The Basic Principles Of Project Management

By Tech-Act    
10/16/2020  355 Views

Basic Principles Of Project Management

The word “Management” means having a full control over the set of activities to achieve the end result. So, Project Management can be defined as managing the entire lifecycle of a project right from planning, controlling, monitoring & executing to generate the desired outcome. Though the definition sounds simpler however managing projects can give you nightmares especially when you come with a minimal training and when you lack proper direction. Therefore, in order to complete a project successfully it is important to understand the basic project management principles which would help you to stick on the right path.

Let’s have a quick look at the basic principles of PM in details:


  1. Setting of Goals & Objectives: Goal setting plays a very vital role in the success of any project. The goals and objectives of your project should be well-defined so that there is no ambiguity and accordingly project planning will take place. Goals set should be clear, realistic & measurable. As it is rightly said, Great Building can’t be built on weak foundations. Hence, goals and objectives are the foundation of any project.
  1. Formalized Structure: If there is no formalized structure for the project, then the project might go in any direction due to lack of proper control. Hence, a project should have a formal structure, proper planning and a designated team. All this ensures that the project is prioritized and managed well.
  1. Get a strong Sponsor: A potent sponsor helps to beat the various obstacles such as the loss of key resource. Communication of progress, escalation of issues and decision making becomes easier if the project sponsor is effective & engaged.
  1. Organizational Alignment: How can we create and maintain organizational alignment? Well there are two ways to look at it. 
  1. Organizational Focused View: The emphasis is to ensure that all the various significant components of the organization assist each other. For example, organizations purpose, strategy, systems, structures all should work simultaneously.
  1. Employee Focused View: In this employee is evaluated like how good he/she is in achieving individual goals or professional goals. However, to influence change, a project manager should support more organizational alignment concepts for a successful project. 
  1. Roles and Responsibilities: The roles and responsibilities of each team member involved in the project should be clearly defined. If there is a lack of clarity about their respective roles then conflict will arise which will hamper the productivity. Hence, as a project manager you are accountable to ensure that each of the team members are aware about their respective roles which will ease the team coordination and team functioning. 
  1. Initiation and Execution Strategy: Creating a strategy for project initiation and execution is must. Project initiation includes the preliminary work and this can be categorized into 4 phases like developing a business case for the project, conducting feasibility reports, ensuring project stakeholder’s involvement, preparing project initiation document. Project Execution starts with a project kickoff meeting. This meeting is done to share the vision and plan, to delegate the tasks etc. Documenting all the errors, corrections and changes is must during the execution phase.
  1. Budgeting and Scheduling: The biggest challenge faced while managing a project is to deal with limited resources. Hence, a careful budgeting is very crucial. For instance, give some margin for unexpected expense & take some measures to save cost. Budgeting is directly linked with scheduling; if the timeline of the project is disturbed then of course your budget will also get wrecked.
  1. Set your priorities and milestones: If as a project manager you don’t understand what are your priorities? then you would easily get distracted by things which are not so important. Also setting priorities will help you in channelizing your team’s energy into a right direction. When you successfully identify milestones in the project planning phase, it helps you to know whether you are on schedule. A milestones achievement motivates team as it gives them a tangible sense of progress on the project. 
  1. Sense of Responsibility & Accountability: Micro–management is not only boring but it also affects productivity. Empowering your team with a sense of responsibility and accountability will not only motivate them but will also encourage them to be on auto pilot mode. Hence, the burden of continuous supervising will be reduced and the project manager can focus on other important aspects. 
  1. No Gap in Communication: To ensure that there is no gap in the communication, it is important to implement strong communication guideline. It is essential to set clear expectations from the teams with regards to what kind of information needs to be communicated & who should be notified in certain circumstances. 
  1. Transparency: There should be a system wherein all the relevant information about the project can be accessed by the team members easily. One can achieve project transparency through various ways like making project data available to the entire team, providing tools for collaboration, sharing calendars with team members etc. Having a project transparency will give the team members a sense of belonging which will eventually generate better outcomes.
  1. Risk Assessment: Risk assessment means identifying all the potential project risk. It is carried out with an intention to diminish all the potential project risk at the initial phase of the project. However, one cannot eliminate all the possible risk but what can save your project from failure is being prepared
  1. Monitoring & Measuring of Progress: Keeping a regular track of the key performance indicators i.e. budget, timeline & quality will enable you to identify the weak areas. Hence, corrective measures can be taken in no time.

Conclusion:


The above mentioned principles are not the only ones that can make your project success, as there is a lot more when it comes to project management. However, these principles will give you a roadmap to success. As a project manager, if you prioritize your team members & ensure that they are clear about the goals then you are on your way of becoming a STAR project manager.


