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Project Management

  • Importance of Communication

    Continuing to develop the theme of the previous entry, on Communication and project management. Communication has become indispensable to achieve success in projects and the organization of companies. It is, therefore, necessary and extremely important to reflect and plan on how is the best way to communicate in the field of project management and organization of the company. Communicate, is an important part of our day to day and we should pay the attention it deserves. A project manager invests most of his time communicating with all stakeholders or stakeholders of the project:

    • The members of the work team.
    • The clients of the project.
    • The users.
    • Providers.
    • The managers of the organization to which it belongs.
    • The co-workers. This communication is made with different purposes:
    • Negotiating
    • Reporting the status of the project.
    • Assigning work to the team.
    • Obtaining information on the execution of the project.

    Communication in project management

    Different dimensions of communication in project management:

  • In Project Management, communication management is one of the critical factors of any project.

    According to the PMBOK® guide, communication management includes all the processes necessary to ensure the generation, collection, distribution, storage and last disposal of project information, in the appropriate form and time.

    In short, the person in charge of the project has to ensure that all the interlocutors of his project or stakeholders own or have access, at the right time, to all the required information using the most appropriate and effective means.

    This is extremely relevant because poor management of communication and information in any project can increase the time that must be spent to communicate, distribute, share and access information, and may even produce the total failure of the project.

    In order for the person responsible for the project to have the necessary information at all times, he or she must interact with the members of the work team, clients, suppliers, and other interested parties. The closer the project manager is to all stakeholders, the better the information obtained and the better the degree of communication. The person in charge of the project must have a marked social facet with all those Stakeholders of the project. This social facet is not only face-to-face; but it is also necessary to master all kinds of tools that facilitate communication with multidisciplinary teams as multi-localized.

  • Currently, most of the strategic initiatives of organizations are materialized through projects. According to the statistics published by the PMI at PMI’s Press of the Profession in March 2013, there is still a high percentage of projects that do not reach their objectives or that are canceled during execution. This generates that the organizations lose money and their motivation in the implementation of the same ones.

    I know that there are no magic recipes, but during my time as a project manager, and multiple talks with my colleagues, I have identified some practices that can reduce the gap of failed projects or that do not meet their objectives.

    Below I share what I have called the 6tips to succeed in projects:

    1. Associate it to a strategic objective

    Every project must seek a benefit for the organization, so it is recommended that they are aligned to a strategic objective, clearly defined and quantified, that allows measuring their results.

    2. Assign a “Project Manager”

    Project Management is a profession, that is to say, that the person who executes the role must have specific and adequate training, have a series of complementary competencies and skills that support the success of a project.

  • Defining the Work Team

    The Work Team is a small group of people with complementary abilities that interact directly, committed to a common purpose, work objective, and planning and with shared mutual responsibility.

    Characteristics of the Work Team:

    • They are formed by different people with different experiences, ages, attitudes, etc. For what they need to know.
    • Interaction between the different members, relate and communicate.
    • They pursue the same purpose or objective.
    • There is a feeling of belonging to the team.
    • With rules established by all.
    • Different roles: each person represents a role and a role in the team.

    Transformation of the group to Work Team

    A team is a group of people who share a name, a mission, a history, a set of goals or objectives and common expectations. To convert a group into a team, it is important to choose a process in which phases related to the following concepts are explored and elaborated:

  • The methodology that Scrum proposes for the management of business projects is based on partial deliveries prioritized according to the benefit that it is going to report to the client or the company.

    For organizations, project management is at the same time one of the most complex and important processes for the unity of your business. It is not just about dedicating more economic resources but to acquire the necessary knowledge, make a correct optimization of the time spent and have a management and coordination of our work teams. Without a good planning of time or tasks, the management of tasks ends up consuming too many resources, and what is even worse, wasting our time and the rest of the people that make up our team, causing even lack of motivation and involvement in the workforce of work.

  • When it comes to project management , you can do it in the way that is most comfortable for you. However, today we are going to talk about Kanban, a method that will help you simplify and improve processes.

    The Kanban method is a way of working to manage projects, which is characterized by being simple to use, and updatable. It also serves to lead the development of work, in an effective and productive way.

    One of the challenges we face the most during the development of a project is the coordination of the teams and try to complete all the proposed tasks. However, most times we have problems with its management. This is where the Kanban method has its use. It does not focus so much on the speed at which tasks are performed, but rather the quality of these is more important.

    Kanban comes from Japanese, which means “visual board,” and this methodology improves the workflow at a good pace, taking into account the time and the number of products needed in each stage. It appeared in Japan for the first time, invented by the Toyota company, with the philosophy of producing “What is needed, when it is needed, and how much is needed.”

    Knowing Kanban

    The process is quite simple. It consists of several columns placed on a task board, in which, each particular state of the project is placed in a column. That is, there must be the same number of tasks, as columns. This helps us to know at what stage our project is.

  • The roles in a project are crucial; they must be clearly defined and may vary depending on the work we have planned to do.

    Everything depends on the structure you have planned, which has to adapt to the complexity and type of project you are working on. To adapt it, the person responsible for it must be ordered. In addition, the structure must match the policies of the company and the particular conditions of the project, such as the number of workers available, time, or the complexity of it.

    In project management, it is important to know how to identify the roles, authority, and responsibilities of each person. It is also necessary that the duties and functions of each employee, are well informed, clear and well defined from the beginning of the project if we want it to come out correctly. It is advisable to check the structure periodically, to check that everything works as it should.

    The structure of a project is usually in the form of a hierarchy since there is always a leader who is in charge of directing. However, there is a great variety of roles that have great importance.

  • Before starting with project management, it is essential to previously establish the objectives we want to achieve and analyze the costs derived from this strategy.

    Objectives and challenges of project management

    During the management of a project, it is necessary to have some objectives, and normal to find some challenges during the process. That’s why it’s important to know what they are, so you avoid making several mistakes when it’s time to organize your project.

    Objectives: It is important that the objectives of project management are coherent and aligned with the interests of the organization. It is also important that they are measurable, in quality, quantity, time and cost. The main objectives of the company are for optimal project management :

    • Provide an address
    • Realize the plans that have been organized
    • Focus on the results
    • Find ways to motivate staff
    • Prioritize and organize
    • Inform about the purpose of the project
    • Recognize the success of the project

    It is important that you bear in mind also that the objectives when making a project must be achievable, consistent, and easy to understand; otherwise, the project management would be too complicated.

    However, it is inevitable that during project management you will encounter challenges, which you have to know well to face them. These can be diverse, but the most common are usually:

  • Profile of the Project Leader

    The Project Leader is the one that molds and shapes the structure of each group. With his leadership, the leader can get to form groups of people who manage to function as a real work team.

    The leader based on the motto divides and reigns, governs with great success the working group but does not produce a team capable of achieving success, only groups people to perform a specific task.

    The good leader with his actions develops work teams, using the right mix of loyalty, motivation, and confidence that every human being needs to believe and undertake in pursuit of group objectives.

    The project leader has to manage all the project stakeholders; lead, direct, coordinate with your work team; plan, organize, monitor and evaluate the progress and results of the project; communicate, solve problems, motivate, direct and attend meetings, interact with clients; hiring, supervising, promoting or dismissing staff. All this requires not only knowledge in the branch of project management, but also human resources, conflict resolution, and other branches that allow it to be multifunctional and effective. For this reason, it can not be satisfied with the acquired knowledge alone, but it must be maintained in continuous learning for the development of abilities, abilities, and skills that increase its personal competences.

  • 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.