what_is_project_management_guide

What is Project Management Guide? – Should you get Certified to Excel Your Career?

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If you are one of those who is thinking to accelerate in your career, you might have come across project management. But what is project management? Why you need this to be in your resume and should you opt for certification of project management as a project manager? Well, read through this article to understand all about project management.

Contents

What is project management?

Project management is the process of leading and managing a project and the work of project team in order to achieve all the goals of the project within the stipulated project timeline. The project timeline is the part of project documentation which is created at the very beginning of any development process.

The term project management is abbreviated as PM which is defined as the framework which is used to guide the project teams towards the success of the project. The project management consists of a project manager who leads the project in meeting the project team objectives by using project tools, and key techniques for a pre-defined project timeline, and execution of tasks on day-to-day basis to meet the customer milestones and deadlines.

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Why is Project Management Important?

According to a study which has been conducted by the Project Management Institute, “In 2020, about 11.4% of every dollar was invested in projects, unfortunately was wasted due to poor performance or poor performance management.”

When you realize this number, managing and leading the project becomes an important role in any organization which delivers its products, and services to customers. Hence, project management becomes important as it provides the leadership, managing, and motivational requirements.

Project management also helps in removal of roadblocks within the project effectively during its timeline and especially, when you are introducing new products and services into the market. With project management, you can be able to meet company’s goals effectively and efficiently, which in turn will help your grow your business revenue.

An organization can make the project management as a priority in their vision and mission, and follow the effective project management methods, and its frameworks, in order to continuously improve their workflows, minimize errors, and avoid overspends. In order to be on top of the table in their products and services by beating the market competition, the organizations can rely on a solid project management so that they can be more effective, productive, and efficient.

What is Project Management?

The meaning of project management is nothing but leading and managing a project by making use of project management tools and project management documentation. In fact, a project management is the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to deliver something of value to people.

Few of the examples of projects where in project management is included are development of software for an improved business process, different types of businesses, development of a new product, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the construction of a new building, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market, and so on, are considered as the examples of projects.

In other words, the project management is the combined application of processes, skills, methods, knowledge, and experience, which helps in achieving key specific project objectives with respect to the project acceptance criteria withing the agreed project timeline parameters. The project management either has a task-based deliverables, or milestone-based deliverables, or final deliverables depending upon the contract that has been agreed with the customer.

The main difference between a project management and a management is that the project management has final or task-based deliverables for a pre-defined timeline. However, the term management is an ongoing continuous process. Hence, a project manager who takes care of a project must have all the key skills but not limited to technical skills, team management skills, software skills, business awareness, product awareness, process awareness, market research, and so on.

What is a Project?

A project is nothing but a unique and transient endeavor where in planned objectives of a project are planned, executed, and achieved, which are being tracked in terms of outcomes or benefits. A project is said to be successful only if it achieves the project objectives against the pre-defined acceptance criteria, cost agreements, and project timeline. Do remember that the time, quality, and the cost are the building blocks of any project.

The projects are that aspect of a project management, wherein the projects are temporary efforts which creates value through products, services, and processes. In some cases, the projects are designed and engineered to quickly resolve the problems and in other cases might require the extension of the project timelines in order to meet the intended outcomes which may need major improvements over a period, such as public highways could be the best example.

Time:

Time in a project is nothing but a project timeline and scheduling of tasks in the project. In project timeline, it is all about planning the key activities until the project completion or until the SOP at customer end. Accordingly, scheduling will be done and maintained in the project tracker based on the tasks and the efforts are booked against the same for completion. This outlines how a particular task or project is completed and delivered.

Cost:

Cost in a project is nothing but managing the project resources effectively and efficiently in the most cost effective manner. Here the project manager needs to ensure that, the project is being executed within the project budget target and ensures defect free deliverables to the customer. This outlines the effective maintenance of project funds and finances within the project.

Quality:

Quality in project is nothing but defect free deliverables to the customer. Project manager and project team needs to ensure that the deliverables are defect free and focus on minimizing the internal errors within the project. The project team also needs to ensure that the project must be executed as per the QMM guidelines laid by the organization.

