Any work process consists of projects, the aim of which is to create an exclusive service or product. Each project has a structure, including a beginning and an end, when the set goals are achieved or it becomes clear that the task cannot be completed. To achieve these goals, specific efforts are made, which come together in project management processes. These encompass active actions related to development and the creation of a specific product or service.
All projects pursue one or a series of goals that are achieved through various means. They are constrained by material and human resources, as well as time frames. Project management is the use of knowledge, professional experience, and skills to achieve the set goal. This term is often confused with another similar term: ‘activity.’ However, activity involves moving towards a set goal, while ‘management’ involves direct intervention in the processes within that activity.
A simple example to explain the difference between these concepts:
‘You are driving a car on the road from your city to the neighboring one. To achieve the result, you need to take certain actions. This is activity. When you saw a pothole on the road, you maneuvered around it. You continue driving, slightly changing direction. This is management, as you actively influenced the process. You see a sign that the road is closed due to repairs. You need to make a decision again: turn back or find another route. This is also process management.’
In other words, management is active intervention in project processes. If a manager does not directly influence processes, it means they are not managing them.
The processes within a project are divided into groups:
These process groups interact continuously. Some happen simultaneously, while others follow each other sequentially. Without knowing how a product is created, setting correct goals is impossible.
Key Characteristics of a Project:
Individual process groups constitute the project’s life cycle. These include:
To understand the essence of project management processes, let’s examine the interactions of these tools and methods in more detail.
Every project starts with an idea. In this phase, there is a single subprocess – authorization or the decision to move on to the next stage. This stage is planning – one of the significant parts of the project, consisting of 24 additional subprocesses, including:
The result of completing the planning phase is the creation of a structured project management plan. This interactive document can be supplemented at any stage.
Execution and control processes involve implementing the developed plan. During project execution, it’s important to regularly monitor and analyze interim results for timely corrections. The following auxiliary technologies are used for management at this level:
The main task of the execution and control phase is to manage and coordinate project activities. It involves documenting requirements and making necessary changes while ensuring that the process stays within the approved budget.
The analysis processes encompass the study of planned indicators, the degree and level of their fulfillment. The key processes of this stage are actions related to the project’s objectives and indicators that characterize its success and effectiveness. These include:
The analysis stage encompasses:
The management processes involve a set of actions that actively influence the course of project implementation. If the project proceeds without deviations, this phase involves communicating tasks to project participants and monitoring their execution. If issues arise during work, changes and adjustments must be made in a timely manner. The management phase includes:
Ancillary processes in the project management phase include:
Concluding processes involve administratively finalizing contracts and signing appropriate documentation. If the client approves the delivered outcome and signs accompanying documents, the project can be considered fully implemented and completed.
The essence of project management lies in applying methods and technologies to execute the aforementioned processes. All of these are applicable across various industries, such as construction, information technology, manufacturing, and others.
There are no identical projects, just as there are no universal methods for their implementation. Therefore, managing them is necessary using appropriate tools: automated programs that visually display all the working processes occurring within the ‘body of the project.’
One such application is LeaderTask – a comprehensive interactive system for managing processes in companies of any size. The planner is convenient for scheduling, assigning tasks to individual employees or structural departments, and allows real-time tracking of staff performance.
By using LeaderTask for project management, it becomes easier to monitor deadline compliance and gather reports on the completion of specific project stages. All necessary data will be within one system, which can be used in offline mode as well, without an internet connection.
The LeaderTask program integrates with GTD, Autofocus, Superfocus, Pomodoro Technique, Do It Tomorrow, and other services. It operates on various platforms including Windows, MacOS, iOS, or Android. It offers a free trial period.
Regardless of the number of team members or project complexity, effective management requires a clear understanding of the desired outcome and timeline. Without this clarity, influencing processes becomes challenging. To achieve this understanding, crafting an action plan is essential.
Initiating project work entails starting with goal formulation and result description. Define the scope of work. Create a list of roles and allocate them among team members. Appoint responsible individuals. Set deadlines for reporting. Progress should be managed with regular oversight of all project stages, enabling timely adjustments as needed. Results and actions should be documented and agreed upon with the client to prevent disputes during project acceptance.
Challenges may arise during project execution:
Financial and Accounting Aspects
Vital to internal analysis of a company’s financial activities is proper accounting. Competent accounting practices facilitate harmonious relations with partners, governmental bodies, and credit organizations. By using management-oriented software aligned with the company’s chosen methodology, success can be achieved in executing projects of any nature and complexity.