What are the main objectives of project management?
Simply put, project management simply means the planning, organisation and management of the resources necessary to bring about a successful conclusion to a specific task (âdeliverableâ), or group of tasks. There are numerous software packages available setting out detailed methodologies and providing project management training for managers who are new to the role.
Project objectives define a project. Projects by their very nature dictate that a number of different parties are involved in completing the various elements of the project and it is vital that all those participating are totally clear on what the final deliverable is, and what the staged objectives to achieve that deliverable are. It is the overall project managerâs job to draw together each of the separate strands of work, on time and on budget and oversee the project to a successful conclusion where the deliverables are presented to the client as agreed at the project outset. In the case of large projects where multiple teams are assembled, some project management training may be required by less experienced project team leaders and this may take place either prior to the project commencing or âon the jobâ as a learning curve.
There are three primary elements which make up the basic project objectives to be realised.
- Firstly, a âdrop dead dateâ, or completion date by which the final deliverable must be achieved, must be agreed and recorded in the project plan. A series of milestone dates should then be applied to the project plan by which the various smaller tasks must be completed to keep the overall plan on schedule. It is important to incorporate short periods of âslippageâ into the project plan around the tasks most likely to be delayed and it is the project managerâs responsibility to identify such tasks and accurately estimate the amount of slippage to be allowed for. Clearly, one of the key skills of the effective project manager is time management, both his own and that of his team.
- Project costing must also be explored and integrated into the overall plan. The financial aspect of costs will be recorded in a separate budget spread sheet. It is extremely important that the financials are projected as accurately as possible and are monitored closely as the various stages of the project are completed. Other costs are measured in terms of the personnel who make up the project team, third party suppliers who will be required to make a contribution at certain stages and equipment or materials required depending upon the nature of the final deliverable.
- The final main project objective is the quality of the final deliverable. This must be to a standard acceptable to and agreed with the project sponsor and client. Most contractual agreements between the project sponsor and client will have a clause dictating that a forfeit will be levied should the project fail to be produced on time, on budget and to the required standard.
Know your objectives and you’ll be able to report with clarity. Your role will be mission critical in keeping everyone aware of how the project is progessing and how to keep it on track.
Blathnaid Magill has an MBS in Electronic Business from University College Cork, Ireland. She enjoys writing about software and technology. She is currently writing on behalf of QA, who are the leading providers in Project Management Training.
Thank you, Blathnaid!
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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