Project management. Basics, phases and practical application

Term Paper, 2019

21 Pages, Grade: 1,0



List of figures

List of abbreviations

1. Introduction

2. Project management basics
2.1 Definition “management”
2.2 Definition “project”
2.3 Definition “project management”

3. Major tasks in project management
3.1 Project planning
3.2 Project organization
3.3 Project objective
3.4 Project controlling
3.4.1. Project structure plan
3.4.2. Milestone plan

4. Magic traingle in project management
4.1 Performance / scope
4.2 Measurement of project results

5. Process of a project at “Deutsche Telekom Außendienst GmbH”

6. Summary and conclusion

7. Bibliography

List of figures

Figure 1 Project management in operational practice

Figure 2 Magic Triangle

Figure 3 Project structure DTA

List of abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Introduction

Where am I going? How do I get there? Am I on the right track? How can I check this and how can I reach my goal? All these questions can be answered with project management.

Projects are important operations, often with long-term effects. Their implementation causes considerable effort. Project management represents the potential to carry out these projects successfully, on time and economically. Due to the increasingly complex, often temporary tasks and the ever-shorter product life cycles, the importance of project management has steadily increased in recent years.

One possibility to use resources and costs flexibly, offer projects. They are temporally limited and therefore manageable for companies. Nevertheless, projects do not always go according to plan. Therefore, in the phase of project implementation, it is particularly important to get and use regular detailed information about the project.

The aim of this term paper is to explain project management and to discuss the structure and methods.

2. Project management basics

In this chapter, the terms "management", "project" and "project management" are defined to give the reader a basic knowledge of classic project management.

2.1 Definition “management”

The term “management” originally comes from the Latin and means "lead by hand".1 By “management” we mean the achievement of certain objectives by individuals and the ensuring of suitable conditions and structures for procurement and controlling of resources.2 Besides that, management performs a wide range of other functions in an organization like creation and adaptation of organizational structures, controlling in general and regulation.3 Management is a sequence of actions, measures, votes and decisions and is described as a process or a cycle.4

2.2 Definition “project”

According to the DIN standard 69 9015, a project is characterized by its uniqueness. It needs a clear objective, a temporal, financial and personnel limitation of resources, a delimitation towards other projects and a project-specific organization. Projects are novel and complex in their scope. Furthermore, they are limited in time, which means that they have a defined beginning and a defined ending. In addition, there must be an assignment for which a specific organization has been created.6

2.3 Definition “project management”

“Project management” is the management that is needed to build a project of a certain type, in a certain time with certain resources to achieve a certain result. According to DIN standard 69 901, project management is the entirety of management tasks, management organizations, management techniques and management tools for the processing of all projects.7

Project management includes solving problems, the organization and controlling of tasks and designing of psychological influences (see number 1 in the model). Furthermore, managing contents and objectives of the project on a factual level, just as the way of the procedure (methodical level) and control interactions and relationships (personal level) (see number 2 in the model).8 In addition, project management includes organizational building blocks, the objectives, instructions and decisions (see number 3 in the model). Finally, it holds the framework, methods and tools (see number 4 in the model).9

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: adapted from Winkelhofer, G., 1997a, S. 13

In conclusion it can be said, that project management must be distinguished from project success. Project management is the right application of methods and instruments whereas project success indicates when the objectives are achieved in budget, time and scope.

3. Major tasks in project management

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised”10. This quotation from the motivational speaker Denis Waitley expresses exactly what project management is – unpredictable. It is important to have a concept and the right project team members around you. Of course, nothing ever works the way its planned, but it is essential to set milestones, monitor and document your progress, and ultimately learn from experiences to make the project a success.

3.1 Project planning

To plan a project, it is necessary to consider the individual phases.

The initialization phase is the first phase of a successful project implementation. The project ideas are presented, and the client and the project manager decide together, if the concept is worth projecting. It must be decided, whether the project should be carried out in a clear line, or whether other sectors are also affected and therefore it is a cross-segment project. Furthermore, the question arises how many resources must be provided to other sectors in the case of an overarching project. Moreover, in this phase the objectives are defined.11 How they are related to the corporate strategy and to the overall assessment. The structure of the product and the project must be created as well as the identification of requirements, restrictions and limitations of the involved parties. The objectives with execution criteria must be clearly stated to evaluate the economic viability.12

To be able to start a project, the project manager must first submit an application, which defines the objectives and general conditions of the project. In addition, the project team is compiled. To ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the project, an environmental analysis can be implemented. This analysis aims to identify potential influencing factors. Furthermore, it can be determined which individuals or departments need to be involved in the project.13 At the end of the phase, appointments for the presentation of the results and the interim results must be determined. Finally, the signing of the client is the goal of a successful preparation phase. At the end of the initialization phase there is an adjust project order, which is usually a one pager with the most important facts like the project members, the calculation and the objectives, must be elaborated.14

Afterwards the planning phase takes place. The planning phase includes all activities and processes that serve the formal planning of a project. This phase follows the initialization phase where the defined objectives and effort estimates are specified. The objective must be evaluated again to determine if any changes were yield. A draft for the schedule, the milestones and the project structure plan must be created. Furthermore, a definition of all required roles, functions and responsibilities must be done.15

In the implementation period the verification of accordance of the project order and the project plans takes place and the results are validated.16

In the final phase the conformity of accordance of the project order and the project plans must be done, just like the validation of the results from the implementation phase and their corrections from the final phase.17

3.2 Project organization

The project organization is the structure of project responsibilities in an already existing company organization. Projects need to be organized, because only the organization of a project guarantees that the complexity of a project is structured and consequently reduced, the scope is structured and therefore visible and manageable, the various specialist areas are well coordinated, and the final date will be achieved.18

