The July edition of PM Network, the monthly magazine from the Project Management Institute, ran a feature on the importance of project management on small projects. When you are building an airport, putting a man on the moon or constructing a nuclear reactor the need for planning and organization are clear. What this article points out is that the consequences of not properly managing a three month project can be just as disastrous for the organization.
What is Project Management? It is the distillation of the scars and bruises from thousands of endeavors into a model of good planning and follow up. The principles are self-evident. The discipline of applying the principles consistently is priceless. Here’s a quick summary:
- Schedule Management – putting everything on a calendar
- Team Management – marshaling your human resources
- Communications Management – keeping everyone informed
- Quality Management – assessing the output
- Risk Management – planning for what could go wrong
- Change Management – not letting the size of the project get out of control
A good summary of Project Management principals is on the Human Resources and Social Development Canada website.
In my field of accounting software implementation, there is a tendency to describe experienced implementers as project managers, whether they have project management training or not. I will be forever grateful to the former IBM consultant who took me aside on a project and said, “If you want to be a real project manager, take the courses from the Project Management Institute.”