At the root of any successful project stands a project manager, and even though some people think that the only task a project manager has is to remind everyone about deadlines and set up meetings, that is actually not the case. Project managers need to have a deep understanding of four important key areas so that they can perfectly execute them. In this article we will cover each of these areas and give you some tips that will help you boost your chances of success for each stage.
The four important key areas of project management team success are planning, execution, tracking and reporting. When we are discussing these phases, we simply have to mention the project life cycle. The elements of a project life cycle need to define:
- What must be accomplished
- Which deliverables must be both generated and reviewed
- Who must be involved
- Controlling and approving each phase
Project management is the application of skills, tools like easy project management software, knowledge and techniques to a wide range of activities in order to meet the requirements for a certain project. There are four important phases of project management success and if the lifecycle provides a view at a higher level on the entire project, these phases will be the roadmap to achieving success.
This phase is the first key to a successful project management and it is focused on developing a roadmap that everyone on the team will follow. This phase begins with setting some goals and the two most popular methods for setting a goal are C.L.E.A.R. and S.M.A.R.T.
C.L.E.A.R. Goals – Is a new method for goal setting and takes into consideration the environment of modern fast-paced businesses. C for Collaborative, L for Limited, E for Emotional, A for Appreciable and R for Refinable.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals – This method ensures that the goals have been thoroughly vetted and at the same time provides a way to be clear on the implications of the whole goal-setting process. S for Specific, M for Measurable, A for Attainable, R for Realistic and T for Timely.
During this phase, another thing that is also defined is the scope of the project together with a project management plan development. This involves identifying the cost, available resources, quality and a timetable that will be realistic. A baseline also needs to be established, because it is essential to determine whether the project will be on track.
This is the phase where deliverables will be developed and confirmed. A lot of things will be happening during this phase, like meetings and status reports, development updates and performance reports. This is where the team involved in the project is informed about their responsibilities. Tasks which need to be completed during this phase are:
- Assigning resources
- Developing a team
- Executing project management plans
- Setting up tracking systems
- Procurement management
- Project manager managing and directing project execution
- Status meetings
- Modifying project plans
- Executing task assignments
- Updating project schedule
Even though the monitoring phase has different requirements, these two phases in many cases occur simultaneously. This is where a cloud-based easy project management software can be used, because the team members will be able to communicate better and update the task status in real time.
This phase is about measuring project performance and progression to ensure that everything that is happening will align to the project management plan. This is where project managers need to use key performance indicators or KPIs to see if the project is on track. Project managers will, in most cases, choose from two to five KPIs to measure project performance, and some of them are:
- Project Objectives – Which measure if a project is on budget and schedule and use it as an indication of whether or not the project will meet stakeholder objectives.
- Project Performance – Which monitors changes in the project and takes into consideration the types and amount of issues that have arisen and how quickly they will be addressed.
- Quality Deliverables – Which determine if a specific tasks regarding deliverables are being met.
- Effort and Cost Tracking – Where project managers will account for the cost and effort of resources to see if the budget is on track. This kind of tracking will inform the project managers if the project will meet its completion date based on current performance.
This is the phase that represents the completion of the project. Reports need to be based on variances from the baseline in terms of cost, time and scope and they also need to be metric-based to ensure that the team will be collecting information on a regular basis. Good reporting ensures that the team collecting the important information will do it on a regular basis. Reporting provides a snapshot of where project managers and projects really are at any time.
Contractors who were hired to work on this project are terminated and valuable team members are recognized. Once a project is complete, project managers will arrange a meeting to evaluate what went well in the project and to identify any project failures. This is very helpful, because there are lessons that can be learned so that improvements can be made for any future projects.
Once the project is over, project managers have several more tasks they need to complete. They need to compile a project punch list of tasks that did not get accomplished during the project and work with their team members to complete them.
They also need to perform a final project budget and a final project report and collect all project documents and deliverables, storing them in one place. This is where using a simple cloud-based project management software provides an easy way to collect and save all project documents in one single location throughout the entire project.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community