5 Phases to Follow for an Effective Project Management
Project management is at the core and foundation of any organization and project managers have big roles to play in the field. In order to help you become an efficient project manager, we have compiled 5 Phases to follow for the effective project management.
Whether you’re a designer, developer, team lead, or administrator, you will be given the opportunity to work full time on a project one day and so it is important that you are equipped with the strategies and processes needed to manage a successful project in the real world.
What is project management?
This is simply defined as the process of planning, coordinating, and managing the resources and people required to accomplish a project successfully. Project management should be a straightforward event that should make any project more actionable and clear as well as solve problems easily.
We cannot completely talk about project management without project managers. An important aspect of this area of specialization is that project managers who are the major players must be deeply immersed in their roles and their responsibilities. They must be obsessed with providing quality work along with rendering a perfect strategy.
Let’s think of it this way. How do you think one of the few wonders of the world; the Colosseum of Rome still stands today if not for the careful planning and execution of its builders? Project managers have huge responsibilities. The understanding of what they do and how they can do it is paramount to the success of the project.
For you to be a fully grounded project manager capable of successfully finishing a project, you must;
- Be a people person and a team leader capable of bringing out the best in your team and empowering them to be more productive, efficient, and innovative.
- Recognize the risks that can hinder the project and make plans to eliminate them.
- Recognize the triple constraint of project management and determine whether a project can be completed on time and on budget.
- Be able to keep the project on track and avoid disparagement in plan and scope of the project in addition to managing and monitoring daily work.
- Succeed in buying your team and stakeholders into your goals and plan for the project by creating a clear and unified project strategy.
Understanding the process of Project Management
Projects come in different types, from the development of new software to the makeover of a website or even the construction of a new structure. Every project is different and necessitates a delicate balance between the product owner’s expectations and your team’s, budget, and schedule constraints.
Several projects have a limited, well-defined objective and are completed swiftly (like making a repair on a leaking roof for example). Others unfold over months or even years, evolving as they go.
Regardless of the magnitude or complexity of your project, it’s widely accepted that it has a life cycle that is connected by a set of five ‘phases’ from beginning to completion.
The five phases of the project management process are defined by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and they are listed below.
The Five Phases of Project Management
- Project Initiation
- Project Planning
- Project Execution
- Project Monitoring and Controlling
- Project closing
PHASE 1 – Project Initiation
The project initiation phase is the first step in transforming a vague idea into a concrete goal. You must develop a business case and define the project on a broad level at this stage. To do so, you must first determine the project’s need and then create a project charter.
The project charter is a crucial document that contains information such as project constraints, goals, the project manager’s appointment, budget, and expected timeline.
Identify key project stakeholders–the people who will be involved in the project–once you have the project goals and scope. Create a stakeholder list that includes roles, responsibilities, communication requirements, and power.
Phase 2 – Project planning
The project planning stage necessitates meticulous attention to detail because it lays out the project’s roadmap. Unless you’re using a more sophisticated project management methodology like agile project management, the second phase of project management is likely to consume nearly half of the project’s total time.
Identifying technical requirements, developing a detailed project schedule, creating a communication plan, and setting up goals/deliverables are the main tasks in this phase.
Among the several methods for establishing project goals, the most popular are S.M.A.R.T. and C.L.E.A.R. goals.
The SMART Acronym means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely and It ensures that the objectives you set for your project are evaluated critically. It’s a tried-and-true method for reducing risk and allowing project managers to set clear, attainable goals.
The CLEAR Acronym means Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable and Refinable. This method is created to accommodate the fast-paced nature of today’s workplace. A CLEAR goal can assist you in meeting the demands of today’s fast-paced businesses, which include flexibility and immediate results.
In the planning stage of a project, the scope of the project is defined. Project managers also develop a work breakdown structure (WBS), which clearly visualizes the entire project in different sections for the team management. The project manager is responsible for extrapolating past data to identify potential project management risks and developing a strategy to minimize them. A detailed project timeline with each deliverable is another important element of the planning stages.
Phase 3 – Project execution
The actual work is done by your team during the project execution stage. Your job as a project manager is to set up efficient workflows and keep a close eye on your team’s progress.
Keeping effective collaboration between project stakeholders is another responsibility of the project manager during this phase. This keeps everyone on the same page and ensures that the project goes off without a hitch.
You can use the best project collaboration tools available on the market to assist you. They’ll not only make your life easier, but they’ll also improve your team’s efficiency and productivity.
Phase 4 – Project monitoring and controlling
The third and fourth phases of the project management process are not sequential. The project monitoring and control phase runs concurrently with the project execution phase, ensuring that the project’s objectives and deliverables are met.
By establishing Critical Success Factors (CSF) and Key Performance Indicators as a project manager, you can ensure that no one deviates from the original plan (KPI).
During the project management monitoring phase, the manager is also in charge of keeping a quantitative track of the effort and cost. This tracking is important not only for ensuring that the project stays on budget, but also for future projects.
Phase 5 – Project closing
It’s time to hand off the project to your client once you’ve completed all of the required deliverables.
After the project is completed, most teams hold a reflection meeting to discuss their successes and failures. This is a good way to ensure that the company is always improving in a bid to boost the team’s overall productivity in the future.
A project’s official ‘closing’ phase is a time for celebration. After that, all of the necessary data is stored in a secure location that can be accessed by the organization’s project managers.
Reduce the Complexity in Project Management
Project management, on the other hand, should be simple at its core. Managing any project is all about making complicated problems easier to understand, understandable, and actionable. Nowadays, using cloud-based project management software to store all of the project’s documents is a common practice.
To learn more about using a cloud-based project management software for you business, schedule an appointment with us.