What is Project Management?
Project management is a discipline of organizing and managing resources in order to achieve a desired outcome through a series of processes, which are being implemented according to the desired budget, time and scope constraints. For most organizations, the project is only a temporary endeavor, wherein it is a separate undertaking from the usual day to day activities, but is equally important for the organization in order to thrive. Projects can be in different forms – long term or short term, with tangible or intangible goals, in a product or service form, etc.
Project management has been existing for a very long time, and as it matures and expands its scope of work, it continually proves to be the best approach when one wanted to engage in changes, improvements, developments and innovation. Initially, a project management constitutes its practitioner to break down a series of functions into smaller segments of tasks, and to assign the appropriate people to work for it according to his or her skill set and experience. It should be supported, by the organization’s top management, with the appropriate resources up front and continually, upon the recommendation of the project manager, to ensure its success. A project should also have a designated set of objectives to fulfill, which, when combined with people skills and resources, should be aiming a common goal. All of these sub aspects of projects should be carefully outlined and be designated with a schedule, a timeline, a set of performance criteria, and a budget.
As years went by, more businesses and organizations are embracing project management with its initiatives and endeavors. Major sectors such as manufacturing, IT, construction, education, and even the government are realizing their constant need to start projects, thus increasing their need for a robust project management structure. In this modern age, the aspects surrounding and the needs being addressed are becoming more complex that project management needs to have its system be refined as well.
The practice of modern management is expanding rapidly with all business sizes. Modern project management tools and techniques have become more flexible and scalable to the varying needs of businesses and organizations. As the market competition tightens, project management has also become a source of leverage for businesses, wherein there is a continuous exploration of innovations to launch, in order to stay ahead of its competitors. As more organizations and businesses are seeing the need for professionally managed project execution, the more that the discipline of project management will continue to expand and grow in order to sustain the clamor and the need.
Benefits of Project Management
Through the years, project management has been subjected to different kinds of challenges. As we are now operating in a modern setting, these challenges have evolved and gave birth to newer difficulties. In an Economist Intelligence Unit report about the state of project management, it listed down most prevalent project management challenges, which include:
- Defining the project scope clearly according to client specifications and requirements.
- Forecasting timelines and milestones accurately.
- Forecasting budgets and costs, accurately.
- Adherence to changing customer demands.
- Meeting quality criteria and the delivery of goals, according to time and budget constraints.
- Controlling scope creep and varying change orders.
- Multitasking by overseeing multiple and different third party contractors and controlling the progress of projects in a long period of time.
- Sourcing of materials and resources that are cost effective.
- Properly managing the changing customer demands.
Project management encompasses different aspects in order to address these challenges with the best practices and the right project management strategies to boot. Here are some of the key benefits that one can get out of deploying project management:
- Management support
Senior level management support greatly improves the success rate of a project.
- Project management methodologies, tools and techniques
With the use of the appropriate methodology, combined with the right tools and techniques, a project manager can effectively manage tasks, deliverables, and all participants involved with close monitoring and the right focus.
- Risk management
Assuring quality and timely exertion of tasks can be significantly improved by an organized project management structure. It is critical for businesses to anticipate risks, and adjust the schedule and budget accordingly in order to accommodate and stay flexible with both controllable and uncontrollable issues that may arise.
According to Pricehousewater Coopers, a stellar 97% of businesses are attesting that project management is very critical to their performance and success. With this, there is an increasing demand for professional project management services that in fact, according to Project Management Institute, or PMI, and estimated of 15.7 million jobs will be created globally between the years 2010 and 2020 because of this.
What Is a Project?
The temporary nature of a project doesn’t necessarily imply its duration, but rather describing its kind of engagement and term. It also doesn’t connote how it can contribute only short term benefits, but most projects undertaken may actually have a lasting value. The importance of some projects can actually expand its purpose to even “outlive” the people engaged in it. Projects can also have environmental, social and economic impact.
Project Management Trends
Many organizations are seeing a clearer road of web enabling their project management efforts, mainly to promote productivity and efficiency with coordination and collaboration. As technology is empowering this direction, many organizations and businesses alike are gearing towards the use of online project management tools.
Project management used to be an in-house engagement, wherein an organization utilizes its own workforce and resources by setting apart some of it, in order to participate in a temporary endeavor. Yet recently, mid market companies are starting to create Project Management Offices, or PMOs. This is in order to establish that the discipline involved in project management deserves to be an independent organization on its own, not just to serve as one of the incorporated entities serving with specific functions.
Another ongoing project management trend is making the role of the project manager a “profession”. As the volume of responsibilities, and the complexity of project specifications continues to escalate, project managers are being called to have more experiences and skills in order to be more effective leaders. From the basic communication and leadership skills, project managers are also expected to be negotiators, budgeters, motivators and innovators. With the many hats that they wear, the expertise of a project manager should not be limited to a single perspective on a certain project, but should instead be multifaceted and flexible in order to come up with the best solution, given a unique scenario to work on.
Prior to these developments, the project management system is limited to the features and functions that are too general to most industries and organization types. But with specialization and industry specific needs, the project management structure should be made customizable in order to address each unique endeavor appropriately. Being made online, project management tools can better support the project manager’s roles and responsibilities as well.
Advantages of Online Project Management Tools
The predominance of cloud computing is creeping in every nook and corners of the business world, that now, finally, has also reached the crevices of project management. The complexity of the project management structure, even in its basic form, still yields stress inducing elements that make project managers still go crazy. Fortunately, technology has brought in the “asked for” improvements over the way project management is executed with modern projects of today.
Project managers of today are experiencing the benefits of using cloud services in terms of benefits, values and reliability. Here are some of the most prominent advantages of getting an online project management software in general:
- Easy and fast access round the clock, as long as you have an adequate internet connection running.
- Through evolving user experiences, a cloud based project management software is simply designed to be user friendly.
- A web based project management software enables teams to collaborate with greater efficiency and reliability, without the financial burden of establishing an in house structure especially made for project management alone. It can also be made scalable according to the growth or number of users that your company has.
- One can also experience cost transparency, as fees are competitive and publicly available. Businesses and organization can compare project management software vendors with ease.
- Cloud based tools, generally doesn’t need additional hardware installations, therefore entailing a lot of cost saving benefits.
- An online project management tool provider can provide constant updates to improve performance and add more features to it. It is always made simple, and easy to adopt without having extensive technical knowledge to boot.
- One of the greatest benefits of deploying online project management tools is its flexibility to adapt to varying needs, budget, and project types.
- One shouldn’t worry about security and 100% reliability, because an online project management tool is hosted by the top of its class data encryption methods. This kind of software is also made to be almost perfectly reliable in terms of security and access.
In comparing the best project management software available for businesses and organizations, one may check out CrowdReviews.com’s project management software reviews for a more detailed view of the host of benefits and advantages out of actual client feedbacks and ratings.
Latest posts by Katherine Burke (see all)
- Top 7 Reviews of the Best Pharmacy Software and Their Uses - January 19, 2017
- What is Online Registration Software and How Does It Work? - January 17, 2017
- Guidelines on How to Compare Help Desk Software - January 14, 2017