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Category Archives: Project Management Defined

The 4 P’s of Management

The four P’s that are often confused or interchanged in conversation are: Program, Project, Portfolio, and Product Management, so I thought it would helpful to clarify these terms below.

Portfolio:

  • Collection of projects or programs that are grouped together to meet strategic business objectives
  • Focuses on ensuring that projects and programs are reviewed to prioritize resource allocation and that the management of the portfolio is consistent with and aligned with the organizational strategic goals and objectives
  • A project portfolio could be all of the projects for the entire organization or projects by division or business in a large corporation

Program:

  • A group of projects that are related, as this coordination of projects may decrease risk, economies of scale, obtain benefits, and improve management that could not be achieve if the projects were not managed as part of a program
  • They are on-going and may have no end in sight
  • Programs may include elements of work that is related outside of the scope of the discrete projects in the program
  • Include ongoing operations, such as a program manager for a software development company, whom is responsible for product releases, multiple releases overtime, and ongoing sales
  • Provides leadership and direction for the project manager’s heading the projects within the program
  • A program will always have projects, but not all projects may be included as part of a program

Project:

  • Is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result (PMBOK)
  • Defined start and end date that has a specific objective, that when attained with signify completion
  • Responsible for developing the project plans, keeping the project on track, monitoring & controlling the project, and communicating the project status and performance
  • More internal/inward facing and focused on the release management, product duration, and resource allocations

Product:

  • A product is part of a project, as a project is a unique product, service or result
  • Wants their product to be as long-lived as possible and as profitable as possible
  • When the demand for the product diminishes, the product manager will always look for spin-offs to keep a product alive
  • Good product managers drive customer-relevant decisions or choices despite uncertainty and contradictory goals
  • More external/outward facing on market visible decisions and focused on the product strategy & lifecycle
Can you think of additional attributes to add to the list above?  Please comment below, as I would like to hear about them!  Thank you!
 

What is Project Management?

What Does a Project Mean:

PMI defines a project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to achieve a unique product, service or result

What is the Role of the Project Manager?

  • Bring people together to solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities
  • Manage information about value, quality, time and cost
  • Define the project, plan for the project, communicate to others, track the progress, measuring success, report to upper management, make decisions, support the project and team members, and coordinate project events, such as meetings

Why Does Project Management Matter?

  • Failure to run large projects can sink a small company
  • Weight of several failed projects can drag down profits to a point where a big company is susceptible to acquisition by a competitor and losing its independence

Growing as a Project Manager:

  • Data-Oriented to People-Oriented
    • As a technical person, things and data do what you tell them, while people may not
    • Learn to relax and enjoy unpredictability and diversity
  • Worker Bee to a Manager
    • As a worker bee, you are able to accomplish many things when you sit down and do them
    • Management means doing less busy work and more of delegating,
    • Shift from being dependable to reliable to get the job done and deliver positive results
  • Manager to Leader
    • A project manager, it requires leadership skills to create an environment where a group of people can come together and get things done
    • Some leadership skills required as a project manager include:
      • Inspiring team members
      • Good communication skills
      • Maintain integrity
      • Create enthusiasm in the project team
      • Show empathy
      • Stay cool under pressure, as so on

One thing I have found is that by having a technical and project management background is that it provides you with a strong foundation that can open several doors of opportunity in your career path as both are required skill sets needed by all business.  In addition, project management can be quite a rewarding career path, as it gives you the chance to help others and organizations achieve milestones, while getting the chance to work with several different types of people and learn from them.  

What are your Pros and Cons about the Project Management Field?

 
 
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