PROJECT PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT

Project procurement management and its knowledge area mainly deal with procurement activities. The word “Procurement” means “the act of obtaining something”. If one needs help from external sources like vendors or suppliers then, one need to outsource a part of the project work to vendors in order to complete the project. Project procurement management is the process of collaborating with outside suppliers to purchase goods and services for projects.

Project procurement management mainly consists of four major processes.

  1. Planning-

    In this phase, supervisors decide which work will be internally procured and which work should be outsourced. As the company is outsourcing a part of their work to vendors so, here the company is playing the role of buyer. Vendors as sellers. Here, all the verbal communication between the company and vendor should be documented known as Contract or Agreement. Procurement planning mainly decides what to buy (resources or service), when (timeframe) & from which sources (vendors). Risk factors and budgetary constraints are also considered.

  2. Selection

    As the name of the second phase suggest, selection means the action of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitable. Here we invite vendors to receive their offerings. The terms and conditions, advantages and disadvantages provided by different vendors are compared. Video conference with bidders is one of the tools that allow them to understand project requirements and ask questions. Then procurement contractors are decided and awarded. Project managers provide resource calendars that provide in-depth knowledge where, when and how resources should be used and managed. Performances are carefully evaluated and if no satisfactory results are obtained, the project managers may utilize online ads to hire new bidders.

  3. Administration

    This is one of the major step in project procurement management. Although we hire contractors because they are expert in their respective fields still there is a need to keep an eye on their overall work. Management of the contractors should check that the project should not go off the track due to the negative impact of budget & schedule. Management should keep regular work updates to review with contractor agreements and get progress update. Inspections and audits should be done to make sure that the work is going right. Performance report helps keep managers informed. According to work performance payment system is planned.

  4. Closure

    Every process has a start and an end. The closing process is not just about ending procurement contracts. Closing process include jotting down weakness, documenting successful processes and summarizing the project for future needs. Simple audits should be conducted to measure the overall project performance. Documentation is important in this step as it can help for future projects with new team members in different locations. Negotiations are also necessary for resolving disputes.

In this process, most companies prefer to use a small number of suppliers and try to maintain a long term relationship with them. Establishing and maintain a good relationship with those suppliers is important as this will allow various shareholders to work together on improving and coordinating activities.

Project Communication Management

communication management psdigitech

Communication plays an important role in the lives of living things. It is a means of exchanging ideas, news, information & feelings with each other. Out of different project management skills, Communication is one of them. Communication is a great skill that can bring a project back to track. In the same way, poor communication can destroy a project. Project Communication Management bridges the gap between the client & the organization, team members & stakeholders. At the first phase of project management, that is, Project Initiation, proper information should be collected & delivered to all the important persons involved with the project.

Project Communication Management includes the following steps:

  1. Planning

    – In this process, the project manager needs to identify the type of information they need to deliver, who will receive the message & in which format, time of distributing the message. In brief, delivering the right message at the right time. Here, all the stakeholders associated with the project are provided valuable information.

  2. Sharing

    – The term “share” simply means to divide a large portion of something into smaller parts within a group of people. Here the project manager shares correct information with the correct person at the correct time. This keeps team members updated with project status & progress. Miscommunication may hinder the growth of the project.

  3. Feedback

    – Feedback is a vital skill of a project manager. This is all about listening carefully, analysing it & cautiously finding a solution to perform better. Project manager uses various tools to measure project performance reports. Suppose there are different tasks, so whenever one is studying weekly or day to day tasks, these tasks may be categorised under three different status: ongoing, pending & completed. These types of status reports should be communicated with the respective person at the right time. Stakeholders’ feedback should also be conveyed to the project manager.

  4. Closure

    – The term “closure” means “to close”. This is the final process in project communication management. Whenever a project will get over or a major phase of the project is completed, the respective stakeholders or related personals should get the information either via an email or via a special kind of formal document at the right time.

As the objective of communication management is to maintain the smooth flow of information between a groups of people. Communication is a broad subject. The process mainly consists of three divisions: the sender transmits an idea in the form of a message to the receiver. The receiver has to interpret the meaning of the message. Interpretation means to derive the meaning of the message. Communication model also utilizes encoding as well as decoding. Encoding means to develop a message and decoding means to interpret the meaning of the message. This involves the feedback factor between the sender and the receiver.

Communication management is important for an organization irrespective of its size. It generates a friendly and positive environment. This helps in the growth of the project as well as increased profits.

 

 

 

 

RISK MANAGEMENT vs ISSUE MANAGEMENT

Professionals who start their journey in the Project Management Industry are often seen to be confused with the concepts of Risk Management and Issue Management.

