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Poor project management was responsible for $122 million dollars wasted for every $1 billion invested in the States. Companies cannot afford to ignore fundamental project management concepts. With more automation comes greater competition; having management skills is an edge.
If you’re searching for a project manager or want to build on what you have, this guide is for you. Project managers must put in a healthy amount of time and energy learning these concepts. They should prioritize the seven outlined below.
7 Essential Project Management Concepts
These are called essential concepts for a reason. No matter what the project is or the industry, these concepts will apply. It all starts with having a plan and seeing that everyone sticks to it.
Before you perfect these concepts, start with some brainstorming. Identify which areas of the company that are needing the most help. Where do you see your company in one year? Five years?
Establish some goals and set performance metrics to follow. With them in mind, start working on these seven project management concepts today.
1. What it Means to Lead
Being a leader is more than a job title. A project manager is responsible for the culture, identity, and the work ethic of their teams. They are the glue that holds everything together.
Part of what makes a great leader and project manager is knowing when to push and when to pull back. If the project manager is doing nothing but giving commands, they aren’t doing enough listening. Getting feedback from the team and outside stakeholders are essential.
A great leader is fair, balanced, and tenacious while leading by example.
2. Define Your Growth
Setting goals is what a project manager does best. Being in charge of a team requires smart and consistent goal-setting. Without accurate and effective goal-setting, projects move aimlessly.
Start by taking an honest look at where the company is and what it should look like. Once you have a clear idea of where you want to go as a team, you can start assigning tasks with deadlines. Enterprise software makes goal setting easy and intuitive for project managers.
3. Organizing Projects
The capacity to organize from the top down will help eliminate wasted resources and cash. By concentrating on undertakings that don’t add to the long-term vision, or potentially the main project, is losing out on your potential development.
Deciding on the key variables for ventures that get improved is significant. Start by reviewing how your goals align with returns on investment and team budgets. Next, elaborate on how each project connects with each other and their timing of completion.
Nothing is worse than projects that hold back one another because of poor time/resource allocation. By doing this, you will bind your group on developing your structure.
4. Recognize Project and Team Requirements
When you have a solid arrangement set up, you can begin executing it by collecting the best people for each job. This group is a working unit of individual parts, sharing a defined objective, accomplished through your screening of abilities. This pairing of synchronized team members will generate the best results.
Getting there starts with identifying the needs and resources of the company. Project managers and hiring managers must work together to match the skills and chemistry of team members. As a project manager, you can nudge people in the right direction to fill voids in teams and projects.
5. Communication Lines Open
Miscommunication can cause the death of a project before it even had a chance. Project managers have to be a referee of sorts to keep problems from taking root. A seamless and effective communication system is important to keep projects on track.
Using project development apps, such as Slack or Cliq, encourages honest and consistent communication. It is also important to maintain communication with all stakeholders and upper-management, too. Everyone should have a seat at the table and get clear answers to their questions.
Communication apps also offer an easy method for updating analytics, goal progress, and live feedback.
6. Follow the Metrics
Analytics plays a key role in measuring the success of the project manager and setting realistic projections. This keeps the job honest and allows project managers to learn from their mistakes rather than sweeping them under the rug. There are a lot of great project planning apps out there that can help track and define metrics for the company.
As they say, “there’s no rest for the wicked”, and if you want wicked results, follow the pulse of the company. This can only come with constantly challenging your team to exceed the company’s and their own expectations.
7. Keeping Things Within Scope
Project managers have to stay disciplined to avoid piling too much onto everyone’s plate. Get too ambitious and you’ll operate on a shoestring budget. Widening your project’s scope is part of healthy company growth.
Too much veering off the original scope could cause collective chaos. Each time you open up your original plans, add more. More employees, more resources, more planning, and more to the budget.
Don’t get caught with your pants down; trust your metrics and document everything to show higher-ups why you’re changing gears. This allows everyone to make an informed decision and avoid unnecessary risks.
Building the Foundation
These essential project management concepts will provide a base that you can rely on in challenging times. Any business, big or small, should ensure that their project manager is following the essentials listed in this guide. These tips could mean the difference between a company growing or bleeding themselves dry.
If you’re interested in learning how you can run your business like a well-oiled machine, invest in our enterprise project management software. You can try it out, no risk, for 14 days and see how it works. Use every tip, trick, and tool to gain an advantage over your competition.