Questions on Project Management and Risk.

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4475-305 – Principles of Project Management

Task 1

Explain the definition of a project and how it is different to routine work within an organisation.

A project, by definition, is a temporary activity with a starting date, it will have specific goals and conditions, defined responsibilities, a budget, a planning, a fixed end date and multiple parties involved. In short, you will know what you have to do, do it, once, and then it is the end of it.

Task 2

Explain how to prepare for and plan a project including;

  • The importance of agreeing aims and objectives
  • Three other important factors that must be agreed when preparing and planning a project.

Once the project has been agreed by the project sponsors and approved by the main stakeholders, you can move into the detailed planning phase. The project aims and objectives can become a working tool that helps to keep the project team focused on the project's tasks and activities and points them towards completion. It enables managers to keep track of resources, time and progress.

When the objectives are identified, trying to ensure that each objective is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound) is good practice or at least to have considered the extent to which these conditions could be met. As in all planning, this process is continuous and as new information becomes available and as the project progresses, changes will need to be made to aspects of the objectives and to the sequences of tasks that contribute to achievement of the completed project.

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All projects are different and the planning for each will be different. The difficulty with planning a unique activity is that there is no prototype from which to predict all the work that will need to be done, so the plan must evolve as work proceeds. Reviewing any similar projects that have been completed within the same organisation or in a similar setting to identify lessons that could be applied in a new project can be helpful.

Factors that need to be agreed when preparing and planning a project:

  • What actions are needed?
  • By when are these actions needed?
  • ...

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