Project management is the action of leading, planning, and managing a team to achieve specific project goals in a given time. Over 57% of projects fail because of a “breakdown in communications” and 39% fail because of a lack of planning of resources, and activities according to PwC. And these are the signs of a project which does not have a project management or a not well established project management.
A project management typically consists of five process areas:
1- Project initiation
It is the very beginning of the project. It is the phase where the project scope is defined, analysis about its feasibility conducted, and a project manager assigned. It is the phase also where a project charter or a project initiation document is created. It is the document containing the objectives of the project, the key stakeholders and responsibilities, the budget, the risks, the due date, the return on investment and all the necessary requirements of the project.
2- Project Planning
Once the project initiation document is signed by the stakeholders, it means the project has green light to start. So comes the second phase, the project planning. This phase is crucial for the success of the project management. It is here that the goals are set (SMART goals or CLEAR goals or HARD goals techniques) and the roadmap developed.
3- Project Execution
It is the phase where the project starts to be implemented with deliverables developed and completed. This phase involves proper allocation, coordination and management of human resources and any other resources such as material and budget.
4- Project Monitoring
In this phase, some key performance indicators (KPIs) are set up to determine if the project is on track. This phase goes along with project execution, as it is controlling execution of the project milestones, making sure that project is on schedule, that the budget is being well utilized and if the project will meet stakeholders’ objectives. And in case potential problems are identified, some corrections can be brought in a timely manner.
5- Project Closure
It is the last phase that marks the end of the project. The execution of the project has come to an end therefore all contracts related to it. A meeting with the stakeholders called “postmortem” is held to identify the success and the failures during the execution of the project and to formulate recommendations. A final report is produced and all documents related to the project are collected and archived.