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Project Management Tools and Techniques That Actually Work

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In today’s day and age, project management is all about using the right tools and techniques. Having these two things in order can help you manage your projects in an easier and effective way. It has been found in many surveys that using the right project management tools and techniques can increase your overall performance, productivity, not to mention, happiness levels at work.

In this article, we hope to enlighten you with the knowledge of all the popular and helpful project management techniques that are working really well for organizations all over the world. And, further, we would elaborate on how managers can put these techniques to use with the right tools that have the ability to fit their exact needs. 

So without further ado, let’s move on to find all the project management techniques that can work for your team and ease your work processes.

13 Of The Most Widely Popular Project Management Techniques

Project management techniques play a significant role in defining the structure, work allocation, utilization of resources, and at times, deciding the fate of a project as well. There have been several project management techniques that a project manager and their team can abide by. Today, we have assembled the best of the best for you, so you can understand what these are all about and how exactly you can go ahead to implement them.

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We have categorized all these techniques into various categories, the first of which is:

Classic Project Management Techniques:

Classic project management techniques include the more traditional methods of project management where a sequential and upfront approach is adopted to execute plans. You plan, prioritize, and execute—as simple as that. 

Here are some of the most commonly used classical methods of project management:

#1 Critical Chain Methodology

Critical Chain Methodology

The idea of Critical Chain Methodology was introduced in 1997 in Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s book, Critical Chain, where he described the methodology as a technique of planning and managing projects that strives to keep resources leveled. It is different from other methodologies in a way that it focuses on resources than on the method itself and makes sure that the project plan is feasible enough and completed on time.

#2 Waterfall

Waterfall SDLC

This is one of the most simple, not to forget, oldest project management techniques known to manage projects. It is also referred to as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) that focuses on making a solid plan and effective execution. The Waterfall methodology is sequential, which means one task has to be completed before the next starts in the pipeline. Here, all the requirements must be defined in the beginning so that there is proper planning and organization of a project plan.

project management

#3 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) 

Every project is made up of various small and big tasks that can overwhelm both project managers and team members at first glance. This is why planning is essential and more essential than that, is project breakdown before the execution process starts. This project management technique makes bigger, complex tasks organized by breaking them into smaller, more manageable chunks. WBS is a key project deliverable that defines a detailed cost or time estimate to help managers have a clear understanding that your estimate will exceed the intended budget or deadline.

#4 Critical Path Method (CPM)

The Critical Path Method of managing projects and visualizing the project plan includes mapping out all the sequential steps that are going to help you achieve the end result. While figuring out the smartest way to the ultimate goal, you will realize that there might be more than one pathway leading to the resulting goal. While pursuing this method of project management, though, we always choose the shortest path. Therefore, in the Critical path method, you take up the plan that has the least amount of milestones and also takes the least amount of time for project completion. It is an extension of PERT where the emphasis is placed on strategic scheduling and smart decision-making.

Agile Project Management Techniques:

#5 Scrum

Scrum project management technique

The Scrum framework is a part of the Agile methodology. Scrum helps teams focus on real priorities and the immediate requirements of the clients. This technique helps you leverage effective communication, teamwork, and speed of development in a project. In Scrum methodology, a team is often led by a scrum master that is also called Subject Matter Expert (SME), who is responsible for inculcating the values of the Agile methodology within the team. This way the team is able to make way for seamless collaboration and a goal-oriented mindset where the team members are easily able to deliver results accurately and quickly at the same time.

#6 Agile

Project management techniques - Agile project management methodology

Agile methodology is one of the most popular project management techniques. It uses the ‘sprint approach’ where you can break a project in the form of sprints or cycles. As the word ‘agile’ means the ability to move quickly and respond swiftly to changes, likewise, this methodology makes way for flexibility and collaboration. It is extensively used in software development and is best suited for small software projects that require frequent communication and the need to work together for working on innovative

 projects.

#7 Adaptive Project Framework (APF)

Adaptive project framework (APF) or adaptive project management (APM) is a cross between Agile project management as well as change management. It allows the team to set fallback systems and fail-safes so that the project keeps running smoothly with one successful iteration after the other. Just like the Agile methodology and everything that the Scrum framework entails, the Adaptive Project Framework works around the theory that improvements must be made as soon as a setback is discovered. This project management technique helps to implement changes faster than possible and to bring change to the game plan the moment a roadblock is identified.

#8 Extreme Programming

Extreme programming is an approach to project management where every principle of Agile is put into motion, every practice of the Scrum framework is practiced, and beyond that, every great coding practice is followed as well. In this project management process, the emphasis is made on the user requirements and the coding and deployment aspect of the project as a whole. If you follow this approach you will get to deliver on the various software requirements of the clients and the stakeholders at the end of every week. These are known as “small releases”, which will, in turn, help you gather and work on feedback much more swiftly.

Change Management Project Planning Techniques:

#9 Extreme Project Management (XPM)

No, extreme project management is not named after extreme sports like motocross or the various snowboarding competitions. This project management technique is used in highly complex projects where uncertainty is high. It takes a more casual and optimistic approach for planning a project and emphasizes less formality in the company’s culture. The extreme title is owed to an opportunity for flexible planning and unorthodox tactics.

