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How to give Time Estimation in a Project?

How to give Time Estimation in a Project?

How to give Time Estimation in a Project?

Accurate Time Estimation is a very important aspect of Project Management. For a project to be called a success, it has to be completed on time and within the budget. Therefore, it is imperative that the project manager is able to estimate time accurately so as to know how long a project will take to complete. This will help enhance project planning, ensure timely delivery of milestones and to determine the pricing of contracts.

Must Read: 8 Ways to Improve Productivity for Startups

Many times, the amount of time required to complete a project is underestimated; especially when the project manager is not acquainted with the work required to be done. He may miss out taking into account unforeseen events or urgent high-priority tasks. In order to be able to accurately estimate project timelines, you can follow the below steps.

Understand the project requirements:-

Begin with understanding the project requirements by engaging the key stakeholders. The goal of the project can be- to develop a new product or software, create new service model of an organization, upgrading existing systems, etc. Thoroughly knowing the project requirements will help to identify the amount of work that needs to be done on the project.

Decide the order of all tasks/deliverables:-

Now list all the activities that have to be completed in great detail. Note them down in a chronological order. It is not necessary that you mention the timeline for each task. However, it would be prudent to make a note of important deadlines.

Decide who you need to involve:-

It is important that a project manager seeks the active participation of the key stakeholders who are commissioning the project. Also, you may take the help of subject-matter experts and people who have done such tasks earlier. This will ensure that they contribute in estimating timelines due to their prior experience.

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Estimate time required:-

When you begin to estimate the time, do not do it for the project as a whole. Instead, set a timeline for completion of each task on your list of deliverables. There are certain factors which may cause delays in completing tasks. Ensure that you allow enough time for the following:-

  • General project management administration and meetings.
  • Liaison with suppliers and contractors for resources, including delays in deliveries by suppliers.
  • Accidents and Emergencies.
  • Breakdowns in equipment.
  • Holidays or illness of key project members.
  • Quality control rejections.
  • Other high-priority tasks depending on urgency.

Various Methods for Estimating Time:

Bottom-Up Estimation:-

Bottom-up estimation involves estimating time for the project as a whole. In this approach, larger tasks are broken down into smaller, detailed tasks and then the time needed to complete each task is estimated. To get an idea about how long you will take to complete the project, you may add up the estimated time needed for each task.

Top-Down Estimation:-

In this approach, you develop an overview of the estimated time by using previous project experience as a guide. You may compare the bottom-up estimates and top-down estimates to have a better understanding of the required time. There could be a huge difference between the two estimates; however, you can use both to arrive at more accurate time estimation.

Comparative Estimation:-

In this approach, you compare your project with other similar projects to estimate time to be taken for completing the project.

Parametric Estimation:-

In this approach, you estimate the time required to complete one task and multiply it with the number of similar tasks or deliverables. This method is useful when all the tasks listed are of the same type/ repetitive work.

Three-Point Estimation:-

In this approach, you develop three different time estimates- one for the best case, second for the worst case and the third for the most likely case. This method equips you to set more reasonable time estimates based on a more realistic estimate of outcomes.

Conclusion:

As an efficient project manager, you should be able to estimate deadlines accurately. Failing which, you may lose a lot of credibility and money. If you under-estimate time requirements, you will continuously miss various deadlines causing delays at every stage of the project. Moreover, you would end up putting the project team under unnecessary stress.

Related Articles: 

  1. Project Risk Management: The Four Stages of Project Risk Removal
  2. Leadership Techniques for Project Managers
  3. Seven Early Signs of Project Failure
  4. Complete Collection of Project Management Statistics 2016

Project Risk Management: The Four Stages of Project Risk Removal

Project Risk Management: The Four Stages of Project Risk Removal

Project Risk Management: The Four Stages of Project Risk Removal

Project Risk Management – Here’s the Four Stages of Risk Removal.

