According to PMI’s estimation report, by 2027 there will be around 88 million people working in project management-related positions. There’s absolutely no point in denying the importance and value that Project Management contributes to their own operations and the GDP of their areas. It’s clear that organization and processes are vital points of business growth. Today we’ll take a look at 5 simple keys in order to clarify just what effective project management is.
Definition, Methodologies & Processes
Let’s start from the beginning, what is Project management? It is a business practice that applies processes, knowledge, skills, techniques, and tools to fulfill goals, deliverables, and KPIs. Project managers help plan, follow and finalize the organization’s goals while adding value in each step.
They do this by executing processes and following certain methodologies that will align their business’ project with its long-term strategic decisions and designs. The first step towards a streamlined project is to have clear processes and to know your organization’s style and use an according to methodology.
The methodological path taken will depend on many variables. The all-around company’s scope of work, leadership style, industry, among others. Electing the best project management style will be an enormous step in the right direction for increasing profitability and improving each project’s success.
There are many paths to choose from, agile, waterfall, critical path method, critical chain, hybrid, to name a few. Agile methodology has seen an increase in utilization in the last decade, with many variations like Scrum and Lean. There isn’t any industry that hasn’t used at least a subcategory of agile-style methodology. And we can see why the incremental and iterative approach has done wonders for professional business services. If your company has an agile mindset, look for project management tools that have kanban boards and a good communication system, for example.
For excellent project management, you will need to evaluate your own company and take a hard long look into your workflow. There’s no reason to catalog your business, but the method of working will be affected very positively if you understand it and improve your strengths. As well as use a software more catered to your needs.
Project Managers Qualities
Successful project managers need a little bit more than just technical knowledge, there is a certain skill set required to do an exemplary job. According to projectmanager.com, there are some key soft skills that can really change the tide of a project’s progress:
- Risk Management
- Cost Management
- Critical Thinking
- Task management
- Quality Management
Basically, the PM will be in charge of not only the planning, task assignment, and project progress follow-up, they need to be able to motivate their team members. There’s a special kind of know-how that cannot be taught, like problem-solving skills, the ability to take charge and prioritize assignments, conflict resolution, and agility.
If successful project management is your goal, then you need to pay attention to who is going to occupy that position. Look for creative thinkers, for hard-working employees, and keep them in mind when thinking about how to correctly manage a project. Of course, some of these skills can be taught and incorporated, we encourage you to train your employees who excel, so look out for strategic members of your teams. And incorporate project management skills into your training seminars.
Having a transparent process is a major aspect of efficient project management. You need to be able to isolate your workflow technique, es to evaluate it, and change it if it’s not working. Here we have a guideline, but remember, the operational ability is not a size fits all, you need to tune it to your specific requirements.
- Set project goals: Arrange a meeting that includes important players in the project, and clarify the project goal and deliverables according to the clients’ requirements.
- Risk management: Analyse the project plan and identify possible internal or external hurdles, issues that could negatively affect the project. Risks towards goals, deadlines and resources, important dependencies, and their priorities. Be on the outlook for these problems early on, and you will surely secure a successful project management roadmap down the road.
- Set the project scope of work: fractionate the goals into assignable tasks. In this step, you will define what’s a part of the project, make an agreement with the client, and document it. This way the client knows what’s included in the project and what’s not. Avoid any possibility of an extreme increase in the workload during the execution phase of the project.
- Deliver the project proposal: The client is delivered the document containing all the pertinent information like budget, timeline, project scope. We recommend using templates often included in project management softwares.
- Roadmap: Tasks are included in the project timeline, giving a set form for scheduling and project milestones and deliverables deadlines. The PM should take into account resource management in this step.
- Detailed plan: Once the roadmap is accepted by the client or key stakeholders, the Project Manager creates a detailed tasks list that will amount to every goal that must be reached. The project team requires these tasks to have clear instructions, so any member can accomplish them.
- Task management: This step involves monitoring the task workflow and their progress status. Some tasks can be simple, while others involve dependencies and complex nets. A good project manager will be able to assist and streamline the task workflow.
- Readjustments: Tasks are getting done, milestones are reached, deliverables are being received. Things are looking good. But taking a step back and taking stock is always healthy. After every milestone, you need to make a pit stop and check deadline forecasts, resource allocation, talent’s workload, and client’s expectations. If the need arises then the PM will need to change the project plan and reassess scheduling.
- Collaborative communication: Inform the project performance to your team members, the client, and the stakeholders. Status reports are a great way of keeping everyone in the loop, and keeping a secure communication flow with the client. Transparency is a vital aspect of the relationship with clients, we are big believers in clear and effective communication. This way you can change course if necessary and avoid possible end-of-the-project surprises.
- Performance analysis: Deliverables are handed over and the main phase of the endeavor is finished. This is a key point of any project life cycle, a retrospective analysis can determine whether the correct path was taken. By knowing and evaluating what went wrong, you can improve your decision-making and give valuable feedback to your team. This feedback should also include positive and successful points, as well as including a learning opportunity.
Project Status Report
As we discussed earlier there are certain key aspects in the project lifecycle, we can’t stress enough the importance of reporting and communication. The practice of detailing processes and informing the results should not be only done at the end of the project.
Communication is key, you need to secure a channel for constant communication that also serves as a historical log of the project. Some Project management softwares have instant messaging, but it’s not unified. Brief your team after reaching milestones, so that everyone is up to speed and knows what to do next.
Status reports are important, they will help you by giving you a bigger picture and keeping the client and stakeholders happy. They are also key for resource management and for thinking if you need any other collaborators at this phase of the project. There are templates for this, and some tools even come with automated reporting capabilities.
Project Management Tools
Even the best project manager needs support when dealing with innumerable tasks and responsibilities. Using a PM solution can greatly increase each of your project’s profitability, and help take great care of your talent. Project management tools are designed to streamline the workflow and improve effectiveness. They allow for task and resource allocation, time tracking, AI project estimation and automated reporting.
Having good project management software is a necessity nowadays. It can help in innumerable ways. Having an all-in-one solution can make your operation grow and help you know the actual value of each billable hour. It can also help prevent employee burnout, with the time tracking and scheduling functionality, you can see the workload of every single collaborator. If you wish to know more you can check our Project Management Software Guide, or request a demo today