This is a key step in the planning of the project. It is when plans are made, the order in which the activities are done and deliverables delivered, to fit in with the overall time scale of the project. There are basic sets of tools, which are used to carry out this part of the process, all aimed at improving the overall management of the project. Most of these tools described below are available as individual items of software, or are part of the many software packages that have been developed for Project Management. Ifthe company does not use one of these packages, a Manager should consult with the local technical software suppliers who should have a range of software available for purchase, and be able to provide the necessary advice on the scope and limitations of each package.
The four main methods that are used during the HOW phase in Project Management are:
1. Gantt or Bar Charts
2. Network Diagrams
3. Critical Paths
The first two, Gantt Charts and Network diagrams, are used during the detailed project planning phase whilst the second two are used to ask "what if" type questions about the derived project plans. An R&D Manager should aim to be familiar with these techniques. An understanding of these techniques is useful during the many debates that occur during the lifetime of projects. A brief description of each of these methods is given below.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.