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The Forgotten Phase of Project Management (Before the Projects Begin)
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During this phase an organization will develop the Project Management Systems to be used on all projects. This phase is on going but starts before the project ever begins.
Best Practice – A documented strategy, experience, approach, process, and/or tactic that has proven to be valuable or effective within an organization and may have applicability to other organizations.
Critical Path – The sequence of activities that must be completed on schedule for the entire project to be completed on schedule. It is the longest duration path through the schedule. If an activity on the critical path is delayed by one day, the entire project will be delayed by one day (unless another activity on the critical path can be accelerated by one day).
Life Cycle – The sequence of phases through which the project will evolve. While project life cycles may use varying terminology, all essentially follow a common generic sequence: Initiation, Planning and Organization, Execution and Control, and Close Out. Life cycle phases typically contain an evaluation and approval point or 'gate' that must be satisfied before the project can progress into later phases.
Milestone – A point in time representing a key or important event during the life of a project. A milestone should be capable of validation by meeting all of the items prescribed in a defining checklist as agreed with the stakeholders. They are also used as high-level snapshots for management to validate the progress of the project. By definition, a milestone is an activity with zero duration.
Objective – A concrete statement describing what the project is trying to achieve. The objective should be written at a low level, so that it can be evaluated at the conclusion of a project to see whether it was achieved or not. A well-worded objective will be Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic and Timebound (SMART).
Policy – A guiding principle designed to influence decisions, actions, etc. Typically a policy designates a required process or procedure within an organization.
Risk – An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project objective. A risk has a cause and, if it occurs, a consequence. Risks include both recurring, scaled, events and non-recurring, one time only, or discrete events.
Step 1: Understand Need For Project Management
History of PM
Step 2: Understand the Internal and External Environment
Go to Chaos Link and Look Around Then Click the Back Button Until You Return Here. The "Storms of Chaos Model" explains our dynamic environment.
Step 3: Understand the Three Major Parts of PM
Every project has three mains goals: cost, schedule, and desired outcome (functionality, performance and/or quality.)
Change any one of these main goals and you symbolically change the shape of the project. Follow the link to see that The Drivers of Change Model illustrates how one change drives other changes within an organization. Go to the Organizational Structure link to see different organizations and the relationships to project management.
Step 4: Understand Where Project Management Fits
Project Management fits into excellent management as a problem solving tool in an excellent manager's tool box. Go to the Mobile of Excellent Management Model to see the seven attributes of excellent management. Then look at the problem solving link. In each case back space to come back here.
Project management requires strong leadership. This link will take you to information on strong Leadership first go to Leadership Page then look for the PowerPoint Show at the or near the top.
Step 5: Understand the Natural Life Cycle Phases of PM
PMBOK Glossary -- A collection of generally sequential project phases whose name and number are determined by the control needs of the organization or organizations involved in the project.
Normal Business Life Cycle
Normal Change Management Life Cycle
Follow the Change Management Link then back space to come back.
Project Management Life Cycles
We like four phased project live cycle plus two.
Here is an example of a easy to remember way to remember the four phases:
AGILE Project Management Link
Step 6: Prepare Your Company and Develop PM Systems
We will learn more about these issues during the next workshops.