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Project Management Tutorial

A project is a time bound activity taken-up with a group of individuals to put together a product, service or an outcome. It is transitional in nature such that it has a definite time for commencement and conclusion with a well-defined scope, resources, and timelines.It is important that each and every person in the project management team is well-aware of their goals, resources, timelines, and processes. It is also important that the objective of the project is made clear to everyone.It is possible that the people involved in a particular project, work from different locations, organisations, and even different geographies. Therefore, it is mandatory that the team involved in a project is in alignment right from initiation till the completion stage.Project Management is the integration of processes, knowledge, methodology, skills, resources and techniques to achieve the objectives set for the project within the given time.During the mid 20th century, Project Management got its distinct identity as a profession and ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge - PMBOK® Guide by the Project Management Institute(PMI)® identifies its fundamental components.Following are the five stages that apply to most of the projects, be it software development, construction of a building or even the launch of a rocket:Initiation: Understanding the client’s requirements and set goals and objectives.Planning: Creating a design that shapes the project and outlines the cost, manpower required, resources, timelines and so on.Execution: Commencement of the project work as per the timelines for completion of each segment.Monitoring/Project Tracking: It’s at this stage the true project management skills come into play. While monitoring the progress of the project, one must look into interruptions, breakdowns, development and so on in order to make alternative plans to achieve the set objectives.Conclusion/Project Delivery: It is the final product or the service that’s delivered to the client with a final settlement.The constituents of Project Management comprise of the following:The task at hand, resource allocation, budget planning and integrationUnderstanding the scope of the project with estimation and effective utilisation of time and resources.Tackling breakdowns and setbacks in the process and identifying meaningful alternatives to ensure the project is completed as planned without compromising on quality.Managing supply chain for cost-effective utilisation of stocks.Implementing a process of sustained communication with all team members.Knowledge management to ensure decisions are taken at an appropriate time.Stakeholder management in terms of keeping all interested parties in the loop and sending them updates on project development. It is important to take their inputs and feedback before completing one phase and getting into the next phase.What differentiates Project Management from other types of management is the streamlined process of the project lifecycle from conception to delivery and project handover with its numerous elements that shape the journey, influencing its rapid growth worldwide.Activity Based Costing Agile Project Management Basic Management Skills Basic Quality Tools Benchmarking Process Cause and Effect Diagram Change Management Process Communication Management Communication Blocker Communication MethodsCommunication Channels Communication Model Conflict Management Critical Path Method (CPM) Critical Chain Method Crisis Management Decision Making Process Design of Experiment Effective Communication Skills Effective Presentation Skills Enterprise Resource PlanningEvent Chain MethodologyExtreme Project ManagementGantt chart Tool Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing Knowledge Management Leads, Lags & Float Management Best Practices Management Styles Management by Objective (MBO)Monte Carlo AnalysisMotivation Theories Negotiation Skills Organization Structures PERT Estimation Technique PRINCE2 Project Management Methodology Pareto Chart Tool Powerful Leadership Skills Process-based Management Procurement Documents Procurement Management Project Activity Diagram Project CharterProject Contract Types Project Cost Control Project Kick-off Meeting Project Lessons Learnt Project Management Methodologies Project Management Office Project Management Processes Project Management Tools Project Management Triangle Project Manager Goals Project Portfolio Management Project Quality Plan Project Records Management Project Risk Categories Project Risk Management Project Scope Definition Project Selection Methods Project Success Criteria Project Time Management Project Management Software Project Workforce Management Quality Assurance and Quality Control RACI Chart Tool Rewards and Recognition Requirements Collection Resource Levelling Staffing Management Plan Stakeholder ManagementStatement of work (SOW) Stress Management Techniques Structured brainstorming Succession planning Supply Chain Management Team Building Program Team Motivation The Balanced Score Card The Halo Effect The Make or Buy Decision The Rule of Seven The Virtual Team Total Productive Maintenance Total Quality Management Traditional Project ManagementWork Breakdown StructureStages of Project Management:Apart from the cohesive team effort in the successful completion of any project, the one person on whose shoulders the entire project rests is the Project Manager. They have a profound knowledge of all the intricacies of the project to steer it efficiently towards the desired goal. There are five common stages to the project management cycle developed by the Project Management Institute – PMI®. These are Conception or the initial stage, planning, execution, performance monitoring and the closure or the concluding stage.A team of more than 80 PMI® members developed the guide to Project Management Book of Knowledge – PMBOK® Guide. This guide book encapsulates the fundamental principles of project management to achieve the best results that have become a benchmark for project management studies worldwide. Acknowledging that each project is different, the guide details some of the