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Source: Wikipedia

Project Management

Project management is the discipline[1] of planning, organizing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. It is often closely related to and sometimes conflated with program management.

A project is a temporary endeavor, having a defined beginning and end (usually constrained by date, but can be by funding or deliverables[2]), undertaken to meet particular goals and objectives[3], usually to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (or operations)[4], which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management.

The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals[5] and objectives while honoring the preconceived project constraints.[6] Typical constraints are scope, time and budget.[2] The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives.

Project development stages

Traditionally, project development includes a number of elements: four to five stages, and a control system. Regardless of the methodology used, the project development process will have the same major stages:

The project development stages.[17] initiation,
planning or development,
production or execution,
monitoring and controlling, and
closing.

In project environments with a significant exploratory element e.g. in Research and development these stages may be supplemented with decision points (go/no go decisions) at which the project's continuation is debated and decided. An example is the Stage-Gate model

Project managers

A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications or software development. Many other fields in the production, design and service industries also have project managers.

A project manager is the person accountable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the triple constraint for projects, which is cost, time, and scope.

A project manager is often a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the firm they are representing. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the contracting party, and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client satisfaction, can be realized.

Software development process

A software development process is concerned primarily with the production aspect of software development, as opposed to the technical aspect. These processes exist primarily for supporting the management of software development, and are generally skewed toward addressing business concerns.

Requirements analysis is a term used to describe all the tasks that go into the instigation, scoping and definition of a new or altered computer system. Requirements analysis is an important part of the software engineering process; whereby business analysts or software developers identify the needs or requirements of a client; having identified these requirements they are then in a position to design a solution.

Risk management is the process of measuring or assessing risk and then developing strategies to manage the risk. In general, the strategies employed include transferring the risk to another party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect of the risk, and accepting some or all of the consequences of a particular risk. Traditional risk management, which is discussed here, focuses on risks stemming from physical or legal causes (e.g. natural disasters or fires, accidents, death, and lawsuits).

Project planning, monitoring and control

The purpose of project planning is to identify the scope of the project, estimate the work involved, and create a project schedule. Project planning begins with requirements that define the software to be developed. The project plan is then developed to describe the tasks that will lead to completion.

The purpose of project monitoring and control is to keep the team and management up to date on the project's progress. If the project deviates from the plan, then the project manager can take action to correct the problem. Project monitoring and control involves status meetings to gather status from the team. When changes need to be made, change control is used to keep the products up to date.



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