Project Management is the art of managing a project’s work according to its needs. As with any other skill, there are some things that you can learn and do as a Project Manager to ensure your projects remain on schedule, within budget, and that you hit all your milestones.
In the upcoming posts, I’ll try to enumerate these lessons and also provide some tips on how to apply them. As a project manager myself, I’ve got more than my fair share of lessons learned and would be happy to share them with anyone who is interested in becoming a project manager.
Refresh 24 spa has some more information about Lessons you learn as a Project Manager.
I am assuming that my readers have a basic understanding of what Project Management is but if you need a refresher, there are plenty of resources on the internet or you can check out some books at your local library.
In this post I’ll introduce my readers to the concept of project management, its importance and why it’s an important skill for any aspiring IT professional to develop.
Here some points are discussed-
1. Define the project you are working on:
A project is a set of tasks that must be completed by a defined period of time. For example, you may have a project to build a website. The period of time required for this is not really very certain.
You can easily imagine that given the nature of your website, it could take 2-3 months or even more than 2 years to complete. If you are having project difficulty in completing the work, it’s because of one or more reasons:
a) You need too many people to complete the work
b) You have incomplete information or vague tasks
c) The responsibilities are not clearly defined within the team.
2. Think through the scope of the project:
No one can complete a project alone. Thus a clear definition of the scope is required at the initial phase. The scope of a project is the list of tasks that must be accomplished within a given period of time.
3. Prioritize your tasks:
Once you have defined the scope and estimated it, you then need to prioritize your tasks for efficient completion. You can do this by specifying priority on each task as shown in image below:-
This helps you to know what is most critical and which one could be delayed/dropped while completing another task. You should only delay crucial tasks and not those which are low on priority but can be completed within a short time frame.
4. Have a rock solid Plan:
Once you have prioritized your tasks, you need to have a plan to complete them. Lack of plan is a very common issue in projects, which results in loss of time, effort and money. Following are some essential steps for project planning:
- A) Define the resources required for each task. For example- the web designers who will be creating a website for you and the required amount of time it will take them to complete this work.
A project is nothing without its people who are responsible for carrying out different tasks and these people can be from various departments (development, design etc.). If you’re working on a website, there is a need to define the resources like web designer, content writer etc. If you’re working on an application, there is a need to define resources like developers and testers who will be testing the application.
- B) Define how much time will be required for each task (duration of the task and the time it will take). For example- If there are 20 web designers available for your project, it may take you 5 weeks or less than 2 weeks to complete the website as per your business needs.
5. Run a pilot project:
This will help you to identify any areas that need significant improvement that are causing delay in the project. It can be technical, people or many other areas. You should have completed your task on time and quality and should have done a final check for everything before submitting the work for evaluation. This can be done by giving another project to someone else in your team of web designers, if you are working on website creation.
This will help you to identify the areas that are causing delay in project completion. It also provides an opportunity for us managers to improve our management skills because we learn from our mistakes.