process standards that can be applied to any project.The 5 stages of Project Management:1. Conception or the Initial Stage:The project is analysed in a comprehensive manner including its feasibility, scope, timelines, cost and so on with a bit of research on the related subject. This stage will help you decide whether you want to go ahead with the project considering all aspects including its stakeholders and the successful completion of the project on time. A Project Initiation Document (PID) is developed that summarises the scope and requirements of the project.2. The Planning Stage:The success of the project depends on planning. It develops a blueprint that everyone can follow. One of the key components in the planning stage is goal setting and elements to measure the progress and success of the project. Goals must be realistic and achievable within the timelines with the resources allocated for it. The planning stage also defines the roles and responsibilities for each and every team member involved in the project with a clear definition of what is expected from them. One must also take into consideration the drawbacks and shortcomings at this stage that could create snags in the project. During the planning stage, measures must be outlined to steer clear of such situations.There are two popular methods adapted for Goal Setting during the planning stage. They are SMART Goals and CLEAR Goals.SMART is an acronym for:Specific – specific goals are set that have answers to who, what, where, why, when and which.Measurable – yardsticks are developed to measure the success of the goals set.Attainable – distinguishes the most crucial goals and the strategy to achieve them.Realistic – A goal must be realistic to the extent that everyone identifies with it and agrees to achieve it.Timely – Create the timeframe within which you can achieve the goal.CLEAR is an acronym for:Collaborative – The goal must be such that all the team members get motivated to work together towards it.Limited – The scope must be limited to ensure it is managed effectively.Emotional – There must be an emotional connect towards achieving the goal such that it inspires them to do so.Appreciable – Big tasks are fragmented to make it convenient to achieve.Refinable – Goals must be refined according to incidents and situations during the process.3. Project Launch / Execution Stage:The project kick starts at this stage. It almost feels like the crux of the project since deliverables are defined. During the execution stage, the teams are declared, and resources are allocated. The project management plans are rolled out with procurements and supplies. Since the ball gets rolling, the Project Manager keeps an eye to guide the team in managing the project effectively. Project tracking is put in place. Tasks are assigned and executed while meetings are scheduled, and plans are altered to suit the requirements.4. Performance Monitoring:From the execution stage, the progress of the project is measured, which is a continuous process till the end of the project. Project tracking is done to ensure tasks are being completed as per schedule. Any deviations or shortcomings are immediately addressed with alternative measures. The smooth functioning of the project is determined through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Usually, a Project Manager selects two to five of these KPIs to measure the project performance.Objectives - Tracking the schedule and examining the progress made to ensure it matches with stakeholders’ interest.Quality – Completion and delivery of each task or module on time with no errors.Budget Tracking – The Project Manager will check to ensure the project task has not exceeded the allocated budget. Based on the progression and the time taken, it is also estimated whether the project will be completed on time.Performance – Issues that may arise are tackled efficiently and addressed to ensure smooth functioning. Alternative plans are made to handle such hitches.5. The Concluding or Delivery Stage:This is when the project is completed and ready for handover. All members and team leaders are recognised and acknowledged. A concluding meeting is usually held with all the key stakeholders and team members to look back at what was done well and where were the pitfalls. This contributes to a learning experience that can be taken care of during the next project. A final project report is prepared including the final project budget, after approval from all stakeholders.Project Management PrinciplesProject Management is an intricate and an essential part of any venture you start. It involves the development of a detailed strategy of the proposed initiative clearly defining its purpose, goals, budget, timelines, resources and so on. While explaining the scope of your project, you will also have to take into consideration the aspects that could slip or cause interruptions in order to be ready with alternative plans to achieve your concluding objective within the specified timeframe. Let’s look at some of the fundamental principles of Project Management that govern the success of the whole initiative. These basic principles are useful while starting a new program or introducing learning and development modules, especially if you’re collaborating on the HR, quality and operational enhancement processes.1. Project with a visionThe most important vision for a Project Manager is to successfully complete the project within time with all its deliverables. It must clearly define your goals and objectives. This will need to prepare a roadmap to achieve the set objectives. The goals and objectives you set must be measurable, relevant and realistic that can be achieved within the scheduled time frame. The appropriate resources and tools must be provided to achieve the goal. A cohesive approach bringing all the team members on to the same page with a single vision is critical to the success of any project.2. The Key Role of a Project ManagerA Project Manager works along with his/her team to develop a project plan with risk assessment and clarity on goals and objectives. They manage and guide the team throughout the project phase taking it to its desired closure.  