Project Management Theory and Practice

Below is a summary of a critical Project Managment document in Australia – The document Project Management Theory and Practice –  the focus of the review will be on the initiation and planning stages of the document. It outlines some of the major documents required – Love reading and learning about Project Management – visit the website for more information.

Background

In 2010, the first edition of this book was released, with the current edition, the third edition recently published in 2018. The third edition, written for students, gives them a broad idea of project management and it is not particularly focused on any one industry. The publication takes an in-depth look at the Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), Earned Value Management (EVM), Portfolio Management (PPM), enterprise project management, professional responsibility an ethics, and agile life cycle. The text also includes a section written by industry experts sharing their insights and expertise on the challenges and changes facing the industry (Richardson & Jackson 2018, pp. xxi-xxii).

The reason I have chosen to include this book in my assignment is because of the authors’ motivation to help simply the language used in project management materials. One of the authors was teaching project management at the University of Houston and found that there were not many texts available then that students could easily understand. The authors went on with the objective to create a resource that supports the PMBOK Guide so that it can help students who are studying for the various project management certifications (Richardson & Jackson 2018, p. xxi). As a student with no project management experience, I heavily rely on this resource to help me understand the project management processes and concepts and have found the simple language used to be very beneficial in helping me grasp the complex project management concepts.

Summary on the initiation and planning stage

This text explains that the reason why the initiation stage is important is because the primary goal of this stage is to have an idea dissected and investigated before determining if it is one worth pursuing and is in line with organisational goals. It enjoins that this is the phase where stakeholders are first consulted, the business case is developed and reviewed, and the Project Charter is signed off (Richarson & Jackson 2018, p. 96). The publication also writes that the initiation stage plays a critical part in the project management process as it ensures there is a clear understanding of what the project is and what its requirements and goals are (Richardson & Jackson 2018, p. 103). The book further outlines that in the initiation process of the project, the preliminary scope statement is developed – this statement turned the vision into quantitative specifications that gives a better understanding of the technical requirements of the project (Richardson & Jackson 2018, p. 102).

The reason why the planning stage is important as this is the stage where each knowledge area is identified and addressed during this stage (Richardson & Jackson 2018, p. 106). The planning stage of a project commences once the initiation stage is approved and the book describes in great detail that this stage is about figuring out what is required and how it is going to be achieved. The text also explains that this stage is the opportunity to look at what potential hazard may arise and prepare for them to give the project the best chance of success (Richardson & Jackson 2018, pp. 105-110).  Read Review on Project Management for dummies here.

Documents are created to address the knowledge areas. The documents vary depending on the project but the following are some of the common artefacts included in a project plan:

  • Approved scope definition
  • Work Break Down Structure
  • Baseline performance testing and user acceptance plans
  • Estimate of materials and time
  • Sequence of work order
  • Risk and stakeholder and Commnications management plans (Richardson & Jackson 2018, p. 109)

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