What is Project Management? Meaning, Objective, Importance, Principles

Project management is a process of application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to run project activities to achieve project requirements and objectives.

Today we have shared a detailed article on project mgmt. Here you will find all the basics topics, i.e. Project Management Meaning, Definition, Concept, Objective, Need/Importance, Scope, Phase/Stages, Tools and Techniques, Advantages, and its Limitations.

► What is Project Management?

Project management is a critical skill set in today’s world. A project is defined as a non-routine, one-time effort limited by time, resources, and performance specifications designed to meet customer needs.

◉ Project Management Meaning

A project is a temporary endeavor, having a defined beginning and objectives usually to bring about beneficial change. Project Management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.

Definition of Project Management

  • According to PMI

“Project management is an art of application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations”.

  • Project mgmt. is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project.
  • P.M. involves the Planning, and events that occur as software evolves from a preliminary concept to operational implementation.
  • P.M. is the application of knowledge skills tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet and exceed stakeholder needs and expectations.

Concept of Project Management

The project management concepts provide a systematic view of the plan and processes with which they are implemented in the project.

The Concept of Project management includes major factors of the projects such as follows;

  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Risk

Project Management will also emphasize the interrelated nature of these areas.

In addition, to coordinate these knowledge areas, Project management will attempt to develop an understanding of these concepts. It plays an important role in project teams in managing projects successfully.

Objectives of Project Management

The following are the objective of the project mgmt:

  • To develop and implement the procedures.
  • To have collaboration, effective communication, and productive guidance.
  • To achieve the goal of the project within the estimated time with high quality.
  • To optimize and allocate the necessary resources to meet project goals.
  • To meet the exclusive needs and requirements of the clients.

Feature / Characteristics of Project Management

The following are the key features or characteristics of the project mgmt:

  • It has a budget.
  • A project is goal-oriented.
  • It is temporary in nature.
  • It involves the use of multiple resources.
  • A project needs a special management setup.
  • It consists of a set of interrelated tasks or activities.
  • Each project has something unique in nature.
  • A project has a well-defined life cycle, that is, it has a well-defined beginning and end.
  • It consists of unusual, non-repetitive, and short-term activities.

Need / Importance of Project Management

The following are the need and importance of the project mgmt:

  1. It creates a focus.
  2. It controls quality.
  3. It minimizes risks.
  4. It reduces project costs.
  5. It encourages teamwork.
  6. It maximizes resources.
  7. It encourages learning.

✔ 1. Create a Focus

  • Projects can be challenging for companies to manage especially ones that last months or years.
  • Project management depends on defining a scope for projects that follow specific deadlines for each task.
  • With a clear scope, guidelines, and strict deadlines, companies can stay focused on the objective and complete goals successfully.

✔ 2. Controls Quality

  • Most importantly, project management must deliver a quality project on time and in full.
  • A project manager closely monitors the progress and quality of work of their teams so they can deliver a satisfactory project.
  • By monitoring and controlling, A project manager identifies any obstacles that could affect the quality, and take corrective actions and solutions.

✔ 3. Minimizes Risks

  • The first phase of project management involves evaluating the risks and benefits of the project, and whether the risks of a project outweigh the benefits.
  • If a company chooses to continue with a project, project managers will continually assess potential risks and formulate plans to minimize them.
  • Fewer risks increase the chances of completion of the project timely and make it a successful project.

✔ 4. Reduces Project Costs

  • Project managers and stakeholders need to define a budget for the project during the planning phase.
  • The project managers reduce costs by knowing exactly how much they can spend on resources with the help of a budget.
  • Further, once a company completed a project successfully, it can reuse the processes in future projects.

✔ 5. Encourages teamwork

  • Collaboration of teams is crucial to completing tasks on time during a project.
  • Effective teamwork allows groups to utilize the skills and strengths of each individual, making workflows more efficient.

