Topic 2 Key Components of Project Management

It involves identifying the project’s requirements and deliverables, setting project goals and objectives, and defining the project timeline and milestones. This strategy helps small businesses clarify what they need to achieve through their projects, the timeline for completion, and how they will measure success.

By defining the project scope and goals, small businesses can effectively plan and allocate resources and ensure that everyone on the project team is aligned on the project’s purpose and vision. A well-defined project scope also helps small businesses stay focused on the essential aspects of the project and prevents scope creep, which can lead to delays and budget overruns.

To define the project scope and goals, small businesses should engage key stakeholders of the project, such as customers, suppliers, and team members, to identify project requirements and determine the project’s scope. This process ensures that everyone understands what the project entails, the outcomes to be achieved, leading to successful project completion. Small businesses should also set clear objectives and goals that are measurable, specific, and time-bound, enabling them to track progress and measure success.

Source: https://walkingtree.tech/effective-planning-defining-project-scope-web-development/

It involves identifying team members, developing clear roles and responsibilities, and establishing effective communication to ensure that everyone is working together towards the project goals.

To begin, it is important to identify the skills and expertise required for the project and to select team members with the appropriate qualifications and experience. It is also important to consider team dynamics and ensure that team members have a positive working relationship and can collaborate effectively. Once the team has been established, it is important to develop a communication plan. This plan should include regular team meetings, progress updates, and channels for resolving issues or conflicts. To ensure that each team member understands their role and responsibilities, it is essential to define clear and specific tasks and sub-tasks. Each team member should be aware of their contribution to the project and the timelines and deadlines associated with their tasks.

Finally, effective project team management requires ongoing monitoring and adjustment as needed. This includes regular progress updates, open communication with team members, and addressing any issues or conflicts that arise. By building an effective project team, small businesses can ensure that their projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

It is essential to have a clear understanding of what the project entails, what resources are required, and what the timeline for completion is. Firstly, the project manager should define the project tasks and sub-tasks. This involves breaking down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks, and identifying any dependencies or interrelated tasks.

Secondly, it is crucial to develop a project timeline and schedule. This involves estimating the time required for each task and sequencing the tasks in a logical order. The project manager should consider any potential bottlenecks or delays, and build in some contingency time to allow for unforeseen events.

Lastly, it is essential to allocate resources and budget appropriately. This involves identifying the resources needed for each task, including personnel, equipment, and materials. The project manager should also estimate the cost of each task, and develop a budget that covers all project expenses.

By creating a project plan, small business owners can ensure that their projects are well-organized and that they have a clear roadmap for achieving their goals. A good project plan can help to avoid delays, manage resources effectively, and ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

Source: https://www.projectmanagement.ie/blog/what-is-a-project-plan/

The purpose of this strategy is to ensure that the project stays on track and achieves its goals within the defined timeline and budget.

To manage and monitor progress effectively, the project manager should utilize a project management system that enables them to track project milestones, identify potential roadblocks, and take corrective action as needed. This system should include regular check-ins with team members to evaluate progress and ensure that everyone is aware of any changes or updates to the project plan.

It is also essential to maintain open communication with team members to ensure that they have the support and resources they need to complete their tasks on time. This includes addressing any issues or concerns promptly, providing feedback, and recognizing team members for their contributions to the project.

Regular project status reports should be produced and shared with stakeholders, outlining the project’s progress and any changes to the project plan or timeline. These reports can help keep stakeholders informed and involved in the project, promoting transparency and building trust.

In order to ensure project success, it is important to identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them.

The first step in managing project risks is to identify potential risks. This can be done by brainstorming with the project team and stakeholders to determine any factors that may impact the project negatively. These risks can be categorized into different types, such as technical, financial, or environmental risks.