A project risk can be defined as “an unforeseen event or condition” which may have a negative impact on the project’s objectives, in case the event takes place. Risks to a project are bound to crop up as a project progresses from being an idea mapped on a whiteboard into being a project management strategy. Different types of risk will keep on popping up at every stage of the project. Even the most skilled project manager who is working on a well-planned project will have to deal with risks. Project risks are inevitable and therefore, project managers must continually assess risks and develop plans to tackle them. The most effective way to deal with risks is to have a proper risk management procedure as well as risk removal stratagem.

The process of project risk removal involves the following four stages:

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Risk Identification:-

Identification of risks is the first and most important step of risk management. Each project team member should be involved in the process of identifying potential risks to the project. Once the risks are defined, the project manager should assess whether the risk is valid enough to be dealt with by the team. Though there will always be some level of uncertainty from the beginning of the project, it is imperative to gauge which risks should actually be dealt with. The negligible ones can be ignored as the project management team cannot afford to worry about every little thing. Instead, a risk management process should be initiated to formulate and implement risk mitigation strategies to avoid any disruptions to the project.

Risk Analysis:-

After you have identified the risk factor and it poses continuous risk, it important that you research, analyze and evaluate the risk. Only those risks which are a real threat to the project and appropriate action is needed, have to be analyzed. In this step, a lot of people are involved such as the project manager, key stakeholders, subject-matter experts, senior management and other decision-makers. Once the analysis is complete, additional information about the risk is known. Then it is the task of the project manager and key stakeholders to decide whether the particular risk is worthy of the project team’s time and resources or if it can be left as is. A very practical approach is required when analyzing various project risks.

Risk Determination:-

Once the project team is done with the identification and analysis of the risk, the next step is to determine whether the risk needs to be eliminated or accepted as a part of the project. If the risk is quite significant, then the project manager should formulate ways to mitigate the risk. It is also essential to update the project management plan to account for the risk.

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Risk Removal:-

The final step is to work towards removing the risk from your project. This takes place when- either the risk is accepted due to the processes in the risk management plan or is successfully mitigated. Risk removal ensures that the project team no longer needs to spend its time and effort dealing with that particular risk. This in turn gives the project manager more freedom to better utilize his resources. It is true that risks are on-going in nature and you will keep on facing different risks at every stage of your project. But with each risk removal, you are one step closer to the successful completion of your project.

Complete Collection of Project Management Statistics 2016

Of late, the project management landscape has become dynamic. There is increased emphasis on efficiency, productivity and reporting as well as added stress on the IT industry. Due to the changing dynamics of the industry, being a project manager today is much different than being a project manager back in 2005. A lot of research has been done to analyze how often projects fail, the cost companies bear due to losses, etc.

The project management statistics below can help us understand how the role of a project manager has changed over the years and how project management has performed across various industries in the last 5 years.

  1. One out of six IT projects has an average cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of 70%. Around 45% of companies admit that they are unclear about the business objectives of their IT projects. (Harvard Business Review)
  2. As per an IBM study, about 40% projects meet budget, schedule and quality goals. (Harvard Business Review)
  3. Only around one-third of all projects were successfully closed as per the time and budget set, during the past one year. (Standish Group)
  4. About 75% of IT Executives expect their software projects to fail. (Geneca)
  5. The US economy loses $50-$150 billion because of failed IT projects every year. (Gallup Business Review)
  6. The median salary of project managers is $87,500 in the United States. (Glassdoor)
  7. 50% of all Project Management Offices shut down within three years. (KeyedIN)
  8. Only 56% of project managers hold professional certification and about two-thirds of CIO’s consider PMI certification as a valuable benefit, but not a necessity. (Wrike)
  9. High performing organizations are able to successfully close 89% of their projects whereas low performing organizations complete only 36%. (Project Management Institute)
  10. 80% of “high-performing” projects are led by a certified project manager. (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  11. About 49% organizations have incorporated a project management training program. (PM Solutions)
  12. 44% project managers do not use project management software, even though PWC concluded that using PM software increases performance. (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  13. A whopping 97% of companies believe project management is imperative for business performance and organizational success. (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  14. 60% companies do not measure ROI on their projects. (KPMG New Zealand: Project Management Survey 2010)
  15. Around 33% projects meet failure due to lack of involvement from senior management. (University of Ottawa)
  16. Project managers consider reliability, ease of use and ease of integration as the top three parameters while selecting PM software. (The Access Group)
  17. 66% project managers identified level of software support as the key decider while investing in new software. (The Access Group)
  18. Two-thirds of companies use project management software to communicate with their clients. (Capterra)
  19. It is estimated that the healthcare industry will increase project management roles by 30% between 2010 and 2020. This is a higher growth rate when compared to the other project-intensive industries. (Project Management Institute)

