Project and Team Management



Project management

Project management is a collection of coordinated activities performed to achieve specific project goals in a defined time. It includes planning and creating schedules, implementation and control of the tasks needed to achieve these goals.

Project – what is it?

Even such simple activity as making breakfast can be called a project, however in practice projects are sometimes more compound. In contrast to process,  project is carried out once, it has got specific start and end date (dates may change of course, in practice it happens very often). Producing part of the goods on the production line definitely does not qualify as a project because it is a repetitive activity, without a planned end date. However we can call a project organizing such a production process, where the project end date would be as well the start date of serial production.

Everyone used to run projects, sometimes even without being aware that this work is a project. Everyone can perform particular actions intuitively and the developed skills in this area are very important. Apart from intuition project managers need substantive preparation which makes the implementation of all tasks related to project management easier.

Project management is the correct application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques in order to meet project requirements. It is also the extensive field of knowledge dealing with ways which reduce the impact of existing limitations and risks, the selection of proper actions, a description of the processes taking place in the project, building the motivation of the project team and creating appropriate communication between  participants.

Project management is knowledge, but it is also an art …

In Poland this field is not  widespread as much as we wish. It would be much more reasonable to entrust projects which are the most important for us, our employer or our country to experts who have got appropriate preparation and predisposition to manage large and important investments.

Below there are elements which support  the management of all projects - small and large:

  • Basics of the project method - the most important information about the project work and characteristics of project actions, which allows to understand what they are and how to deal with them in effective way and how to manage them efficiently from the organizations bosses point of view of.
  • Best Practices of project management - a compendium of knowledge and skills. The Collections of Good Practices consist of detailed practical tips for the project manager  which are related to the performed activities and used techniques . Best Practices include: PMBOK®, IPMA and PCM.
  • Project management methodologies – providing well prepared and tested in many projects operating procedures. The methodologies simplify organizing, planning and implementation of particular projects and help to adjust business processes in the company in such a way that they support the implementation of projects. We can recommend the PRINCE2® methodology here.
  • Tools - improving the implementation of the most important project management activities. Well-selected and well-known tools allow to work effectively with tables, reports, schedules and all other documents, they also improve communication in project team.

Agile is an advanced management approach. It may relate to any aspect of management, starting from teams through projects to programmes and portfolios. Agile may deal with small team management but also may help delivering a project in traditional corporate governance. 

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Projects can be managed intuitively, using common sense and logical thinking. In this way most people can handle smaller scale projects. Yet, not uncommonly they end up ‘reinventing’ the wheel’, through trial and error reaching solutions that have already been worked out – and what’s important – that have been published. These tried and tested methods are called Best Practices. They’re described in many publications, and cover techniques most often used during project management, considered to be useful and validated by generations of project managers.

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FACILITATION is a way (which can also be a lot of fun) to achieve serious results by uniting the people around solving a problem that is significant for them. In this process the person called the Facilitator increases the efficiency of group’s work (by introduction of appropriate process) and introduces an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation. As a result of the Facilitator’s activity we obtain better quality of decisions and solutions, in a shorter period of time, and all that in a friendly and inspiring atmosphere.

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The methodology of PRINCE2 is an excellent platform for delivering projects in businesses and organizations of any size and trade. In a methodical way, it organizes the way a project is planned, implemented, closed and the results evaluated.
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Scrum is currently the most popular Framework in the family of Agile methods.

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