What is a project?
A project is a finalized set of activities and actions undertaken in order to meet a defined need within a specified time and within the allocated budget. Unlike operations, which are repetitive processes, the essence of a project is to be innovative and unique.
A project is a temporary action with a beginning and an end, which mobilizes identified resources (human, material, equipment, raw materials, informational and financial) during realization, which has a cost and is therefore subject of budgeting means and of an independent assessment from the company’s one.
The project’s expected results are called “livrables”.
What is project management ?
Project management is an approach aiming to structure, ensure and optimize the smooth running of a sufficiently complex project to have to :
- Be planned through time
- Be budgeted (preliminary study of the costs and benefits or consideration of the expected revenue, funding sources, study of operational and financial risks and of the various impacts, etc.)
- Understand and manage the risks
- Achieving the desired level of quality
- Involve many stakeholders: this is the subject of organizations that identify control and project owner
- Name a project manager (unit projects) or a project director (group of projects)
- Establish a steering committee
- Follow significant operational and financial issues
The goal must be clearly specified, quantified and dated. The result must be conform to quality standards and predefined performances, at lower cost and in the shortest time.
The Franco-French sounding terms one must absolutely know:
- La maîtrise d’ouvrage (MOA) - project owner - is the function responsible of the definition of features, of end-to-end testing and of acceptance of technical development.
- L’assistance à la maîtrise d’ouvrage (AMOA) - Assistance to the project owner - is the function that participates in these activities under the responsibility of the MOA.
- La maîtrise d’œuvre (MOE) – project management - is the function responsible for the technical realization of a project, according to the functional specifications provided by the MOA.
- L’assistance à la maîtrise d’œuvre (AMOE) - Assistance in project management - is the function which participates to the technical realization of a project, according to the functional specifications provided by the MOA.
Specifically, the MOA is the functional expert or a manager of the organization department that will manage the project on behalf of the business. The AMOA will be a junior consultant or a member of the organization department who will participate in the drafting of the functional specifications and conduct tests. The MOE will be the IT project manager and the AMOE will be the technical analyst or the developer.
Towards a standardization of project management
The performance of a project manager (risk control and quality of deliverables) is in function 1/ of his experience and 2/ his ability to benefit from the experiences of the other project managers.
Project management professionals have long understood the benefits of methods standardization. From there were born repositories such as HERMES, PRINCE2, PMBOK, etc. which provide guidelines and professionals said tools since the 70’s.
What has changed in recent years is the fact of being certified in project management and being able to sell better, either as a consultant or as an employee.
Is the certification itself a guarantee of seriousness?
No certification can qualify your ability to carry out a project : a mismanaged project lasts 3 to 5 times longer than the initial estimates while a project wellmanaged lasts…
Only twice longer than the initial estimates.
No certification will ever qualify your charisma, that is to say, your interpersonal skills : a technically well led project (that is to say where all the steps and documents expected were made) may fail simply because of the personality of the project manager.
No certification will ever eliminate the conception mistakes related to ignorance of the business :
However, if managing a project is first of all a good dose of pragmatism combined with real interpersonal skills, nothing will ever replace the knowledge of your customer’s business.
We describe the main repositories and existing certifications in the following chart.
|Acronym||Handbuch des Elektronischen Rechenzentren des Bundes, Methode für die Entwicklung von Systemen||IPMA Competences Baseline||Project Management Body Environments||PRoject IN Changing Environments|
Swiss Confederation - 1975
|IPMA - 1965||PMI - 1969||Simpact Systems Ltd -
1975 Office of Government for
Commerce (OGC) - UK - 1989
Computer Strategy Unit ( USIC )
|International Project Management Association (IPMA) - Suisse||Project Management Institute (PMI) - USA||
Public domain model Certifications and
|Overhaul||1986 / 1995||1985 / 1999 / 2006||1987 / 1996 / 2000 / 2004||1975 / 1989 / 1998 / 2001|
Normative project Management Methodology
project management skills & high model of evaluation of these skills
Does not offer standards or methodological references
for project management
- The PMBOK identifies the best project management practices, meaning five process groups and nine areas of expertise
the business case that determines the scope and the limits of the project (its existence and its validity
- Information and communication technology
|Is not devoted to a particular area||
- Is not attached to a particular business domain, but the PMI made extensions of the PMBOK 2000 version for the construction, the Government and the defense
- Information and
Anyone interested in project management
Experienced professionals in project management
|- Organizations wishing to implement a project management repository
- People in charge of project management
|- People in charge
of project management
- Information and communication
|Is not devoted to a particular area||- Is not attached to a particular business domain, but the PMI made extensions of the PMBOK 2000 version for the construction, the
Government and the defense
- In practice, the PMBOK is mainly used by business services (IT, Banks, etc.)
|- Information and communication technology
- Methodology however open to all fields
|Cetifications||- HSPTP : HERMES
Swiss Project Team Professional
- HSPM : HERMES Swiss Project
Manager Certifications are valid for 6 years
|- IPMA-A: Certified Project Director
- IPMA-B: Certified Senior Project Manager
- IPMA-C: Certified Project Manager
- IPMA-D: Certified Project Manager
Associate The A to C certifications are valid years
|PMP: Project Management Professional
- CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management
The PMP certification must be kept up to date
demonstrating a certain level of project
|- PRINCE2 Practitioner
- PRINCE2 Fundation
|Models||- The model is divided into four
elements : who (role definition), what
(definition of the expected results),
how (step definition) & planning
- The model is divided into five submodels: project
management, risk management, quality
management & project marketing
- The realization of the project is divided
into six steps which results are
systematically documented to able
the decision-making (go next, redo, stop)
|A project manager must have 46
"elements" of skills split between three
"areas of expertise"
- Technical skills for project management
- Behavioral Competencies of a
person involved in the project
- Skills related to the context in which the
project fits (project / program / portfolio)
|- The five process groups which are more or less
♦ Surveillance & Control
Each process is described in terms of finality, of inputs
- The nine areas of competences correspond to
the main areas of expertise in project management:
♦ Project Management Integration
♦ Content Management
♦ Management of time
♦ Cost Management
♦ Quality Management
♦ Human Resource Management
♦ Communications Management
♦ Risk management
♦ Management of supplies
Organizational Project Management Maturity
Model (OPM3) : evaluates the maturity of an
organization compared to PMBOK and articulated
around three axes (Knowledge, Assessment,
|-The eight processes
describe in detail
the activities necessary for the
proper conduct of
♦ Directing a Project (DP)
♦ Developing a project (EP)
♦ Initialize a project (IP)
♦ Planning (FP)
♦ Manage the limits of
♦ Control a sequence (CS)
♦ Manage product delivery (LP))
♦ Project closure (CP)
- The eight support components:
♦ Business Case (updated
throughout the project)
♦ Plans (global plan and detailed plan)
♦ Controls (management by exception)
♦ Risk management (analysis)
♦ quality (qualitative
Management (as versioning and associated documentation) -
Control of change (change
|Editions||- System development (2003)
- System adaptation (2005)
- Method development and
|IPMA skills baseline||A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)||Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 (The Stationary Office)|
|Languages||French, English, German, Italian||English||The PMBOK is available in French, English, German,
Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
|The methodology is available in 15 languages although the supports
are mostly written in English