Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. It is the process of planning and executing a project plan, keeping in mind the team, tasks and tools.
To be truly effective however, Project management requires a lot of foresight, knowledge and practical skills. Effective project managers apply specific techniques and practices with rigor to achieve success consistently project after another.
So, what are these techniques and practices? We have clubbed these under the five-industry accepted broad activity groups.
Initiating a project requires a lot of legwork to be done in order to show to the stakeholders the feasibility, scope and importance of a project. Effective project managers pay a lot of attention to the early stages of the project and write rigorous business case and project charter documents which highlight exactly what the project intends to deliver, and how it is going to achieve its goals. They also bring stakeholders together via a highly interactive project kickoff meeting, where the team, end users and management come together to understand the process, schedule and chain of communication.
Once the project has been approved, effective Project Managers immediately get to work to come up with a robust project plan, which includes the costs, risks, resources and timelines of the project. They clearly define the scope, and systematic breakdown of work via a WBS templates to enable proper task assignment and scheduling for the team members. They use tools like Gantt charts to visualize the order of tasks and provide a roadmap for the team to follow. They carefully delineate roles using the RASCI charts.
This is where the initiation and planning processes culminate into actual work. The team follows the roadmap created in the previous processes, ensuring deliverables and meeting milestones for the stakeholders and other relevant parties involved. The project manager ensures that resources are being reallocated if needed, mitigate risks, deal with any modifications or incorporate any changes made in the roadmap. The effective project manager makes active use of Agile techniques in the execution stage to ensure that the project stays on track and continuously adapt to realities on the ground. They conduct regular business reviews with stakeholders and include key items like RISK meters to keep track of the status of the risks.
4. Monitoring and Controlling
This process happens both simultaneously with and after the execution process. Simultaneous monitoring ensures that the quality of the work is being maintained, and the project is working within the budget and schedule. Effective project managers keep projects on track by controlling the ‘triple constraints’ – time, cost and scope. They use tools like the Prioritization Matrix to adjust when constraints get challenged. They also pay close attention to Change Management aspects of the project during this phase to keep all stakeholders aligned and informed on the progress.
This is the final process which includes delivering the project to the client or stakeholders. Ideally, a project manager should reflect on the project, identifying strengths and weaknesses within the process and structure to learn from and implement changes in the next project. The project manager also ensures that the transition of the deliverables from one place to another happens smoothly, with effective communication and open lines of inquiry. Effective project managers conduct a formal Project Closure meeting to bring together learnings and close project items out.
Presentation formats are increasingly being used to create operational and communication documents on project management topics. The internet is flooded with PDFs, documents, blogs and videos that all give their own versions of such documents and templates. However, it can be very tedious to wade through it and build a document that fits your situation.
SlideUpLift, one of the leading providers of presentation templates and resources, has done the legwork to meet your operational and communication needs on project management. Rather than browsing through hundreds of PDFs, documents, frameworks and personal blogs, project managers can find all the best practices, managerial advice and project management processes through SlideUpLift’s carefully drafted, editable and visually engaging Project Management templates and decks.
By templatizing the best practices and resources for project managers, SlideUpLift has created robust working document series to shape all stages of the project management cycle. In addition, Project managers can make use of additional resources and frameworks to help them achieve personal and organizational effectiveness.