When project management course was first introduced in class, I was so captivated and interested to learn and understand how it can be used in Information system and later I came to realise that it is used in various field. At first my expectation for the subject was about theoretical knowledge about how to manage projects but our lecture took it to another level by giving examples which had experience in the line of work. This gave me a clear visual and it was simple and easy to understand since it was more practical than theoretical. I was able to learn how a project can be successful or fail.
PMBOK 10 knowledge, 5 key phases and 49 processes,
From project management subjects I learnt about project management by project management body of knowledge (PMBOK). I learnt that the 49 processes that are involved in project management are expounded in 10 knowledge areas and the 5 phases (PMI, 2016).
The 10 knowledge area of project management process includes integration management, scope management, project schedule management, cost management, quality management, resource management, communication management, risk management, procurement management, stakeholders management.
I was able to understand and master how the 49 processes follows each other and their pros and cons. The first process is development of project charter document developed when the project is initiated. This helps to formalising the existence of a project and the project team can use it for reference. I understand one of the issue with this process is that it is difficult to predict the future. The project manager in SingularLogic cannot predict any advancement that might occur for the development of product or service.
The second process was development of project management plan. I realised that a project has various plan and sub plan which must be integrated to form a single plan for the whole project. I believe one of the advantage of this document is that it helps to set project milestones and its disadvantage is that it cannot be easily be edited every time a new idea comes up.
Direct and manage project work was the third process. I know that the managers manage the team and make any project update if any. They also manage project knowledge which is the forth process. SingularLogic project manager improve knowledge of the project team or create new ones through training.
I gained knowledge on how project is monitored and controlled. This is done by reviewing and writing a report on the project progress. Performing integrated change control process was another important process I learnt where project change requests are reviewed. I believe one of the changes that SingularLogic R&D project change is to include high skilled professional who have multi skills such as ICT, marketing, leadership skills.
Phase process is the last Integration management process. I learnt that project activities are wrapped up in this process.
I studied that Project need to be scheduled on when to start and when it should end. Project schedule management involves plan scope management process, collection of requirements by gathering information from various people such as clients, stakeholders, define scope process of the project, creation of Work breakdown structure where project is divided into different activities which proceeds one another and the critical path is used, scope validation process where project manager confirms that the project outcomes and deliverables are in line with the scope and lastly control scope process to confirm everything is going according to the plan.
I studied that Project schedule management include plan schedule management process which helps to make sure that projects are completed on time, define activities process for the exact action that need to be taken, sequence activities process that helps to identify the activities that need to be completed first, activities are estimated when they will be completed, control schedule process to make sure that activities are completed on time.
I found that incurs cost that needs to be managed. cost management involves the cost that will be incurred in project management such as policies, management, procedures, estimate the cost for project completion, development of budget process where all cost are combined such as risk cost, project cost flow and control cost process where the project cost is monitored and reviewed to make sure it is on budget.
SingularLogic project cost is affected negatively since their project is affected by its cyclic nature. I understand that in IT industry technology is not static but dynamic. Changes affect the cost since new tools are used or the project is advanced. When estimating the project cost, this needs to be considered. The project that has high NPV is always considered.
I learnt in class that quality management is divided into various processes as follows planning and determining the quality and standards of the project output, manage quality of all activities and control process to ensure the quality of each activity output is as planned.
I discovered that resource management deals with processes such as planning the resource management for the project by identifying the resources required, estimate resources required for each activity, acquire resources such as project team and equipments, develop team by improving their skills or create new ones, manage team process by monitoring their performance, resolve issues such as conflict and provide feedback and the final process is to control the resources to ensure they are as planned.
I understand that communication is very crucial when it comes to success of a project. In project management subject, I learnt that communication management has various processes. Plan communication management process where project requirements are well communicated, manage communication by creating, collecting, recording and distribute information as required by the stakeholders and monitor communication and controlling to ensure it is according to project stakeholders requirements (Sebastian, 2014).
