Project Management Processes: Something New for Majority of Project Manager
Process is a very important task to furnish a work. A lot of project managers do not even bother to know – what is a process? As per
PMBOK®, Process is an inter-related task that is necessary to complete an activity. So, there is a possibility of implementing different processes for the same activity. It is very interesting and differs from one project manager to another. Together it is known as project governance. Do you know that project governance decides how good a project manager you are? How sharply you make project decisions? A work could be furnished with five processes in seven days and the same work could be completed in five days with three or four processes. It depends upon the project manager how they pick the processes to complete their tasks.
As per the Deming cycle, you know that there are four processes (P – D – C – A) and this cycle is the basis of handling or executing several projects. So, what do these four letters signify? These four letters stand for:
- P – Plan
- D – Do
- C – Check
- A – Act
First, you need to plan your project before you begin working on the project. The next process is to check your work and if any change is noticed in the project, you need to act on those changes and implement those in the execution stage. PMI® emphasizes on the same processes by adding a few processes and making it more elaborate on the whole. As per PMI®, there are five project management process groups through which each and every project should pass. Below mentioned are those five process groups:
Initiation Process Group: As per PMBOK®, the first process to start a project is initiation. What does it means? How is it important for a project manager? Look, initiation stage is the basis for your project’s success. As a project manager you need to know the actual work associated with this stage. In general, two knowledge areas are covered in this stage. They are integration and communication.
Whenever a project is launched or taken up by an organization it must go through the initiation stage. During integration, you need to develop the project charter document. As you know, project charter is a document that defines high-level project information such as project product description, high-level scope information, high-level budget, high-level schedule information, project acceptance criteria, high-level risk information and many more. All the above information need to be drafted in a neat and clean way before going for the next stage, which is planning.
The second task in the initiation stage is identifying all your stakeholders, which you do in communication knowledge area. It is very imperative for a project manager to know the names of the stakeholders and their roles and influences in the project so that a project manager can take the views of all the stakeholders in order to make the project a huge success. Furthermore, this is also important to identify the names of all the stakeholders as you need to involve them in the planning stage.
Planning Process Group: It is an important stage for a project manager. This stage is so important that it decides the fate of your project. A project manager should allocate more time for this stage as it could take a lot of time. Planning is impacted at each and every knowledge area. A project manager plan is an altogether plan from each knowledge area (subsidiary plans) that triggered in a single place. Initially, as you will have limited information on the project, you would have planned based on the information in hand and gradually as work progresses, you might notice a lot of new things, consequently planning should be changed iteratively. That’s why planning is iterative in nature and progressively elaborated.
Execution Process Group: Based on the project planning, you need to start working on the project accordingly. Take care - there should not be any deviation in the work. It should exactly be carried out in the way as chalked out in the planning stage. While working, you should wisely control the changes taking place in the project. There are chances that, a lot of stakeholders might want some pointless changes in the project. As a project manager, you should think several times before implementing such changes. You should also try and convince such stakeholders by stating that, the suggested changes are out of the work scope and it might hamper the cost and schedule baselines if implemented. Work very closely with the change request board so that you can manage the project in the right way. Documentation is an asset that you should handsomely utilize in this stage.
Monitoring Process Group: Though serially it is fourth process group as per PMI® PMBOK®, it begins from the stage of initiation. As a project manager, you need to monitor the project right from the stage of inception. You need to monitor all the project baselines such as scope baselines, schedule baselines and cost performance baselines. As a project manager your main responsibility is to balance and manage the project baselines. If you are doing it effectively, you are doing an excellent job in the project. You should monitor and control scope, cost, schedule, quality and more while balancing the actual project requirements. And doing so you need to manage and monitor the expectations of all your stakeholders as well. You need to provide project progress report, forecasting report and trend status report to all concerned stakeholders.
Closing Process Group: If your customer has accepted the output and signed on it, your project is completed. You need to archive all the pertinent information of the project on a single platform with the help of other stakeholders so that the same can become a database for future projects. You need to release the resources as well after the project objectives are met. A big thing you need to accomplish is a milestone party with all the stakeholders possibly with your customer to celebrate the project success together.
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