Successful project managers, in order to achieve stated objectives and maximize the potential of a project, must take four basic elements of the project into consideration on a daily basis. These considerations are interrelated, must be managed as a whole, and must be managed efficiently to ensure that the project will come in on time and on budget. The four elements to be managed are:
- Resources – Resources include team members, capital equipment, and materials required for the project’s completion. Management of resources is not limited to those which are already on-site. This also includes making sure that resources are delivered on time and available when needed.
- Time – Managing time successfully results in the project staying on schedule which, in turn, gives the project the best chance to be completed on budget.
- Money – Of the four elements, money and the budget for the project will most likely be the most examined, especially by the project sponsors. Keeping a tight rein on finances while making sure that each phase is fully funded can give the project the best chance of a successful completion.
- Scope – Scope defines the objective of the project as well as the budget required to achieve those objectives.
While the three elements of resources, time, and money typically garner most of project managers’ attention, managing the scope of the project is of utmost importance. “Scope creep” typically occurs when small changes, which are considered manageable or inconsequential, are incorporated into the overall plan of the project. If the changes which expand the scope of the project are few in number and don’t require much in the way of resources, it’s usually not an issue. Problems arise when changes start stacking up. When these changes are approved, it is incumbent upon the project manager to adjust the budget to cover the added time, resources, and money required to complete a new facet of the project.
Experts like Dmitrij Harder and the team at Solvo Group can define project scope and then provide assistance when adjustments in resources, time, and money, need to be made.