Strong project management is a critical component of any organization that wants to be successful. Project management is discrete rather than continuous and uses various tools and resources to keep track of goals and accomplishments (Haughey, 2011, para. 3). Incorporating project management means less risk and more opportunities for success (Haughey, 2011, para. 3). Haughey (2011), discusses the triple constraint of project management, which stresses that projects must meet cost, time and scope needs (Haughey, 2011, para. 5). Most importantly, projects have to satisfy costumer needs (Haughey, 2011, para. 5). Projects differ from operations. While a project is temporary and utilized to produce a unique output, operations are “…defined as permanent endeavors that produce repetitive outputs” (Cox, 2009, p. 6). Since projects are temporary and focused, project managers must be effective leaders, communicators, planners, and problem solvers (Haughey, 2011, para. 10). One of the most important jobs of the project manager is identifying the stakeholders, whom Cox (2011) defines as the people who are directly involved in the project or who have something to gain or lose as a result of the project (p. 7). A failure to determine the various stakeholders at the start of a project could mean the failure of the project.
My learning this week has given me knowledge I will bring back to my school. We always have many projects happening, but we have not explicitly talked about project management and in many cases, we have failed to identify the stakeholders. The idea of pointing out stakeholders was the most powerful idea for me because it is imperative to understand how your project is affecting others. Recently, a group of my colleagues and I taught an interdisciplinary unit, but we planned for it very last minute. Since we did not identify stakeholders, we experienced many setbacks, including not being able to utilize the Project Center (since we had not communicated with the library media specialist about our plans), parents who did not know that the unit’s summative essay that would be graded in English and Geography and Global Development and were freaking out about their child’s grade, and a team of teachers who were not effectively communicating elements of the essay that were to be differentiated, which confused the students. This unit was an eye-opener for me and I am excited to bring this learning back to my school for the benefit of the stakeholders.
Cox, D. (2009). Project management skills for instructional designers: A practical guide. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc.
Haughey, D. (2015). Introduction to project management. Project Smart. Retrieved from http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/introduction-to-project-management.php.
Kennedy, J. (2008). The project management triangle [Online image]. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_management_triangle#/media/File:The_triad_constraints.jpg.
This video explains how to identify and document stakeholders in a project:
This is a video tutorial to help you create a needs analysis survey at the start of a project using Google Forms: