Learning Project Management is A Project

Projects come in all sizes. In a small business, some might take months— such as launching the business or opening a new store. Others might be full- time work for a few weeks: creating the fall catalogue and mailing it out or building a new web site. Some projects take just a few hours: finding a new supplier to replace the one that is unreliable or hiring staff for the summer rush. It is a good idea to think of our opportunities and problems as projects.

What is Management?

In a business, if something isn’t under management, then it’s out of control. When a situation is out of control, we want to bring it under manage- ment. There are three basic steps to taking care of any project: prepare, do, and follow through.

Project Management Is Good Medicine

A project fixes your business the way a good trip to the doctor heals your body. Let’s say that you like to walk or run, but you sprain your ankle. Here’s the doc- tor’s “prepare, do, follow through” plan for you:

  • Diagnosis and preparation. He takes an X-ray to find out if the ankle is just sprained or it’s broken. Good news—it’s just a sprain. Now he can fix the right problem. He prepares a treatment with a bandage and a prescription.
  • He bandages the ankle. You learn to use a crutch for two weeks and he tells you when to apply heat and cold. He sees you each week to make sure the swelling is going down. If it’s not, then he’ll do a new diagnosis—maybe an MRI—to find out what is wrong.
  • Follow through. After two weeks, you’re up and walking. You see a physical therapist to work out an exercise schedule that will get you back to your full routine without risk of re-injury. You follow it and you’re back in production—doing your exercise and staying healthy.

The Lesson: Good project managers think like doctors. They identify the problem before they run around trying to fix things.

 

Project Management on the Movie Set

One industry that does good project management in almost everything it does is the movie and television business. Whether it’s a TV commercial or a Hollywood blockbuster, there’s always a script and everyone goes over it with care. Before the cameras roll, there’s a walk-through. Everyone knows exactly what he or she will be doing. Why are moviemakers so careful? There are two reasons. First, it saves time and money. A film session works only if the direction, the sound, the action, and the lighting are all right. One mistake ruins the shoot—and that costs lots of money. (We’re talking thousands of dollars an hour, even for a simple commercial.) The other reason is safety. Scenes involving stunts like crashing cars and falling people require very careful walk-throughs.

The Lesson: Learn from the best. Prepare together and the team will succeed.

Improve your skills, and learn how to manage your project effectively. Join Avenew class Project Management Fundamental and Applied Project Management. Watch our Project Management Fundamental class with CIMB Niaga Bank here

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