The project principal defines the essential project objectives, initiates the project and provides the required budget. Furthermore, he defines the essential framework conditions. Normally the project principal is from the management.19

The project manager is responsible for the operational planning and control of the project, i.e. he is responsible for the achievement of time, material and cost targets during the implementation. During planning, he defines the objectives as well as the necessary resources. The project manager is an essential success factor for the project. Basically, he must satisfy the same requirements as management personalities in an organization.20

Project team members are permanent members of the project team who ideally are available full-time for the project. The concrete tasks for the team members are described in the work package specification. Additionally, there are temporary project members (specialists) who are not assigned for the actual project work, but whose special knowledge is indispensable, so that they must or should be contacted in individual cases. They are not explicitly included in the project team, but their input can be very valuable for the success of the project.21

For large projects it may be recommendable to set up a back-office structure with support services to relieve the internal project team from administrative tasks. This function is called project office or project assistance.22

Eventually another important part of a project organization is the steering committee. It can be designated as a cross-project steering or control board. It is the highest decision-making body within a project structure organization. If an organization has several major projects that have management attention, the steering committee can be created as a cross-project supervisory that has an overview of all relevant projects.23

3.3 Project objective

Objectives are important to get from an actual to a desired situation. They do not describe the way, but a concrete state to be reached. To ensure that the objectives are always in focus, well-known and memorable by everyone in the project team it is important to give a clear definition. Therefore, the SMART -model was developed. It describes the objectives accurate and uniformly.24

An objective must be specific, that means the objective is clearly formulated with no room for interpretation. In consequence there are no ambiguities between the customer and the bid manager regarding the project contents. This is an advantage in case of subsequent demands from the customer.25

With the help of measurability, the target can be checked later for a complete implementation. Exact properties, i.e. measurable clues, are defined. As an example, the grade average is suitable. The average of 1.5 is defined in an objective. After study/training, the target/actual comparison can be used to check whether this grade average has been achieved or not. So, at those measurable parameters at which the objective is built in, can be matched at any time whether one is on the right way or an objective may already be reached. You cannot achieve what you cannot measure!26

Attractive or accepted means that all parties agree on the previously defined objectives. To be able to implement the interests of all parties in the best possible way, the objective should be defined in common. To complete the project in the best possible way, the objectives are defined within the scope of what is possible in order to avoid demotivation or frustration. It is important that the project team has the motivation to do something which is compatible with their personal goals. This is how motivation can be created.27

“R” stands for realistic and describes the amount of resources available regarding to the target state to be achieved.28

Objectives need a specific time reference which is defined by a fixed end date. A concrete end date is necessary, to set to see, at which point the final parameters, defined above, should be reached.29


1 Cf. Weatherly, John N., System, 2009, S.2

2 Cf. Kessler, H., Winkelhofer, G., Leitfaden, 2004, S.10

3 Cf. Kessler, H., Winkelhofer, G., Leitfaden, 2004, S.10

4 Cf. Kessler, H., Winkelhofer, G., Leitfaden, 2004, S.10

5 Cf. Kessler, H., Winkelhofer, G., Leitfaden, 2004, S.9

6 Cf. Kessler, H., Winkelhofer, G., Leitfaden, 2004, S.10

7 Cf. Klotz, M, Marx, S., DIN, 2018, S.3

8 Cf. Kessler, H., Winkelhofer, G., Leitfaden, 2004, S.10

9 Cf. Kessler, H., Winkelhofer, G., Leitfaden, 2004, S.11

10 Waitley, D., Motivational speaker

11 Cf. Lent, B., IT-Projektmanagement, 2013, S. 71

12 Cf. Lent, B., IT-Projektmanagement, 2013, S. 71

13 Cf. Kuster, J. i.a., Agil, 2011, S.41

14 Cf. Kuster, J. i.a., Agil, 2019, S.41

15 Cf. Lent, B., IT-Projektmanagement, 2013, S. 72

16 Cf. Lent, B., IT-Projektmanagement, 2013, S. 72

17 Cf. Lent, B., IT-Projektmanagement, 2013, S. 72

18 Cf. Alam, D., Gühl, U., Praxis, 2016, S. 95 ff.

19 Cf. Bär, C.; Fiege, J.; Weiß, M., Anwendung, 2017, S. 26

20 Cf. Bär, C.; Fiege, J.; Weiß, M., Anwendung, 2017, S. 27

21 Cf. Bär, C.; Fiege, J.; Weiß, M., Anwendung, 2017, S. 27

22 Cf. Bär, C.; Fiege, J.; Weiß, M., Anwendung, 2017, S. 27 ff.

23 Cf. Bär, C.; Fiege, J.; Weiß, M., Anwendung, 2017, S. 28

24 Cf. Dr. Becker, R.,, 2004, S. 14

25 Cf. Meyer, H., Reher, H., Definition, 2016, S. 118

26 Cf. Bär, C.; Fiege, J.; Weiß, M., Anwendung, 2017, S. 43 ff.

27 Cf. Bär, C.; Fiege, J.; Weiß, M., Anwendung, 2017, S. 43 ff.

28 Cf. Meyer, H., Reher, H., Definition, 2016, S. 118

29 Cf. Meyer, H., Reher, H., Definition, 2016, S. 118

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Project management. Basics, phases and practical application
University of Applied Sciences Essen
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project management, Projektmanagement, Major tasks
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Cindy Russmann (Author), 2019, Project management. Basics, phases and practical application, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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