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By Jithin Raj CK

Project management is a growing field used increasingly by businesses of all sizes. As entrepreneurs and company executives deal with the daily responsibilities of managing an organization, it is important to use dedicated project managers to oversee projects from conception to completion. Understanding effective project management techniques helps organizations carry out large Managing a project is about understanding a team of individuals with different talents and skills and using all these things as good as it’s possible scale projects on time, on budget and with minimal disruption to the rest of the business. Different people use different words for explaining project management but the basic definition or core concept of project management always remains same. It can be defined as any action plan or program that makes use of every strategy and technique that may help in the successful completion of any project. It may also refer to planning, organizing, leading and controlling the resources both human and physical to achieve the project goals efficiently and effectively.

Project management is a very broad term as it covers various techniques, methods, process and strategies and the main purpose of all of them is same that is to minimize the chances of loss or failure of any project. Highly skilled professionals known as professional managers do project management. They keep an eye on every matter ranging from the resources to the deadlines given for any project. Now when we have come to know about project management then the next question, which arises in our mind, is that why it is so important.

According to the data’s provided by various organizations Project management is important and worth learning for several matters as they say:
Defines a plan and organizes chaos –. The primary business function of project management is organizing and planning projects to tame this chaos. A clear path mapped out from start to finish ensures the outcome meets the goals of your project.
Establishing a schedule and plan – Without a schedule, a project has a higher probability of delays and cost overruns. A sound schedule is key to a successful project.
Enforces and encourages teamwork – A project brings people together to share ideas and provide inspiration. Collaboration is the cornerstone to effective project planning and management.
Maximizes resources – Resources, whether financial or human, are expensive. By enforcing project management disciplines such as project tracking and risk management, all resources are used efficiently and economically.
Manages Integration – Projects don’t happen in a vacuum. They need to be integrated with business processes, systems and organizations.
Controlling costs –some projects does not get finished under the planned estimate, project management would make it work under the estimate effectively.
Manages change –there will be several change in schedules, environment and different other problems might occur but an efficient project management could help in completing the task under these situations.
Quality –Project management identifies, manages and controls quality. This results in a high quality product or service and a happy client.
Learning from failure –as they always say failure is the stepping stone to success. When they do, it is important to learn from the process. Project management ensures that lessons are learned from project success and failure.
 
While a business is a continuous and ongoing operation, a project is a temporary venture aimed at producing a unique product, service or process. In many cases, this uniqueness means there aren't any blueprints or steps in place to develop the end product. Project managers have expertise and experience in creating plans to deliver these items. In addition, they seamlessly integrate resources across a company's departments and utilize communication, planning and budgeting skills to bring projects to completion. Many business projects involve large-scale planning that affects every department or aspect of a business. Implementing the project may mean dealing with human resources, budgetary and supply constraints. Accredited project managers are skilled in project management techniques specific to dealing with one-time projects. They can create plans to manage interdependence and address resource conflict. Organizations that use project management to monitor and control processes and schedules can more effectively complete their projects on time and on budget.
Implementing project management across the organization helps create a strategic value chain that gives companies an edge on their compete-tors, particularly in high-risk sectors and markets. Being able to deliver projects on time and within budget often determines whether a company will get the next job or whether its new product hits the market. Ninety percent of global senior executives ranked project management methods as either critical or somewhat important to their ability to deliver successful projects and remain competitive, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit survey.
“Good project management discipline stopped us from spending money on projects that fail,” says Ron Kasabian, general manager at global IT giant Intel, Folsom, California, USA. In conclusion, Project Management and the practice of the same have become indispensable to the modern day projects and they form the basis of much of what is achieved during the course of a project. Thus, the idea of a project being managed professionally lends itself to the concepts and processes laid out for the practitioners of the art of Project Management. Finally Without it, teams and clients are exposed to chaotic management, unclear objectives, a lack of resources, unrealistic planning, high risk, poor quality deliverables, projects going over budget and delivered late.
 
Great project management matters because it delivers success. Project management creates and enables happy, motivated teams who know their work matters, so do their best work. And that project management enabled team ensures the right stuff is delivered; stuff that delivers real return on investment, and that makes happy clients.
 
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By Himani Khera

Project management tools

A project is temporary i.e. it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. A project is unique too, which means that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a goal. All the projects must be expertly managed to deliver on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that organizations need.

Project management is an application of skills, tools and techniques to project requirements. In today’s time, it is one of the responsibility tasks. It is used partout, in small a well as big enterprises. It is the core process that connects all other project activities and processes together. It has five groups:

  • Definition – refers to defining the objectives and factors for the success of project.
  • Initiation- refers to resources and planning before the commencement of project. It ends with requirements sign off.
  • Planning- gives the way the plan has to be executed. It is important as and when cost and efforts are considered.
  • Executing- undertaking work to deliver the outcome of the project.
  • Monitoring and controlling- taking necessary measures to make the operation of project runs smoothly.
  • Closing- acceptance of deliverables and discontinuing resources that were required to run the project.

In order to execute a project with flying colours, the project management team should be supported by a set of tools. These tools can be specifically designed or regular productivity tools that can be adopted for project management work. These tools make the work easier as well as standardize the work and routine of the project manager. In order to the better utilisation of these tools and to meet the project objectives the project manager must have the skills which make him look like a manager and not a normal employee. Here are some skills:

  • Leadership
  • Managing people
  • Negotiation
  • Time management
  • Effective communication
  • Planning
  • Controlling
  • Problem solving

Here are some tools used by project manager in all domains:

Project Plan

Planning before starting not only the official projects but anything is very important as, proper planning leads to a better ending and better results. Therefore every project should be well planned by the project manager which includes all the details of project to be executed, like:

  • Scope of project
  • Approach or strategy for its objective
  • Resource allocation
  • Delivery schedule
  • Name of the person who executes it and time of execution

To-do list

This tool is important to keep the track of the project progress. Instead of using some expensive software for this, a manager can make the to-do list on excel template so that it could also be updated easily.

Gantt chart

Gantt chart illustrates the project schedule and shows the project manager the interdependencies of each activity. This is used universally for all types of project. Although it looks quite easy, but becomes complex when project involves huge number of activities. Its creation depends on its simplicity. If the project is small Gantt chart could be created by oneself if not the manager can use a software tool such as MS Project.

Project Management Software

MS Project is a tool developed specifically for project management purpose. It can be used as a standalone tool for tracking progress of not only simple projects but also complex projects which are managed by many managers and distributed in many areas.

Project Reviews

As much big the company is, it has the more strict and comprehensive project reviews whereas the smaller organizations have just a basic review. Project reviews are accompanied by project audits by a 3rd party i.e. internal or external.

Delivery Reviews

It makes sure that the deliveries made are as per the customer’s requirements and adhere to the general guidelines of quality. A supervisor supervises it.

Reviews from customer or any other 3rd party person are important part of any project or any work done as it helps the seniors not only to judge the team but also the work done,if any change needed in the work or whether to keep the same team in future or change it. Hence, project and delivery reviews are very important.

Other tools are:

Score Cards

By score cards project manager can access the performance of the team members which will further help upper management in promotions and providing incentives. It also helps them to decide the correct positions of the employees.

Conclusions

The project management team should have a detailed understanding on all the project management processes and the tools that they can make use foe each project management process. A project manager cannot execute his/her job without a proper set of tools. These need not be some software but a simple technique can also be used to manage the project work. Having a proper and well maintained project management tools help project management team to work effectively and efficiently.

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts/project_management_process.htm

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts/project_management_tools.htm

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts/project_management_triangle.htm

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