Doing my masters in Digital Service Design, I took a project management course that I would like to share what I’ve learned with you.
Everything that I’m going to say is what I’ve read from the book “Project Management step by step — How to Plan and Manage a Highly Successful Project” and from the course that I learned in Brunel University with Dr. Steve Counsell.
Kindly note that some texts are taken from the book
The book is divided into 5 steps:
- Understanding the basics
- Define the why and what
- Create your Project Plan
- Manage Delivery
- Complete your project
I will start with step 1: Understanding the basics
What is a Project?
. A task with the desired endpoint and an identifiable start point
. Fulfill clear pre-defined objectives: in a planned period of time | and to a planned cost
Role as a project manager:
a) Ensure there is a clear understanding of Why a project is done and What it will produce.
b) Plan the project (to know how long will it take and how much it will cost)
c) Manage the project: achieves objectives within the time and cost specified
d) Complete the project — to a specified level of quality
A successful project management is all about:
Structure, control, sufficient attention to details, continuously driving action.
As a project manager, there are 2 main concerns:
A) The task focus
(what you and your team are doing, what tasks are you completing)
Not focusing on tasks required in the project, nothing will be done.
B) The outcome focus
Where the tasks are leading to, The outcome the tasks achieve)
Not focusing on the outcome, will not lead to result intended, even though the tasks are completed.
The project’s Customers and stakeholders
A customer is a person who wants the project done. It can be a single person or a group. In Agile, he is called the product owner.
A stakeholder is anyone with an interest in the project. A customer is an example of a stakeholder
The Project Team:
Team composition is vital. Good communication, better work is done.
Every project has a specific deliverable. These are defined at the start of the project and measures of success.
5 Project Dimensions:
- Scope: The Boundaries of the project
- Quality: How well a deliverable fits the needs of the project
- Time: How long the project is willing to take
- Cost: How much will the project cost
- Risk: What level of risks does the project have
Change any of these and you may impact the others
Qualities of a Project Manager
. Takes responsibility and accountability
. Understands people and can be diplomatic
. Has Style that makes people want to help
. Is calm in the face of a storm
. Can see all stakeholders viewpoints
. Always anticipates problems (predicts problem)
The Mythical Man:
If there is a failing project, should you keep the same staff or change?
Brooks’ Law: The worst thing you can do if a project is failing is to add more staff to it. It will cause more delays, and no accomplishments
Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the time available for it’s completion
Project management Methodology: A methodology is a tool and not a goal itself
2 examples are the Waterfall and Agile (Interactive Lifecycle). Will talk about them in the following article.
image from https://www.trainingbytesize.com