What is Project Management?
For project plans to produce the desired results they need to integrate, support and inform marketing strategy, development and direction. A project plan can be made up of one or more of the business tools below which include matrices and models to help identify almost every aspect of a business, from brand purpose, role players, actions, insights, competitors and company growth.
1. Project Charter
“If you don’t know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?” Basil S. Walsh
Creating a Project Charter is recommended for someone in project management who needs to identify, get buy in, track and measure a specific project. It outlines the:
A Project Charter should:
SmartSheet has Project Charter useful templates available for free download in word or excel.
2. Project Plan
“Plans are worthless. Planning is essential.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
While a Project Charter is an overview of a project, often to get buy in and approval for the framework, a Project Planworks on the approved structure and framework of the charter.
Bright Hub Project Management outlines the following points on how a Project Plan assists with the specific detail on executing, managing and controlling:
3. Project Plan Scope Triangle
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” Theophrastus
The Scope Triangle has been used in project training programmes for over 25 years and is a useful tool to use when looking at the three “primary forces” of a project as well as if, when and where a “trade off” between them is necessary:
As Nick Jenkins, from Project Smart says, “The best project managers will juggle all three like hot potatoes and will make decisions every day which effectively trade-off time versus quality versus resources.”
4. Ansoff’s Matrix
“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.” Henry Mintzberg
This strategic planning tool dates back to the 1960s and is named after its creator, Russian American mathematician and business manager, Harry Igor Ansoff, also known as the “father of strategic management”.
The Matrix is based on Ansoff’s definition of product-market strategy as being: “A joint statement of a product line and the corresponding set of missions which the products are designed to fulfil.” Within the axis of existing / new markets and existing /new products are:
The benefit of using Ansoff’s Matrix (also known as the Product/Market Expansion Grid) is that it can be used to, as MindTools explains, “Identify alternative growth strategies by looking at present and potential products in current and future markets.”
5. The Boston Matrix
“The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.” Jim Rohn
I’ve included this matrix as it is useful for companies with separate business units or diverse products, but as Strategic Management Insights points out, it needs to be used by following these steps –
• Draw the circles on a matrix.
6. Gartner’s Hype Cycle
“Realistically, the world (and the technology) aren’t quite ready for autonomous flying taxis.” Kasey Panetta
Unlike most of the tools on this list, Gartner’s Hype Cycle positions us firmly in the 21st Century. It’s described as, “A graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities.” But, more simply put, it’s positioning your product or business within a technology curve of expectation and time to see where it is / isn’t potentially relevant to the marketplace.
Gatner’s project tool drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle:
Which – as they explain – helps to “separate the hype from the real”. For further insights on this, read 5 Trends Emerge in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.
7. System Development Lifecycle (SDLC)
“Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organisation forward.” Joy Gumz
Over the last 15 years I have consciously or unconsciously used the SDLC model in many projects including helping start ups with business plans, building marketing strategies, supporting change management and of course developing IT solutions. This simple model is an method in defining the steps in the project plan through there are various other tools.
The SDLC, also known as the Application Development Life-Cycle, describes the process (often used in IT and Systems) is for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an process or information system.
There are six key stages in the SDLC cycle:
An additional note on the importance of this from Innovative Architects: ”The life cycle approach of any project is a time-consuming process. Even though some steps are more difficult than others, none are to be overlooked. An oversight could prevent the entire system from functioning as planned.”
For additional project planning tools Smart Insights have an article with more suggestions, including SWOT Analysis, the BCG Matrix, more on the Product Lifecycle Model, the PestleAnalysis Model and the BCG Matrix.
8. Bespoke Project Planning Tools
“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.” Joel Barker
At Prana Business Consulting we also create bespoke project planning tools based on our experience as well as specific client needs. Examples of these are our
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SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle and is also known as the Application Development Life-Cycle. SDLC describes the phases (often used in IT and Systems) of planning, creating, testing, and deploying a process or information system.
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