Monday, December 23, 2013

Project Management - the Essence of Business Management

As the business dynamics are changing with the advancement in business tools, technological advancement that aid business, so is the requirement to know more about Project Management or PM to boost one's business.

What is Pm then? Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. This project management aims to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived constraints.

Project management in fact address the rather static business structures, processes and organisation design to conform these to the constantly changing requirements of the customer demands. The PM helps in understanding new technologies, meeting the requirements of new legislation or developing an entirely new product from the existing infrastructre.

A Project Manager also advises the business geeks how to confrorm the structure of their business vis a vis the customer requirements and altogether new products by making modifications and incorportaing new technologies.

How can Project Management help bringing in more business, can be summed as under:
Defining the End State
This may be surprising for for some as why the end state come first rather than defining the goal posts from the beginning  Well a project manager would argue that one must know what the end product really is. As I wrote before, the business structures and designs are rather static and cannot be realigned for each new product.

Having ascertained what final product would be, the entire process planning from start to end is to be road mapped - worked back and redefine the business process to make modifications to make the product.

Working out the Resources Requirement:
Once it has been ascertained how the end product would look like, it would be easier to work out its resources requirement. This would include requirement of specialist staff, financial outlay, project cost and need for additional technical tools. While doing so, additional costs to hire machines, staff and material should not be overlooked.

Project Overlay:
Once the end product has been identified and its special need know, the entire project is laid out from beginning to end and a formal approval is obtained for the project to be implemented smoothly. 

Planning and Scheduling:
Once the project is approved, then the detailed nitty-gritty are planned since these are very critical for the success of the project. While doing so, time and resources for unforeseen eventualities must be catered for so that the project does not bog down half way for something not planned or catered for earlier.

Monitoring the Getting Going:
Once the project gets going, a Project Manager should be the most restless person around. Unless the entire project is kept under nose and full supervision, something may drastically wrong which may not be possible to correct later on.

In fact this is the difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance. A project manager is more concerned with the latter so that if anything goes wrong at any stage, the process can be froozen, controls applied and go ahead given. A wuality control approach may overlook many things in the process and the final product then may not be acceptable to the customer. 

It will be thus seen from the above sequence that a projetc manager is hit against the wall all the time and fighting to break the inertia - the rather static nature of business process and relcutance of people involved to work on a changed framework.

I remember once I made changes to an age old system of work, and the entire staff pressed their feet on the brakes to adapt to the new system. I somehow managed to got them going - it was only after they understood the new strategy of doing things, they found out how much extra they had been working previously with far lesser refinement as they did after changing over to new techniques and mindset.

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