What is project management?

project managementProject management entails applying varied processes, skills and knowledge with the aim of achieving a particular goal or task. In most cases, every business or organization will have specific objectives that need to be achieved within specific time-frames. These activities are usually divided into small projects to facilitate successful implementation and completion of each task. Project management, therefore, boils down to how each of the subdivided activities is handled.

Approaches to Project Management

project approachesEvery organization has different approaches to managing its projects depending on the activities that it aims to complete. Project management experts also advise businesses to tailor their project management approaches to the types of objectives that they aim to achieve. The following are three key approaches to project management that organizations can use in managing small tasks and activities:

1. Agile Project Management approach is usually undertaken for the projects that are complex in nature. It is also more suitable for the business environments that are fast-paced and constantly evolving. Enterprises that are undergoing change can use this approach in managing their projects and also enhance fast adaptation by their implementation teams.

2. The Project Management Body of Knowledge Approach is mostly undertaken by man firms in the US. It centers mainly on basic project management skills including managing of inputs and outputs as well as budgeting. This approach can be taken by firms that are learning the ropes of project management.

3. Projects In Controlled Environments (PRINCE) is more popularly undertaken in English-speaking nations as well as the UK. This approach is commonly used in outlining the individual roles of each person in a project and also ensuring that all lines of communication with regards to the project are kept open. Additionally, this approach can help to establish the base costs of undertaking a project and managing risks that are related to the task at hand.

Critical Components in Project Management

Project_ManagementWhile different projects and project management approaches can be taken to achieve diverse objectives, there are constant key components that every organization has to take into consideration in managing projects. These elements determine the success of the project and influence achievement of the project objectives. They include:-

1. Precise definitions of the importance of the project. This entails clearly defining why the project is necessary and the tasks as well as objectives that ought to be achieved in the project.

2. Distinct timelines of the project. This should define specific timelines within which the project should commence and end. Additionally, it should stipulate the specific activities that need to be conducted within different periods.

3. Deliverables and objectives. The ultimate goal of the project should be made clear as it will be the guiding factor on which activities should be undertaken to facilitate delivery. Each activity must also have a specific goal that ought to facilitate the achievement of the overall objective.

4. Funding sources. The sources of funding for the project should be determined from the onset of the project, and where there are different sources of financing for each activity, there must be clear indication of the source.

5. The team in charge of the project. This should entail selection of the team to implement the project based on the skills and knowledge required.

6. Management of risk and changes in the projects. Every project has potential risks, and this entails defining some of the potential hazards that can jeopardize the project and means of dealing with them.

7. Communication. Clear communication guidelines must be specified for communicating with the stakeholders as well as the team that will be implementing the project.

8. Project budget and management. The costs of implementing each activity in the project must be outlined from the onset, and a miscellaneous account should also be included in this budget to cater for any oversights.

9. Monitoring progress. Evaluation of every activity and deliverable ought to be done within specific timelines. To this effect, a project must have specific timelines for evaluating progress.

10. The closing of the project. A clear plan for winding up the project must be drawn at the beginning of the project. This will help to close down the project in a professional manner when the appropriate time comes.

Benefits of Project Management Skills

The benefits of project management skills can accrue for any career because it entails organizing activities to achieve specific objectives. Having project management skills can enhance the likelihood o achieving organizational goals and objectives. Furthermore, these skills can ensure the efficient utilization of resources and also facilitate the adaptation to changing environments. In essence, every career person must strive to attain project management skills.