To create a successful project, the team should function as a single organism. Each member performs his/her particular functions for coherence of the entire team. But flawless workflow is almost impossible without the efficient project manager who would keep all the processes under control. The role of a project manager (PM) is much more essential than it may seem. PM is responsible for communication with the stakeholders, rational distribution of tasks between team members, monitoring the team efficiency and many more. In this article let’s outline the main project management steps that are taken during the process, and consider the involvement of a project manager to facilitate the successful project launch.
Short Introduction to a Role of Project Management
Project management is one of the most complicated work areas. To be brief, a project manager is responsible for the project in general, including dozens of processes taking place, starting from the very beginning till the project’s full completion. Project management presupposes planning, monitoring all the workflows, tasks assignment within the team, communication with customers and team members. As you may have already understood, any arising problem will be a burden of a project manager, and in case of any failures PM will also be responsible for them. Therefore possessing a wide array of skills, knowledge in different areas, exceptional communication skills — all it is vitally important for a project manager to facilitate the smooth project progress and its successful completion in future perspective.
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Major Project Management Steps to Be Taken
In order to perform all the responsibilities PM should carry out, there is a number of steps that should be taken to facilitate project success and avoid failures on the way. Let’s take a closer look at all these steps and try to understand their importance for the project in general.
- Project Initiation
It’s the earliest phase of the project development process which starts from the business case. The main aim at this stage is to define the project, gain its comprehensive overview, and assess it from various standpoints, including forthcoming workload and budget. At this phase the feasibility of the future project is evaluated, and if it is, stakeholders are informed, and then we proceed to the next stage.
- Project Planning
Once the feasibility of the project is assessed, it’s time to get into the following stage. Benjamin Franklin said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. This statement couldn’t be better if we take into consideration this stage. Efficient planning is a key to success of the future project. This round presupposes a variety of preparations. First, it’s necessary to define the scope of the project, set up goals and also define project success. Further, it’s necessary to establish a project development plan, which includes determination of an approximate deadlines, estimation of project cost and available resources. Allocation of the responsibility zones is also taking place at this stage. As you understand, if something was missed at the planning stage, project execution will not go that smoothly and flawlessly, moreover, it may lead to missed deadlines promised to a customer.
- Project Launch and Execution
All main workflows run during this phase. At this stage after careful planning, all the points developed on the previous step are implemented. Tasks distribution between team members, carrying out the objectives, meeting with stakeholders on a regular basis, updating project schedule take place at this phase. There also is a necessity to keep a customer up to date about the project progress, and in case some issues appear, plans may be slightly corrected at a time of project execution.
- Project Monitoring
This is about project progress and ensuring that everything is going in accordance with the developed plan. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are used to assess project progress. The performance is evaluated in accordance with achievement of goals set on the second phase. Here are several KPIs, with which help level of productivity may be determined:
Time Planned vs Time Spent — if time spent for the entire work on the project corresponds to the initial estimates.
Schedule Adjustments — the number of times deadlines for particular tasks completion were moved.
Cost Tracking — a comparison of the budgeted amount with the amount actually spent for the project.
Quality Deliverables — if quality of delivered work meets the expectations.
Project Performance — monitoring the amount of changes made during the process. It takes into consideration all the issues arising and their resolution effectiveness.
- Project Closure
The final stage of the project, when project deliverables are presented to the stakeholders. PM also prepares the final report where the overall project performance is evaluated: if there were any tasks unaccomplished, the budget spent for the project. At this phase meetings with the team are also held, to come to the conclusion what pitfails team members faced, how to avoid them in future and what can be improved in general.
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How to Boost up Project Management Efficiency at Each Step?
As it’s clear from the written above, project management presupposes control over all the workflows, which is pretty problematic taking into account their total number. In order to increase the project management efficiency level, one of the most evident solutions is to use project management software that would contain all the information about the project and automate dozens of routine tasks, which will alleviate some of the burden on a project manager and will allow to deal with tasks with higher priority. Let’s pay attention to a project management solution XB Software has developed for the construction industry.
Screenshot From Full-featured Project Management Solution for Construction Industry Case Study
Our developers created a full-featured project management software that provides a wide array of tools that allow to monitor the project progress, assign tasks to particular team members, create various kinds of reports in a couple of seconds and many more. Our team used DHTMLX Scheduler to create the resource calendar the user could review tasks assigned to a particular team member. To gain the visual representation there is a Gantt Chart based on DHTMLX Gantt implemented, for more convenience and overall picture of this or that project. Introduction of this custom solution helped the client to reach the following goals: managing all the documents and projects within one system, better interaction between team members and departments, and efficient resources distribution.
Efficient project management is already half the battle for successful project launch. There are dozens of tasks and tons of responsibilities lying on a project manager at each step of the process. Therefore it’s extremely important to use time rationally and set out priorities right. And here a project management software will definitely be able to help. Features the software can offer will help users to get rid of the number of time-consuming routine tasks. If you wish to use all the advantages custom project management software can provide, please contact us.