We regularly hear about successful and unsuccessful projects. The latter could be attributed to various factors, including a lack of resources and finance, ineffective leadership, and a lack of team direction. But, in reality, there need to be more adequate project management resources most of the time. 

So, here we cover all about project management and its various aspects to understand better what it is, why it’s important, and how its various parameters are influenced. 

What is a Project?

A project is an effort made to deliver a unique product or service. It involves a definite start and end. The goal of any project is significant and monitored by a professional working as a project manager and concludes upon achieving the goal. The outcome of the project could be temporary. A group of projects managed to enhance productivity and efficiency is a program. A portfolio is a group of programs aligned to suit organizational goals, values, and strategies.

Project Management Definition

Project management uses processes, methods, skills, knowledge, and experience to meet project objectives within agreed-upon parameters while adhering to project acceptance criteria. A finite timeframe and budget in project management bind final outputs.

PMI states that Project management “uses specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver value to people. The development of software for an improved business process, building construction, relief effort after a natural disaster, and sales expansion into a new geographic market are all examples of projects.”

Leading a project from inception to finish is referred to as project management. The primary goal of project management is to finish a project within the time, money, and quality constraints defined. Because projects aren’t meant to remain indefinitely, they have life cycles. 

Simply put, project management directs a team to achieve specific objectives or deliverables within a specified timeline. It entails project documentation, planning, tracking, and communication, all with the purpose of successfully completing work within time, scope, and budget restrictions.

Elements of Project Management

Each project is unique. The unique nature of projects leads to many possibilities and uncertainties that may bring negative, positive, or neutral results.

New issues arise daily, which could risk the project’s progress. Thorough knowledge of project management basics will help you overcome any challenge.

Project Management Life Cycle

Whether you’re in charge of a large corporation or a small firm, project management is essential to any company’s success. As a result, project management resources are becoming increasingly popular and important across all industries.

Across industries, large and small businesses aim for excellence to establish a global footprint. All major project-centric businesses, such as construction, engineering, and IT corporations, and others such as manufacturing, banking & finance, healthcare, pharma, NGOs, nonprofits, and government, rely heavily on project management.

The project management life cycle encapsulates the high-level process of completing a project and the actions required to complete it successfully. The project management life cycle can be characterized as a systematic, timely, and logical process for effectively initiating, planning, and executing a project to achieve a successful outcome – that is, to meet the stated objectives of the project’s stakeholders.

Each project phase focuses on a different part of the project management process from start to finish. Although these phases are listed in order, many may overlap or be used simultaneously during a project’s life cycle.

  • Project Initiation
  • Project Planning
  • Project Execution
  • Project Monitoring and Control
  • Closing a Project

Project Management Knowledge Areas

The main technical subject matters of the project management profession are project management process groups and knowledge areas. These processes bring the project to life, along with their particular inputs, tools, methodologies, and outputs. The PMBOK 6th edition Guide covers 10 PMBOK knowledge areas in Project Management.

The PMBOK 6th Edition includes 49 processes, up from 47 in the previous. 

During any of these process groups, the knowledge areas occur. Therefore, the process groups can be considered horizontal, whereas the knowledge areas are vertical. The knowledge areas are the basic technical topics required for successful project management. 

Project Integration Management

Project integration management is a technique for coordinating many activities. It takes the many processes utilized in a project and coordinates them. It’s the procedure in which the project manager is given authority to oversee and coordinate the responsibilities and activities occurring at various company levels. 

The integration aims to ensure that the team works together to complete the project by ensuring that the scope, budget, and timeline are all met. Therefore, the project manager’s ability to effectively execute integration management is a significant success factor.

Project integration management does this by making trade-offs. That implies that you won’t have it all if you want to finish the task on time and within budget. This is the basic operating procedure for any project manager. If competing objectives exist, alternative solutions are required to meet stakeholder expectations.

The various processes and activities inside the project management process groups must be identified, defined, combined, unified, and coordinated. As a result, project integration management entails making resource allocation and trade-off decisions while also managing the interdependencies identified in the project management knowledge areas.

Project Scope Management

The overall amount of work required to deliver a product, service, or outcome with defined capabilities and features is project scope Management. It includes elements that go into a project and the factors determining its success.

There’s a good chance your team is wasting time or doing work that isn’t necessary to finish the project if you don’t have a detailed project scope management plan. Project scope management defines how efficient and productive the project will be in any project. 

A project manager may ensure deliverables match stakeholder requirements in parallel with product features and functionalities, project scope, and other factors by following best practices and protocols for effective project scope management.

