1. What is a project and what are its characteristics

A project is a time sensitive plan to create a unique project or service.

Project_management_charactristics_of_a_project
  1. Change

Projects are a conduit of change. They introduce new ideas, products or services to a business, helping to evolve the way business is conducted. 

  1. Temporary

Projects are not perpetual. To be effective projects have a clear start and due date. 

  1. Cross-Functional

Projects can be cross functional, requiring the collaboration of various business departments to bring an idea to fruition. 

  1. Unique

Projects may not only being new ideas to a brand, they may also require the involvement of unique teams, talent, customers, locations, etc. 

  1. Uncertainty

There is no guarantee that a project is going to go according to plan. Marketers must cautiously embrace a certain element of risk, adjusting strategy at the sign of real threats. 

2. What is project management?

Project_management_charactristics_of_a_project

Project management is the planning, organizing, executing, timing, control, strategizing, development, monitoring, analyzing, and processing of project.

3. What is the function of the project management office (PMO)?

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The ideal project management unit will strive to lead all project managers and establish an effective project management process.

A Project Management office ought to provide:

  1. Project support

Offer project management guidance to project managers in business units

  1. Project management process and methodology

Develop and implement a consistent and standardized process.

  1. Training

Conduct training programs or collect requirements for an outside company.

  1. Home for project managers

Maintain a centralized office from which project managers are loaned out to work on projects.

  1. Internal consulting and mentoring

Advise employees about best practices.

4. Understanding the key attributes of project performance

Project_management_attributes

Scope 

A project’s scope details what will be delivered and what won’t be. It establishes the intake received and output to be provided.

Time 

Time management is a critical aspect of a project. It is important to set deadlines based on strategy and client priorities. When needed, client expectations ought to be reset to assure the fulfillment of objectives.

Cost 

Projects are bound by an established budget which dictates the maximum cost allowed. Teams involved in a project ought to be made aware of contractually agreed limits for the completion of work. 

Quality

It is important to define the quality standards of a project. Project managers ought to investigate the most efficient methods of delivering the best work possible (with consideration to budget and time constraints).

Risk 

The constraints of a project may ultimately put the project at risk. It is the responsibility of project managers to anticipate issues, ensuring that the project is guided to a successful completion.

Benefits

The project yields positive outcomes and measurable benefits for the brand.

5. Why project management is important?

Project_management_important

They say failure to prepare is preparation for failure. But even after all the planning is done, success will come down to effective management. Lack of vigilance leads to the failure of many projects.

Proper project management maximizes the chances of achieving positive outcomes from a project.

See below to boost your chances of optimal delivery.

10 project management pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Mismanagement of budget and scope

One of the most common examples of poor project management is the neglect of budgeting guidelines. In a desperate or careless act to reach brand objectives, some managers may take on tasks that were never meant to be completed, spending money that they can’t afford to spend. 

  1. Misuse of project resources

For the success of any project, careful planning out to be coupled with more careful resource management. Be mindful wasting valuable assets, strive to maximize the utility of resources at your disposal.

  1. Lack of communication amongst stakeholders

Some projects my involve more unique teams than others. The more interests are involved in a project, the more a need for effective communication otherwise disarray may decay the chances of achieving desired outcomes.

  1. Inability to manage difficult stakeholders

Not every stakeholder is easy to work with. Some defy managers every step of the way, others can be downright disrespectful and some just aren’t disciplined enough to stick to a plan. It is the challenge of project managers to ensure a seamless execution of a project regardless of unreasonable behavior. 

  1. Irresponsible estimates that sabotage a project

Budget and resources ought to be accurately estimated (as much as is possible) to ensure the effective delivery of the project. Otherwise, the project may be in jeopardy before it begins.

  1. Lack of attention to project risk management

The project ought to be continuously scrutinized for threats to a positive outcome.

  1. Lack of support

Staff and relevant key members ought to trained or supported when required to meet the standards set for the project.

  1. Mishandling of staff responsibilities

Often times stakeholders may get carried away with their involvement in a project, some may assume management and leadership roles that are counter-productive to the success of the project.

  1. Lack of team planning sessions

It’s important to carve out time to plan and get all stakeholders on the same page.Without preparing a plan, the project prepares to fail.

  1. Lack control and monitoring

Effective project management is more than checking off milestones, it’s also important to gauge the ecosystem of a project to ensure that all aspects are interacting and functioning as the should. 

6. The successful project management method

Project_management_important

To avoid chaotic ad-hoc management, it is important to establish an organized way of approaching project management. This way all managers are on the same page and can assist each other when necessary, leading to continuous improvements and repeat success.

An effective system will result in better management and more effective ownership of projects. 

For better productivity, here three project management models adopted by businesses:  

  1. Waterfall

Large work orders are scheduled and employees are aligned by workflow

  1. Agile

Small work orders are scheduled and employees are aligned by schedule.

  1. Lean

Small work orders are scheduled and people are aligned by workflow.

7. Benefits of establishing an effective project management office

Project_management_effective_management
  1. Deliver projects on-time and on-budget
  1. Achieve consistency across teams and channels
  1. Build a project management process with proven methodologies
  1. Establish a standardized project management approach  
  1. Manage risks, quality and change