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Project Management and Planning

Project management is frequently the unseen hand that propels a business ahead. It may be found on all levels, from your daily to-do list to your long-term corporate strategy. 

In this RisePath article, we’ll go through the fundamentals of project planning and management, as well as how to put them into practice.

What is project management and why does it matter?

Project management is the application of information, skills, tools, and techniques to project operations in order to fulfil the objectives. But what precisely does this imply?

Project management, simply described, is the act of ensuring that projects are completed completely and on time. If a project cannot be completed, a project management system identifies and removes the project’s roadblocks.

On a daily basis, many of us handle our own projects. We choose what to prioritise, how to convey project status, and when to call a project finished. When a project involves several stakeholders and multiple resources, however, a project management procedure is required.

Project management necessitates open and honest communication. It’s what makes it possible for teams to work together and move the project ahead.

Project Management and Planning

What is the purpose of a project management plan?

The project plan is the initial phase in project management. This is a summary of the project’s goals and objectives. The project management process is rudderless without a project plan.

You’ll want to identify a few crucial aspects of your project management plan before you start.

Scope

What you will do with your project is just as crucial as what you will not do with it. When you specify the scope of your project, you’re defining the project’s specific goal—no more, no less.

Goals

How will you know when you’ve finished your project’s scope? Small and large goals allow you to track your progress toward completing your project.

Budget

What is the estimated cost of completing your project? How much of that is contributed by each team? What is the importance placed on team members’ time? These questions will help you estimate the cost of finishing a project. This is critical when calculating the return on investment for your project.

Timeline

When do you plan to complete each of your project’s objectives? How are you going to manage your time? When will your project be finished?

Deliverable

What will you hand over when the project is finished to document and explain the work done?

Steps to successful project management

Most projects can be divided into four stages:

Project Definition

This includes the elements mentioned previously. However, it may also include early staffing plans, sample deliverables, and senior leadership alerts.

Project Preparation

The next level of depth is the project plan. Checklists detailing how to achieve each target should be included in your project plan. It will include a budget breakdown for each project component. It may also include additional information about the project’s risks and dangers. The project plan should serve as a road map for all parties involved in the project’s completion.

The Project’s Execution

Your teams can begin implementing the project plan after all of the parts are in place. This stage might last anywhere from a few days to several years. The execution phase will feature milestones to track progress if sufficient planning is done.

Project completion

The project can be closed once all of the objectives have been met. This entails completing the deliverable and informing all stakeholders of the project’s success.

What can go wrong and how to handle it

Even when best practices are followed, project management is never an exact science. The procedure tries its hardest to juggle workplace dynamics and personal objectives. Even under less-than-ideal circumstances, project management will be thwarted.

Creep in scope

In a similar spirit, many initiatives are bloated. Scope creep occurs when a new task, goal, or deliverable is added to your project. This has an impact on your timetable, money, and overall strategy. In order to complete projects on time, good project managers vehemently oppose scope creep.

Managing team input incorrectly

Delegating jobs can be difficult, especially when a project is diverting your team’s attention away from other activities. Assigning work to team members is a delicate balancing act. It’s natural to believe that completing a project on your own will save you time. Clear communication across each aspect, on the other hand, can be beneficial. It’s extremely important for project managers to keep their teams calm. This promotes a project-wide culture of transparency and accountability.

How should projects be managed in uncertain times?

Project management has changed a lot in the last year. With the shift to remote work, we’ve lost the capacity to check in on a task on a regular basis. We’ve also lost the capacity to get all of the stakeholders together in one room to discuss issues and find solutions.

Despite this, project management continues to thrive and is now more crucial than ever. Here are some remote project management dos and don’ts.

Check-in more frequently than you believe you should. Consider using Slack, email, or calling your team on a near-daily basis. This isn’t babysitting or command and control. Checking in is an important part of your project’s communication process.

Expect non-standard working hours. Many remote employees are seeing enormous changes in their daily lives. They might work late at night or very early in the morning. This implies they won’t be able to communicate on the same timetable as they would if they were at work.

When it comes to deadlines, be flexible. The burden of competing priorities may be felt by many colleagues. It is critical to have timeframe flexibility when completing projects.

Make use of technology. When you were at work, you may have avoided using advanced project management software. Having a physical squad can generally fill up the slack (no pun intended). However, technology can help to alleviate the problems of miscommunication and forgotten duties.

Keep your gaze fixed on the prize. Even in a remote location, we are making progress. A project manager’s job is to guide the project to completion and to make adjustments as needed.

Conclusion

Project management is the process of getting things done. In-person and remote work both require people who are committed to the process. You may start building a clearer method for your team with these project management fundamentals.