Project Time Management

Time management refers to tracking how much time is spent on project tasks and activities and how far they have progressed. To achieve excellent time management, all project activities must be planned, scheduled, monitored, and controlled. 

According to the Project Management Institute, time management is one of the six major project management skills. Some people use the term “project time management” to refer to the tools and strategies used to manage time. It entails reviewing and defining a project completion schedule and time frame. 

Formalized time management techniques buffer unexpected bottlenecks and miscalculated project timelines. These time management plans outline which activities should be changed and how resources should be allocated and managed throughout the project.

Project Cost Management

The process of estimating, assigning, and controlling project costs is known as project cost management. The cost management method lets companies forecast future expenses to avoid budget overruns. Cost estimates are made during the planning stage and must be authorized before construction begins.

Expenses are documented and tracked as the project plan is carried out, ensuring the budget is not exceeded. In addition, predicted and actual costs are compared once the project is done, providing benchmarks for future cost management plans and project budgets.

Project Quality Management

The process of continuously measuring the quality of all activities and taking corrective action until the required quality is attained is known as project quality management. Quality management processes aid in project cost control, establishing standards, and determining the measures necessary to achieve and validate those standards.

Quality management and project management are complementary in today’s world. They both place a premium on client satisfaction and assume that quality leads to customer contentment. The primary goal of project quality management is to ensure that the project fits its designed needs, nothing more, nothing less.

Project Resource Management

Project resource management is a collection of integrated processes that allow project managers (potentially in collaboration with the PMO and other decision-makers) to identify, obtain, allocate, develop, and monitor the resources needed to finish a project successfully. Pre-planning, scheduling, and allocating your resources to maximum efficiency is thus the process.

It all comes down to accomplishing more with less regarding resource management as part of project management. Waste is something that no one enjoys, especially in the workplace. Therefore, optimization and efficiency are at the heart of resource management. You can effectively comprehend how to organize resources when you know what you need to succeed in a project efficiently.

Project Communication Management

It’s impossible to keep all responsible parties informed about the project’s changing state without a solid project communication plan. As a result, a lack of openness leads to wasteful, counterproductive decisions that obstruct the project’s goals.

Project communication management is a set of procedures for ensuring that the appropriate communications are transmitted, received, and understood by the appropriate individuals. Comprises the procedures that must be followed to guarantee that project information is collected, created, distributed, stored, retrieved, managed, controlled, monitored, and finally disposed of in a timely and suitable manner.

There are three main steps in the communications management process:

  • Plan communications
  • Manage communications
  • Control communications

Note: Read this – Elements of Project Manager’s Communication Plan

Project Risk Management

Risk management is the process of minimizing potential issues that could cause a project’s schedule to slip. Any unforeseen incident that could impact a project’s people, procedures, technology, or resources is referred to as “risk.” Risks, unlike ‘problems,’ are events that may or may not occur, and you may not be able to predict when they will occur. As a result of this uncertainty, project risk necessitates planning to manage it effectively.

Project risk management is managing potential hazards that could positively or negatively impact a project. The goal is to reduce the severity of these dangers.

On different sorts of projects, risk management might mean different things. For example, risk management solutions for large-scale projects may require thorough planning for each risk to ensure mitigation strategies are in place if problems develop.

On the other hand, risk management may be as basic as prioritizing high, medium, and low-priority hazards for smaller projects.

 Project Procurement Management

Obtaining products, materials, and services are known as procurement. As a result, procurement entails getting all of the project’s goods and services. The practices required to ensure that project procurement is successful are called project procurement management.

One of the ten Knowledge Areas that serves as a supporting pillar for the Project Management Framework is project procurement management. Its main goal is to build and maintain a positive working relationship with the vendors who provide goods and services throughout the project lifecycle. It comprises the procedures for purchasing or obtaining products, services, or results from outside the project team.

Project Stakeholder Management

To systematically assess stakeholders’ interests throughout the project, a qualitative and quantitative study is required. Any project is a success if it achieves its goals and meets (or, better yet, exceeds) the expectations of its stakeholders. The project manager’s role is to manage and even influence the expectations and requirements of key stakeholders. This is why project stakeholder management is crucial to the project’s success.

Identifying stakeholders, analyzing their expectations and influences, developing appropriate strategies to work with stakeholders, and executing the process is all part of project stakeholder management. Therefore, stakeholders must be kept informed regularly.

