Project Management Secret

This book is about the whole process of project management that expert and top professional use. It’s a must-have book for a project manager, future PM or for anyone that seriously wants to change their future.
First of all, about the author – Matthew Batchelor MA, FRSA, MAPM is a member of the Association of Project Management (APM), and a judge of the association’s annual achievement awards. He has over 20 years’ experience managing publishing, design, and marketing communications projects, and helping people in the voluntary, public and private sectors to deliver project programs and high-impact communication.
This book has seven-chapter, will write simple notes of it.
Good project management is vital to business success, and in today’s highly competitive world, more and more organizations are moving to project approach. Whether launching a new, multi-million dollar product or planning an office move, project management will enable you to deliver high-quality results on time and within budget. Great leadership, effective system and making a good judgments are vital in project management.
(1)  Understand the role of projects - In this chapter, the author aims to give a reader an understanding of the essential background to project management. It discusses the concept of the project life cycle, introduces the main stakeholders, and describes the role of the project manager. The most popular approaches to managing projects are discussed, along with some of the most popular software tools.
1.1   Project are not tasks – A project should have a clear time frame and be undertaken to achieve a desired outcome. In other word, a project has a defined beginning, middle and end, and a stated purpose.
1.2   Understand project constraints – Planning your project will involve making a series of assumptions and a consideration of the constraints facing your project. Understanding these factor will help you plan a project that is of the right size and has appropriate objectives.
1.3   Understand the project life cycle – Adopting a life cycle approach will help you focus on the most important issues at each stage of the project.<Aspire-plan-implement-measure>
1.4   Know your stakeholder – Take time to identify the main stakeholders for your project by assessing how interested each group is in the outcome of your project, and the authority they have over it. This enables you to work out the best way to communicate with each group throughout the project, which is essential both in ensuring continued support and in planning your time.
1.5   See your stakeholders’ points of view – understand their perspective and bring them together in shared vision of the project.
1.6   Chose the right approach – Familiarize yourself with the main approaches to project management. (The traditional or ‘waterfall’ approach, PRINCE2, ‘Agile’ or ‘lightweight’ project management, critical chain ‘CCPM’, etc.)

1.7   ‘The buck stop here’ – Good project management rest on three fundamentals. It’s about having the right system in place, inspiring high performance through good leadership, and exercising sound good judgement when required.

(2)  Aspire to succeed – Every project has to start somewhere-whether as a flash of inspiration in the bath tub, or a more structured solution to a strategic problem. It’s important to know how to develop a project from these initial – and – often rather vague – ideas into something more concrete.
2.1  Every masterpiece start with a sketch – make sure your project idea is absolutely right for your business.
2.2  Get Creative – use mind maps and other tools to stimulate creativity. (visual planning, non-visual planning, allowing all ideas during planning)
2.3   SOC it to them – Presenting a business case for your project is often a necessary first step. (Information-approval-reassurance)
2.4   Sell the benefits – the feasibility of any project depends on what benefits it will deliver. (Initial inspiration/challenge-define benefits-establish capacity-gain support)
2.5   Build support – know how to build support, even valid objections are raised, and achieve a win/win solution.

(3) Plan for success – It’s time to start planning the project in detail. Compile a project plan, this also known as a Project Initiation Documents, or PID.
3.1 Define your objective – it should contain a ‘position statement’, the project deliverables, the key success factors, yardsticks, for a larger project the key priorities, what assumptions are you making, what has been learned from the previous project, and how quality will be assured.

