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Two of the world’s most prestigious accounting bodies, the AICPA and CIMA,have formed a joint venture to establish the Chartered Global ManagementAccountant (CGMA ) designation to elevate and build recognition of theprofession of management accounting. This international designation recognises the most talented and committedmanagement accountants with the discipline and skill to drive strong businessperformance. CGMA designation holders are either CPAs with qualifyingmanagement accounting experience or associate or fellow members of theChartered Institute of Management Accountants.


INTRODUCTIONThe ability to effectively manage a project has become an increasingly important skill amongaccounting and finance professionals. Being able to plan and deliver a project on time andon budget is critical for any successful business. It affects every aspect of an organisation fromcustomers, employees, internal and external stakeholders, to strategic planning and decision making.Simply stated, project management affects results and directly impacts the bottom line. This guideprovides an easy-to-use model for effective project management and highlights useful tips towardsachieving successful business results through project management.WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?The Global Management Accounting Principles released by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and theChartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) define project management as follows:Project Management Definition“Integration of all aspects of a project, so that the proper knowledge and resources are available when and where needed andabove all, to ensure that the expected outcome is produced in a timely, cost-effective and quality controlled manner.”AICPA/CIMA Global Management Accounting Principles Project management is a conduit to convert business objectives into actions. It is embedded in the execution ofalmost every business decision and is, in many instances, indispensable when it comes to reaching business goals.Traditional business pressures coupled with increased needs and demands, shifting market trends, changes inregulations and rapid technological advances — all exert varying levels of intensity in the day-to-day businessoperations. In today’s rapidly evolving business environment, the traditional scope of project management hasexpanded. The responsibilities have increased with global and virtual teams, each escorted by social, economicand cultural challenges. Such expansion requires an equally leveled set of abilities and measures — which in someinstances should be coupled with formal leadership training. Effective project management also requires a frameworkto successfully manage a project or perhaps lead a team to properly carry out stated organisational goals.ESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER2

PROJECT ORGANISATION CHARTThe organisational structure of a project team clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of eachposition, including the sponsor, project manager and team member(s). For each project these rolesneed to be further specified and modified depending on the nature and scope of the project.Steering Group (If applicable) Advises the sponsor on important decisionsProgramme Manager Manages and coordinates several related sub-projects May involve relevant stakeholders from differentdepartments that are affected by the programme Ensures alignment with strategy and business needsProject Manager O peratively responsible for the progress andmanagement of the projectSponsor I ndividual or group that promotes and supportsthe programme and project in the organisation Ensures and follows up on deadlines, deliverablesand budget P rovides strategic direction on the programmeand project Manages internal and external relationships forthe project Appoints programme and/or project managerBusiness Owner Refers to as the subject matter expertProject Team Members Staff who actively work on the project, at some stage,during the lifetime of the project P rovides technical guidance on the structure anddirection of the projectSteering GroupSponsorBusiness OwnerProgramme ManagerProject ManagerProjectTeamMemberProjectTeamMemberProject ManagerProjectTeamMemberProjectTeamMemberProject S OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER3

PROJECT MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORKThe process of leading a project from start to finish can be complex. Whether you are managing asmall or big project, its successful execution requires a structured plan from the start to understandthe vision, identify the requirements, set the expectations, balance constraints and ultimately facilitateexecution. A project management framework provides the means to structure the initiative in logicalphases. Project Management Institute’s widely accepted standards and methodologies for project,programme and portfolio management outlines five phases for project management in their Guide tothe Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide – Fifth Edition). Depending on thenature of the project and the adopted framework, the execution and monitoring phases could eitherbe combined or presented as separate phases. Other large and complex projects might requireadditional steps within those five major phases of the standard project management framework. Phase I — Initiation Phase II — Planning Phase III — Execution Phase IV — Monitoring Phase V — ClosingESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER4

