As a leading Change Management consultancy, why are we so committed to Project Management (PM)? On the one hand, because we have our roots in PM. We have supported our customers in more than 700 projects with a wide variety of PM topics over the past 25 years. On the other hand, because solid PM is the basis for every change project. Without excellent PM, any investment in Change Management is useless. Also, with every change measure, project sponsors and employees would rightly say: "First of all, make sure that the project runs properly". Of course, when projects become larger and more complex yet have shorter project time, companies come to depend on excellent PM more than ever.
But what really makes projects successful? Three requirements have emerged in the numerous PM projects of our customers:
- The company's own PM methods do not just exist on paper but are applied by project staff and demanded by management.
- The methods are neatly ‘married’ to the process model, for example the product development process or the IT process model.
- There are experts, internal or external, who know exactly how to apply the methods in practice. They support the projects in various roles.
Would you like to establish your sustainable PM methods in your company? Or are you looking for PM experts who can lead critical projects to success and, at the same time, make your PM methods work in practice? Then you are exactly right with us.
What is Project Management?
PM is the initiation, planning, execution, controlling and completion of projects. The aim is to plan and control a project well, to limit risks, to take advantage of opportunities and to achieve project goals qualitatively, on time and within budget. In the best-known PM method PMBOK® of the PM Institute (PMI®), PM is defined as the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to all activities within a project in order to achieve the project goals.
Project Management Standards
PM standards distinguish between methods and process models. Both are important for the successful implementation of projects in companies:
- The methods describe how a project is to be managed and contain all sub-disciplines of PM in the form of knowledge areas. The PM methods are well documented by institutes and associations. The two best known method standards are:
- Guide to the PM Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) of the PM Institute (PMI®)
- Prince2® (Projects in Controlled Environments) the former British Office of Government Commerce (OGC)
- Process models describe what must be done in a project and by whom. They also define the sequence of activities, that is - the processes. Examples are the V-Modell and the Product Development Process (PEP).
Project Management Processes and Phases
In the best-known PMBOK®-Guide of the PM Institute, five PM processes (or phases) are distinguished:
- In the Initiation Process, the feasibility of a project is checked before a high effort is invested in project planning and implementation. The process includes all steps to properly propose, analyze, verify, roughly plan, review and finally release or not release a project. The aim is to start projects only when they are actually needed, correspond to the corporate strategy, are realistically planned, have sufficient resources, and are supported by all involved divisions and departments. A proper execution of the initiation process increases the probability of project’s success.
- The Integrated Planning Process delivers the project plan as a result with which the project is managed, executed and controlled. As a basis for creating the integrated project plan, the so-called Knowledge Areas are planned step by step. These include the knowledge areas Scope, Time, Human Resources and Suppliers. The first integrated planning forms the basis for the subsequent iterative planning process. In further iterative steps, information from the above-mentioned as well as additional knowledge areas such as Cost, Quality, Communication, etc. is added and coordinated.
- In the Project Plan Execution Process, the project plan is realized and implemented. The work packages are handed over to the team members. During the execution of the project plan, the required work results are produced. When processing the work packages, the project manager's task is to provide adequate support to the team members and to ensure on-time delivery. After all, the project manager is ultimately responsible for the project result.
- In the Integrated Change Control Process, all changes in all project areas are controlled. Change requests are checked and executed upon release. A project without controlling is like driving a car without being able to see - the accident is pre-programmed. The PM monitors the project goals and the current status to keep the project on track. Compliance with delivery dates, progress in terms of content and cost planning must be constantly monitored.
- As soon as all delivery items are completed, the Closure Process can be initiated. The PM holds a meeting with the client to achieve the final acceptance of the project delivery items. The project resources that have completed their tasks are released and are now available to the organization again. All contractual obligations entered into by the various suppliers are formally terminated and the performance of the suppliers is evaluated by the project manager.
Project Management Knowledge Areas
The PMBOK® distinguishes ten knowledge areas of PM:
- Integration Management
- Scope Management
- Time Management
- Cost Management
- Quality Management
- Human Resources Management
- Communications Management
- Risk Management
- Procurement Management
- Stakeholder Management
CPC Compass Online Guide
As a project manager, it is a great help if you have a practical and reliable toolbox that has an answer to all kinds of questions. Such a toolbox is our free CPC Compass Online Guide
SUCCESS STORY: Introduction of Project Management Methods
The introduction of group-wide binding PM methods in connection with the successful management of projects. How can methods not only exist on paper but also be transferred into the DNA of the company and create visible benefits?
"PM is as exciting as a telephone book," says our customer at the beginning of the project. The head of one of the largest project organizations in the automotive industry wants and needs to create the conditions for a sustainable improvement in project performance by means of a group-wide PM standard. But like most employees, he sees PM as a necessary evil.
With CPC onboard, the PM methods are ready within 3 months. The PMBOK® serves as a template and is ‘translated’ into the language of the employees. We attach great importance to the linkage with the process models of the specialist departments, e.g. the development processes of IT. A pocket guide for Agile & Scrum will be developed in a second step. Right from the start, experienced project managers of the customer are on board. They review the method modules and tune them to their own corporate world.
In role-based PM trainings, all employees and managers are taught the relevant components of the methods. However, to ensure the successful application of the methods in practice, we also focus on so-called Project Services.
Project Services offer the project teams concrete support in the application of the PM methods in practice. The services range from the temporary assumption of the PM to support in setting up and planning projects, the speed up of projects with limited success to the planning and implementation of rollouts. In this way, we give the teams more confidence in using the methods and, at the same time, create operational added value.
A standing ovation from top management as the very first project develops into a successful lighthouse project. Our client would never have dreamed of this before.