Professional and Technical Writing/Project Management

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Project Management[edit]

Project management is the art of precisely planning and managing certain tasks and resources in order to reach a desired goal. It takes strong business and organizational skills to be a successful project manager. If projects were not managed, then nothing would ever get accomplished. Project management is often thought to be associated with construction and engineering, but it can apply to any job where one person is combining the efforts of others to finish a task. For example, the coach of a sports team could be considered a project manager in the sense that the game is a project. The coach uses his resources (the players, timeouts, etc.) to carry out his objective. The objective is to win the game. The art of project management relies on effective use of everyone's skills to achieve a goal.

Project[edit]

The project is important part of "Project Management". The project is the manager's sole responsibility.He is in charge of all the aspects of the project. Projects involve specific goals, tasks, objectives, plans and deadlines. For example, the Minnesota Twins are working on building their new stadium, Target Field. The specific task is building the stadium and they have building plans and funding plans set forth before they start the process of building. The new stadium is defined as one big project.

Management[edit]

Management is the task of bringing people together to accomplish a desired goal or project. Management takes discipline, organization, and strong personal communication skills. Without the ability to communicate and lead people effectively, a project would ultimately end with poor results. Management can also be used to describe the people who operate a company.

Manager[edit]

A manager is the person or people who are given the duties of overseeing those who carry out the details of the project. They are in charge of a group of people who work for them. The size of the group and number of people involved in the project varies depending on the size of the project.

The unique thing about managers is that they do not need to be good at the tasks that are involved with the project. They do, however, need to be able to delegate assignments and resources to the appropriate people and meet the deadlines. A knowledge of what is required to accomplish the project is what makes an outstanding manager along with great organization and communication skills.

It is important for a project manager to act and look professional. Their job is important, and of course in all things business, image is everything.

History[edit]

Project Management was a term developed in the early 1900s in America when a man named Henry Gantt developed a chart, which he called the Gantt chart. Gantt was a mechanical engineer by profession, and developed the chart to keep his projects on schedule. For nearly fifty years this was how project management was run. Not until the 1950s did a new system begin to take place which is how we now know project management. Like everything else in life, it got complicated. Mathematical equations were introduced to help keep things accurate with costs, time, and resource allocation.

Gantt Chart[edit]

A chart of this type shows the critical elements of a project via horizontal bars. At the top is a list of the days or weeks depending on the size of the project. The bars are then situated to line up with when each element will be started and completed. The solidness of a bar represents the duration of the task at hand.

Resources[edit]

Resources such as time, money and the inputs going into the project are the most crucial aspects of a quality project manager's job. Appropriately using these resources is the task the manager faces. Without these resources there would really be no need for the project manager, as they are in charge of managing the resources in order to achieve the task at hand.

Time[edit]

Time is an important factor in the day to day work of a project manager. Time involves deadlines, which are crucial to a job. If a project manager does not stay on track with the schedule, the consequences could be severe. On a construction job, if the construction company fails to finish on time, the hiring firm may decide to fire them, and find someone who will do the job on time. A good project manager uses time wisely. If a certain part can not be delivered on time, the manager must find another way to continue doing something constructive. Time should never be wasted. A project manager needs to be efficient in allocating time and meeting deadlines. The project manager not only has to worry about his time, but also the time of everyone he or she manages. Good use of time by all parties involved leads to high productivity.

Money[edit]

Money is important to a project manager because it enables them to buy the materials that are needed to complete the project. There are many costs associated with construction. For example, there is the lumber, the fixtures, the delivery costs and labor. Most importantly, all of these things need to be figured into the overall budget. The main goal with money on a project is to stay on budget. A project manager can often prove to the hiring firm that they are exceptional by doing a job that comes in under budget, without sacrificing the desires of the customer. This is due to great allocation skills and creativity. The reason that money management is so important is because the overall goal of business is to increase profits. This reason alone makes money management that much more significant. If a budget is ignored and the project is over cost, then the firm loses money.

Inputs[edit]

The allocation of the resources of a project is important in the fact that some things yield a higher efficiency when used in different ways. You would not want to run out of a given input at any time. Also there is a need to not waste any products if possible. Some pieces may need to be moved around to accommodate the availability or certain goods. This is where a good project manager can succeed. If a delivery is delayed, they could use inputs from another area of the project, that may have more time to complete.

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