A beginner’s guide to project management

by Stephen Conmy on Feb 28, 2023

guide to project management

Project management is the process of planning, organising, and managing resources to achieve a specific goal.

Project management is an essential part of any successful business. It helps to ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the highest quality standards.

To achieve this, project managers must be able to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities while maintaining a clear vision for the end goal.

What is project management and what are the benefits?

Project management is a professional discipline that encompasses the initiation, planning, execution, and closure of projects to meet specific goals.

It provides directors of boards with the tools and processes necessary to define project scope, timeline, cost, and quality goals.

Using project management best practices and methodologies helps directors organise resources intelligently, estimate budgets and schedules accurately, reduce risk, and maximise achievements.

Sometimes referred to as a process within an organisation to ensure that all project components are completed on time, project management helps ensure that projects run smoothly while still showing value for shareholders and stakeholders.

Ultimately, when done well, project management enables directors to achieve the desired performance objectives more efficiently than possible.

The different steps in project management

Project management is the systematic approach to planning and guiding a project from start to finish.

It involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller components, setting deadlines, delegating responsibility, and tracking progress.

An effective boardroom strategy is no different.

It requires careful deliberation, the delegation of responsibility, and accountability for results.

By following project management steps in boardroom meetings, directors can bring focus to each task to be discussed, encourage collaboration between members, align objectives with action plans, and ensure everyone is held accountable for their contributions.

This will help them stay on track with larger goals that may have multiple deliverables and make progress more easily identifiable.

How to manage projects and meet deadlines

Company managers, directors and board members are often responsible for leading projects and delivering results efficiently. With so many tasks to keep track of, managing projects and meeting deadlines can be challenging.

Take these steps to ensure successful project management:

Define the project – What is it and what are the goals?

The first step in any project management process is clearly defining the project and its goals. This will help directors understand what needs to be done and how long it will take.

Assign tasks to specific individuals and create a timeline for completion

Once the project’s goals and responsibilities are identified, directors and managers should assign tasks to specific individuals with a timeline for completion. Clearly defining who is responsible for each task will make it much easier to keep track of progress and meet deadlines.

Communicate with all stakeholders regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page

This includes providing regular updates and checking in with team members to ensure their tasks are completed on time. By engaging in consistent communication, managers can ensure projects progress seamlessly towards completion.

Manage any changes or unexpected setbacks that occur during the project

Projects can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to have a plan in place for when changes come up, or unexpected setbacks occur. Mangers should monitor the progress of their projects and be prepared to adjust course if necessary. By being proactive and managing adjustments effectively, directors can ensure projects remain on track despite any issues.

Celebrate when the project is completed successfully

Finally, it’s important to celebrate the successful completion of a project. This is an opportunity for everyone involved to recognise their individual efforts and appreciate the hard work that went into achieving the desired results. Celebrating success helps motivate team members and encourages them to continue working together in the future.

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The ultimate list of project management tools

Project management can seem daunting, but many tools and techniques are available to help directors get organised and fulfil their project goals.

These include:

  • Online platforms that offer task-tracking capabilities, giving directors the ability to monitor and manage tasks from the same digital space.
  • Collaborative planning software for those moments when multiple stakeholders must discuss the project’s progress in one cohesive format.
  • Productivity hacks, such as setting realistic timeline estimates and delegating while being aware of workload, to help keep a project on track.
  • Traditional planning frameworks like Gantt charts to give directors a birds-eye view of how all parts of a project are connected.

Tips for avoiding common pitfalls in project management

With the correct planning, managers and directors can eliminate the common pitfalls that plague project management.

To avoid common project management pitfalls, managers and directors should:

  • Ensure they’re allotting appropriate time to research the goals and create an achievable plan that breaks each goal into achievable objectives.
  • Keep in mind preventative measures, such as anticipating potential risks early on, to minimise any potential disruption.
  • Have regular check-ins with team members throughout the project to ensure everyone remains on track.

The role of communication in successful project management

Communication is essential to successful project management, as it ensures that all team members are informed and engaged.

Keeping everyone on the same page and establishing clear lines of communication can be difficult in certain situations, such as virtual teams. Still, even small steps like regularly scheduled check-ins or agreements about the available channels for communication can help.

Good communication helps to ensure that the various disciplines involved in a project remain integrated throughout, resulting in a successful outcome.

As a project manager, staying encouraging and supportive during difficult conversations is essential, as maintaining an open dialogue with all stakeholders about progress and challenges, helping every team member understand their individual roles, and building relationships across teams.

Effective communication strategies like these can make even more complex projects easier to manage.

Develop sound project management skills

Project management is a highly valuable skill, and directors from many industries are beginning to recognise this. With the proper knowledge and skills, directors can use project management concepts to take their team’s performance to the next level.

The Diploma in Corporate Governance is a great way to boost one’s project management and leadership abilities, helping directors gain access to the critical skills they need to stay ahead of the curve.

Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned leader looking for new growth opportunities, this program will equip you with the tools you need for success.

Learn more about the Diploma in Corporate Governance by downloading the course brochure below.

University credit-rated Diploma in Corporate Governance

Globally recognised and industry approved.

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