Small Business  

Project Management


Project Management Guide, Resources, Tools and Tips

Project management is the art of getting things done in an effective and efficient way. It is also the disciplined approach for developing strategies, planning, managing, controlling and finishing projects within given constraints such as project deadlines, budget, quality requirements, productivity and profitability.

Project managers have the resources available within the project constraints or limitations on one hand and the project requirements on the other hand. The successful project management requires smart managing of resources to achieve or exceed the required project results.

Depending on the type of the organization the project requirements will vary. For example, for an engineering company typical project requirements would be described as technical specifications, for non-profit organization requirements might be maximizing value for stakeholders and for small business the project requirements might be cost reduction or profit growth given the project limited resources. In any case and for every company the same logic applies to project management.

The project manager always starts with clearly defining the specific project requirements. Next, the planning stage will outline a clear plan for action within the given deadline and budget and all the other project constraints. Finally the project will be executed, managed, controlled and the results delivered to the stakeholders.

Unlike business processes which are repetitive by nature (they perform on a continuous basis), the projects are one-time events which means that all projects have a clear and well defined project start and project end. Every project has a time period between starting and ending the project. In addition, every project has a project budget and project team members with clear assigned project tasks and expectations reporting to the project manager who in turn reports the project progress and results to the stakeholders. Because of all these limitation and requirements every project needs a clear project scope, goals and objectives and smart resource planning and allocation within the given resources and constraints.

What is the process of developing the project from the very beginning till the end of the project? Typical project development regardless of size, scope and industry will go through five major project stages:

1. Project Initiation

2. Project Planning

3. Project Execution

4. Project Control

5. Project Completion

While this is a traditional way and standard approach to analyzing, planning and managing projects not every project will go equally through the all of them.

Some of these five project stages will be more important and demanding in one project than into another - which is perfectly normal. You as a project manager will spend more time and resources during one stage in one project while you will need more resources for another project stage during your next project.  For example, some projects demand a lot of time and resources during the planning stage while other may need more resources time and budget for the project control stage. However, using the traditional 5 stage approach to project management gives a good starting point for outlining and planning a project.

Free Project Management Templates

Each and every successful project manager and project management professional needs effective project management templates for project management, documentation, reporting, budgeting, project control... There are many project management templates available that can be used as they are or they can be easily customized to suit your project needs and requirements. Some of them are free project templates while others are available for purchase... What project templates I need?

Free Project Management Software

Project managers use various project management software, templates applications and tools. Project tasks must be synchronized and coordinated a at the same time the project team must be managed through effective communication. What project software I need?

Project Manager's Roles

Project managers make sure they plan, manage and execute the project ontime, within budget and stay on top of every project milestone and activity. There are many roles and responsibilities that successful project managers have however the following tips explain the top 5 roles every project manager should always...

Project Management Skills

Are you a Project Manager or involved in multiple projects? What are your project management skills? Even if you don't think in terms of projects and project management chances are you are in charge or part of various projects. Obtaining project management skills and developing project management approach can benefit your career as a project manager...

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