The process of Project Management needs constant Evaluation and Communication between the Core Teams, Directors and Investors. An incorrect update in terms of Risk or Issue can create confusion in all levels of Management and result in reduced flow of work.

Risk :

A Risk is something that can go wrong in the Future. It is the possibility of a negative outcome due to performing certain activities. During the Planning stage of Project Management, Risks are taken up as a part of consideration so as to take precautionary steps and have alternative plans in the loop.

Issue :

An Issue is something that has already occurred and is affecting the current flow of the project. Unlike Risks where solutions are worked upon without any urgency, Issues demand the team and the Project Manager to address the problem in real time.

Risk Management :

The planning stage is one of the rare cases when the entire team along with the investors and stakeholders sit for meetings. The Risk involved in a Project should be a topic included in the agenda of the Meeting. Each person can view the project from their perspective and share their viewpoints. Every person’s opinion should be taken into consideration and analysed. The negative impact of the risk should also be discussed and whether it will cause a change of timeline, budget or labour.

Precautionary measures taken up at this stage and implemented throughout the execution of the project will not affect the normal working of the project. There should be an action plan involved which can be worked upon in case the Risk converts to an Issue.

Issue Management :

Planning for Risks and taking precautionary measures does not guarantee the project to run smoothly and perfectly. Risk Management takes care of the things you plan for in advance but during the course of the project, there could be situations where unplanned problems arise. This is where experienced and skilled Project Managers come into action.

They should be prepared to deal with real-time accidental issues, solve them as quickly as possible and resume the work. The first step of Issue Management is to find out all related information about the incident. It is followed by rechecking if the Issue was earlier considered as a Risk in the planning stage. If it was, this is where the pre-organized action plan comes handy. Now the entire team will have to work together to solve the issue at hand.

Conclusion :

One of the major responsibilities of a Project Manager is their management skill related to Risk and Issue Management. The Project Manager is not only responsible for taking care of the Risk and the Issue but is also answerable to his Team, the Executives, the Investors and the Clients. How a Leader performs under pressure says a lot about their Leadership abilities.

CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

The Biggest obstacle a Business faces is to structure and maintain a process for Client Acquisition. But more than acquiring clients, an Organization benefits by serving their existing clientele and earning Loyal Customers.

Most Companies try to market their products and services with a focus of convincing them to hire them or buy from then. The reality is that clients only make a purchase when they are the ones in need. Thus, it is of utmost importance to make sure that your customers know you provide a certain service or product, to the point where when they do decide on making a purchase, the only name that pops up is yours.

This is where Client Relationship Management comes into play. Having a robust strategy for Project Management and CRM helps in building a long term relationship. With the increase in client base and work load, it is almost impossible to stay in touch with your customers, so a CRM will solve that problem.

How does a CRM work :

The Customer Relationship Management process starts by first recording all available and relevant information about your Client. Then it starts by delivering a series of automated messages to them with the objective of letting them know that the Company values them and their Loyalty. The message can be delivered in various forms – letters, emails, phone calls, mementos etc. The agenda is to form a personal bond and communicate the company’s core values in terms of Client Servicing.

The Team :

A dedicated team is built in order to form and maintain Customer Satisfaction. The team is led by a Project Manager who is skilled in People Management and passionate as a Leader. The Project Manager’s key role is to maintain a focussed team of professionals who aim at improving client servicing, increasing sales and enable a consistent flow of business.

The Project Team on the other hand needs to be extremely client focussed. The members of the team comprise of one individual from each of these departments – Sales, Marketing, IT and Operations.

CRM Process :

The CRM campaign is focussed on six core areas – The Message, The Recipient, The Timeline, The Sender, The Follow-up Process and The Analysis.

Client Relationship Management process starts with what message is to be shared and what is the Call-to-Action. The next step is having a Target Audience to whom the message will reach. The third step is to maintain a schedule as to how often our Clients will hear from us. The fourth consideration is to have quality people who fine-tune the message and rectify errors. The final two steps consist of having a follow-up system in action and tracking the results.

Conclusion :

The Major Goal for every organization is to establish themselves as a Solution Provider and not just a Sales focussed organization. While most companies are busy marketing their products and services, only a few consider building actual relationships with their Clients. The process is long term and demands patience, but the benefits are priceless.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT TRENDS 2019

In the ever changing era of constant growth and change, the Project Management Industry is also picking up its own pace. New Technologies and Methodologies are marking the evolution of the Project Management field every year.

