Project Management in Entrepreneurship: Phases, Steps in Project Identification

What is Project Management?

Project Management is “the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people.

Investopedia defines Project management as “the planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event, or duty towards completion.”

Simply put together, Project Management is the art of dealing with the project and its outcome with a perspective to attain the project goals.


Phases of Project Management

When a project is divided into small phases, it becomes easy to deal with the project. The entrepreneur is able to understand the total workload of the project and how easy or challenging is to accomplish the project goals. The following are the phases of Project Management:

  1. Initiation Phase
  2. Planning Phase
  3. Execution Phase
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closure

Initiation Phase

This is the stage where the project actually begins. The project idea is generated with the help of various idea-generation techniques. The ideas are generated, evaluated, and shortlisted, and finally, the best one is selected.

The aim is to understand whether a project is feasible enough to put into practice. A project proposal or a business plan is actually prepared which acts as a blueprint for the venture. The scope of the project is defined and boundaries are drawn.

Planning Phase

The planning phase begins as soon as the project is conceptualized. A Project Management Plan is effectively conceived. The aim of this plan is to fix the goals, finalize the deliverables, make a detailed schedule while keeping time constraints, list the resources required, and make the estimated budget for various activities.

Project planning also records the personnel requirements. It also considers risk management planning. Moreover, communication planning is aptly put in place.

Execution Phase

Once the effective planning is done, it’s time to actually execute what is planned. Teams are formed for efficient execution. The resources are procured and allotted to the teams.

A coordination mechanism is implemented to connect resources with the teams. This is the lengthiest phase as most of the cost, time, and resources are utilized in this phase. Project outcome is observed in terms of Project deliverables.

Monitoring and Controlling

This phase typically aims at monitoring costs, quality, time allocations, and the work that is actually executed. Project assessment is done with regard to fixing up of errors and slipups.

To perform controlling, actual performance is measured and then compared with the planned one. Deviations are listed out and corrective actions are considered for further effective execution of the project.

Closure

This is the wrapping-up stage where all the contracts are formally sacked. Sometimes, a project closure report is also prepared that will act as a document to understand how well the project has been implemented.

The team endeavors to learn from the outcomes. The closure phase ends with the Post-implementation review, drawing lessons from the same.

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Concept of Project Identification

When a prospective entrepreneur searches for a feasible business, he may come across several opportunities. It becomes imperative for him to choose the right business idea. An entrepreneur has to look into his surroundings and has to analyze the opportunities existing therein, and the best one suiting the requirements is fixed upon.

Project Identification is the process that enables an entrepreneur to pick the most suitable and apt business opportunity. In order to make the project identification, the entrepreneur has to strive hard in terms of seeking the best opportunity. He can do so by:

  • Studying the performance of existing industries,
  • Analyzing the government policies and trends,
  • Evaluating the market changes and customer expectations regarding product quality and price,
  • Understanding technological updates,
  • Find out the availability of raw materials and transportation accessibility,
  • Understanding the availability of skilled and unskilled manpower and so on.

Steps in Project Identification

Project Identification within itself is a huge task. It involves many steps. Let us try to understand the steps involved in the process of Project Identification:

  1. Environmental Scanning
  2. Idea Generation
  3. Preliminary Evaluation
  4. Detailed Appraisal
  5. Project Selection
  6. Project Report

Environmental Scanning

The very first step in the process of Project Identification is to make the environmental scanning. An entrepreneur is able to get detailed information about various external forces that can influence business decisions.

By environmental scanning, entrepreneurs can understand and monitor the factors that are inseparable like government, customers, suppliers, financial institutions, the general public, society, etc.

Idea Generation

We have already discussed much about idea generation. Idea generation is necessary to come out with a list of a few good business ideas that can be evaluated further. Various techniques like brainstorming, Mind mapping, Nominal group technique, etc., are used to generate the best business ideas.

Preliminary Evaluation

During this stage, all the ideas that have been listed are scrutinized. Each idea is analyzed from the viewpoint of a ready business venture or a product. This enables the entrepreneur to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every idea and the best three or four ideas are further shortlisted.

Detailed Appraisal

A detailed appraisal of the selected ideas becomes a necessity then. All the final shortlisted ideas are investigated with much more intensity.

Thus, a detailed study is mandatory for evaluating: the availability of raw materials, transportation and communication facilities, equipment availability, technology availability, production capacities and capabilities, marketing plan, HR strategy, etc.

Project Selection

After making a detailed analysis, entrepreneurs can come to know which idea is best from the viewpoint of increasing returns on investments and societal benefits. The idea or project that is most fertile is finally selected.

Project Report

Once the zero in the process of project selection is done, the last step is creating a blueprint or a document that can act as a road map in the path of the actual business journey.

This is done by writing a project report which covers all the aspects of running down the business. The project report is thus a business plan that ensures that the business is moving in the right direction.

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FAQs Section

What is the meaning of Project Management?

Project Management is “the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people.

What are the phases of project management?

These are the 5 phases of project management:
1. Initiation Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Execution Phase
4. Monitoring and Controlling
5. Closure.

What are the steps in project identification?

The following are the steps in project identification:
1. Environmental Scanning
2. Idea Generation
3. Preliminary Evaluation
4. Detailed Appraisal
5. Project Selection
6. Project Report.