7 Basic Principles of Project Management That Ensure Success
Project Management Principles That Are Absolutely Essential for All Teams.
No team can achieve success by working on their projects randomly or out of whim. A proper action plan is very very important. Every project manager must use the basic principles of project management to ensure success and meet goals on point.
Importance of Project Management Principles
Project Management Priciples
Project management principles help a project manager understand all the parameters that he has to take care of while managing a project. They act as fundamental laws or principles that must be followed to make a project successful. It’s like staying prepared in advance for every potential bottleneck or problem area.
In case you are negligent in the first place, a situation you were not ready for can lead to a complete mess and deadlines will be long due and budget limits will be crossed.
Staying informed is a must and project management principles help you do all that groundwork.
When you follow the basic principles of project management, the chance of missing out on any important aspect of project management reduces.
7 Project Management Principles That Are Central to Success of All Kinds of projects
- Well defined project structureClarity on requirements and approval criteria
- Clarity on requirements and approval criteriaWell documented roles and responsibilities
- Well documented roles and responsibilities
- Strong change management
- Risk analysis and managementValue delivery capabilities
- Value delivery capabilities
- Proper communication and collaboration plan
1. Well Defined Project Structure
Well Defined Project Structure
Every project must have a well-defined structure. The meaning of structure here is well-defined procedures, processes, and tools. A project charter and a project plan are important parts of a project structure. Only if these elements are present, a project can be prioritized and managed effectively.
The structure is defined by three main aspects: project goal, resources and time. The first question you need to ask is what is the goal of this project. Even if the answer seems obvious, still, ask this question. It is the first step to the structure.
The next step is understanding how long the project will take to complete. A clear division of the project into various tasks, identifying milestones and major phases in the project is an important part of estimating time and making a plan accordingly.
A Gantt chart can be an effective way to define your project structure. It lets you view your project in a timeline view. You can mark your milestones, tasks, and allocations on this chart such that the entire project plan is laid in front of your eyes in a visual form. You can analyze which task will take how much time and which tasks are dependent on each other. Allocations and adjustments can be made accordingly. This way, your projects will always stay in your control.
2. Clarity on Requirements and Approval Criteria
I mean clarity on the standards, requirements and approval criteria of a project is a must. Let’s say your team made a software that you think does everything that was expected and then a customer complaints about a prominent feature missing from it. This represents how important it is to determine and document the requirements and approval criteria at the beginning of the project. All key stakeholders like the sponsor or the customer should review and approve the project before delivery.
3. Well Documented Roles and Responsibilities
Roles and Responsibilities
Complete clarity on roles and responsibilities in a project team is an important principle for successful project management. The scope of blame game or the work being delayed due to lack of clarity of duties is absolutely undesirable. Therefore define all the roles in the beginning so that everyone knows who is working on what and who is accountable for what.
While it is not easy to keep a clear watch on whether people are taking their duties seriously, a project management solution can help managers as well as team members keep a record of who is responsible for what and what is the status of their tasks at any given time.
4. Strong Change Management
As per the discussion in the requirement and approval section, a project must have a well-defined scope such that the final deliverable can meet the expectations of the customer.
Strong change management is based on the same line of thought. Let us say, stakeholders or the team members have decided to add some additional features to the project. Now, if this change is not managed properly, you might end up with a great product but on a price double to the decided price or delivery delayed by 6 months. This won't make a successful project. This kind of scope creep can push a project out of the initial guidelines. So, the ability to manage change is of paramount importance to make a project successful.
5. Risk Analysis and Management
Risk Analysis and Management
There will always be some unexpected events that will impact your project. It might be a good or bad event. It might affect your resources, technology or processes. Being prepared for such a situation in advance is an important principle for project management. A proper risk management plan comes in handy to reduce or eliminate the impact of a risk. A risk management plan includes evaluation, monitoring and deciding an action plan to use if the risk occurs.
6. Value Delivery Capabilities
Project Management Tools
By value delivery capabilities, we mean, all the processes, tools and procedures that help you deliver value to your customers. Better be your processes or procedures, better will be your overall project performance.
The examples of value delivery capabilities can be scheduling software, a time tracking tool, etc. It can include processes for eg. an agile project management methodology.
Using established and tested approaches will make you better equipped for delivering successful software projects.
7. Proper Communication and Collaboration Plan
Communication and collaboration play a vital role in making any project successful. Therefore, choosing effective communication channels becomes an important principle for making projects successful.
Proper communication is important to keep stakeholders informed and engaged, to maintain transparency among team members regarding task progress and status reports, to plan and execute the project, to identify and resolve conflicts, etc.
If you are already familiar with project management, you must be aware that projects are 90% communication. Therefore, effective communication is one of the central principles for making any project successful.
These are 7 project management principles that every team must incorporate to make their projects successful. Do let us know in the comments if you are already using these principles and which project management principle you feel is super important.