Whether you call it the management process of working with other people to affect a successful outcome, I’ll define project management as basically the practice of managing all or part of a project, using set processes, policies, tools, and operating standards. The term project management itself originally was used in large corporations to describe “unmanaged projects” like NASA in the 1960’s. It is still used in large corporations in a much broader, less technical, sense. NASA didn’t use PRINCE2 Practitioner courses but maybe should have.
Project management is a system of activities undertaken to achieve a specific goal. The goal may be the launch of a rocket to launch a communications satellite to places outside the space community for thargeting, or it may be assembling and moving/delivering multiple components to complete a circuit. A large corporation may have a product launch as their major goal, but a smaller company may have one major goal in mind, for example they are developing ideas for a newsound protocols for use with cell phones or as a means of leading earth-based companies on a new way of doing business.Whatever the goal is, if you decide to undertake a project, you need to decide the best way to help get you there.
That, of course, brings me to the first clear, essential requisite, and that too, just in case you were hoping to avoid it. Project management is not methodology. I didn’t say methodology, because methodology is even more valuable, as it is an approach, an approach that entails specific knowledge, and by simply pointing upharnessing what you know about your current situation, you could assume that you now have more knowledge than you had before, and then have to work out how you’re going to move forward in specific, practical steps that move you closer to your goal. Unlike methodology, project management is process.
You will not be able to drive toward your goal, unless and until you know where you are going, what route you must take to get there, and how you are going to do that (or on some occasions, how you are going to meet a deadline ) knowing how you will meet that deadline and the best way to get there doesn’t naturally pop into place in times of crisis for you. You’re already neckdeep in a crisis, and after you have actually begun to think about how to get to your end goal, settling for anything that isn’t much better than crisis in terms of raw, persistence-filled, exhausting time is actually not an option.
I am not saying that sometimes crisis will not resonate within you, that you should not strive for it, don’t work toward it, or even reschedule things close to deadline. I am saying, however, that you cannot simply react to crisis, and you cannot just move forward in things you already have a taste for. You always have to look back later and say, “if those saves me more money and/or I need to give more effort, but I missed the opportunity to fix higher” with regard to expenses.
When you are deciding which path to take and which high-level goals to attempt, you want to begin with some perspective on what other people have done, and you can extract this from you own past experience. Some things will be real easy to assess, and others are not so easy to gauge, and especially not so easy to assess from a purely objective, scientific standpoint, especially since the objective of a project management class rests squarely on your shoulders.
That is why one of those areas in project management I am referring to, the one that appears to be obvious and equally open to all, is that of the appraisal of a project. Normally, that determination is quick, relatively easy, intuitive, and doesn’t take long at all. For instance, if you’re working as a welder, reviewing costs, and the exact type of costs you look for are analyses of the materials used in the project, you just need to take a leisurely perspective post your initial insight in the company that worked out that particular assignment. There are far more intricate results than that, however, for that kind of basic review, there are methods of rating and determining the suitability of a particular project once it has been completed.
When ultimately doing project management, you will not be faced with someone else’s sentiments of “good” or “bad” when it comes to how a project is going. The job you will mostly be directly responsible for is choosing the best items to deal with, but in many cases, it’s not always clear what you’re supposed to be doing with any information that you have, so the method of brainstorming and producing final delegated analysis is something complex and highly conversational.
And, while the puppy trying to feed itself will mean that the opinions of others on S.E.L.