What is Project Management?

Project management is the process of planning, organizing, and managing resources in order to successfully complete a project within a specific time frame and budget. It involves defining the scope of the project, setting goals and objectives, and creating a plan for achieving those goals.

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide is a globally recognized standard for the practice of project management. It outlines a set of best practices for managing projects and is used as a reference for professionals working in the field.

According to the PMBOK Guide, project management consists of five processes: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

  1. Initiating: The initiating process involves defining the project and getting it started. This includes identifying the business need for the project, identifying the stakeholders, and creating a project charter that outlines the scope, goals, and objectives of the project.
  2. Planning: The planning process involves creating a detailed plan for achieving the project goals and objectives. This includes identifying the resources required, developing a schedule, and creating a budget.
  3. Executing: The executing process involves carrying out the work defined in the project plan. This includes coordinating the work of the team, managing risks, and communicating with stakeholders.
  4. Monitoring and controlling: The monitoring and controlling process involves tracking the progress of the project and making any necessary adjustments to ensure that it stays on track. This includes monitoring the budget, schedule, and quality of the work.
  5. Closing: The closing process involves completing all the work defined in the project plan and formally closing the project. This includes reviewing the project to identify any lessons learned and documenting the results of the project.

Overall, the PMBOK Guide provides a framework for managing projects in a systematic and consistent manner, ensuring that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the required level of quality.

Manage conflict

  1. Communicate openly and honestly: Make sure to express your needs and concerns clearly and openly, and encourage the other party to do the same. Avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions, and try to listen actively and without judgment.
  2. Seek to understand the other party’s perspective: Take the time to try to understand where the other person is coming from, and why they feel the way they do. This can help to build empathy and find common ground.
  3. Focus on the problem, not the person: Try to keep the focus on the specific issue at hand, rather than attacking the other person or getting personal. This can help to keep the conversation productive and focused on finding a solution.
  4. Use “I” statements: Use “I” statements to express your own thoughts, feelings, and needs, rather than accusing or blaming the other person. This can help to de-escalate the situation and maintain a respectful and collaborative tone.
  5. Consider compromise: Sometimes, finding a mutually acceptable solution may require compromising on certain aspects of the problem. Be open to finding a solution that meets the needs of both parties, rather than trying to win at all costs.
  6. Seek outside help if necessary: If the conflict is not resolved through direct communication, consider seeking the help of a mediator or professional conflict resolution specialist. They can help facilitate a productive conversation and guide the parties towards a resolution.

Lead a team

  • Establish a clear vision and mission for the team, and communicate this to team members
  • Promote diversity and inclusion within the team, valuing different behavior types and thought processes
  • Practice servant leadership, putting the needs of the team above your own and relating the principles of servant leadership to the team
  • Determine the most appropriate leadership style for the team, whether it be directive or collaborative
  • Inspire, motivate, and influence team members and stakeholders through techniques like team and social contracts, and a reward system
  • Analyze the influence of team members and stakeholders on the team
  • Consider various options for leading different team members and stakeholders based on their individual needs and characteristics.

Support team performance

  • Assess team member performance against key performance indicators to identify areas for improvement
  • Support and recognize team member growth and development by providing opportunities for learning and career advancement
  • Determine the most appropriate approach for giving feedback, taking into account the individual needs and preferences of team members
  • Monitor and verify that performance improvements are being made and sustained over time.

Empower team members and stakeholders

  • Organize the team around the strengths of individual members, ensuring that they are working in areas where they can thrive
  • Support team task accountability by setting clear expectations and providing resources and support as needed
  • Evaluate the demonstration of task accountability by team members and provide feedback and coaching as needed
  • Determine and bestow the appropriate level of decision-making authority to team members and stakeholders based on their roles and responsibilities.

Ensure team members/stakeholders are adequately trained

  • Determine the specific competencies and elements of training that are required for team members and stakeholders to perform their roles effectively
  • Identify the training needs of team members and stakeholders and determine the most appropriate training options based on those needs
  • Allocate resources for training, including budget and time, as needed
  • Measure the outcomes of training to ensure that it is effective and that team members and stakeholders are able to apply their new knowledge and skills on the job.

