4 steps to successful project

What is the project? Will we need the ability to organize it in everyday life? For these and other questions interns of Klitschko Foundation sought an answer on the training "Basics of Project Management", held by Elena Berdnikov, head coach and consultant at CBSD/Thunderbird in Ukraine. Interns had "refreshed" theory and right on the training started to develop plans of the foundation`s projects.

Is it project or not?

First of all, let’s divide the terms of project and general system activity. The project is a temporary action, meant for creation of unique products, services or results. Each project has an ending - the result, which will be visible to everyone, unlike behind-the-scenes preparatory activity. Besides, the final product has to differ from other similar ones. Right then the result has the right to be called a project and will have a value.

Each project has three constraints - budget, time and quality that guides it. If it went beyond at least one limit, it would drag another down as well. That is why the project is considered to be successful if it is completed on assigned time, within the budget framework and which satisfy the expectations and bring value in the short/long term perspective (meet strategic goals of organization).

Project environment

No projects appear out of nowhere. It is the people’s and the result of their communication. In Project Management these people are called stakeholders (interested parties). External (clients, partners, sponsors, competitors) and internal (contractors, managers, organization workers) stakeholders have direct or indirect relation to the project. Your project will be as successful as successful will be the relationships with interested parties.

The chief manager of the project plays a great role in forming the relationships with stakeholders and successful realization of the project. Its responsibilities are:

  • implementation of the plan
  • organization and team training
  • distribution of responsibilities, communication with stakeholders
  • team management
  • assessment of projects progress due to plan
  • assessment of the project quality due to scheduled plan

The lifespan of the project. How it begins and where is the end?

STAGE 1. INITIATION

Even the name “lifespan” gives you an analogy with something natural and daily. Each project, it can be a birthday party, divided into phases. Period, when the decision “to do or not to do” is being made called “Initiation”. At this stage, the analysis of feasibility and usefulness is being performed. In the case of positive results, the next steps will be team selection and presentation and confirmation of future project. Also, it is the time when the statute (passport) of the project is created; it gives a manager to engage organization’s resources into the operations of the project.

The key points of a statute are:

  • the problem (or possibility), which decides the project
  • the goal of the project
  • solving proposals
  • analysis of alternatives
  • the connection of proposed solution with strategic goals
  • major results and criteria of success
  • major risks and restrictions
  • connection with other projects
  • main stages and duration
  • budget

Each element of the statute is an important component. But one of the most complicated ones is the goal. It is formulated by the SMART principle: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result Oriented, Time-Bound.

STAGE 2. PLANNING

Having formed an SMART-goal and other components of the statute, transfer to a stage “Planning” is being made. It is the planning of work capacity, including work organization with an assistance of Work Breakdown Structure, duration, worth, quality and human resources planning, because the project needs a trained, organized and motivated team. There are nuances, which seems no need to plan and there are a few people who manages it, but it is a misconception. For example, the risks are needed to be included in the plan, assess their probability and impact, and also to provide preventive measures. The communication also needed to be planned, because it is the 90% of project management, but somehow it stays unfairly underappreciated.

STAGE 3. IMPLEMENTATION

You can pass to the “Implementation” phase after you strictly and detailed planned everything. It is the climax point of the project activity - manufacture of clothes collection, wedding day, friends birthday, book presentation etc.

STAGE 4. ENDING

Phase “Ending” is the last stage of the project lifecycle, which consists of monitoring and control. At this stage, you need only to

  • confirm a project’s end, after ensuring that its capacity and tasks are completed and the ‘product’ has been created
  • make notes (to record everything that can help in following projects)
  • conduct work with stakeholders (sign an act, receive a confirmation of project end, express the gratitude and hold a banquet)

The right and qualitative performance of all stages are subject to painstaking work and large capacity of work, also written one. But these efforts will not be useless. Thanks to them your project will be handled carefully as the Force Majeure would be planned.

I think after reading this article I think you understand that Project Management more or less is present and needed even in a daily life of an average person. A professional approach will facilitate successful implementation of your plan. Organize it rightly! :)