Project Management

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Overview

Project management is the management over a specific project. Unlike process management, which monitors one or more processes that are used within a business regularly, project management changes with each project as each one will have different resources, deadlines, goals and employees.

How it Works

All of these variables from project to project make project management one of the most challenging obstacles to tackle. A leader must effectively manage the resources used in a project, including people and their unique skill sets, as well as the materials and equipment that will be used.

The scope of the project must also be managed carefully. A manager should be able to accurately determine which parts should be completed first and positively affect the quality of the finished project. Money must also be managed, including money spent on materials as well as man-hours.

Benefits

Project management is the best way to ensure that a project stays on time, within budget, and ends up with a positive result. It helps people working toward a common goal operate as a team while completing a project in the best possible way.

A project manager needs to be able to look at all parts of a project, including its resources, time constraints, budget, scope and goals. A good project manager also needs to make reasonable estimates about how long each step will take and when the project can be completed, all without compromising on quality.

For example, if a project involves the creation of a graphic display like a poster for a client, a manager would need to use project management to determine several things. Are the people who are creating the poster skilled at this type of project? Have they done similar projects before? Is the software being used on the project new and up to the task or is it outdated? Is it in the budget to get newer software that will simplify the project, or will the time allotted for the project need to be adjusted to allow for the old software? Is the client expecting a poster with simple graphics and minimal details, or are the expectations much higher because they want a detailed poster with several photographs blended together?

Project management will see certain members of a team assigned with finding the right photos, others will operate the photo software, and others will choose the font and design the lettering, while someone else might oversee smaller parts of the project to ensure tasks are completed on time.

Costs

Any costs associated with project management, which might include software for organization and the initial project management training to help managers better understand the process, is more than made up for by the benefits of the process.

If you do not have an effective project manager overseeing your company's work, projects are much more likely to come in late, over budget, and not up to you or your clients' standards.

Timing

Project management maximizes your chances for success and should be done before a project is started, as well as throughout the lifespan of the project. It is vital to have a project manager in place before the start of a project to ensure that everything is done correctly from beginning to end.

Last Updated: February 4, 2013
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