Project Management Processes

According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge), a project management life cycle consists of five distinct phases that combine to turn a project idea into a workable product: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) created the term project management process groups, extensively used in the project management industry. Synonyms for project life cycle or project lifecycle, project management resources, project management process, or project management phases are used by some authors.

Project Initiation

The first step in creating a new project is to initiate it. Next, you establish why you’re undertaking the project and what business value it will bring at the initiation phase.

Then, you use that information to obtain buy-in from key stakeholders.

The business case and feasibility study are measures used to evaluate a proposed project and identify the expected outcomes. The opportunity or purpose for the project is identified at this point, and a project is established to capitalize on that potential. A team is recruited at this project phase, and a business case is produced to define the project in depth.

You define your project at a high level during the beginning phase to demonstrate its business value. Then, you move on to the project planning phase after gaining buy-in from key stakeholders and demonstrating that your idea is realistic.

Project Planning

The second phase of the project life cycle is planning, which involves creating a plan after the initiation phase to begin the execution phase. The project plan acts as a road map for the entire project management process. Project planning is a discipline that deals with how to accomplish a project within a specified timeline, typically with defined stages and resources.

The execution and control stages are defined by a project plan, which is a set of formal documents. Risk management, resource management, and communications are all addressed in the plan and scope, cost, and schedule baselines. In addition, project managers utilize project planning software to guarantee that their plans are detailed and reliable.

Project Execution

The third stage of a typical project lifecycle is execution. It’s probably best to phrase it this way: no matter how well you plan your projects and how much time you spend in pre-launch meetings, expect things to go wrong. If you do, you’ll be in a better position to manage and fix it, ensuring that your project stays on track. This is when the project’s execution comes into play.

Breaking down the project into smaller milestones, assigning them to the team, starting work, collaborating, and achieving the project’s final goals can be referred to as “Project Execution.” 

Finally, you’re rolling up your sleeves and putting your project strategy into action when you say you will execute it. So said, you’re putting those methods into action to complete the job. Project execution may also be referred to as project implementation. However, that’s a different fancy name for the same item.

Project Monitoring and Control

“The Monitoring and Control Process Group consists of those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems can be identified promptly and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project,” according to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

Project monitoring and control is an important project management phase that helps you keep track of everything going on with your project and correct any deviations from the plan before they become major issues.

Project Monitoring and Control activities run concurrently with Project Execution Process Group activities, ensuring that the project is monitored and controlled. At the same time, the work is being completed with the appropriate amount of oversight and corrective action in place.

Monitoring and regulating your project’s progress entails actively examining its status as it progresses, evaluating any roadblocks, and adopting appropriate changes.

Organizations must manage various duties during this phase, including sticking to the schedule, remaining on budget, avoiding scope creep, and managing risk. Here’s a rundown of the concurrent activities you’ll need to prioritize in project management while monitoring and regulating.

Project Closure

According to PMBOK® Guide “The Project Closing Process Group, consists of those processes performed to conclude all activities across all Project Management Process Groups to complete the project, phase, or contractual obligations formally.” 

“Project Closing Process ” refers to the activities completed across all Project Management process groups to complete the project, phase, or contractual obligations formally. This process group checks that the prescribed processes are completed within all of the process groups to conclude the project, when applicable, and formally establishes that the project or phase is complete when it is completed.”

PMBOK – 7th Edition

The seventh edition of the PMBOK is a comprehensive guide to project management that offers a wealth of information to help project managers succeed. It provides an up-to-date and detailed look at best practices and techniques and is an essential resource for any project manager looking to stay ahead of the curve.

The seventh edition of the PMBOK includes several updates and changes from the previous edition. These include a new chapter on managing project portfolios, an expanded discussion of agile project management, and more detailed guidance on stakeholder management. In addition, the seventh edition provides more comprehensive coverage of project risk management and quality management.

It has three main aspects: DOMAIN, TAKS and ENABLERS

Most In-Demand Project Management Methodologies

There are different project management methodologies designed by different governing bodies to accomplish a project in a planned way that accomplishes all the requirements. 

Each approach has its key features and keeps the project activities in sync with the initial project plan. Below are a few of the most prominent project management approaches adopted worldwide.

1. PRINCE2

PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. Though the PRINCE2 project management approach/methodology is recognized in most English-speaking countries, it is followed more in the UK and other European countries. 

PRINCE2 mainly focuses on the final delivery of the product rather than carrying out activities. The project is reviewed periodically and should have a business case to check if it is still viable. 

