Project management is the regulation of planning and executing projects. Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge, and experience altogether to achieve specific project objectives. Project management has a final output that is mannered to a finite timescale and budget. It seeks to achieve defined goals by using plans, schedules, and resources to implement project activities within a set timeframe. The discipline of project management consists of.
- Project management processes
- Project management phases
- Project management roles
- Project management tools
- Project management methodologies
Project goals and objectives are interpreted by the client or stakeholders, and a project manager applies project management methodologies to create a plan that set up the resources, tasks, milestones, and deliverables which are necessary to meet stakeholder requirements. This plan must also report for the triple restriction, which refers to the limitations of time, cost, and scope that apply to every project. Project management is often associated with fields in engineering, construction, healthcare, and information technology (IT), which typically have a complex set of elements that have to be completed and organized in a set to create a functioning product.
What is a Project?
A project is temporary and has a particular time of beginning and end, and therefore defined scope and resources. And a project is unique, which means it is not a routine operation but a specific group of operations designed to achieve a single goal. So a project team includes people who don’t usually work together, sometimes from different organizations and across multiple locations. The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster, and the expansion of sales into a new geographic market, all are projects. And all must be perfectly managed to deliver on-time, on-budget results, learning , and combination that organizations need.
What Is a Project Manager?
A project manager is an individual tasked with planning and executing the project. This is the person responsible for leading the team and organizing the work. In more formal, structured organizations and on more complex projects, the project manager is usually a certified project management professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI). In more informal organizations, such as small businesses, the project manager does not require certification. Project managers are responsible for all the different project management processes taking place throughout the project life cycle, such as risk management, task management, and resource management. In simple terms, they supervise the planning, execution, monitoring, and closure of the project. However, most project managers share common roles and responsibilities. Some of the more traditional duties of a project manager include the following:
- Scope Management: Defining the work needed to complete the project activities.
- Task Management: Planning tasks and defining their deliverables.
- Resource Management: Using people, capital, materials, and all other resources efficiently.
- Team Management: Assembling and leading a team.
- Schedule Management: Analyzing the duration of activities to create a project schedule. Once the execution phase begins, the project status must be monitored to update the schedule baseline.
- Quality Management: Establishing a quality policy for the project’s deliverables and implementing quality assurance and quality control procedures.
- Cost Management: Estimating costs and creating a budget.
- Stakeholder Management: Satisfying stakeholders' expectations and communicating with them throughout the project life cycle.
- Risk management: Identifying, monitoring, and minimizing project risk.
- Status Reporting: Monitoring and tracking progress and performance by generating reports and other documentation.
Project managers learn and receive certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), which has certified standards in the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK). The Project Management Professional certification (PMP) is standard for project managers, but the PMI offers more specialized training choices such as the program management professional (PgMP) and Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP). Armed with their knowledge and skills, project managers rely on project management software to execute all of the tasks necessary for a successful project..
How to Become a Project Manager?
Project managers are leaders. They need to motivate their teams as well as plan, monitor, and report on their progress. It’s a job requiring multitasking. They must have strong communication skills and be able to connect with both stakeholders and the project team.
Formal project managers are typically certified through agencies like the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the U.S. or PRINCE2 in the U.K. After certification, they are required to maintain their certifications by acquiring additional project management training to gather a targeted number of Professional Development Units (PDU).
The standard of qualification for certified project managers has recently broadened to include more leadership and business skills. PMI’s certification and PDU standards can be found in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). But it can be difficult to get to grips with the technical feature of project management without formal certification training.
But certification is not always a requirement; it can be something needed later in one’s career. Most project managers usually start with a business administration degree, but not always. Often experience speaks louder than degrees. For example, if you’re leading a creative project then an arts-related degree would likely be more appropriate.
Elements of Project Management
These are the following elements of project management:
Initiating: The first stage of PM, where finalize of the project plan, charter, and scope are defined to determine the cost, resources, timeline, and budgeting for the project.
Planning: The most crucial stage of all, this stage includes the strategist scope of a project, identifying risks if any, and developing easing plans by creating a set of tasks to administer the project.
