Introduction to Project Management
Anyone can do their basic day-to-day business work that routine mandates. But only special individuals within a company, institution, or organization have the ability to execute a project management process that can truly revolutionize the work and vision of a group of individuals.
Whether you’re a start-up entrepreneur just beginning a new nonprofit organization, or you’re a CEO of a large company looking for motivated individuals who can provide agile project management, project management training should be an important tool that you implement within your workplace.
There are dozens of different project management methodologies that are best suited for the different needs and visions of individuals and groups.
Image source: Pexels
In this brief article, AdvisoryHQ will take an in-depth look at who needs to learn project management methodologies and project management processes as well as the benefits that agile project management can offer to your organization.
We will then go on to offer a brief synopsis on how to organize a project management training session and how to come up with a quality project management plan.
In this brief introduction to project management, we will also define different project management terms, such as agile project management, as well offer some online resources where you can find quality project management templates and other project management tools and techniques.
This complete overview of project management best practices will help you find the best way to achieve the specific goals of a project that will take your company to the next level.
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Who Needs to Learn Project Management Methodologies and the Project Management Process?
Let’s say that you’ve been working at the same company for several years now and have cemented your place as a valuable member of your team.
You understand your role and can complete the tasks that have been assigned to you efficiently.
One day, you walk into work to find that your company has suddenly merged with a former competitor and will be taking on a whole new portfolio of products.
In order to continue to be useful and to play an important role in the merger, a project management training that teaches you basic project management terms is essential.
Simply defined, project management is the process of organizing, shaping, and consolidating the way that changes and modifications are applied efficiently within an organization or company. The project management process goes form the initial planning phase through execution and into project closure and evaluation.
Learning basic project management tools and techniques is a great way to bolster your reputation and value for your employer while maintaining relevance in times of change. According to Mindtools.com, “No matter what your role, you may have to manage or play an active role in a project at some point during your career.
It takes a great deal of skill to do this well, but the time you invest in building good project management skills can pay off enormously.”
In our rapidly changing economy and uncertain financial times, companies may very well find themselves being forced to adapt to new opportunities that come about simply to be able to survive. The days of stable jobs where you could count on doing the same tasks day in and day out have given way to the need for flexibility. Learning project management best practices can help prepare you to get involved in exciting short term projects that promise specific deliverables that are necessary for your organization’s growth and prosperity.
In the nonprofit arena, project management methodologies are a must. Nonprofits subsist on short-term projects and need to be able to adapt to new policies and frameworks determined by international development organizations. If you work in a nonprofit organization, learning how to develop a quality project management plan is a must.
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Project Management Training
If you feel that your company or organization is headed in a new direction and needs workers who understand a wide variety of project management methodologies, there are a number of ways that a self-motivated worker can find project management training online.
Instead of waiting for your boss to implement a project management process, you can proactively begin to learn how to develop a quality project management plan that will help your company with its short-term goals.
Learning Tree offers a varied selection of project management training and courses. From a basic introduction to project management that explains basic project management terms and ideas to more complex project management methodologies and special needs, this website covers pretty much every aspect of the project management process. You can even get a project management certification training through their website.
Another quality online destination to learn about the project management process is Project Management International. There are a number of project management training courses and certifications available including Project Management Professional, Portfolio Management Professional, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, and PMI Professional in Business Analysis, amongst others.
Project Management Plan
According to Wikipedia, a project management plan is a “formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. The primary uses of the project plan are to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communication among project stakeholders, and document-approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines.”
One of the most important aspects of the project management process is learning how to elaborate and follow a basic project management plan. The basic components of any project management plan seek to respond to the basic questions of why, what, who, and when to help the project team deliver the proposed results or product while foregoing the assumed risk that comes with the project.
Furthermore, a quality project management plan will include a number of components, including schedule management, resource management, communications management, risk management, and others. While every project management process will be different in how it is organized, an example of a basic project management plan can be found here.
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Agile Project Management and Other Project Management Methodologies
The project management process is constantly undergoing changes, and new project management methodologies are constantly being developed.
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is the most common of the project management methodologies that focuses on the most basic skills including scheduling, budgeting, and managing inputs and outputs.
Another common project management methodology that is popular in English-speaking countries outside the United States is PRINCE2, which stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. This project management process focuses more on helping members of the team clearly understand their roles so that project risk can be lowered. Furthermore, this offers different project management tools and techniques to ensure that communication lines remain open so that project goals can efficiently be completed.
One of the most popular current project management methodologies is agile project management. While more complex than the other project management processes, this approach is suitable for companies and organizations that find themselves in a tight-paced atmosphere. It focuses more on the ability of the team to maintain flexibility and adaptability.
Image source: agile project management
Agile project management incorporates many of the project management best practices while also recognizing that successful organizations are often those that don’t simply stick to an outdated project management plan.
Rather, the unique ability to understand the rapidly changing conditions and then apply the needed changes to the plan is the foundation of this project management process.
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Project Management Templates
For many people who are new to the project management process, one of the best ways to understand how this approach actually works within an organizational atmosphere is to review different project management templates that you can find online.
There is no one universal project management template because each organization will adapt the plan according to their own needs. Furthermore, many companies may even use different project management templates for different projects that come up from time to time.
While it is important to understand that simply copying word-for-word the different project management templates you find online may stifle your creativity and not be suitable for the specific project on hand, these templates can be helpful in generating ideas for you and your team. Two great sites where you can useful project management templates are Smartsheet.com and projectmanagementdocs.com. Smartsheet provides a variety of templates in Microsoft Excel format for free download.
Project Management Docs offers a diverse and constantly expanding group of documents that follows the PMBOK approach.
The project management templates offered by this website include documents on project planning, project initiation, project execution, monitoring and evaluating, and project closure, helping you to find the right template for every part of your project management plan.
Project Management Tools and Techniques
Once you have undergone a basic project management training, have understood project management terms, have researched the different project management methodologies available to you, and have scoured the Internet for a number of project management templates that you might be able to use for the development of your own project management plan, you are then ready to start looking for specific project management tools and techniques that will help you with the execution of your plan.
Project Management Guru states, “There are numerous tools and techniques that are used to aid project managers in their daunting task of planning and controlling project activities.” These project management tools and techniques are the flesh and blood of the project management process and are what will help you deliver the results that you need.
Perhaps the most respected resource on tools and techniques is the book Project Management Tools and Techniques: A Practical Guide. Close to 500 pages long, this quality textbook gives you all the information you could possibly want on project management tools and techniques. It has a number of examples and templates that can be adapted by everyone from novices to experienced professionals in the field of project management. You can find this book online here.
Another quality free online resource that looks at a number of project management tools and techniques is offered by the University of Missouri Saint Louis and can be found here. This free online resources explains in detail the Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) and Gantt Charts.
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How Project Management Best Practices Can Help Your Business Grow
Whatever the mission of your organization may be, the rapidly changing economic and social times in which we live make change a certainty. Learning how adapt to the demands of the times will require a focus on short-term projects that help your organization deliver quick products and goals. The project management process is widely recognized as the best way to ensure quality results.
By studying project management best practices and familiarizing yourself with the variety of project management methodologies out there, you can make certain that you and your business or organization will have a firm foot on the future.
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