Functions of Management

Management is often summarized into five basic functions: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Although these basic management functions have been developed and used by managers of businesses, they apply equally to the management of a project. 
  • Planning is the formulation of a course of action to guide a project to completion.It starts at the beginning of a project, with the scope of work, and continues throughout the life of a project. The establishment of milestones and consideration of possible constraints are major parts of planning. Successful project planning is best accomplished by the participation of all parties involved in a project. There must be an explicit operational plan to guide the entire project throughout its life.
      • Organizing is the arrangement of resources in a systematic manner to fit the project plan. A project must be organized around the work to be performed. There must be a breakdown of the work to be performed into manageable units, which can be defined and measured. The work breakdown structure of a project is a multi-level system that consists of tasks, subtasks, and work packages.
          • Staffing is the selection of individuals who have the expertise to produce the work. The persons that are assigned to the project team influence every part of a project. Most managers will readily agree that people are the most important resource on a project. People provide the knowledge to design, coordinate, and construct the project. The numerous problems that arise throughout the life of a project are solved by people. 
          • Directing is the guidance of the work required to complete a project. The people on the project staff that provide diverse technical expertise must be developed into an effective team. Although each person provides work in his or her area of expertise, the work that is provided by each must be collectively directed in a common effort and in a common direction. 
          • Controlling is the establishment of a system to measure, report, and forecast deviations in the project scope, budget, and schedule. The purpose of project control is to determine and predict deviations in a project so corrective actions can be taken. Project control requires the continual reporting of information in a timely manner so management can respond during the project rather than afterwards. Control is often the most difficult function of project management.
           Key Concepts of Project Management
          • Ensure that one person, and only one person, is responsible for the project scope, budget, and schedule
          • Don't begin work without a signed contract, regardless of the pressure to start
          • Confirm that there is an approved scope, budget, and schedule for the project 
          • Lock in the project scope at the beginning and ensure there is no scope growth without approval 
          • Make certain that scope is understood by all parties, including the owner 
          • Determine who developed the budget and schedule, and when they were prepared 
          • Verify that the budget and schedule are linked to the scope 
          • Organize the project around the work to be performed, rather than trying to keep people busy 
          • Ensure there is an explicit operational work plan to guide the entire project 
          • Establish a work breakdown structure that divides the project into definable and measurable units of work 
          • Establish a project organizational chart that shows authority and responsibilities for all team members 
          • Build the project staff into an effective team that works together as a unit 
          • Emphasize that quality is a must, because if it doesn't work it is worthless, regardless of cost or how fast it is completed 
          • Budget all tasks; any work worth doing should have compensation 
          • Develop a project schedule that provides logical sequencing of the work required to complete the job 
          • Establish a control system that will anticipate and report deviations on a timely basis so corrective actions can be taken 
          • Get problems out in the open with all persons involved so they can be resolved 
          • Document all work, because what may seem irrelevant at one point in time may later be very significant 
          • Prepare a formal agreement with appropriate parties whenever there is a charge in the project 
          • Keep the client informed; they pay for everything and will use the project upon completion


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