Here are the ones which are likely to make its mark in the year 2019 :

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI has already started creating quite a buzz with voice based devices like Alexa, Siri & Google Home. Pertaining to the field of Project Management, it will soon be able to improve the overall workflow with the help of automated tools; suggestive insights for performance boost and improve research and analysis systems.

Influence of Project Managers

The role of Project Managers will become more and more vital as the typical hierarchy in the Project Management system seems to undergo a change. Project Managers now take on the role of Middle Managers thus contributing towards the overall flow of the project rather than just the leadership or operational work.

Remote Project Management

More and more people especially as seen in the younger generation of the working force are bringing about a radical shift in the way a Project is conducted. With the growth in the millennial population, more of them are keen on having a work-life balance, thus working remotely from the choice of their preference.

For the Industry as a whole, this can turn out to be quite impactful. Remote work culture means decrease in overhead, low overall cost per professional, increase in employee satisfaction and thus boost in the quality and performance of each Individual.

Kanban Boards

A Kanban is a lean scheduling system. It was developed by Toyota Motor Corporations in Japan and was built to enhance manufacturing. Now the same system is being improvised in the Project Management Industry too.

A Kanban system makes use of visual cues to give you data on production, like – what to produce, when to produce and how much to produce. Kanban uses a visual board to mark the work in categories like – Backlog, New, In-progress, Testing and Done. The nature of the board makes it easy to determine what’s being done and what’s ongoing. To make sure that the workflow continues at a steady pace, Kanban limits the number of items that can live in a category (workflow step) at a particular time. This ensures that work flows smoothly and consistently.

Success of Agile

Agile has been making its place in the software industry for quite some time now. But 2019 will be the year when Agile blows up. Some Importance of Agile Methology are as follows :

  • High Visibility of Progress
  • Predictable Rhythm
  • Measurable Productivity
  • Time and Cost Friendly
  • Emphasis on Direct Communication
  • Project is carried out keeping the Client Needs as a Priority
  • Easy to Maintain Schedule for Delivery

If the above 5 Project Management Trends are taken into serious consideration and worked upon, there will be a massive shift in productivity and deliverability this year.

 

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN PROCESS

PS Digitech design process

Before any project is executed, the entire process is laid down step by step. Architectural Design Process is referred to as the layout of this process which the team follows as a guideline to manage the project successfully.

The format is divided into certain phases. The number of phases depends upon the magnitude of the project. In small scale projects, few phases can be combined to form one, while in large scale projects additional phases can be added to fit the requirements of the project.

A general Architectural Design Process follows this format :

Phase 1 : Schematic Design

First the requirements of the client are noted down in the most detailed way possible. The Team sits with the client to understand their goals and needs. After that the Architect gathers all the information to create a detailed layout which includes data like scope, budget and objectives.

After that the Team prepares a rough illustration, which is basically a sketch of the vision he holds when all the collected data was combined. This design is then shown to the client for further modifications and changes.

 

Phase 2 : Design Development

This phase includes the transformation of the Illustration to a more structured physical form. Engineers are involved as the other elements of the design details are obtained. The concept is then made into a study model which helps in refining the design more.

Specifications like plans, elevations and sections are made. Mechanical and Electrical technicalities are verified by the Engineers along with the building codes and estimation cost for the project.

Phase 3 : Construction Documents

The Design Development Plan is shown to the client and upon approval, phase three begins. Now all the specifications of the approved drawing is taken and converted into Blueprints. This will be used by the Contractor to establish costs as per actuals.

These are basically part of the Construction contract as they mention technical information related to materials, installation locations and methods of installations.

Phase 4 : Bidding and Negotiation

In this phase, budget negotiations with the contractors come into play. They are evaluated on the basis of their understanding of the Construction Blueprint and the figures that they provide for the costing of the project.

Once all the bids from the contractors are attained, the Architect assists the client in final negotiation and preparation of the Contract.

Phase 5 : Construction Administration

The fifth and final phase of the Architectural Design Process is Construction. The team visits the construction site from time to time to make sure the work is being carried out as per the plan laid down and finalised.

The Construction process is kept under observation which undergoes monthly reviews, keeping the client informed about the progress of the work. Finally after the Construction is completed, the Architect carries out a thorough inspection to ensure that the project has been executed as per the projections.

The main goal of the Architectural Design Process is to turn the vision of the Client into a Reality in every shape and form.

Quality Assurance vs Quality Control

quality control ps digitech

One of the most prominent doubts that pops up in someone who is a beginner in the field of Project Management, is the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

Quality means to achieve a certain standard that has been prefixed before the start of a Project. It is defect free and meets the expectation and requirement of the client.

