What is project management is a popular question today and we will try to answer it in depth. Project management is the set of activities aimed at organizing the smooth running of a project and achieving its objectives. It consists of applying the methods, techniques, and management tools specific to the different stages of the project, from the evaluation of the opportunity to the completion of the project.
General principles of Project Management
Generally speaking, a “project” is a coordinated set of activities and actions undertaken to meet a need within a fixed time by mobilizing resources allocated to it3. Several more precise definitions coexist:
According to ISO, “a project is a single set of processes, consisting of coordinated and controlled activities, with start and end dates, and undertaken to achieve the project objectives. Achievement of project objectives requires the provision of deliverables in accordance with specific requirements. This definition advocates a process approach, which forms the common basis for a set of ISO standards;
According to the PMI, a project is a “temporary enterprise initiated with the purpose of providing a single product, service or result”. This definition emphasizes the objectives of the project and the uniqueness of the project. Uniqueness does not exclude a repetition of similar projects (for example in industries whose mode of production corresponds to the project mode), but emphasizes that the approach of each project needs to be adapted according to characteristics that make it unique;
according to PRINCE2, a project is “a temporary organization, created to deliver one or more project outputs in accordance with an agreed business case”. This definition highlights the organizational component of projects while emphasizing the need to respond economically to economic objectives.
Projects are different from operations. The operations are carried out by means of perennial, continuous and repetitive processes and with resources. Projects, by their nature, are temporary, have characteristics that make them unique (innovation, change, product or service characteristics) and require a specific approach.
A project mobilizes during its realization identified resources (human, material, equipment, raw materials, informational and financial).
The expected results of the project are called supplies, products or deliverables. Understand more deeply about what is project management on the STC-Montreal.org website.
The components of project management
Project management is similar to management in general, but incorporates the temporary and unique nature of projects. We distinguish:
- project governance, which provides strategic leadership for the project and defines the framework within which the project is implemented, including responsibilities, decision-making mechanisms, and budget;
- project management processes, which aim to manage the project and its activities and which do not depend on the business area to which project management is applied;
- product realization processes, which define the “project lifecycle”, and which depend on the business area to which project management is applied (for example: the life cycle for a construction project will not be the same as the life cycle of an IT project).
General project management methods are independent of product realization processes. There are general standards and project management standards such as PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge), PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments), ICB (International Project Management Association Competence Baseline), and international standard ISO 21500. They provide guidelines and good practices, and advocate an adaptation of the methods to the particularities of each project. Sector-specific project management methods can integrate the three components by also including good business practices.
When project management involves a set of projects contributing to the same objective, it is referred to as program management, project program, project management or project portfolio management depending on the industry and the scope of the project concerned. . A program is a collection of related or related projects whose management is coordinated in order to obtain benefits, benefits and control, which would not be possible by dealing with individual projects7. Program management is used to coordinate, align, reconcile, and follow up so that projects that are grouped together can maintain their strategic contribution.
In practice, “the project is geared towards the end goal, it must be adaptable to frequent changes but mastered and planned.
The roles in project management
Project governance is the responsibility of the sponsor. For larger projects, this responsibility can be collectively provided by a steering committee chaired by the sponsor.
Responsibility for project management rests with a project manager. Depending on the importance of the project and the hierarchical level, this role can be provided by a project manager.
The project is carried out by a project team under the responsibility of the project manager.
For more complex projects, the project team may consist of several independent teams, under the responsibility of a team leader. The project manager and the team leaders then form the project management team, to which other actors involved in project coordination can be integrated.
Depending on the context, actors or organizations involved in the project may be assigned a role of project management or project management (see also project management functions).
The stakeholders are all the actors directly involved in the project, as well as the actors outside the project and likely to be concerned by the project or its results, regardless of their organization of origin and their hierarchical level. For a specific project management role you can check the list of the best project management certification programs and pick a right one for you. A modern and Agile project management certification program is the one that BVOP offers and calls a Certified project manager.
Challenges of project management
The value creation model is before the project to identify and select an opportunity2. The project then creates a product that meets objectives. Once the project is finished, this product generates a result (“outcome”) through its effects. This result makes it possible in the long run to reap benefits6.
The products of the project can be:
- works (for example: a section of motorway, a bridge),
- tangible products with a unique character (for example: a made-to-order aircraft),