However, when it comes to project management, basically, it is a mixture of both the above things. This kind of approach to project management is applicable to all kinds of projects ranging from developing a new software to planning a disaster relief efforts.

This doesn’t mean that this sentence is enough to define what is a project? In fact, a project is much more than that. Usually, projects are those that are a combination of amalgamations of tasks, activities, responsibilities, and deliverables which are together well structured and executed carefully to achieve the intended desired results, targets, deadlines, and outcomes.

In project management, before you achieve the intended outcomes and meet the targets, each aspect of the project must and should go through multiple phases of project management such as initiation, planning, and execution. Thus, this process cycle is known as the project management lifecycle, which is considered as the heart of successful projects.

Thanks to the well-defined project management lifecycle, which helps the project managers to plan each task and activity meticulously within the project in order to ensure higher chances of successful projects. Overall, when you combine all the aspects above, a meaning of project is nothing but a well-planned endeavor that follows a project management lifecycle with a definite beginning and an end.

5 Phases of Project Management

According to Project Management Institute (PMI), the project management process is broken into five phases which is well-agreed upon the entire project management space all over the world. And the five phases of project management are defined as below:

1. Initiation

2. Planning

3. Executing

4. Monitoring / Controlling

5. Closing

Let us drill-down each of the project management phases down below:

1. Initiation

It doesn’t matter what kind of project that you are going to run, preparation is very much important activity which is required to be execute in order to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. Hence, during initiation phase it is very important to determine the following to create the project foundation:

· Project Scope:

The heart of the project initiation phase which describes the specific limits and the boundaries of the project. A project scope must be clearly defined in order to be clear on what to do with the project. Here as a project manager, the project objectives must be clearly defined within the project, which addresses on what will be accomplished and what not. Establishing the boundaries, helps and prevents the project team of any deviations such as going out of the project scope and prevents in non-value added activities which are not required for the project.

· High-Level Project Overview:

Any project must and should have an overview which is of a very high-level. This means having the overview in detail consisting of the project resources, time, targets, project goals, will give you the complete opportunity and takeover of the project. Having this laid down will allow you to complete the project effectively and efficiently. As the project progresses further, it also becomes very much easier in monitoring of these requirements at any time and over a period.

· Budgets:

The backbone of any project is its project budget. Having a clear picture about the project budget will help in achieving a successful project. The project manager must be aware of what is the project budget and how much he should spend in managing the project resources. Spending the budget wisely and efficiently will ensure the error-free successful project.

Usually, the project manager can establish a Project Charter (PC), or a Project Initiation Documentation (PID), or a Project Initiation Form (PIF), which will cover all the requirements of the project initiation at one place. Once it is developed, it can be taken as an input for the project kickoff meeting and subsequent meetings too.

2. Planning

Planning is that project phase where the key milestones of project and dates are set, which also includes the final project completion date. The project milestones can be divided into 2 types, one being the customer milestones and the second being the internal milestones.

Having clarity on the key milestones, helps the project team members to move in the same direction and equally contribute towards meeting the project goals and objectives. This helps the project manager to drive the project team in right direction, avoid and counter any roadblocks, and overcome the confusions in the project.

When you are in the planning phase, you must also outline on, Which project management methodology as a project team will be going to adopt. In the project management world, there are plenty of project life cycles to choose from, which includes: Agile, Waterfall, PRINCE2, POMBOK, Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and so on. These are the project lifecycles that are highly popular in the market.

Apart from this, the project planning phase also includes the following:

  • Selecting the team members
  • Outlining deliverables
  • Estimating resources
  • Determining associated activities

3. Executing

Execution phase is that phase of project wherein you will focus on getting things done. During project execution phase, you will ensure on getting stuff done, and carry out the details of your project plan, or the project deliverables, in order to deliver your products and services to your customers, partners, or specific stakeholders such as the next departments.