It is projected that more than 40 million new project manager roles will be created across the globe by year 2020. This will have an economic impact of more than $20 trillion on the seven project-intensive industries such as Finance & Insurance, Manufacturing, IT services, Utilities, Healthcare, Oil & Gas and Construction. (Project Management Institute Research Report)

Save Your Projects from Failing by Managing it on Project Planning Pro – Available on Mac, Android, iOS and Windows

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The Art of Project Management – How to Make Things Happen?

The Art Of Project Management

The Art Of Project Management

Project Management is a quite a challenging task since the project manager is expected to take care of all facets of the project, balance various resources with the tasks at hand and also to ensure successful and timely closure. In order to be able to complete a project on time, the project manager needs to either get things done or make things happen; this is referred to as “The Art of Project management”. However, project management software and other collaboration tools play an important role in successfully completing complex projects.

Must Read: 7 Quick Tips Regarding Project Management App

The following are the Fundamentals of the Art of Project Management:-

  1. Prepare a detailed plan before you start acting on the project goals:-

As a project manager, you need to chalk out a detailed, actionable plan before starting your project. A good project plan will define the scope of the project, the responsibilities of each team member as well as the deadlines for completing tasks. It must also include measurable goals which you can use to determine the quantum of progress made on the project. Without a well-defined scope and goals of the project, even the most qualified and experienced project manager cannot assure project’s success.

  1. Break your project into smaller milestones:-

A complex project has to be broken down into small, achievable goals. Moreover, you can further break down your project into small, daily tasks so that you may track the progress on a daily or weekly basis. This is more relevant in case of technical projects such as software development and web applications. That is because even small additions or changes in requirements make a big difference to the progress made on the project.

  1. Focus on achieving one project milestone at a time:-

If you are managing a large and complex project, you will have many smaller milestones to be achieved at regular intervals. If you want to motivate your team members and keep them focused, it is important that you approach your project on a milestone-to-milestone basis. When you are successful in achieving smaller milestones, you become sure that your project is on the right track. Therefore, one of the greatest skills in project management is to be able to attain success in smaller goals while remaining focused on the bigger picture.

Also Read: Project Management IT Industry

  1. Use project management software to keep track of things:-

Modern project management software helps your team to remain connected even while working on the project. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to manage complex projects without a centralized source of information for everyone to access. Project management software can help with multiple aspects of project management such as project planning, budgeting, time tracking, file sharing, risk analysis, Gantt charts and email integration. Therefore, the effective use of project management tools can give you added advantage.

  1. Test each deliverable once it’s ready to find and fix any problems:-

It is advisable to test every deliverable prior to release. This process is more relevant in case of software or web development projects because a small error can cost far more to fix after release than to fix prior to release. So it becomes necessary to carry out comprehensive alpha and beta testing so as to find bugs and glitches in the software.

  1. Ensure constant communication with your team:-

Encouraging open communication is very essential to effectively manage projects. This is because being a project manager; you need to give out adequate and clear instructions to the team regarding the tasks required to be completed. Not only that, you also need to know what your team is working on and if there are any challenges along the way. This will help you to analyze the situation and take necessary action in case of issues or delays.

Also See: Top 10 Myths About Project Management Software

Conclusion:

A Project Manager is like the “Captain of the Ship”. So, it becomes even more essential for him to master “The Art of Project Management”. He has to have adequate skills and the required knowledge to lead the project towards success. By following the above fundamentals of project management, a project manager will be in a better position to make things happen.

