Project Management is the process of leading the work of a team to achieve goals and meet the success criteria of an organization at a specified time.
The primary challenge of it is to achieve all the project goals within given constraints. The primary constraints are time, budget and scope. The secondary challenge is to optimize the allocation of vital inputs and apply them to meet pre-planned aims.
The main focus of project management is to create a complete project that complies with the client’s objectives. Once the client’s objectives are clearly set, they should influence all decisions made by other people involved in the project.
The 3 Constraints of Project Management
The 3 constraints of project management also known as the project management triangle. These constraints are;
A project manager should pay special attention to the budget, schedule and work breakdown structure during the planning phase and it’s necessary to remember that the three points of this triangle are always inspiring one another. If there is a delay in time, then there will have to be an adjustment in either cost or scope. The same being applicable for the other points. It is a duty of a project manager to check these constraints frequently.
Let’s look at these constraints, how the project manager used to manage them with the help of the management process.
In project management, most of you know that, if you want a project to complete fast, it will cost you the most because a short deadline requires more resources.
Project managers must calculate and fix the required time to complete the project. This should be done during the initial phases of the project to develop a schedule covering the duration of all the activities. Once the execution phase starts, the status of the project must be monitored to maintain the scheduled baseline.
The scope is basically all the necessary activities to complete a project. It must be identified by using the work breakdown structure during the planning phase. Without defining the scope decently early in the project, it can expand during the execution phase due to unintended activity.
The scope is a little bit sensitive constraint. Before you know it, “just one more thing” can change the whole purpose of the project. That’s why it is important to document project goals and requirements before work starts.
Adding more requirements can stretch a project’s estimated budget and time. In this case either you’ll need to assign more people or extend the fixed deadline. It will increase the budget of the project. So, monitoring scope changes enables you to address trade-offs early and make necessary adjustments before your project gets off course.
There are many budgets associated with a project. Project managers are responsible for budgeting, estimating and controlling costs so the project can be completed within the sanctioned budget. This process is called Cost Management.
Nobody likes being surprised by a huge bill. If any unexpected cost pops up, take time to explain how it will affect the rest of your project and let your client decide about investing the extra dough.
Who is a Project Manager?
A project manager is a person who plans and executes the project, responsible for leading them and organizing the work.
In formal organizational structures, the project manager is usually a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI). But in informal organizational structures or a small business, the project manager doesn’t require certification.
Some of the Important duties of a project manager include the following;
- Scope Management: It is the process where the outcomes, outputs and benefits are identified, defined and controlled.
- Resource Management: It is acquiring, allocating and managing the resources, such as finances, technology, skills, machinery, materials and natural resources required for a project.
- Task Management: It is the process of handling the whole life-cycle of a task.
- Team Management: It is the ability of an individual or an organization to administer and coordinate a group of individuals to perform a task of a project.
- Schedule Management: It is basically the listing of the activities, deliverables and milestones within a project.
- Quality Management: The act of overseeing all the actions and tasks that must be accomplished to maintain a desired level of excellence.
- Cost Management: The process of allocating, estimating and controlling project costs.
- Stakeholder Management: the process of maintaining good relationships with the people who have the
- Risk Management: It is the process of making and carrying out decisions that will minimize the risk on an organization.
- Status Reporting: It describes the progress and the condition of a project within a particular period and compares it against the project plan.
Types Of Project Management/Project Management Methodologies
There are so many types of project management. All the project management types have the same objective- a complete project but with quite different approaches and journeys there.
In this section I’m gonna discuss 7 basic types of project management;
- Waterfall project management.
- Agile project management
- Scrum project management
- Kanban project management
- Lean project management
- Six sigma project management
- PRINCE2 project management.
As there are so many project management types available, it is easy to decide which type should pick for the perfect execution of the project.
1. Waterfall Project management
It is one of the oldest methods but still used by many development units (teams). This type includes working in waves, with each step being heavily dependent on the previous step.
This type is much slower than its rivals, but it is useful for those, who looking to have a lot of structure or predictability. Unfortunately, it can occur in numerous hangups, especially if bugs are discovered during a later step in the process and previous steps must be revisited.
2. Agile Project Management
It is quite a versatile and faster solution to the dated waterfall model. It is not a specific project management methodology, but a mindset that is applied to other versions of project management. It includes working in small parts or sprints that allow projects to pivot when needed.
