Whether you’re brand new to project management or you have years of project management experience under your belt, managing and completing a project on time and within budget is not easy. Each project is different and poses a distinct set of project management challenges. Irrespective of the type of project you’re working on, you probably face tight deadlines and high expectations.
Project management is defined as the process of steering a project from the start through its lifecycle. The main objective of project management is to complete a project within the established goals of time, budget, and quality. Projects have life cycles since they are not intended to last forever.
A project management lifecycle starts when the project is initiated and ends when the project is either completed or terminated in one way or another. The project management lifecycle is a structured, timely and methodical process for effectively initiating, planning and executing a project for a successful outcome – which is to meet the intended objectives of the stakeholders funding the project.
Organizations big and small across industries are striving to deliver excellence in order to achieve a global presence. Project management is a significant part of all major project-centric industries such as construction, engineering, and IT companies, as well as others such as Manufacturing, Banking and Finance, Healthcare, Pharma, NGOs, Nonprofits and Government.
Unlike other fields, in project management you can’t find your way to success by making mistakes; experimentation will only get you slaughtered. You need to abide strictly by the principles to succeed.
Project management phases are different tasks, behaviors, and skill sets that are essential to creating successful projects.
- Monitoring and Control
- Closure or Completion
Many types of project management have been developed to meet the specific needs of certain industries or types of projects. Project management types:
1. Waterfall Project Management
This is similar to traditional project management but includes the caveat that each task needs to be completed before the next one starts. Steps are linear and progress flows in one direction—like a waterfall. Because of this, attention to task sequences and timelines are very important in this type of project management. Often, the size of the team working on the project will grow as smaller tasks are completed and larger tasks begin.
2. Scrum Agile Project Management
The computer software industry was one of the first to use this methodology. With the basis originating in the 12 core principles of the Agile Manifesto, agile project management is an iterative process focused on the continuous monitoring and improvement of deliverables. At its core, high-quality deliverables are a result of providing customer value, team interactions, and adapting to current business circumstances.
Agile project management does not follow a sequential stage-by-stage approach. Instead, phases of the project are completed in parallel to each other by various team members in an organization. This approach can find and rectify errors without having to restart the entire procedure.
Check out Scrum Agile training and certification options.
3. Lean Project Management
Lean methodology is all about eliminating waste, both of time and of resources. The principles of this methodology were gleaned from Japanese manufacturing practices. The main idea behind them is to create more value for customers with fewer resources. Lean principles are mostly based on the Toyota Production System and are still widely used to support companies in running best in class streamlined operations. Lean methodology is a foundational approach to process improvement project management.
4. Lean Six Sigma Project Management
Lean Six Sigma approach offers a combination of the strengths of Lean methodology and Six Sigma precision. This project management methodology is best applied to drive process improvements and is to date the best approach industry-wide for process optimization. The project management roadmap for lean six sigma is the so called DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) roadmap as a staged approach for achieving new levels of quality. Streamlined fast processes, timeliness, reduced error rates, loyal customers are among the top benefits.
Apart from the typical usage in manufacturing where Lean Six Sigma methodology is a must-have program, the service sectors are widely applying Lean Six Sigma project management already for decades, with a priority on transactional services and in combination with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) ad part of their digitalization strategy.
Acquiring a certified Lean Six Sigma professional certification is an important career step for professionals from multiple industries and backgrounds.
There are many more project management methodologies and types of project management than listed here, but these are some of the most common. The choice of project management methodology type depends on the problem to be solved and the choice made by the company.
Let's say a project manager is tasked with leading a team to develop software products. They begin by identifying the scope of the project. They then assign tasks to the project team, which can include developers, engineers, technical writers, and quality assurance specialists. The project manager creates a schedule and sets deadlines.
The iterative and incremental approach is a change-driven project management methodology that was developed to handle change and reduce inherent project risks. This project management methodology is a perfect choice for large-scale, multi-company projects with ambiguous requirements and a high degree of risk. It is often used for software development.
Product-based planning is a structured project management approach that focuses on outputs and project deliverables (including intermediate products), unlike traditional approaches that focus on activities and tasks.
Process-based project management allows project managers to create, manage, and improve projects that align with the vision, mission, and core values of a business.
A wide range of project management approaches like Agile project management, Extreme project management, and more have evolved from the incremental and iterative approach.
No one starts a project with the hope that it will fail, yet most projects fail when project managers disregard the need to streamline their project management techniques.
Today, all organizations expect their teams to deliver more results with fewer resources. These seemingly impossible expectations can not only be fulfilled but also be exceeded if they take a project management approach towards their work.