Directing a project
The management of a project is that discipline that aims to apply a series of knowledge, including tools or techniques, in achieving a goal and making it successful.
In this way, your main concern is that it comes to fruition. For this reason, good leadership is essential. We must know what we want, how we want it, when we want it or what means we have to achieve it. Of course, we must not forget the reason why we carry it out, the satisfaction of a market need.
The need for project management
Project management is more necessary than ever in a globalized world. Competitive markets, consumer demands (varied and sometimes unforeseen) or pressure from other competitors make it necessary to manage effectively and efficiently. Therefore, it is convenient to know this aspect in depth.
For the above reasons, it is more than advisable to study the science that teaches us how to carry out the management of a project. Not only engineers, economists or architects, but all those who work with projects must be trained to manage them properly.
Five stages in managing a project
Every project has a series of stages that the director must know in order to manage it correctly. These would be the ones shown below.
- The first is to establish the objectives to be achieved. This is perhaps the fundamental one, to know what we want. The main objective, the most general, and the specific ones that help to achieve this must be detailed.
- Analysis of the situation. To know how to get what we want, we must be clear about where we are starting from. We must know our strengths and weaknesses and also the opportunities and threats offered by the environment. A SWOT (or SWOT) matrix can help.
- The strategy to follow. This is the conclusion of the previous section. We start from the knowledge of what we have or what we are good at and not so good at. On the other hand, we know what the market offers and what the obstacles are. Now we must start the road and for that we have to choose an appropriate strategy.
- Once chosen, it must be carried out. This stage is essential because it will offer us feedback to know if we are doing well or not. It will provide us with relevant information for the last stage.
- Feedback. It is time to know the result of the strategy, to know if we have succeeded. Otherwise, we can implement the appropriate corrective measures. For this reason, it is important to have a way to calculate possible deviations.
The management plan of a project
We already know what is the direction of a project, its importance or its main stages. Now it's time to put everything into a document, the management plan, why is it important to do it? Because as it is written we can review it, it will serve as a guide and can be transmitted more easily to everyone. The report could have the following parts.
- Planning. You have to establish the objective, schedules and all the pertinent information, such as costs and expected returns. This part of the plan would be the one that will allow to know the scope of the project itself.
- Integration. Now you have to decide what each member of the team is going to do. Of course, their suggestions and opinions should be taken into account. This part would be the start-up part.
- Finally, there would be the formal part. In it, the plan must be reviewed and approved by the general management, agreeing on it with the rest of the directorates.
Example of project management
Let's imagine that we want to carry out a project. A magazine written by students and related to various academic subjects, including economics. Let's see what phases should be taken into account:
As we see in the figure, a first stage is the main and auxiliary objectives, creating the magazine and how we will do it. The second will allow us to know if there are other similar ones on the market or with what or who we have (collaborators). Third, we must outline in detail the strategy to follow, how we are going to create it, which server to hire, and so on. The fourth step is to implement the strategy, get down to writing. The fifth would be to see what we did wrong and correct it.
Actually, the phases to carry out the management of a project are simple. The difficult thing is to put them into practice and, above all, to be successful in that journey. But like everything in life, it is a matter of weighing risks and deciding what is best for us.