The Project Manager also takes inputs, feedback and approval from clients and other stakeholders for each of the task components of the project. Communication, documentation, risk management, reporting, scheduling and escalating issues are some of the important attributes that a Project Manager dwells with. Some of the skill sets mandatory for a Project Manager includes:Technical knowledge with regard to the project elementsComprehending management principlesEffective communication with teamwork and interpersonal skillsAbility to envision the project wholly being aware of all its intricacies3. Accountability and CommitmentOnce the responsibilities are taken, it is important to stay committed and be accountable for the project at every stage. Everyone in the project team must unanimously agree to the principles, goals, scope, quality and schedule of the project. Communication plays an important role in bridging the gaps. Sharing information and feedback will contribute to the smooth flow of the project.4. Creating a structure with estimated timelinesThe milestones are defined using this principle with a planner that indicates work schedules, estimates and timelines for each task or module. The detailed schedule will specify the man-hours at your disposal and the bandwidth you have to complete the project. It cautions you not to make unrealistic commitments that cannot be achieved in the given timeframe.5. Have a defined frameworkA clearly defined framework that has been agreed upon by all stakeholders and teammates will ensure smooth completion of the project. As opinions and views differ from people to people, the Project Manager must bring everyone on the same page with clearly defined objectives of the project to set expectations right. Each of the team members also must know their individual responsibilities and deliverables. Documenting the same using a Gantt chart, a project management software or even an excel sheet will help in mapping the tasks to get a bird’s eye view of the project. Monitoring the tasks closely will help in taking corrective action as and when required.6. Clear Goals and MilestonesClearly defining goals and milestones before the commencement of the project will bring clarity on expectations. Milestones indicate the successful completion of significant portions of the project. They would also boost the team’s morale and acknowledge them for their commitment.7. Measuring Progress and SuccessManaging the scope of the project in order to maintain quality, time schedule and cost estimates with well-defined objectives is crucial to the success of any project. A timely review is part of the mandate to understand the shortcomings and take remedial measures after discussing with respective team members. This helps in consistent process improvement.8. Being aware of Risks Being aware of risks and managing them effectively is part of the Project Manager’s role. One needs to be cautious about the potential risk factors during project execution, which could also be gathered using previous project experiences, data and knowledge from other members involved in the project. Remedial measures to encounter such risks is also essential. This is not a one-time activity; risk evaluation is a consistent exercise that must be taken up during various stages of the project. Understanding risks helps you navigate through it and emerge as a winner.For more information about the principles of Project Management, look for a Project Management Professional(PMP)® Certification Training Institute near you.Benefits of using Project Management principlesProject Management seems complicated; however, it is easy to comprehend. The significant aspect is to know the benefits or advantages of Project Management. You ought to be a pro with basic organisational skills to manage any type of project effectively – it could be a wedding or the construction of a sea-link. Knowledge comes from playing the right chords to get the desired tune. It is the effective utilisation of resources and knowing how and when to use them appropriately.Let’s look at the value addition given by Project Managers that will clarify why project management by a professional is so important. For starters, they hold the team and the client or stakeholders together. They are like a compass that shows the direction and guides you to your desired destination. They deliver whatever is required to keep the project on track through all ups and downs, managing conflicts and challenges, risks and team spirits that keep the project rolling. When a project is executed efficiently and managed well, it resonates beyond completion and handover. It leaves a trail of success.1. Delivering ValueProject Management ensures that each of the segments in the project development phase are aligned to its business objectives, complementing the client’s perspective in a broader sense. It aims to deliver value through return on investment. Facing risks and challenges is part of any project. The effectiveness of a Project Manager is when they are able to realign their strategy to achieve business objectives.2. Ensuring Customer DelightAny project that’s completed on time within the budget pleases the client and the stakeholders. And, when a client is happy, your work is appreciated and recommended to others. Smart Project Management ensures a healthy client-manager relationship.3. Leadership SkillsA Project Manager is the leader of the project. They give direction and are in command. Without them, the project lacks alignment and pace. They motivate the teams to bring out the best in them and provide the route map in achieving the project goal. Project Managers ensure the teams work within the given framework and follow set guidelines. They follow processes and protocols and carry the responsibility of the entire project till its completion.4. Timely accomplishment of tasksWithout a leader, the teams lack direction and focus. They need clear briefs and a proper outlook. Their roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined by the Project Manager to ensure there are no conflicts. The project is executed in a systematic manner. Tasks are accomplished on time. The tasks are given in smaller portions that help the teams to focus