Project Management

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Project management, as it applies to industrial design processes, can be described as a field that includes every aspect of project development. From start to finish, a strong project manager can ease the development of a product by allocating resources effectively, producing planning and training materials that are appropriate to the project, and by evaluating the need for external design help. In some cases, an outside firm or consultancy may also handle project management for a new product.

The Difficulties of Project Management

The friction between business constraints and functional design principles creates many of the difficulties that are associated with project management. Business concerns often include budget restrictions, hectic schedules, and ambiguous resources. Functional design principles generally include functionality, manufacturability, ergonomics, and aesthetics.

In order to successfully merge these two different, and sometimes opposing, concerns, project managers must be able to quickly assess their available resources and develop any new processes or instructional materials that may be necessary. Some professionals consider management the ability to perform the necessary interventions at exactly the proper stages of the development process. Moreover, project managers must decide if it is necessary to hire outside help or if it is more efficient to develop new instructional materials for their existing team members.

There are many resources available for managers. Numerous instructional tools, including award-winning books, are available, as are consultant firms. By including a project manager in product development from the beginning of the process, many businesses are able to streamline their operations, resulting in successful products that are delivered on time and on budget.

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