How to Successfully Manage a Project

Businesses rely on projects to run and these projects must be managed properly. Nearly every aspect of a business requires project management and therefore, it is a skill that should be integral in every manager’s list of skills.

In the past, project management was a career on its own, but now, it is a skill that is required in nearly every other profession or career. This just shows how important project management is.

What is project Management?

Project Management is a set of practices designed to ensure a project is runs from successfully from start to finish. It involves the use of a specific set of techniques, tools and resources to drive the objectives of a project from the idea phase to final execution and handing over phase. Throughout these phases, there are aspects of value addition that go into the project and these are managed by the project managers to ensure a successful completion of the project as per the envisioned plans.

How to Choose the Right Project Management Methodologies.

Project methodologies are models of project planning that follow certain well-laid and proven pathways. There is no universal method of project management and therefore, companies or people can choose the best theoretical perspective that offers the right methodology for their specific case.

The decision on project management methodology is very crucial and even influences the type of technologies and digital assistance that we will eventually require. A project management tool also utilizes project management methodologies since it dictates the inner workings of the tool. Most project management-tools are founded one or two combined methodologies. Some of the most common methodologies are Agile critical path method, waterfall, and hybrid models among others.

Getting the Right Certification In Project Management

Most project managers have the required project management skills earned through experience and not necessarily academic qualifications. However, most companies still requires project managers to have certifications in project management either from the PMI where they earn their formal training or from other certifications attained in the course of their job. These certifications can come in the form of work study programs. To fully utilise project management tools, skills in It are necessary and this might require another form of digital certification. Most certification courses take about 1 month or so, to acquire, therefore they are within the reach of most project managers.

Project Management Software And Project Management Tools

Digital software and tools help make work easier and project management software have evolved into tools capable of managing entire projects. The project manager will simply have to learn how to use the software and this provides them with the necessary resources and skills to run an entire project on their own. Whereas software may require computers to run, tools may run on their own and serve to augment systems that are already in place. Overall, these resources help project managers to increase their effectiveness by promoting collaboration and improving the impact of the team’s work.

Project Management Life Cycle

Project objectives and targets are rarely completed in one swoop. For this reason, project management occurs in cycles, whereby the different phases of a project start and finish culminating in the eventual success or end of a project. These project management life cycles occur in phases escalating and deescalating in complexity and difficulty. Overall, the goal is to transform a project’s theoretical ideas into practical reality.

Project Management Tools in A Project Management Life Cycle.

There are several stages in a project management life cycle. However, some projects are designed to be perpetual and therefore, the life cycles may be different with one final stage merely acting as the initial stage in a new life cycle. Whether you are using project management tool, or a project management software, these life cycles are crucial and they are in the following phases:

  • Phase One: Project Initiation

In this stage, the project is still an idea, but at a more advanced stage, where the project has already been defined and its scope fully set out. it is also in this phase that the resources of for the project are identified. The contents of the project Charter are also discussed in this phase. Once the project charter is approved then the project can take off. The project charter is an overview of the project’s main elements, setting out the goals, constraints and the problem statement. It also highlights the benefit of the project to the stakeholders, setting out concrete implementation timelines. The project initiation phase also identifies the stakeholders who either benefit from the project or are instrumental in its operations. The list of stakeholders is contained in a stakeholder register.

  • Project Planning Phase

The success of any project relies on how it is planned. In fact, planning accounts for 50% of the entire project and therefore it determines the full scope of the project as well as the resources that will be crucial for each phase. The output for one phase will be the input for the next phase and therefore it is crucial for all relevant data to be present during the planning phase. One of the stages within the project planning phase is creating Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). This structure will accelerate the work process by promoting brainstorming as a core aspect of each process. Break down the work into activities set in a hierarchical structure and defines what each item in the structure does.

  • Project Scheduling

Even though project scheduling is not a distinct stage on its own, it still involves a bit more time as it is the process that establishes the policies and documentation necessary for managing and executing the entire process. In this stage, the activities are defined and set in a sequential manner using a Network Diagram. The last stage in the planning phase is the control stage.

  • Project Execution

Once the planning stage is over, the project is ready for execution. Here the actual work of the project takes place based on the plans already set in motion. During the execution stage, the project manager manages the expectations of stakeholders and coordinates resources as well as the available personnel.

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