Project management basics
This best practice guide is designed for any individual who will be leading projects. Project management allows projects to run on time, meet requirements, provide documentation, and keep your team happy.
Project management: Initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, close, and repeat cycle
A project is an endeavor that has a defined beginning and end. Every project should have a defined scope, timeline, and resources. The goal of the project should be to complete something that is outside the scope of day-to-day operations. Project management is important because it allows for the efficient completion of tasks, predictable planning and execution processes, identifying and planning for risks, and ensuring that there is collaboration across and within teams. The project management cycle has four stages: initiating, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closure.
The five best practices that a project manager should follow are:
- Scope and objectives: The project manager needs to define the scope of the project. Project objectives are the goals and deliverables necessary for the completion of the project. The project manager should also ensure that all deliverables for the project are within scope. The project manager will work with stakeholders if the scope needs to change.
- Schedule: The project manager should review the schedule during all project meetings to ensure that work is on track.
- Resources: Project managers should define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This will help to clarify the role of each team member and the expectations for their job.
- Document: Project managers should document every step of their project. Key documents are the project charter, status report, and “lessons learned” documents. These will ensure the successful completion of a project and inform future work.
- Communicate: Project managers should always communicate with their project team and stakeholders. Communication can take place through status reports or by taking notes during meetings. Project managers should also share any risks to the project and any delays to the project timeline with their team.