What is Project Management?

The beauty of project management is that even though there's a definite science behind it, it's also an art. A large element of project management has to do with creativity, such as creative problem solving; creative organization tactics, strategies, and methodologies, and creative project leadership all go into the "art" of project management.

But project management is more than just a buzz word in the world of business today. In fact, project management experience and skills are in high demand. However, project management isn't for everyone; it requires a very specific skill set and personality to guide, organize, and manage complex projects, people, programs, and organizational objectives and initiatives efficiently from beginning to end.

According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Fifth Edition, which is essentially a "rule book" for project managers, project management in its most basic form is defined as: "...The application of knowledge, tools, and techniques to manage project activities to meet project requirements."

Furthermore, project management is accomplished through the management and integration of logically grouped processes, which are categorized into the following five process groups:

1. Initiating
2. Planning
3. Executing
4. Monitoring and controlling
5. Closing

To break this down a step further, a project manager approaches every project in the following steps:

1. Define
2. Design
3. Develop

4. Deliver

What Does a Project Manager Actually Do?

Every business and organization has goals and objectives. However, most business owners and entrepreneurs are the creative masterminds behind the operation. Many of them have big ideas but seldom know how to execute them.

Enter: project manager.

A project manager will guide the project from design to delivery to ensure a project gets done on time and within budget.

A project manager does all of the things.

In another example, project managers are also hired to help manage client projects. As a business owner or entrepreneur, managing clients and projects itself is a full time job. Therefore, many organizations and businesses will hire a full time project manager to do all of the things, from planning and monitoring the day-to-day projects, tasks, and activities in a smooth, streamlined process to mitigating risks of overrunning budgets, following the critical path or crashing schedules.

Project Management Methodologies (PMM) and Frameworks

One of the most valuable things about project management is that its principles can be applied to various projects and industries. For example, agile project management is a popular methodology particularly used in managing software and IT projects. The benefit behind executing the agile methodology is that it is works will for projects in complex, fast-moving environments. This methodology and project management environment enables teams to be flexible in responding to changes in customer needs and requirements as well as project scope.

Read this post to learn more about the importance of agile project management in 2017.

Furthermore, project management frameworks are also available for more traditional projects that require a specific baseline for scheduling, budgeting, risk analysis and management and also scope management, all of which can be used and executed in a project to ensure project deliverables are delivered on time, within budget, and according to project specifications and stakeholder requirements.

Project Management is Really Project Leadership...

Project management has shifted greatly from principles used in the 60s and 70s to used to build airplanes and even the principles instituted by NASA. Today, project management is really evolving into project leadership.

Personally, I've always believed that there is a fine line between a manager and a leader. A manager does just that: manage. But a good leader displays an excellent balance between managing the business side and people side or a project.

A leader not only works with team members and stands by them, but also encourages them to do their very best at what they do and beyond.

A leader also encourages and welcomes open communication and conflict within his or her team, and also recognizes the fine line between open, informal and formal communication, and knows when each is appropriate.

A leader also learns the power of active listening and practices it well.

The Value of Project Management: How Can a Project Manager Help Your Business?

Now that you understand more about project management as a whole and what a project manager actually does, you can begin to recognize the value of project management, and how a project manager might be able to help you in your own organization.

Working with a project manager can produce real business results, boost efficiency, drive down costs and even enhance your reputation. Furthermore, by working with a project manager in your own organization, you give yourself someone you can delegate tasks to, reducing stress for yourself as well as your team members.

In the world of business, everything comes down to numbers and how well your organization communicates. By increasing the efficiency of your organization's workflows and structure, you are also improving the customer experience as well as building long-term relationships with your customers. When you are able to effectively meet these goals, the results will be higher profits and happier customers.

If you're looking for an experienced project manager who has worked with a number of businesses reach their target goals in a number of industries, then contact us today. We have experience helping businesses of all shapes, sizes, and scope to manage client projects and reach organizational goals to drive results. Contact us today and speak with us for FREE by calling 508-326-8043.

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