Why our projects do not reach the hoped conclusion, and why we cannot carry out activities as planned? Why our resources do not have enough time to devote to the project and the documents are always different? Every project manager experience these problems!
Often companies approach the Project Management issues with superficiality and the arrogance to even achieve results through disorganized approaches. Usually in these cases the only result is a mishmash of uncoordinated projects and a lot of tension on the Project Manager who are often unprepared and poorly trained.
A mature company in project management cannot do without a project management system that works like a well oiled machine made up of the use of recognized methods and standards, of a formed and structured organization and of an information platform of support .
It is not enough to define some challenging goal and to introduce some tools!
The most classic mistake to avoid is to think that the tools of PM and some people armed with determination and good will can solve all our problems or, even worse, to adopt tools that are inconsistent and inadequate to the needs and characteristics of the context, just because “the name is famous”, “we hear about it”, “is in fashion” or “in the company where I was before it worked very well”.
Nowadays, many people still approach the Project Management more for fashion than for real need, or even worse they snub procedures, well-managed organizations and structured methods considering them obsolete, slow, lumbering and expensive.
The first thing is to spread the PM culture introducing the tenets of this discipline; the second one is to build or to rebuild the standard methods and practices, making them live into the organization that have to consider them not as a constraint but as a guiding light where to point and from which to be supported in moments of frenzy and confusion; at this point only, it make sense to talk about project management tools and the best application platform can be selected with caution and common sense.
Especially in this area where the constraints of time, resources and costs are often stringent and where the complexity is not to draw a Gantt but to break down the project, to assign roles to people (motivating and supporting them) and to draw a logical pattern that determines the “logical consistency” of our program, it is valid the slogan “Hai, hai, hai .. self made Project Manager? .. Hai, hai, hai “.
What’s Project Management:
- Project management is the application of knowledge, skill, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements (source PMBOK, published by PMI) . You can find a free video at PMBOK – Part 1 Tutorials that clearly explain the definition given by PMBOK.
- Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals (source Wikipedia)
The Project Management Institute (PMI) introduce in its definition the concept of “Project” that is the key element to distinguish these activities from the operational processes of a company.
Project: the project can be defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. Here you can find a free video at on the definition of a project.
What’s a Project Management System:
A project Management System is the organization that let to conduce the necessary activities to achieve a goal under a standard operating method, coordinate people trained and dedicated to projects and operational support tools.
The components of a PM system, in order of importance, are:
- The method and/or the standard or rather the processes
- The persons adequately trained and available to be contacted
- The tools and application platforms
To give an example we can say that at the systemic level we do not introduce the specific resources capacities such as the leadership which is an aspect very difficult to structure but we have be very careful in the definition of a method that guide the people that we choose for their characteristics .
The Quality System is often a valuable help in the definition phase of the method, in fact, it allows to define clearly what should be done, who should do it, when he should do it and, in general, all the inputs and outputs of business processes.
What’s an Information System of Project Management:
The Information System of Project Management (SIPM) best known as Project Management Information System (PMIS) is defined as:
- A project management information system (PMIS) is a part of management information systems (MIS) and manages information of a project centric organization. These electronic systems help to plan, execute, and close project management goals. (source Project Management Knowledge)
- A system that consist in five under systems (planning, information, control, human resources management and organizational support) and two additional elements (techniques and methodologies, cultural contest) (source David I. Cleland, “Defining a Project Management System”, Project Management Quarterly, Project Management Institute, Drexel Hill, PA, Dec. 1997)
- A system that allows us to produce, manage and control information about technical aspects and risk in addition to project management itself. In this definition we consider the System Information and Technical Control (management engineering, procurement, production, testing and configuration), the System Information and Project Control (PBS, planning, scheduling, cost management and accounting) and the System Information and risk control (planning and quality assurance, reliability, maintainability and safety). (John Jr. Tuman, “Development and implementation of Project Management Systems”, Project Management Handbook, 2nd Ed., New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988)
Considering the project as a process and ignoring the products resulting from it, a Project Management Information System consists of:
- Documents and procedures generated by the Project Management Software
- Interface for data exchange with other applications to ensure consistency and firmness of business processes
- To make a good project management it is necessary to have analyzed, designed and implemented the Project Managemet System
- It is necessary to define processes (procedures), People/Roles/Organization, tools
- Among the tools and means we can take under consideration the Project Management Information System
- The Project Management Information System is much more than a software
Which are the Project Management Software Features?
Which are the best software of Project Management?