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Published September 30th, 2016 by

Principles and Processes in Project Management You Should Know

Principles and Processes in Project Management You Should Know

Project management in a modern setting is a set of strategic and logical procedures and methodologies that are implemented in order to achieve a unique set of objectives or goals. It transitioned from being solved with traditional project management tools to becoming more complex that it requires technology and analytical skills in order to deliver the desired outcome.

Many businesses and organizations are starting to see the importance of deploying a risk management alongside a modern project management system. In fact, according to the project management statistics of 2015 from Wrike.com, 64% of organizations say that they do frequent risk management and assessment.

The Project Manager

The project manager has a 360 degree responsibility over the project and his team. He should deal with both direct and indirect factors to make sure that the project is executed in an efficient and timely manner and that team members are working with motivation and according to their expertise, knowledge, skills, and experiences. The project manager stays in the center of everything, and not on the typical hierarchical line of authority. All tasks, including managing, controlling, delegation, and empowering are of equal importance to a project manager.

Selecting the best project manager for a specific project is the organization’s best course of action. He or she will serve as your initiator, negotiator, planner, guide, and a host of other leadership abilities that will serve as the ground for the success of your endeavor. He or she can also open doors of more opportunities for improvement. He or she can also define the appropriate requirements for a project, whether it is for hardware or software. He or she can also guide the enterprise resource planning, in order to maximize the use of budget, time, and workforce.

A project manager is heavily engaged with analysis and justification of the nature of a project in order to give out the specific requirements upon initiation and the deliverables in the end. A project manager’s experience in dealing with different types of projects and project environments or scenarios is essential to know what will work and what will not. Here are 10 project management experiences that you should look for when getting a project manager:

  1. Is capable to complete a project within budget and according to the designated schedule.
  2. Is capable to deliver the expected (but realistic) outcome.
  3. Is capable to render tasks and fulfill the requirements with quality and efficiency.
  4. Is capable to work and coordinate with his team in a harmonious and peaceful manner. This team can also expand to stakeholders, third party providers and the affected departments within the organization.
  5. Is capable to manage scope creep (if there will be any).
  6. Is capable to implement a sound risk management system and contingency planning.
  7. Is capable of identifying and anticipating both controllable and uncontrollable issues that may arise while and after the project engagement, and is able to address them accordingly.
  8. Is capable of monitoring and controlling the overall project execution, as well as each individual performance.
  9. Is capable to implement an effective communication medium for the whole team to utilize.
  10. Is capable of effectively impose a closure program, where all deliverables and associated documentation is properly turned over, and necessary trainings and after project service to be rendered as well.

Processes and Phases of Project Management

Most of the time, it is the innate personality and personal work ethics of a project manager that distinguishes his or her approach when dealing with methodologies to use in project management. Some also regard a specific set of project management tools and techniques to use that is unique to a project. But nonetheless, it is also important to build on the foundations of project management upon a fundamental structure that everybody is using, in order to stay aligned with the best practices. Going back to the fundamental aspects of project management will help one to understand how to improve each in order to achieve a goal for efficiently.

The Association for Project Management or APM in UK lists down the fundamental processes and phases involved in project management:

Processes of Project Management:

  1. Monitoring

As a project progress, even though the planning has laid out its requirements and specifications for each task to be executed, it is equally important to do constant monitoring in order to carefully manage the resources as planned, and for the specific milestones to be reached on time. Estimates may render invalid sometimes, and close monitoring can help the project manager to adjust accordingly.

  1. Control

No project doesn’t meet any kind of challenge along the way. Staying on top of these unforeseen or foreseen events meant that you gain control of the situation, and manage to execute the tasks despite of some obstacles along the way. This is where risk management will able to do its job, to make sure that the project management system is able to cope with the changes and adjustments that must be applied, but still remain effective.

