In order to be more efficient, closer to the citizens, more flexible in the EU integration process and more successful in the process of planning, preparing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating projects, the organizational structure of the City of Niš was changed in early 2017 and project management issues were placed at the top of the priorities.
The task of managing the projects was entrusted to the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects, which was staffed with colleagues from other administrative units of the City of Niš who brought with them different knowledge, abilities, working methods and development perspectives. This merger process is symbolically called "preparing for the future." Why is it so? Because the development of project management skills and technology shows that the City of Niš, as a unit of local self-government, is "fit for the future" and has the capacity to make the proposed changes. In contrast to the one-stop-shop methodology, the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects has adopted a scaled approach that applies the appropriate elements of project planning, from project to project, to adapt to specific project risks and results, depending on value, type and risk degree.
In the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects, project management is assigned to individuals specialized in this field, while other organizational units of the City of Niš directly participate in the process of planning, preparing and implementing the projects themselves. In this way, an efficient and direct exchange of information between project team members and other stakeholders is achieved, thereby reaching success in the implementation of project activities. Project management is the actual process of creating, organizing, and executing a plan in order to meet certain goals. However, project management is much larger than the definition itself. It's actually a huge topic that covers a wide range of sub-topics. Project management increases organizational and team effectiveness and affects the end result of projects.
The project management framework provides a close link between the implementation of strategies and the management, reporting and management of the risks associated with project implementation. There are five process groups that we at the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects use in the project management process:
- Initiation of the project: preparation of an idea that is approved with the aim of developing the project further. The basic structure of the project is being created at this stage.
- Project planning: During this phase, the overall project work is planned, including the following steps: what to do, how to do it, when the planned activities will be implemented, who will implement them, and how the process will be monitored and controlled. Most project management processes fall into this group. Every project manager believes that the success of a project depends on how well it is planned.
- Project Implementation: This is the phase where the real work is being done. It also includes communication, quality, risk and project management.
- Project monitoring and control: This phase overlaps the others and engages in all processes to ensure that the plan is implemented. These include processes to control project scope, timeframe and budget.
- Closure of the project: At this point, the project has fulfilled its goals (or failed), and the closure processes are being implemented to close and finish the project.
- There are a total of 49 processes that fall into these five process groups and whose implementation enables us to have an effective project management structure and increase the chance of successful project implementation.
Development planning in all segments of social life is one of the priority functions and needs of local self-government.
The Office for Local Economic Development and Projects is currently responsible for the implementation of more than 100 different projects: development, investment and infrastructure.
Projects in progress
The City of NiŠ, through the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects, has launched a number of ongoing projects that will continue in the coming years, with a focus on empowering the local community and creating a development base to improve the living conditions of citizens.
In the process of preparation and implementation of projects aimed at improving the quality of life and improving the conditions for economic work, the Office for Local Economic Development and Projects activates a wider social and professional community.
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