Beginner’s Guide to Construction Project Management

Beginner’s Guide to Construction Project Management

Beginner’s Guide to Construction Project Management

A Guide to Project Management for Construction

Construction Project Management includes the responsibilities of a traditional project manager plus the skills and expertise of the construction industry in order to produce a safe, practical and economically feasible project. Management of a Construction Project is a very complex and challenging task because construction projects are quite unpredictable due to the changing dynamics of the project.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the Construction Project Manager (CPM) possesses strong communication skills, organizing skills, problem-solving skills and knowledge of the construction process. He should also have appropriate knowledge about budgeting, scheduling, resolving conflicts and handling legal issues.

Must Read: 10 Tips for Project Management

The Role of a Construction Project Manager:-

A Construction Project Manager (CPM) ensures the project is tracking along the plan. The construction project plan is created by thinking of innovative design concepts which will help to reduce cost and improve the aesthetics and functionality of the constructed facility. Also, these innovative design concepts need to be checked for their technological and economic viability. The CPM has to finish the project on time and on budget and ensure that his team completes it according to building codes, plans and specs decided by the client.

The role of a Construction Project Manager includes the following seven categories:-

Project planning:-  Defining the project goals and its scope, budget, schedule and timelines.

Project management:- Overseeing all aspects of the project which includes quality management, material management and cost management.

Cost management:-  Ensuring efficient use of resources such as labor, materials and equipments.

Time management:- Implement project tasks as per the plan and schedule.

Quality management:- Working in conjunction with project engineers (quality controllers) to check the quality of work done on the site.

Contract administration:- Setting performance requirements and selecting project participants.

Safety management:- Identifying risks and reducing accidents on the site to improve productivity and project ROI.

How to obtain a Construction Management Project:-

The owner of a construction project, shares project information with a large group of contractors or sub-contractors to solicit bids. Then the selected contractor estimates the cost and fee based on the project owner’s requirements of the construction facility. This amount has to be paid by the project owner to the contractor in order to complete the project.

Also Read: 7 Quick Tips Regrading Project Management App

The project owner can choose between closed bids and open bids. Once he receives bids for the project, he can select the contractor through low-bid selection, qualifications-based selection or best-value selection method.

Once the project owner chooses a contractor, there are four different kinds of payment contracts they can agree upon:

  • Lump sum:- The project owner and contractor agree on the overall cost of the project and the owner is required to pay that amount irrespecive whether the project succeeds or fails or if it exceeds the initial estimate.
  • Cost-plus-fee:– The project owner has to pay the total cost along with a fixed percentage of the total cost as contractor fee.
  • Guaranteed maximum price:– The guaranteed maximum price contract is the same as the cost-plus-fee, except that the price is pre-determined so that the total payment does not exceed set limit.
  • Unit price:- This contract is chosen when both parties are unable to determine the cost ahead of time. The contractor calculates specific unit price to estimate overall cost.

Save Your Projects from Failing by Managing it on Project Planning Pro – Available on Mac, Android, iOS and Windows

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Increasing Demand for Project Managers Globally and Its Impacts

Project Management is a niche skill that has been witnessing increasing demand due to the scale and complexity of projects being undertaken now-a-days. One of the main advantages of being a project manager is that your skills stay relevant across various industries. Project management is a multi-industry certification, giving the holder of the certification the flexibility to work in any industry and also to change industries at will. It is estimated that more than 40 million new project managers are needed by 2020 across the globe.

Must Read: 7 Quick Tips Regarding Project Management APP

What PMI® Report has to say about the growing demand for PMP® Certified Professionals:-

The PMI® conducts the Project Management Professional® examination. It has been doing specific research in this area and it concluded in its annual report that there is a growing demand for Certified Project Management Professionals. As per the 2014 report release by PMI®, there will be higher demand for practitioners of project management in the near future. However, the demand would be in terms of the opportunities available and skills required and vary based on the industry and geographical location. For example, in countries still recovering from global meltdown, there is an increased demand for project managers to think strategically and execute projects effectively. In developing countries like India, there is a growing requirement for project managers in IT, Construction and Manufacturing sectors.

