1. Project Management Methodology
By Dr M alik Khalid Mehmood
Project management in the modern sense began in the early 1960s,
driven by businesses that realized the benefits of organizing work
around projects, and the critical need to communicate and co -ordinate
work across departments and professions.
Project management is no small task. It has a definite beginning and
end, and is not a continuous process. Project management uses various
tools to measure progress and track project tasks. Projects need a d-hoc
resources, as opposed to businesses that have dedicated full-time
Project management methodologies consist of four to five process groups, and a control
system. Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, project management uses
the same basic processes. Process groups typically include:
2. Planning and Design
4. Monitoring and Controlling
All projects start with an idea for a product, service, or other desirable out come. The
initiation process group determines the nature and scope of the project. If this stage is not
performed well, it is unlikely the project will be successful in meeting the businesses needs.
The key project controls needed, are an understanding of the business environment and
making sure all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies should
be reported and a recommendation made to fix them.
The first project document is the project charter, which
Scope and deliverables
Milestone plan and timeline
Risks and issues
The charter answers the basic question, "What are we trying to
2 . P l a n n i n g a nd D e s i g n
After initiation, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail. The main purpose is to
plan time, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to manage risk
effectively during project execution. This is recorded in the project management plan. As
with the initiation process group, a failure to plan adequately lessens the project's chances of
Project planning includes:
Developing the scope statement
Developing the schedule (Gantt chart)
Developing the budget
Selecting the team
Creating a work breakdown structure
2. 3. Execution
Execution consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project
management plan, to accomplish the project's objectives. The execution process involves
coordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the
project. The deliverables are produced as outputs from the processes performed as defined in
the project management plan.
4 . M o ni t o r i n g a n d C o n t r o l l i n g
The monitoring and controlling process group involves managing and tracking the project,
so potential problems can be identified quickly and corrective action taken. To do this the
project management plan is used. Monitoring and controlling includes:
Measuring the ongoing project activities (where are we, against where we
Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope) against the project management
plan and the project baseline (where should we be?)
Identifying corrective actions to address risks and issues (how can we get back on
Managing changes using our change control process (what is the impact of this
The monitoring and controlling process group ends once the project has achieved its
goals and objectives as detailed in the project contract. A project may be stopped
before completion for various reasons, including changes in the business, lack of
resources or higher priorities.
Project closing is an important part of project management, sometimes overlooked. A project
that is not closed will continue to consume resources.
Closing a project means finishing all activities across all process groups, splitting up the
project team, and signing off the project with the customer.
At this point it is important to know how well the project has performed. This is done using
the project closure report. It communicates how well the project has performed against its
original business case, quality measures, cost, duration and tole rances.
Rather than leave valuable project experiences locked in people’s heads, it's a good idea to
complete and publish a lessons learned report. This is used to pass on valuable learning that
can be applied to future projects.
P r oj e c t Cont r ol
Project control is that part of a project that keeps it on -track, on-time and within budget.
Project control begins early in the project with planning, and ends late in the project with
Projects should be assessed for the right level of control needed: too much control is
time-consuming, too little control is risky. If project control is not carried out correctly, the
cost to the business should be clarified in terms of errors, fixes and added costs.
Typical elements of project control are:
Overall business strategy
Standards for new systems
Project management policies