What does it take to manage a project?

In my opinion most people don’t really understand what ‘managing’ a project is actually about.

I have seen many project managers who do everything other than actually ‘manage’ what needs to be done in order to deliver the project.  And in seeing this occur I also see that the project is usually flailing, falling behind, and there are problems delivering.

So, what does it actually mean to ‘manage’ when we talk in terms of a project.

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Good project governance is a must

It’s hard to see what project governance really is, because it can often feel like an unnecessary burden on a very busy Project Manager.  But it is VERY important in ensuring that a project is run and delivered as it should be.

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Senior Management involvement is a must

Never underestimate the value of Senior Management involvement in your project!

Your ability to gain buy-in and support from across an organisation is really dependent on having one or more Senior Managers along for the ride.  Your project needs to be something that these managers talk about, whenever the opportunity arises.

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Are you a Project Manager managing change?

Do you see yourself as a ‘Project Manager’ or a ‘Change Manager’ or a ‘Project Manager managing change’?

It is interesting considering the context of these titles.  Project Managers are seen as people who manage projects, whilst Change Managers are seen as people who manage change related to projects, or as the outcome of projects.  But on a number of projects there is only the Project Manager managing change.

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Communicate your project plan

Project managers are taught that if they spend hours developing a good clear and structured project plan, then their project has a better chance of success. Whilst the plan might ‘contribute’ to the success of a project by ensuring that tasks are defined, or at least listed, and there is some method for how the project is going to be run, the plan is only as good as your communication of it.

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Issues are worth tracking

An issue is something that is raised by anyone on the project.  Issues are something that has been unresolved; is causing a problem; or that raises a question.  It is information that is incomplete.  An item that needs clarification or further investigation.  How do you track them?

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Successful handover from SIT to UAT

When you are the Project Manager on a software development project it is important that you understand the importance of the different testing requirements that are needed.  I use the word needed, as I consider testing a very important part of any software development project, and something that doesn’t get enough time or effort allocated to it, in most instances.

This article will explore the difference between System Integration Testing (SIT) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and how you can best move from one testing phase to the other.

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