article1Muhamad Thasveer Arafath

What is Project Management and Why is it Important?

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Project management is the art of organizing a project by using all your skills, modern tools, past experiences, knowledge and techniques to meet project requirements. It is a teamwork that involves planning and organizing a company’s resources to maintain the high standards required for a project. 

Project management works like an adhesive that binds all the members in one platform and gives them a direction to work effectively on time and without burdening themselves. 

Project management may eat up some of your budgets, but still, why is it needed and why project management is important? Yes, it may eat up some of your budgets, but it will give you a direction, a road map, or it may be called upon as an infrastructure that will help you and your organization to move in a planned direction.

A typical project goes through the following: 

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Closure

Initiation 

The Initiating process group consists of those processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase. The purpose of the Initiating as a process group is to align the stakeholders’ expectations and the project purpose, inform stakeholders of the scope and objectives and discuss how their participation in the project and its associated phases can help to ensure their expectations are met.

Planning 

The Planning consists of those processes that establish the total scope of the effort, define and refine the objectives, and develop the course of action required to attain those objectives. The processes in the planning process group develop the components of the project management plan and the project documents used to carry out the project

Execution 

The Executing process group consists of those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project requirements. This process group involves coordinating resources, managing stakeholder engagement integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan

Closure 

The Closing process group consists of the process(es) performed to formally complete or close a project, phase, or contract. This process group verifies that the defined processes are completed within all of the other process groups to close the project or phase, as appropriate, and formally establishes that the project or project phase is complete

Why is project management important?

Project management is important due to several reasons. Let us touch only on few of the important points here 

Leadership

The project manager plays a critical role in the leadership of a project team in order to achieve the project’s objectives. This role is clearly visible throughout the project. A PMP Certification can help a project manager to lead the projects in the right direction. 

The famous quote by Thomas Carlyle says “A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.” Therefore, a team without proper leadership or project management can move without direction, power, or intention. A leader encourages and helps his or her team members to do their best job. Project management offers leadership and vision, encouragement, roadblock elimination, coaching, and inspiration to the team to do the best work. There is no misunderstanding about who is in charge and in control of something in a project with a project manager in place (especially if you use a RACI chart or other similar tools). A project manager is a servant-leader for the team 

Clear Objectives

Project management ensures that there is a proper plan for the strategic objectives to be executed. Project’s vision is communicated and re-communicated to the team by the project manager to keep the team on track to achieve the objectives. The foresight to take such an approach is also what differentiates good project management from bad project management.

Specific Timeline and Budget 

Project management ensures that proper standards are established around what can be achieved at a specific timeline. Budget projections and project completion schedules are planned in detail or planned in stages based on the level of information available and the development approach which will be adopted for the project delivery (predictive, adaptive or hybrid) 

We all recognize that certain projects will take longer than originally anticipated. A successful project manager will evaluate and align the resources available with the timeframe needed to create a reasonable plan. When scheduling projects, project management matters as it adds objectivity to the schedule. A successful project manager adds transparency to the process and encourages everyone in the team to function with realistic deadlines.

Quality Control

Management of projects is important because it means that everything is produced in high quality and consistently hits the label. Sometimes, projects are underestimated, schedules tightened and procedures hurried without a committed project manager. A bad-quality performance is an outcome since there is no quality assurance/control in place. Dedicated project management ensures that a project not only has the time and money to execute but also the quality is checked and ensured.

Effective project management calls for gated stages in which teams can evaluate efficiency, applicability, and the ROI. It will allow time for the team to review and test the results every step on the way (also depends on the  development approach - predictive, adaptive or hybrid) 

Risk Management 

Risk management is crucial in project management as it ensures risks are managed in the best possible way. The tendency to simply sweep risks under the carpet is not practised in professional project management. Project management provides a robust risk management practice in projects. 

Risks can, of course, be prioritized according to the probability of occurrence and appropriate responses are assigned according to the nature of risks. Risk management is a critical success factor for any project. Some Project Managers use dedicated risk management software for this.

NB: If you are planning to take up a PMP exam soon, be aware of the 2021 PMP Exam Changes 

article1Muhamad Thasveer Arafath

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Muhamad Thasveer Arafath is an engineer with a post-graduation MBA who possesses 20+ years of industry work experience in Project Management. To name a few of his area expertise, he has worked in various multi-million construction/development projects and programs in the UAE concerning project planning, project controls, project advisory/valuations, as a project lead, etc. 

Muhamad is currently a project management consultant and trainer specializing in Project Management Institute (PMI) certifications. He has now completed training for  65+  batches for various PMI certifications, holding an excellent passing rate among his training participants. 

He holds eight certifications from PMI and is an Award winner from the PMI UAE Chapter in 2019/2020 for being the member with the highest number of PMI certifications in UAE. He is certified from PMI in PfMP, PgMP, PMP, RMP, SP, SP, PBA and CAPM. He is also a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Valuers (FIIV).

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