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44 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 These challenges resonate with every man- ufacturing organization. Project management provides the methodology to make improve- ments to successfully meet objectives pre- sented by these challenges. The Project Management Institute Project management has matured over the last three decades into a well-recognized func- tion embraced by many organizations. The Project Management Institute, a global non- profit professional organization for project management, provides a wealth of information about project management. In addition, there are many books, associations, and consulting organizations that provide expert knowledge on project management. Project Management Basics Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. And it is accomplished through the following five phases: 1. Initiating 2. Planning 3. Executing 4. Monitoring and controlling 5. Closing Projects are typically monitored into these phases to provide better management control with appropriate links to the ongoing opera- tions of the performing organization. Collec- tively, these phases are known as the project life cycle. Each project plan is then divided into six fundamental sections (additional sections can be added to these fundamentals, depend- ing on the configuration of a project): 1. Scope 2. Schedule 3. Resources and budget 4. Quality 5. Customer satisfaction 6. Risks and mitigations These all are so intertwined that a change in one will most often cause a change in at least one of the others. You will also need to do the following to establish a strong project manage- ment structure: • Define a project management process that is appropriate for your organization • Assign a project management leader that will train engineers, managers, and individual contributors in applying project management processes; give this role to any trained personnel in the organization and note that large projects do require a full-time project manager for successful completion of the project • Define project management tools that the personnel assigned to be leaders can use to lead and manage the project successfully • Incorporate project management as part of your quality management system (QMS) Keep It Simple Contract manufacturers (CMs) work in a fast- paced environment where simple processes are necessary for the effective execution of opera- tions. At the core of practical project manage- ment is an ability to keep things simple and not get bogged down in lengthy and unwieldy processes; however, this does not mean cutting corners. Good project management practice is still necessary; it is about keeping it lean and mean. This, and getting the basics right, will help you deliver a successful project. Here are five guidelines to consider when implementing a practical project management structure for your organization. 1. Gather Requirements Prepare a template that helps you define project requirements to effectively define the scope of a project. This template is referred to as the "project charter," which will be the approved document that the assigned project manager will use to plan, execute, and deliver the project to stakeholders. 2. Communicate Does everyone in your team understand the project well enough to give an elevator speech?

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