Project management is a broad term that incorporates a variety of duties and activities. It is so complex that it is difficult to summarize in a few words.
In this post, we’ll take a look at a beginner’s approach to project management, examine the project management process, and offer concrete advice for managing projects successfully.
What is the definition of project management?
Project management is defined as “the use of methods, expertise, and tools to achieve project objectives and requirements within a certain timeframe.” In this context, a project is undertaken to accomplish defined goals. A new website is a project similar to launching a new product or implementing a new company initiative.
The success of a project is highly dependent on the efforts and work of a dedicated project manager (PMs). The following are the roles of project managers:
- Ascertain that tasks and projects are completed within the specified timeframe
- Assist clients and internal teams by acting as a liaison
- Establishing and managing expectation
- Planning and establishing the scope of the project
- Process development and implementation
- Management of resources
- Analyze risk and impediments
- Keep an eye on the progress of the project
- Report on and lead retrospectives on projects
While every department requires some level of project management, many businesses continue to underestimate the value of project managers.
The advantages of project management
Businesses that implement project management principles quickly find numerous benefits. When you have systems in place to create, execute, and control projects, you will complete them on schedule and successfully.
Increased efficiency: Project managers plan, execute, and monitor tasks and projects to stay on track. When barriers develop throughout a project, project managers resolve conflicts and devise solutions that ensure projects fulfill their deadlines.
Increased accountability: A well-managed project will have a well-defined scope of work and roles. Not only does this make responsibilities more visible to all stakeholders, but the project manager’s continual monitoring ensures that everyone is held accountable for task completion.
Cost savings: Experienced project managers know when projects are at risk of scope creep and can avert it. Additionally, project management will save you money by minimizing wasted time and effort and identifying areas for increased efficiency.
The process of project management
Project management is a collection of universally applicable practices regardless of the nature of the project. When you begin with a robust and proven structure, such as the one below, you significantly boost the project’s likelihood of completing project.
Commencement (research and discovery)
Before beginning a project, it is critical to research to determine whether to proceed. This stage establishes the project’s goals and objectives and an awareness of the resources required to accomplish those goals. This stage of the process may involve conducting market research, competitive analyses, brainstorming, focus groups, and other forms of user research.
Planning can begin once the project’s scope and objectives have been established. The planning stage will determine what needs to be accomplished and how it will be accomplished. You can control your team’s time, the project’s cost, risk, budget, and deadline with appropriate planning. The planning phase is where you’ll create a schedule for all tasks, a work breakdown structure, resource planning, and, if necessary, a communications strategy. After defining the scope of work, developing a clear timeline, and developing an adequate budget, you’re ready to move on to the execution phase.
The execution stage is where the project is put into action — and where the project manager spends the majority of their time. The execution (or implementation) phase is where team members fulfill their assigned roles and responsibilities within the project. The project manager’s role is to provide direction, monitor progress, and respond to requests.
Observation and correction
Once a project is started, the project manager must also ensure that everything is proceeding according to plan. They accomplish this through constant surveillance. When an issue or stumbling block is found, they facilitate necessary modifications. Often, this phase of the project involves a testing phase. The results of these tests either indicate where additional adjustments should be made or certify that a project is ready to launch.
The completion stage is the final stage of the project management process. The project manager ensures that the stakeholder or client receives all project deliverables and necessary project paperwork and communicates the project’s completion. Once the client or stakeholder is satisfied with the project deliverables, you can begin planning your project retrospective to identify lessons learned and celebrate accomplishments.
How to manage projects more effectively?
Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals of project management, it’s time to focus on improving your performance and obtaining more success. The following tips will assist you in becoming a successful project manager:
Utilize the appropriate tools
The correct tools make all the difference in effective project management. From setting projects and tasks to analyzing data and reports, many tools are available to assist you in managing projects more effectively.
If you want to improve your experience and simplify your tools, you can utilize various project management applications to assist with team coordination and project management. You can eliminate project silos, maintain projects automatically, exchange updates with critical stakeholders, and manage clients – all from your preferred tool.
Proper risk management is critical
Each project involves some level of risk. Your objective should be to mitigate possible hazards before they become a problem.
An innovative project manager will set aside time (before the start of the project) to consider any external variables that may impact schedules, the quality of work, or the capability of your team. For instance, if you know that a particular stakeholder is a meticulous editor, ensure that you leave sufficient time to handle their edits.
Acquaint yourself with the jargon
When you first begin as a project manager, it’s common to feel everyone is speaking a foreign language. Before starting, familiarize yourself with project management vocabulary and definitions to ensure you do not overlook critical information.
Transparent and efficient communication is arguably the most critical skill for any project manager. According to the Project Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, a project manager spends around 75-90 percent of their time working on communication.
Successful project managers begin by establishing structured communication frameworks (to ensure that all stakeholders understand the expectations and process). They practice mindful listening (both words and body language or actions).
Keeping scope creep at bay
Scope creep when substantial changes are requested during a project, increasing the amount of work required.
As you plan a project, be sure that you and your stakeholders are entirely on the same page regarding the overall scope. You can work on a change management procedure if significant adjustments are required during the project. Additionally, you should obtain buy-in for that process from both stakeholders and your team before the project starts.
Feedback is a priceless resource for every project manager, particularly for those just getting started. The most effective approach to learning and progress is through actual work, experience, and constructive feedback. Feedback can assist you in making more informed decisions in future projects, and it’s a good idea to encourage those who work with you to provide feedback both during and after the completion of a project.
As can be seen, effective project management is essential to the success of any firm. From the multiple roles a project manager might play to the numerous phases of the project management process, it’s easy to see why good project managers are few. However, getting PM certified in 2022 can help you boost your career. SPOTO provides 100% authentic exam dumps and training courses to help you pass the exam on the first try!