Are you on the verge of becoming a Project Manager? Or did you happen to find yourself in the position of Project Manager by chance? If so, this fast guide will help you gain a better understanding of project management’s intricacies.

What is project management?

A project is not a routine operation; it is a one-of-a-kind endeavor. A project is a collection of operations aimed towards achieving a single goal. A project has a defined scope because it has a start and finish date. A project team usually consists of persons with a variety of skill sets. A project could be the development of software, the construction of a building, or the expansion of sales into a new market. In a nutshell, a project is carried out to fulfil certain needs.

Project management is the use of information, skills, tools, and strategies to ensure that a project is completed successfully and that the project requirements are met.

Project management entails concentrating on the ten areas listed below:

  • Planning
  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Procurement
  • Human resources
  • Communications
  • Management of risks
  • Management of stakeholders
Project Management Steps

Project management is separated into five steps, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI):

Project Initiation

The value of a project to the business and its viability are assessed during this phase. When deciding whether or not to proceed with a project, a Project Manager frequently consults a Business Case Document and a Feasibility Study. A Business Case Document explains why the project is needed and demonstrates the project’s financial benefits. A Feasibility Study evaluates the project’s goals, timeframe, and cost in order to determine whether or not to proceed with the project. The project’s requirements are mapped to the project’s available resources in this diagram.

In this phase, a project that appears to be unprofitable and unworkable is dropped. The next phase occurs if the Business Case Document and Feasibility Study suggest that a project will be profitable and practicable.

Project Planning

In this phase, a Project Plan is created, which is a well-written document that outlines how to secure the necessary funds, resources, and materials. The project plan assists the project team in producing high-quality work, managing risk, communicating benefits to stakeholders, and managing suppliers. The project plan assists the project team in better understanding the project’s cost, scope, and timeline, as well as the steps to take in the event of any obstacles.

Project Execution

Building deliverables to meet project requirements is part of the project execution process. This phase is frequently related with the Project Manager’s function. The Project Manager assigns tasks to resources and keeps track of their progress. The planning phase has a significant impact on the execution phase’s effectiveness. The Project Plan document serves as a benchmark against which the Project Manager can assess the project’s progress.

Monitoring and Controlling

This phase overlaps with the execution phase at times. The Project Manager keeps track of the team’s progress while they carry out the project plan. This stage is critical for ensuring that what was promised is delivered. The Project Manager calculates the key performance indicators and keeps track of any deviations from the budget and schedule. The project scope ensures that the project deliverables are in line with the project requirements. Constant monitoring is required to keep the project moving forward successfully.

Project Closure

The project team presents the completed project to the customer in the last phase of the project. The Project Manager informs the stakeholders of the project’s completion, and the resources are reallocated to other initiatives. The project is evaluated and documented at this stage of the project lifecycle. The documentation assists the project team in ensuring that past mistakes are not repeated and that a more robust approach is established.

Project management methodologies

A project can be managed using a variety of approaches. You should be aware of the most widely used methodology as a Project Manager. Here’s a quick rundown of the various project management approaches.

Agile project management

Agile is a methodology that combines short delivery cycles with the ability to more easily accommodate changes. Agile encourages a dynamic work environment that encourages ongoing collaboration. Regular consumer feedback is important in this method since it ensures the project’s success. Stakeholders evaluate each stage of the project and make suggestions for improvements. The entire team assumes collective responsibility for guaranteeing job completion under this project management style. Although the project’s objectives are established at the outset, the deliverables and outcomes may alter as the project progresses.

Scrum

This approach is suitable for software product development projects. In this small cross-functional teams work together with the Product Owner to derive the vision for the product.  A Scrum is divided into 2 weeks cycles in which every day, the team members review the tasks that are completed and the tasks that tasks that need to be completed during the day.  These daily meetings are called Stand-up meetings.

Kanban

This method aids in obtaining a visual overview of the duties. A physical or digital board with three columns is used to organize tasks that need to be performed, those that are in progress, and those that have been completed. As the project moves from one stage to the next, the tasks are moved across the columns.

