Having employees with the skills and knowledge for effective of project management is essential for a company to succeed. Projects need to be properly planned, monitored, completed on time and provide the best possible results. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned. Challenges need to be anticipated and handled correctly. There are effective project management techniques and processes that can provide success.
According to an article in Colorado Business Magazine, “Most companies engage in numerous projects during any given year and most have no idea how much their projects cost, how well the money is being spent or how much was being achieved in returns. Ironically, by applying basic fundamentals, project management is easy to do well.”
Once the idea for a project is presented, there are those who want to begin working on it immediately. This could cause a number of problems as the project develops. The only way for a project to be successful is with careful planning. All aspects of the project need to be identified. The investment of time to develop an effective plan at the beginning of a project, will provide better results when its completed. It will enable better use of funds, a higher quality project, and provide a realistic completion date.
Once the definitions of a project have been identified, the planning can begin. A working plan will have each step of the project established. Completion dates and all aspects of the what will be delivered needs to be determined. In some cases, a project model will be discussed. At this point, it’s important to cover all the details of the project. There will still be uncertainties involved, but that shouldn’t prevent the project from moving forward.
It’s important for procedures on how to manage the project be included in the plan. The resources to be utilized for managing the project also need to be identified. The management of specific issues, risks involved, as well as communication methods and more, should be part of the planning process. The goal at this stage of project is to be as proactive as possible. There needs to be a common understanding of how the project will be handled among all the team members involved.
All those involved with the project need to have regular status updates communicated to them. In many cases, the success or failure of a project will impact others that are in progress or being planned. Effective communications is the best way to ensure decisions are made based on the latest information.
Once a plan has been created, and understood by all those involved, work on the project can begin. The plan needs to be reviewed regularly. The size of the project will determine how often it needs to be reviewed. A large project may need to be reviewed every few weeks. A small project plan may need to be reviewed once a week.
All activities associated with the completion of a project need to be carefully monitored. When activities are not progressing as planned, adjustments need to be made. Resources may need to be distributed differently, activities may need to be changed, the plan may need to be altered and more.
There are times when a project has started, and it needs to be changed. Unanticipated things can be discovered. Effective project management will be flexible enough to adjust when necessary. Unrealistic estimations of team member’s abilities, funding requirements not being met, insufficient resources, can all happen during a project. The ability to be flexible when challenges occur can keep a project moving toward completion.