Project management is a well-known method for assisting professionals in completing projects more successfully and efficiently. Managing and completing a project on schedule and within budget is difficult whether you're new to project management or have years of expertise.
Every project is unique, with its own set of project management issues. You're probably working on a project with tight deadlines and high expectations, regardless of the type of project you're working on.
In project management, everything is done hands-on. Unlike other areas, you cannot succeed by making mistakes; experimentation will only lead to your death. To succeed, you must adhere to the principles of the letter. This is when the information offered in this blog will come in handy.
This comprises determining and managing the lifecycle to be utilized, applying it to the user-centered design process, forming the project team, and guiding the team through all phases until the project is completed.
What Is Project Management and How Does It Work?
To finish a planned project and meet its objectives, project management employs processes, skills, tools, and expertise. Because of the project's narrow scope, defined deadlines, and particular deliverables, it varies from general management.
A project exists for a limited time and must balance the time and financial resources of the participating team members—a difficult endeavor, but one that may be performed in a few careful steps using unique methodologies and tools.
Certifications in various areas of project management are common among professional project managers, but they are not necessary. Anyone may become a project manager by just doing the following:
The truth is that everyone, at some point or another, is a project manager, whether they're in control of a large operation or a small group activity.
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Different Phases of Project Management
The stages of the project management process are, in general, planning, initiation, execution, monitoring, and closure. Every project, from start to completion, needs a strategy that defines how things will get off the ground, how they will be constructed, and how they will be completed.
In architecture, for example, the design begins with an idea, develops to drawings, and then to blueprint drafting, with thousands of small pieces coming together in between. One person, the architect, is only one piece of the puzzle. The project manager is in charge of putting everything together.
Almost every project has a budget and a deadline. Project management ensures that everything stays on track, on schedule, and on budget. That implies that when the project's timeline approaches, the project manager may keep all of the team members working on the project to ensure that it is completed on time.
The following are the five stages of the project management process:
The project initiation phase kicks off a project by defining high-level expectations such as why the project is needed, whether it is viable, and what is necessary to accomplish it.
This phase's outputs include the necessary stakeholder permissions to go on to the next phase, project needs documentation (business case), preliminary estimates of time and resources required to execute the project (project charter), and an initial list of stakeholders.
Project managers define the project's scope, timeline, and risks during the planning phase. The most important aspects of a successful project plan are completeness and consistency.
A detailed project plan, a project communication strategy (if there isn't one), a budget baseline, project scheduling, individual project goals, a scope document, and an updated stakeholder register are all products of this phase.
The project team members are coordinated and steered through proper project communication during the project execution phase to complete the work as specified in the approved project management plan.
This phase also includes the correct allocation and management of project resources such as materials and money. The output of the execution phase is the project deliverables.
Control and Monitoring
During the project monitoring and controlling phase, the project's time, cost, and performance are compared at each stage, and adjustments to the project's activities, resources, and plan are made as needed to keep things on track.
Project progress reports and other communications are produced during this phase to ensure that project plans are followed and that major milestones and deadlines are not missed.
Completion or Closure
The project closing phase of the project management life cycle is the process of finishing the project, assessing the project deliverables, and handing them over to the business leaders.
This period provides opportunities for both celebration and introspection. This project management phase produces authorized project results as well as lessons learned that may be used for future projects.
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Project Management Life Cycle
Responsibilities of Project Managers
In a nutshell, project managers are in charge of project planning, execution, monitoring, control, and completion, hence they must have a thorough understanding of project management. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to project management fundamentals. The following are some of the most important project manager responsibilities:
Create a Strategy
Project managers are in charge of planning the project's most feasible trajectory. The project scope, timeline, and money must all be included in the plan. This may also entail determining the appropriate tools for the work.
Put together the Team
Choosing the right team is one of the most important aspects of project management. Depending on the extent of the initiative and the functions required to accomplish the project, each project team will be unique. It's best to find specialists and subject matter experts for each of the required duties.
Project managers must present a clear specification of specific tasks and timelines for each phase of the project to their team. Despite the fact that each team member will be responsible for their own duties, many activities will necessitate collaboration from both internal and external team members.
Most projects will necessitate some expenditures, thus knowing how to set together a project budget and manage costs is vital to success. This will entail comparing actual spending to estimates and, if necessary, revising the project plan.
Stakeholders are vital to the success of your project. They are usually powerful persons who will be impacted by the project.
Project managers must maintain a good relationship and open line of communication with stakeholders, who can not only help clear blockages and empower your team, but also create unneeded bottlenecks and derail a project if they become dissatisfied with the direction.
Leading the Team
Now that the team has been put together and their tasks assigned, the project manager must keep the machine running smoothly by addressing project management fundamentals and beyond.
This will entail checking in on people for updates, detecting and removing bottlenecks, resolving conflicts, maintaining strong team morale, and offering training and mentoring.
Project managers, like budget managers, are responsible for keeping things on track so that the team meets its completion deadlines. Setting realistic deadlines throughout the life cycle of a project, communicating regularly with their team for status updates, and maintaining a thorough schedule are all required.
What Advantages can Project Management Provide?
It's very uncommon for people to underestimate the value of project managers because they undertake so many intangible jobs. So, how can you prove the value of project management?
It all begins with you. Every project manager should be well aware of their responsibilities. Being an excellent project manager for your team will demonstrate to everyone how valuable you are to a project.
It's all about the organization. You won't be able to succeed as a project manager unless your company values the position and recognises the worth of your job. Learn why project management is beneficial to a company's bottom line.
The people you work with recognise the value of having a project manager on your team. You'll have a hard time assisting if your team isn't on board.
Different Types of Project Management
Many different methods of project management have been developed to address the needs of various sectors or project types. The following are some of them:
Waterfall Project Management
This is similar to typical project management, with the exception that each task must be completed before moving on to the next. Like a waterfall, steps are linear and progress flows in one direction.
As a result, with this sort of project management, paying close attention to work sequences and schedules is critical. As minor activities are done and larger duties begin, the size of the project team will typically rise.
Agile Project Management
One of the first industries to apply this concept was the computer software sector. Agile project management is an iterative approach focused on continual monitoring and improvement of deliverables, with its roots in the Agile Manifesto's 12 key principles.
At its foundation, high-quality deliverables are the consequence of delivering value to customers, interacting with teams, and responding to changing business conditions.
Agile project management does not work in a linear, stage-by-stage fashion. Instead, different team members in an organization work on different parts of the project concurrently. This method allows for the detection and correction of problems without having to redo the entire procedure.
Lean Project Management
The goal of this practice is to avoid wasting time and resources. This methodology's concepts were derived from Japanese industrial methods. They are based on the principle of providing more value to customers with fewer resources.
There are many more project management approaches and types than those listed here, but these are the most prevalent. The sort of project management software utilized is determined by the project manager's or company's preferences.
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Tools and Techniques for Project Management
Despite the fact that each project has its own set of goals and obstacles, team members can fulfill their varied deliverables using similar project management tools and approaches.
A purposeful communication plan, for example, might be one of the most useful tools in a project manager's toolbox. A good project manager communicates with all stakeholders and encourages effective communication among project team members.
Well-organized project managers may also use tools to keep themselves and their team on track during the monitoring and execution phase.
While no single software package can cover all of your project demands, tools like Asana, Trello, and Airtable can assist your team members keep track of their own and each other's work. In addition, the software identifies who is responsible for which task.