When project management comes to mind, a lot of people simply consider it as a method to starting and completing a project. While this may be true, project management usually encompasses much more.
We often see big companies take on new projects, announce an expected time frame, and more often than not, meet their set deadlines. From Fortune 500 companies to small scale start-ups, effective project management remains an indispensable criterion for success. Project management can be likened to playing a game of Tetris. It involves the ability to optimize every aspect of the process to meet and produce the best possible outcome within all the conditions for delivery.
The right project management procedure takes a number of features into account and strives to always deliver the best quality with the least amount of resources, errors and waste. Today, we focus on the project management process itself, it’s characteristics and what a good project management process should look like. Let’s get right into it!
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Phases of Project management
The phases of project management represent the many steps that every project management should encompass. In every project being managed, there should be:
- A take-off or initiation phase
- A planning phase
- An execution stage
- A medium for monitor
- Controlling and a closure or post-mortem phase
Each of these phases have several activities that come under them. The initiation phase is where the project begins. In this phase, there will be a business case presentation and feasibility study to justify the need of the project and evaluate the project’s goals, timeline, milestones, requirements and other analysis of strengths, weaknesses, threats and more.
The planning phase is the phase that follows when the project is approved. This is one of the most robust phases in effective project management, encompassing the scope of the project, the definition, unit and group tasks, schedule, quality, cost, estimates, staff, risk management, communications, audit, procurement and much more.
The execution phase involves executing the plan and the administrative efforts.
The monitor and control phase involves the reporting, evaluation, scheduling, feedback, critique, cost, risk, audit, quality and other parameters while the closure phase wraps up the project after execution to standard and specifications.
As project management has evolved over the years, hundreds of software that run across multiple platforms have been developed to help produce smoother, easier and more effective results. With the multitude of project management software available on the market today, it can be hard to separate the good from the bad and the downright least effective, which brings us to our next heading:
What should a great project management software look like
As is the case with all software, any good project management software too should be easy to use and user-friendly. From the interface to the data entry, presentation and interpretation, the whole software should be unambiguous and easy to use.
Next, your project management software should be able to work real-time, delivering efficient solutions with accuracy and precision. The data should be accurate and updated in real time to facilitate collaborative efforts. All changing schedules, task status and other features should be continually updated to keep everyone on the same page and prevent unproductivity.
The ideal product management software should also be designed with the intention of making collaboration and data management seamless. The speed of implementation and ease of installation are also very important factors to be held in consideration.
What a good project management process looks like
4 features can be used to sum up what an effective project management process should look like:
- Comprehensive: the entirety of the project management process must be comprehensive and understandable to everyone involved in the project. From the project manager to the least position in the flow, every member of the team must be able to understand their roles and what is required of them.
- Accountability: an excellent project management process holds everyone accountable for their actions. This allows an effective process audit and ensures that any weak links are easily discovered and augmented. Accountability means everyone knows what is required, when, how and where.
- Consistency: regardless of the type of project being executed, every project needs to be held at the same standards of requirement for it to be considered a success. A good project management process must be able to reproduce success time and time again.
- Transparency: the right project management process should be transparent enough to foster accountability. This way, every member can see what is allocated to them for execution, how each resource is managed and how each phase is completed.
Project management is one of the most integral faucets for driving success in both collaborative and individual projects. A good project management process should embody the four characteristics listed above to ensure reproducible success with minimal effort, waste and time.
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