The project execution phase takes place parallelly with the monitoring and controlling phases, which involves:

  • Managing workflows
  • Recommending changes and corrective actions

4. Monitoring / Controlling

Monitoring or controlling project phase is one of the crucial phases of any project. In any type of project life cycle, the monitoring or controlling project phase helps project managers to answer the burning question: what is the current status of the project?, where are we at any given point in the project vs where should we be according to the project plan?. This phase requires effective monitoring of:

  • Regular, consistent project “check-ins”
  • Use of proper project documentation, and tracking tools, or frameworks (which may include Gantt charts, Kanban boards, daily-stand-up meetings, and so on)
  • Visual and real-time monitoring approach of current status of the project

5. Closing

The final step and last step of project management phase is the closing which is sometimes is known as the project delivery. The closing project phase is the one wherein you will wrap up, and close all the activities and deliver the product, or service to your customer, or partner. Apart from this you will also ensure on the below requirements too:

  • Conclusion of any formal contracts or agreements
  • A full review, or audit of what went well, what didn’t go as planned. Basically, you are going to capture, Things Gone Right (TGR), and Things Gone Wrong (TGW), which is also called by the name “Lessons Learnt” in order to ensure, how future teams and projects could learn from this

When to use Project Management?

Projects cannot be considered as a business-as-usual activities and should not be performed without any planning or shouldn’t be treated as usual process. Projects are much more than that and occur when any organization wants to deliver a product, or service, or a solution, or a set of requirements as asked by the customer within an agreed budget and timeframe.

Projects require a project manager or a project leader, who calls upon a project team and will focus on a delivering the specific project objectives in the form of deliverables. When the project is executed in the teamwork manner, will results in the successful completion of the project.

As a project management team, the project manager and the project teams focus on managing and delivering the work packages as per project timeline in order to achieve the goals of the project. However, the work is being managed depends upon multiple factors in order to have a successful error-free delivery of the project.

Among these factors, the scale, significance, and the complexity of the work are most obvious and important factors. For example, relocation of a small office space, and organizing the Olympics may share some basic principles, but may vary in different managerial challenges. In these cases, the objectives and managerial challenges may be expressed in the following terms:

  • Outputs (e.g.: a new HQ building)
  • Outcomes (e.g.: staff are being relocated from multiple locations to the new HQ)
  • Benefits (e.g.: reduced travelling, effective travel management, reducing the facility management costs, etc.)
  • Strategic Objectives (e.g.: 2X increase in revenue in the next 2 years from now)

Why to use Project Management?

The use of project management aims at producing an end product or service, or delivering a project effectively and efficiently, with as much as possible error-free deliverables to the customer, that too within the stipulated agreed project time-plan. A project management focuses on increasing the efficiency of on-time product deliverables, business growth, or helps in bringing more businesses to the organization or set up an online business with ease.

Project Management helps in reducing the overall reputation of an organization, by managing the complete project life cycle for error-free deliverables. Project Management goes through five phases, viz., Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring or Controlling, and Closing. This helps in better manage and control a wide range of tasks and work packages until the delivery of the product or service. Projects that require formal management are those that:

  • Produce something new or altered, tangible or intangible
  • Have a finite timespan: a definite start and end
  • Are likely to be complex in terms of work or groups involved
  • Require the management of change
  • Require the management of risks

Investment in effective project management will have several benefits, ranging from:

  • Providing a greater likelihood of achieving the desired result
  • Ensuring efficient and best value use of resources
  • Satisfying the differing needs of the project’s stakeholders

Who should use Project Management?

Usually, if you see in the practical world, everyone who doing a work or who has been assigned some work manages a project itself, even though they are not called as a “project manager”. But, when it comes to bigger project or high-value projects, a project manager will be hired in order to manage and control the project as per customer requirements and as per the principles of project management.

Now a days, the project management is being used in almost of all industries, To name a few:

  • Transport and Infrastructure
  • IT and IT Services
  • Engineering Services and Solutions
  • Manufacturing
  • Building and Construction
  • Finance and Law
  • Product Development, and so on

What are the Components of Project Management?

