The term “project” doesn’t have to refer to managing something as complex as a business. Even the simplest of projects, like cooking, have a series of steps that need to be done to ensure the final product is satisfactory (or delicious). There can be so many steps in any project you take on. Ensuring that every one of those steps is completed can be an overwhelming task. If you have a system that helps keep you on task, like a project management process, you’ll find a strategy to tackle any project.
Defining the Project Management Process
A project management process breaks down each phase of a project and offers a series of procedures that you can follow to ensure that your project is made excellently. Following a project management process can help you identify and achieve all your project goals.
To make a project management process, first decide what your project goals are. You may be looking to manage the construction of a building, or the moving of your house, or the painting of a room, and deciding what your project is part of the process. You’ll have to estimate how long the project will take, the tools and materials you’ll need, and you’ll have to consider potential challenges you’ll encounter during production.
Each step in the project management process is there to break down any project into manageable pieces.
Implementing the Project Management Process
Having a project management process helps ensure all your tasks are completed and that you stay on schedule. These aren’t the only benefits of employing good management procedures, though. When there is a process to doing work, you increase efficiency and often improve the quality of your product or service. Directions will be clearer when you have a consistent method of delivering your product or service, which will improve teamwork and communication.
Having competitive distribution is essential to standing out in a competitive market. As you become more effective at providing your product or service, you make your company stand out from the competition. You’ll also be better able to make risk assessments, and it will be easier to anticipate potential risks you may encounter on a job site. With all of these new insights, you will be better equipped to start effectively expanding your business going forward.
When you have all the benefits of good management, you are also achieving higher customer satisfaction. There are 5 phases of project management, let’s explore each of them to see how you can improve your project management.
The first step when starting any project is coming up with an idea. This is when you have a spark of inspiration or get a call from a client that spawns your next project. This stage represents the larger goals of your project but is most likely a speculative task.
You should completely understand the reason you’re doing this project before you commit to it. If your resources are incredibly limited it may be best to not take on a new project at this time. This stage allows you to effectively look at your funds, raw materials, and available labor. You should meet with stockholders, managers, and do all the necessary market research, to truly evaluate if this project is feasibly going to add value to your business.
Before you continue, there are a few documents you should complete to ensure the first phase of the project life cycle is officially completed.
Project Brief and/or Feasibility Study. These documents would include all the essential details of a project. These are the resources requirements, potential profits, or any tangible benefits the company may receive upon completion and during production. This would be used to communicate to your workforce or stockholders the purpose of your project.
It is not necessary to provide every detail of your project in this initial phase, and it would be impossible to know everything about a project before starting it. But it’s good to put down all the vital details on paper. You can look back on this paper later to ensure that your project is addressing the reason why it was created, and so that your entire team understands the goals.
Before choosing to go forward with any project, make sure that you are in contact with all the people that make your business possible. Once they approve of your project, you should complete one more document before moving forward.
Project Charter. This is similar to the previous documents; however, it will include the now official purpose of your project. It will also include all the physical and technical requirements necessary for project completion.
The project has been approved, and your charter submitted. Now you can move on to planning out how your project will be completed. This stage is also known as project definition and planning. Here you will need to create the process of production. Every detail of production should be outlined, and this includes every step of execution, performance, and all the necessary parts of project closure.
Here are some tips to help you write your goals clearly so that your instructions are more effective.
Measurable. All your goals should have pre-made criteria of completion that everyone on the team understands. This ensures that your team knows when that task has been completed and gives them an attainable goal.
Flexible. There is no way to anticipate all the possible complications you may encounter once you actually being your project. Bake enough extra time into your project to prevent delays in case some tasks take longer than expected.
Specific and Realistic. Be sure to outline all the necessary components of your tasks. Include everything someone might need to know, like who will be working on it, where they will be when they should be working, and why they are working on their task. Make sure that all your goals are possible to achieve within the necessary time limit. Also, assure that you have the available resources needed to complete the task.
Team Building. Your goals should be clearly relatable to your employees. They should be engaged by their tasks and understand how their work affects the entirety of the project. Make sure to help foster better teamwork. A team that works well together is more efficient and better at communicating problems when issues arise. This is the phase in project management process planning where you define all leadership roles and delegate responsibilities.
Finishing and Implementation
The next step of making a successful project management process is executing your goals properly. It should be easy to assign the necessary people to their roles since you’ve already outlined them in the planning phase.
As the project manager, you will hold specific responsibilities. You’re there to make sure that everyone sticks to the project management process, and that your team completes the goals outlined in your project charter. This means you manage the budget and keep the team on the timeline. You are there to help with implementing any necessary modifications to the plans, resources management and planning, quality management, and you help facilitate communication.
You can cut much of the stress of managing by hiring several people to break up the responsibilities across a team of managers. Sticking to your plan will help relieve some stress. The entire point of doing all the initial planning is to make the later production easier.
You need to ensure that your executed plan has effectively completed the goals of your original plans. This stage is about maintaining the integrity of your initial plans and it goes hand in hand with the execution phase but extends beyond it.
This is where you can use key performance indicates to ensure your team is sticking to their objectives. Make sure your team is meeting all project objectives and current project performance. This can help you anticipate productions problems before they become costly mistakes.
By using the project management process, you now have a complete project. But there are a few things to review at the end of each project.
Evaluate. Look back on your project. Was it completed within or above budget? Was the work of consistent quality? Where there any lessons learned in this project you could use moving forward? Take stock of your team and project here by holding a meeting.
Closure Report. Restate your project charter, and add in all the workers and who had which responsibilities. Add in your comments on the project, and any important details your stakeholders might want to know.
Don’t forget to congratulate your team on a job well done, and reflect on the project. Each completed project offers opportunities to improve the next.
Using the Project Management Process.
A good project management process can help your business. It will help you become more efficient and effective at delivering your service. This will help save you money, and increase your customer’s satisfaction, allowing you to enjoy higher profits and more easily expand your business.