Rising costs, regulatory reforms and rapid technological disruptions are driving more and more government agencies and businesses towards program and project management as a proven way to face and effectively navigate these challenges. Industry leaders are embracing project management/controls to reduce costs, improve efficiency and generate a greater value on their projects. Management Solutions has been partnering with government and commercial clients for over two decades and providing these same services.
A key concept in project management is the project lifecycle. The project lifecycle is the decomposition of the project work into phases aligned with the overall strategy to perform the project. Exhibit 4. shows a typical lifecycle of a consulting project.
As you probably know, not all phases apply to all project management engagements. Nevertheless, most projects start with a current situation assessment phase, where the problem root causes are investigated until one or more alternative solutions are proposed. Then in the Feedback & Decision phase, these results are presented to the client allowing him to provide the project manager with feedback and eventually make the decision of go/no-go for some of the proposed solutions.
With each phase comes important skills. Exhibit 5 shows the most important skills needed in each phase of a project. Most skills descriptions have been taken from the Project Management Professional (PMP) Role Delineation Study (PMI, 2000), which shows the overlap and synergies between consulting and good project management. Effective consulting involves having excellent technical skills in the problem domain, interpersonal and consulting skills to effectively interact with others and good understanding and skills in project management.
Like many other professions, project management presents challenges and risks that only subject matter experts can properly address. Project management offers tools and techniques that add additional value to consulting, often the difference between failure and success. The most effective project managers have a mixture of technical expertise, good people skills, and a substantial amount of project management knowledge. Consulting can be the best of jobs or the worst of them all, and project management skills can help consultants achieve better results, fulfill expectations and improve self-confidence as professionals.
The professional staff at Management Solutions consists of highly experienced engineers, project managers, project controls personnel and subject matter experts. We offer a wide variety of project and program management expertise and guidance based on years spent partnering with a broad spectrum of government and commercial clients.