2. Agile

Agile project management is another popular project management approach that has gained popularity. An agile methodology in a project encourages stakeholder involvement, objective metrics, feedback, and effective controls. This approach often works well for complex projects because it allows the team to respond efficiently to changing needs and requirements.

3. Scrum

Scrum project management is a way to handle projects in an agile way. It’s more of a framework than a project management method in and of itself.

With Scrum, work is done in short cycles called “sprints” that usually last between one and two weeks. For each sprint iteration, work is taken from the backlog.

Small teams are led by a Scrum Master, who is not the same as the project manager, for the sprint duration. At the end of the sprint, the teams review their performance in a “sprint retrospective” and make any necessary changes before starting the next sprint.

4. Waterfall

Waterfall project management methodology may be the most straightforward way to manage a project on this list. It is also the most traditional way to do things. 

The name is a good fit since the steps of the waterfall methodology flow from top to bottom. Under the waterfall model, you can only move on to the next project phase once the current one is done well.

Project Management Skills

In today’s service-based economy, your success is primarily determined by your ability to complete projects and produce value that lasts for a long time. Yet, according to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession Report, for every billion dollars spent on projects and programs, firms lose close to USD 109 million. So learning all about project management skills is essential.

Project management skills are important attributes and competencies for a successful project manager. Project managers are responsible for planning projects, putting together a project team, and overseeing project activities, timelines, and expenses. To accomplish so, the top project managers rely on powerful project management tools to keep all parts of their projects in order.

Many projects fail for various reasons, but we’re here to discuss developing the right skill set for increased project success. Successful projects require professional project managers and teams and effective project skills. 

Skills for Project Management

  • Collaboration

Soft project management skills are built around the ability to work together. Collaboration is important in project management because it helps you get work done faster and better. When you work with other teams, you can learn things about your project that your team might not know. When more people work on a project, it is more creative and well thought out.

  • Project Scoping

Your project’s scope is its size, goals, and limits, such as deadlines and resources. Your project scope will tell you what you can do in a certain amount of time and for a certain amount of money. Setting and defining your project’s scope is important to avoid scope creep, which is when the deliverables of your project grow beyond what was originally planned.

  • Project management software skills

Software for managing projects has come a long way from the old tools that were hard to use and had to be set up by a project manager. But just like any other tool, even ones that are easy to use, the software you choose will take time to learn and master. So make sure that the tool you choose comes with a written guide and helpful videos showing you how to use it.

  • Problem-Solving

Problem-solving skills are a group effort and a series of steps that help you approach and solve a problem. You don’t always have to know the “right” answer to get better at solving problems. Instead, people with good problem-solving skills practice looking at problems from different angles and working methodically toward a solution.

Use frameworks for making decisions based on data or routine analyses to become a better problem solver. For example, if you want to figure out how to beat your competitors by 20% in sales, you can do a competitive analysis to see where you stand in the market. Then, use this information to figure out why sales are down. In this case, you could work with the sales team to develop a new marketing plan.

  • Critical thinking

Like solving problems, critical thinking doesn’t have an “answer.” You can’t “win” at critical thinking, but you can practice approaching problems logically instead of making decisions based on how you feel. Good critical thinkers practice analyzing the information in front of them and coming to conclusions based on the facts, like Sherlock Holmes does when he solves a mystery.

Project Management Tools

Today’s project managers and company executives must stay up with evolving technologies and management trends. However, even experienced managers may find the project management approach bewildering the multitude of rules, terminology, and principles. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of project management tools to assist you in selecting a methodology for your next project and supply you with new tools and ideas.

  • Monday

Project management tools Monday.com is a simple but easy-to-use tool that helps people keep track of their work, meet deadlines, and create an open-door culture. The best thing about the solution is that it makes it easier to have discussions, see who is working on what, and keep everyone in the loop.

Features:

  • Communication and document management in one place
  • Keeping track of a project and managing it visually
  • Both analytics and reporting work well.
  • Smartly integrated with sharing and management tools like Dropbox, Zapier, Google Drive, and the like
  • Hive

Hive is suited for organizations incorporating a centralized workflow management system to handle various processes and projects. It provides 1000 integrations to applications and brings workers together on a single centralized platform.

Features

  • Direct messages and automatic updates
  • Time tracking
  • Dedicated Customer Success Manager
  • Enhanced security and permission controls
  • Utilize your in-app data to transform your workflow with custom analytics and reporting dashboards.
  • Custom analytics and reporting
  • Status view
  • Wrike

Wrike is a work management solution designed to improve speed and work efficiency. It also facilitates better communication and collaboration with greater transparency. Project management tools allow you to set priorities and align your team to work faster. In addition, it enables you to do the tasks more precisely, reducing expenses. Nd most importantly, it is a free project management tool.

