Few things are as relevant to the productivity of a company as the management of their projects.
Companies are overly concerned about finding a good, beautiful and cheap software application for project management.
From my point of view, this is a wrong approach because before choosing a software tool for project management it is necessary to define and institutionalize the work process that allows optimizing the development of projects.
The best software application is useless if you do not have a well-defined work procedure. However, with a common application and a sound project management methodology, great results can be achieved in the development of projects.
Generally, when we raise the need to define a methodological process, companies start to tremble, because they relate it to a titanic task and of little use for their organization. However, the reality is very different, companies and their workers execute processes daily, although they are not aware. All they need is to stop and think about how they perform their daily tasks, unify the best practices and translate them into a document that is mandatory for all staff.
The 5 essential phases for project management
1. Project feasibility analysis
It is the initial phase of any project, and its objective is to analyze whether or not the company should embark on such a project, as in certain cases the company may have more problems than benefits when carrying out a project.
The feasibility analysis should include at least the following activities:
- Creation of the tracking record in the company’s management tool.
- Previous analysis of the scope of the project.
- Analysis of the risks of project execution.
- Viability analysis according to deadlines, cost, and quality.
If the feasibility analysis is positive; that is, there are no fundamental reasons for not addressing the project, we can proceed to the second phase of the process.
2. Detailed planning of the work to be done
The objective of this phase is to define with the greatest possible detail the tasks to be carried out and the resources necessary to carry out the project successfully. A miscalculation in this phase can be very damaging to the company.
The key activities at this stage are:
- Analysis of the scope of the project.
- Making estimates of effort, costs, and resources.
- Definition of the project plan.
- Negotiation of the contract.
If the project is finally approved, it must be translated into a contract that includes all the terms of the agreement.
3. Execution of the project
The third phase of project management is where companies deploy all their know-how and where fewer problems usually find.
The main activities of this stage are:
- Establishment of the work environment.
- Assignment of planned tasks to available resources.
- Execution of the planned tasks.
- Management of change requests.
Parallel to this phase, it is necessary to monitor and control the project that will ensure compliance with the planning and the quality of the work carried out. So those deviations are detected before they become a problem for the success of the project.
4. Monitoring and control of work
This stage, together with detailed planning, is one of the most important for the success of the project.
In this phase there are mainly 4 types of activities:
- Follow-up of tasks and planned milestones.
- Management of deliverables (including quality control).
- Management of incidents.
- Generation of monitoring reports.
5. Project closure
The objective of this phase is to institutionalize a control stage to verify that there are no loose ends before closing the project. This phase is usually executed through a checklist or checklist.
The typical tasks to perform within this phase are:
- Formal closure of the project by all the stakeholders involved in the project (stakeholders).
- Realization of the backup of the project.
- Analysis of the results with respect to the initial estimates.
- Update of the knowledge base with everything learned.