The term 'project' is often hard to define, as it can mean different things to different people depending on their approach. Typically though, a project can be thought of as something which is different to a normal work process and produces a unique product, service or result, i.e. it is different to the normal 'business as usual' operations of the organisation.
A project will often have its own control areas, which detail items such as the goals and objectives, the resources that need to be allocated to achieving the project, the budget allocated, and the end date for the completion of the project. In order to ensure that the project is a success in so far that it is completed to a satisfactory result and stay within budget/resource constraints, effective project management will need to be implemented to keep the project on track.
How to Manage a Project Effectively
In order to effectively manage a project, there are a multitude of tasks that a project manager will need to understand and complete successfully. Good project management can include some or all of the following:
- Planning the project stages and stating goals and objectives that need to be achieved
- Identifying potential risks and ensuring controls and safeguards are in place to minimise risk i.e. risk management
- Motivate and support teams and individuals
- Keep track of progress and take appropriate action to try and get the project back on track if timescales have slipped or spending is over budget
The most successful project managers are those who proactively manage the project, anticipating problems and taking action before a situation arises or at the very least before it becomes so big that it threatens the success of the project itself. This is much more preferable than being a reactive project manager who only takes action once a problem arises (otherwise known as fire fighting).
Rarely are two projects ever the same. Even if at the start or during the planning phase it is perceived as being identical to a project already completed, unforeseen circumstances and slight changes can easily and quickly move the project into unknown territory. To be effective at project management, the project manager must adapt quickly to these changes.
Project Management Courses
The sheer number of different tasks and areas that an effective project managers needs to be proficient in means that very few are born with all of the skills required. In fact, those that believe they have all of the skills are often those who are most in need of project management training as they will not recognise the need to continually improve their skills and ability.
Our project management courses are run in-house at clients' premises, as well as bespoke project management training programmes which are tailored to your requirements and what you would like to get out of the training.
For more information about our in-house or bespoke project management training, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form with a brief description of your requirements.
Project Management e-Books
Along with our project management training courses, we also provide e-books known as Useful Guides. These Useful Guides can be purchased individually, or as part of a Useful Guide Library subscription.
These Useful Guides can be used to complement the information taught on our classroom-based courses in project management, and can serve as a useful reminder and refresher after the course to ensure that important points are not forgotten and can be applied to the projects that you manage in the future.
Our Useful Guides related to the subject of project management are listed below. Please click on a title for more information.
This Useful Guide will provide an introduction to the world of project management, covering issues such as what is a project, what is project management, starting and completing projects, effective monitoring and managing teams.
PRINCE2® is a process-based approach for project management, which is flexible and can be used for virtually all projects. A Useful Guide to PRINCE2® provides the knowledge of PRINCE2® upon which project managers can develop their skills as they progress with their careers.
Similar to the requirements of a project management, process mapping involves a manager learning and understanding the various processes that take place in their area of responsibility of the business, with a view to improving them. It can also greatly assist in letting managers make contingency plans and anticpate future problems before they arise, just like a good project manager.
For a project manager, and indeed anyone in a managerial or other position where they are responsible for co-ordinating people, there will be times when it is necessary to be assertive in order to get things done the way you want them to be. This Useful Guide is ideal for those who desire to become more assertive in both their professional and personal lives.
Unless it is a small project which can be done entirely by yourself, then the task will require the co-ordination and organisation of others. These teams will need to be managed to ensure they are working efficiently and towards the desired objectives, which is where the information contained in this Useful Guide comes in.