better, complete on time and take corrective measures quickly whenever necessary,5. Accuracy in Project Planning and ExecutionA Project Manager estimates the budget, sets the objectives, evaluates timelines and allocates resources. Without the Project Manager, goals and objectives could be over-ambitious or illogical. The timelines may not be realistic and the resources and tools may not be adequate. A Project Manager is able to take into consideration all the risks involved and substitutes to manage unexpected outcomes. A Project Manager understands the scope of the project and delegates work in a manner that doesn’t feel overburdened to the teams.6. Quality and ConsistencyA dedicated Project Manager for every project – large or small ensures timely delivery, proper utilisation of resources and quality output. With Project Management skills, the quality and consistency of the project segments are screened, tested and evaluated for quality assurance.7. Risk AssessmentA Project Manager is trained in risk management. The anticipated risk factors are analysed to find a resolution that would not lose focus on the project deliverables and timelines. They will be ready with alternative plans in the event of any such eventuality.8. Proactive ApproachThere have been situations that in spite of proper planning, things go wrong, and people tend to take a reactive approach compromising on quality, cost, time and resources. A Project Manager knows his team members and through effective communication, they are able to bridge the gaps as they know the tasks given to each member of the team, their deadlines and resources allocated to each of them. They constantly monitor the progress to ensure the project is on track. Without a systematic proactive approach to Project Management, companies and clients take the risk of project delays or failure, lack of people management, wastage of resources and overall unpleasant experiences.9. Consistent Tracking and MonitoringA project needs to be monitored regularly to ensure tasks are completed on time and eventualities are addressed effectively. Project Managers review the project at every stage. It is like a diagnostic tool to take corrective action as and when required instead of waiting till the end and doing a post-mortem. They provide regular status reports with details of tasks completed, work in progress, time spent, resources utilised and so on. These reports are evaluated by the teams as well as the stakeholders, which helps in patching the differences in any and ensuring work flows smoothly.10. Learnings and TakeawaysProject Management enriches your experience with each project based on its success and shortfalls. After the completion of each project, Project Managers look back to analyse and review the aspects that went well and the challenges they faced in order to find ways of implementing a different approach to the next project. Each project cycle gets documented, which is a rich source of information for reference to other Project Managers.Project Management strategies drive organisational success. Project Managers invest in time, project planning and due diligence contributing to the success of the business in the larger context. They conduct frequent reviews, risk assessment, measure success and ensure qualitative output. Organisations must define ROI, manage what’s measured, use analytical tools to align projects with strategy and implement strong project management practices that will determine the growth of the organisation.What is Project, Program and Portfolio in Project Management?In order to understand how project, program and portfolio work together in Project Management, let’s first look at how Project, Program and Portfolio are defined. These are the three Ps of Project Management. Projects form a part of the larger program and programs outline portfolios. Even though the three Ps are linked and sound similar in meaning, the functions associated with each of these are different in terms of Project Management. Let’s understand each of them separately.What is a Project?A project is a provisional undertaking with a well-defined beginning and end that is aimed at creating a product, service or an outcome. Various aspects of the project such as scope, cost estimate, time, risks and resources are managed effectively to achieve the chosen objective.What is a Program in the scope of Project Management?In most cases a group of projects is managed in a compatible manner to achieve the envisioned goal. Such a collection or a group of projects is termed as a Program in Project Management. Therefore, when the collective projects are completed, the program is complete. In Project Management, the projects are coordinated collectively that may have the same goal with some inter-dependencies.Program Management is explained in the PMBOK® Guide by Project Management Institute (PMI)® as, “The application of knowledge and skills to achieve program objectives and to obtain benefits and control not available by managing related program components individually.”How is Portfolio defined in Project Management?A set of projects and programs that are managed as a group to achieve a strategic objective make a portfolio in Project Management terms. For example, all the projects, programs and operational work within an organisation may comprise of a portfolio. There could be many such portfolios within an organisation. Portfolios are used to accomplish business objectives in an organisation, such as increasing sales, reducing costs, maximising profits, launching a new marketing campaign and so on.A collective analysis of Project, Program and Portfolio ManagementProject, Program and Portfolio are different from each other and still interdependent as they work towards a common goal. Organisations can ensure that projects align with their business strategies using portfolio management techniques. This gives clarity on why a particular work is being done. In order to have an effective project and program management, it is imperative that plans are factual, and communication is precise in order to take appropriate decisions within the portfolio.
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Project Management Tutorial

