Eight key practice areas are essential for effective project management.
Why a Disciplined Approach Matters
Along with a phased approach to delivering projects, the other important aspect of managing projects well is the various project management disciplines. Consider a racing car driver about to enter a race. They may do things in the right order. They may get in the car only after they have checked the tyres, the engine, and so on. This is good; however, if they cannot apply the right amount of pressure to the brake on entering a corner or the turn the wheel too early, the race is lost. The racing car driver, to be successful, needs to be well versed in the various driving disciplines—cornering, passing, gearing, and so on.
The Eight Project Management Disciplines
For Project Managers, the eight key project management disciplines are:
Identifying project stakeholders and their requirements and managing their communication needs and issues.
Identifying project risks and creating and implementing mitigation strategies in order to minimize the impact on the project.
Identifying issues that impact the project and managing them through to resolution.
Controlling and prioritising project expenditures on products, services and labor in order to achieve the objectives of the project within the agreed budget.
Assigning, prioritizing and monitoring project tasks and workflows in order to complete the project on schedule.
Ensuring that project deliverables meet the agreed standards and satisfy stakeholder requirements at each stage of the project.
Setting a project baseline and identifying, reviewing, approving and monitoring proposed changes to the project scope.
Selecting project team members, clarifying roles, providing feedback and motivating for high performance.
These project management disciplines are applied to varying degrees throughout the project phases. A well-skilled Project Manager knows when and to what extent to apply each discipline.