Project Management Institute (PMI) is not a profit making organization but a non-profit professional organization. It deals with project management, and its main aim is to advance project management. A range of services offered includes hosting conferences, education, standards development, multiple credentials maintain, conferences, and holding seminars. The credentials offered include project management professionals, program management professionals, PMI Scheduling professionals, Certified Associate in Project Management, and Risk Management Professional. PMI recruits volunteers as well to assist in their daily activities. The organization started in 1984 and certified by ISO in 2007.
Association for Project Management (APM) is yet another charity organization that deals with project management. The organization tries to promote disciplines of project management, as well as programme management. It uses a programme referred to as “Five Dimensions of Professionalism”. The products and services, which it offers, include events and publications, registered membership, recognized qualifications. The organization, located in Buckinghamshire, has fifty-four employees. The qualifications, offered here, include; introductory certificate, APMP level 7, IPMA level D, Practitioner Qualification, certificated project manager, and APM Project Risk Management. Membership is offered to organizations, individuals, colleges and several other academic institutions. Currently the organization has 19000 members, and corporate members who are currently fife hundred. To acquire the required qualifications an individual must demonstrate qualities of a good leader and the ability to manage complex projects using the necessary processes, tools, and techniques.
International Project Management Association (IPMA) is yet another organization that offers unique opportunities to project management professionals. When they come here, they are able to improve their skills and get more experience. The training offered here, is up-to-date, and they revised on an annual basis. Educators, who are international project managers, offer this education. International leading managers provide quality project management skills to the members. The courses offered benefit mainly the project consultants, project management educators, project managers, as well as programme managers. The quality education comes as a result of the classes being small in size; the training being highly interactive, networking opportunities availability, and a relaxed learning atmosphere.
It is significantly essential that we understand what a project is, and the characteristics of a project. A project is temporary; it provides unique deliverables, with progressive elaboration. A project is an opportunity to implement an approach of management in order to accomplish a goal. An individual needs the understanding of a project for him to be successful in his projects. Projects help organizations to achieve their goals and objectives through the implementation of strategic plans. Projects help managers and employees to do their work in an organized manner to achieve the goals with little chances of failure. A project can be defined as a systematic approach by an organization or even an individual, to accomplish a goal. It is a temporary activity meant to produce a result such as a product, benefit, service, competitive advantage among others. When an organization establishes a project, its second step should be establishing management principles as well as the implementation guides. Implementation standards should be set, as well.
A project can be broadly said to have five main characteristics, which include; scope, time, resource, quality, and risk. Scope defines what a project should cover. Time specifies the tasks to be undertaken, and the period to cover them. Quality, on the other hand, tells what the project should constitute. Finally, risk specifies what may disrupt the smooth running of a project and the measure that can be taken. Scope is particularly important. It defines what should be accomplished by a project and the method created to achieve the desired results. When defining the scope, the project manager should clearly define the project and budget in details. A good project scope specifies the results to be expected, and the tasks to be undertaken it also specifies the time when the client expects the results. Activities outside the scope of the project should not be incorporated into the project.
Resource as a characteristic of a project must be highly considered for a successful completion of a project. Resources could be people who are implementing the project, money to fund the project, equipment to be used in the project, and anything else that may be necessary to complete the project apart from labor. Constraints could occur due to lack of these resources. The project may not even be successful if the resources were not available, and this could lead to the failure of the project. The resources could be thin you can store or things which are not storable. Storable resources are always available unless depleted. They may also replenish. Resources which cannot be stored need renewal after some time, whether utilized or not in the previous periods. Resources should be scheduled for proper completion of a project. Limited resources should be allocated basing on priority of an activity. Project managers use the “Critical Path Method” to determine priority. A schedule, which is efficient, should be created, by the stakeholders, ensuring that the duration is minimized and that the resource is used maximally.
Time is yet another important characteristic of a project. Good project managers must have proper time estimates. This is mainly because project contracts are priced and, if poor time management happens, more money, which could not be available, may be needed to complete the project. Many people use the time to determine the reliability of a project manager. If a manager keeps on delaying the project, he may end up getting a poor reputation hence he may never be contracted again in the future. Many times project mangers underestimate the period to complete projects especially when they are not conversant with the tasks, which must be undertaken. They usually forget to incorporate time for the unexpected event or the unscheduled work, which could also be a priority. Effective project managers must, therefore, consider the time factor.
Project quality is also significantly important. This helps to ensure that project end results are met and that they meet the expectations of the client. Misinterpretations and errors must be avoided always. The stated needs must be satisfied by a project. These needs usually come from the stakeholders of a project. A quality plan is very vital as it helps to incorporate the desired activities to be undertaken to come up with the desired product or service. The quality team must maintain proper communication with all the project stakeholders to know the definition of the desired quality. Quality must go with the budget, as it would make little sense if the quality described cannot be met by the set budget.
Project risk means the likelihood of an event that will interfere with the successful completion of a project. Project managers should always identify the possible risks, and come up with proper solutions to those risks. Risk management involves four phases, which include; risk identification, risk analysis and quantification, risk mitigation planning, and risk response. The risks should be monitored, and controlled throughout the project life. All the five characteristics of a project must be taken in to consideration before the commencement of a project. This will ensure that the project is completed in time, produces the desired deliverables, the scope is maintained, resources utilized properly, and finally, risk management.