Detailed Guide to Project Management Principles and Phases

StrategyDriven Project Management Article |Project Management|Detailed Guide to Project Management Principles and PhasesProject management is a process that involves planning, executing, and managing a project to ensure successful project delivery. A project is a one-time activity that focuses on a particular goal, though sometimes it could be for a set of outcomes. Commonly, a project refers to developing a computer application, updating an application, etc. There are essential aspects of the project, such as scheduling, monitoring, and closing the project that is a part of the project manager’s responsibilities. The job of a project manager includes directing and managing project work, such as setting up project goals and objectives, identifying tasks, and allocating resources, as well as calculating budgets and deadlines.

A project manager often uses project management tools to make these tasks easier and more efficient. Further, every project has a set of principles and phases that help make the project workflow smoother. Let’s look at these principles and stages in detail.

Project Management Principles

While aiming for successful project management and delivery, following a set of principles can make the path to successful implementation easier. Below are some common project management principles that can be applied to any level of a project.

  • Project planning

A good starting point for developing any project is clearly defining the goals and vision of the project. This helps plan the project structure. The PM can include work packages to be assigned to the project team; the project workflow chart; and the project milestones.

  • Project structure

A clear project definition should be established at the beginning. This definition involves the entire project team at every step to facilitate smoother functions of the project.

  • Transparency

Maintaining a certain level of transparency through the project management lifecycle helps everyone stay updated on the project’s progress. Ensure that you present an overview of the project status to the client or stakeholders at each stage of the project.

  • Risk management

Risks are a part of any project, and it’s the role of a project manager to plan and budget for these risks. Also, keep in mind that every project is unique and has different goals, associated costs, appointments, and performance. Identifying these risks at the right time can help you address negative developments early on.

  • Managing project disturbances

Developing strategies to overcome risks and roadblocks will help you stick to the project timelines. Your experience, skill set, knowledge, and instincts will help you identify and address risks in time.

  • Project success

Project success can imply various things. Depending on the project goal and customer requirements, project success should be defined at the beginning of a project. It should include project terms and key measurable criteria for defining the project.

Project Management Phases

Almost every project management lifecycle goes through five phases. These project management lifecycle phases categorize what the project is about and how it will be carried out from the beginning to the end. Following are the five phases of project management:

  • Initiation

This is the beginning of any project. At this stage, the project value, feasibility, and goal are determined. Generally, a business case report and a feasibility study are created before the project is approved or rejected.

  1. The business case report justifies the need for the project and the return on investment.
  2. The feasibility study comprises the project goals, deadlines, and budget.
  • Planning

The next phase in the project management lifecycle is planning the project. This stage focuses on:

  1. Gathering a project team and creating workflow charts to meet project deadlines.
  2. Creating an accounting of the resources required, financing, and materials.
  3. Determining the risks associated with the project and how they’ll impact the project.
  • Execution

Once the project planning is complete, the project execution begins. This stage starts with assigning the team members their tasks and monitoring the progress of these tasks.

  • Monitor and Control

It is the project manager’s role to continuously monitor the project to ensure that it is progressing smoothly and as planned. This includes:

  1. Tracking the deliverables and ensuring that the planned quality of deliverables is met.
  2. Monitoring expenses and control cost changes.
  • Close

The final stage in project management is closing the project. This stage comes after the project goals and objectives are met. Project closing includes the following:

  1. Ensure all the deliverables are complete.
  2. Close outstanding contracts and archive the paperwork.

To Conclude

This is just a brief idea of what the project management process entails. To get a thorough understanding of the project management process and all its aspects, opt for a project management professional course. The delivery of a project is just one of the elements in project management. It also involves quality, discipline, and goal-orientation, all of which can be developed by taking a professional certification course in project management.