Assurance refers to the guarantee given by the Management handing the Project that the results will meet the Quality. It is providing Confidence to the client that the Project will be executed as per their demand.

Control is the verification of the actual output by testing it through various processes and procedures.

Quality Assurance also referred to as QA are a set of procedures which is carried out by mainly the Project Manager. It involves the methods and techniques which help monitor the activities to prevent flaws in the system, ensure smooth functioning and create the result to be delivered.

Quality Control also referred to as QC are a set of procedures which are carried out to authenticate the standard of the deliverables. These include testing, monitoring, reviewing and inspections.

The Difference between QA and QC are :

Quality Assurance Quality Control
Provides assurance on the expected Quality Provides the actually expected deliverable Quality
Focuses on preventing Errors Focuses on identification and rectification of Errors
Involves processes to manage Quality Involves processes to verify

Quality

The Entire Team is responsible for Quality Assurance Only the Testing & Verification Team is in action during Quality Control
QA aims at creating a process which does not eliminates all types of errors in the work flow QC aims at identifying any errors that has occurred after product development and rectifying it before handover

 

Advantages of Quality Assurance and Quality Control :

The involvement of Quality Assurance Processes and Quality Control Methodologies helps in,

  1. Guiding the Project Management Team to focus on High Quality Results
  2. Inspires and Motivates the Team towards a laser focused Goal
  3. Ensures the Client Requirements are kept on top of the Priority List
  4. Fine tunes the Efficiency of the Team
  5. Maintains the Goodwill of the Company due to increase in Customer Satisfaction

Both the methods are done targeted towards a single goal i.e. to provide a quality result which meets the expectations and requirements of the Client. However, the way both these processes are done is very different.

The way Quality Assurance is approached is Process based, which means it deals with the actual functioning and working on how the Project is being executed. While Quality Control is Product based, which means that after the result is garnered aka the deliverable is built, the model of Quality Control comes into practice.

Quality Management is one of the prerequisites of Project Management and that includes both Quality Assurance and Quality Management to work hand in hand.

Both these processes take part in making the Project a Success, but that can only be achieved when the exact requirements of the Clients are known thoroughly by the Organization.

The Importance of Project Management lies in the fact that it enables the whole work flow to be executed in a systematic and programmed manner. This reduces the risk of inaccuracies and the documented process is used over and over again for a successful outcome.

 

Project Management Methodologies is the process one decides to follow depending upon the work at hand. Each method comes with their own set of advantages and disadvantages and will eventually dictate how the entire team works.

Thus, this is one of the foundation decisions every Project Manager needs to make before going ahead with the activity.

Here are the Top three Project Management Methodologies which can be used for most projects :

  1. Spiral : One of the first focussed areas before a Project execution starts is the elimination of all High Risk factors. Spiral Model is a Method which helps in Risk Handling.

It is called the Spiral model as it is diagrammatically represented as a spiral which has many loops. Each loop is known as a Phase. The Expenses of the project is represented by radius of the spiral. There is no hard and fast rule about the exact number of phases, as it can be determined by the Project Manager considering the risk factors.

spiral model

Picture Credit : Wikipedia

2.  RAD : RAD stands for Rapid Application Development. It is a more advanced version of the Waterfall model which is a traditional project management approach apt for industries like manufacturing and construction.

The RAD prototype model follows these phases : Data Modelling, Business Modelling, Process Modelling, Application Generation, Testing and Turnover. This model is used when the results need to be attained within a short span of time and the technical risk involved is less. The biggest advantage of this model is that it follows a pattern which is highly flexible in nature and easily adaptable to changes. The overall productivity is achieved using a less number of people in action.

project management flow

Picture Credit : Wikipedia

3. Prototype : The prototype model is dependent upon all the known requirements provided by the Client. It basically creating a carbon copy of the actual system so as to give the client a feel of what will be executed in reality.

The advantage that this type of model holds is that the errors can be minimalized to a huge extent as we get to pin point the problem beforehand. Risk factors and inclusion or deduction of certain functionalities as per actual conditions can be done from the first stage itself. This model is implemented when the feedback of the end consumer is a vital part of the entire process.

 

The use of Project Management methodologies benefit an organization as it systematically guides the team involved to swiftly move past major roadblocks like Risks and Operational drawbacks.

Strategically it benefits the organization in providing the clients the confidence about realistically manage and operate the Project.

AUTOCAD COMMANDS & SHORTCUTS

autocad commands

AutoCAD is a very effective and easy software once mastered but for a Beginner things can get pretty complicated. To make things easy for someone who is just starting to learn this software and also to serve as a guide for the one already using it, here are a list of most used commands and shortcuts of AutoCAD :

  • F8 : Use this command If you want to draw lines that are horizontal or vertical, use this command to turn on and off the Ortho Mode.

