Project management is a process that ensures that the project is developed from start to finish with all the resources assigned and in the scheduled time.
Project management is a discipline that has been learned mainly from experience. Unlike what happens with business management in general, there is not so much associated bibliography.
And it is that the projects can have different natures; commercial, environmental, legal, educational, etc. and for each area there are restrictions and factors that could influence the project to undergo changes to its original design, extending in time, or in resources.
Project management features
Difficult to point it out in a definition, but it could be simplified as follows.
A project has an objective, which must be broken down into several more specific ones. Yes, very similar to an investigation, but for this case, for each specific objective there must be at least the following components:
- Execution time.
- Execution goal.
- Associated resources.
- Execution schedule (March to December, for example, including all non-business days, such as holidays and bank holidays).
- Monitoring indicators.
- Responsible for that goal.
A very useful tool for project management is the Gantt Chart, which allows you to graphically visualize the project, distributing each of its stages in colors.
Another very important point is permanent monitoring and a contingency plan for each case.
When designing the project it is good to make a list of the possible risks and the measures that should be taken if they are to materialize. This will allow you to act quickly without improvising.
Constantly look at activities and budget
The execution of activities must be consistent with the percentage of the budget to date, so it is important to establish stages. For example, a project with three stages:
- 1: March to June 30% of the activities and 20% of the budget
- 2: June to September 50% of the activities and 50% of the budget
- 3: October to December 100% of the activities and 100% of the budget
Taking the above, it would be dangerous if, for example, in stage 2 only 40% of the activities had been executed and, nevertheless, 50% of the budget had been spent. That leaves a 10% reduction in resources that must be adjusted along the way, leaving the project vulnerable to further changes.
Another reading that this example has is that the last quarter has a very agile and intense execution, because half of the project is developed, therefore, it is very important to monitor it.
Generally, there is a tendency to think that projects have proportionate execution. That is, the activities are distributed equitably throughout the period, but in reality that will depend on the type of project that is executed.
If it is an educational project, logically this should be adjusted to the months in which the students are in school, leaving the vacation months free or with fewer activities.
Another important example has to do with the weather. Construction projects, for example, have delays in the winter months, because the rains or the cold cause changes and emergencies to attend to.
In short, project management requires a prior evaluation in the financial, technical, environmental, legal and communicational fields, to see what impact it will have on the environment, or what blows it could suffer during its development.
This is why each time the projects are made up of multidisciplinary teams that provide knowledge from different areas with the aim of reducing uncertainty and achieving the desired execution in the scheduled time. That would ultimately be successful project management.