WorkFlow Optimization Begins with You: 3 Types of Software No Business Owner Should Forget to Implement

Optimize the Workflow of any Business with Software Implementation

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Articles | WorkFlow Optimization | WorkFlow Optimization Begins with You: 3 Types of Software No Business Owner Should Forget to ImplementMost businesses are started because a person or a group of people have a particular passion, and they want to use that passion to drive their work. Bill Gates and Paul Allen shared a passion for computers and technology, and Microsoft is the result of their work. Steve Jobs had an interest in electronics and gadgetry and his vision was to put a computer in the hands of everyday people. While passion may be needed to get a business idea off the ground, there are several other aspects of a business that needs to be managed well for it to succeed. Workflow is something that needs to be organized and efficient, but it might not be the area of passion for most business owners. There are several types of software that can help optimize workflow and put businesses on a path to increase efficiency and overall success.

Project Management Software

The initial stage in a workflow process for most businesses is some sort of consultation, request, or order from a customer. Paper forms are still common in the business world, and these forms can cause a disruption in the workflow process. Paper forms can be misplaced, they can sit on a desk for long periods of time, and they represent a very inefficient way for employees to communicate with each other. Regardless of the size of a business, the communication between employees is critical to how efficient the business will run. Implementing an order management software system as part of an overall workflow solution can be a positive step toward making things run more smoothly. Project management software can create a proposal for a customer which can lead to a purchase order. The purchase leads to an invoice, and many systems have credit card processing built in to complete the transaction.

Accounting Software

Businesses need to manage money coming in as well as money going out. An accounting software like designdocs can help with paying bills, collecting money from customers and payroll for employees. One of the biggest advantages in an accounting software system is the ability to run specific reports that make the overall financial management more effective. Detailed proposals for customers can be generated quickly along with invoicing for those customers. Overall company financial reports and tax reporting documents can also be generated much more quickly and accurately with the help of a software program. The American Payroll Association concluded that companies not using software systems to help with workflow will spend twenty-five percent more time working on accounting tasks.

Communication Software

In the midst of all the work being done, there needs to be an easy to understand the system in place for all employees to know what needs to be completed, and when the work needs to be finished. This is critical when information needs to move between people in different departments that are all working on the same project. When there is a gap in communication between people, that can slow down or disrupt the flow of work. Having a system where everyone can access the same documents, reports and customer notes will encourage teamwork and promote a more cohesive environment.

Optimizing workflow with software has the immediate benefit of organizing the workload for employees in a way that makes it very neat and user-friendly. This puts employees on a path that is going to decrease the frustration and inefficiencies that can come with a paper system. In the long term, workflow optimization can increase inefficiencies and help businesses see more success.

Mobile, Native Apps and Project Management Software – What’s the Connection?

Remote work is seeing a steady rise, and key to making it possible is cloud computing and the continuously rising mobile usage rate. You’ve heard of the BYOD (bring your own device) revolution, and whichever side of the BYOD fence you’re on, there’s no denying that mobile devices are becoming more and more ubiquitous in the workplace.

Enterprises of all shapes and sizes have chosen to embrace the mobile landscape, taking advantage of enterprise-specific mobile apps to keep their employees productive even when outside the office.

In the project management arena, it’s been established that projects are better carried out by teams, and teams nowadays can be dispersed geographically, hence, the growing prevalence of cloud-based project management software to keep these teams connected. Cloud-based also means the ability to access the project management application via any device – PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone.

How’s your mobile experience?

Now, step back for a moment and recall how using your phone to browse a site not optimized for mobile makes you feel. Does adjusting the text to a size that’s easy on the eyes, then swiping horizontally and vertically to read an article in its entirety put you off? What about Flash or Java and their effect on load time? Or pop-up windows, perhaps? If they do, it most certainly is the same story for a lot of other users.

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About the Author

Maricel Rivera writes content for Comindware, a business solutions provider whose project management software offering, Comindware Project, provides a whole suite of project management capabilities and comes with native apps for both the iOS and Android platforms. You may connect with her on Twitter.