Project management is the art of initiating, strategizing, implementing, overseeing and finalising the work of a team to accomplish objectives and meet predetermined criteria within a set timeframe. The main challenge, in project management is to achieve all project goals while working within defined limitations, which typically include scope, time, quality and budget.
There are five processes involved in project management.
This phase entails establishing a project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining approval to commence the endeavour.
During this stage the objectives of the project are. Refined while carefully mapping out the steps and resources required for their attainment. It often involves developing a project plan that encompasses aspects such as scope, timeframes and budgetary considerations.
This process involves executing the devised plan by performing all planned activities. It focuses on turning plans into actions.
In this phase, progress and performance of the project are continuously monitored, reviewed and regulated. The primary aim is to ensure that the project stays on track while adhering to predefined constraints in terms of scope timeframes quality standards as financial considerations. Any deviations between planned progress versus progress are. Addressed promptly.
The final step involves closing out the completed project or phase by conducting assessments or evaluations while documenting lessons learned for future reference.
By following these processes in project management with diligence and effective oversight, throughout each stage of development ensures successful completion while meeting desired objectives.
The closing phase of a project involves completing all the tasks to wrap up the project or phase. This includes activities, like obtaining approval from stakeholders organising and storing project documents and conducting evaluations after the project is completed.
Being a project manager requires a combination of expertise, interpersonal skills and deep understanding of the specific field or industry. Various tools and techniques such as Gantt charts Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) and risk management practices are used to assist in managing projects.
Additionally, there are methodologies and approaches to project management such as PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) by the Project Management Institute, PRINCE2, Agile methodology, Scrum framework, among others.
Project Management Development
Project management plays a role, in todays paced business world. The success or failure of a project often hinges on project management. Over time project management has evolved from techniques to a discipline, supported by various tools, methodologies and best practices. Let’s take a look at the development and current trends in project management.
1. Historical Perspective.
- 1950s 1960s; During this period modern project management methods began to take shape. Popular tools like the Gantt chart, which has been around since the 1900s gained traction. The Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path Method (CPM) were also developed during this era.
- 1970s; In 1969 the Project Management Institute (PMI) was established, later introducing the recognised Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) which has become a reference for project management.
- 1980s; With the advent of computers, project management software underwent a revolution that made it more accessible to professionals, from backgrounds.
2. Emerging Trends & Development.
- Agile and Scrum; These methodologies were introduced in the 2000s. Focus on flexibility and adaptability as opposed to the more rigid traditional waterfall approach.
- Lean Project Management: Taking inspiration from manufacturing principles this approach aims to increase efficiency and minimise waste in project processes.
- Hybrid Methodologies: By combining practices, with approaches teams can benefit from the strengths of both.
- Project Management Software: Collaboration and progress tracking have been revolutionised by tools like JIRA, Trello, Asana and Microsoft Project.
3. Future Outlook.
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning; These technologies are expected to play a role in predicting project outcomes optimising resource allocation and even automating project management tasks.
- Remote & Distributed Teams; With the growing popularity of work there will be an increasing need for tools and methods that cater to teams spread across locations.
- Continued Emphasis on Soft Skills; While technical expertise remains crucial the significance of skills such, as communication, leadership abilities and emotional intelligence will continue to rise.
4. Professional. Certifications.
- PMP (Project Management Professional); This certification, offered by PMI is widely recognised globally as one of the project management certifications.
- Prince2; A popular project management methodology known for its process driven approach extensively used in the UK and Europe.
- Certified ScrumMaster; Ideal, for those seeking expertise in project management through the Scrum methodology.
5. Challenges & Areas to Focus On.
- Stakeholder Management: Ensuring alignment among all stakeholders in complex projects often poses a significant challenge.
- Risk Management; The proactive identification and mitigation of risks present room for improvement, across projects.
- Resource Optimization: Efficiently managing and allocating resources—both human and material—can be a balancing act that demands attention.
In summary project management has experienced growth and evolution over the years. With technology advancements and evolving business practices project managers must remain updated, adaptable to change and embrace development to thrive in this ever-changing landscape.
David Alssema is a Body Language Expert and Motivational Speaker. As a performer in the personal development industry in Australia he has introduced and created new ways to inspire, motivate and develop individuals.
David Alssema started his training career with companies such as Telstra and Optus Communications, and then developed Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) within workplace training as principal of Paramount Training & Development.
As an author/media consultant on body language and professional development David has influenced workplaces across Australia. He contributes to Media such as The West Australian, ABC Radio, Australian Magazines and other Australia Media Sources.