To successfully manage a project, you first need to understand what a project really is. After all, if you’re in charge you should have a firm grasp of what you are in charge of. Let’s take a look at some of the six key components of any project:
- A project needs a specific goal. You don’t just get together, do some work, and see what happens. Maybe you do, but that is why project management is needed! Project management is a combination of techniques, procedures, people, and systems focused on the successful completion of a project. It is also a discipline that will support the planning, implementation, tracking, and control of projects.
- A project has a time frame. Projects have a specific and determined beginning and an end, they do not continue endlessly. This is different from an ongoing task that doesn’t have an end date. Projects are run by people and often involve different parts of an organization.
- A project has a final outcome or result. For better or for worse, each project produces specific results.
- A project has a budget and requires resources.Resources may include skilled individuals, reference materials, special equipment, information systems, or other tools of the trade. The project team consists of the full-time and part-time resources assigned to work on the deliverables of the project all of who will help achieve the project objectives.
- A project requires a plan of action defining what needs to be done, when, and by whom.Plans, procedures, schedules, software programs, and various systems for tracking the work that is being done may all be necessary to keep your project on course.
- Projects can be evaluated on their own. Apart from other tasks and chores you may perform at your job or in your daily routine, a project stands on its own to be evaluated by one person or by many people.
As a project manager, you need to put all of the pieces to work together. You are the person who is responsible for get the specific end result. It is up to you, as project manager, to see that the project is completed on time and on budget and achieves the anticipated results.
Successful professional project managers can make a great deal of money by pulling together all of the pieces of the project puzzle for large-scale, often complicated, undertakings. Even if you’re not planning on a career in project management, these skills will be helpful in many aspects of your business and personal life.