When a company undertakes a responsibility to finish a product or complete a job with a specific deadline and budget, it can be called a project. But projects generally have complex specifications, a vast process, and diverse structure.
It is not easy to manage a project with all its components satisfactorily. There can always be a chance of having contract issues, an unstable budget, or an ineffective team. And all these may lead to chaos and disorganization. Even the environment of the company can be not productive, and even become toxic if not handled carefully.
You need a proper structure and method to follow if you want to complete the project successfully. That is why project management processes are gaining so much popularity nowadays.
» What are project management processes?
The projects can have different backgrounds undoubtedly, diversity of pain points, and requirements. It is not possible to make a one-size-fits-all structure. So the specialists have come up with general Project management processes that can be applied by all the industrial projects no matter the size, timeline, or other requirements are.
This is consists of 5 project management process groups. Each group has some set of unit processes. The whole structure is needed to follow strictly so the entire project can stay on track and give out the result as expected.
The 5 phases of the project management process steps are:
Project management processes
Though these five recognized project management process groups are suitable for every project, the requirements, structure, scope, and other factors vary every time, similarly, the projects have numerous small tasks. These project management steps have a bunch of small parts, and the coordination and tracking of each of them can be easy. Here are the details of the said project management phases:
The first step of all the project life cycle 5 phases is to plan the project and check how much value the project can add to the company by calculating the Return of Investment (ROI). This step is presented before the stockholders and sponsors to finalize the project. This step can primarily whether the project is approved or rejected.
This phase determined two objects:
a. Business Value
• Value: Can this project increase the value of the company?
• Need: Why the company must take the project up?
• Benefit: Will it gain enough interest financially?
• Objectives: What will be the ultimate goal to achieve through this project?
• Time: How much time will be needed to complete the project?
• Budget: How much cost does the company have to bear? Will that be feasible considering the expected ROI?
• Resources: What kind of resources will be required? What is the expected amount?
If the initial step cannot determine the approval of a project, this step solves the query for the company. Planning has to be finalized before the starting of every project lucidly, so the project does not get disturbed in the middle, and they determine the use of the project management processes and techniques to have a probable solution if any problem is to arise. This step is about brainstorming a detailed answer to the following queries-
a. Scope of work
This point includes a written statement of how the project can perform for the company. This step evaluates:
• What is the objective of the project?
• What deliverables are expected by the end of the term?
• What that company will gain from it?
This step evaluates mostly the deliverables. These are categorized in different sections according to their sizes and define the exact expectation of each of them. Again, these deliverables consist of these small tasks.
c. Risk factor
This one is a precautionary step to maintain the project management process flow. It decides -
• What are the problems that can occur during the project?
• How the problems will impact the project in terms of quality and lime lag?
• How can the company deal with the problems?
• What strategy the team can follow when a problem arises and what steps it can take to prevent them?
Scheduling is about fixing the timeline. An ultimate deadline for the entire project is determined, and the divided parts are also allotted some probable dates. The team also estimates how certain problems can cause delays, and by how much?
This step is crucial to maintain the fruitfulness of the project. It dwells upon-
• What is the standard quality mark that is to ensure?
• Which steps can the team take up to ensure it?
Cost is a crucial factor regardless of what the company is. It estimates a budget and plans the resources.
For the entire project to run with ease, the feedback process must be effective. This step ensures there are several reporting points, and each of the tasks can be reported duly to avoid delay.
This step is about selecting a probable project team and dividing the roles and responsibilities.
How often and in which way the small parts of the project team will communicate among themselves, and who will attend these meetings is also to be pre-determined.
The procurement step mainly deals with resources. This step plans out-
• How the company arranges the materials?
• What are the factors the company needs to outsource and depend on external factors?
• Do they need the help of an external company or professional?
• How to make the contracts in these cases?
In the execution step, the project starts taking place. The company completes the tasks, and the deliverables come into existence step by step.
a. Execution of the procurement: This step comes before the company starts working on the project.
b. Management: It ensures the project stays on track and the problems of the employees and other issues can be duly solved.
Controlling can be perceived as a feedback process of the project management steps. It takes place simultaneously with the execution step, and several documentation and reports are to be created and maintained during this step. The team uses several project life cycle tools in this step.
This one keeps in check -
1. The scope: Monitor whether the working progress meets the objective of the project.
2. Overall quality: Evaluate and maintain the quality of each task.
3. Scheduling: Watching over whether there are any delays and blocks and how it can impact the deadline.
4. Budget: Is there any change required in the initial costing estimate?
5. Risk factors: What are the important issues occurring that may need extra attention from the authority?
The above two steps continue iteration till the project team completes the project and achieve the deliverables. But during the finishing of every project, companies have to take some steps to evaluate using the project management tools and reflect on the terms, and dealing with the ongoing deals. This step also has two subparts:
a. Administrative: Take care if any materials are left unused and close the ongoing contracts with the suppliers, external vendors, and consultants.
b. Reporting: The project team presents a final report to the sponsors and stakeholders to make sure all the aspects of the project have duly covered. This step also ensures the procedure of maintaining the end product and calculates the final ROI to determine how successful the project has been.
Project Management Software
The software used during the project nowadays can reduce human involvement and probability or any errors by improving the speed and productivity overall. You can find a list of project management software here.
In this fast-moving and automated world, the project management process is essential for the overall maintenance of a project. A project can have a traditional and sequential method like the waterfall method, agile project management method, or even the most versatile process-based method. But these project management phases are essential for all types of projects. The project management process steps can vary from time to time, or even the processes can evolve as time progresses, but the structure is highly valuable nonetheless.