A project is a unique endeavor needed to accomplish in order to achieve a set of objectives essential for the business. Sometimes, it is associated with internal affairs of the business like, data migration, office renovation, or year-end reporting. It can also be from client initiatives, which are part of the products and services rendered by the business. The success of a project is achieved when the objectives set are met, and the end result is realized according to the specified budget, time frame and other requirements laid out at the beginning.
Roles of a Project Manager
A project manager assumes the responsibility of leading, coordinating and guiding the group. He designates tasks to each member, and monitors, accordingly. He is expected to have a diversity of skills in order to be effective, which includes, but not limited to, leadership, overall management, conflict management, contingency planning, customer relationship management and technical skills.
A project manager is responsible for:
- Initiating the project.
- Planning for the project.
- Executing the project.
- Controlling the project.
- Monitoring the project.
- Close down the project.
What is Project Management?
Project management, is the application of processes, methodologies, standards, skills and experience to achieve a specific objectives Project management is essential to have an organized and systematic steps for team members to follow. This is done, in order for them to be more efficient with their tasks, and give valuable contributions according to their skill sets, knowledge, expertise and experience, for the success of the project.
- The reason why the project is necessary.
- Define the project requirements, specify the quality and deadline of the deliverables, and estimate the resources needed.
- Prepare the business case for ROI.
- Secure a formal agreement and the necessary funding.
- Develop and implement a sound management plan.
- Lead and motivate the team.
- Manage risks, effectively.
- Continuously monitor the project execution.
- Properly manage and allocate the budget.
- Maintain a regular and transparent communication with the stakeholders, and among the members of the team.
- Provides management
- Close the project through proper documentation and turning over all deliverables as agreed and on time.
The Project Management Lifecycle
Someone that deals with modern project management should understand its life cycle to know how to plan and oversee thw operations in an orderly and systematic manner. The principles are basically the same for both traditional and modern project management, with the exception of greater flexibility requirement with modern approach. Here are the things that comprise a project management life cycle:
- Definition of goals, tasks, requirement specifications and delegation of responsibilities.
- Planning of schedules, budgets, resource allocation, staff or teams and risk mitigation.
- Execution of reports, changes, quality control and forecasts.
- Delivering documentation, conducting client training, releasing remaining resources and staffs.
In terms of level, execution requires more effort than others. It overlaps with planning, execution and delivery. In modern project management, these processes are best assisted with technology-based tools allowing project managers and team members to delegate repetitive tasks to focus on. Through project management tools, one can multitask without sacrificing efficiency.
Methodologies and Requirements
In a modern project management, it is important to define what methodology is use to align the subsequent processes with its nature and principles. In a white paper entitled “Modern Project Management: Skills and Techniques” published by the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a methodology is defined by the following:
- A defined set of process used as a means to an end.
- A series of steps to take through which one can monitor progress.
- An integration or assembly of tasks, processes, tools, responsibilities, and roles within a project, including milestones.
- A collection of standards, methods and procedures to accomplish the desired outcome.
- A process that documents a series of steps to accomplish a project successfully.
Once the project methodology has been formalized, all team members are required to understand and abide by its processes throughout the project lifecycle. This will comprise the management framework where the project will operate on.
There are quite a number of available methodologies to adopt. Some businesses are even formulating their own, but the more popular ones include:
- Open source
- Object oriented
- Unit Cycle model
In choosing the right methodology for your business model, let this list of requirements and tips guide your decision-making:
- Estimate your budget
This is one of the most important aspects to deal early on.
- Know your team size
Some methodologies are best adopted by smaller team sizes, or the opposite. It is important to know the number of people who will get involved in the project so that the methodology to use will be effective in motivating them and bringing out the best of their skills.
- Choose the technology to use
Technology will direct the path of your project progress. Unfamiliar technology might slow down your progress, but simulation and testing is part of the pre-deployment phase of most methodologies.
- Define the tools and techniques to use
There are methodologies that deploy more tools and technologies than others, and this can significantly affect the productivity levels of both project manager and team members.
- Criticality of the project
Some methodologies deliver fast results at the expense that might be unnecessary. The project manager can better assess this.
- Existing processes
Some existing processes that members are familiar with can influence the way they deal with the adopted methodology. On the other hand, when there are existing processes that are already outdated, these hasten the deployment of the methodology.
Tips for Effective Project Management
An effective project management entails a skilled project manager, and supportive team members, who all have an aligned vision of fulfilling the specified objectives and goals that are essential to the success of the business
- Ensure that you and your team know all pertinent details and requirements about the project.
- Set realistic expectations regarding budget, time frame, workforce performance, issues.
- Establish a measurable criteria to have a realistic and accurate assessment of your project performance, which are important in forecasting and estimating purposes.
- Select the right team members that have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience in order to maximize contribution to the project’s success.
- Embrace responsible leadership for the team and the project.
- Have a strong risk management and contingency plan.
- Do a post-evaluation of all projects.
What is a Project Management Software?
A project management software is a technology-based tool used to have better control over tasks, particularly the repetitive and time-consuming tasks like budgeting, quality management and documentation. Project management tools are used to facilitate communication and collaboration among stakeholders and team members, in a single platform.
The top project management software available in the market usually caters clients using these primary features:
- Project planning
A project manager uses this project management tool to define the schedule to follow, and map out the tasks to monitor the interactions between activities as they happen (real time monitoring).
- Task management
The software helps project manager to create tasks and delegate them according to the skills of each individual workforce in the team. One can also effectively track how each is working through deadlines, and is able to generate status reports.
- Document sharing
The same software can serve as a central repository for all incoming and outgoing documents used within the project.
- Calendar and contact sharing
A project management tool enables a project manager to create timelines and schedule meetings and activities for all stakeholders and team members to view. It updates members automatically about schedules, and shares contacts with them.
- Reporting management
Project management tools detect bugs and errors from reports, views and notifications and update all concerned.
- Third party contract management
The best project management tool must have the ability to coordinate with third party providers and maintain the execution of projects within the designated time frame.
Check out CrowdReviews.com’s reviews of project management software to gain better insight about the different project management tool providers in the market today.
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