project management

What is Project Management

Learn about Project Management with Lucky Ali
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Kasak 2005

Case breakdown: Movie Kasak

The scene shows a conversation between Amar (played by Lucky Ali) and a contractor. The contractor mentions that he is working on an Rs. 500 crore project. Amar’s plot of land is hampering his project and the contractor requests him to sell his land to him. He agrees on selling the land but at 10 times the price.

The contractor needs to complete his project and is willing to buy the land even at a higher price.

In this blog, Learning Perspectives will explore the meaning of project management.

What is Project Management?

Project management deals with planning and organizing projects. This is generally in organizations. It could be a long-term or a short-term project. Similar to the scene that we saw, the contractor is aware that his project needs to be completed and to achieve his goal he needs to have quality controls in place.

Many times, project management is associated with construction and engineering projects. Nowadays, projects are related to Information technologies (IT) too. IT initiative includes a technology component.

Projects generally follow a pattern of planning, induction, implementation, controlling, and closing. All projects are allotted a certain budget and a time frame within which it needs to be completed. There are methodologies to achieve project management in IT.

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Understand Project Management with a Video

The methodology is an agreed way of working on a project. This way may involve processes, documentation, requirements, changes, communications, etc. Some of the methodologies are waterfall and agile.

Waterfall Methodology:

Traditional software projects often use a ‘waterfall approach’. As the name suggests, working in a linear fashion. All requirements analysis and designs are completed prior to the implementation stage. For example, while creating a website there could be the following stages:

  • Initiative
  • Analysis
  • Requirements
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance

The time frame would be divided for each phase. For example, the Initiative stage will be covered in 1 week, the analysis stage would take 2 weeks, and so on.

When the requirements and designs are frozen in the project which is approved by the client for the website. During the development stage, if the client isn’t happy with the website, it becomes difficult to go back to the design or the requirement stage as it is expensive for the company. Although, the client will be billed accordingly as the cost of the project increases. This back and forth is not encouraged in waterfall methodology.

Agile Methodology:

This is a newer approach to working. Here tasks are performed iteratively. Requirements are determined in smaller stages related to the current piece of work. They will continue to be determined and analyzed throughout the lifecycle of the project. In this methodology, the focus is on flexibility and adaptability. Hence, changes can be made in response to the client’s needs and desires.

The difference between Agile and Waterfall is captured in the image below:

projectmanagement

This image indicates a linear fashion in which the waterfall model works. Pay close attention to the arrows in the picture. While under Agile methodology one can move back and forth in the stages indicating the flexibility involved. Also, Agile is not considered a methodology but rather guidance on how to choose methods and procedures that work best in a project.

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