Executing: This is a stage where the project team is ready to launch the project. The tasks are assigned and resumed to keep track of the project and efficiently manage the same.
Monitoring/Controlling: At this stage, evaluation of project performance is undertaken by comparing the real-time results to the defined target, to ensure all the goals and deliverables are met.
Closing: The last stage of a project where deliverables are given to the customers, the forwarding of documents to the business, the release of resources, and notifying the closure of the project to the stakeholders is carried out.
Types of Project Management
- Waterfall Project Management: This is similar to traditional project management but includes the caution that each task needs to be completed before the next one starts. Steps are linear and progress flows in one direction, like a waterfall. Because of this, attention to tasks and timelines is very important in this type of project management. Often, the size of the team working on the project will grow as smaller tasks are completed and larger tasks begin.
- Agile Project Management: The computer software industry was the first one to use this methodology. With the basis originating in the 12 core principles of the Agile Platform, agile project management is a constant process focused on the continuous monitoring and improvement of products. At its core, the high-quality output is a result of providing customer value, team interactions, and acceptance of current business circumstances. Agile project management does not follow a sequential stage-by-stage approach. Instead, the project is completed in parallel to each other by various team members in an organization. This approach can find and correct errors without having to restart the entire procedure.
- Lean Project Management: This methodology is all about avoiding waste, both time and resources. The principles of this methodology were extracted from Japanese manufacturing practices. The main idea behind them is to create more value for customers with fewer resources.
- Scrum Project Management: Scrum is the abstract of agile. It's fast, very small in scope, and able to turn on a quarter. Scrum is all about a rush to accomplish projects in small pieces, often based on a one-month timeline. Scrum is great for smaller teams that are looking to repeat quickly.
- Kanban Project Management: Kanban is another variant of agile project management. Unlike Scrum, which is focused on time-based pieces, Kanban is all about organization. To accomplish this, Kanban looks primarily at the number of tasks that go into any process and how they can be smooth, reduced, and effective. This is an especially great model for those with a factory-like output that doesn't vary.
- Six Sigma Project Management: The Six Sigma method focuses on improving the quality of a project's output. This is especially helpful if you've undergone a lean management style and found the result less than satisfactory, as Six Sigma highlights creating a better result for the customer. This method can be secure onto other management styles and is a great way to refine it.
- PRINCE2 Project Management: The PRINCE2 method is often used by private sectors in the government, and is focused on efficiency and minimizing risks and errors. This detail-focused method is all about aiming projects up into product-based steps that can be handled one at a time, ensuring no mistake anywhere in the process.
Types of Project Management Software
Project Management Software for Gantt chart
A Gantt chart can help manage projects by breaking a large project into a series of smaller tasks in an organized way. Each task has a particular time duration, presented by a horizontal bar whose left end indicates the beginning date of the task and whose right end indicates the completion date of the task. Tasks may run sequentially, in parallel, or overlapping. During the process, significant events can be highlighted as "Milestones," marked by small diamond shapes.You can check what the sub-tasks are and when each task begins and ends from a Gantt chart. Presenting a visual overview of the project, you can easily track the progress by seeing what should be happening at any stage in the project.
You can check what the sub-tasks are and when each task begins and ends from a Gantt chart. Presenting a visual overview of the project, you can easily track the progress by seeing what should be happening at any stage in the project.
Project Management Software for PERT Chart
The PERT stands for "project evaluation and review technique"; it’s a primary project management tool for planning and scheduling entire projects and tracking the implementation phase. PERT charts can also show task division, time allocation, and starting and ending dates. Unlike the Gantt chart, which uses bars to represent tasks, the PERT chart displays information as a network model that uses boxes to represent tasks and arrows to present dependencies between tasks. The layout of a PERT chart makes the relationships between activities easier to see than with Gantt charts. But the disadvantage is it can be challenging when there are many complex dependencies and tasks.
Project Management Software for Calendar
The Calendar is the date or time-based project management tool, which is the easiest to understand. It is more suitable for personal time management and better to manage your daily, weekly, or monthly schedules. The outstanding part of this tool is that it has more space for adding to-do lists. It will remind you what to do every day and make sure things can be finished before the deadline.