Below are the components of project management which must require when you care taking care of project management activities:

  • Defining the reason why a project management is required and necessary
  • Capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the deliverables, estimating resources, and project timelines
  • Preparing a business case and business strategy to justify the investment against the project budget assigned
  • Securing corporate agreement and funding (if necessary)
  • Leading and motivating the project delivery team
  • Developing and implementing a project management plan for the project
  • Managing the project risks, issues, project open points, and changes in the project
  • Monitoring project progress against pre-defined project plan
  • Managing the project budget
  • Maintaining communications, conducting daily stand-up meetings, weekly reviews, and monthly project status review meetings with stakeholders and the project organization
  • Closing the project in a controlled manner when all the project deliverables are met

Who Leads the Project Management?

In short, project managers lead the project management activities. It doesn’t matter what type of project or how many projects, all projects require a temporary effort as all projects have a start and an end. All project requires equal efforts to create value through a unique product, service, or customer intended results.

Any project will have a project manager, or a project leader, a project team, a project budget, a project plan, or project schedule, and set of project objectives which needs to be met in order to complete the project. One must keep in mind that; each project is unique and completely differs from the regular routine operations and the ongoing activities of the organization. This is for the simple reason that the projects reach a conclusion once the project goals are met and achieved.

Now a days, you can see that there is a nature of change in work culture. All thanks the changing technological advances, globalization, and many more factors in other fields gives the meaning that, the work is getting organized  more around the projects with teams of different skill sets in order to execute the projects.

Leading such projects requires a specific skill set known as the project management, which is now being handled by project professionals. The project professionals are those people who ensures that the project team meets its goals. These project professionals use multiple project management tools, techniques, and approaches towards project completion and fulfilling the objectives of the project.

There will be some projects which may require quick resolution of problems. As the project moves on, the project team concentrate on bringing in improvements in small steps. The other projects outside of the ones we just saw will be having longer duration and/or produce product or any other outcome which may not be needing major improvements outside of project maintenance. To give you an example, the highway projects are the ones which fall under longer projects and doesn’t need major improvements other than maintenance.

However, there will be projects which are mix of both. In such cases, the project professionals use all the skills and knowledge of project management to engage and motivate the project teams in meeting the project goals effectively and efficiently. No matter, there is lots of importance when it comes to having project professionals in a project as they are critical in the successful of project and in achieving goals of an organization.

Why Project Management?

In simple terms, project management drives the change in an organization. In today’s world we live in a society where the project economy has widely boosted the success of many organizations. Every organization follows the ideology of a project wherein the project management becomes the main driving force.

The journey of project management was always there and being practiced throughout the human history informally. However, the project management began to shape and emerge as a distinct profession in the mid-20th century. A group of individuals who had forward and future thinking, came together from aerospace, engineering, and telecommunication, decided to bring new tools around project management.

Highly motivated and the need to address the scheduling issues and resource management by keeping in mind of increasingly complex projects which have began to arise, they decide to standardize the project related tools and set done the standards for a new project professionals. And it was 1969, when the Project Management Institute (PMI) was born to help project professionals to achieve their dreams in project management.

The project management shows, how the work is done, how the change is realized, and value is delivered. In The Project Economy, the worldwide growth of project management and the emerging complex projects day by day proves its value and recognition:

  • As a recognized and strategic organizational competence
  • As a subject for training and education
  • As a career path

Having project management knowledge is now being widely acknowledge by many all around the world as everybody has understood how a project management provides value in the growth of an organization. Many roles of project management provides high value to people as well as to the organizations where they will be working. Project management skills helps individuals to excel their career in corporate jobs and reach new heights.

Should you get Project Management Certified (PMI Certification)?

According to the recent research about future projects and project management, the employers need to fill nearly 2.2 million new project oriented roles each year until 2027. Keeping in view of this, one of the world’s leading project management certification, the Project Management Professional (PMP) is a must get certification for any individual to excel their career.

The PMP certification supercharges careers of project professionals and project leaders to grow in their career at a faster phase across multiple industries. But if you are involved in The Project Economy, then you can improve your outcomes through awareness of specific project management foundation concepts, as shown below.

