What is Project Management?
Project Management is the use of effective methods, strategies and processes to complete specific tasks and events according to given parameters, criteria and resources. Project management is done by leading team members to achieve the required goals within the given timeframe and budget.
Project management differs and is more specific than normal management because project management is done within a particular timeframe for a given project, but normal management is more of an ongoing or never-ending process in an organization. Critical skills are also required of a project manager due to this effect such as proper business awareness, people management skills to lead team members and technical skills.
A project is a specific operation done to achieve set goals within a particular time, also requiring a team of individuals or professionals for different aspects of the operation. Every project mostly requires some level of management.
Some examples of projects include designing a website, developing software, constructing a building, etc. They are all required to be completed within a given timespan, parameters and criteria e.g., construction of a building that should be big enough and suitable to accommodate community events.
Who is a Project Manager?
A project manager is a professional that oversees an effective project management principle and ensures the completion of a project. They achieve this by designing the goals and objectives of the project, assigning roles to team members, quality control checks on completed tasks, procuring resources needed for the task and creating a suitable schedule for different activities to achieve the set goals.
A project manager should also possess good communication and leadership skills for effective project management and should be capable of managing the risks and challenges involved in the project.
Expected job responsibilities of a Project Manager
- Estimating the time and cost of a project
- Managing associated risks
- Regular monitoring and reporting of project status
- Leading a team to work on the project
- Developing effective plans and strategies
- Planning and organizing meetings
- Defining the goals of the project
- Identifying and procuring resources needed to achieve set goals
- Overseeing and ensuring the general completion of the project
The processes involved in Project Management
1. Project initiation
This is the first step of project management where the project manager justifies the need for the project, ascertains with proof that the project can be run with the intended cost and time, and share what the project is expected to deliver at the end.
2. Project planning
This step of project management involves the coming together of the project team to define or create the goals and project plans, and how they are to work together to achieve them. The budget, time schedule, potential risks, resources and project tracking will be discussed and set in this phase.
3. Project execution
Execution is a project management step that involves executing the project plans defined to achieve the set goals. The project manager is most active during this phase as it could involve implementing changes, reallocating resources, and identifying and mitigating risks to ensure efficiency.
4. Project monitoring and control
This project management step involves monitoring of the project’s status by the project manager to ensure the activities are going according to plan and the budget and time schedule are still being worked with. Effective quality control is observed for quality results. Reporting activities helps to keep track of progress and keep the stakeholders updated on the status of the project. Reports include expense reports, timesheets, project status, etc.
5. Project closing
This is the final project management step where the completed project is presented to the stakeholders to be approved, after which the project is launched and documentation is signed off.
Types of Project Management
- Waterfall project management: A sequential type of project management where one task must be completed before commencing a new one.
- Lean project management: This provides more value to clients who do not have enough resources by minimizing the waste of resources and time.
- Agile project management: It encourages flexibility and speed as different aspects of the project are completed by multiple team members in the organization.
- Critical part method: A step-by-step project management method.
- Critical chain project management: Resources are used for effective project execution.