“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. What is the factor responsible for successful projects? It is project management.
Now, what is project management? Is it a tool or a person? Project management is a practice. There are a number of factors that can be blamed for the failures of a project – lack of leadership, improper management, ineffective communication etc. These failures generally happen because of the knowledge gap in understanding the nuances of project management.
In this article, we will highlight everything that you need to know about online project management – what is project management (definition), the importance of project management, step-by-step approach to project management and overview of project management methodologies.
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Table of Contents
- What is project management?
- What are project management best practices?
- What are the benefits of project management?
- What are the features of project management?
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
Why is project management important?
Now that you know what is project management, let’s understand the importance of project management.
Adopting good project management is often considered an unnecessary burden, but pertaining to its importance, you definitely can’t afford to not have project management. Project management is what holds the teams and clients together. A project management plan will decide the success and failure of your project. Great project management strategy means delivering on time, budget, and scope. All-in-all,
- Project management is important because it ensures that whatever is being delivered is right and of the right value.
- Project management brings direction to projects.
- The project management plan makes sure that there is a proper plan to reach the goals.
- Project management sets proper expectations to see what can be delivered by when.
What is the purpose of project management?
Over the years, project management has developed to control the complexities of a project. The purpose of project management is to help you anticipate the risks and challenges that could hinder the success of a project. It applies methodologies and uses current project management software to plan, control, and monitor people.
However, with the advancement in technology, many project managers are using various project management tools these days. ProofHub is one such powerful online project management and project planning software that allows you to manage tasks effectively, promotes seamless collaboration and communication at the workplace.
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What are project management best practices?
Till now, you have learned a lot about project management and the benefits of a project manager. If you’re a project manager, adopting project management best practices is important. Here is a comprehensive list of best practices for project management.
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 project management steps in traditional project management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the 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.
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.
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.
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.
- The 16 Best Kanban Apps for Increased Productivity in 2020
- How Kanban Board Project Management Helps to Keep Project Workflow on Track
- Kanban Board Examples for Beginners: The Many Faces of Kanban Board
- What are the advantages of Kanban Board system
Choosing the right methodology can help the project managers to find an approach or procedure that allows them to successfully complete their projects.
What are the benefits of project management?
Here are the top 3 benefits of project management for project managers and teams.
- Project management provides a “roadmap” that brings better efficiency in delivering services.
- Improved customer satisfaction, the clients come back with a happy gesture.
- It provides a red flag at the right time: before you start working on finalizing the project.
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What are the features of project management?
77% of companies use project management software, and 87% of high-performing companies use project management software. But choosing the right project management system for your company is a wise decision. Here are some of the top features of project management that should not be overlooked.
1. Planning and scheduling
It is important to make the responsibilities of everyone visible to each team member. The best online project management software will let you assign tasks to team members and set priorities and deadlines. You’ll be able to add due dates to tasks, prioritize your activities, create project schedules, and manage resources effectively. No more who will be doing what and when will the tasks be delivered.
2. Boards to manage projects
Project management boards is the growing trend to connect with people who are working on the project. ProofHub Kanban board caters to the needs of project managers. It focuses on the status of tasks, by which the task can be moved through stages. Whoever is working on the project can track what’s in-progress in a visual way. This speeds up the process of task delivery.
3. Effective time tracking
A time tracking tool in a project management system is one important thing that should not be overlooked. There are many project management software with an in-built time tracking system. These make an important feature for better planning and working with great precision.
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4. Customizable reports
To successfully manage the projects, project managers need to be aware of the problems to have quick solutions. Project reports will allow you to visualize every aspect of the project in one glance. These project reports will help you to take future actions accordingly. ProofHub’s project reporting software gives a visual roadmap of project milestones, a burn-up chart to see how much work has been completed, a detailed list of open and overdue tasks, and have a clear time report for the time logged in a project.
5. Quick collaboration
It’s important to establish a quick communication when working on a project. File sharing, one-on-one chat, group chat, team dashboard, comments, discussions, and @mention should be a part of project management system. You can always use ProofHub for seamless collaboration and team communication.
What is project management strategy?
There are many project management examples that can guide you to have a project management plan for the success of your project. Put simply, a project management strategy will take care of the planning, organizing, and managing projects. A project management strategy includes:
- Project details, such as timeline and budget
- Goals of the project
- Well-defined milestones and deliverables
- Potential project risks
- Collection of feedback
Online Gantt chart is a part of ProofHub project management software that can help in project management. A Gantt chart allows you to organize these considerations into a tangible workflow.
There you go! Get started on the path of project management success with project management tips and the right set of tools to manage your projects.