Essential Elements of Project Management

Whether you work in information technology, healthcare, manufacturing, finance, energy, construction or business services – all of these industries are in need of project management talent.  Increasing complexity of business operations and global market places are demanding faster, better, cheaper solutions for clients that meet ever-increasing expectations of performance.

Given the competitive nature of the current business environment, the need to initiate the right projects and achieve the desired results is just as critical for the small business, as it is for the large business.

Few basic elements are absolutely necessary to ensure successful projects in today’s times. So what are these elements? Where is project management headed in 2017?

Big data analytics

Each business generates tons of data. Along with that, the industry datasets also need to be studied and analysed. Whenever a project is launched, it is very important to process big data efficiently to get useful insights, based on which you can make smart targets and take smart decisions. Deep business knowledge is essential to understand how project deliverables and objectives deliver value and benefits to the organization, the client and the employees. By arming yourself with the right information, you’ll be able to challenge assumptions and better navigate schedules, risks and other issues. And raising these questions will also drive creativity and innovation.

Professional Project Managers

Project managers need a balance of technical, leadership and business skills.  Understanding how to manage a project schedule, budget and scope are the technical skills required.

They manage the expectations of clients and management and they interact with stakeholders of all levels internal and external to an organization. As such they need strong leadership skills, such as communication skills, problem solving, decision making, negotiation skills, interpersonal skills, team building skills and high emotional intelligence.

Blended methodology

While there may always be some unanticipated things that will occur, most of these, through sound project management methodology, can be managed, rather than reacted to. Today different businesses are adopting different tools and methodologies for project management. For example, till now agile project management has primarily been used in software development. But steadily agile is being adopted in other fields too.

In fact, most industries are now adopting a blend of methodologies which suits their business model. This blend is usually derived from project manager’s experience, employee inputs and common sense.

Project management tools

During the entire project initiation, planning and execution it is important to manage the time, cost & resources. Project progress must be controlled and any issues which arise as a result of the day-to-day work must be dealt with. Project management software can help you track the progress your team is making. Online Kanban boards, even a physical one in the office, helps you visualize your workflow, facilitating efficient  use of time. If everyone in the team has access to the board, they can update their progress, making status-update meetings quicker. Gantt charts also work in a similar way, helping you to visualize the tasks that need to be done against the time they are likely to take for completion.

Some of the popular tools are GitHub, GitLab, Basecamp, Slack, Toggl, Trello, Podio, Asana, JIRA, and Bitbucket. Communication tools like Slack and HipChat are slowly rolling out automation tools like reminders, status alerts and updates to keep everyone on the same page. They’re also adding bots to answer questions, share automated notifications, launch the latest version of an app or website, etc.

Change Management (EQ, Collaboration)

It is important for project managers to engage all stakeholders and take them along on the path to successful project execution. Collaboration among different teams, remote offices, stakeholders is a must to achieve desired success. Successful project managers will be forced to deal with a disconnected, always on workforce, driving demand like never before. Automation and people/machine collaboration will soon be a necessity. Emotional Quotient of project managers and the team leaders is also an important aspect to have maximum involvement and motivation for accepting change.

 

To summarize, change is always hard. Chances of achieving the desired results greatly increase if all the above elements are in place and are utilized properly. We have seen our clients experience a significant emotional shift across their organization as chaos, conflict, and confusion are replaced with focus, clarity, and teamwork. Of course, increased profitability doesn’t hurt either!

If you would like to learn more about project management and how we can help your organization implement a project, please visit www.expertois.com or write in the comments below.

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