The main reasons for the increasing demand for project managers are:-

  1. Due to the competitive and dynamic business environment of today, more and more businesses are adopting project management as a way to do business. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) roles have been growing at over 11% per year for the last seven years.
  2. Compliance rules are beginning to appear making it mandatory for organizations to meet standards in project management. Government agencies such as the FDA and Federal Highway Administration are using project management as a factor while selecting service providers.

Industries with a growing demand for Project Management Professionals:-

Energy

There’s a great need for non-renewable energy due to depleting natural energy resources. This has led to a large number of projects undertaken in solar energy, wind energy and geo-thermal energy. Project Managers are required to efficiently manage these projects. Plus, new natural energy resources are being discovered. Discoveries of new oil fields are leading to a lot of large-scale projects, thereby demanding more project managers.

Also Read: Top 10 Myths About Project Management Software

Healthcare

Improving healthcare facilities along with lower costs is the main focus area of this industry. In the United States, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has spurred competition in the health insurance sector. By 2017, Mobile Healthcare is expected to generate revenue of USD 23 billion. According to CIO Insight, project managers with strong IT skills will find opportunities in healthcare projects that use mobile devices, social media and data analytics to unify services across multiple channels.

Construction

Construction industry is estimated to increase by more than 70% to US$15 trillion by 2025 and it will be concentrated in China, India and the United States. Project managers with experience in the construction industry, will do well in the Asian job market as Project Management processes are not very mature in Asian countries. India, for example, needs approximately 1 million skilled project managers to fill gaps in large construction projects that require knowledge competence and complex regulatory compliance.

Information Technology

Technology sector is the most powerful job engine in various countries. Multinational IT corporations based in the United States are rapidly taking over smaller IT companies and expanding into emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In order to execute complex IT projects in different cultural backgrounds, there’s a great need for project managers with a standardized set of skills to turn strategic vision into tangible goals and higher output.

Also See: Project Management in IT Company

Countries with growing demand for project managers are:-

Countries with growing demand for Project Management Professionals

Countries with growing demand for Project Management Professionals

Image source: Edureka

Australia

Australia has three operating liquefied natural gas projects. Plus, there are seven more under construction with an investment of more than AU$200 billion. Therefore, around 375,000 new project managers would be required by 2020.

Canada

It is estimated that 582,366 new project managers would be needed across industries by 2020.

Also See: Millennial Project Managers

Brazil

Brazil’s 10-year energy plan will attract US$133 billion in investments. There are huge opportunities for project managers as two-thirds of employers in Brazil can’t find enough skilled project managers.

North Sea

Deep-sea oil-drilling in the North Sea region was expected to generate 50,000 new jobs in 2013. By 2030, the North Sea oil projects will need more than 100,000 new workers in Finance and Project Management.

Germany

It is estimated that about 1.6 million new project managers would be needed in Germany by 2020.

Japan

According to PMI® Project Management Talent Gap Report, 2.6 million new project management roles are expected to be created by 2020 in Japan.

India

The US$100 billion Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor development project is India’s most ambitious infrastructure project. Due to this, around 9 million new project managers are required in India by 2020.

China

China boasts of its largest high-speed rail system and is the fastest growing economy in the world. With an annual investment of US$100 billion, the country is planning to expand this rail network. Nearly 25 million project management roles will be generated by 2020.

Also See: Time Management Tips for Project Managers

7 Quick Tips Regarding Project Management App

Project management is a task of great responsibility in modern organizations. In order to execute a project successfully, the project manager and his team should be supported by a set of tools. The most important and useful tool is the Project Management App, which helps in increasing the overall efficiency and productivity of the business.

