly according to the project management plan, especially financial and timeline parameters is the main objective of this phase.
Implying necessary adjustments associated with resource allocation and ensuring that everything is on the track is the responsibility of the project managers. To do this effectively, a project manager may hold regular meetings for review and take regular updates from the team members.
Hence, monitoring activities, keeping an eye on the budget, and having a close look at the quality of the project will allow the manager to take the corrective measures if any problem occurs.
5. Project Closure
The final phase of the project is often taken for granted but it is equally important.
As the name suggests, this phase represents the final phase of the project or usually known as the follow-up phase. By the time the project reaches this phase, the project is almost complete and ready for delivery.
So, the main focus of the project manager in this phase should be the release and delivery of the project.
This phase includes wrapping up of all the activities related to the project. It is not compulsory to have this phase only after the successful completion of the project.
Sometimes a project is closed because of the failure as well.
After the completion and delivery of the project, it is the responsibility of the project manager to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the project, identify the uncertainties, and give suggestions that how they can be improved in the next project.
This also helps in building the credibility of the manager.
The project is closed after it is handed over to the client, the documentation is finalized, and the team is demobilized.
Below are some steps that are important to help you close projects efficiently
Analyzing project performance
This step deals with analyzing whether the goals and objectives of the project have been completed or not. If the project is completed within the given time frame and is capable of addressing the issue it was set to resolve, then the project is ready to be declared as a success.
Analyzing the team’s performance
Keeping a check on the performance of every team member should be the next step of this phase. Was the work done by them was qualified according to the parameters given and were they punctual? This will provide a clear picture of your team’s performance.
Document Project Closure
This is the most important step as it includes a systematic representation of the project from the initial stage to the completion. A well-written document without any possibility of a mistake is handed over to the client at the time of closure.
Conducting post-implementation reviews
When you are done with the project, meaningful insights about the project through evaluation provide lessons for the upcoming project.
Accounting for Used and Unused Budget
If any resource is left untouched and some budget is left as well, it can be recycled in the next project instead of wasting it.
Grievously, this phase is belittled by many business organizations. The success of the project is the only thing that matters and it is timely delivered to the client or not. However, the completion of the project is not only important, but it is also done according to the way it was envisioned or not.
These are the five Project Management Phases which need to be followed to have an organized team working for the success of the project.
Importance of the project management process
It is said that organizations that use project management have better budget management and meet the client’s needs and complete the project on time.
Still not convinced on why should you use project management??
Here are the 6 most noteworthy reasons to convince you:
1.Realistic project planning
If you do not plan your project and start working on it randomly without any planned deliverables, time frame, guidelines, etc, you are planning a project which is going to be a failure.
To set the realistic goals and objectives for the project, the project manager communicates with different stakeholders to understand their needs and priorities and to strategize the project accordingly.
2.Clear Focus and Objectives
Unclear focus and a project without a goal is the most common reason for project failure.
When the team is handling the project, unclear objectives and improper focus can lead to missed deadlines, overspending, wastage or overuse of resources, etc.
Therefore, Project managers should define the goal and objectives of the project.
So, to prevent such mistakes, a good project management process is a must.
3.Maximum resource utilization
The level of complexity of the project does not matter when it comes to the utilization of resources, wrongly or improperly managed resources can create havoc in any project.
The project management process makes sure that you use the right resources and the right method, that works for your team. Maximizing resource utilization ensures you make optimal profits on every project.
Seldom before starting the project we forget to mark out the potential risks.
As a result we face failure due to them or maybe it can hamper the growth of the project.
Therefore, with effective project management, you and your team would be ready to face the risks in advance and with already thought solutions.
There is a lot of pressure on the project manager and the team regarding the quality of the project if your project management is in place then it will be easy for you to track the quality and progress of the project at every stage.
Now you have got answers to the questions related to the project management processes.
Hurry up and start implementing a robust project management system in your organization.
To help you get started, we have some ready to use project management launchers that you can explore in our project management templates.