What is Project Management, all about it
November 9, 2022
Setting up a minimally complex project involves applying a rigorous project management method to achieve your goals.
Knowing the basics of project management is therefore important to go in the right direction.
We are going to talk about the different phases of a project, the tools, the role of the project manager or the project management methods in order to give you all the bases for the success of your project.
Discover our selection of tools that we have tested and analyzed according to the problems they solve and the type of company or project to which they are best suited:
Project management is a work methodology that has proven itself to carry out a project. All private companies love it, and consulting firms handle it on a daily basis. And for good reason: it is effective for, as English speakers say “get the job done”, understand “that the work is done”.
Project management is above all a management tool to allow a clear organization in project management. This tool is at the service of groups whose objectives are common and who must work as a team.
Without a team, project management loses its meaning. Team cohesion is essential to limit friction throughout the life cycle of a project. This responsibility lies above all with the project manager who will lead his team towards the final goal.
Once the common objectives of the group have been delimited, it will be a question of partitioning the work to be carried out to achieve them. With a good allocation, and an optimal calculation of resources and costs, project management maps the best path to success.
Project management comes in several methods depending on the project that needs to be done. We detail how to carry out a project while respecting specifications.
Project management consists of a very precise methodology that allows you not to lose sight of the objectives to be achieved. As she is very rhythmic and very framed, she ensures the right direction for the realization of the final deliverable.
It is a global method which allows to include in the balance the available resources and costs. The idea is to force the team to think about the best mix of tasks given the available resources.
This global management makes it possible to anticipate all the hard knocks and identify the optimal course to follow. Allocating the different resources therefore makes it possible to highlight the most effective means of achieving the objectives.
Moreover, this methodology is so precise that it requires taking project management courses or project management training. These will allow you to develop very specific project management skills, so that you can one day be a project manager.
To be successful in project management, several steps must be followed. They are a guarantee of the success of the final objectives.
This design phase is one of the key phases of the project. It will allow you to create a framework for your project. This will be an opportunity to scope the project, establish key objectives and available resources. It is essential for your project to be completed.
During this first project project launch phase , you will need to produce documentation on the goals of your project. It is important to know which directions to take. Another central element is the boundary of your project. You will need to define the outlines in order to work effectively afterwards. The first deliverable that constitutes the launch phase will therefore be intended to describe your project.
This document should therefore not only include proposals concerning your project, and a calculation of the risks. Everything can be summarized in the project charter, essential support throughout the process.
Once the project charter has been approved, it will be time to plan the business project. In this phase, it will be necessary to make a precise analysis of the needs required for the successful achievement of the project objectives.
This task may be carried out by the project manager alone or include the other members of the project implementation group. This step must take into account several essential criteria.
For a project planning to be successful, it is important to make a statement of the resources available for its realization. These can be of two kinds: material or human. The number of people involved, as well as the budgets, or the tools available will impact the progress of the project. The final objective is always to achieve the goal set at the start.
Another important consideration: time. This planning phase should not only take into account human and material resources but also time.
To correctly plan a project, it is important to have a good projection in time and key dates.
Setting realistic stage objectives means ensuring the smooth running of the project and its quality. The experience of the project manager will be decisive in setting measured milestones. It is important to aim straight, not to give too much or too little time, at the risk of crystallizing tensions.
Project planning software will save you a lot of time.
We tend to think of project management as being limited to the execution stage. However, for it to be particularly effective, the steps mentioned above are essential. Project execution is the heart of project management. This is when the actions foreseen in the next step are carried out by the designated parties.
Very often, the different actors and actresses of project management are interdependent. It is therefore important that everyone carries out the tasks incumbent on them so as not to block the others. The timings must be respected at each level so that the project progresses smoothly.
If the project has been properly planned, the monitoring and control of the project should not pose any particular problem. This step is not dissociated from the previous step. Indeed, monitoring should be done at the same time as the implementation phase. Monitoring the project means checking that the intermediate objectives have been achieved. It is also essential to check that all parties to the project are able to deliver their part.
At each stage completed, it is important to take stock and provide feedback on the work carried out as a team. This allows everyone to see the progress of the project in a concrete way. Everything remains overseen by the project manager, like a real conductor. In fact, monitoring is a synonym for project management.
Particular attention should be paid to risk management. Anticipating them while adapting to certain stages will prevent you from landing on failure on arrival.
Project closure is the stage that marks the end of a project’s life cycle. As with any good school assignment, each assignment should contain a conclusion. It is moreover one of the key stages which will be the one retained.
This step usually consists of a deliverable. Regardless of its format, the deliverable is a document or a concrete medium that makes it possible to present the results obtained during the project process. Its form and requirements must be mentioned in the project charter. Be careful not to underestimate the temporality of this task, because it is easily time-consuming in proofreading, formatting and corrections of all kinds.