Covers 87 chapters on Project Management Techniques & methodologies end to end

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Project Management Tutorial

A project is a time bound activity taken-up with a group of individuals to put together a product, service or an outcome. It is transitional in nature such that it has a definite time for commencement and conclusion with a well-defined scope, resources, and timelines.

It is important that each and every person in the project management team is well-aware of their goals, resources, timelines, and processes. It is also important that the objective of the project is made clear to everyone.

It is possible that the people involved in a particular project, work from different locations, organisations, and even different geographies. Therefore, it is mandatory that the team involved in a project is in alignment right from initiation till the completion stage.

Project Management is the integration of processes, knowledge, methodology, skills, resources and techniques to achieve the objectives set for the project within the given time.

During the mid 20th century, Project Management got its distinct identity as a profession and ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge - PMBOK® Guide by the Project Management Institute(PMI)® identifies its fundamental components.

Following are the five stages that apply to most of the projects, be it software development, construction of a building or even the launch of a rocket:

Initiation: Understanding the client’s requirements and set goals and objectives.

Planning: Creating a design that shapes the project and outlines the cost, manpower required, resources, timelines and so on.

Execution: Commencement of the project work as per the timelines for completion of each segment.

Monitoring/Project Tracking: It’s at this stage the true project management skills come into play. While monitoring the progress of the project, one must look into interruptions, breakdowns, development and so on in order to make alternative plans to achieve the set objectives.

Conclusion/Project Delivery: It is the final product or the service that’s delivered to the client with a final settlement.

The constituents of Project Management comprise of the following:

  • The task at hand, resource allocation, budget planning and integration
  • Understanding the scope of the project with estimation and effective utilisation of time and resources.
  • Tackling breakdowns and setbacks in the process and identifying meaningful alternatives to ensure the project is completed as planned without compromising on quality.
  • Managing supply chain for cost-effective utilisation of stocks.
  • Implementing a process of sustained communication with all team members.
  • Knowledge management to ensure decisions are taken at an appropriate time.
  • Stakeholder management in terms of keeping all interested parties in the loop and sending them updates on project development. It is important to take their inputs and feedback before completing one phase and getting into the next phase.

What differentiates Project Management from other types of management is the streamlined process of the project lifecycle from conception to delivery and project handover with its numerous elements that shape the journey, influencing its rapid growth worldwide.

  1. Activity Based Costing 
  2. Agile Project Management 
  3. Basic Management Skills 
  4. Basic Quality Tools 
  5. Benchmarking Process 
  6. Cause and Effect Diagram 
  7. Change Management Process 
  8. Communication Management 
  9. Communication Blocker 
  10. Communication Methods
  11. Communication Channels 
  12. Communication Model 
  13. Conflict Management 
  14. Critical Path Method (CPM) 
  15. Critical Chain Method 
  16. Crisis Management 
  17. Decision Making Process 
  18. Design of Experiment 
  19. Effective Communication Skills 
  20. Effective Presentation Skills 
  21. Enterprise Resource Planning
  22. Event Chain Methodology
  23. Extreme Project Management
  24. Gantt chart Tool 
  25. Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing 
  26. Knowledge Management 
  27. Leads, Lags & Float 
  28. Management Best Practices 
  29. Management Styles 
  30. Management by Objective (MBO)
  31. Monte Carlo Analysis
  32. Motivation Theories 
  33. Negotiation Skills 
  34. Organization Structures 
  35. PERT Estimation Technique 
  36. PRINCE2 Project Management Methodology 
  37. Pareto Chart Tool 
  38. Powerful Leadership Skills 
  39. Process-based Management 
  40. Procurement Documents 
  41. Procurement Management 
  42. Project Activity Diagram 
  43. Project Charter
  44. Project Contract Types 
  45. Project Cost Control 
  46. Project Kick-off Meeting 
  47. Project Lessons Learnt 
  48. Project Management Methodologies 
  49. Project Management Office 
  50. Project Management Processes 
  51. Project Management Tools 
  52. Project Management Triangle 
  53. Project Manager Goals 
  54. Project Portfolio Management 
  55. Project Quality Plan 
  56. Project Records Management 
  57. Project Risk Categories 
  58. Project Risk Management 
  59. Project Scope Definition 
  60. Project Selection Methods 
  61. Project Success Criteria 
  62. Project Time Management 
  63. Project Management Software 
  64. Project Workforce Management 
  65. Quality Assurance and Quality Control 
  66. RACI Chart Tool
  67. Rewards and Recognition
  68. Requirements Collection
  69. Resource Levelling 
  70. Staffing Management Plan 
  71. Stakeholder Management
  72. Statement of work (SOW) 
  73. Stress Management Techniques 
  74. Structured brainstorming 
  75. Succession planning 
  76. Supply Chain Management 
  77. Team Building Program 
  78. Team Motivation 
  79. The Balanced Score Card 
  80. The Halo Effect 
  81. The Make or Buy Decision 
  82. The Rule of Seven 
  83. The Virtual Team 
  84. Total Productive Maintenance 
  85. Total Quality Management 
  86. Traditional Project Management
  87. Work Breakdown Structure

Stages of Project Management:

Apart from the cohesive team effort in the successful completion of any project, the one person on whose shoulders the entire project rests is the Project Manager. They have a profound knowledge of all the intricacies of the project to steer it efficiently towards the desired goal. There are five common stages to the project management cycle developed by the Project Management Institute – PMI®. These are Conception or the initial stage, planning, execution, performance monitoring and the closure or the concluding stage.