#10 Event Chain Methodology

While following the Event Chain Methodology, the team works identifying events, milestones, tasks, and more. Furthermore, the team works on determining as well as defining the relationship between said tasks. This helps simplify everything. It is like a setting a risk management plan that has been set into place by the project manager. It helps ensure that every aspect of the project, every deadline, and schedule is well taken care of. It is a technique that is mostly used for network analysis and for risk mitigation.

Some Other Highly Robust Project Management Techniques:

#11 Prince2

prince2 project management technique

PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects In Controlled Environments. It is a project management methodology that is made up of principles and processes. Originated in the UK, Prince2 is an articulately stated methodology in which a project is divided into multiple levels and stages, each having its own set of steps to be followed. This standard enables the plan to be implemented in any organization irrespective of its nature, enabling them to take the appropriate action for the successful completion of projects.

#12 Process-Based Project Management 

Process-based project management is a systematic and strategic strategy that recognizes the project’s goal and aligns it with the mission, vision, and core values of the company. This methodology emphasizes better collaboration between various departments within the company to achieve common goals. Process-based project management helps project managers to view all the activities within an organization as a collection of standardized processes, which are managed to achieve the desired result.

#13 PERT (Program Evaluation And Review Technique)

PERT is a project management technique that helps with calculating the estimated time it will take to complete a project. Both scheduling and budgeting are essential components of any project. PERT charts are tools used to schedule tasks in a project, which makes it easier for team members to coordinate to accomplish the work. With PERT, you get three different time estimates for the project: the most optimistic time estimate, the most probable time estimate, and the most pessimistic time estimate.

The One Thing You Need To Bridge The Gap Between Technique And Implementation

Every Batman needs a Robin, every hero needs a sidekick, and yes, every manager needs a reliable project management tool. Well, we have one that will help you implement any and every project management technique in this list to some if not full effect.

The tool in question here is ProofHub.

ProofHub is a versatile project management tool used by leading organizations like NASA, Disney, Taco Bell, and many more. This all-in-one tool comes jam-packed with powerful features to eliminate the need to have too many different tools to run one business.

ProofHub is best project management tool

The best part about using a tool like ProofHub to simplify your work processes is that you will experience the convenience of visualizing and managing everything under one roof. 

Consolidated data helps to keep you ahead of schedule and manage time better. It provides connectivity through team discussions and chats and transparency through uploading files and putting up as much information as you can regarding the tasks.

Interestingly enough, ProofHub helps declutter everything from tasks and subtasks to discussions and notes in more than one way. 

From Gantt charts to Kanban boards and from those confusing emails to a neat and clean calendar view, ProofHub comes through with providing you a clear view of tasks, deadlines, and goals simultaneously in many ways. 

Here are some exceptional features of ProofHub that I would like to highlight:

  • Tasks: Quickly add tasks, create sub-tasks, and label them with tags and colorful tabs. View sorted tasks in their respective task lists with the whole view of the project.
  • Custom roles: Makes task management less stressful for teams by making it easy to set custom roles for the team members and assigning them to tasks and projects.
  • Proofing and review: Online proofing software saves a lot of time during the feedback-sharing process
  • Gantt charts: Get a visual picture of projects with Gantt charts. Define dependencies and map out the project timeline with ease. 
  • Accessibility: ProofHub is available as a mobile app as well, both for Android and iOS users.
  • Flexibility: Help your team view their individual tasks corresponding to their deadlines in Kanban or calendar views. 

ProofHub is an amazing project management and online collaboration tool because it helps you create, review, deliver, plan, and organize like no other tool. With its comprehensive bells and whistles, it comes forward as a very adaptable tool for project management.

Start managing your teams and projects efficiently with ProofHub!

Not only does it help with project management, but it also comes with numerous features that help the team stay connected. Exclusive communication features such as the following give ProofHub a definite edge over other project management tools:

  1. Chat: A feature that makes ProofHub completely singular is that it facilitates quick back and forth communication on the same platform where you manage the things you communicate about. 
  2. Discussions: Even though the tool comes with the facility of chat and group chats alike, sometimes a team needs to have a formal discussion. The feature of “discussions” is all about sharing ideas and putting opinions forward. And, every team member can easily participate in the same!
  3. Comments: Gone are the days of texting, calling, or pinging someone to check updates or inform people that you have reviewed their work. With comments, you can post your reviews on the task card itself, and a notification will be instantly received by the concerned.
  4. Proofing: ProofHub has a more distinct outlook and caters to the workplace in a way that no other tool can. In that, it helps in the most sincere form of communication, i.e., reviewing. With markup tools for annotation, it is a powerful proofing tool that helps with all types of files.

Plan with ProofHub

Conclusion

It can be overwhelming to choose the right project management tools and techniques for your business, especially when you have too many options out there in the market. We hope this list of techniques and our expertise of project management tools will help you make a great decision that works out for your team as well as your business.

Good luck.

 Vartika Kashyap
Vartika Kashyap

Vartika Kashyap is the Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.


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