10 fundamental project management techniques

tecniche di project management

Fasi di Progetto - Process Groups

Project management is a profession and as such involves the use of techniques which must be known and applied.

In this article we see 10 techniques to be used in the 5 phases of the project life cycle:

At the beginning of the project, in the defined phase initiating from the PMI, where the project is to be started, it is essential to understand what the project wants to achieve and who will have to take charge of the project at this stage.

Two techniques can be used at this stage *:

1) The creation of the project charter. The project charter is a document that contains in a nutshell the answers to the fundamental questions of the project: what are the objectives of the project, the high-level requirements, the assumptions and the risks. The project charter should also contain who is the project manager in charge of managing the project.
Contents of the project charter:

  • Name of the project
  • Sponsor or owner of the project
  • Name and surname of the project manager
  • Business Case: the reason for undertaking a project must always be sought in the expected benefits. The benefits that must be economically exploited and must be compared with the costs of the project.
  • Project objectives that must be measurable
  • The main outputs of the project in terms of objects, products, changes.
  • A rough schedule of the project with the main milestones or checkpoints or phases.
  • Budget: costs and resources.
  • Team: a rough indication of who the project team will be.
  • Assumptions / Constraints
  • Risks
  • Approvals required and sponsor's signature

2) The second technique, often underestimated, consists in the creation of the stakeholder list. Making a stakeholder map, in addition to being a mandatory step in the PMP methodology, is also extremely useful because it offers the opportunity, while mapping stakeholders, to understand who will be the decision-making actors who will influence the project for its entire duration. It is therefore advisable to understand what each of these stakeholders thinks so as to be able to meet needs where appropriate and manage expectations in case certain requests cannot be met.

* Note that I use the term project phase, but according to PMI this is a process group. That is a series of processes that are carried out at certain moments of the project.

The second phase of the project is planning, in this phase it is crucial to define in detail what we will do in the project, when we will do it and how we will do it. There are two techniques to use in this process:

3) The creation of the project plan. The project plan contains the detailed requirements, the project team, the deliverables, the work packages, the activities, the effort estimates, the dependency diagram and the schedule or the calendar or a gantt.

4) The creation of the project management plan. What is the difference between the project plan and the project management plan? If the project plan contains the description of the work to be carried out by the team that will carry out the project object, the project management plan contains the procedures that the project manager will have to follow during the various phases of the project execution. Let's take an example: suppose we are in a situation where the 10% project is overdue on the agreed delivery date. The project management plan should contain instructions on what to do in this situation. For example, it may be that in the event of a delay of the 10% the project manager is authorized to continue the project or that the steering committee wants to be consulted to make a decision on the matter.

The execution phase of the project. In this phase there are 3 techniques to be used

5) Management of change requests. Change management is essential for the success of the project, change requests must be managed directly by the project manager who must track them, classify them, submit them for evaluation and approval and finally ensure the implementation of only the changes approved for implementation.

6) The quality management. There are two quality management activities that the project manager must put in place: quality checks, which are done on the project output and are done by the quality team. And quality assurance, which consists of ensuring that project management processes are followed correctly, is the task of the project manager or a person on the project management team.

7) The project team management. In the execution phase of the project it is essential that the people who have to do the work are informed, motivated, followed and rewarded when the objectives are achieved. A project where the project team is not managed in the proper way is a project that is continually at risk.

The control phase of the project begins in the instant in which the project begins, for this reason the pmbok does not rightly call them phases, but process group. Because the control phase begins immediately at the beginning of the project life cycle. We understand why if we think back to the project charter document we created in initiating. The project charter already contains the 'maximum limits' of the project, there can be written a fixed date for the delivery of the project, it can contain essential requirements for the project or assumpions which are believed to be true at the beginning of the project and which may then not turn out to be realistic. If one of these expectations, which may be indispensable for those who sponsor the project, should fail, the steering committee could decide to suspend or cancel the project. For this the project manager has to start controlling the whole project right away.

At this stage the techniques to be used are

8) the measurement is carried out on the predetermined indicators for determining the success of the project: the progress of the work with respect to the project calendar, the progress of the work with respect to the quality parameters defined for the project output, the progress of the work with respect to others parameters that can be set by the project manager.

9) Theimplementation of corrective measures consists in identifying those actions and interventions that can bring the project back on track. It can be a question of reviewing the organization of the project by putting more resources or parallelizing tasks where possible, if the project is delayed, for example. In addition to corrective measures can also be taken preventive measures who aim to keep the project in line with the plan when the project begins to show a tendency to overshoot.

The last fundamental step for the management of the project is the correct closure of the same.

10) In this last phase of the project it is necessary obtain approval for the work performed. The approval of the deliverable it can also be done in intermediate steps and this facilitates the positive development of the user acceptance test, which consist in submitting the project product to the final recipient of the project for approval. Of course, the user of the product may be different from the person or body that commissioned the product itself, but in any case the formal approval of the output is in any case essential to be able to proceed with the official closure with the archiving of the project documentation. and the release of the team and other committed resources.

2 thoughts on “10 tecniche fondamentali di project management”

  1. Initiating is not a project phase but a process group.
    Initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling and closing are the 5 groups of processes and not the phases of a project. The phases can, for example, be defined according to the type of project
    The "creation of the project charter" is not a technique but a process.


    1. Hi Camillo, you are absolutely right, if we wanted to be rigorous in terms of PMI methodology, we should call things by their name. Instead, in most of the articles on this blog you will find a 'more common' language applied to project management concepts, which sometimes reflect the PMI methodology, but without the aim of remaining fully adhering to it.

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