7 Quick Tips Regarding Project Management App

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Below are the seven quick tips to get the most out of your Project Management Tool:-

  1. Find a project management system that’s right for your organization and budget:

There are scores of PM software you can choose from. If you’re looking for a basic tool to manage tasks, streamline communication and share files then steer clear from programs that offer extra unnecessary features. If the software is too overwhelming or complicated to use then your team will hesitate to use the software. In that case, the project manager will have a hard time to get his team to efficiently use the project management system. Whichever project management tool you decide to go with, give your prospective system a thorough test drive to ensure that the solution is simple and requires minimal support from IT to make the transition easier.

Must Read: Top 10 Myths About Project Management Software

  1. Don’t forget about mobility:

The workforce of today is dynamic and increasingly mobile. Therefore, choose a project management app that is mobile optimized. This will allow your team to be more productive and efficient even while they’re “on the go”.  A mobile-optimized platform means employees can use their smartphones and tablets to access files and information and collaborate anytime, anywhere.

  1. Make sure the software can integrate with other key applications:

File sharing is an important component for collaboration. Whether the data is hosted on local servers or in the cloud, file sharing should provide data security as well as an easy interface that keeps everything organized. The project management app should be able to integrate with other key apps to facilitate project costing, expense reimbursement, payroll and other processes.

  1. Be realistic about expectations:

PM software should support and automate excellent project management processes, not replace them. You have to set realistic expectations from the system. It’s good to know that a project management tool mainly provides three basic functions: data acquisition and management, decision support and reporting & graphing.

Also Read: 5 Tips to Succeed in Project Management

  1. Do an incremental rollout – and make sure people are properly trained:

Based on the task assigned to a team member, you have to provide access to specific capabilities with the PM system. Rolling every capability out to every employee on day one may be disastrous. As and when the project team expands, you may incrementally roll out everything to small sets of users or roll out specific capabilities to all users. Before you roll out the software, make sure people are trained on at least the basic features and provide advanced training to those who require it.

  1. Make sure all team members are using the PM software and not another system:

If you’re using a project management system with integrated communication tools, then you need to make sure that all team members use only the PM software and not any other system. This will ensure that the entire project team knows each and every aspect of the project and there is no communication gap.

  1. Use your PM system to keep track of costs and productivity:

If your PM software has an in-built real-time information and reporting system for status and margins, utilize it. These metrics will help you to track the progress of a project and make it easy to make necessary adjustments to ensure profitable and on-time delivery.

Also See: Time Management Tips for Project Managers

Top 10 Myths About Project Management Software

Top 10 Myths About Project Management Software

Top 10 Myths About Project Management Software

Project management isn’t easy, regardless of the industry you’re in. Even though the project management software remains one and the same, it is the ability of the project manager (PM) to efficiently manage various people and resources that makes a project successful. However, even when an individual has a project management professional certification, there’s no guarantee a project will succeed. Project management software is an integral part of a project’s success. Any myth regarding project management tools can hamper the progress of a project.

The top 10 myths about project management software are busted below:-

 1. Project management software is too expensive:

Incorporating project management software may be a bit expensive in the beginning. But once it is developed according to your business needs, it will turn out to be a profitable investment. How? Project management software can be used for managing multiple projects. Plus, it adds to the overall business efficiency and profitability, thereby saving other costs.

Must Read: 5 Tips To Succeed in Project Management

2. Project management software is an unnecessary overhead:

Budget-conscious PM’s often challenge the need for project management software. They believe that it is more easy and efficient to just get on with the project. But the fact is that these tools add value and efficiency to the project by helping PM’s in meticulous planning, proper utilization of time, money and resources, effective communication, risk management, etc. This will in turn save time and money in the long run.

3. New project management tools will slow us down:

More often than not, this myth is propagated by those who despise “change”. Usually, project managers have a reputation of using process-intensive methodologies that favour ideology over pragmatism, which can slow up the decision making process. The fact is that project management software helps PM’s to efficiently run a project by being able to plan effectively and ensure optimum use of time and resources.

