Tag: Project Managers

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.

Leadership Techniques for Project Managers

Leadership Techniques for Project Managers

Leadership Techniques for Project Managers

Leadership (see wiki. Leadership) can be defined in innumerable ways; it has different meanings for different people.  However, the most common definition would be – “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to willingly do something you want him to do.”

As a project manager, do you sometimes feel that even though you’re doing everything “right”, the others are not equally contributing to your project? Or, that inspite of trying to manage things well, someone else seems to have a greater influence over everything that happens? Or, are you wondering what are the leadership skills and techniques required to be an efficient project leader?

Leadership techniques are an important aspect of project management and are essential to make a project successful. It does not involve making friends while managing a project; it is about earning respect for delivering the desired value in a project. The following are the most commonly used leadership techniques:-

Know the project goals:-

To be able to efficiently lead a project, the project manager has to first have a well-defined project goal. Without knowing the direction, the leader cannot figure out which way to go. If goals are not defined or poorly-defined, then there are high chances of project failure. Moreover, to analyse the progress of the project, the manager would need to compare the output with the goals.

Must See: Increase Demand for Project Managers Globally and Impacts

Ensure that your team is aware that you care:-

An effective project leader has to make his team-mates know that he likes them and cares for their needs. He should always find ways to appreciate and motivate his team to give their best to everything. The fact is that if your team-mates are fond of you, they would go to any lengths to help you with the project and face all odds alongside you. Build a good rapport with them so that they open up to you.

Be a good example:-

If you want others to follow you, first you have to set an example. Therefore, practise what you preach. After all, action speaks louder than words. Keep away from the blame game and ensure that each one is accountable for the activities assigned to him.

Create a harmonious work environment:-

A project manager needs to create an amicable atmosphere where people enjoy working. He should shower recognition and appreciation on team members who are performing remarkably. Having a positive attitude and an enthusiastic personality really helps in achieving the desired results.

Bring competitive energy to the workplace:-

A project manager must lead with high energy. He needs to be enthusiastic about his project and make others feel the same and encourage his team to give their best. Building a competitive environment at the workplace will ensure that everyone contributes to the success of the project and help weed out complacency.

Analyze the data to develop solutions to problems:-

It is imperative that a project manager analyzes the data and project statistics to understand where the project is heading. It also helps him to understand various problems and equip him to find effective solutions. The project manager should discuss the problems with his team and see how they can collectively deal with the situation.

Also Read: Top 10 Myths About Project Management Software

Change the leadership style:-

A leadership style is a leader’s style of providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. There are various kinds of leadership styles which can be applied by project managers. But, the most common leadership styles are- Autocratic, Democratic, Paternalistic, Transactional, Transformational and Laissez-Faire. It is in the hands of the manager to change his leadership style to adapt to the particular demands of various situations or the particular demands of his team-mates or the particular challenges facing his project.

Conclusion:

Project managers are trained to control the three key project influences- scope, budget and schedule. However, it is equally important that he understands the nuances of team dynamics. A successful project manager needs to be well-equipped with ample leadership skills and techniques as well as incorporate the appropriate leadership style. In order to take a team towards extraordinary performance, he needs to understand the difference between management and leadership.

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

Time Management Tips for Project Managers

A Project Manager plays a key role in the success of any organization implementing small and large projects – be it software development or a large turnkey project. As an aspiring project manager, the first thing one needs to learn is Time Management. The perfect project managers ensure that they are productive for most part of the time.

Proper management of time not only helps to achieve steep targets, but also ensures maximum productivity and return on investments for the organization. Project Managers ideally need to manage their own time as well as the team’s time.

Time Management Tips for Project Managers

What is Time Management?

Time management” refers to the way that you organize and plan how long you spend on specific activities.

It may seem counter-intuitive to dedicate precious time to learning about time management, instead of using it to get on with your work, but the benefits are enormous:

  • Greater productivity and efficiency.
  • A better professional reputation.
  • Less stress.
  • Increased opportunities for advancement.
  • Greater opportunities to achieve important life and career goals.