Build a team

  • Assess the skills of stakeholders to determine their suitability for the team
  • Deduce the project resource requirements and identify the specific skills and expertise that are needed to meet those requirements
  • Continuously assess and refresh the skills of team members to ensure that they are aligned with the changing needs of the project
  • Maintain team cohesion and facilitate knowledge transfer by encouraging communication and collaboration among team members.

Address and remove impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team

  • Determine the critical impediments, obstacles, and blockers that are impacting the team’s ability to perform effectively
  • Prioritize those impediments, obstacles, and blockers based on their impact and urgency
  • Use your network and resources to implement solutions to remove those impediments, obstacles, and blockers
  • Continuously re-assess the team’s progress and ensure that any remaining impediments, obstacles, and blockers are being addressed.

Negotiate project agreements

  • Analyze the bounds of the negotiations and determine the scope of the agreement
  • Assess the priorities and determine the ultimate objective(s) of the negotiations
  • Verify that the objective(s) of the project agreement are met once the agreement is reached
  • Participate in the negotiations and communicate effectively to ensure that your needs and concerns are understood
  • Determine a negotiation strategy that aligns with the objectives and priorities of the project and the team.

Collaborate with stakeholders

  • Evaluate the engagement needs of stakeholders and determine how best to involve them in the project
  • Optimize the alignment between stakeholder needs, expectations, and project objectives by communicating openly and honestly, and seeking to understand the perspective of each stakeholder
  • Build trust with stakeholders by demonstrating your commitment to their success and the success of the project
  • Use your influence to motivate and inspire stakeholders to work towards the project objectives.

Build shared understanding

  • Break down the situation to identify the root cause of any misunderstandings and address it directly
  • Survey all necessary parties to reach consensus on the facts and the desired outcome of the situation
  • Support the outcome of the parties’ agreement and work towards finding a solution that meets the needs of all parties
  • Be proactive in identifying and addressing potential misunderstandings before they become bigger issues.

Engage and support virtual teams

  • Examine the needs of virtual team members, considering factors such as their environment, geography, culture, and global context
  • Investigate alternatives for virtual team member engagement, such as different communication tools or opportunities for colocation
  • Implement the chosen options for virtual team member engagement and provide necessary resources and support
  • Continually evaluate the effectiveness of the virtual team member engagement and make adjustments as needed.

Define team ground rules

  • Communicate the organizational principles with the team and external stakeholders, making sure that everyone is aware of the expectations and values that guide the team’s work
  • Establish an environment that fosters adherence to the ground rules, through practices like open communication, mutual respect, and accountability
  • Manage and rectify ground rule violations as they arise, using a fair and consistent approach that promotes trust and respect among team members.

Mentor relevant stakeholders

  • Allocate the necessary time and resources to mentoring, recognizing that it is a key part of your role as a leader
  • Be attuned to mentoring opportunities and actively seek them out, whether through structured mentoring relationships or informal interactions with team members and stakeholders
  • Use your knowledge and experience to provide guidance and support to those who are seeking to develop their skills and careers.

Promote team performance through the application of emotional intelligence

  • Assess behavior through the use of personality indicators, such as emotional intelligence assessments or other personality tests
  • Analyze the results of those indicators and use the insights gained to adjust your approach to the emotional needs of key project stakeholders
  • This can involve being more attuned to the emotional states and needs of team members and stakeholders, and using that understanding to create a more supportive and collaborative work environment.

Execute project with the urgency required to deliver business value

  • Assess opportunities to deliver value incrementally, rather than waiting until the end of the project to deliver the final product
  • Examine the business value of the project throughout the project lifecycle, and prioritize tasks and activities that contribute most to that value
  • Support the team to subdivide project tasks as necessary to find the minimum viable product, which is the smallest set of features or capabilities that can be delivered to the customer in a usable form. This can help to ensure that value is delivered to the customer as early as possible.

By focusing on delivering value incrementally and identifying the minimum viable product, you can increase the urgency of the project and ensure that it is aligned with the needs and expectations of the business.

Manage communications

  • Analyze the communication needs of all stakeholders and determine the most appropriate methods, channels, frequency, and level of detail for each group
  • Communicate project information and updates in a clear, concise, and timely manner, using the methods and channels that have been identified
  • Confirm that the communication is understood and that feedback is received from stakeholders, to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any concerns or issues are addressed promptly
  • Be flexible and adaptable in your communication approach, as the needs of stakeholders may change over the course of the project.