 

  • BURST : Use this command when you want to explode an object or a block

 

  • SKETCH : Use this command when you need to draw freehand objects with the use of tools such as Line, Polyline or Spline

 

  • OOPS : Use this command to restore the objects which were deleted by the ERASE command. Use this in place of CTRL-Z.

 

  • OVERKILL : Use this command to remove duplicate and overlapping items such as lines, polylines and arcs. It also combined partially combined lines.

 

  • ARCTEXT : Use this command to write curved texts aligned to a circle or arc.

 

  • DIVIDE : Use this command to divide a object into a number of equal segments.

 

  • TIME : Use this command to display details about your drawing like current date & time, the date & time when it was created, last update information and total editing time.

 

  • RECOVER : Use this command to retrieve an AutoCAD file that has been critically damaged.

 

  • SPELL : Use this command to spell check all the texts inside your AutoCAD drawing.

 

  • LIST : Use this command to display properties of an object like Color, linetype, lineweight, transparency, thickness, elevation and etc.

 

  • U : Use this command to reverses the most recent activity. This is an alternate to Clt + Z.

 

  • AREA : Use this command to calculate the area of objects in a AutoCAD drawing.

 

  • TEXTFIT : Use this command to properly adjust a text into an enclosed shape.

 

  • GROUP : Use this command to group multiple objects and shapes into a single unit or block. To undo this use UNGROUP command.

 

  • TEXTTOFRONT : Use this command to bring a text to the front of lines, shapes, objects and hatches.

 

  • SEEK : Use this command to find BIMobjects from an online ad source. This can be helpful to find 2D drawings, 3D models, and blocks. All these files are legit as they are uploaded by product manufacturers and suppliers.

 

  • BACKGROUND : Use this command to fill the background of the work area using an Image, Single Color or even a gradient color.

 

  • MULTIPLE : Use this command to enter the next command repeatedly until ESC is pressed. The specifications need to be given each time.

 

  • AUDIT : Use this command to evaluate your current AutoCAD drawing and rectify errors thus found.

 

  • MA : Use this command to match the properties of the source object to the selected object.

IMPORTANCE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

project management skills

The Importance of Project Management has often been questioned by clients. It seems more like a cost inclusive undertaking rather than a process of providing quality work under a team of well lead professionals.

 

Project Managers are not only needed to keep track of the timelines of the ongoing project but are also in charge of keeping the team and the clients aligned to common goals and visions of the project.

A Project is more than just having the right labour and materials. It is about constructing a Project Life Cycle and following that with diligence:

  • Organization & Strategy :

    The early stages of every project is very messy. There are a string of ideas and concepts that float around the board rooms, all of which at times seems very overwhelming. The first step of every Project is to organize these ideas and formulate them into comprehensive practical strategies.

 

  • Leadership & Teamwork :

    Project Management without the guidance of a Project Manager is like a Team without their Captain. This team consists of a variety of professionals highly skilled in their individual fields, coming together to work as one. Under this circumstance, difference of opinion and miscommunication at work is a highly predictable outcome. Mismanagement of labour will hamper the flow of work and in due course of time will result in wastage of both finance and resources.

 

  • Focus & Resource Maximization :

    Driving a Project to its ultimate destination includes proper planning and its execution. When working with a sizable team of workers keeping the focus intact can be quite a task. Hence every project is broken up into smaller chunk of tasks. These tasks are easy to manage, oversee and track. This ensures that all the resources which include both financial and human resources are used to the best of their abilities.

 

 

  • Budgeting & Cost Optimization :

    Arguably the most important and stressed about topic in Project Management is Finances. Every project brings a certain budget range of the client and it is extremely important to align all resources and plans according to the fixed project costs. A felicitous budget plan is an absolute prerequisite so as to make sure there is no unnecessary wastage of funds and expenses.

 

  • Risk & Quality Management :

    A skilful Project Manager with the help and support of a capable team is able to point out and forecast risks that may cause disruption during the project lifetime. Needful arrangements are done so as to avoid such unforeseen circumstances. Along with that, the Project Manager also makes sure that the Quality of the Work is well maintained all along the execution of the Project Flow.

project management skills

 

In a nutshell, Project Management is essential because it drives all the factors which include Labour, Management, Clients, Resources, Budget and Timeliness towards a common objective. The lack of proper Project Management lead by a qualified project manager will lead mismanaged performance of the team and deliver negative return on investment.