✔ 6. Maximizes resources

  • It is essential for a company to make the best use of its resources to reduce project time and cost so they can stay within a budget.
  • Resources can be time or costs spent on such as travel, tools, and materials.
  • In Project management, the resources are necessary to complete a project and the project manager forms an effective plan to use them correctly.
  • Team members can start work on other projects quickly by completing a project on time, which maximizes the use of resources of the company.

✔ 7. Encourages learning

  • During the closing phase, project management teams evaluate and reflect on the project.
  • They take post-project meetings called retrospectives where they discuss the learnings, processes, successes, and setbacks.
  • Retrospectives are an ideal time for team members to document their strengths and weaknesses in areas where they can improve.

Also Read : Steps in Planning Process

Scope of Project Management

The following are some important scopes of the project mgmt:

  • Identify project needs
  • Confirm project goals and objective
  • Describes project scope
  • Identify constraints of the project
  • Identify necessary changes and improvement

Advantages of Project Management (Benefits)

The following are the benefits or advantages of the project mgmt:

  • Better control of financial, physical, and human resources.
  • Improved customer relations.
  • Shorter development times.
  • Lower costs
  • Higher quality and increased reliability.
  • Higher profit margin.
  • Improved productivity.
  • Better internal coordination.
  • Higher worker morale (less stress).

Limitations of Project Management (Disadvantages)

The following are the limitation or disadvantages of the project mgmt:

  • No customers focus point.
  • The project is slow.
  • The central authority is absent.
  • No proper time management.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Lack of intuitiveness.
  • Local optimizations.
  • There are no easy changes.
  • Risks are involved in challenging development.

► Phases / Stages of Project Management

  • Initiation Phase
  • Definition Phase
  • Design Phase
  • Development Phase
  • Implementation Phase
  • Closing & Follow-up Phase

Also Read : Types of Plans

► Principles in Project Management

  1. Setting Goals & Objectives
  2. Formalized Structure
  3. Get a strong Sponsor
  4. Organizational Alignment
  5. Roles and Responsibilities
  6. Initiation and Execution Strategy
  7. Budgeting and Scheduling
  8. Set your priorities and milestones
  9. Sense of Responsibility & Accountability
  10. No-Gap in Communication
  11. Transparency
  12. Risk Assessment
  13. Monitoring & Measuring of Progress

✔ 1. Setting Goals & Objectives:

  • Setting targets and goals plays a very crucial role in the success of any project.
  • The goals and objectives of your project must be well-defined so that there is no ambiguity and project planning will take place accordingly.
  • The goals set should be clear, realistic & measurable.
  • Goals & objectives are the foundation of any project management plan.

✔ 2. Formalized Structure:

  • If there is no formalized structure for the project, then the project might go in any direction due to a lack of proper control.
  • Hence, a project should have a formal structure, proper planning, and a designated team.
  • All this ensures that the project is prioritized and managed well.

✔ 3. Get a strong Sponsor:

  • A potent sponsor helps to beat the various obstacles such as the loss of key resources.
  • Communication of progress, escalation of issues, and decision making become easier if the project sponsor is effective & engaged.

✔ 4. Organizational Alignment:

  • How can we create and maintain organizational alignment? There are two ways by which Organizational alignment can be done.
  1. Organizational Focused View: Here we ensure that all the various major components of the organization assist each other. For example, an organization’s purpose, strategy, systems, and structures all should work simultaneously.
  2. Employee Focused View: In this method, employees are evaluated on how good they are at achieving individual goals or professional goals. However, to bring change, a project manager should support more organizational alignment techniques for a successful project.

✔ 5. Roles and Responsibilities:

  • The roles and responsibilities of each member involved in the project must be clearly defined.
  • If there is a lack of clarity about their respective roles then conflict will arise which will hamper productivity.
  • Hence, as a project manager, you are accountable to ensure that each of the team members is aware of their respective roles which will ease the team coordination and team functioning.