  1. Communication

An open, honest, constant, and robust communication is the gateway for better project management. Choosing what medium to use will greatly affect how tasks are coordinated and deliverables to be relayed. Misunderstandings can disrupt a smooth workflow, and communication is the key to avoid such.

  1. People Management

The project manager is directly responsible for managing his or her team members to make sure that they make valuable contributions to the project according to their line of expertise. The project manager must not only direct but also empower and motivate his or her team members and equip them with the right knowledge and training for them to properly execute the tasks delegated to them.

Phases of Project Management:

  1. Initiation

This is where the need for the project is justified, by stating the problem or need to be addressed. The scope of work and the corresponding objectives needed to fulfill are also being laid out in this phase. Responsibilities are also identified and appropriately delegated to the people concerned.

  1. Requirements

This describes the aim of the project to address the expectations of the stakeholders, wherein a criteria to match with is specified. It also specifies time scales and constraints. Many projects deploy an iterative process in determining the requirements, while some prefer to use agile process.

  1. Planning

This is where scheduling is created and milestones to reach are specified, including the time to reach it. The project manager also defines how the tasks should be executed according to a logical sequence, while some are implemented simultaneously with one another. This is the phase where the communication medium to use is established, and how reporting will commence and what it should comprise.

Proper planning is assisted with project management tools, wherein it can support the execution of processes in a timely manner, and interdependencies are supported and guided.

  1. Execution

Each individual on the team must know his or her specific role and what are the expected contributions he is being asked for. He or she should also know the specific criteria where his or her performance will be measured against.

  1. Closure

Once the outcome has been approved and accepted, there must be a proper turnover of all remaining resources, and the outcome itself must have the right documentation. If applicable, trainings and after project services must also be conducted to ensure the proper implementation of the project.

Foundational Features of a Project Management Software

It is a fact that using a project management software can significantly minimize the stress and time needed to ensure the success of a project overall. There are many kinds of project management tools or software available in the market today, and each is built to touch a specific aspect with your project management. The project manager should be able to know what type of software to use, according to the needs it needs to fulfill. There are also some that offer a complete package, which is best for small businesses or startups. On the other hand, larger scale businesses may opt for a more targeted assistance from a project management software, which is based from preference, or would rather have the other tasks to be done in-house.

Idealware.org asked nine nonprofit project managers about what project management tool they use, in order to list down these 6 foundational features of a task management software that you should look for:

Project Planning

Professional project managers should first and foremost, be effective planners, and there is no other appropriate tool to use but the best project management software. Generally, the software should be able to do the following:

  1. Make a detailed list of tasks to be executed.
  2. Task allocation to the right person, according to his or her knowledge and skills.
  3. An accurate estimation of time for a task to be executed.
  4. Interdependencies and sequence among, and of tasks.

Project Management

This refers to the effective estimate of time between initiation and completion, and making sure it is met, according to how tasks should be executed, the resources to be utilized, and the risks to be managed.

Web based project management software also enables collaboration through task management support.

Collaboration and File Sharing

Any kind of project surely involves documentation, and having a central repository of such will make it easier to store and share files with the team. The software enables the team members to work collaboratively and freely share insights and files. It also allows real time, 2 way communication which is more effective in some situations.

Calendar and Contact List Sharing

This feature allows the teams to be more productive with their tasks when having a clear schedule to follow. A shared spreadsheet and contact list is effective for most projects, which enables information about meetings and task schedules faster to disseminate.

Issue Management

The best project management software can be an effective tracker, which can realize discrepancies and under-performance from the team. It can also consolidate group-related issues, to be able to address accordingly.

Time Tracking

It effectively requests and manages time sheets from team members. It makes sure that team members are working according to the designated time frame by accomplishing daily time sheets through regular reporting and daily time table or time sheets.

Check out CrowdReviews.com’s project management software reviews for a comprehensive list of project management tools and software and what clients have to say about their services through feedbacks and ratings.

John Tovar

John specializes in the creation and planning of business-centric mobile applications and mobile website design and development.

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