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Friday, April 22, 2005

Project Management Basics

To improve your project management results you need to look back over your organization's project management successes and failures. In doing so patterns or trends will emerge that will help you pinpoint areas for improvement. Research in the area of project management has shown the following simple steps can lead to radical improvements in your project management results.

Here are some ideas:

When starting a project a core team of competent, motivated people must be assigned as early as possible to the project and kept on the project until the end.

The project manager is held responsible for managing the success of the team and for motivating and monitoring the team's performance.

The project manager position needs to be a full-time position with documented job responsibilities.

The organization must ensure that the project manager is held responsible for the success or failure of the project.

The project sponsor's organization and/or the end user group(s) are responsible for defining the specifications of the project's product. This is not a project manager's responsibility, however the project manager works to coordinate these activities.

A project plan (word document) needs to be developed with the cooperation of the core team.
Developing the project plan is the responsibility of the team, not just the project manager.

A lessons learned/project close-out meeting needs to be held at the end of every project to determine if the project objectives were met and to identify project management process improvements for future projects.

A communications plan must be developed for the project, and kept up-to-date.

There are many other items we could add to this list, but the ones listed here are vital if an organization wants to have any success at managing projects.

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