Project Management Basics

Project Management can seem extremely daunting to the beginner. However by just having an understanding of the basics of Project Management you can successfully manage a small project to completion.

So what are Project Management Basics? Well these are the following:

  1. A Detailed Project Initiation Document or PID
  2. A High Level Plan
  3. A Detailed Risk and Issues Log
  4. An Approved Project Budget
  5. Management of Project Team and Resources

All these areas are covered in much more detail elsewhere on this site. However please find a summary below.

1.1 Detailed PID

PID stands for Project Initiation Document and essentially is reference document for the project. It can be as long or as short as you want. However if you are managing a small project with say a budget of just $25,000 don’t go mad. There is absolutely no point in writing more than 5 pages.

1.2 High Level Project Management Plan

The bigger the project, usually the longer the plan. However this isn’t always the case. It really does depend on how you like to structure your project. I personally go for shorter plans because otherwise the enormous overhead in keeping it updated means I don’t have enough time to actually manage the project. However I know numerous project managers who prefer incredibly detailed plans instead. This may well stand them in good stead with their Stakeholders, but it tends to mean problems further down the line.

1.3 Detailed Risk and Issues Log

This is vitally important as few projects run smoothly no matter how well planned.

The Risk Log should in plain English contain all the potential problems which might impact on the project.

The Issues Log should contain all the Risks which have become a reality. Also anything which is stopping your project right now from progressing.

1.4 An Approved Project Budget

This is absolutely vital. If you don’t have a guaranteed pot of money to fund your project you may as well stop work now.

1.5 Management of Project Team

Having the right team is absolutely vital for any project. Oh and once you’ve located the right people, make sure you keep hold of them. You’ll be surprised how quickly your Project Manager colleagues try to grab them for their projects!

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