Risk management involves the process of planning risk management by identifying project risks, identify project by identifying and recording all project risks, perform qualitative risk analysis process, perform quantitative risk analysis which might affect the quality of project outcomes, plan risk responses where an action plan is identified and implemented to resolve or minimise the effect of the risk on the project and track the response or the plan against the risks.
Procurement management involves the process of planning procurement management process by identifying the materials required, conduct procurement process where suppliers are selected and control procurement.
I learnt that stakeholders are very important in projects because they are mostly the clients. In Stakeholders management, stakeholders are identified on initiation phase of a project, a plan is developed on how to involve stakeholders, manage stakeholders engagement by interacting with them and monitor their engagement.
I was able to understand the importance of the 5 phases of the project process which include project initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing. Every project must undergo through these phases.
In SingularLogic case study they develop and offer software services to their clients. They mostly depends on Research and Development (R&D) project in order to stay competitive and maintain their market share.
The company is facing various issues in its R&D project such as the cyclical nature of the business and projects survival. From what I have learnt, project failure is a financial issue that an organization might be facing since they will be getting losses after investing on the project. To solve this issue, the project manager can reduce R&D project budget. I understand that R&D project requires professionals who are highly skilled and have ICT knowledge.
I have learnt that a well organized project saves time and money but communication with the clients and business partners is very important. It will help SingularLogic to identify and collect the most important information for their project which will accelerate the rate of success and completion.
Project management subject helped me to understand that cooperation between project teams is crucial. The project management has no authority to choose the project team but figure a way to create a good relationship and work together with the assigned team. According to the case study, the project manager needs to create a good relationship with 60 staffs who work in R&D department.
The process of learning helped me to know about Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2). It involves seven stages (AXELOS, 2017). Startup of a project which must be approved, project initiation where project objectives are set, risks are determined, direct the project where the project stakeholders make decisions and control the project, control stage where the project manager has the authority to assign and monitor tasks, manage product delivery, manage stage boundary by providing the overview of project performance and the last process is closing of the project by making sure that it has achieved its plan and objectives (Ian, 2017).
The study of project management helped me to understand various methodologies that can be used in software development. Agile methodology which allows collaboration between the clients and project team and manager. Scrum and Kanbas are part of agile and are the most widely used. Through this method, changes are able to be made earlier and the clients are frequently informed about the progress of a project (Wysockie, 2014).
In waterfall methodology, project activities are divided into sequence phases which makes it impossible for the project team to go to the next phase before the completion of the previous one.
I learnt that the project can be planned perfectly with highly skilled team and resources are readily available but it may fail if the project manager does not have personal competencies. The project manager needs to have leadership skills to lead project team, good communication skills to communicate stakeholders requirements and communicate with them about the project progress, good negotiation skills to negotiate project budget and schedule, risk management skills where the managers are required to be active rather than proactive, organized and attain planning skills in order for the project to flow (Udo & Koppensteiner 2004).
Project management subject requires the student to prepare presentation and present before class. This helped me to gain more confidence to talk in front of many audience. Before I used to fear but now I am able to talk clearly, loud and able to answer questions from the audience. I was also able to summarize notes on my own instead of waiting for the lecture to provide me with summarized notes.
Project management is a vital subject to every student regardless of their course or career because it is a common subject in every field. The subject is interesting and very useful since it helped me to gain knowledge and various techniques that I can apply in project management.
I learnt that all projects follows the same processes and phases but the project outcomes and deliverables are different.
Agile methodology is the best method to use in project management. It creates a room for collaboration between project team, project manager and the stakeholders. This results to success of a project.
AXELOS (2017) Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2
Ian, L. (2017) PRINCE2 made simple: P2MS Press
Sebastian (2014) The 10 Knowledge Areas & 49 Processes PMBOK®, 6th ed.
Udo, N. & Koppensteiner, S. (2004). What are the core competencies of a successful project manager? Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2004—EMEA, Prague, Czech Republic. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
Wysocki, Robert K. (2014) “Effective Complex Project Management: An Adaptive Agile Framework for Delivering Business Value” Plantation, FL: J. Ross Publishing