All the best! Prepare well!


The word “Management” means having a full control over the set of activities to achieve the end result. So, Project Management can be defined as managing the entire lifecycle of a project right from planning, controlling, monitoring & executing to generate the desired outcome. Though the definition sounds simpler however managing projects can give you nightmares especially when you come with a minimal training and when you lack proper direction. Therefore, in order to complete a project successfully it is important to understand the basic project management principles which would help you to stick on the right path.

Let’s have a quick look at the basic principles of PM in details:


  1. Setting of Goals & Objectives: Goal setting plays a very vital role in the success of any project. The goals and objectives of your project should be well-defined so that there is no ambiguity and accordingly project planning will take place. Goals set should be clear, realistic & measurable. As it is rightly said, Great Building can’t be built on weak foundations. Hence, goals and objectives are the foundation of any project.
  1. Formalized Structure: If there is no formalized structure for the project, then the project might go in any direction due to lack of proper control. Hence, a project should have a formal structure, proper planning and a designated team. All this ensures that the project is prioritized and managed well.
  1. Get a strong Sponsor: A potent sponsor helps to beat the various obstacles such as the loss of key resource. Communication of progress, escalation of issues and decision making becomes easier if the project sponsor is effective & engaged.
  1. Organizational Alignment: How can we create and maintain organizational alignment? Well there are two ways to look at it. 
  1. Organizational Focused View: The emphasis is to ensure that all the various significant components of the organization assist each other. For example, organizations purpose, strategy, systems, structures all should work simultaneously.
  1. Employee Focused View: In this employee is evaluated like how good he/she is in achieving individual goals or professional goals. However, to influence change, a project manager should support more organizational alignment concepts for a successful project. 
  1. Roles and Responsibilities: The roles and responsibilities of each team member involved in the project should be clearly defined. If there is a lack of clarity about their respective roles then conflict will arise which will hamper the productivity. Hence, as a project manager you are accountable to ensure that each of the team members are aware about their respective roles which will ease the team coordination and team functioning. 
  1. Initiation and Execution Strategy: Creating a strategy for project initiation and execution is must. Project initiation includes the preliminary work and this can be categorized into 4 phases like developing a business case for the project, conducting feasibility reports, ensuring project stakeholder’s involvement, preparing project initiation document. Project Execution starts with a project kickoff meeting. This meeting is done to share the vision and plan, to delegate the tasks etc. Documenting all the errors, corrections and changes is must during the execution phase.
  1. Budgeting and Scheduling: The biggest challenge faced while managing a project is to deal with limited resources. Hence, a careful budgeting is very crucial. For instance, give some margin for unexpected expense & take some measures to save cost. Budgeting is directly linked with scheduling; if the timeline of the project is disturbed then of course your budget will also get wrecked.
  1. Set your priorities and milestones: If as a project manager you don’t understand what are your priorities? then you would easily get distracted by things which are not so important. Also setting priorities will help you in channelizing your team’s energy into a right direction. When you successfully identify milestones in the project planning phase, it helps you to know whether you are on schedule. A milestones achievement motivates team as it gives them a tangible sense of progress on the project. 
  1. Sense of Responsibility & Accountability: Micro–management is not only boring but it also affects productivity. Empowering your team with a sense of responsibility and accountability will not only motivate them but will also encourage them to be on auto pilot mode. Hence, the burden of continuous supervising will be reduced and the project manager can focus on other important aspects. 
  1. No Gap in Communication: To ensure that there is no gap in the communication, it is important to implement strong communication guideline. It is essential to set clear expectations from the teams with regards to what kind of information needs to be communicated & who should be notified in certain circumstances. 
  1. Transparency: There should be a system wherein all the relevant information about the project can be accessed by the team members easily. One can achieve project transparency through various ways like making project data available to the entire team, providing tools for collaboration, sharing calendars with team members etc. Having a project transparency will give the team members a sense of belonging which will eventually generate better outcomes.
  1. Risk Assessment: Risk assessment means identifying all the potential project risk. It is carried out with an intention to diminish all the potential project risk at the initial phase of the project. However, one cannot eliminate all the possible risk but what can save your project from failure is being prepared
  1. Monitoring & Measuring of Progress: Keeping a regular track of the key performance indicators i.e. budget, timeline & quality will enable you to identify the weak areas. Hence, corrective measures can be taken in no time.

Conclusion:


The above mentioned principles are not the only ones that can make your project success, as there is a lot more when it comes to project management. However, these principles will give you a roadmap to success. As a project manager, if you prioritize your team members & ensure that they are clear about the goals then you are on your way of becoming a STAR project manager.


All the best! Prepare well!



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