Project Management (U2)
Applied IT (Year 11)
These requirements are set out by the client and will often reflect what the users expect from your digital product. Therefore, these are the needs that must be met for the final product to be considered successful. To determine the appropriate requirements for a project, it is important to understand the purpose of the product and conduct research on the target audience’s needs accordingly (e.g. via interviews or surveys).
Plan of Action
A plan of action can be formulated by considering the project goals and how they can be achieved, then breaking it down into a list of tasks and assigning them deadlines and team member/s. This is a vital component of project management as it ensures the project stays on track and all requirements are met by the end.
Time Management Strategies
Once a final deadline has been established with the client, construct a schedule with mini-deadlines or milestones for the completion of a major phase of the project (e.g. planning, ideation, prototyping) and each smaller task within them. It can also be useful to create a Gantt chart to regularly monitor progress to avoid any delays caused by undetected or unresolved issues.
Image: Gantt Chart, Image by Venngage (https://venngage.com/templates/diagrams/detailed-project-gantt-chart-403f722f-9f60-458e-84d0-4b997f1dbb9e)
Resources requirements for a project will include human, material and, most importantly, financial (which is needed to obtain the other two). Most of the time, the client will provide a budget that will need to be utilised strategically in order to acquire all the required resources for the project. Therefore, it is beneficial to first compile a list of items (e.g. tools, software, hardware) and skills (e.g. project manager, coder, CAD designer) you need, and then identify which ones you already have available for free (e.g. if you already own a personal computer, you won’t need to factor that in; similarly, if a team member is proficient at coding, you won’t need to hire a coder). Efficiently allocating resources is essential to completing the project to a high standard whilst staying within the budget.
The success of a project lies in effectively evaluating whether it meets the client’s requirements. The process of evaluation often occurs at the end, but it can be implemented at each stage of the project to quickly identify any deviations from the initial goals and, thus, discard ideas that won’t satisfy the user’s needs. This allows timely adjustments to be made which avoids time and resources being wasted. Another core function of evaluation is to gather feedback through surveys to determine which areas could be improved to better meet the user’s expectations.
Evaluation can not only be used to improve the product but also how the team functions in the future. A self-evaluation can be conducted to identify what went well in this project and what didn’t (e.g. poor/effective communication, time management, budget planning), and how any issues could be prevented next time. This step can often be overlooked due to time constraints. It is crucial, however, to take the time to reflect on the successes and challenges to avoid repeating the same mistakes and inefficiencies in future projects.
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