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What is Project Management?

What is project management

“Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan’’ – Katherine Tate

Every now and then, we hear about projects being successfully completed and some failing miserably. A number of factors can be blamed for the failures – lack of leadership, improper management, ineffective communication etc. These failures generally happen because of the knowledge gap in understanding the nuances of project management.

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In this article, we will highlight everything that you need to know about online project management – definition, step-by-step approach to project management and overview of project management methodologies.

What is Project Management?

Project management involves planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event or duty towards completion. It is a discipline of using established principles and procedures for accomplishing goals.

Through project management, activities are performed using various methodologies, tools, skill sets and techniques to meet the requirements of a project.

Every project is different. Some are simple while some complex. Broadly speaking, every project has four main components:

Scope – This refers to the size of the project, deliverables and different process requirements.

Resources – This includes manpower, tools, and equipment that will be used while executing the process

Time – This takes care of the time frame or duration in which the project should be completed

Capital – This refers to the expenses and budget of the process

Among the four components, the scope of a project is considered to be of utmost importance as it broadly covers the other three components. However, ignoring one can adversely affect the others and vice-versa.

Step-By-Step Approach To Traditional Project Management

Most of us struggle to understand if there are any variations or types to project management. Here’s the thing – project management takes a different form when applied to different industries although the essence being the same – completion of tasks, events or projects using various tools, techniques or practices.

However, most of the project managers follow a step by step approach to complete the projects successfully. These are also called the phases of project management. Let us have a look at major steps in traditional project management.

  1. Initiation:It is the first phase of the project lifecycle. This is where an idea is toiled and carefully examined if it will be beneficial for the organization or not. The key activities in this phase include the analysis of business requirements, identifying project requirements and stakeholders. It is during this phase where the project’s value and feasibility are measured.
  2. Planning: This is the more detailed part of the project where a solid project planning steps are created to guide the teams. It includes putting the team together, identifying the tasks or activities to be performed, obtaining cost estimates and deciding the budget of the project. Planning is an important phase as it sets the base for the execution part.
  3. Execution: This is the implementation phase where all the activities and events are set into motion. Teams or groups are made where responsibilities are given to the team members. Moreover, the key stakeholders are well communicated and updated about the changes that happen while executing a project.
  4. Monitoring: Here in this phase, once the plan is executed, every step is thoroughly reviewed and monitored. It helps to identify loopholes or missing plots so that they can be removed in order to minimize risks in the future.This allows taking appropriate actions and address issues in accordance with the project for its successful completion.
  5. Closure:At this stage, a project is formally declared to be closed. Teams close a project when they successfully deliver the finished project to the customer and communicate completion to the stakeholders.

Although project management may seem overwhelming at times, breaking it down into these five distinct cycles can help your team manage even the most complex projects and use time and resources judiciously.

Overview of Non-Traditional Approaches

Besides traditional project management approach which includes steps like initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closure, there are other methodologies used by project managers as well. Let’s go through them briefly.

  1. Agile: Agile is one of the most talked about concept these days that focus on the end state result. It mainly emphasizes on continuous collaboration both within the project team members and with project stakeholders.
  2. Lean: Lean is a methodology that is focused on streamlining and cutting out waste. The goal is to do more with less i.e. deliver value to the customer using less manpower, less money, and less time.
  3. Kanban:A Kanban board is mainly a workflow visualization methodology that maximizes the productivity of a team by reducing the idle time. Here, the team members often create a visual representation of their tasks and move them through various stages in the process.

Choosing the right methodology can help the project managers to find an approach or procedure that allows them to successfully complete their projects.

However, with the advancement in the technology, many project managers are using various project management software these days. ProofHub is one such powerful online project management tool that allows you to manage tasks effectively, promotes seamless collaboration and communication at the workplace.

Want to be an expert at handling projects. Give ProofHub a try!

In this article, we have tried to give you a sneak peak in the world of project management. Drop a comment below to share your views on this.

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 Sandeep Kashyap
Sandeep Kashyap

Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, "Let’s go!" instead of "Go!" many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.

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