Project Management Processes - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Project Management Process Groups  
Project Management Processes

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-959-6 (49 Pages)
This free eBook will help you to identify the appropriate project management process to apply at any point in your own project. You will learn what each of the process groups consists of and the processes you need to perform within each group during your project.

Chapter 1 - Project Management Processes
All projects have an identifiable life cycle that involves: Starting the project, organizing and preparing, carrying out the work and closing the project. This is known as a four-phase life cycle and it can help you to understand what it is that makes a project different from a business process. Many real-world projects will have initiation, executing, and closure processes all happening at the same time, but considering them in isolation can help you to focus on what needs to be done at particular points in a project, phase, sub-phase or work package.

Chapter 2 - Project Initiation Processes
The aim of the initiation phase is to answer the questions 'what is this project trying to achieve and why?' It consists of those processes performed to authorize and define the scope of a new phase or project or that can result in the continuation of halted project work. A large number of the initiating processes are typically done outside the project's scope of control by the organization, program, or portfolio processes and those processes provide input to the project's initiating processes group.

Chapter 3 - Project Planning Processes
The emphasis of the planning phase is to develop an understanding of how the project will be executed and a plan for acquiring the resources needed to execute it. Although much of the planning activity takes place during the planning phase, it is important to remember that the project plan will continue to be adjusted to respond to new challenges and opportunities.

Chapter 4 - Project Executing Processes
Executing consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project plan to accomplish the project's requirements. Execution process involves coordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan. This process is where most of the work is carried out, and where products and deliverables are built, assembled, constructed, and created. It is also here that procurement and team development takes place.

Chapter 5 - Monitoring and Controlling Processes
This is where the performance of the project is measured and action is taken based on an analysis of this data. The results of the executing processes are compared against the plan and where differences exist, corrective action is taken either to change the plan itself or the way in which the plan is being executed.

Chapter 6 - Change Control Processes
Change control is a formal process used to ensure that changes to a product or system are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner. It reduces the possibility that unplanned changes will be introduced. The goals of a change control procedure usually include minimal disruption to services, reduction in back-out activities, and cost-effective utilization of resources involved in implementing change.

Chapter 7 - Project Closure Processes
This phase represents the formal completion of the project deliverables and their transfer to the final beneficiaries - usually internal or external customers. This phase also includes 'administrative closure,' which is the termination of the activities of the project team, the completion of all project documentation, and a formal sign-off of any contracts

You will learn:
  • How projects can be divided into processes and how this affects the way the project is managed.
  • How the initiation process answers the questions 'what is this project trying to achieve and why?'
  • Why accurate estimates are an essential part of the planning process and how these estimates are arrived at.
  • How the monitoring and controlling processes work to either change the plan or alter the way it is being executed.
  • Why it is essential to have agreed change control processes in place to prevent improvised changes from creating confusion.

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There is a wealth of knowledge in this short book
As a bit of a novice in the field of project management I needed all the help I could get. I am not formally trained in project management so many of the concepts are foreign to me. After reading this and other books on the topic of project management, I am feeling a little more confident in my abilities to successfully managing my upcoming (first ever) large engineering project. I am sure that many of you like me often find yourself short on time with a big to do list. Even so, taking the time to read over this book before tackling a project will likely be worth your while. If you have an advanced knowledge on the subject, you may want to skim through a few of the more elementary sections but I am certain the later parts of the book will be worth a read.

If you are a newbie like I am, take some time and read through this a few times, you will be surprised at the wealth of knowledge in this short book. Process groups can be broken down into five groups according to this book. The five groups are initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing. The book goes on to mention that these do not have to be done in order. If you are seeking to learn more about the five process groups you will find a few very useful graphics later into the book. Like many of their other books, this one is pretty easily understood.

The Deming Cycle or P-D-C-A is the next topic covered and it simply stands for plan, do, check, and act. As you progress through the book you may be tempted to skim some of the seemingly redundant areas but unless you have a good base knowledge already, I would suggest avoiding the urge. In my personal opinion, a few of the processes and details could have been shortened but perhaps some of you will disagree with me. I did find the section on determining when a project actually starts to be interesting but somewhat unimportant to the overall theme of the book, again feel free to disagree with me on that.

I feel as is anyone from novice to seasoned leader could learn a thing or two from this book. With its universal experience reach you will likely find some sections to be redundant or elementary but this is still a valuable, free resource that many of us could learn from. If you like this book you should also check out 'Project Management Principles' also available at free-management-eBook
Jason Greaves

Worthwhile even if you are not a project manager
Having read, and enjoyed, another book on the topic of project management, I decided to read through 'Project Management Processes' and see what more I could learn about this topic. I was pleased to see that this book picks up largely where the other leaves off and adds nicely to the knowledge I had already gained. While project management is unlikely to ever be my main job description, I find it beneficial to learn as much as possible about a range of topics, and these books are a great way for me to do just that.

Those five groups are Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing. What I really found interesting about these groups is the point that was made about them not having to be strictly sequential with one following after the previous one is finished. They do naturally occur in the order which they are listed, but often will overlap for part of a project. I feel that I have wasted time and resources in the past by not moving on with the next step of a project because one phase wasn't technically all finished up. While I'm not a project manager specifically, I still feel that this concept is something I can put into use.

My only complaint about this book really isn't a complaint about the book itself, it would just be that the book is beyond the scope of my own personal uses. The bulk of the content works into more detail regarding the specific process groups and the processes within them. I'm sure for someone working towards, or already in, the project management field, this information is highly relevant and important to understand. I still enjoyed reading about it and learning some of the ideas, but don't think most of it will end up being useful to me in the real world.

With that said, I did find some value for myself in the discussion regarding the closing process. It is my own personal opinion that projects taken on by organizations often run long because there is a lack of strategy to finish off all loose ends and confirm completion. The points that the book makes in reference to project management closing are something that I think a lot of people could take away value from to make sure that their projects, whatever they may be, don't run on longer than necessary.

Overall, this is a valuable book that can bring a different amount of value for different readers. For me, I am still glad I took the time to read it, although some of the content won't be of much use to me down the road. For others who are more directly in the project management field, however, I'm sure the book will be more useful from start to finish. Either way, it is easy to comprehend and is worth the time to read to gain a better understanding of some of the building blocks in the field of project management.
Susan Brewer

Project Management

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