The Enterey Blog

The Five Critical Areas of Project Management

Posted by Tita Tavares on Thu, Feb 09, 2012 @ 11:21 AM


We’ve all been involved in projects that seem to go on forever and ever or seem to take on additional resources. As project management specialists, we’ve come up with a list of five key components necessary for project management.

 Project Management Five Qualities

The five, explained below, are:

  1. Scope definition at the start of the project

  2. Set milestones and goals

  3. Define your team and resources/Ensure you have the expertise to identify problems

  4. Maintain good communication throughout the project

  5. Track progress and review results


S
cope definition at the start of the project: In this first, important step, we establish exactly what the project’s goal is, what’s in the scope and what is outside of the scope of the project. Experience has shown us that it is just as important to define what the project WILL accomplish as what it WILL NOT in order to control the direction of the project. Part of defining the scope is to also to define the timeline and deadline for the project’s completion.

Set milestones and goals: Once we define the scope, we can then define the different tasks that go along with it. The purpose of identifying milestones is to set intermediate measuring points to rate the project. By grouping milestones together, we can then establish more specific timelines.

On some projects, a milestone will serve as a marker to make a decision or to reassess a previous decision. For instance, while going through the review of a bidding process for a facility or in processing equipment, you will need to review different bid packages. In this case, a milestone will represent a decision point during the evaluation process to select a contract. Your overall goals will incorporate a number of milestones and you’ll need to create a schedule that ties all of these components together.
 

Define your team and resources: Depending on the project, you will need to identify the disciplines that your project requires. If it is technical, you will need people with certain problem-solving or trouble-shooting expertise. If there are trades involved, you might need somebody from electrical or quality. Whatever the project requires, you’ll need to identify all the stakeholders as well as what role each would play. You’ll also need to establish who would be reviewing/managing the work that gets done to make sure it is completed satisfactorily.

Also, when putting your team together, you’ll need to take into consideration the time commitment involved and ensure that each person involved is able to dedicate the time to work on it.

Maintain good communication throughout the project: Good communication is key to the success of any project. Each team player needs to be aware of the overall schedule, of the work they need to complete or what they will have to review. They will also need to be aware of what is going on with the rest of the project as it moves along.

In addition to making sure that those involved know their responsibilities, they also may need to know the milestones that have been set. Throughout the project, maintain a central repository of information, whether it is on a shared drive, online, or at a physical location. This will be where the team can get the latest information or whatever else they may need. Make sure that everybody has proper access to it.
 

Track progress and review results: Initially, you’ll need to establish how often your team or key players will need to meet: Will it be daily or weekly? Then you’ll need to track the progress that has been made in between each meeting for each of the tasks. Is everything on schedule? What tasks have been completed?

It’s helpful to identify any obstacles you may run into ahead of time so that you can account for them. Do you need any additional resources or departments to complete a task?

When additional resources have been requested, track whether they have been provided. When reviewing the results, you will need to identify when each tasks was completed, acknowledge that it was completed, and share this information with the stakeholders so that a task is not revisited and time is not wasted. By following through on the Five Critical Areas of Project Management, you can ensure that you meet your deadlines on time, on target and on budget.

 

Now we’d like to hear from you. What areas of project management have been problematic for your team? Where has your project hit a snag or lost or gained time? With these tips, do you think you can be more effective in your project management?

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Published by Murtaza Kapadia | Senior Manager, Enterey

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