Every famous software, application, or event that we see, doesn't just happen overnight, what goes behind is the strong principles of Project Management. Project Management is the art of managing teams and supervising their tasks to deliver a successful project. Famous applications like Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Drive, etc. Would not have been such a huge success without efficient project management fundamentals, also known as PMP fundamentals.
Project Management – Overview
Project Management is the process of governing and guiding people who have a direct or indirect contribution to make to the project. Project Managers must achieve the objective and make it a success within the given constraints. The constraints in every project are different, but time, scope and budget are the primary constraints in every project. Executing a project within the given constraints can be done if we have a promising knowledge of the project fundamentals. Project management is a prosperous profession in the present time.
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7 Project Management Fundamentals
There are seven fundamentals of project planning and management. These seven fundamentals of project management tools and techniques prepare you and equip you for everything that you need to be a flourishing Project Manager. The seven PM fundamentals are as follows -
1. Process Groups
Process groups are the phases included in the Project Management lifecycle. In every project management lifecycle, there are five process groups. The five process groups are as follows:-
In the initiation phase of a Project Management lifecycle, we define the project in length. It is also known as the introductory phase. In the initiation phase, the Project Managers turn the vision of the client or stakeholder into an achievable goal. The Project Managers and the client discuss the expectations, deliverables, time, scope, budget, goals, and other secondary constraints. After discussing everything, a project initiation document is made.
In the planning phase, the project manager breaks the task in front of the team. They discuss the methodologies, resources and strategies that will be used during the execution. Elements like deliverables, project goals, communication plans, project schedules, risk analysis, and risk management. In the planning phase agile project management fundamentals are used extensively.
In the execution phase, all the work is done, and the vision of the stakeholder comes to life. The project managers supervise every task closely and help the team to stay on track. The project managers are also responsible for maintaining two-way communication between the stakeholders and the team members.
In the monitoring phase the project managers keep an eye on the key performance indicators (KPI). Key performance indicators include cost and effort tracking, deliverables and objectives, and performance and progress. It is essential to keep a track of KPI during the Monitoring stage.
In the closure phase, the project managers and the team members formally close the project and terminate contracts with the third parties involved. A final project review, budget check, and detailed report are created and presented to the stakeholders.
2. Cost Management
In cost management, the project managers deal with the budget. The budgeting of any project is one of the primary constraints. Without cost management, no project can stay within the budget. Cost management involves cost planning, cost estimation, cost budgeting, and cost control.
3. Risk Management
Risk Management is one of one most crucial fundamentals of project management. The steps of risk management include:-
- Identifying risks
- Analysing risks
- Assigning ownership of risks to team members
- Prioritising project risk
- Planning response to project risk
- Monitoring risk
- Curating risk management strategies
4. Task Management
Task management is the essence of project management. Project managers need to ensure that all the tasks are completed within a specified time and budget. Task management involves identifying the task, monitoring the execution of the task and orchestrating the tasks.
5. Project Constraints
Constraints are an inevitable part of project management. No project doesn't have any constraints. Every project has three primary constraints, that are time, scope and cost. These three make the project management triangle, they are unavoidable. The cost constraint forces you to manage the budget of the project and keep it between predetermined financial restrictions. The time constraint involves planning, monitoring and executing the project schedule. And lastly, the scope constraint requires the project managers to define the scope at the beginning of the project.
6. Project Communication Management
In project management, there is simultaneous two-way communication between the stakeholders and the project managers. The project managers communicate on behalf of their team members. The relationship between stakeholders and project managers is mostly formal, so there are proper steps in project communication management. The standard steps of project communication management include:-
- Purpose: In purpose, we define the intention of communication. We tell the stakeholders the reason for the communication.
- Audience: In the audience, we specify to whom we want to talk. Project managers specify if they want to talk directly to the stakeholders or someone from their team.
- Message: In the message, we specify the contents of the components of the message to the stakeholders.
- Channel: In the channel, the project managers specify the channel of communication. The project managers specify if they want to communicate in person or virtually via mail or messages.
- Timeline: In the timeline, the project managers specify the time frame in which they will communicate.
7. Change Management
As the famous saying goes, change is the only constant. Change Management is a blessing in disguise for project management. Change Management comes into play when there is an alteration in the predetermined factors. It is a crucial aspect of the fundamentals of software project management.
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The 5 Stages of Project Management
Now that we are familiar with the fundamentals of Project Management, it's worth noting the significance of obtaining the best PMI certifications to validate our expertise in the field. We will now discuss the five stages of project management. Project Management can be disassembled into five different stages. These five stages are followed in every type of project. The five stages of project management are as follows -
Conception and initiation
The connection and initiation stage forms the base of project management. In the initiation stage, the project managers sit with the stakeholders and examine the project. They determine if the idea is worth acting on. They also discuss the cost of the project. In the conception stage, the financial benefits of the project are analysed. The initiation and conception and stage involve heavy market research.
