Most industries function based on projects that are planned and executed to achieve goals on the level of individual corporate firms. Whether you are a project manager, entrepreneur or operations manager, handling projects is an art that should be compulsorily learned by every corporate individual in both associate and executive levels.
What Is Project Management?
Project management is defined as the process of creating, organizing and executing a plan to meet the unique goals of an organization. It is a practice that increases organizational efficiency, boosts team performance as well as determines the results of a particular initiative. The job of a project manager involves taking up assignments and synergizing organisational skills, analytical mind and interpersonal abilities to deliver projects while adhering to the specified budget, schedule and overall business goals.
How to Define a Project?
Before diving into the particulars of project management, both experts and laymen need to define what a project is. In management, a project is defined as ‘an endeavour undertaken by a team or organization to deliver a unique product, service or result.’
What Are The Different Stages Of Project Management?
When handling a project, it is very important to identify and categorize the entire process into systematic stages for better control and efficiency. Technically, the project management process can be classified into the following phases:
1. Initiation Phase
The first phase involves laying the project overview, planning the approach and determining the right project manager. The latter then develops a team and issues a project charter. The initiation phase determines the feasibility of the project and the resources required to deliver it. Stakeholder approval, documentation and project charters are the core outputs of this phase.
2. Planning Phase
The second phase involves the project manager developing a roadmap for the team. Setting goals, determining project scope, creating a Work Breakdown Schedule (WBS), identifying milestones, developing communication and risk management plans, updating stakeholder registry, etc. are the core procedures of this phase.
3. Execution Phase
Immediately following the planning phase is the execution phase where the team is developed, tasks are assigned, meetings are held and tracking systems are set. Here, the team members are guided through effective team communication as per the approved project management plan. Much of the core tasks of the project are covered in this phase along with additional processes like allocation and management of resources, materials, budgets, etc.
4. Monitoring & Control Phase
A proper supervision and administration of the assigned team, their functionalities and output quality is instrumental in driving a project to its fruition. The monitoring and control phase happens simultaneously with the execution phase. Not only are deliverables, project costs and individual team member performances are monitored, but necessary adjustments are also made to project activities, resources and plans. This phase incorporates progress reports and communications aimed at ensuring adherence to the approved plan and prevention of large milestones and deadlines disruptions.
5. Closure or Completion Phase
This is the final phase where the project is brought to its formal closure and is submitted to the business leaders or respective stakeholders. Core processes include project output reviews, team performance reviews and recognition, determining flaws for process iteration, etc.
What Are The Different Effective Approaches To Project Management?
There are countless approaches to successfully manage a project. Each method is developed for catering to projects under different circumstances. Following are three of the most popular methods highly appreciated by business leaders across the world:
1. Waterfall (Traditional) Model
Best suited for complex projects, the waterfall or traditional method channelizes the project through the five core procedures (from initiation to completion phase). The work is assessed and finally handed over to the respective authority in a sequence. Also, the team addresses ambiguities and risks associated with varying levels of project complexity and size.
2. Lean Project Management Model
It is a data-driven approach aimed at improving the process and eliminating waste materials by effective utilization of resources. The approach covers detailed planning, visual documentation, continuous analysis, process iterations, etc.
3. Iterative Method
This approach is useful for tackling change and substantially reducing the associated risks. Large corporations find it beneficial for coping with ambiguous requirements and high degrees of risk. Different sub-methodologies like agile project management, extreme project management, etc. have developed as offshoots from this iterative framework.
Where GBS Comes In
With a vision to build an edifice of excellence that caters to career aspirations through a globally networked, corporate savvy and research-driven management education system, Globsyn Business School imparts updated project management curriculum to young minds, enabling them to become responsible project leaders endowed with optimum technology, knowledge and skill required to stay ahead of the innovation curve. Our goal is to advocate agile thinking and promote continuous innovation, guiding next-gen professionals to effectively assimilate transformational changes in the future.