4. Project managers need to be detail oriented and not strategic in nature :

The PM should not only be able to determine the finer details of the project but also understand how the project supports organizational goals.  It is equally important to have a strategic perspective of the project. Project Management software comes handy when it comes to execution of projects based on the organization’s strategic goals.

Also Read: Project Management for Dummies

5. Project managers cannot be effective in their role unless they have specific technical expertise in the given field that the project falls within:

Project management software is versatile enough to be used to manage any project across various industries and fields. Project managers need not be an engineer to manage a construction project or an IT technician to manage a software development project. However, the PM should have basic understanding of the industry and know how to manage a team.

6. You can’t stop a project after it has started:

You may have spent a lot of money setting up a project, hiring an experienced team, purchasing project management software, etc. However, if the project isn’t meeting its desired business goals or not performing as per the plan, there is nothing wrong with stopping the project after it took off. If the project has become unviable, it’s better to stop fighting a lost battle. This would help in reducing additional losses.

7. It’s about processes than people:-

This myth springs up from the notion that project management software leads to process automation. Using PM tools does not necessarily mean doing away with manpower. It may increase overall efficiency but human resources are needed when it comes to handling clients and vendors, sourcing materials and completing day-to-day tasks as required by the project.

8. You have only one shot to get it right:-

Today’s competitive business environment makes the use of project management software inevitable. When you select particular software, you may not always be right in the first instance.  That’s quite okay. If your business is dynamic, you need to ensure that the project planning tool should be scalable to keep up with a growing team and meet changing requirements.

Also Read: Why Project Management is Essential for Small Business

9. With the use of project management software, communication tools are not that important:

Frequent communication between various members of the team as well as the client is the perfect way to keep a project on track. When team members are in different locations, scheduling regular calls in addition to other forms of digital communication ensures open and clear communication takes place. Therefore, project management software and communication tools go hand-in-hand. Secure team chats and Email Apps which are integrated with the workspaces can help save a lot of time.

10. Software fixes everything:

Project management software plays a crucial role in the success of any project. However, there are other factors which are equally important for a project’s success such as efficient project managers, co-operating team members and clients, available resources and materials, etc. Also, success of the software implementation depends on a number of factors including training, characteristics of the software and integration with the current workflow and management processes.

Project Management in IT Industry

IT Project Management is a sub-discipline of project management wherein information technology projects are planned, executed, monitored and controlled. IT project management includes overseeing activities such as hardware installations, software development, network upgrades, cloud computing, data management, etc. IT Projects are the most challenging projects; IT Project Managers need to use specialized project management techniques and the best task management tools to assist in leading the project towards success.

Project Management in IT Industry

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IT projects are mostly based on business requirements. The most difficult task of an IT project manager is to translate that business requirement into an end-product which fully meets the business need. IT projects are the most difficult to manage and that is reflected by the high failure rates of IT projects. The following factors contribute to IT project failures:

  • Lack of professionals with specialized IT project management experience.
  • Complications arising because of incompatible technology or malfunctioning hardware.
  • Infrastructure changes that impact security or advancement in technology during project execution.
  • Poor communication between developers, end-users and project managers.

So how does an IT project manager translate a customer’s business needs into a system that solves the customer’s business problem? The key to success would be sound project management. The first step in IT project management is to define the project’s vision and scope. During the project’s initiation, criteria for success or failure of the project need to be established. For example, to be considered successful, a project may have to adhere to certain quality standards (such as Six Sigma or an ISO program), complete as per budget, meet a particular deadline or deliver specific functionality.

There are many different approaches to manage IT projects that affect the project life-cycle. IT project manager may select one of these popular approaches to help reduce risks such as expensive re-work, fast changing technology, etc. However, there are three distinct life cycles in IT project management:

1. Predictive life cycle: This approach is the most commonly used project life cycle for IT. Here, the project manager defines the project’s scope, schedule and expected costs before the execution of the project. For the project to move from its initiation to its closure, each phase must begin and complete in the specific order as per the prior plan.

2. Iterative life cycle: In this approach to IT project management, the scope of the project is defined early in the project, but the cost estimates and timelines are planned at a later stage. Once the project is executed, the cost and timeline estimates are created through iterations in planning.