A team of more than 80 PMI® members developed the guide to Project Management Book of Knowledge – PMBOK® Guide. This guide book encapsulates the fundamental principles of project management to achieve the best results that have become a benchmark for project management studies worldwide. Acknowledging that each project is different, the guide details some of the process standards that can be applied to any project.

The 5 stages of Project Management:

1. Conception or the Initial Stage:

The project is analysed in a comprehensive manner including its feasibility, scope, timelines, cost and so on with a bit of research on the related subject. This stage will help you decide whether you want to go ahead with the project considering all aspects including its stakeholders and the successful completion of the project on time. A Project Initiation Document (PID) is developed that summarises the scope and requirements of the project.

2. The Planning Stage:

The success of the project depends on planning. It develops a blueprint that everyone can follow. One of the key components in the planning stage is goal setting and elements to measure the progress and success of the project. Goals must be realistic and achievable within the timelines with the resources allocated for it. The planning stage also defines the roles and responsibilities for each and every team member involved in the project with a clear definition of what is expected from them. One must also take into consideration the drawbacks and shortcomings at this stage that could create snags in the project. During the planning stage, measures must be outlined to steer clear of such situations.

There are two popular methods adapted for Goal Setting during the planning stage. They are SMART Goals and CLEAR Goals.

SMART is an acronym for:

Specific – specific goals are set that have answers to who, what, where, why, when and which.

Measurable – yardsticks are developed to measure the success of the goals set.

Attainable – distinguishes the most crucial goals and the strategy to achieve them.

Realistic – A goal must be realistic to the extent that everyone identifies with it and agrees to achieve it.

Timely – Create the timeframe within which you can achieve the goal.

CLEAR is an acronym for:

Collaborative – The goal must be such that all the team members get motivated to work together towards it.

Limited – The scope must be limited to ensure it is managed effectively.

Emotional  There must be an emotional connect towards achieving the goal such that it inspires them to do so.

Appreciable – Big tasks are fragmented to make it convenient to achieve.

Refinable  Goals must be refined according to incidents and situations during the process.

3. Project Launch / Execution Stage:

The project kick starts at this stage. It almost feels like the crux of the project since deliverables are defined. During the execution stage, the teams are declared, and resources are allocated. The project management plans are rolled out with procurements and supplies. Since the ball gets rolling, the Project Manager keeps an eye to guide the team in managing the project effectively. Project tracking is put in place. Tasks are assigned and executed while meetings are scheduled, and plans are altered to suit the requirements.

4. Performance Monitoring:

From the execution stage, the progress of the project is measured, which is a continuous process till the end of the project. Project tracking is done to ensure tasks are being completed as per schedule. Any deviations or shortcomings are immediately addressed with alternative measures. The smooth functioning of the project is determined through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Usually, a Project Manager selects two to five of these KPIs to measure the project performance.

Objectives - Tracking the schedule and examining the progress made to ensure it matches with stakeholders’ interest.

Quality – Completion and delivery of each task or module on time with no errors.

Budget Tracking – The Project Manager will check to ensure the project task has not exceeded the allocated budget. Based on the progression and the time taken, it is also estimated whether the project will be completed on time.

Performance – Issues that may arise are tackled efficiently and addressed to ensure smooth functioning. Alternative plans are made to handle such hitches.

5. The Concluding or Delivery Stage:

This is when the project is completed and ready for handover. All members and team leaders are recognised and acknowledged. A concluding meeting is usually held with all the key stakeholders and team members to look back at what was done well and where were the pitfalls. This contributes to a learning experience that can be taken care of during the next project. A final project report is prepared including the final project budget, after approval from all stakeholders.

Project Management Principles

Project Management is an intricate and an essential part of any venture you start. It involves the development of a detailed strategy of the proposed initiative clearly defining its purpose, goals, budget, timelines, resources and so on. While explaining the scope of your project, you will also have to take into consideration the aspects that could slip or cause interruptions in order to be ready with alternative plans to achieve your concluding objective within the specified timeframe. Let’s look at some of the fundamental principles of Project Management that govern the success of the whole initiative. These basic principles are useful while starting a new program or introducing learning and development modules, especially if you’re collaborating on the HR, quality and operational enhancement processes.

1. Project with a vision

The most important vision for a Project Manager is to successfully complete the project within time with all its deliverables. It must clearly define your goals and objectives. This will need to prepare a roadmap to achieve the set objectives. The goals and objectives you set must be measurable, relevant and realistic that can be achieved within the scheduled time frame. The appropriate resources and tools must be provided to achieve the goal. A cohesive approach bringing all the team members on to the same page with a single vision is critical to the success of any project.