Extreme Programming

Extreme Programming, like Scrum, entails short sprints with frequent releases. Stakeholders are always working together to increase productivity. The goal of this strategy is to improve the quality of the deliverables while keeping the team members calm.

Waterfall

This is the usual method of breaking down a large workload into a succession of related activities. These tasks must be completed in a specific order, which means the team must complete each assignment before moving on to the next. A new phase begins only after the old one has ended. Each phase has a well-defined timeframe, and the budget is determined to ensure the project’s success.

PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments2)

The project is split between a higher-authority project board and a Project Manager in this scenario. The board is in charge of making resources accessible when they are needed, while the Project Manager is in charge of day-to-day activities as well as team management. The PRINCE2 technique ensures tighter resource control and better risk management, as well as organized responsibility. For structured planning and implementation, there are periodical review cycles. Under this approach, some basic topics, principles, and processes are followed when doing a project.

PRiSM (Projects integrating Sustainable Methods)

A PRiSM is a method of achieving sustainability that takes into account environmental considerations throughout the project. This method is ideal for projects involving building, design, or landscaping that may have an environmental impact. Throughout the project, the Project Managers focus on lowering pollution, eliminating waste, and conserving energy.

Six Sigma

This strategy focuses on reducing flaws, bugs, and errors. It is a data-driven method that aids in the discovery of non-conformities from original requirements through data analysis. The selections are based on the data and statistics that are accessible. Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control, and Synergize are the six primary steps of Six Sigma.

Critical Path

A Product Manager might use this strategy to priorities work in order to attain the project’s shortest timetable. In order to do so, dependencies are studied, and a model is built utilizing a list of required tasks, the amount of work hours required for each job, dependencies, and milestones. The Project Manager determines which activities are vital and which may be postponed without affecting the project’s timeline. This method is appropriate for projects that place a larger emphasis on the project’s duration. This method is preferred because it allows for speedier completion, better resource allocation, and the avoidance of bottlenecks.

Lean

This method is appropriate for reducing waste by producing high-quality items with fewer resources and in a shorter amount of time. The Lean strategy enables a small team to produce excellent outcomes without spending a lot of money and in a short amount of time. The fundamental goal is to deliver valuable products with minimal resources.

Project Management Certifications

There are certain project management certifications you should consider:

PMP certification

This certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The certification encompasses the standards that contain the most important project management rules and characteristics. The PMBOK® Guide is the primary study material for this certification. A candidate must have 3 years of Project Manager experience (or 5 years if they do not have a 4-year degree in PM) in order to sit for the exam.

The PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments)

This is a project management method developed by the UK government. This certification has 2 levels:

PRINCE2 Foundation

This is a certification for gaining fundamental information, and there are no prerequisites for taking the test other than having some project management experience. The benefit of this certification is that it allows you to join a project management team that employs PRINCE2. Obtaining this certification, however, does not imply that you are qualified to operate as a Project Manager.

The goal of this first level is to learn the fundamentals of this strategy. There are no prerequisites for taking this exam, while it is desirable that you have prior project management experience. You will not be able to work as a project manager with this degree, but you will be able to work in a team that uses PRINCE2 as a methodology.

PRINCE2 Practitioner

This credential indicates that a candidate is qualified to use the PRINCE2 technique in real-world situations. With this certification, you can work as a Project Manager and apply PRINCE2 concepts to your projects.

Scrum certifications

Scrum.org offers assignments to help you demonstrate your understanding of Scrum. There are various evaluations, such as:

  • Scrum Master with experience
  • Product Owner for Scrum Professionals
  • Scrum Master / Developer
  • Professional Scrum on a Larger Scale
  • Agile Leadership for Professionals
  • Scrum and Kanban for professionals
Summary

This guide only scratches the surface of the fascinating world of project management. To be an effective Project Manager, you must have prior project management expertise. Although this book will point you in the right path as you advance in your project management profession. While managing a variety of tasks, Mammoth-AI can be your go-to tool.

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