3. Adaptive life cycle: This approach uses an iteration of planning and executing, however, the planning process lasts for two weeks. Change is always expected and adaptive life cycle is ideal for managing software development projects.

Project Management Model

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Conclusion:-

The various life cycles use the concept of phases to take the project work forward. A single phase specifies the type of work that will be completed in that portion of the project. The management style of project manager, the organizational goals and client requirements, greatly influence what type of project life-cycle the project manager will choose for a project. However, irrespective of management style, project planning software plays an important role in the success of IT projects.

Save Your Projects from Failing by Managing it on Project Planning Pro – Available on Mac, Android, iOS and Windows

Project Planning Pro Apple Store Project Planning App - Google Play Store

Project Management in E-Commerce

Project Management in E-Commerce

Project Management in E-Commerce

IMG source: Exitbee.com

Project Management Apps can be used to manage all types of projects, regardless of the industry. But, project management software has far more applications in the E-Commerce business given that it is a booming industry and faces many challenges. The E-Commerce Project Manager helps the organization in dealing with a wide spectrum of different aspects of business operations pertaining to sale of goods and services online. This article helps to understand how to successfully launch E-Commerce Projects.

Various considerations required to effectively launch E-Commerce Projects are:-

1. Manage Scope Creeps:

Adding new features or functionality to your project after it has started can create unnecessary hurdles. However, due to the dynamic nature of E-Commerce business, scope creeps are inevitable. Therefore, it is essential to have a project manager as a part of the consulting team to help manage scope creeps. The project manager must assist in reviewing the effects of the desired changes to the timeline and budget of the project. He needs to revise the company’s estimates and deadlines after considering these changes.

2. Transferring Knowledge:

At a later stage, the project manager may want to rely more on internal technical staff and less on outside vendor. Therefore, while selecting a vendor, you have to disclose your plans about the extent of their involvement and ensure that they ready to help with the transition process when the time comes.

The process of transferring knowledge about the inner workings of the website is as equally important as designing the original site. Therefore, the project manager needs to plan and outline the transition process by sitting down with the vendor and internal technical staff and ensure that everyone agrees to the strategy.

3. Deciding When the Time is Right:

The project manager decides when to begin the knowledge transfer process at the beginning of the web development project. When the knowledge transfer process takes off well and the developers complete certain projects alongside the consultants, the project manager has to begin downsizing the consultants to a few days a week, then to specific major projects and eventually completely rely on his own internal technical staff. However, deciding where the transfer fits into the project plan largely depends on how you plan to use consulting services. The transfer procedure can take place in 2 ways:

a. During the second phase of the project:

If consultants are hired for the major portion of the E-Commerce site’s initial development, then it is recommended that you let them finish the development work before you involve your internal staff into the main stream of the e-business project. Once the marketing site goes live, get your internal staff into the next phase of development and have them work side-by-side with the consultants. The second phase of web development includes a variety of features such as search, sales, checkout, catalogue, navigation, customer service, etc. Your developers will get exposure to various portions of the site while the consultants are still available to explain how things work.

b. From the beginning of the project:

If you plan to divide the work between the consultants and your internal staff, then the knowledge transfer process occurs throughout the project. The reason why you hired consultants is not because you lacked internal staff, but because your internal staff lacked adequate knowledge to complete the E-Commerce site’s development on their own. If this is the case, your staff should work on the project along with the consultants, right from the start. The consultants should not only develop portions of the site but also mentor your internal developers during the development process to hone their skills and experience so that they can handle contingencies in future.

Remember, the project to develop and launch an E-Commerce website is just the beginning. The team you choose to work with should be a long term partner and work closely with you to understand new possibilities & requirements and help you capitalize on opportunities. Use the best task management software to keep your project on track.

Save Your Projects from Failing by Managing it on Project Planning Pro – Available on Mac, Android, iOS and Windows

Project Planning Pro Apple Store Project Planning App - Google Play Store

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