Ensure your objective are (SMART):
Specific – quantifiable
Measurable – that quality indicators are in place
Achievable – within the ability of the project team, and with the available resources
Relevant – to the current project
Timetabled – Gantt chart

3.2 Divide the project into work packages – Identify work area and create a work breakdown structure (WBS)
3.3 First thing First (last thing last) – Identify the critical path your project needs to take.
3.4 Build a project timetable – Draw up a project timetable for everyone working on the project to see how they fit into a schedule.
3.5 Add contingency and use it wisely
3.6 Match people to tasks – allocating people to tasks helps you identify any need for extra resources.
3.7 Organize and control your project – Decide how you communicate with your team and monitor progress.
3.8 Manage risks wisely – Good risk management can make the difference between a viable and a non-viable project.
3.9 Design in quality – The process of ensuring that all the elements of the project plan contributes to this ultimate success involves planning for quality. This means setting a quality benchmark for individual tasks or ‘work packages’ (group of task), so that the end result of each task conforms to a minimum specification.

(4) Manage your money – Project budgeting
4.1 Understand the role of finance – always compare the cost with outcomes
4.2 Estimate project cost – work out all possible costs in advance.
4.3 Choose to in-source or outsource – Find the right balance between in-house and freelance staff.
4.4 Choose the right supplier – Effective procurement is an important part of managing cost and quality.
4.5 Negotiate the right type of contract – To work well with your suppliers, you need an effective contract.
4.6 Make a return on your investment – work out the payback period for your project
4.7 Freeze the project budget – Bring together the cost and any income estimates for the project.
4.8 Control cost – Keep monitoring your budget when the project gets underway.

(5) Lead and inspire your team – It’s people, rather than processes, that really get results in projects. While good procedures and adequate resources are important, they can’t produce results own their own. Many are poorly resourced project has been delivered successfully by teams with the inspiration, dedication, and leadership to succeed.
5.1 Design in success to your project team – choose people who are likely to work together well, and build a sense a shared identity.
5.2 Understand team dynamics – a successful team depends on complementary, rather than conflicting, roles.
5.3 Make the most of matrix working
5.4 Tailor your leadership style – Lead from the middle, not the front.
5.5 Communication is more than just words
5.6 Learn to manage difficult conversations – know how to deal with conflicts.
5.7 Manage yourself than the project – Always remember you are a role model for the project team. Be proactive, treat ‘failure’ as feedback, keep a work/life balance, and avoid unnecessary heroics.

(6) Turn your plan into reality – Keeping team members focused on the task and helping them to solve the problems.
6.1 Plan for change – If a quality issue can’t be resolved, the project’s aims may need to revised. As like cost overruns, schedule slippage, and work packages delivered below quality specification.
6.2 Create an open culture – Keep reporting problems, analyzing causes and reviewing processes throughout your project.
6.3 Get results from team meetings – Make sure your team meetings are relevant for all the people you invite. (gather information-analyse-agree actions)
6.4 Get the data – track progress, analyse and discuss information, and react decisively.
6.5 Create a balanced project scorecard – is a concise way presenting information and flagging where action is most required.
6.6 There’s a solution to every problem – you can use ‘five ways’ method and ‘the fishbone’ diagram to sort out problem arises.

6.7 Be lucky! – good luck comes to those with the ability to look for, and find it. (listen to your intuition, be open-minded, be optimistic, and turn bad luck into good.)
‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’ Seneca, Ancient Roman philosopher

(7) Maximize project learning – Having well-planned processes for closing a project and conducting an evaluation are vital.
7.1 Know when it’s closing time – be prepare to close a project early if it can’t meet its key objectives.
7.2 Achieve closure – the ‘measure’ phase of a project includes these handover and closing steps (handover-close-evaluateàmeasure)
7.3 Plan to evaluate – Evaluation should start early in a project, and be written up or presented during the final ‘measure’ phase.
7.4 Choose what to measure – measure only those elements that relevant to the audience. (stakeholder satisfaction, skills and knowledge gained, implementation and application, business impact, ROI.)
7.5 Measure the true return on investment – to assess long-term impact, you will need to look beyond the project into the wide organization.
7.6 Evaluation is a listening exercise – gather the necessary data and ask the different groups of stakeholders for feedback.
7.7 Never stop learning – ‘only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly’ Robert F. Kennedy, US senator