Project management requires the application of considerable knowledge, skills, techniques and tools.
Running a project is quite a complicated task and the right balance between numerous tasks, departments and processes must be maintained in order to meet the project requirements and objectives.
The project manager must consider the organizational structures and enterprise environmental factors affecting project management, as they influence the management process by establishing the framework in which the project must be carried out and by defining the limits and relations that should be considered for correct completion of the project.
Project management tasks are generally divided into five stages or groups:
• Project Start
• Project Planning
• Project Execution
• Project Oversight and Control
• Project Close
Although these are the most accepted divisions, it should be realized that these processes overlap, are iterative and of an inclusive nature.
For example, Project Oversight and Control is equivalent to the set of “background” tasks for all the other stages as they are tied to the outputs generated when closing the project. These processes may also be established for major stages of the project, being repeated for each one.
Project management tasks can also be classified into two types:
• Project management processes: guaranteeing that the project moves forward effectively. The techniques and tools are used by applying skills from the Knowledge Departments.
• Product-focused processes: in which the project’s product is progressively specified and produced. They are defined by the project life cycle and vary according to the area of application and the stage of the life cycle they happen to be in.
Project management processes interact and provide feedback to one another throughout the project life cycle. They are rarely one-off or isolated incidents because the activities developed by each one of the groups tend to overlap and interact with one another. The conclusion of one process normally leads to the start of another or one of the project deliverables, subprojects or project stages.
Further analysis of all these processes will be made in the upcoming entries.