During the closing phase, you will be able to carry out an evaluation of the realization of the project. This can be quantitative. For example, it will be a question of highlighting all the metrics specific to the project (cost, time, resources used, etc.) and of carrying out the assessments. Are they positive or negative? Do not neglect the qualitative part. A feedback on experience from the project collaborators makes it possible to highlight the strengths and weaknesses observed. They are an excellent axis of improvement for the future.
There are different project management methodologies, here are the most emblematic and useful as well as advice on which ones to use depending on the type of your project:
The most widely used today, this method is simple and applies to a large number of scenarios. This method is sequenced, and gives very clear guidelines. To put it into practice, you will need to follow 6 key steps:
As it is sequenced, the start of each task is dependent on the completion of other tasks. In other words, you cannot go to step n+1 until task n is completed. The downside though is that it’s a fairly rigid method, and isn’t the best for more complex projects.
Straight from England, the V-cycle method is considered a version 2 of the Waterfall model. It takes its name from the shape of its schematization. The left branch of the V is composed of the descending phase. It goes from the phase of definition of needs and feasibility studies to the concrete realization of the project. The ascending phase, on the right branch of the V starts from the realization to arrive at the acceptance phase.
This method makes it possible to be exhaustive, and to never lose sight of the objectives set at the start. It has also been widely used in the industrial field because of the rigor that we know about it. However, like the previous method, it contains a major defect: the tunnel effect due to its rigidity.
The PERT method, or also called TEEP (Technical Evaluation and Examination of Programs) is above all a visual project management tool for organization. With a very visual presentation, it allows you to position yourself well throughout the project process.
Each step, some of which are prioritized, has a beginning and an end. First, you need to define them. Then, these different tasks will have to be planned. This makes it easier to plan, but also to have good team coordination.
The agile method of project management is one of the most recent. It was designed to overcome the lack of flexibility of other methods. Agility makes it possible to better meet customer needs and create added value. It puts the focus on the final objective more than on the steps to achieve it.
If it is agile, a few steps are however key:
In this category there is the Scrum method which promotes regular cycles. With a method such as Scrum, the reorientation of the project is always possible. The Kanban method is very visual. The SAFe method is more framed.
In principle, the project manager, or project director is the one who pilots the project of a company. And it is quite natural that he has the role of a project manager. It is he who oversees all phases of the project. If the task is great, so is the responsibility. He will be the first face of the project, and his responsibility is engaged in case of failure.
To be a good project manager, management skills are essential. His first field of work is indeed the human dimension, management. The person appointed leader or project manager must be able to manage a team. She will have to use her best assets to lead her team to success, despite the pitfalls that may be along the way. Conflicts not being uncommon, she will have to position herself as a good project manager.
The project manager should be someone who masters the field of the project and who has undergone project management training. He should preferably have received a project management certification. As you will have understood, experience is a fundamental asset. Even if he has to delegate, and the technical tasks will be mainly carried out by the team, he must have a global understanding of the subject he is dealing with. It is important that he has a good knowledge of all the stages of the project and the actions of each actor. Thus, he will be able to perfectly lead his team.
Finally, the project manager will have to know his project management tools at his fingertips. To manipulate them, execute them, it is essential to have good knowledge of the methods applied.
The first and greatest benefit of project management is planning. The idea in using project management methods is to project oneself in time to dissect the steps to reach the final goal. The idea is therefore not to go blind, but to create a dedicated action plan.
From this stems the effectiveness of the model. If set up correctly, the project management method you have chosen will lead your business straight to success.
There are many project management tools. Any planning software is useful for initiating the planning work. Obviously, the realization will require all the tools specific to the technical tasks or not in question.
To gain in efficiency and in the digital age, we recommend that you use IT project management. With good management software, efficiency is increased tenfold, and project monitoring will be easier. Many free online and downloadable project management software exist. They will make your life easier, and will allow you not to forget any step in the implementation of your project management. task management
software or other is also very useful for a company of the SME or TPE type. Software allows you to have a clear and quick view of the level of progress. Training is possible to better master this kind of tool which is more than beneficial for the quality of the work.
As its evocative name specifies, working in agile project management mode means adopting a more flexible project management approach than traditional methods. We quickly realized that Waterfall or V- type methods are relatively rigid. They allow very advanced planning of tasks.
However, it is hard to get out of its frames. These methods are particularly effective in industrial or technical fields, for example. They turn out to be less optimal for projects involving a greater human component.
Working in an agile method (Scrum, Kandan, Safe, etc.) therefore makes it possible to put the focus back on customer satisfaction and objectives. As it is less rigid, risks can be more easily managed.