The best part of having PMP certifications and other PMI Professional Certifications in your resume ensures you of securing any job in the project management. The PMP certifications helps you meet the demands of projects and employers all around the globe.

Another best part of having PMP certifications is that you can able to work from anywhere and any project related job remotely or virtually. You can able to utilize all the project management skills and project management methodologies to execute projects effectively and efficiently. With PMP certification you can easily be able to fulfill the organizations goals.

Who is PMI?

PMI stands for Project Management Institute. PMI is the world’s largest authority which helps you get PMP certification and other Project Professional certifications. PMI has its global presence through its global advocacy,networking, collaboration, research, and education. PMI not only prepares the individuals but also the organizations to work smarter in an ever-changing and dynamic world.

PMI was founded in 1969 and is a “for-purpose” organization which works all around the world to advance careers of individuals, strengthen organizational success, and enable change makers with new project management skills and create an impact. If you want to get a PMP certification, then PMI is the one which gets it for you.

Conclusion

Knowing what is project management is equally important for any individual who wants to have a bright career and take their career to new heights. A project management is the process of leading and managing a project and the work of project team in order to achieve all the goals of the project within the stipulated project timeline. The project timeline is the part of project documentation which is created at the very beginning of any development process.

The five levels of project management are nothing but the five phases of project management. Hence, the five levels of project management are, Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Project Monitoring or Project Controlling, and Project Closing.

Hope we have covered everything you wanted to know about project management, and we also hope that this article has emerged as the project management guide book for you to get started your journey in the world of project management.

According to the recent research about future projects and project management, the employers need to fill nearly 2.2 million new project oriented roles each year until 2027. Keeping in view of this, one of the world’s leading project management certification, the Project Management Professional (PMP) is a must get certification for any individual to excel their career. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is project management definition?

Project Management Definition: Project management is managing a project and it is the application of multiple processes, project management skills, methods, knowledge, and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria as per project charter within agreed parameters.

What are the 4 types of project management?

There are basically 4 different types of project management according to a report published by the Harvard Business Review, 2017. And the project manager personalities divided into four different types, viz., Executor, Prophet, Expert, and Gambler. You can easily decide on what type of project management style is best suited for the project situation. You can also check out how other project managers are operating can also be useful in deciding the project style.

What are the 5 stages of project management?

The five stages of project management are,

  • Initiation (Project Initiation)
  • Planning (Project Planning)
  • Execution (Project Execution)
  • Monitoring and Control (Project Monitoring and Project Control)
  • Closure (Project Closure)

What is a best simple definition of project management?

What is Project Management? Project management involves the planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event, or duty towards completion. It can involve a one-time project or an ongoing activity, and resources managed include personnel, finances, technology, and intellectual property.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the process of leading and managing the work of a project team to achieve all the project objectives and project goals within the given constraints and agreed parameters. This information is usually described in the project charter or in any other project documentation such as project information form, which is created at the beginning of the development process during project kick off. The primary constraints are project scope, time or scheduling, and project budget.

What is the Purpose of Project Management?

The main purpose of project management is to plan, manage and control a project to successfully achieve the project goals and complete the deliverables as per customer requirements. It involves identifying and managing project risks, careful project resource management, smart cost-effective budgeting, and clear communication across multiple stakeholders and teams.

What are the 5 levels of Project Management?

The five levels of project management are nothing but the five phases of project management. Hence, the five levels of project management are, Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Project Monitoring or Project Controlling, and Project Closing. 

What are the 4 Categories of Project Management?

Basically there are five type of project management approaches and methodologies in the project management industry. However, if you want to know the four categories of project management, then here are the 4 categories: Waterfall or Agile, Lean, Scrum, and Kanban.

