Networking is brining like-minded people together to share that common interest. Networking is a tool that can and should be utilized throughout a project manager’s endeavors and can become a vital asset when progressing through the project’s lifecycle. Networking facilitates the referent power of the project manager to call upon people and their expertise or resources to push a project over a roadblock or other critical path element (Prencipe, Davies and Hobday 2007). As a project manager there are very limited times when the person leading the project activities actually manages or supervises the people in the organization that are relied upon to meet the goals and objectives of the project. This ability to network and create meaningful connections becomes an asset to the project manager as well as a tool to pull out of the project management toolbox when issues arise within the project.
When a project manager calls upon a group of cross-functional leaders to place time, effort, people or financial resources to solving a key issue in his or her project it is important to have a rapport with the people you are requesting these limited resources from (Baber & Waymon, 2007). The first time a project manager speaks with a key contributor to his or her project should not be the first time they meet or speak with this person. Networking comes in many forms and fashions. There are face-to-face interactions which creates a verbal, non-verbal and visual connection between the individuals participating in the activity or function. There are also areas where networking opportunities can be enhanced or initiated through web-based forums. These areas create a virtual space to share information and create an area to provide a point of contact that can be accessed at any time. Networking provides a tool for project managers to call upon to facilitate project progression and can help mitigate or remediate issues that block the project’s progress. Creating meaningful relationships and networking can become a great asset in project management.
A project is by definition a temporary endeavor to produce a unique deliverable at the conclusion of the endeavor (PMI 2008). The planning phase of project management includes developing the project management plan, collecting the requirements, defining the scope, assigning resources in a work breakdown structure and defining the activities. Planning in a project establishes the ground work for the entire project’s lifecycle and will inherently become the foundation for success or failure when the project comes to a close. In order to understand what is to be delivered at the end of a project there must be boundaries and guidelines established to set the parameters or scope of the project. Planning a project revolves around defining what needs to be accomplished and how it will be accomplished. Defining scope is the process of determining a common understanding of what the project will include in or exclude out of the final deliverable (Magal and Word 2011). Scope management is a key success factor in completing any project. If scope is not managed correctly, the requirements and deliverables may fluctuate so much that the original intention of the project may never be met and could result in a fail project attempt. As any project progresses through the phases, the intricacies and details of the project gain clarity. This is where the art of project management dances with the scientific project management methodology to build and execute a project. The planning phase in project management establishes not only the framework but also how the framework will be followed, funded and communicated. These established baselines create the launching pad formulating the trajectory of the project. While the project manager can make adjustments throughout the project there will always be a tradeoff between the triple constraints including cost, schedule and quality (Fleming 2003). Proper project planning will promote the rate of success in any project.
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Fleming, Q. W. (2003). Project procurement management: Contracting, subcontracting, teaming. (First ed.). Tustin: FMC Press.
Highsmith, J. A., & Highsmith, J. (2010). Agile project management, creating innovative products. Addison-Wesley Professional.
Magal, S. R., & Word, J. (2011). Integrated business processes with erp systems. RRD/Jefferson City: Wiley.
Monk, E., & Wagner, B. (2009). Concepts in enterprise resource planning. (3 ed.). Boston, MA: Course Technology Cengage Learning.
Prencipe, A., Davies, A., & Hobday, M. (2007). The business of systems integration. Oxford University Press, USA.
Project Management Institute, P. M. (2008). A guide to the project management body of knowledge. (4th ed.). Newtown Square: Project Management Inst.