Once risks are identified, a risk management plan can be developed. This plan should outline strategies for addressing each risk, including preventative measures, mitigation strategies, and contingency plans. Preventative measures may include implementing quality control processes or adding redundancies to minimize the likelihood of a risk occurring. Mitigation strategies may include developing alternative plans to address a risk if it occurs. Contingency plans should be in place in case a risk does occur and should include steps to minimize the impact of the risk on the project timeline and budget.

It is important to monitor and address risks throughout the project lifecycle. Regular risk assessments should be conducted to ensure that any new risks are identified and addressed. Communication with the project team and stakeholders is also crucial, as they may have valuable insights into potential risks and can provide feedback on risk management strategies.

Source: https://maddevs.io/project-management/analyze-anticipate-risks/

It is an essential stage as it involves evaluating the success of the project, gathering feedback from team members and stakeholders, and documenting project lessons learned for future reference.

Firstly, evaluate the success of the project. This includes measuring project performance against its goals and objectives. It is important to identify any areas where the project did not meet expectations and understand why. This will help in planning future projects.

Secondly, gather feedback from team members and stakeholders. This feedback can be obtained through surveys, interviews, or meetings. It is essential to understand what worked well and what could be improved upon in the next project.

Lastly, document project lessons learned. This is crucial for the continuous improvement of project management processes. Documentation should include information such as what worked well, what did not work, and what could be improved. It is important to share this information with other project managers in the organization to help them learn from the experience.

Source: Free Vector by freepik | Homemade bread recipe (freepik.com)

Scenario - Baking a pie

  1. First, we must determine the need for baking the pie. In this case, we’re baking a pie for our friend’s (let’s call him Philip) Birthday. But we don’t just want to bake any pie, we want to bake a pie that we know Philip will enjoy. This is our goal.
  2. Second, we establish our project team. Am I able to do it by myself or who else do I need to help me prepare a pie? Do I need to contact some suppliers for some resources? Do I have an appropriate qualifications and experience to make this project successful? Who will be in charge to bring the pie to party?
  3. Third, we must gather the information and resources we need and prepare a project plan. For a pie, this includes all recipe ingredients and baking tools, but it would also include information such as favourite type of pie, how many people will be at the party (perhaps we will need to make two or three pies), discovering if there are dietary restrictions or allergies, etc. Gathering and properly managing all resources before the start of a project can help make sure things run smoothly later on. There’s nothing worse than starting a pie only to realize you don’t have enough flour left for the crust!
  4. Fourth, we must actually manage to make the pie and monitor the progress. We should have a recipe handy and should follow the instructions closely. We must determine how our pie measures up. After taking it to the party, we’ll want to know if people liked our pie. It’s good to ask specific questions. Was the filling, okay? Was the crust fluffy enough? Were the spices evenly balanced? It’s good to gather as much information as possible so we have a comprehensive view of the entire project and not just one element.
  5. Fifth, however, as is the case with many baking projects, you must be flexible and have a contingency plan to eliminate the risks. Even the best prepared projects have the potential for mishaps. What if the oven breaks? What if your schedule causes you to push baking back a day? What if the pie burns? Running through these scenarios and their possible solutions ahead of time can help prevent further derailment.
  6. Finally, we must take what we’ve learned about our pie baking skills and apply it to our next project. Maybe our crust recipe needs to be tweaked. Maybe the ratio of filling to spice mix wasn’t right. It’s important to take a moment to reflect on what works and what doesn’t work before proceeding to your next project.

You may be thinking “This is all common sense – I do most of these things without even thinking about it. Who starts a project without having a goal in mind?” As surprising as it may be, 37% of firms reported project failures were due to a lack of clear goals. Yes, the project management process seems very intuitive. However, if major businesses are stumbling over the first (and most important!) step, the process is certainly more complex and involved than one might think. Further, think of the consequences of a project failure. What if you didn’t bake enough pie for everyone at the party? What if someone was allergic the spices you used? For businesses, project failures can be extremely detrimentalresulting in wasted time, resources, and money.

Source: Free Photo by cookie_studio | Colleagues discussing new ideas at business meeting (freepik.com)