Principles of Project Management
You probably are already engaging in project management in your everyday life. Each time you plan what clothes to pack for vacation, schedule a time for your group of friends to get together, prepared a presentation, or enter a competition with your team, you were participating in various aspects of project management.
Project Management is a process followed to help ensure that all project work that must be completed to create a product, service, or result is understood, planned, and finished within the constraints of time (the schedule), cost (the budget), and quality.
What is a project?
Perhaps it is best to say what a project is not… It is not a daily, weekly, or even monthly routine or activity such as walking the dog or weekly chores. These activities are called ongoing operations. A project is temporary, it has a beginning and end and it creates a unique product, service, or result. It can vary in size, be simple or complex, and will involve resources such as materials and people.
Key roles in project management
Project manager This is the person responsible for making sure that each of the project’s goals and objectives is completed. The project manager oversees the project from beginning to end and ensures that everyone involved is informed about how the project is going. In an F1 in Schools team, this could be the Team Manager or you could create a Project Manager role within your team.
Project stakeholder This is a person or an organization who is involved or has an interest, positively or negatively, in the project or the outcome of the project. Project stakeholders may include customers, clients, vendors, team members, and contributors to daily activities. All stakeholders need to be kept informed of the project’s progress.
Project sponsor This is a key project stakeholder and is the person that provides financial and other needed resources for the project.
Project team members These are the people who work on a project and contribute to its success.
The triple constraints of project management
Every time you start a project you will be concerned with what has to be done(scope), how much it will cost(budget), and how long it will take (time).
As a project manager, you will want to define these parameters early in the project. Once defined, you will use these parameters as guideposts as you plan and later execute your project. You will also determine which parameter is most important and use the other two as negotiating points if necessary.
For example, you might determine the most important parameter is being ready for your regional competition (time) with a car that meets the specifications (scope).
If you run behind schedule, you might need more money or resources (cost) to manufacture the car correctly and make it to the competition on time. You will notice the parameter of quality in the middle of the triple constraints and resources and risks as influencers. Quality, risks, and resources are used as references to attaining your goals. You always need to keep them in mind as you plan and execute.