Project Management Software for Timeline
The Timeline is also a visual project management tool to help track project progress. With a timeline, you can visualize by what time a task needs to be done. It is a more sequential way of looking at tasks over time. However, the timeline is not as popular as the Gantt chart since it has limitations in showing task dependencies and the completion state.
Project Management Software for WBS Diagram
The WBS, also known as Work Breakdown Structure, is a common project management tool that helps visualize the scope of work by breaking a project into individual components that can be effectively scheduled. The WBS is a tree-style structure with the overall task on the top, followed by project sections and further into individual tasks. WBS examples are similar to a flowchart that has its components linked logically. The components may be explained in the text or the boxes.
Project Management Software for Mind Map
The mind map is also a powerful tool to manage your projects. Unlike other project management tools, the mind map is less formal, yet more flexible. You can use it to break the whole complex project into smaller tasks that are easy to manage to-do lists and analyze problems. With a mind map, you can insert pictures, link files, and drill down to focus on a specific part, which other tools couldn't do.
Project Management Software for Status Table
The Status table is an effective tool that is used to track project progress. It doesn't contain too much detail about the project duration and task relations, but with more focus on the status and complete progress. A great function of the status table is that it can include people who take charge of the task, so that project leaders can better evaluate employee performance and know who to reach when there is a problem.
Project Management Software for Mind Map
HOQ, representing the house of quality, is a quality management tool used to define the relationship between customer desires and product capabilities. It's a tool used in QFD (Quality function deployment) to facilitate group decision-making. Though it looks complicated, it's easy to create through Edraw. All the components in the HOQ, like the roof, matrix, legend box, and markers, are already included in Edraw Max. You can create a high-quality HOQ diagram without much effort.
Project Management Software features which are required
Task management software features let project team members create, update, and manage the progress of tasks throughout a project’s lifetime. This feature allows team members to:
- Set dependencies on a task
- Import a list of tasks from an external file
- Create and manage subtasks from larger tasks
- Set a task to repeat or recur at a specified time or date
- Assign the task to more than one user
Task management is essential in project management software. The best project management tools offer visual task management in Kanban boards, Gantt charts, waterfall dependencies, and burn-down charts.
Software support documentation helps new and existing team members troubleshoot issues within the software and learn to use the tools quickly. Documentation and support tools that shorten the learning curve include:
- Help desk articles
- In-software tooltips
- Support videos
- Periodic educational webinars
- Email or phone support
Email features within a project management tool will:
- Send notifications to individual team members regarding the status of their projects.
- Send alerts regarding due dates, keywords, or status changes
- Add comments, files, or custom labels to an existing task
- Make new or update existing tasks via email
This feature significantly increases productivity as the user can manage tasks and updates from their inbox without logging in to the tool. Individual members should also be able to set limits on the frequency and types of email notifications they receive.
A good project management app provides a space for teams to store and manage files directly in the tool or by using an integrated third-party solution. Document management features that are indispensable in PM software are:
- A centralized document storage
- Multiple document uploads using drag-and-drop functionality
- The ability to attach documents to tasks
- The ability to attach notes and comments to uploaded documents
- Document organization within folders, projects, or custom settings
- Version control
An online PM app also provides cloud storage space or integrates with a third-party service that provides it.
PM vendors offer mobile app solutions on various platforms and technology such as I-OS, Android, and HTML5. Today’s work has moved from the office desk to the field. Mobile access via domestic project management apps helps all types of teams. It provides a familiar interface and functionality so users can catch up on work and their teammates easily:
Third-party integrations or API:
A flexible solution can readily integrate with many popular apps and services in use by companies today such as G Suite, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, or Dropbox. The best project management tools have a solid core of PM features that allow users to manage projects effectively. It also has multiple integrations directly or via APIs for anything other than project management:
White label, branding, and custom settings:
These features often appeal to sales and marketing agencies and global or multinational corporations who want to adapt their tool to meet language and cultural requirements. When used for external clients, project management software will help teams with additional features such as white labeling, custom branding, or customization settings:
Project management software has reporting functionality included but to varying degrees. Consider the depth of your reporting needs and whether the software you’re considering meets those needs. Another feature to consider is the ability to export project data to a third-party business intelligence tool if your company has one or is planning to have one:
PM software with scheduling functionality promotes organization in large or multiple teams. It allows the user to set schedules for tasks, create timelines and milestones, and determine dependencies and resources. For some, this is an essential project management function. However, for organizations with simple projects, short-duration projects, recurring tasks, or small teams, this may not be as important:
Time management features in a project management app let team members track how much time they spend on independent tasks, let project managers set ideal time goals for the project, and integrate with a timesheet or payroll app. Teams with long-term projects or that regularly employ contractors may find these tools especially useful:
What Should You Look For In Project Management Software?
