Project management is a critical capability for success across your entire business.
And because of that importance, we wanted to include it in our coverage.
Let’s start at the start.
What is project management?
Project management is the process of planning, executing, and monitoring a series of tasks to achieve a specific goal.
And projects are how every part of the business organizes their work and move the business forward.
Common project management methods
There are a few different project management methodologies that you may encounter in your work, including:
Waterfall Project Management
A waterfall methodology is a linear approach to project management where each task is completed one after the other in sequential order.
Agile Project Management
The agile methodology is a more flexible approach that allows tasks to be completed in iterations or sprints.
Scrum Project Management
Scrum is an agile methodology that emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and flexibility.
Kanban Project Management
Kanban is a type of project management where tasks are organized on a board and moved from one stage to the next as they are completed.
Fundamentals of project management
There are a few key concepts that you should be familiar with regarding project management.
The project scope is the overall goal of the project — the tasks to complete to achieve that goal.
The project timeline is the schedule of tasks that need to be completed to meet the project scope.
The project budget is the amount of money allocated to complete the project.
Project risks are potential problems that could occur during the project and threaten its success.
Project resources are the people, materials, and other assets required to complete the project.
15 Project Management Best Practices
We had a hard time narrowing this list down to the top 15 project management best practices, but here we go.
1. Define the goal of the project
Without a clear goal, it’s easy for the project to get off track.
There are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help you define the goal of the project:
- What is the problem that we’re trying to solve?
- Who are we doing this for?
- What are the deliverables?
- When do we need to have this done by?
- What are our success criteria?
2. Create a project plan
Once you know what your goal is, you need to create a plan for how you’re going to achieve it.
The project plan should include the scope, timeline, budget, risks, and resources.
It’s also important to remember that the project plan is not set in stone.
As the project progresses, you may need to change the plan.
But having a plan to start with will help keep the project on track.
3. Assemble the project team
Once you have the goal and plan for the project, it’s time to assemble the team responsible for completing it.
The team should include people with the skills and knowledge necessary to complete the project.
It’s also essential to make sure that the team is diverse and includes a mix of personalities and perspectives.
This will help ensure that all sides of the issue are considered and that the final product is the best.
4. Delegate tasks
Once you have your team in place, it’s time to start delegating tasks.
It’s important to assign tasks based on each person’s strengths and abilities.
This will help to ensure that the project is completed efficiently and effectively.
5. Set deadlines
For the project to stay on track, it’s crucial to set deadlines for each task.
The deadline should be realistic and achievable.
If a task takes longer than expected, it’s important to communicate this to the team so they can make adjustments.
6. Track progress
As the project progresses, it’s important to track the progress of each task.
This will help you identify areas where the project is falling behind schedule.
It will also help you see which tasks are taking longer than expected and why.
7. Manage risks
As with any project, there is always the potential for risks.
It’s essential to identify any risks early on and put a plan to manage them.
This may include creating a contingency fund or changing the project scope.
8. Communicate regularly
Communication is key to any successful project.
It’s essential to keep the lines of communication open between the team and all other stakeholders.
This includes things like regular meetings, phone calls, and email updates.
9. Be flexible
No matter how well you plan, there will always be things that you didn’t expect.
It’s important to be flexible and make changes as needed.
This may include changes to the timeline, budget, or project scope.
10. Celebrate milestones
As the project progresses, it’s important to celebrate milestones.
This will help to keep everyone motivated and on track.
It’s also a good way to build team morale.
11. Manage expectations
It’s important to manage the expectations of all stakeholders throughout the project.
This includes setting realistic deadlines, communicating regularly, and being flexible when things change.
12. Handle problems quickly
If there are any problems with the project, it’s essential to handle them quickly.
This may include things like changing the project’s scope or reassigning tasks.
The sooner the problem is addressed, the less likely it will cause significant issues.
13. Document everything
As the project progresses, it’s important to document everything.
This includes things like decisions made, problems encountered, and changes made.
This documentation will be invaluable if the project needs to be replicated in the future.
14. Keep everyone informed
Throughout the project, it’s important to keep everyone informed of the progress.
This may include things like sending out regular updates or holding meetings.
It’s also important to make sure that everyone knows their role in the project.
15. Use the proper project management tools
There are several different tools that you can use to manage projects.
It’s essential to choose the right tool for the job.
This may include things like project management software or online collaboration tools.
See our certified tech stack for tool recommendations.
16. Say no
There will be times when it’s necessary to say no to stakeholders.
This may be because the project’s scope has changed or because the deadline is not realistic.
It’s essential to be firm and explain why the decision has been made.
17. Delegate authority
As the project manager, you will have a lot of responsibility.
However, you can’t do everything yourself.
It’s important to delegate authority to other members of the team.
This will help to ensure that the project is completed effectively.
What is the Project Management Institute?
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a non-profit organization that provides resources and training for project managers.
It also offers certification for project managers who want to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.
The best practices for successful project management outlined above will help you run a successful project.
However, it’s important to remember that every project is different, and you may need to adjust your approach as necessary.
The most important thing is to keep communication open, be flexible, and always keep the end goal in mind.
You’ve got this.