Project Mechanics

I have spent a considerable amount of time in the field of software development, particularly in client delivery roles. Over the years, this experience has led me to develop a concept I call Project Mechanics . It's a term I coined to encapsulate the methodology I found effective in managing and delivering software projects. Project Mechanics , in its essence, is about understanding and applying a blend of structured project management techniques along with a flexible, adaptive approach to problem-solving. It's not about reinventing the wheel but rather about using proven strategies in a way that can be adapted to the specific needs and challenges of each project.

Project Mechanics is built on the foundation of clear communication, efficient planning, and agile response to change. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the project scope thoroughly, managing resources efficiently, and maintaining open lines of communication with all stakeholders. The aim of Project Mechanics is not to claim a one-size-fits-all solution but to offer a practical, adaptable framework that can guide project teams in navigating the complexities of software development and client delivery. It’s a reflection of lessons learned and strategies honed over years of real-world experience, shared in the hope that it can assist others in their project management endeavors.

The Art and Science of Project Management

Successful project management is part "art" and part "mechanics". Project Mechanics are objective and relatively easy to describe, whereas the art of project management is left to each individual's interpretation. However, Project Mechanics are tasks that simply must be carried out to ensure project success. The level of detail associated with each task is determined on a project-by-project basis, but the fundamental steps must be followed. It is important to note, however, that simply mechanically performing tasks will not ensure project success. The tasks and procedure framework described are only a foundation for project success - not a guarantee.

True project success relies less on project mechanics and more on the art that is the subjective side of Project Management. At the core of this subjective area is the art of effective communication.

More than any other soft skill, a Project Manager must learn to effectively communicate with the three constituencies of a project in a service deliver environment:

who is receiving the output of the project
who is performing the steps necessary to complete the project object
the folks tracking the project's progress and ensuring that the project is profitable

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. The Project Manager has the responsibility of leading the team to success. Both client and Company personnel will look to the project managers for leadership throughout the project life cycle. Mastering project mechanics, determining their appropriate application, and effective communication with all parties involved is the challenge facing every project manager.

Project work is about managing and participating in projects from concept to operational use. Topics include techniques of project scope, work breakdown analysis, task estimating and scheduling, and resource, risk and cost management. The human aspects of project work, teams and communication are addressed as are quality assurance and quality standards.

Project Management Professional - PMP

Once you know that you have a project, you need to find someone to make it happen. A project manager is uniquely responsible for the execution and success of the project. The project management institute (PMI) is the world's leading not-for-profit professional membership association. is the world's leading not-for-profit professional membership association. PMI says it best in the 2000 edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide):

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities to meet the requirements of a particular project. Project management is comprised of five processes - Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing - as well as nine knowledge areas. These nine areas center on management expertise in Project Integration, Project Scope, Project Time, Project Cost, Project Quality, Project Human Resources, Project Communications, Project Risk Management and Project Procurement.