Project Management Structure
One thing I learned the hard way in my first years as a project manager was that, if you want to be successful, you need to start with basics, like project management structure and the process groups it includes. Here is a summary you may find useful for effective project management.
Each of these process groups covers specific tasks you should perform for the successful planning and execution of your project. They also outline the set of competencies you will need in order to make the most out of the available project resources.
The 5 Project Management Process Groups
1. Project Initiating
The initiating process involves all the activities, processes and skills needed to envision your project. It includes, among others: the formal authorization of the project by its sponsors, the definition of its initial scope, the identification of stakeholders to be managed and controlled in a later stage, etc.
After clearly defining all the project phases and the works to be performed, before commencement, it is vital to set up a team and have a budget in place, so as to make sure your project is in line with the strategic objectives set forth by your organization.
2. Project Planning
Defining the overall scope of your Project Management Structure is a vital element of planning. It is during this stage that the project-related documents are developed through a detailed planning process, referred to as progressive elaboration.
A key concept in planning is the team’s ability to thoroughly plan the whole project in advance, by creating various plan alternatives, taking into account all potential risks and how they can be properly managed. First of all, you need to create a project management plan. This plan will become an overriding, master document for the whole project.
Other documents to be created in this stage are:
- Documents delimiting the project scope, benchmark objectives and expectations;
- Documents listing detailed requirements;
- Documents providing cost estimates, time limits and budgetary constraints;
- Documents with quality plans, communications, associated risks and procurement conditions.
- Documents with roles and responsibilities – don’t forget to explain your Project Manager Responsibilities.
At the end of this process step, you should have a clear idea of what it will take to complete your project on time and on budget.
3. Project Execution
At this stage, your project team starts creating deliverables. You need to coordinate the available resources, manage the team and ensure a fluid communication between its members. At the same time, you need to manage stakeholder engagement and ensure product and project quality.
4. Project Monitoring and Controlling
To make sure your project is on track, you need to review the progress of the works, identify any delays or design faults and initiate the corresponding changes. This is the stage when you compare your plans with the reality of your project, measure the differences, and take measures to compensate them. Credit to University of Illinois for the graphic
5. The Final Process in Project Management Structure – Project Completion
This is the formal closure stage, when the project is signed off and accepted by the customer. It is the point when you draw the line and assess the results of your work, archive existing records, make and receive the final payments, submit your completion reports and make the final arrangements related to warranty. That wraps up The 5 Project Management Process Groups.
While the project management structure by itself is easy to understand, the reality of each process may be a little more difficult to cope with. Remember that you are not alone in this. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, unsure and in need of advice or a second opinion, I will be happy to lend a hand. I have been fighting project management challenges for quite some time, and I will gladly share my experience, just send me an email!