Definition and planning
The definition and planning stage is a transitional stage. The events are changed from hypothetical to actionable forms. In the planning phase, we create a project plan which involves scope, cost, time and other secondary factors. In the definition phase, we define the suitable team for any specific event. This involves hiring and outsourcing people. It reduces the development cost and speeds up the rate of execution.
Launch and execution
The launch and execution stage is where the actual work begins. The efficient enactment of this stage is dependent on the previous two stages. The work of a project manager is to closely monitor the developments and drawbacks encountered during this stage. Along with project managers, the stakeholders are also informed of the progress.
Performance and control
The Performance and control stage is a crucial one. The larger the project size, the higher the importance of this stage. In the performance and control stage, the project managers see if the progress of their team aligns with the goals they set in the beginning and tally them with the deadlines. In this stage, the project managers sometimes make alterations in the time and budget to speed up the process.
Close of the project
The close of the project is the last stage of a project management lifecycle. The goals shift from project completion to quality control. At the close of the project stage, final documentation is provided to the stakeholder by the project manager.
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Project Management Best Practices
The project managers are the backbone of any industry. They play a crucial role in the success of any organisation. With practical and productive project management practices a project manager can take their organisation to new heights. Project Management practices are not very technical. The following are the best practices project management can follow:
1. Have frequent team meetings
Having frequent team meetings can enhance the results delivered by the team members. Team meetings ensure that the team members are informed of any new requirements from the client end. Team meetings also ensure that there is smooth communication between the project manager, stakeholders and team members. The interests of all the parties are often aligned due to team meetings.
2. Ascertain project scope
For project management, it is crucial to define the scope of the project. It establishes a clear list of objectives for the team members and the stakeholders.
3. Lay out project objectives
When we lay out project objectives we should clarify the project goal, project deliverables, project constraints and standards of performance.
4. Effective communication
Effective communication is the cornerstone of the success of any project. Effective communication is requisite for efficient two-way communication between all the parties.
5. Take active feedback
An honest Feedback reflects what you do. Taking active feedback helps to overcome any limitations in the path. Feedback also helps in avoiding repeating similar mistakes in the future.
6. Develop a resource plan
Development of a resource plan is extremely important. No company can have unlimited resources, using resources wisely is an art that needs to be enforced during the project management life cycle.
7. Establish a risk analysis team
Risks are an unavoidable part of any project management activity. We cannot avoid risks completely, but with strategic planning, we can avoid them to an extent and learn how to handle them.
8. Assure transparency
Assuring transparency is important. The role of a project manager is to supervise the tasks and activities. Project managers need to gain the trust of their team and stakeholders, to get things done. So having transparency in every aspect is important.
9. Accommodate changes
We have discussed earlier that change is the only constant. Accommodating changes smoothly is an indication of the credibility of a project manager. Accommodating changes is so important that it is fundamental to project management skills.
10. Ensure formal documentation
Having proper and formal documentation is essential. It clears things for the records.
11. Set realistic milestones
Setting realistic milestones is important both for the team members and the stakeholders. It is the job of a project manager to ensure that his/ her team is not overworked.
12. Review and reflect on performance
Reviewing and reflecting on performance is important. Many project managers use this technique actively. It helps in creating more efficient strategies and delivering optimum results to the clients.
The profession of a project manager is highly respected. The job role and job practices fascinate many people. If you are one of them, you should try KnowledgeHut courses related to project management. The course has detailed fundamentals of project management notes and you will be equipped with a project management fundamentals certification after the completion of the course.
Project management is a flourishing field. Project managers need to be organized, action-oriented, diligent, and strategic. They should apply the fundamentals of project management efficiently. With the best project management practices and fundamentals, project management can achieve the desired outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are the five major project management fundamentals?
The five major project management fundamentals are:
- Conception and initiation
- Project close
2. What are the 3 most critical elements of effective project management?
The three most effective elements of effective project management are:
- Being organised
- Being action-oriented
- And being diligent and strategic
3. What are the three pillars of project management?
The three pillars of project management are also called the iron triangle or project triangle. The three pillars are as follows:
4. What are fundamental project management skills?
The fundamental project management skills are as follows:
- Effective communication
- Risk Management
- Critical thinking
- Time management
5. What are the major project management fundamentals that the analyst must handle?
Every project management analyst should have the following major skills:
- Technical expertise
- Risk Management
- Critical thinking
- Time management