2. The Key Role of a Project Manager

A Project Manager works along with his/her team to develop a project plan with risk assessment and clarity on goals and objectives. They manage and guide the team throughout the project phase taking it to its desired closure.  The Project Manager also takes inputs, feedback and approval from clients and other stakeholders for each of the task components of the project. Communication, documentation, risk management, reporting, scheduling and escalating issues are some of the important attributes that a Project Manager dwells with. Some of the skill sets mandatory for a Project Manager includes:

  • Technical knowledge with regard to the project elements
  • Comprehending management principles
  • Effective communication with teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to envision the project wholly being aware of all its intricacies

3. Accountability and Commitment

Once the responsibilities are taken, it is important to stay committed and be accountable for the project at every stage. Everyone in the project team must unanimously agree to the principles, goals, scope, quality and schedule of the project. Communication plays an important role in bridging the gaps. Sharing information and feedback will contribute to the smooth flow of the project.

4. Creating a structure with estimated timelines

The milestones are defined using this principle with a planner that indicates work schedules, estimates and timelines for each task or module. The detailed schedule will specify the man-hours at your disposal and the bandwidth you have to complete the project. It cautions you not to make unrealistic commitments that cannot be achieved in the given timeframe.

5. Have a defined framework

A clearly defined framework that has been agreed upon by all stakeholders and teammates will ensure smooth completion of the project. As opinions and views differ from people to people, the Project Manager must bring everyone on the same page with clearly defined objectives of the project to set expectations right. Each of the team members also must know their individual responsibilities and deliverables. Documenting the same using a Gantt chart, a project management software or even an excel sheet will help in mapping the tasks to get a bird’s eye view of the project. Monitoring the tasks closely will help in taking corrective action as and when required.

6. Clear Goals and Milestones

Clearly defining goals and milestones before the commencement of the project will bring clarity on expectations. Milestones indicate the successful completion of significant portions of the project. They would also boost the team’s morale and acknowledge them for their commitment.

7. Measuring Progress and Success

Managing the scope of the project in order to maintain quality, time schedule and cost estimates with well-defined objectives is crucial to the success of any project. A timely review is part of the mandate to understand the shortcomings and take remedial measures after discussing with respective team members. This helps in consistent process improvement.

8. Being aware of Risks 

Being aware of risks and managing them effectively is part of the Project Manager’s role. One needs to be cautious about the potential risk factors during project execution, which could also be gathered using previous project experiences, data and knowledge from other members involved in the project. Remedial measures to encounter such risks is also essential. This is not a one-time activity; risk evaluation is a consistent exercise that must be taken up during various stages of the project. Understanding risks helps you navigate through it and emerge as a winner.

For more information about the principles of Project Management, look for a Project Management Professional(PMP)® Certification Training Institute near you.

Benefits of using Project Management principles

Project Management seems complicated; however, it is easy to comprehend. The significant aspect is to know the benefits or advantages of Project Management. You ought to be a pro with basic organisational skills to manage any type of project effectively – it could be a wedding or the construction of a sea-link. Knowledge comes from playing the right chords to get the desired tune. It is the effective utilisation of resources and knowing how and when to use them appropriately.

Let’s look at the value addition given by Project Managers that will clarify why project management by a professional is so important. For starters, they hold the team and the client or stakeholders together. They are like a compass that shows the direction and guides you to your desired destination. They deliver whatever is required to keep the project on track through all ups and downs, managing conflicts and challenges, risks and team spirits that keep the project rolling. When a project is executed efficiently and managed well, it resonates beyond completion and handover. It leaves a trail of success.

1. Delivering Value

Project Management ensures that each of the segments in the project development phase are aligned to its business objectives, complementing the client’s perspective in a broader sense. It aims to deliver value through return on investment. Facing risks and challenges is part of any project. The effectiveness of a Project Manager is when they are able to realign their strategy to achieve business objectives.

2. Ensuring Customer Delight

Any project that’s completed on time within the budget pleases the client and the stakeholders. And, when a client is happy, your work is appreciated and recommended to others. Smart Project Management ensures a healthy client-manager relationship.

3. Leadership Skills

A Project Manager is the leader of the project. They give direction and are in command. Without them, the project lacks alignment and pace. They motivate the teams to bring out the best in them and provide the route map in achieving the project goal. Project Managers ensure the teams work within the given framework and follow set guidelines. They follow processes and protocols and carry the responsibility of the entire project till its completion.

