Whether you are organizing a training session for your colleagues or planning to construct a huge engineering plan, project management will help you achieve what you need to do.
Project management is the way we apply knowledge and processes to work in order to complete that work in the smoothest way possible. Ultimately, we are using tools, methods, skills, techniques and the experience of the team to achieve the objectives set for the project.
Projects have a clear goal, which means we can plan how to get there and work through a structured plan to ensure that the project’s goals are achieved.
Listen now to this featured Podcast about project management techniques.
Project management starts long before anyone gets their hands on doing any ‘real’ work. There is a lot of planning, discussion, debate and effort that goes into eliciting project requirements and making sure the project team can deliver the organization’s vision.
Projects are different from the day-to-day operations of your business because they deliver something unique and with a finite end. Even if the deliverable created by the project goes on to be used for many years, the project effort to deliver it stops once the deliverable is created.
Projects therefore need a different management approach to business-as-usual work; one that allows a multidisciplinary team to come together for a finite period of time to work on a shared objective. There are many project management methodologies, frameworks and approaches that can be used to do that.
Many of the project management approaches in use today evolved from informal practices: after all, people have always needed to get things done, even if they didn’t call them projects or have the job title of project manager.
The change came in the mid-20th century when project management emerged as a distinct discipline.
Project managers lead, manage and control the work by preparing a project management plan and then steering the team to enable them to meet the project’s goals in a structured way. They pilot a project through the life cycle, drawing on project management processes across five areas: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling and closing.
Project management techniques include managing risks, issues and changes, ensuring good communication exists with stakeholders, managing the budget and liaising with suppliers, as well as leading the project delivery team and keeping quality top of mind for the team. They will also prepare and maintain the project management and project schedule to help keep the work on track.
As you can see, there are a lot of elements involved in good project management. So why do we bother? Studies show that carrying out work in a structured way leads to a better result, and you can probably see how that works from your own experience. Strong project management delivers better quality outputs, helps you use the expertise of the team in a more efficient way and meet the needs of a variety of different stakeholders.
It’s not easy…but project management processes, tools and techniques help you get where you want to be with the least amount of friction. Experienced project managers know that while you can always bend (or even break) the rules, a good understanding of project management best practices will help you get better results with less conflict.
What are you going to learn today with our range of project management podcast interviews?
Project managers and leaders actually make things happen. We're the drivers behind the plan. While business journalists love to go on and on about the entrepreneurial CEOs and their breakthrough ideas, the fact is that a very smart project team led by a project manager was the true impetus behind the actual delivery or execution of those clever ideas and that is a key distinction that gets overlooked a lot of times. People just see the cool, shiny ideas but they miss the whole hardworking, sweaty backend of innovation kind of thing, the hard work that actually makes the actual product at the end of the day.
Project managment is a hugely rewarding job, with plenty of job prospects and a positive outlook for the future. As project managers, we have the opportunity to use best practice tools and techniques to shape our environments and make a real impact through our projects.
Project management is the way organizations deliver their strategic plans, big and small. Project management is a growing and vibrant business area, with plenty to learn and a wide variety of areas where you can specialize if you want to. We'd love to part of your journey!