5 Structures for Helping Students Learn Project Management

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Project management represents the process of using specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques with the purpose of delivering something valuable. This process indicates changes. The development of technology had a huge positive impact on project management results. With innovative software, apps, and programs, it is possible to have a new perspective on the project and follow the steps that need to be completed.

People are using different types of approaches with the help of the best saas project management software that you canĀ find here. However, when it comes to teaching students project management, it is highly important that along with the software usage, students are actually engaged in the process. This will help increase productivity because the overall process of planning will be much easier, and every step through the project will be done much more effectively.

The project management process is usually broken down into separate structures which are referred to as:

  • initiation
  • planning
  • execution
  • monitoring and control
  • closure

These structures present a project life cycle that every beginner needs to be introduced to, so he can handle project management learning adequately. The project life cycle is determining the right flow of project operations and in the end, it brings the project to a successful conclusion. Let’s talk about each segment of this cycle separately.

The first structure of project management – project initiation

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Initiation stands for the formal start of every project. This structure begins with the specific problem that project management needs to handle, therefore the initiation explains the purpose of the project. In this segment, all important things regarding the following project need to be defined. Primarily, the project needs to be justified and its potential benefits need to be estimated.

After that, it is crucial to evaluate the problem from all angles and to determine in which way the project can resolve that problem. The budget for the project also needs to be determined. Further, it is relevant to define project goals and size, potential project risks, and the organization of the project. There also need to be specific criteria for following and closing the project.

The second structure of project management – project definition and planning

Let’s go to the next structure of project management that students need to learn about. As everyone knows project planning presents a key that will induce the successful project management flow. The planning process needs to start with setting specific goals. There are two methods used often which are the SMART and the CLEAR method. When it comes to the first one, is linked to realistic, specific, measurable, and timely elements. The other method is more collaborative, appreciable, refinable, and emotional.

This structure also needs to define the project scope, project plan, and work schedule. Further, this means that time, costs, and resources that the project requires, need to be identified. Also, it is important to divide roles and give responsibilities to all members of the project. Finally, the team also needs to set progress checkpoints, so they can follow the effectiveness of the project management. During this structure, the team needs to develop a communication and collaborative plan. In that way, they will ensure that all goes smoothly.

The third structure of project management – project launching and implementation

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Students should learn what the implementation of the project means. This term is also known as project execution and it refers to putting the project plan into action. During this project management structure, members of the team need to carry out all the tasks and activities that they planned previously. This will result in producing so-called project deliverables. These deliverables depend on the project itself, they can be gathering information on the specific projects and their prices, or anything else.

In this structure, project managers usually manage the budget and resources, control the team, and collaborate with stakeholders. This is a very important project management structure because if it is carefully monitored, you can ensure that the project plan is on the right track. As well mentioned, there are so many different tools, techniques, and software that can be used during this structure that will help in managing different elements like cost, time, quality, and potential risk occurrence.

The fourth structure of project management – project monitoring and control

This structure is highly important for project execution. Monitoring and control require measuring progressional as well as the performance of the project management. Additionally, at this time, it is highly important for the team and managers to deal effectively with all problems that occur. Many decide to use KPIs which stand for key performance indicators that are determining whether or not the project is on the right track and whether everything goes according to plan.

There are different things that members of the team can measure such as whether the project is progressing on a set schedule and budget, whether the specific tasks are completed and whether occurred problems are correctly addressed. When the performance is measured and controlled, the team can define whether the project management conclusion will be successful.

The fifth structure of project management – a project close

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Finally, we came to the last structure of project management that students need to learn about which refers to the closure of the project that has been led. During this, the team needs to complete the work on deadline and dissolve the overall project. However, it is important to highlight that the close of the project does not necessarily mean success. The project can be closed even when the project is canceled or fails.

The structure of project closure includes various things such as handing over the deliverables, releasing resources and team members, handing project documents, completing all activities included in the project, preparing the project reports, etc. Once the project is closed, the managers can carry out a post-implementation project review. This can be a great opportunity where everyone can evaluate the project’s progress and highlight the pros and cons. Understanding weak areas and failures are very important, so the team can learn lessons and improve their performance in future projects.