A project’s main characteristic is its unique objective. It differs from day-to-day business which is characterized by routine and recurring processes. Clients and project managers alike should be aware of this. A project manager works on different terms than a senior staff member. The above mentioned difference also implies that a project manager can’t always rely on pre-determined processes, documentations, or procedures all staff members are familiar with. Sometimes, using those established staff-relevant procedures raise the costs of a project. Before starting a project, evaluate which of the established processes are recyclable and which have to be built from scratch. Following that line of thought, a project manager has to be flexible as well as pragmatic. One aspect of a project manager’s job is to determine methods, processes, tools, and structures to realize a given project. Those decisions usually are made at the beginning of a project. They should be adjustable according to the increasing insight into a growing project. A project manager pragmatically calculates the available means in line with size and requirements of the project, adhering to all parameters.
A Project’s three fundamental Energies
Three main energies are at work in a project. They don’t always pull in the same direction.
- The client: The client determines a project’s business case. The business case is a measurable benefit that should be specified beforehand and never be lost track of. Should it disappear at any time, a project’s objectives should be changed. In the worst case, a project should be given up. One of the project manager’s obligations is to keep the client informed at all times. Determine beforehand how this briefing should work: a brief report or meetings on a regular basis. Those meetings should be used to inform the client only about important upcoming decisions. The client needs alternatives and suggestions to make decisions. On that basis, the client can entrust the project to the project manager.
- The user: User interests?particularly with IT projects?don’t always correspond to those of a client. It is essential to develop a solution that will be utilized and enlivened by the user. Following that idea, it should be obvious to integrate the user before starting the project. You won’t always get the optimal solution but at least one the user wants to utilize. The client gets a solution optimized to a degree of approximately 90%. If asked, users are bound to mention an application’s exceptions and fringes occurring during their day-to-day routine at first. If an application does its job well, as usual, the smooth running routine goes unnoticed. Another task of the project manager is to reduce a user’s subjective priorities to a balanced degree and to point out the standard case. Embedding the future user will be an elemental objective of many project processes.
- The team: A team can’t realize tasks ignoring the client’s objectives or the user’s needs. The project manager has to clear obstacles and keep the team moving, updating it about objectives and needs. A project manager’s task is to involve specialists to find solutions and to externally represent all achievements.
It’ll be essential for a successful project to focus all of those energies on one objective. A project manager always should keep those three pulling forces in mind.
To achieve a project’s goal is to plan prudently and proceed according to that plan. If you can’t put the plan to practice, sooner or later you’ll be bound to merely react to incidents. But then, you can’t rely solely on a systematical line of action. There are always risks, malfunctions, or alterations to the specifications. A project manager is aware of processes being in a state of flux. It would be wise to arrange a change incident procedure in cooperation with the client before starting a project. Important questions to be settled are: How are these changes absorbed? If taken into consideration, in which way can a deviation be calculated? Who decides which project alterations will be implemented?
Mishaps are bound to happen. It would be prudent to always have at least two solutions: a fast one and a lasting one. If a plan only features a fast solution, a product’s lifespan could be afflicted with a lingering maintenance problem, raising costs or preventing future enhancements.
Project Managers and Quality
A project manager is the one who determines a project’s quality and defines the structural and analytic quality control (QC). Over the course of a project, a project manager breathes life into quality and QC. At the start of a project, the manager has to devise the necessary quality standards together with the client. It’s of great importance to closely adhere to those standards which include the favored documentation process, maintainability, and c
A project manager also has to install checkpoints. Checkpoints are necessary to keep the client informed and are useful to re-calculate possible improvements.
The main tasks of a project manager are to tap a team’s full potential and to maintain a client’s confidence in the project’s development.
Maybe the project manager has contributed only a little to a project’s effective output but rather was the lubricant keeping the engine running smoothly.