Project management is a set of activities, tools and methodologies allowing a project manager to achieve specific objectives.
Yes, it's fine...and after ?
As a publisher of project monitoring software, JOUROFF will try to answer this question based on the experiences of its different customers.
More concretely, according to the contexts of activity the objectives of a project are measured differently...
As much for an IT project, the key word is "deadline"...It is clear that project management applies in several areas of activity.
In this context, it is difficult to rule on a definition without being elusive.
Very often, the result of a project is measured by customer satisfaction...This satisfaction can be based on one or more criteria at the same time,
of type: is the result in line with the specifications? were deadlines met? or simply...regardless of the deadline, was the budget respected ?
These are all criteria that oppose each other, depending on the context of activity.
This brings us to establish two main axes in the field of project management.
(1) On the one hand, project management focused on task delegation and meeting deadlines.
(2) On the other, workload management ... ie, workload management, time spent on projects, and budget monitoring.
This last part most often concerns project managers (steering).
You should first determine your project management context :
♦ Deadlines ?
♦ Workload ?
♦ Budget monitoring ?
The relevance of the following keywords, brought back to your business context, can help clear the ground :
º Deadlines : costing, milestones, status of tasks, progress, delivery date or deadline...
º Workload : load plan or forecast load, reporting time spent or consumed, more to do...
º Budget monitoring : billing rate, salary rate, forecast budget, real cost, budget variances, turnover, margin.
For example, the fact of indicating that the delivery is in 15 days, determines the deadline...But the fact of working every day, or every other day, makes it possible to determine the workload on the project.
Therefore, in terms of project monitoring, the methodology is not the same.
Finally behind the term Project Management, the field of possibilities is very wide, and it depends on several factors :
♦ The company's field of activity
♦ The role of the project manager, because a CFO does not expect to produce the same indicators as an IT project manager
♦ The nature of the contract with the client, because there are projects billed on time, without necessarily worrying about deadlines.
One of the essential steps in project management is the distribution of tasks.
Simply, we will not immediately be interested in the people intended to carry out the tasks, but the project manager will first, analyze the specifications, then engage in a question / answer phase with the management or the end customer.
The goal is to remove certain inaccuracies.
This step allows the project manager to analyze the functional perimeter, measure its strengths and weaknesses, assess the costing and finally, define and distribute tasks.
It is strongly recommended to associate the collaborators (future participants in the project) to the pre-launch exchanges...the collaborators, very often experts in their field, can contribute to the costing, or even detect certain inconsistencies in order to ensure the good progress of the project.
Each task carries decisive information on the health of the project. This is to highlight :
♦ the start and end date
♦ dependency with other tasks
♦ the affected resource
♦ the status of the task (not started, in progress, finished)
For this type of activity, you can use a Gantt Chart tool or set up a project planning and monitoring board.
Workload management is undoubtedly the least simple concept to grasp, because it is at the crossroads of several challenges.
Depending on the case, the project manager will favor the approach :
♦ Working time management
Indeed, through project management, some companies must integrate the monitoring of working time.
In this context, the time charged on the projects must highlight the HR indicators, in terms of weekly working hours, holidays, recovery days, etc.
♦ Time reporting by project or by client
This time aspect by project implies the implementation of project monitoring indicators of the type :
º Estimated load
º Still to be done
º Advancement rate
However, to materialize the differences, you can use an additional remeasurement indicator.
For example :
Estimated load = 100-day
Consumed = 80-day
Remaining / theoretical = 20-day
Still to be done / re-evaluated = 0 => allows a 20-day advance on the project to materialize.
Conversely, the rest to be done can be reassessed upwards to materialize a delay.
♦ Load plan
The load plan consists in defining the forecast load assigned to each resource.
Depending on the case, it may be a question of establishing the allocation graph of the load to be consumed by project, by collaborator or by crossing the two resources (project / collaborator).
♦ Capacity planning
Also called capacity management...The Capacity Planning makes it possible to highlight the capacity to consume a workload compared to the available resources.
Very often, project management is correlated with budget monitoring...This involves measuring the real cost of the project, especially since 30% of projects do not meet deadlines, and this inevitably impacts the cost of the project.
The smallest unit of a project being the task, in a context of project budget monitoring, it must be considered that each person who performs a task must indicate the time spent.
At the same time, the salary rate per employee should be defined so as to index it to the time spent.
Some projects have complex structures and require much more advanced budget monitoring indicators, such as: Provisional budget, Balance budget, billing in direct or flat-rate mode.
In this context, it is recommended to use an appropriate tool such as project management software integrating budget monitoring.