The term “project” used to be common in the way house owners refer to their house renovation, buying a new appliance or car, or creating a garden or landscape. Students also refer to some of the requirements in school as “project”, such as Science project or some albums and crafts for submission. Even people of the same interests refer to their activities as “project”. This leads us to the conclusion that a “project” is something that is common and that everybody is familiar with it for a long time.
So what is “project management” all about? These activities or requirements that have been done and fulfilled in the past and referred to as “projects” actually have things in common and it is the same when it is used in “project management”.
The ideas behind a project are the same: It is temporary, has a beginning and an end, and produces a unique solution. Something needs to be done for a common goal which could be as simple as buying an expensive item or as complicated as constructing a satellite. The activities could be further divided especially if the project is something big. In the past, the simple ‘project’ of buying a car could just mean that the family in the household needs to save to pay for it. But now, having been used in the businesses and organizations, these projects are growing in scope so there is a need to divide them into chunks of sub projects.
Components of a Project
1. Manager. Whereas an organization needs a manager, so does a project needs a project manager who is responsible for running all the aspects of a project such as its scope, finances, communication, people and vendor management, and more.
2. People. No matter how effective a project manager is, he could never be successful on his own so he needs people to help him do the work. These people must have the knowledge and skills that can contribute to the success of the project.
3. Communication. This is very important as everything depends on how well everybody is sending and receiving messages. Since it is a collection of various activities to achieve a common goal, it is essential that proper communication is managed and that everybody knows and understands the things that are expected of them to do.
4. Balancing Skills of the Forces that Affect the Project. A scope is the range of where the project starts and ends and the exact terms of how the product will be produced. While cost refers to the expenses required to complete the project, time is also essential in producing a well-done project. With a short time duration, project output might be greatly affected. Quality is the benchmark that determines if the product is acceptable to the client.
In layman’s terms, project management is undertaking a group of activities meant to accomplish specific goals. It needs an effective manager, human resources, communication/collaboration, and also the skills to balance the forces that affect a project: scope, time, cost, and quality.