Get Project Management Software Mac

Failing to manage your time effectively can have some very undesirable consequences:

  • Missed deadlines.
  • Inefficient work flow.
  • Poor work quality.
  • A poor professional reputation and a stalled career.
  • Higher stress levels.

The American Psychological Association survey, released on 3/5/2013 came up with some interesting results on poor time management:

  • One-third of employees maintained chronic stress. Women reported higher levels of work stress than men.
  • 54% felt they were paid too little for what they contributed.
  • 61% said they did not have enough opportunity for advancement (2/3 of the women and 30% of the men).
  • 50% did not feel valued at work.

How does one manage time effectively?

There are various methodologies and techniques to manage time effectively. A transparent technique is to develop an approved checklist of the categorized time-wasters and each time a specific time-waster raises its ugly head, a check mark is applied next to it on the list.

When you have a checklist ready, you will get a clear picture about the time-wasters that are impacting your specific time arrangement adversity. Depending on the derived time-wasters that are impacting you the most, there are different methods available that you can use in some specific scenarios. The procedures are that can be favourable to the project managers in their chase to be more efficient are listed below:

1. Building a Plan: Time utilized in planning is not wasted at the cost of achievement. Understanding what needs to be carried out and an appropriate plan to achieve it results in a huge return on investment. Planning supported by proper breakdown of each task to focus on, can make a project manager spend minimum time negotiating with the problems due to absence of accuracy. Training the staff may look like a disturbance to other work, but it contributes to several long term benefits.

Must Read: Building a Business Plan with Project Management Software

2. Making active conclusions: Differences in opinion and ideas take up a lot of time and decision making. The best alternative is to make crucial decisions quickly so that there is more time to brainstorm on complicated decisions.

3. Communication: Effortless communication is usually one of the priorities to consider when a manager is trying to organize his or her own time. Instead of utilizing the time to appreciate, hear and analyze, the thought process adds to the manager’s work pressure and hence misconceptions occur. The management is very particular about team communication hence the manager needs to keep a daily check to communicate with the team.

4. Utilizing gaps: When there is tremendous work pressure, one tends to always skip the breaks. Skipping breaks could lead to a drain in the absorption level and make your efficiency come down considerable by end of the day.  Hence the manager needs to take breaks in between to set an example to his or her team so that the team does not confuse that taking breaks are an absence of assurance.

5. Handling the complicated tasks in the beginning: Normally there is a tendency to complete the easier tasks first. This later creates a problem as the difficult tasks remain and there is less time to complete them. By giving priority to the difficult tasks first, one can be assured that the comparatively easier tasks can be completed later. Moreover, the more complex tasks are often the most important that need to be completed prior to the assigned time.

6. Organizing E-mails: A manager’s inbox is often engaged with different kinds of emails that need to be forwarded. As a project manager you need to allot some amount of your work period to reply to the emails and not be selective about it. If some emails do not arrive at the set time, make sure to check the inbox regularly and address as many emails as possible along with committing yourself to your work routine.

Also Read: Millennial Project Managers

7. Creating awareness on dealing with distractions: It is important for the project manager to consider the makeshift help or advice of the team members, what issues need to be addressed first should be considered. It is usually exciting to manage all the issues immediately but it would cause interruptions to the working hours and that may not beneficial. It can be better managed by allotting a certain time slot to address the issues of team members.

Tools for Time Management

There are various tools available in the market that help the Project Managers, manage time effectively.

Project Planning Pro is one such cost-effective, easy-to-use tool that is coming up with project management techniques based on the Agile Methodology.  It is a cross platform application and is available in around 9 languages. It provides user friendly features that include:

  • Creation of multiple tasks giving one’s to-do list a better structural approach.
  • Reminders that notify the managers about the upcoming deadlines and the milestones to be achieved.

The Project Planning Pro App is a multi-location application and is used by many industry people across the globe. This application can be efficiently used by individuals to manage their personal to-do list, and also by project managers to track the following:

  • Projects assigned to the team members
  • Project deadlines
  • Important project milestones to be achieved.

This application helps the project managers to deliver the right product at the right time.

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