Introduction to Project Management: Get Organized

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The undertaking of a project can seem overwhelming. However, there are steps taken in the preliminary stages of project management to help organize the project from the beginning, thus making it less stressful. When starting a project, a project charter will be the initial step. This will include many things such as identifying the Enterprise Environmental Factors and the overall general management structure of the project. With an organized start and brainstorming of the project and its elements, it can then take the next steps to being materialized. This article will examine the project charter, the Enterprise Environmental Factors and general management.

A project charter is the first step to starting any project. Technically it is defined as, a document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities. In other words a charter is the official birth of a project. It will note the objective of the project as well as whom it will affect. Working as an outline, it will also note any risks or issues that may arise during the process of completing the project. When starting a project of opening a bakery (just for example), the charter has a few components similar to a comprehensive business plan. Both include the elements or organizing details on how the business will be started and run. The objective is to obtain funding to open a small bakery. There is no budget allocated to this project, as the work hours will be put in by the one wishing to open the business. In a corporate setting the project charter will note the project and list the employees that will be used in the project. It might include any specific notes that need special attention or highlights that need to be pointed out when the project begins. There will also be a timeline, or completion date and general steps needed to be taken to ensure project success. Some risk factors will be included, but this is not to be considered all inclusive, as those factors will need to be updated as the project progresses.

During this first stage of managing a project, it is important to identify the Enterprise Environmental Factors. These factors are what will influence the project. In the bakery example listed above, some environmental factors would include the current overall economic status, interest rates of small business loans, the availability of rental sites in the desired area, the structure of the company, and marketing mediums and their costs. Other factors which would influence the project are the saturation of the field of restaurants/bakeries in the area, start-up costs, and the cost of buying equipment, health department regulations, and costs of daily supplies. In a corporate setting the Enterprise Environmental Factors will vary depending on the company that initiates the project and the individual factors that influence it. For example, a company wants to start a project of going green by installing solar panels. Some of the Enterprise Environmental Factors could be getting the permits needed to get authorization to install the panels. Other factors in that case will be the costs of construction, the process of switching to solar energy, and the process of selling back energy to the electrical company. By identifying these factors initially, and updating them as new circumstances are presented, the project has a better chance at running smoothly, thus leading to successful completion.

The general management of a project is the very backbone of how the project will run. This includes how the project will be planned, organized, staffed and executed. This will include who has what authority in the project. In the bakery business project, the person in charge will be the individual(s) who wish to own the business. That person will be the one to plan, organize, execute and control the operations of the project. However, in a corporate setting the details may vary. For example a charter might be started in a large company that would spell out different employees involved in the project. One employee might be in charge of the project while other employees will all participate according to their field of expertise (communications, raw materials, etc.). Interpersonal skills are very important in any project’s management. These skills include, leadership, team building, motivation, communication, influencing, decision making, political and cultural awareness and negotiation.

In conclusion, the beginning of a project starts with a project charter, which gives the authorization of the project. The next step is analyzing the Enterprise Environmental Factors, and determining the structure of the general management of the project. Starting any project with these steps will ensure an organized beginning that will facilitate the process until the completion. Without the organization that these steps entail, the project will be unorganized in theory and in practice which will lead to chaos in the development.