What is Project Management

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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.


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.





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