Importance of Project Management and Planning

What experience do you have in project management and project planning? 

I really have no experience in project management or project planning despite an assignment for one of my classes last semester, Digital Tools, Trends, and Debates.  The assignment required one of our group members to become project manager and we had to create a work charter and detailed project plan for a consortium’s new digital library.  Our group had to consider all aspects of constructing the digital library including budget, staffing, training, usability, marketing, software/hardware, evaluation, and security/privacy.  Having never managed anyone or even thought about starting a digital project before, I was amazed at all of the initial planning needed.  The number of things needing consideration in beginning the project was also shocking.  I had never thought about all of these things, a few examples being sustainability, usability testing, technical support or the support software needed, all of which are very vital to the project’s success.  This project really enlightened me on the importance of setting up extremely detailed guidelines for a project and considering all aspects of that project, including how to evaluate the project’s success.  This week’s readings only further instilled the importance of project management and planning into me.

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6 responses to “Importance of Project Management and Planning

  1. I will be taking that class in the fall and like you I will have no practice managing a project within a library setting. I have worked on other major projects for previous jobs but I was always just working on one aspect of the whole. It is always exciting to think about starting something new but you are right, there is a mind-numbing amount of planning that has to happen before anything can be started.

  2. Great post, klk30, and glad you are getting a PM preview, a.d.m.n.! Do any of you have familiarity with Gantt charts? These are key tools in most project management, and most software packages designed to handle PM include functionality to create and work with Gantt charts. Take a look – you may wish to employ one for current or future projects!

    http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/project-planning-tools/overview/gantt-chart.html

    http://www.ganttchart.com/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gantt_chart

    • Gantt charts are a wonderful tool to help people stay organized.

      For my MIS degree (Management Information Sciences), we had to use Visio for all our project planning, so that is the one I am most comfortable with, however, it can have a steep learning curve.
      If anyone is interested, you can purchase Visio from WI DoIt Software store for $79 which is incredibly cheap for the powerful tools you get.

  3. I took Digital Tools, Trends, and Debates several semesters ago and while it was a staggering amount of work, the class was well worth it. If anyone would like to see the project plan we created (a very ambitious one at that!), feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will pass it along to you.
    For those who are taking the class in the future, the class is a lot of work, but because of the practical usability of the group work, it is well worth it.
    Hints – make a timeline, clearly outline (and assign) tasks to avoid redundancy or areas that can slip through the cracks, and make sure the group members are all on the same page.

  4. I don’t think anyone has touched on this yet, but could project management also aid in the even distribution of work, and more importantly, having documentation where everyone is accountable for his or her role the project?

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