Effective Project Management

Project management itself is the world-widely used practice of initiating, planning, executing and controlling all the project teamwork in order to achieve some specific goals. It may be also used for meeting the specific success criteria at the specified time. An effective project management can lead to the needed result sooner than expected as long as the project team co-operates with project manager the way that ends up with achieving the goals they need.

A project itself is a temporary endeavor. It may be designed in order to produce a product no one knew about until it appears. Also, it can be started by providing a unique service that the customers might need at some particular period of time. Any project can be also described as a result with its defined beginning and end. It can be undertaken in terms of meeting the unique objectives and goals, usually for bringing the added value.

The projects are known for having a temporary nature. It stands in contrast with business as usual as most of the business operations are known to be permanent, semi-permanent or repetitive functional activities. Such activities take place in order to produce unique services or products. Managing such distinct production approaches requires developing the distinct management strategies and technical skills.

The main challenge of project management is to achieve all project goals within some particular constraints. Such constraints may be described in project documentation that is normally created at the beginning of any development process. The main constraints are known to be the following ones: time, quality, budget and scope. The secondary constraints include a challenge for optimizing the allocation of all the necessary inputs. Applying them in order to meet all the pre-defined objectives is another project manager’s responsibility.

The main object of an effective project management is to produce a complete project. Such complete project should comply with all the client's objectives. In many cases, the object of project management may be also to shape or to reform the client's brief for being able to address all the client's objectives.

Effective Project Management

Pic 1. ConceptDraw PROJECT — Effective Project Management Software

As long as the client's objectives are properly established, they should impact on the decisions made by other people. The term “other people” in the project involves project managers, contractors, sub-contractors, designers and others whose work may affect the result of an effective project management activity. There also may be a situation when the project management objectives are ill-defined. Then, it may lead to having a detrimental effect on the decision-making processes.

Project management as a discipline developed from a few fields of application. They include civil construction, heavy defense activity, engineering (including software engineering), etc. Henry Gantt is known as the father of control and planning techniques. He is famous for his use of the Gantt chart as a project management tool, also popular nowadays. Henri Fayol is also well-known in terms of project management, but for his creation of 5 management functions. Such functions form the foundation of the body of knowledge that can be associated with program and project management.

Year by year, as project-scheduling models were being developed, technology for engineering economics, cost management and project cost estimating were evolving. The American Association of Cost Engineers was formed by early practitioners of project management in 1956. The associated specialties of scheduling, planning, project control and cost estimating were becoming more and more popular. In 2006, AACE released their first integrated process for project, portfolio and program management.

Later on, the Project Management Institute was formed in the USA. After publishing A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, many people became aware of the project management practices.

There are many approaches to completing and organizing project activities. They include phased, iterative, incremental and lean. There are also a few extensions to project planning, such as those based on outcomes or activities. In 2017 there was a study that suggested that the success of any project depends on 4 key aspects that are aligned with the contextual dynamics which may affect the project. They are:

  • Process, which is the overall approach to project governance as well as all activities.
  • Plan, that includes the forecasting and the planning activities.
  • Power, as all lines of decision-makers, authority, organograms, the likes and policies for implementation in projects may be described.
  • and People, as well as the dynamics of these people communicate and collaborate.

Depending on what particular project management methodology is being used, effective project management includes a few elements. Thus, there should be project management process groups, and a control system. The main process groups generally include initiation, planning, production (execution), monitoring (and controlling) and closing stages. All these stages may be supplemented with decision points at which the project's continuation may be debated and so decided.

There are 6 key agile project management skills that all project managers should have. They include having an ability to cut through unnecessary work, but focusing only on essential work instead; sounding judgment under pressure as well as the ability to remain calm under stress; having strong motivation and coaching skills in order to support and guide teams throughout a project; having the exceptional organizational skills for keeping everything prioritized and straight, as well as a high level of adaptability for accepting all the needed changes and reducing the unnecessary risk and confusion. The ability to think and make decisions quickly once circumstances change rapidly is another important feature for any project manager and once they have all the needed tools, such as the ConceptDraw PROJECT application, then their work should definitely lead to success.

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