Team collaboration essentially determines whether your projects meet deadlines or not. Effective teamwork is the core of every project management process: Agile or otherwise. You just need to know how well your team works together.
Good project management software lets your team communicate easily and effectively. They need to easily share ideas, opinions, and resources or even attach files to get work done quickly.
Project management is a dynamic process. New process innovations and breakthroughs happen all the time. But is your project management system keeping up with the times, or is it way past its prime? You should choose a project management app that regularly keeps rolling out cool features. These could be things like a built-in wiki feature, a notes app, a built-in Gantt chart, and the list goes on. If not, you’ll be stuck with a simple tool while everyone else would be equipped with advanced technology.
If your tool isn’t easy to use, it just isn’t worth it. It could have a million different features, but if they’re not user-friendly, then it’s of no use Your team will waste precious work hours figuring out how to use it. Imagine that wasting time on a productivity tool is not a good beginning. You might as well stick with Microsoft Word for project management.
Customer-Focused Product Roadmap:
Great project management software always lets you know what’s in store for its future. There has to be a set of ideas and objectives that it’s planned to release in the upcoming months. If there’s no project roadmap, there are two possibilities: These PM tools aren’t looking to achieve much or the software development team has given up on it.
Pros and Cons of Project Management
Pros of Project Management:
- The first and foremost advantage is the fact that a particular project is handled by a separate project manager as he or she will concentrate only on that particular project which makes it more likely to achieve success.
- Other pros of project management are that it helps the company in achieving efficiency when it comes to capital, labor, and other operational-related expenses as it keeps a close watch on all the activities of the project which in turn helps the management in identifying the areas which need more attention and help the company in saving a lot of capital.
- Project management creates a system where workflow is measured and accounted for, ensuring that resources are used sensibly in fulfilling the goals of the project. This type of planning develops expectations for staffers, provides clear command, and builds procedures for quickly addressing unexpected outcomes.
- It helps the company in developing managerial qualities in talented people by assigning them first small projects and then big projects which in turn create a favorable atmosphere in the company where people know that there is a lot of scope for growth.
- Effective project managers make determinations about appropriate staffing and team formation in the early stages of project planning. This can help ensure the right people with the most appropriate skill sets are assigned to tasks within the project, allowing the company to use its human resources cautiously and effectively.
- Managing projects from start to finish can help control project costs and help a project manager retain control over his budget, identifying problems or issues before they turn into barriers. This can also help a business ensure on-time delivery, retain satisfied customers and project an image of competence and professionalism.
Cons of Project Management:
- The biggest disadvantage of project management is that sometimes it leads to overlapping of authority and responsibility between the top management and project management where the top management has different plans in mind and the project manager has different plans in mind which leads to confusion among the team members of the project which ultimately leads to project under consideration suffering.
- Another limitation of project management is that suppose the company is working on 10 projects simultaneously then it will require 10 project managers to handle those projects which are not possible if the company is small and ultimately all projects are handled by either a single project manager or top management itself which results in limiting the use of project management.
- Another con of project management is that it may be possible that there is no capable staff to carry the responsibility of the project manager and if management selects inefficient staff then the project will be a failure leading to losses for the company. Hence the selection of the right project manager is important because no matter how much planning and resources are put into a project if the project manager is inefficient then the project is bound to fail.
Project management helps to detail what tasks will be accomplished, who will be involved in completing the tasks, and when tasks should start and finish. Typically, projects progress in steps or gradual stages; however, other approaches for rapid, interactive project management are also widely used.