Employing Management Concepts for First Time Businessmen Through Practice Management Software

Many of first time business persons think that management concepts are stuffs exclusive to big and giant corporations only. Being conscious of different ideas involved with business do not appeal to them at the moment for they believe that they are not yet that progressive to implement such methods. This is not so, management practitioners say otherwise. From the start, these concepts should be utilised so that it won’t be difficult for business people to hurdle challenges as they continue with the business. Fortunately, practicing these management concepts is a lot easier with the help of practice management software.

According to several publications, the definition of management can be summarised as the art of planning, organising, staffing, controlling, and leading. How does the software fit in so that it can help you manage your business from day one? Let us discuss each concept individually and relate it to the software.

Planning

Planning is the processing of formulating goals, setting as well as implementing strategies, and delineating tasks or responsibilities to achieve the goals. You cannot implement successful planning without relevant information. Planning is dynamic. Thus, the frequency by which you perform it largely depends on the needs for it. These can refer to either short term or long term needs. Thus, different features that are loaded with management software can help you store information that you need for planning. These include sales, marketing, billing, customer data basing, and so on.

Organising

The software is already organised into categories which will be helpful for your business. For example, it is already equipped with invoicing, product management, team management, customer profiling, and scheduling as examples. The software is also organised for each category include so it will be easy for you to gather the data once you need them.

Staffing

Since the software is already organised for different aspects of your business, staffing people is very easy as you do not put these people randomly and learn the tricks of their jobs. The software also helps delegate work effectively so no two people will be doing the same task. Thus, you operate cohesively with the help of practice management software.

Controlling

Controlling is a management function where it reviews the business operation and checks for flaws and errors in order to correct it. The software will be very relevant as it carries and stores vital data like sales, expenses, customer lists, among others. These information helps first time business persons check aspects of their operation that needs to be improved in order to earn more profit, stay afloat, and be competitive.

Leading

Leading is simply used as a means to inspire people. Employees will follow their boss or the business person because his or her subordinates believe in him. The business man or woman on the other hand will be inspired to set an example which is worthy of emulation. With that, the software is a reliable tool for businessmen to do things right from the start.

In conclusion, practice management software helps first time business people perform different management functions because vital information are loaded and stored in it and it can be utilised for specific functions and purposes.

Project Management Concepts Through Interview Questions for Project Managers – 3

The aim of this series of articles is to introduce project management concepts. Interview questions one may face for project Manager positions, are used as a vehicle to introduce these concepts. This is the third part of the series and covers additional concepts. The series is going to be in ten parts, and each article in the series will discuss five questions that you may get asked and explain the related questions. Concepts introduced should help you prepare for PMP certification that is often required for a Project Manager position.

Project managers need diverse skills besides being a professional manager.

What are the additional skills a project manager might need?
A PM needs to be skilled in all the knowledge areas required for project management. Strong leadership qualities are a necessity for the person. Planning, vision, leading the team and such skills are needed that make for good generals. He has to take a bunch of disparate people to a common goal. Business environment imposes other constraints like a given budget and time limits.

Processes and process groups are important concepts in project management.

How does one define a process and a process group?
The emphasis on process arises from the fact that when a process, or a clearly defined way of doing things, is used risks of making mistakes are reduced. That in turn, means that the end product of the process comes out with minimal flaws. A process needs to define not only the required actions but also the sequence in which they should be invoked. An activity as elaborate as a project needs to have processes defined for many tasks. Each of these processes should define clear inputs, defined outputs and the tools and techniques to be used on the inputs. As a process goes through various stages of its life, different sets of processes are required to get the required tasks done. These groups have been defined as process groups in the Project Management Book of Knowledge. Planning process group is one such example.

While discussing the qualities of a PM, reference was made to knowledge areas.

What specific knowledge areas apply to the successful execution of a project?
Communication management must be the most critical thing in any endeavor involving human beings. Management of scope of projects has to be next most important knowledge area. Keeping the scope well-defined is a necessary condition for its success. Executing a project in terms of its scope is not sufficient. Given enough time and money, possibly, any project of any scope can be achieved! Time and cost/budget management are two other relevant knowledge areas. Quality management knowledge needs to be added to the required knowledge areas as a defined level of quality is a must. Project integration knowledge puts it all together and thus is a necessity. These main knowledge areas are supported by a few more. Monitoring and controlling of risks, is vital as is procurement of material and at the right time. Since all of these activities are to be conducted by human being, human resources management is another required support area.

Project Integration Management covers activities that ensure all activities undertaken work towards success of the project. All the processes need to be geared toward that goal.

What processes are needed?
Project charter development is like an anchor point. That is what defines what exactly the project is. All the relevant plans are the next most important set of activities. These would include project management plan development, direct and manage project execution and monitor and control. The final set of activities is the closing of the project or the current phase. Changes are inevitable. What needs to be done is that an integrated change management is in place so that these changes do not cause any chaos.

What are the important check items a PM should keep in mind always?
A PM needs to be constantly aware of a few key issues. Risk is one such issue. A PM should be able to take lowest risk actions. That requires that he/she is constantly aware of the risks. Assumptions, issues and dependencies applicable to decisions taken, defined scope and just about everything else should be clearly known to the PM. RAID is a mnemonic applied to these factors. For a PM, being on top of RAID is vital.

Part 4 will take up another five questions. 10 articles will cover 50 questions between them.

Project Management Concepts – Why Do We Manage Projects?

I’ve been giving some thought recently as to what lies behind the work we do as project managers. Too often we get caught up in the tools and techniques, the how of what we do, without looking at the concepts and ideas behind it, the why of what we do.

Today, I want to look at something basic: Why do we manage projects?  What’s the reason for doing this?

The project management concept I am looking at today is: Project management is about making the project environment as stable as possible. What is possible varies.

Let’s explore what I mean by this. As we know, a business needs to embrace some change to make sure it continues to compete in its market, to stay relevant to its customers. But businesses in general try to be stable – to provide certainty to shareholders and staff.

These two competing demands come to a head in projects. Projects bring change into the business, which means they could be seen as threats to the business stability. Uncontrolled change has a name – chaos. So change can only be brought into a business in a controlled manner.

And this is what project management is about. Projects are about change, so the management of that change is an attempt to control it. It is an attempt to provide a stable environment within which change can happen. That stable environment protects the business from uncontrolled change, while providing a space for change to occur.

But, of course, how stable the environment can be depends on the specifics of the project. For example, a project to build a new office building needs a very stable environment indeed – an attempt to change the design after work has begun on construction is likely to be impossible, or exceedingly costly.

Alternatively, software projects can cope with a much less stable environment – yes, work may need to be done to ensure earlier completed sections are adapted to the new design, but this is much more possible, and cheaper, than with a physical product.

We can see, then that “as stable as possible” can vary widely. This is a natural consequence of the particular change being brought about through a project.

This gives us, then, one of our project management concepts: Project management is about making the project environment as stable as possible. What is possible varies.