What is it?
Project management (PM) is the scientific discipline of planning, organizing, securing and managing resources (natural, human, social, financial), as well as managing risks, to bring about the successful completion of projects with specific objectives. PM requires special expertise and entails the recognition of the project’s context: objectives; business case; interdependence with other projects; expectations of interested parties; time, resource and budget limits; sense of social responsibility.
It is much more than scheduling.
Why is it important?
A project is a social system in the sense that it constitutes an intervention with impacts on the organization, on the interested parties and on society. PM contributes to the success not only of the project, but of the whole organization, while enhancing its potential for sustainable performance and thus its viability.
PM methods apply to a variety of projects, such as: cultural, social, research, business administration, environmental management systems, construction, information technology, marketing, innovation, tourist administration, communication, etc.
Close the Loop offers its Project Management related services at two levels:
1. Organisational Level
At this level, the gradual maturity of the organisation is supported to become a project-oriented organisation (POC, i.e. an organisation working through projects), by such services as:
- capacity building of management staff on general project management practices, or specific project management tools (e.g. scheduling, risk management, project team coordination)
- organisation of a coordination and control system of projects/programmes
- organisation of Project Management Office
2. Project Level
At this level, the project management of specific on-going or planned projects is supported, in order to guarantee their successful outcome, by such services as:
- structural and temporal analysis of the project (work breakdown structure, scheduling)
- project stakeholders identification and relationships management
Close the Loop does not restrict its services to issues of Technical Competence, but expands them to cover the Behavioural (individual and team) and Organisational Competences of an organisation.
Adaptation to the modern trend of managing by projects
Discovering of opportunities to reduce the cost and duration of projects, while increasing its quality
Increase of transparency and effectiveness in resource management and in projects/programmes coordination
Project and organisation sustainability performance improvement
Enhances the team spirit within the organisation
Provides opportunities for the emergence of personnel's virtues and talents
The term “Project” refers to a temporary endeavour that aims at the production/generation of specific goods/services/systems which takes place within specific time, quality and financial constraints. It has a specific beginning and end (life cycle), as well as its own purpose and structure. It is a part of a wider system which sets the context of the project’s existence and operation, while its performance is evaluated on the basis of preset criteria.
The basic project management processes, according to the International Project Management Association (IPMA) are:
- Planning of the project team's organisation structure and context,
- Continuous project Coordination
- Project Controlling
- Crisis Management
- Project Close-Down and Reporting of the project's outcomes
Project Management requires the application of specialised knowledge and tools. Project Scheduling, along with the respective software, is not synonymous to project management. It is just a (necessary for large projects) tool, which aids at project controlling.
At the Project Level, Close the Loop can have a significant contribution as the project manager's consultant, through:
- Examining the project’s scope (role) in the long-term strategy of the organization and in connection with other projects of a wider programme
- Organizing workshops for determining the context of the project
- Recognizing the interested parties (those affecting the project of affected by it) and managing their relations with the project
- Identifying the Objective and Work breakdown structures.
- Developing plans and schedules for resources fluctuations, for budgeting and for Earned Value Analyses
- Designing Project Coordination and Control schemes
- Designing the project organization chart and the project context relationships (strategy, business case, environment analysis, pre- and post-project analysis)
- Developing the project’s culture
- Developing project management documentation files
- Managing risks, opportunities and crises.
- Developing the Project Score Card and Project Status Reports
- Coordinating the Project Close-down
Close the Loop applies PM principles in all its activities. The delivery of a service to a customer constitutes for us a distinct project which is run in accordance with PM rules. Therefore, we can also offer PM training, along with any other service requested from us (e.g. LCA or Carbon Footprint), as the organisation’s personnel can experience our way of work from a project directly related to the organisation.