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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Project Management

For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s website:

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

Why Project Management?

  • It is a system for managing tasks, resources and costs efficiently.
  • Improves communication and coordination.
  • Reduces overall amount of time managing projects.
  • Avoids chaos, budget and schedule going haywire.

  • Project management is the management of running a project keeping scope, schedule and resources in balance.
  • Scope is the range of tasks required.
  • Schedule indicates the time and sequence of each task and total project duration.
  • Resources are people and/or equipment that perform or facilitate project tasks with associated costs.

Project Management Steps

Step1: Project Definition

  • Scope: Goals, major tasks and how many tasks are required to accomplish the goals?
  • Resources: in particular people and equipment- determine requirement. Find availability.
  • Schedule’s limit: project’s milestones and deadlines.

Step 2: Project Plan

  • It defines scope, resources and schedule in one place. It is the heart of project management.
  • Identify all project tasks and who or what will do them.
  • Get work and time estimates for tasks.
  • Determine task dependencies.
  • Identify task and project constraints. For example, you might want a task to begin on a specific date.

Step 3: Tracking

  • Track project progress, comparing actual data to original estimates.
  • Review resource, scope and schedule factors to balance project priorities.
  • Identify problems that could take the project off schedule.
  • Analyze resource requirements throughout the project.
  • Make mid-course corrections/changes that will help to reach project goals sooner.

Step 4: Project Close

  • Compare original plan to actual course of project events.
  • Analyze problems and identify areas for future improvement.
  • Archive the project file.

Set Clear Goals, Scope and Assumptions

  • Goals: Must be precise.
  • Scope: Combination of all project goals plus the work required to accomplish those goals.
  • Assumptions: Best guesses as to how various relevant factors are likely to affect the duration and cost of task and project.

Tasks, Phases and Milestones

  • Task: is a concrete step that is required to meet a project goal. Must be right size, neither too big nor too small. Should move the project forward measurably. A task must be significant.
  • Phase: consists of a group of related tasks. A phase represents a major step in the project.
  • Milestone: Most of the tasks in a phase represent actions that must be done. Milestone is a task that require no actual work. It is an interim goal to track the progress of your project.

Task List: Core of Project

  • List our all the tasks that are required to complete the project.
  • Build in phases and milestones.
  • Estimate the task length i.e. duration of a task depending on your and others' experience and based on past records.

Critical Tasks

  • When you want to find the total duration of the project or you wish to shorten your project schedule, begin by examining the project’s critical tasks, the tasks that must finish on time for the entire project to finish on time. The project plan’s critical path is the sequence of tasks that ends on the latest finish date. The finish date of the last task in the critical path is the project finish date.
  • By default, a critical task has zero total slack (or float) time. Slack is the amount of time a task can slip before it delays the project finish date. If any critical task slips, the project finish date is likely to slip also.

Linking the Tasks

  • Identify the tasks which are dependent on other. also, identify the tasks that can run parallel with other task.
  • Determine the best sequence for your tasks to create dependencies.
  • A task which must start/finish before another task can begin is called a predecessor task.
  • A task which depends on the start/finish of a preceding task called a successor task.

With this information, the project activity or task network called PERT or CPM can be drawn. By assigning duration to each task or activity on the network chart and by finding out the slacks, the critical path of the project can be traced out. The total duration of the critical path is the total project duration. The activities on the critical path are critical activities with zero slack and they can not be delayed if the project has to go on schedule.

In order to complete the project on time, one must keep a strict eye on the completion of the critical tasks/activities as scheduled.

Tracking and Updating the Schedule

By tracking progress one can

  • Keep the project up to date with actual data.
  • Compare planned data to actual data to help to identify and solve problems.
  • Produce status reports for management and project participants.
  • Maintain historical data to help you plan future projects more accurately.

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


Also refer: (Prodcons Group)
(Training Programs by Prodcons Group)
(Productivity Consultants)

Other Topics of Interest

All Management Topics (General Management, Marketing and Sales, Service, Operations/Manufacturing, Quality, Maintenance, Human Resources, Finance and Accounts, Information Technology, Life Management)

The topics are listed in alphabetic order:

(Home Pages for All the Management Topics) and
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(Balanced Scorecard)
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(Books- Best Management Books)
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(Career Planning within Organizations)
(Case Method)
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(CEO Roles, Qualities and Competencies)
(Change Management)
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(Competency Matrix)
(Conflict Management)
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(Exit Interview)
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(Time Management)
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(Training and Development)
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(Transaction Analysis- TA)
(TRIZ- Inventive Problem Solving)
(Value Engineering/Analysis)
(Winners and Losers)
(Work Study: Method Study and Work Measurement)
(Work Methods or Practices: Efficient)
(World Class Manufacturing)
(Writings of Shyam Bhatawdekar on Management)
(Written Communication)
(Zero Based Budgeting)

Counseling: General and Psychological
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(Family Counseling)
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(LifeManagement: Competencies)
(Life Management: Effectiveness Management: HSoftware)
(Life management: I Am Liberated)
(Marriage Counseling)
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