3. Scrum Project Management
It is also one type of agile. It is pretty fast, small in scope and able to turn on a dime. Scrum is all about using sprints to perform projects in small pieces, usually based on a one-month timetable. It is suitable for smaller groups or teams that are looking to emphasise quickly.
4. Kanban Project management
It is another version of agile project management. It is all about organization, focused on time-based pieces. To complete a project, it looks primarily at the number of tasks and how they can be streamlined, reduced and so on. This is the most suitable model for especially those with a factory-like output that does not vary.
5. Lean project Management
This type of project management is quite similar to Kanban project management. It is all about the process but has even higher importance on trimming the fat. It is all about focusing on a customer-first mindset and how the process can be displaced to deliver the best, affordable and convenient experience for the customer.
6. Six Sigma Project Management
The six sigma project management method concentrates on improving the quality of a project’s output. This is quite convenient if you have experienced a lean management style and found the ultimate result less than satisfying, as Six Sigma features creating a better ultimate result for the customer.
7. PRINCE2 Project management
The PRINCE2 technique is often used by some private sectors in the government. This method is focused on reducing the risks or errors and increasing efficiency. This is a detail-focused method and is all about chunking projects up into product-based steps that can be undertaken one at a time.
Phases In Project Management Process
Traditionally, depending on whichever project management methodology is being used, project management involves a number of elements. Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, the same basic project management processes or steps of development will be used.
In this section of this article, we are going o explain each state with actionable steps that describe how to manage a project.
Every project has documentation that should be completed before the project actually started. It includes ‘Why the project is important?’ ‘Project objectives’, and ‘Return of Investment (ROI) details’ etc.
Assemble Project Team:
Before making a project schedule, a project team must be created with the persons having the work experience and the set of skills required in the project. After that fixing every individual’s job descriptions, their responsibilities and the objectives of the project.
Set up Project Office:
A project management office is usually a physical space set up for the project manager. Not only the project manager but also any staff associated with the project will be located in this space. A project management office should have a complete technical setup including any project management software and any equipment needed for the project.
2. Planning Phase
Create Task List:
Behind the final deliverable of a project, there are so many smaller activities. These activities are called tasks. They are in reality tiny projects and recognising them is a crucial project planning step. Generate a task list by putting the final project deliverable on top of a work breakdown structure, which is a tree chart that outlines the path to completing the project without dropping any vital steps along the way.
Make a Budget:
Tasks require money. They require team members to execute and other resources including tools and materials. It is the way to estimate the cost of the entire project.
Risk Management Plan:
If only the project would conform to the plan but there are always changes. Before beginning a project, you need to try and classify risks and have a risk management plan to observe and respond quickly to them.
Good communication always drives the project to success. A transparent communication plan assures the people that need to be kept informed will be, along with the level of information they need, the frequency and how they will get it.
Make Project Schedule:
Project managers used to schedule their project with the help of the Gantt chart. Some tasks are reliant on others before they can start or end. These task dependencies can produce bottlenecks later on in the project. Projects can be separated by some symbols which indicate the end of one phase and the beginning of the next.
Assign tasks are the only ideas until they are given to a team member to complete. All the arrangement you have put into planning is dependent on getting that assignment out to the team, so they can do what they are supposed to do.
3. Execution Phase
It has to be managed each step on the way, from planning to completion to make sure a task is done right. This process involves monitoring and reporting to make sure the task is being executed as per the timeframe of the pre-planned schedule. The project manager as well as the other team members need to manage their tasks properly.
After creating the schedule, it must be monitored through the project execution to make sure it is on the right track. Proper schedule management charts a path to keep task goals, priorities, progress and deadlines matching with the schedule. Greater productivity depends on an effective schedule.
Planning schedule and budget don’t mean the job is done. Everyone with a wallet knows money has the tendency to disappear. The cost of the project must be controlled to keep them within the fixed budget.
Deliverables should be within the fixed budget and given time, but without the quality, the project isn’t successful. Keeping that in mind, make sure whatever quality requirements and success criteria have been set by stakeholders is being met.
This is the process for improving budget allocation, business management and operations in an organization. When it applies to project management, the focus is reduced to the project itself and controlling changes in scope throughout the execution phase.
Some projects can be done following a specific process, without having to rent, purchase or contact with outside resources. This process is called procurement management. This process is all about managing relationships with suppliers and vendors.
The resource is one of the vital thing needed for executing a project. The resource includes team, materials, supplies, equipment, etc. resource planning includes the roles and responsibilities for the team, where they will be working and what they will need to execute the project.