Features

  • Integration with Dropbox and Google Docs
  • Real-time work visibility
  • Task prioritization based on business objectives
  • Customized reports
  • Up-to-date details to clients
  • Efficient resource management
  • ClickUp

ClickUp is a productivity solution that provides a better way to manage and complete tasks within deadlines. Users will also get goals, calendars, notes, schedules, and reminders. Being a completely customizable tool, it works for most teams, focusing on statuses, processes, features, and views.

Features

  • Important task repeat at specified intervals
  • Rich formatting interface
  • Attain goals and track the success
  • Customize workflow with statuses
  • Three different views – Box view, Board view, and List view
  1. Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects is a project management tool designed to improve team collaboration and organize work better. An easy-to-use interface helps to list tasks, track time, upload files, and manage documents. It is available on Google Chrome, Android, and iOS.

Features

  • Prioritize tasks
  • Monitor team performance
  • Gantt view of projects
  • Set deadlines

Project Management Jobs

According to PMI, there are 16.5 million project managers worldwide. Because project management is not the easiest game to play in the labor market, there are 16.5 million daredevils. Many things can influence your work, and a project manager must wear multiple hats.

“Demand for project managers is expanding faster than demand for people in other occupations over the next ten years,” according to a report from the Project Management Institute. 

According to the Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap report, about 214,000 new project management-related positions will be created each year. Project management positions are appealing for various reasons, including the necessity for project managers and the scarcity of qualified project managers.

Various Jobs you can land from project management certification include

  • Project Manager
  • Associate Project Manager
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Technical Project Manager
  • IT Project Manager
  • Project Coordinator
  • Program Manager

Project Management Salary

Project managers are in charge of planning and carrying out projects, which is an important part of any business. It’s a well-paying job with opportunities to move to even higher-paying jobs.

How much do project managers make?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median US salary as of 2022 is $ 49,750, -$ 64,250 for project management professionals.

Job Title Range Average
Project Manager, (Unspecified Type / General) $51k – $116k $77,334
Project Engineer $56k – $104k $73,607
Operations Manager $48k – $110k $71,039
Mechanical Engineer $60k – $106k $77,489
Director of Operations $55k – $153k $94,087
Information Technology (IT) Manager $59k – $138k $92,751
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT) $60k – $129k $89,988

Source: PayScale

Factors Influencing Project Management Salary

The project management salary depends on several things. So if you want to get the most money out of your paycheck, think about these criteria of the pay equation.

  • Experience
  • Certification
  • Education
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Company
  • Job Position

Project Management Certification

The Project Management Professional Certification (PMP Certification) is the most widely recognized project management credential globally. The PMP certification now includes predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches, demonstrating project leadership experience and expertise in any mode of operation. It helps firms locate the people they need to work smarter and perform better, boosting project managers’ careers across industries.

The other project management courses include

Take the Online Project management certification Training before attending the exam to be easy for you to clear on your first attempt.

Conclusion

The project management domain is always changing, and project managers must deliver work on time, on budget, and within the project’s scope. Therefore, project managers need the right tools to manage tasks and teams, with unique skills and a willingness to work with others.

No matter your role, you likely have to manage or get involved in a project at some point in your career. You can understand the nuances of handling or being a part of a project through a best-practice project management approach. 

Glossary

  • Project: A temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service, or result.
  • Project Management: The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.
  • Project Manager: The person responsible for leading a project team and ensuring that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
  • Scope: The boundaries and requirements of a project.
  • Objective: The specific goal or outcome a project intends to achieve.
  • Stakeholder: An individual or group who has an interest in or is impacted by a project.
  • Budget: The amount of money allocated for a project.
  • Risk: An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, could positively or negatively impact a project.
  • Issue: A problem or challenge must be addressed for a project to progress.
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Lucy Brown has many years of experience in the project management domain and has helped many organizations across the Asia Pacific region. Her excellent coordinating capabilities, both inside and outside the organization, ensures that all projects are completed on time, adhering to clients' requirements. She possesses extensive expertise in developing project scope, objectives, and coordinating efforts with other teams in completing a project. As a project management practitioner, she also possesses domain proficiency in Project Management best practices in PMP and Change Management. Lucy is involved in creating a robust project plan and keep tabs on the project throughout its lifecycle. She provides unmatched value and customized services to clients and has helped them to achieve tremendous ROI.

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