Project management is an overwhelming task at times. In this ultimate project management guide, we uncover the tips and tools for success.
Of all companies in the world today, only 2.5 percent complete all of their projects successfully.
There are, of course, countless challenges that may arise in the course of a project and cause it to fail. One way to boost the chances of a project running smoothly is by using accredited project management practices.
A project manager provides their team with direction during the course of a project. A large part of their work is to solve any problems that may derail the project.
In this comprehensive project management guide, we tell you everything you need to know about successful project management. We’ll discuss the different phases of project management and give you the best project management tips and tricks you can apply.
Read on to learn more.
What Is Project Management?
Before we define what project management is, let’s first talk about a project.
A project is a temporary endeavor meant to create a unique service, product, or result. What makes a project temporary is that it has a clearly defined beginning and end, and thus defined resources and scope.
The uniqueness of a project is brought by the fact that it’s not a routine operation. Instead, it’s a set of operations aimed at accomplishing a singular goal. Typically, a project team brings together people who don’t normally work together.
Examples of projects include the construction of a bridge, the expansion of a business into a new geographic area, or working on https://setapp.com/how-to/fix-chrome-problems-on-mac. All these projects need to be managed expertly to deliver results on time and budget.
Project management, therefore, is the process of applying knowledge, skills, techniques, and tools to a project to meet the set goals.
Project Management Guide: The Phases
Every project management process has five phases. These phases involve behaviors, tasks, and skillsets essential to creating a successful project. Check out the five phases below:
The initiation phase is the start of a project. This phase involves determining the high-level expectations of a project, such as:
- Why is the project required?
- Is it feasible?
- What are the keys to success of the project?
Before moving to the next phase, several outputs are required in this stage. These include:
- Stakeholder approvals
- Documentation on project needs
- Time and resources estimates
- The initial list of stakeholders
This phase entails project managers detailing the scope of the project, the timeframe, and the risks. The main components of a successful project plan are completeness and continuity.
The outputs required in the planning phase include:
- A project management plan
- A communication plan
- Budget baseline
- Project scheduling
- Individual project goals
- Scope document
- Updated stakeholder registry
This phase involves the coordination of the project team members. The members are then guided on how to go the work as outlined in the project management plan. Proper communication is essential here.
The execution stage also covers the appropriate allocation of project resources, including budgets and materials. The outputs of this stage are project deliverables.
Monitoring and Control
This phase entails comparing the cost, time, and performance of the project at each stage. The project manager makes the necessary adjustments to the resources, activities, and plan to keep the project on track.
Outputs here include project progress reports as well as other communications meant to ensure adherence to the plan.
This is the final phase of a project’s life cycle. It involves:
- Finalizing the project
- Reviewing the deliverables
- Transitioning deliverables to the company leaders
This phase provides the opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the entire project. Outputs from this stage include the approved project results and lessons that can be applied to other similar projects in the future.
Tips for Project Managers
While there’s no single foolproof way to guarantee project management success, there are proven tips that can help project managers achieve remarkable results. Below, we look at five of these tips.
Understand The Project Thoroughly
You can’t manage a project successfully unless you first lay a strong foundation.
That entails having good knowledge of the client, the stakeholders, and their expectations regarding the project. With this information, you can then develop a robust project plan that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved.
Be sure to define the goals and objectives clearly. Establish measurable success criteria, so it’s easy to know whether the project is on track or not.
Determine the Resources Required
Project resources are the primary factors that determine the success of a project.
You’ll need to assemble a capable team to accomplish the tasks that you allocate them. Ensure that the necessary equipment and materials needed for the successful completion of the project are available too.
Define Critical Milestones
Throughout the course of the project, you’ll need to identify the defining moments. Perform an evaluation after each phase of the project to determine whether you’re achieving your goals or not.
Critical milestones are good indicators of whether your project team is working with a genuine dedication to complete the project, or you need to make adjustments.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Effective communication between all stakeholders is one of the top contributors to a successful project. You want to avoid any surprises that may disrupt the progress of your project. Make it easy for everyone involved in the project to talk to you without second thoughts.
At the start of the project, provide the required reports, so everyone is on the same page. Make sure that everyone has the necessary information to make decisions in the course of the project.
Use an Appropriate Project Management Tool
Thanks to technology, project managers have access to helpful project management tools that provide all the information they need to keep their projects on track.
Using such a tool can empower your team to collaborate and deliver a remarkable project both on time and on budget.
You Can Manage Your Projects Successfully Every Time
Completing a project within the set deadline and budget is not easy, whether you’re a seasoned project manager or are brand new to the field.
Luckily, there’s a lot of helpful information out there that can help you manage your projects smoothly, such as what is on this project management guide.
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