The initiation phase defines the scope, attributes andrequirements of the project. The primary purpose of theinitiation phase is to create a shared understanding andensure stakeholders’ expectation are aligned with thepurposes, objectives and needs of the project.The monitoring and controlling phase is aboutevaluating the progress of the recorded activities atregular intervals. Continuous monitoring allows theproject manager to identify, evaluate, and address anyareas of concern and/or rising risks.The planning phase consists of developing a course ofaction to carry out the objectives of the project. Withinthis phase it is important to seek input and involvementfrom the stakeholders to clearly map out the developmentpath.Lastly, the closing phase verifies that all the criteria aremet. The processes and activities identified to support theexecution of the project are completed.The execution phase refers to the implementation ofprocesses and activities required to deliver the project. Itis about coordinating all parties involved and ensuringall requirements are in place and met for a successfuldelivery.It is important to note that communicating the purpose and progress to stakeholders throughout the course of theproject is of utmost importance. Regular project updates, particularly at the execution phase, should be provided toensure that stakeholders remain on the same page and to secure their acceptance and satisfaction.Communication provides insight that is influential. Formal communication processes facilitate buy-in from relevant stakeholders. Regular project updates are provided to all team members and appropriate senior managers. They includedetail about progress to date, explanations of variance to plans and projected completion dates. The organisation employs relevant project management tools that help to control the project andcommunicate roles and responsibilities to team members.AICPA/CIMA Global Management Accounting Principles Additional Resources:The Value of Project Management(Project Management Institute )Harvard ManageMentor( Management(Harvard Business Review)Project Management for Accountants(Journal of Accountancy)ESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER5

PROJECT MANAGEMENT MODELThere are many variations of the project management model. As the nature of each organisationdiffers, circumstances as well as the characteristics of a project might influence various aspects of themodel at different development phases.In the project management model below, the “monitoring phase” is a key activity under theexecution phase. Based on the scope of the project, the sponsor and project manager shouldidentity the extent to which the model should be followed along with the required documentation.Management ReviewPhaseInitiationPlanningExecutionHandover& CloseFocusGet startedand organisedUnderstand what andplan how toDo itMake it operationalLed bySponsor/ProjectManagerProject ManagerProject ManagerProject ManagerKey Inputs Set strategicobjectives Define projectobjective/charter Execute project plan Finalise project plan Secure commitmentsfrom sponsors andstakeholders Seek input fromstakeholders Handoverdeliverables/resultsto organisation Determineoperational need(financial and nonfinancial resources)Key ActivitiesKey Deliverables Put together projectteam with assignedresources Kickoff and initiateproject Develop a projectplan Coordinate allparties involved Establish commonunderstandingamong stakeholders Identify projectcomponents andactivities Monitor and controlproject activities Assign projectmanager Gather and analyseinformation Set clear projectobjective/charter(agreed withstakeholders) Secure approvalof project plan(including s, costsand risks) Establish projectteam Identify potentialthreats and methodsfor mitigation Fulfill deliverablesper project plan Update status reportand communicateprogress Record lessonslearned Obtain sponsor signoff Finalised statusreport, includingreport on handover,and lessons learnedESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER6

Management Review PointsDuring the planning, execution and closing processes,the project should be assessed from the following aspectsat each point of the management review process. Theassessment should be done by the sponsor and, if needed,a larger steering group of stakeholders. If answers tothese key points are positive, the project should beallowed to move forward. Conversely, the project maybe terminated if the objectives cannot be met or thereis a change in direction and the project is no longernecessary. Note that the level of formality of reportingshould be agreed between the sponsor and projectmanager at the start of the project.1. Business RealityWill the project and its outcome result in anefficient/profitable solution, aligned with generalbusiness direction and strategies, external regulationsand market trends?2. U se of ResourcesWill the expected benefit of the project and itsoutcome justify its use of resources?3. P roject StatusDoes the project’s progress meet requirementsand deliverables? How is the project proceedingrelative to plan?4. C onfidence and CommitmentsAre the parties involved or affected by the projectand its outcome confident and fully committed tothe project?ESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER7

STATUS REPORT TEMPLATESponsor/project manager:Overall status:Project summaryKey accomplishmentsPlanned activities for next periodProject milestonesWatch list (Risks and issues)TaskDateAdditional Project Management Templates: PMI – Project Management Templates PRINCE2 – Project Management TemplatesStatusRisk/Issue OwnerNo major issuesPotential impactsMajor progress impactsESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER8

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGEMENTA successful project is a reflection of strong managerial and leadership abilities. Whether you aremanaging a small or large project, there are fundamentals that will aid in carrying out the goalsand objectives of the project.Below are additional tips that will help begin, sustainand complete a successful project.Some key success factors in project management are:1. Make sure the project goal is aligned withorganisational strategy and maintain focus on thekey objectives and deliverables.Project Management Tips:2. Clearly identify the project sponsor and steering groupalong with their respective level of authority. Thisincludes obtaining senior management buy in andsupport at the start and throughout the project.3. Appoint a project manager with the relevant skillsand competencies to successfully lead the project andallocate the needed resources.4. Plan and execute following a tested and robustproject management model.5 Tips to Attacking a Major Project (AICPA)8 Career Tips for Newbie Project Managers(Project Management Institute )11 Project Management Tips for Setting and ManagingExpectations (CIO)Three Imperatives for Good Project Managers(Harvard Business Review)12 Common Project Management Mistakes—and How toAvoid Them (CIO)5. Set firm milestones and exit criteria.6. Ensure continuous communication of purpose andprogress to sponsor and stakeholders.7. Make sure the results of your project get integratedinto business processes and normal operations.ESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER9

