I spent two days last week taking the Project Planning and Scheduling class offered by The Career & Professional Development at CCE . I was interested in this class. Reading the course description made me even more interested. The course will cover project plan development, project initiation, as well as scope planning, project execution, verification and change control. I felt that it would give me a good skill set that would be very helpful when organizing my projects at work as well as in my personal life. I have to admit that some of the terminologies used in the course were new to me, but I managed to understand the main points and concepts by the second day.
The main takeaways for me were the following:
1- A project life-cycle consists of 6 steps; pre-project phase, project initiation, planning, implementation, close-out, and post-project evaluation/reflection.
2. In the pre-project phase, we need to identify the project scope that can be expressed as the shopping list of things that the project must deliver or the project objectives.
3. I also learned about the project charter, which is a high-level summary of project scope, objectives, desired-end state, constraints, and assumptions. It’s usually important to have pre-approved financial resources dedicated to a project prior to the development of a project charter.
We used an example project, titled ‘A picnic at the beach,’ in class to simplify the concept of a project charter. The project assumed two friends, “Rania” and “Nataly,” who decided to go to the beach and have a picnic and a walk, watch the sunset, and make it back home in time to watch their favourite TV show “The Desperate Housewives.” Both friends agreed to limit spending on that project to less than $100.00. In such an example, project objectives and tasks will be the following:
The constraints of the projects are to drive to the beach, enjoy it and come back home by the time to watch the TV show. The assumptions are: the weather will be permissible, nothing will hinder having fun at the beach, the drive to the beach and back home will go smooth with no road accidents/ constructions. A major assumption is that the total cost for the project is less than $100.00.
All steps of the project life-cycle are important, however, I would say the first 3 steps are very critical in any project’s life-cycle because in these steps you would identify the project goals, problems and whether the timeline you planned for the implementation phase is feasible. The more time you give yourself in the first 3 steps the better because you need to ensure that you have covered all the important aspects of your project; the negatives and the positives. In my next post, I will discuss the scheduling aspect of project management. I hope you enjoyed this snapshot of project management. Can you think of any simple examples from your life where you apply some of the concepts of project planning?