Project Management Steps By following processes and standards for project management you will ensure a successful project throughout its life cycle. Industry standard project management steps have been defined by the Project Management Institute in its PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge). The PMBOK defines five project management steps that cover the breadth of the project. The five steps for project management are fairly simple on the surface, initiate the project, plan the project, execute the project, monitor and control the project and finally close the project. However, within each of these steps, you must pay attention to the detail. By following these project management steps, you will greatly increase your chances of a successful project. Initiation Initiation is the first step in any project. It is the phase where business needs are analyzed to determine if the project is feasible going forward. Once this is determined, the purpose and scope of the project are defined to ensure that the project is successful. All of this ultimately culminates into what is called the project charter. The project charter will typically contain items such reasons for the project and constraints and objectives of the project, amongst others items. The project charter should serve as a living document that is referenced through the project to ensure that the initial scope is adhered to. Planning In our opinion project planning is the most critical project management step. As the old saying goes, fail to plan, plan to fail. Project planning includes writing all of the project documentation, such as the project plan. The project plan serves as the main documents throughout the project that defines the high-level needs of the project. The project will include, or reference out to, the risk mitigation plan, the work breakdown structure, communication plan, quality plan, project schedule as well as other important plans necessary for the project. Execution Now that the project planning phase is complete, comes the fun part, execution! During the execution phase the full project team gets involved to complete the work as defined in the project plan. This phase includes the business requirements development, use case development, design, development and testing. At the end of this phase, the project should have its core deliverable. Monitor and Control Monitor and control allows for the tracking of project execution. As a part of monitor and control, the team is responsible for identifying potential problems and defining a corrective action plan for dealing with them. The most critical parts to monitor and control are the schedule, the budget and the scope.
Close Closing time! We’re almost done and it’s time to cross our t’s and dot our i’s. The closure step is the time when the final product is released to the customer. Initially this release will be in the form of a user acceptance testing where the customer (internal or external) will have the opportunity to review the final product and assess whether it meets their needs. If the user acceptance test is accepted then the final product will be officially released and official project closure notification is given to the key stakeholders. Now it’s party time but don’t get too carried away as we have more important step to take care of, the lessons learned meeting. The lessons learned meeting is an opportunity for the project team to gather one final time and discuss what worked and what didn’t work for the project. This final lessons learned serves as learning experience for future projects. In Conclusion Pretty simple right? Okay, not so much. It does take time and resources to correctly run a project but more times than not buy following standard project management steps you will end up with a highly responsive, dedicated and efficient team. What does all that mean? It means the end product will be a better product, one that the customer and business can hang there hat on. Learn more about these steps as well as other skills necessary for passing the PMP certification steps at http://www.thepmpcertificationrequirements.com/.
Published on May 26, 2012