CONCLUSIONWith the ever-growing complexity of the business landscape, the responsibilities of accountingand finance professionals have considerably evolved. Such increased scope requires theinvolvement in more complex and often global projects coupled with higher level of skillsand competencies. The ability to lead projects beyond organisational functions and acrossgeographies showcases the value CGMA designation holders can bring to a project. Projectmanagement is a growing discipline and its best practices will impact organisational growthand success.ESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER10

REFERENCESBibliography and Sources G lobal Management Accounting Principles (CIMA, 2014) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition (PMI , 2013) 2015 by American Institute of CPAs. All rights reserved.New York, NY 10036-8775All rights reserved. Distribution of this materialvia the Internet does not constitute consent to theredistribution of it in any form. No part of this materialmay be otherwise reproduced, stored in third partyplatforms and databases, or transmitted in any form orby any printed, electronic, mechanical, digital or othermeans without the written permission of the owner ofthe copyright as set forth above. For information aboutthe procedure for requesting permission to reuse thiscontent, please email information, and any opinions expressed in thismaterial, do not represent official pronouncements ofor on behalf of AICPA, CIMA, the CGMA designationor the Association of International CertifiedProfessional Accountants. This material is offered withthe understanding that it does not constitute legal,accounting, or other professional services or advice. Iflegal advice or other expert assistance is required, theservices of a competent professional should be sought.The information contained herein is provided to assistthe reader in developing a general understanding ofthe topics discussed, but no attempt has been made tocover the subjects or issues exhaustively. While everyattempt to verify the timeliness and accuracy of theinformation herein as of the date of issuance has beenmade, no guarantee is or can be given regarding theapplicability of the information found within to anygiven set of facts and circumstances.ESSENTIALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT — A PRACTICAL REFRESHER11

American Institute of CPAs1211 Avenue of the AmericasNew York, NY 10036-8775T. 1 212 596 6200F. 1 212 596 6213Chartered Institute ofManagement AccountantsThe HeliconOne South PlaceLondon EC2M 2RBUnited KingdomT 44 (0)20 7663 5441F 44 (0)20 7663 5442CIMA REGIONAL OFFICES:AfricaOffice address:4th floor, 54 Melrose BoulevardMelrose ArchMelrose NorthJohannesburg, South AfricaTel: 27 (0)11 788 8723Fax: 27 (0)11 788 8724johannesburg@cimaglobal.comEuropeThe HeliconOne South PlaceLondon EC2M 2RBUnited KingdomT 44 (0)20 7663 5441F 44 (0)20 7663 East, South Asiaand North Africa356 Elvitigala MawathaColombo 5Sri LankaT: 94 (0)11 250 3880F: 94 (0)11 250 3881colombo@cimaglobal.comNorth Asia1508A, 15th floor, AZIA Center1233 Lujiazui Ring RoadPudong Shanghai, 200120ChinaT: 86 (0)21 6160 1558F: 86 (0)21 6160 1568infochina@cimaglobal.comSouth East Asia and AustralasiaLevel 1, Lot 1.05KPMG Tower, 8 First AvenueBandar Utama47800 Petaling J ayaSelangor Darul EhsanMalaysiaT: 60 (0) 3 77 230 230/232F: 60 (0) 3 77 230 231kualalumpur@cimaglobal.comCIMA also has offices in thefollowing locations:Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana,China, Ghana, Hong Kong SAR,India, Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria,Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Singapore,South Africa, Sri Lanka, UAE, UK,Zambia and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 201517281-347April 2015CGMA, CHARTERED GLOBAL MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT, and the CGMA logo are trademarks ofthe Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONALCERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS and the ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIEDPROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS logo are trademarks of the American Institute of Certified PublicAccountants. These trademarks are registered in the United States and in other countries.

essentials of project management — a practical refresher 10 With the ever-growing complexity of the business landscape, the responsibilities of accounting and finance professionals have considerably evolved.

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