When the execution of the project begins, the planning leads the process but the team members need to have tools to work mutually so they can stay in close communications. It leads to greater productivity. Collaboration is the tool that connects team members, whether they are in the same workplace or working remotely.
4. Monitor & Control Phase
Monitor the Process:
When performing a project, one is constantly monitoring its progress from every angle and doing the best to manage the process to maintain the schedule and budget according to the project plan. This method can be summed up as regularly checking the actual performance of the project against its prospective performance. When exceptions occur, this offers a chance to catch them quickly and fix them fast to keep control. There are many project controls, such as project policy, methodology, risk control, quality and supplies, to name a few.
Reporting has a double impact on the project. One is that it enables project managers to trace the progress, and two, it gives data for stakeholders during presentations to keep them in the circle. Project reports can vary from task progress to variation and cost. There are reports on project and portfolio status, timesheets, allocation, workload and expenses. All the reports are customized to get the required data.
5. Closing Phase
Producing a deliverable is one of the main objectives of a project. It is the sign of closing a project execution and beginning of a project close. Therefore, make sure all the deliverables should be complete and verified.
This phase needed confirmation from all clients, stakeholders and the team. Procedures in this phase are to clarify there is no confusion and last-minute change request.
The project manager is responsible for reviewing the documents. It is to ensure that everything is all right and perfectly executed. In some larger organizations, there is a dedicated admin for reviewing the documents.
Before completing a project, the team, rentals, contract workers, etc. must be released officially. Before releasing them make sure they got their payment.
Post mortem in project management refers to analysing the finished project and noting what worked and what didn’t. This is the best way to repeat success by repairing mistakes for the next project.
And most importantly, celebrate the project success with all the team members, stakeholders and clients.
Project Management Roles
A. Project Sponsor: A project sponsor is a person responsible for the outcome. The sponsors represent the customer of the project. There can be different levels of sponsors (eg: Executive project sponsor) of the project depending on the organization.
B. Supplier: Someone who does the work, might be an internal supplier such as a development team, external contractor etc. The supplier is represented by their technical expert, a project manager or an account manager.
C. Team Member: Team member is a person, whose role is to complete a part of the project. The team member is basically a skilled and experienced professional, who contributes to the process of achieving the project objectives.
D. Stakeholders: Stakeholders are the group of people who have an intent in a company, can either affect or be affected by the project. The project managers must communicate with the stakeholders about the aspect of the project.
E. Clients: Client is somebody who pays for the services.
Terms Related to Project Management
Management as a process indicates that all managers, regardless of their specialized skills, act in certain interrelated exercises in order to reach their desired goals.
Definition: Management process is basically a process of fixing goals, planning, organizing, controlling and leading the execution of any type of activities such as a project or a process.
Management process consists of these functions:
- Controlling read more>>>
Risk Management Process
It is a structure for the actions that need to be taken. Here are 5 steps that are taken to handle risk; these steps are considered as the risk management process. It starts with recognising and analyse risks and ends with monitoring the risks.
It requires some investment of money and time. It will be more likely to be employed and maintained if it is performed gradually over time. With a simple structure, formalization and a strong perception, the risk management process of an organization can be rewarding.
The steps in risk management are;
- Identifying the risk.
- Analyze the risk.
- Evaluate or rank the risk.
- treat the risk.
- Monitor and review the risk.
Leadership Vs Management
What are the major differences between leadership and management? While many of us may believe that manager is also a leader so, these two terms indicate the same thing, but actually not. The terms “management” and “leadership” are commonly used interchangeably.
Maybe there is some overlap among the work that managers and leaders do but these two terms have various sense and they shouldn’t be used interchangeably. Both mean a unique set of skills, features and functions that share a few similarities.
They also show some clear differences in some cases. For example, some people lead without a managerial role while some managers do not analyse leadership. read more>>>>
What is Management Definition
Management may be explained as the art of work done through people, with the satisfaction of the organisation, employees, and the public. To do this, it is required to guide, direct, control human effort towards the achievement of the goal of the enterprise.
What are the characteristics of management :
- Management is goal-oriented. It fulfils the organizational goal through coordination of the efforts of the personal.
- If labour, materials and capital are input and goods, services are output then management works as a catalyst medium.
- Management represents a system of authority a hierarchy of command. Managers at different levels possess varying degrees of authority. read more>>>