4. Timely accomplishment of tasks

Without a leader, the teams lack direction and focus. They need clear briefs and a proper outlook. Their roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined by the Project Manager to ensure there are no conflicts. The project is executed in a systematic manner. Tasks are accomplished on time. The tasks are given in smaller portions that help the teams to focus better, complete on time and take corrective measures quickly whenever necessary,

5. Accuracy in Project Planning and Execution

A Project Manager estimates the budget, sets the objectives, evaluates timelines and allocates resources. Without the Project Manager, goals and objectives could be over-ambitious or illogical. The timelines may not be realistic and the resources and tools may not be adequate. A Project Manager is able to take into consideration all the risks involved and substitutes to manage unexpected outcomes. A Project Manager understands the scope of the project and delegates work in a manner that doesn’t feel overburdened to the teams.

6. Quality and Consistency

A dedicated Project Manager for every project – large or small ensures timely delivery, proper utilisation of resources and quality output. With Project Management skills, the quality and consistency of the project segments are screened, tested and evaluated for quality assurance.

7. Risk Assessment

A Project Manager is trained in risk management. The anticipated risk factors are analysed to find a resolution that would not lose focus on the project deliverables and timelines. They will be ready with alternative plans in the event of any such eventuality.

8. Proactive Approach

There have been situations that in spite of proper planning, things go wrong, and people tend to take a reactive approach compromising on quality, cost, time and resources. A Project Manager knows his team members and through effective communication, they are able to bridge the gaps as they know the tasks given to each member of the team, their deadlines and resources allocated to each of them. They constantly monitor the progress to ensure the project is on track. Without a systematic proactive approach to Project Management, companies and clients take the risk of project delays or failure, lack of people management, wastage of resources and overall unpleasant experiences.

9. Consistent Tracking and Monitoring

A project needs to be monitored regularly to ensure tasks are completed on time and eventualities are addressed effectively. Project Managers review the project at every stage. It is like a diagnostic tool to take corrective action as and when required instead of waiting till the end and doing a post-mortem. They provide regular status reports with details of tasks completed, work in progress, time spent, resources utilised and so on. These reports are evaluated by the teams as well as the stakeholders, which helps in patching the differences in any and ensuring work flows smoothly.

10. Learnings and Takeaways

Project Management enriches your experience with each project based on its success and shortfalls. After the completion of each project, Project Managers look back to analyse and review the aspects that went well and the challenges they faced in order to find ways of implementing a different approach to the next project. Each project cycle gets documented, which is a rich source of information for reference to other Project Managers.

Project Management strategies drive organisational success. Project Managers invest in time, project planning and due diligence contributing to the success of the business in the larger context. They conduct frequent reviews, risk assessment, measure success and ensure qualitative output. Organisations must define ROI, manage what’s measured, use analytical tools to align projects with strategy and implement strong project management practices that will determine the growth of the organisation.

What is Project, Program and Portfolio in Project Management?

In order to understand how project, program and portfolio work together in Project Management, let’s first look at how Project, Program and Portfolio are defined. These are the three Ps of Project Management. Projects form a part of the larger program and programs outline portfolios. Even though the three Ps are linked and sound similar in meaning, the functions associated with each of these are different in terms of Project Management. Let’s understand each of them separately.

What is a Project?

A project is a provisional undertaking with a well-defined beginning and end that is aimed at creating a product, service or an outcome. Various aspects of the project such as scope, cost estimate, time, risks and resources are managed effectively to achieve the chosen objective.

What is a Program in the scope of Project Management?

In most cases a group of projects is managed in a compatible manner to achieve the envisioned goal. Such a collection or a group of projects is termed as a Program in Project Management. Therefore, when the collective projects are completed, the program is complete. In Project Management, the projects are coordinated collectively that may have the same goal with some inter-dependencies.

Program Management is explained in the PMBOK® Guide by Project Management Institute (PMI)® as, “The application of knowledge and skills to achieve program objectives and to obtain benefits and control not available by managing related program components individually.”

How is Portfolio defined in Project Management?

A set of projects and programs that are managed as a group to achieve a strategic objective make a portfolio in Project Management terms. For example, all the projects, programs and operational work within an organisation may comprise of a portfolio. There could be many such portfolios within an organisation. Portfolios are used to accomplish business objectives in an organisation, such as increasing sales, reducing costs, maximising profits, launching a new marketing campaign and so on.

A collective analysis of Project, Program and Portfolio Management

Project, Program and Portfolio are different from each other and still interdependent as they work towards a common goal. Organisations can ensure that projects align with their business strategies using portfolio management techniques. This gives clarity on why a particular work is being done. In order to have an effective project and program management, it is imperative that plans are factual, and communication is precise in order to take appropriate decisions within the portfolio.

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