Most businesses are run with a series of ongoing projects. The breaking up of tasks into projects results in manageable workloads with specific assignments, making them more likely to get accomplished in a timely manner. By definition, projects are sets of interconnected tasks that are targeted at meeting a certain goal. Many organizations rely on steady project completion to lead to the achievement of broader company goals.
Projects are run, overseen and monitored by project managers in charge of making sure that things remain on track and that important deadlines are met. Projects can typically be broken down into five major steps. The first step is initiation and involves project evaluation. A project evaluation is accomplished by performing a cost and benefit analysis and, essentially, deciding whether or not the project should be continued. The second step is referred to as the “planning phase,” and is made up of goal setting and the assembly of a project team. The third step in a project is the launch. During this phase team members are given their respective tasks and assignments. The fourth step is the monitoring phase and involves the project manager overseeing the actual work being done. The fifth, and final, phase is project completion and marks the termination of the project and evaluation of the degree to which goals were met.
The strengths and qualities of the project manager are crucial to the success of the overall project. It is essential that project managers are effective communicators and can relay to project members what is expected of them in a constructive and encouraging manner. Effective project managers typically have extensive knowledge regarding the scope of the project and how it relates to the broad goals and values of the company as a whole.
Project Management Tools
There are a series of different tools and techniques that are valuable for project managers to utilize with their team members. Brainstorming is a creative tool designed to encourage team members to suggest and feed off of each others ideas. Another tool is the Critical Path Analysis technique aimed at creating a flow chart and timeline of the project, outlining major milestones. Lets take for instance you are managing a 5s project, and you need to keep track of problems found during the project and the progress that has been made. A simple 30 Day Action list can be used to keep track of the activities and who is assigned to each one along with the progress. In addition, a component located within this technique is PERT or Program/Programme/Project Evaluation and Review Technique. Both of these tools are helpful in creating a visual representation for the tasks that need to be accomplished to complete the project.
Projects are an essential aspect of the operations of any business or organization. Regardless of the product or service supplied by the company, it can benefit from the delegation of projects. The project manager role demands the extensive knowledge of each phase of the project and proper utilization of tools and techniques. The project manager is an important part of the success of a completed project. The better someone is at managing projects, the more success your continuous projects will be.