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What is Project Management?: Concept, Benefits and Phases

Before you start planning any project, you need to know what project management really is. Knowing the phases that make it up and the benefits provided by such management are determining factors. Whether you are starting in the world of project management or have already gained experience, this article will surely be useful.

What is Project Management?

The project management consists of all actions that must be performed to meet a defined within a certain period of time. Resources, tools and people are used target with a cost to be taken into account when making the budget. In the end, you always get some final products that must correspond to the initial objectives.

To a greater or lesser extent, any company today does project management. Regardless of its size, the activity it develops, or the sector where it operates. Since a project can be from an excellent job specific to a client or even optimize an internal process within the organization itself.

The objective when doing project management, after all, is that you make an original product and that it meets a specific customer need. It is usually more complicated than with the standard way of marketing. In which a customer purchases a product to meet their need. However, in a project, the product has to fulfill a specific need that must be clear. This is one of the difficulties of project management since there are usually no precedents in the organization.

The project management encompasses a methodology that we will see in this article and the following being some of the most important:
1. Define the phases of our projects
2. Define the project budget
3. Define scope
4. Define the duration
5. Define the objective

Benefits of Project Management

When managing a project, you can find several benefits that will help your company in different areas and will make the task of achieving business objectives much easier:

  • It enables a quick response to the different market demands since the employees’ reaction capacity is maximized, and more is achieved at a lower cost. However, beyond meeting the budgetary objectives, it is very important to provide added value and quality. When you manage a project, you have to make sure that the workers know all their responsibilities in order to fulfill the mission. Consequently, they find ways to improve the project and save on costs and time.
  • Externally, thanks to project management, you provide an overview and improvement in company communication. Global objectives are set in the organization. Therefore there is also a general budget and company costs for the entire organization. With good project management, a better transfer of information is created between different departments, and priorities are set more easily.
  • It allows you to learn from the past lessons. Creating what is known as “Know How” allows you to use the planning experience and use it for future projects. During the project’s execution and development phases, errors will be identified and corrected. Allowing the definition of more optimized processes and creating good practices that can be reused.
  • You have correct information about the work team’s true capacity since in project management, synergies between the organization’s employees are maximized. One of the project manager’s main roles is to get people to work in a synchronized way, in harmony. Knowing how to identify problems, manage conflicts, negotiate, stimulate cooperation are essential qualities that a good Project manager must-have.
  • There is a customer-focused vision. As we have commented before during the benefits section. A project always focuses on the client to cover a specific need.
  • It ensures quality , since it allows you to provide the customer with a product that meets this and the appropriateness of use. A punctual delivery, exceeding the budget and meeting the clients’ quality expectations allow to consolidate the brand image and generate business opportunities for your organization.

Phases in Project Management

When managing a project, it must be taken into account that it has several phases, which are always the same, and there are four:

1. Planning:

Planning is the first phase in the management of a project and is prior to its development. In this point or phase, you have to define what activities will have to done and estimate the project’s duration. It is the task management phase that consists of defining the tasks, assigning them to the people responsible for their execution, determining their duration, defining the dependency between tasks, and prioritizing them. You must also indicate what resources will be necessary to be able to carry out the project successfully.

2. Scheduling:

Scheduling is the second phase of project management and consists of creating the project execution schedule. Indicating the dates on which each part of the project will be carried out, including the beginning and end dates. This phase, together with the planning phase, are prior to the start of the project.

3. Monitoring and Control of the Project:

This phase is the only phase of all the management done during the project. It consists of monitoring and controlling its execution. That is, obtain data on the evolution and take the correct measures in case there is any problem. Flexibility and responsiveness are essential for good project management. Let’s not be naive. No matter how much we plan a project, we will always have to introduce changes to solve an incident, facilitate the work of the men and women involved, etc. The ability to adapt and manage change are two important factors if we want to be successful.

4. Analysis and Evolution:

This is the fourth and final phase of project management, which happens after the project is finished. In this, what is done is to measure the differences between what was foreseen during the planning phase and what has happened. Usually the planned budget and the real cost are usually measured above all. This phase is also important because it allows you to observe the mistakes that have been made throughout the process and learn from the experience for future projects.

The Importance of the Project Management

Fewer than two in five organizations consider project management an important success factor in their strategy. A recent study by the PMI (Project Management Institute), “The High Cost of Low Performance,” confirms this. This report also shows the advantages associated with project management and the dissemination of good practices. According to the aforementioned study, organizations that use project management methods and tools usually achieve a success rate of 71% concerning the initial objectives. The rest of the companies that do not use them only reach a rate of 52%.

The project manager figure is responsible for developing the project within a previously stipulated budget and schedule. Success will depend on the parties’ excellent coordination and the strategic initiatives that will be implemented to achieve the objectives pursued. To achieve this, the ‘ Project Managers ‘ rely on their experience and knowledge. But also on solutions that allow them to properly monitor the evolution of the project (timeline, progress, costs, deviations from what was planned, etc.).

Skills in project management will help you avoid risks. And make efficient and effective use of the resources made available to the workgroup. On the other hand, team members will be able to be adequately guided, understand their responsibilities and expected results. And always be involved in respecting the task schedule to complete the project on time and within the allocated budget.

Another important aspect for the project manager to keep in mind is understanding how people work and why they work this way. This is the only way to detect more efficient
work dynamics, apply good practices, standardize processes, and ensure that tasks are carried out optimally. If this is achieved, then project management can be optimized by minimizing risks, controlling costs, and maximizing the organization’s chances of success. Those are the keys to success.

Projects carried out smoothly, within budget, and on schedule, send a very clear message about the company’s competence and professionalism and help consolidate the organization’s reputation and image. A strong brand can increase the business value of a company, in addition to building strong relationships with stakeholders based on trust.

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