Project management procedures/processes
A carefully planned effort to accomplish a specific objective of a project.
Project management is a carefully planned effort to accomplish a specific objective, using knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to plan and implement activities to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations from a project.
Aspects of project management:1
- Team: A project team is comprised of a group of people who will realise the project result. The group is often comprised of people with various backgrounds, each of whom contributes knowledge and skills.
- Goal: A product result (or goal) is desired. After a project has been completed, something has been realised. A new treatment system has been implemented, a training course has been carried out or an assessment has been done. In many projects, it is necessary to adapt the goal as the project proceeds.
- Limited resources: The amount of time and money that is available for completing a project is always limited. No project is completely free of time pressure.
- Uncertainty (risk): One characteristic feature of projects is that their success is never guaranteed beforehand. Even if the desired goal is already being reached, it is uncertain whether it will be achieved within the available budget or within the proposed time.
PURPOSE & LINK TO INTEGRITY
The final aim of managing projects in the water and sanitation sector should be to implement activities identified and planned for in the previous phases in an effective, cost-efficient and high quality way.2
By managing a project properly, external risks are anticipated and the planning adapted accordingly. That is, if getting licenses takes very long, the time management has to be adapted; if getting pre-payments takes long, the finance planning has to be adapted. By anticipating project delays and delayed payment flows and plan a project accordingly, companies are less likely to commit illicit practices to speed up processes.
- Does your organization have financial planning in place?
The five parameters of project management are:1
- Time management: The time factor manifests itself in a project in the form of deadlines for tasks and the amount of time that these tasks may take. Managing time involves monitoring and ensuring that tasks are completed on time.
- Finance management: The money factor manifests itself in the project budget. The management of money within a project involves ensuring that the costs remain within the budget. Finance management is important in the project plan (e.g. defining fee of team members and budget for specific tasks), progress monitoring (e.g. monitoring the cash flow), as well as in project reporting (e.g. compile financial report and statements). Given that the majority of the costs in most projects are comprised of labour costs, the factors of money and time (the number of labour hours) are closely intertwined.
- Quality management: The project result must fulfil a number of quality requirements. This also applies to the various intermediate products of the project. When managing a project, it is particularly important for quality requirements to be determined, agreed upon and recorded in writing during the definition phase. These requirements should never remain implicit. A clear list of requirements can be checked at the end of the implementation phase. This can allow the project team to prove that they have carried out the project according to specifications. Additional quality requirements may be specified for various tasks within the project. For example, a particular task can be carried out only by certified personnel.
- Managing people: Within a project, the team must be managed. In the narrowest sense, team management involves determining who will do what from the list of activities. In broader terms, it also involves all of the soft skills (e.g. motivational techniques, communication skills, leadership styles) that are needed to achieve a goal with a group of people.
When assembling a team for the project, authority and tasks should be clearly assigned to the various team members.
- Managing information: The information factor concerns how, by whom and on which basis decisions can be taken, as well as which tools (e.g. project website, issue tracker, e-mail notification, joint agenda) will be used for communication. These and other informational issues must be answered before a project can be started. Organizations that regularly work with projects have a number of tools (e.g. Word templates) on hand for handling information within a project. Project plans should define which information must be provided to whom and in which form; which information will be recorded, distributed and archived; and which information tools will be used?
Periodic consultations can be conducted to check whether these plans have been realised.
Elements of successful project management are:3
- Know the business drivers for your business and where it’s most important to apply project management techniques first.
- Decide on a simple and proven approach to project management. If you choose something too complicated, no one will follow it.
- Have people at every level learn the skills needed to effectively use project management to improve their value to your business.
- Empower people with tools for successful project management:
- Develop simple templates to build the project plan in a consistent manner.
- Use a tool such as MS Project for simple and effective project scheduling.
- Use project management Scorecards to measure the effectiveness of your project managers throughout the project.
You might also consider getting ISO certification. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies. The following ISO standard is applicable for this tool:
ISO 21500 Project Management (https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:21500:ed-1:v1:en): This International Standard provides guidance on concepts and processes of project management that are important for, and have impact on, the performance of projects.
KEY GUIDING DOCUMENTS
Conradin, K.; Kropac, M.; Spuhler, D., no year, Project Management, Sanitation and Water Management Toolbox (SSWM Toolbox), seecon international gmbh, Basel http://www.sswm.info/category/planning-process-tools/implementation/implementation-support-tools/executing/project-manage, accessed 04.12.2015
Moriarty, P., Batchelor, C., Abd-Alhadi, F. T., Laban, P. & Fahmy, H., 2007, The EMPOWERS Approach to Water Governance, http://www.gwp.org/Global/ToolBox/References/Approach%20to%20water%20governance%20(EMPOWERS,%202007).pdf, accessed 07.12.2015
Method 123, 2003, Project Management Guidebook
Berr, 2007, Guidelines for Managing Projects
- Conradin, K.; Kropac, M.; Spuhler, D., no year, Project Management, Sanitation and Water Management Toolbox (SSWM Toolbox), seecon international gmbh, Basel http://www.sswm.info/category/planning-process-tools/implementation/implementation-support-tools/executing/project-manage, accessed 04.12.2015
- Moriarty, P., Batchelor, C., Abd-Alhadi, F. T., Laban, P. & Fahmy, H., 2007. The EMPOWERS Approach to Water Governance, http://www.gwp.org/Global/ToolBox/References/Approach%20to%20water%20governance%20(EMPOWERS,%202007).pdf, accessed 07.12.2015
- Naughton, no year, Growing your SME with Project Management