Project management can be one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in a business. It consists of the process of creating, implementing and supervising a project, which means that project managers must adapt to the requirements of different projects and implement different approaches for each one. Sound complicated, right? Well, let’s break it down.
What is project management?
Project management can be defined as the implementation of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and practical experience to achieve the objectives of a specific project. It includes steps such as initiating, planning, executing, supervising and concluding the project.
Why is project management important for organisations?
- Team building: A project brings together a number of people to share ideas and implement them. Hence, effective project management helps encourage teamwork.
- Cost control: Project management strategies contribute significantly to reducing the risk of budget overrun. On-budget performance becomes imperative in the functioning of projects as high capital is involved in it.
- Integration management: Project management facilitates the process of integrating specific projects with existing business processes and goals.
- Optimises resources: It ensures that all of the organisation’s resources associated with the project are used efficiently.
- Change management: With market trends, business techniques and customer demands constantly on the move, project management plays a key role in coping with change.
- Retain knowledge: Project management ensures that the knowledge base of one project is retained before the project reaches its end goal. This knowledge can then be used in future projects, giving you a head start.
- Quality management: A project can be deemed successful only if it delivers quality results. To ensure this, project management techniques are used to identify and control quality.
Key project management skills
- Communication skills: A crucial skill for anyone who wants to excel in their career, communication is key for project managers to do their job efficiently. These professionals must ensure that all stages, issues and needs of a project are properly communicated to relevant stakeholders, as well as needing to make sure that all members of the team are communicating transparently and effectively to meet the goals of a project.
- Leadership skills: When you have a series of resources and personnel at hand, it becomes imperative to know how to effectively use, train and manage them. Here’s where leadership skills come into play.
- Risk management: Risks are a part and parcel of business operations. However, what makes a business or a project successful is the efficiency of risk management functions. A project manager must have the ability to analyse and predict potential risks that may arise throughout a project. Furthermore, they should have solutions in place for all the possible risks of a project.
- Team management: A project can only be successful if team members work together to produce the desired results. This can be achieved if the project manager has excellent team management skills and can effectively delegate tasks, resolve conflict, set goals, motivate team members and evaluate performances.
- Time management: When you are involved in a particular project, it is important to stick to timelines and schedules. Apart from being responsible for the amount of time each team member is spending on each task, managers must also organise their own time effectively. A great way to manage time efficiently is to set short-term goals within timelines, which will further lead to achieving long-term goals.
- Planning and organisational skills: Irrespective of your execution skills, a project will fail unless it is running on a solid plan; hence, project managers must have top-notch planning skills to devise the strategy, allocate resources and plan a schedule for the project.
Project management is becoming an increasingly popular course of study. If you are interested in becoming a project manager, enrolling in a postgraduate course with the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) is a great option. Established in 2003, LSBF is a business school that provides high-quality executive education courses. LSBF’s Online Global MBA (Project Management), which focuses on concepts like project management, leadership and cross-cultural management, is the perfect choice if you are keen to pursue a career in project management.
This article was written by Meghdeep Patnaik and edited by Luna Campos.
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