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Project Management: The Short Version

Conduct a comprehensive research review of the significant principles of project management and how to use project management as a discipline to successfully achieve organizational objectives.

Integrate your research with reflections on professional experience where possible.

The following topics must be reviewed in order for the paper to be complete:

1. Project life-cycle management and the benefits of project management to an organization.
2. Project organizations and the importance of leadership and sponsorship
3. Project team building, including techniques of successful team building
4. Techniques for project scope definition and the importance of managing scope throughout a project.
5. Creation of a work breakdown structure, and how and project manager breaks down the overall project into packages.
6. Comment on the need for contingency planning and why it can help keep a project on schedule.
7. Concept of a phase review and why it is important to sponsors.
8. The need for PM software in large integrated programs and the benefits to the overall project management organization.

2,843 words with outlines and guidance for completing a paper, many bullet points, 5 references, strategies for adding personal experiences

Solution Preview

This is NOT a 'turnkey' response. You will need to do what is necessary to meet the paper guidelines that your professor/instructor has set for this assignment.
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So, let's start with a general definition of "project management". Very simply, project management (PM) is just another way to get things done. However, as businesses and technologies have matured, so has the 'science' of PM, in lock-step with the nature and scope of business today - global, distributed, matrixed and virtual. It may be easy to get a single task done between a supervisor and their employee when they both sit in the same building, across the hall from each other. The supervisor asks, the employee delivers. However, the nature of work has changed. It has become global - project team members may be comprised of people on multiple continents and time zones. Work has become distributed - a single, complex task can be broken into smaller pieces and distributed around the world to different people and/or teams on different continents and/or time zones. Work has become matrixed -- project team members may not always 'report' to a project manager, yet they are no less responsible for project deliverables as they for the deliverables assigned to them by their immediate supervisor or manager. Work has, in many cases, become virtual -- I can live in Montana, but 'do work' on a computer in Manhattan, literally; just to cite one example. Because of the nature of these changes, PM has become much more relevant to the way business is conducted today because it resolves many of the challenges that a global, distributed, matrixed, virtual business environment presents.

How does PM manage to do all that, you might ask. PM has developed into a quantifiable, defined, and measured science utilizing PM-specific principles and processes that have become accepted protocol for getting things done. In many cases, for some companies, 'the project' is now the smallest unit of work' - meaning that the complexity of what needs to be accomplished is such that PM is the most efficient method by which work can be done. Individuals are no longer necessarily responsible for 'tasks', but for a complete 'deliverable' (which may be a result of multiple tasks, or a series of tasks which are executed in a particular and specific order). The work of project teams cross functional areas, but they are not managed by functional managers. The project deliverables often require decisions by functional managers, but the benefits may not necessarily accrue directly to the functional manager making the decision. Sound complicated? Yes...and no. Remember: project management is getting things done. Thus PM is people working together to accomplish a specific achievement with a defined set of resources, within a specific timeline. It is this relationship between SCOPE (what will be accomplished), TIME (when the accomplishment must be completed by), and RESOURCES or COST (headcount, budget, facilities, technology, administration, etc) that drives PM. This is often called the PROJECT MANAGEMENT TRIANGLE (or THE TRIPLE CONSTRAINT) -- no adjustment to any one of these three factors may be made without adjusting one of the other factors. We will return to this basic principle later.

PROJECT LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT

Project life cycle management (PLM) attempts to describe the stages through which a project moves - from conception to completion. It has many variants and names, but basically follows a number of basic stages throughout which the main skills utilized are communication, managing of time, scope and resources, and collaboration:
<http://www.autofieldguide.com/articles/120506.html>

-Conceive
This is basically defining or conceiving of what will be accomplished by the project - what will be done. Because of the Triple Constraint, it is extremely important to be very specific about what will be done. Being specific means discovering in advance core project assumptions, major milestones, critical path, major risks, and proposed/desired team members.
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Design
Document and validate major milestones, critical path, develop risk mitigation strategies, identify team members, identify budget requirements. It may be helpful to simulate the project conceptually or graphically to see where the pain points are or in order to validate core assumptions.

-Realize
Based on ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses project management, project management life cycle, critical elements to a successful project and project management tooling (software).

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