10 Tips to Build Project Management skills
A project is a temporary venture with a specific start and end dates, with defined goals and objectives to be met. Ensuring that the project is implemented well and gets desirable results requires some amount of discipline in planning, organizing, managing and financing and this is known as Project Management. Management of a project is required to work well within the constraints of a project namely: scope, time and budget. Hence, it is important to brush up or develop project management skills.
1. Project Management Jargons: The jargons used may make it appear like they are more complicated than it is actually is. So ensuring you are familiar with the project management jargons will help you understand the conversations around you, increase your understanding of the work involved etc. The jargons may differ from company to company too.
2. Project Planning: First step before you embark on a project is to plan it well. Quite often to get the work started, enough importance is not given to the planning phase and repercussions of this are seen through the project. The plan includes scope, schedule, requirements gathering, financial and quality management, risk and procurement management, etc.
3. Initiation Documentation: To avoid different perspectives of where the project is or how it is to be executed, a project initiation document is required. It brings clarity to everyone and helps document the plan. This document defines the scope and clarifies the need for the project, charts out the roles of each team member, etc.
4. Time Estimation: A project comes with an end date and hence the tasks also need to be estimated and timed. This gives an idea to the team about when they need to complete what set of activities, and is crucial for getting the contracts, fixing the revenue and knowing what the profit margins are. For further tips you should learn more about 10 time management skills.
5. Estimation and Managing Costs: The project cost management process ensures that all the costs involved in the project are recorded or accounted for, necessary approvals and sanctions are in place and tracked from time to time. More importantly, the project manager needs to ensure the costs do not overshoot the budget and result in losses.
6. Breakdown of Work: A project is made easy by breaking down the entire structure to manageable bits in a methodical manner. The structure clarifies or calls out tasks that can be performed without any dependence, assigns responsibilities to the various team members, allocates other resources and also acts as a controller of the project.
7. RACI Matrix: This represents ‘Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed’. To accomplish the desired result / task is ‘Responsible’. Person in charge of the accuracy of task is ‘Accountable’ (usually ‘Responsible’ reports to ‘Accountable’). Subject matter experts on the project are the ‘Consulted’; and the people kept informed about the progress made are the ‘Informed’.
8. Reporting: Project progress reports are essential to let the stakeholders know of the progress, issues, milestones met, budget status, identified risks, mitigations etc. The reports are usually created by project managers and the target audience is project sponsor, finance, executive team, and project team members. The reports can also help analyze trend lines. If you are a project manger then you must aware of these team management skills.
9. Handling Change Management: It is unrealistic to expect no changes to happen in the scope, time or budget of the project and assume it will go exactly as planned. As a project manager, you will need to make the transition and help in implementing the change as easily as possible by all people involved.
10. Project Review: Conducting a project implementation review helps examine if the project achieved its goals, how the project was executed, learning from failed processes, and better ways to do the project. Thus, it empowers you greatly to execute the next project in a more efficient method and makes note of the best practices.