The 5 types of project management approaches and methodologies are,

  • Waterfall: Waterfall is one of the “traditional” project management approach. In this the projects are completed one stage at a time and in sequential order just like a waterfall.
  • Agile: Agile is an approach to project management that is built on small, incremental steps. Agile project management is very popular in software development, where changes are almost constant.
  • Lean: Lean is a project management style with roots in the manufacturing industry (for example: Toyota). It aims to cut down on waste and increase efficiency. Lean can be a useful project management approach to adopt when you’re looking to reduce costs, shorten timelines, and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Scrum: Scrum is the most-used type of Agile methodology, with over 66 percent of Agile adopters using Scrum. Scrum implements Agile principles through small teams, short development cycles, frequent communication, and designated roles to keep the project organized and on track.
  • Kanban: Kanban, which means “signboard” in Japanese, is a method of visualizing the workflow of a project. In Kanban, the tasks of a project are represented as cards divided into columns on a physical or digital board. As progress is made on the tasks, the cards advance to the next column until they are completed. The Kanban method emphasizes a continuous workflow.

What is the Objective of Project Management?

The main objective of project management is to achieve project goals, targets, and meet deadlines while keeping in mind of the project scope, time, quality, and project budget. It facilitates the project workflow with team collaboration on a single project.

What is the Goal of Project Management?

The main goal of project management is to achieve project goals, targets, and meet deadlines while keeping in mind of the project scope, time, quality, and project budget. It facilitates the project workflow with team collaboration on a single project.

What are the Characteristics of a Project?

The primary characteristics of a project are:

  • It has a definite start and end point
  • Once the end point is reached, the project is over
  • It is attempting to achieve something new
  • Project must meet the customer or stakeholder requirements

What are the Software Project Management Objectives?

The main software project management objectives are the following:

  • How does the project fit into the organization?
  • How will the project evolve over time?
  • What skills are required to manage the project successfully?
  • Development and Implementation of procedures
  • Efficient communication, collaboration, and productive guidelines
  • Achieve project goals within the estimated time with high quality
  • Allocate and optimize necessary resources to meet project goals
  • Meet the exclusive needs and requirements of the client

What are the Project Management Methodologies?

The main project management methodologies are:

  • Prince2
  • Agile
  • Six Sigma
  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Lean
  • Waterfall

What is Project Management with Example?

Project management is the science and art of organizing all the components of a project. For example, the launching of a new service, a marketing campaign, or the development of a new product are projects. In fact, even a wedding is a project that requires management.

What is Project Management Course?

Project management course is nothing but learning the 5 phase of project management. The five phase of project management are: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring or Controlling, and Closing. Project management course is essentially the practice of turning ideas into reality. Learning how the pros plan, budget, prioritize, and execute projects will help you do the same in your personal and professional life. A goal without a plan can set you up for hours, weeks, or even months of busy work.

What is Project Management Process?

Project management process is an administration process for the planning and control of the services or the implementation of a project. This process begins after the approval by the customer, is based on the contract, and is targeted on the initial values of the process and the general management of a project.

What is Project Management in Software Engineering?

Software Project Management (SPM) is a proper way of planning and leading software projects. It is a part of project management in which software projects are planned, implemented, monitored, and controlled. Need for Software Project Management: Software is a non-physical product. Software development is a new stream in business and there is very little experience in building software products. Most of the software products are made to fit clients’ requirements.

What is Project Management Skills?

Project management skills are the competencies and traits a person needs in order to effectively coordinate a project from start to finish. A project manager leads a projects team using good communication, interpersonal skills, motivational skills, and organization.

What is Project Management in Civil Engineering?

Construction project management is a complex discipline that requires addressing many important concerns, including cost control, scheduling, procurement, and risk assessment. Project managers interact with all team members involved in a construction project, from architects to owners to contractors.

What is Project Management Institute?

The abbreviation of Project Management Institute is PMI. The PMI is dedicated to progressing the knowledge and practice of project management by following the work of academics through its study and learning programs.

What are the Project Management Industries?

The below are the project management industries:

Project Management Software, Construction Management, Program Management, Risk Management, Marketing, Computers and Information Technology, Personal Development, Human Resources, Research, New Product Development, Project Management, Technology, Construction, Engineering, Recruitment, Software, Finance, Computer Science, Education, Civil Engineering, Energy, Operations Management, Communication, Human Resource Management, Construction Engineering, Information Technology Management, Aerospace, Production, Health Care, and so on.

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