Project Management Skills Training – Project definition and proposal

by ltconsulting on October 4, 2011

Managing projects is not easy, but it is a crucial task in the workplace. Our Project Management training course will present delegates with useful strategies that will assist them with:

  • organising projects
  • improving project management skills
  • managing projects effectively
  • project planning
  • becoming a great project manager

With ever-increasing workloads and deadlines, the ability to manage our time has never been more important. Project management is a crucial factor in work and our project management courses are created to ensure that delegates can make their work based projects as efficient and effective as possible. We do this by supplying a project management training course that is full of tools and tips for improving project planning, time planning, delegation, organisation and management strategies, managing meetings, as well as handling and using time effectively. Our Project Management Course will cover subjects such as goal setting, improving organisation skills and managing time successfully. Our seminars are packed with useful tips and techniques that allow you to become a better project manager instantly.

Project definition and proposal

Define the project. This can be summarised as PASS (Purpose, Authority, Strategy, Skills)

In the project definition, you will identify:

  • The purpose of your project and the net gain it should achieve
  • The authority required for you to proceed to the planning stage
  • The initial strategy for successful project completion
  • An outline skills profile of the capabilities required for your project

Project purpose

Projects evolve for two primary reasons

  1. A problem has occurred and requires correction to meet previous objectives
  2. An opportunity exists for a new development or improvement in performance

Problem projects involve putting right what ever has gone wrong. First you must identify the problem and then the actions required to return to the planned level of performance.

Project authority

Projects fall into two general categories

  1. Those that can be completed within existing authority, resources or budget
  2. Those that need additional resources from inside or outside the organisation

If you require additional resources you will either need approval from senior management, or to persuade and negotiate with colleagues in other departments to support the project. These types of project authority can be broken down into:

Existing authority

Negotiable authority – short term, negotiated authority
Imposed authority – needing authority from senior management

You will have to consider carefully what you can do within the existing or negotiable authority you already possess, and which activities require further authority and what you must do to get it before you can proceed.

Project Definition And Strategy

Even if your project does not require additional authority, you should develop a detailed definition of your project to justify proceeding to the planning stage.

The following eight steps are typical of the actions required in final project definition.

  1. Gather information, identify tasks, and consult with any project stakeholders.
  2. Define the purpose of your project in greater detail, emphasising likely gains.
  3. Evaluate the time and cost parameters required to achieve these project gains.
  4. Develop alternative strategies for achieving the project outcome you identified.
  5. Analyse each alternative strategy for quality of outcome versus cost versus time.
  6. Select the best strategy for maximum gain against minimum costs and/or time.
  7. Create a skills profile detailing the skill range needed to achieve your strategy.
  8. Report back to senior management to give information or to gain final approval.

Problem or opportunity projects

These steps can be used to develop either problem related projects or opportunity related projects. Problem projects tend to be easier to strategise because you are dealing with a known situation. The corrective phase of a problem may mean rejecting previous commitments or directing staff who are not achieving the planned performance. You need to look at what is familiar from a new perspective and develop a strategy to achieve the results required within acceptable cost and time limits.

Exercise

Look at the scenario below and work through the eight steps of the project definition.

The training section of a large organisation noticed that attendance on some of its technical courses had been falling off progressively over the past few months. Training evaluation forms completed during and after courses indicated satisfaction with the delivery of training sessions and the materials used, although the written comments on some of the forms questioned the relevance of some of the sessions to their actual work.

(1) Gather information, identify tasks, and consult with any project stakeholders.

(2) Define the purpose of your project in greater detail, emphasising likely gains.

(3) Evaluate the time and cost parameters required to achieve these project gains.

(4) Develop alternative strategies for achieving the project outcome you identified.

(5) Analyse each alternative strategy for quality of outcome versus cost versus time.

(6) Select the best strategy for maximum gain against minimum costs and/or time.

(7) Create a skills profile detailing the skill range needed to achieve your strategy.

(8) Report back to senior management to give information or to gain final approval.

Discuss your project definition notes with your line manager or a colleague to test you analysis then ask for ideas or suggestions before you develop your project further.

The course is designed to help delegates organise their workload while planning a project. This is done with the aid of Gantt charts and project management templates, tools and techniques. This course is also a great option if you seek project management for junior staff in the workplace as it will informatively aid staff in planning successful projects.

There are many benefits of being a project manager such as; better task management; increased self esteem; the ability to negotiate more effectively and reduce the stress which results from a lack of effective planning.

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