He is planning the menu but does not know demographic information about the people in the area. He wants to have a pool table there but is unsure how to make that happen. There were so many things he needs to do, and nothing is organized or thought out.
So, I started giving him advice on what to do based on how I handle projects at work. It became clear to me that if he is going to take on this project, he needs to understand what he is getting into, including the risks, the steps to make it all happen, and plans for when things change. I am sure he never thought of himself as a project manager, but that is really what he is, and without some education, his success could be limited at best.
Basically every activity is a project as long as it has a beginning and an end.
PMI says a project is “a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique product, service, or result.”
PMI goes on to explain that a project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time and, therefore, a defined scope and resources. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but it is a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together. Sometimes they are from different organizations and across multiple geographies.
In our project management classes, most of the people have titles other than “project manager.”
Per PMI, project management processes fall into five groups:
- Monitoring and Controlling
And the knowledge areas fall into 10 groups:
- Project Integration Management
- Project Scope Management
- Project Time Management
- Project Cost Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Human Resource Management
- Project Communications Management
- Project Risk Management
- Project Procurement Management
- Project Stakeholders Management
Processes overlap and interact throughout a project. Knowledge areas contain some or all of the project management processes. We may not all think about all of these when working on informal projects like planning a birthday party or even opening a restaurant, but, whether we do the steps ourselves or delegate some of them out, they’re there.
In the work environment, we may not work on all of these project processes, but it may help to understand why they are there and how they work together. Getting a better understanding of how the work you are doing fits into the project as a whole may help you with your portion.
My title is not “project manager”, but I work on and manage projects every day. That is the case with many of us: we may not think of ourselves as project managers, but we are. ☺