Project Management Basics

Explained by Common Craft
At work or school, teamwork can be a challenge. When people have different specialities and priorities, it can be difficult to keep the team working smoothly. That’s why projects often need someone who keeps things on track. This video introduces the basics of project management.
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Video Transcript:

Let’s imagine a perfect scenario for completing a complex project. Here, specialists form a team that covers all the skills needed for the project. The team members communicate and collaborate.

Each skill fits into the project perfectly and the project is finished on time and with great results. This is the dream, but not often the reality.

Many projects end up in chaos because it’s difficult for the specialists to focus to on their specialty and manage things like budgets and timelines for the whole project.

Solving this problem means having another kind of specialist involved who keeps everything aligned and working together smoothly. That’s the role of a project manager.

Here’s an example…
Imagine a diverse team given the task of creating a new product inside a company. There’s a designer, engineer, marketer and salesperson who need to work together to create a prototype for an upcoming meeting.

This prototype is the project’s deliverable - the end result of the team’s efforts. This project, like most, has specific limitations: Time - it must completed by a specific date. Budget - it can only cost up to a certain amount. Resources - it can only use specific people and tools.

These limitations are called the scope of the project and are part of what define it. The project manager’s job is to keep every part of the project aligned and working within those limitations.

And there’s more. Success depends on the project team, but also the perspectives of others - the stakeholders in an upcoming meeting. These are company executives and potential customers, who may not work on the project, but have a stake in the results.

Part of the project manager’s job is to communicate with stakeholders, understand their needs and set expectations for the deliverable. Now, let’s sum this up...

This project requires a team to work together and deliver a prototype to a group of stakeholders. To do it, the team will have a limited scope of time, money and resources.

The project manager, who may not work on the prototype directly, must see everything from a high level and constantly work to keep all the parts moving within the scope of the project.

When projects like this are well-managed, they can be efficient and allow team members to focus on what they do best.

Today, project managers are often highly trained professionals who can manage large-scale projects or multiple projects at once.

But the idea of project management can be applied to getting almost any set of tasks accomplished.

Whether you’re working on a class project, a new product at work or planning a family reunion, think like a project manager and you can get great results and keep chaos at bay.


What it teaches:

This video follows the story of a team who works together to build a prototype for an upcoming meeting at work. Thanks to a project manager, they are able to align their work efficiently and complete the project with limited time, budget and resources. It teaches:

  • Why project management matters in getting things done

  • How project managers help plan and align the team’s work
  • Why project scope (time, budget and resources) matters

  • How project managers work with stakeholders
  • How the basics of project management can be applied to other types of projects.

Video Info:

  • Duration:  03m 14s
  • Captions Available:  YES
  • Lesson Plan:  YES
  • Category:  Study Skills, Society
  • ISTE Standard:  Global Collaborator, Indicator 7c

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