Project managers are responsible for the completion of projects during a given time period ad with limited resources. Projects are temporary endeavors creating a unique product, service, or result. The work may be tangible as in a construction project with a new building as the result. Other projects create value through less tangible outcomes by creating software code or other services.
The 5th edition of the PMBOK™ (Project Management Body of Knowledge) identifies ten (10) knowledge areas that help a project or engineering manager ensure that all aspects of a project are covered. Proficiency in each of these areas can make the difference between a smoothly run project and one in which change and chaos rule.
1. Stakeholder Management
Stakeholders are all parties with a vested interest in the project. They may positively support the product, service, or result of the project or they may actively oppose the effort. Regardless, a project manager should have a plan in place to understand all stakeholder needs and how to best communicate with them on a regular basis.
2. Project Scope Management
The scope of a project explains what work needs to be done and why. Much of the upfront planning work of a project focuses on the development and understanding of the project scope. A key artifact, called the work breakdown structure (WBS), decomposes the high level expectations of the project (scope) into smaller, more manageable work tasks. The WBS includes all of the work, and only the work, of the project.
3. Project Time Management
Sometimes, the schedule of a project is the most important element of success. Delivering a product on-time to meet a narrow market window is crucial to success for innovation and new product development projects, for instance. In other cases, when a project misses deadlines, there are contractual or financial penalties.
Project Time Management translates the WBS or scope of work into a reasonable schedule of work. The schedule will take into account resource availability, capacity, and capability. Time or schedule trade-offs often must be balanced again budgetary concerns.
4. Project Cost Management
Even internal projects have a cost associated with them. Project resources may be assigned to one project over another, so an opportunity cost is naturally incurred by choosing a specific project. Moreover, the cost of a project must be measured against its expected benefits.
Getting the costs right is one of the biggest challenges for project, product, and engineering managers. Check out our course on Cost Estimating at www.Simple-PDH.com to learn more and earn two (2) professional development units (PDUs).
5. Human Resource Management
No project work is done without humans doing the work. Most projects require a set of skilled and talented knowledge workers to design and develop the systems and sub-systems required of a project. Laborers and tradespeople are necessary to build and manufacture the tangible outputs of a project. Project Human Resources Management encompasses the tools and techniques that a project manager can use to assemble, train, and manage a project team throughout the execution of a project.
6. Communications Management
Managing stakeholders and team members requires a set of communication tools to effectively balance project work and convey project status or needs. Communications management includes an analysis of who needs what information when and how often. Managing communications for a project is a key responsibility for the project manager and s/he needs to be aware of the different styles and types of communication that will effectively express the right messages at the right time.
7. Risk Management
Project work always involves some degree of risk or uncertainty. Understanding risk triggers and potential responses is an upfront planning activity for the project team. Yet, risk management is also required throughout the life of a project as uncertainties become specific events and as other risks pass without occurrence. Project managers should develop a flexible risk management plan that is supported by the project schedule and cost management plans.
8. Quality Management
No project can be deemed complete if it does not meet the requirements of the customer or client. Quality Management is integrated throughout the project. A high quality project plan can lead to better results. Mastering quality during construction or implementation leads to a satisfied customer. There are seven traditional quality tools to help project, product, and engineering managers plan, design, and execute effective and efficient projects to deliver quality results.
9. Procurement Management
In today’s complex world, no project is self-contained. We must procure equipment, parts, and services in order to complete the work. Procurement management interfaces with all other project management knowledge areas to describe what and how vendors are selected, which sub-systems they will provide, and how much the procured products or services will cost. Procurement includes managing a variety of contracts and agreements.
10. Integration Management
Perhaps the most important knowledge area in project management is Project Integration Management. This is the place where all project management plans and limited resources come together. The project manager coordinates work across the many functions and teams through Project Integration Management. The project manager also makes decisions for project changes within project integration management by evaluating the impact on each arena of the project, especially focusing on the scope, time, and cost of the project. A successful project requires successful integration and synthesis across all knowledge areas and activities of the project.
Project Management Knowledge
To learn more about the project management framework, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free course on Project Management Professional fundamentals. (Please put “Free PMP Demo” in the subject line.) To learn more about project and product management activities, please join us for a PMP Boot Camp or NPDP Workshop. You may also be interested in quick refresher course to earn PDUs or PDHs. It’s quick and affordable.
Every course at www.simple-pdh.com includes study guides, videos, practice tests, and expert instruction. It’s simple to study, earn, and learn! Understanding and applying the ten (10) knowledge areas is a must for successful project planning and execution. Good luck in your project adventures!
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