✔ 6. Initiation and Execution Strategy:

  • Creating a strategy for project initiation and execution is a must.
  • Project initiation includes the preliminary work and this can be categorized into 4 phases developing a business case for the project, conducting feasibility reports, ensuring project stakeholder’s involvement, and preparing a project initiation document.
  • Project Execution starts with a project kickoff meeting. This meeting is done to share the vision and plan, delegate the tasks, etc. Documenting all the errors, corrections and changes are must during the execution phase.

✔ 7. Budgeting and Scheduling:

  • The biggest challenge faced while managing a project is dealing with limited resources.
  • Hence, careful budgeting is very crucial.
  • Budgeting is directly linked with scheduling; if the timeline of the project is disturbed then of course your budget will also get wrecked.

✔ 8. Set your priorities and milestones:

  • If a project manager doesn’t understand what are the priorities? then they would easily get distracted by things that are not so important.
  • Also setting priorities will help you channel your team’s energy in the right direction.
  • When you set milestones in the project planning phase, it works as a reminder and helps you to know whether you are on schedule.
  • A milestone achievement motivates the team as it gives them a tangible sense of progress on the project.

✔ 9. Sense of Responsibility & Accountability:

  • Micro–management is not only monotonous but it also affects productivity.
  • Empowering workers with a sense of responsibility and accountability will not only motivate and guide them but will also encourage them to be on auto-pilot mode.
  • It will reduce the burden of continuous supervising and the project manager can focus on other important things.

✔ 10. No-Gap in Communication:

  • To ensure that there is no gap in communication, it is important to implement strong communication guidelines.
  • It is essential to set expectations and targets for the teams with regards to what kind of information needs to be communicated & whom they should be notified in certain circumstances.

✔ 11. Transparency:

  • There must be a system wherein all the important information regarding the project can be accessed by the team members easily.
  • One can achieve project transparency through various ways like making project data available to the entire team, providing tools for collaboration, sharing calendars with team members, etc.
  • Having project transparency will give the team members a sense of belonging which will eventually generate better outcomes.

✔ 12. Risk Assessment:

  • Risk assessment means identifying all the potential project risks.
  • It is carried out with an intention to diminish all the potential project risks at the initial phase of the project.
  • However, one cannot eliminate all the possible risks but what can save your project from failure is being prepared

✔ 13. Monitoring & Measuring of Progress:

  • Maintaining a regular track of the key performance indicators i.e. budget, timelines & quality will help to identify the weak areas.
  • It also ensures corrective measures can be taken in no time.

Also Read :14 Principles of Management

► Tools & Techniques of Project Management

First, we have discussed techniques of Project Management and then we have shared tools of project management in Process Modeling.

Techniques of Project Management

Here are the popular techniques used in project management;

  1. Project Selection techniques
  2. Project Execution planning techniques
  3. Project Scheduling and coordinating techniques
  4. Project Monitoring and production control techniques
  5. Project Cost productivity control techniques
  6. Project Communication and clean-up techniques

✔ 1. Project Selection techniques

  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Risk and sensitivity analysis

✔ 2. Project Execution planning techniques

  • Work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Project Execution Plan (PEP)
  • Project responsibility matrix
  • Project Mgmt. manual

✔ 3. Project Scheduling and coordinating techniques

  • Bar charts
  • Life cycle curves
  • Line of balance (LOB)
  • Networking techniques (PERT/CPM)

✔ 4. Project Monitoring and production control techniques

  • Progress measurement technique (PROMPT)
  • Performance monitoring technique (PERMIT)
  • Updating, reviewing, and reporting technique (URT)

✔ 5. Project Cost productivity control techniques

  • Productivity budgeting techniques
  • Value engineering (VE)

✔ 6. Project Communication and clean-up techniques

  • Control room
  • Computerized information systems

► Process Modeling

  • Process modeling simply means modeling software processes for project management.
  • At first, developers need to fully understand the process and work of software, then only they can be able to model the process.
  • This tool represents key elements of the process that are important. So, it makes it easier to perform work tasks in an efficient and proper manner.

Project Management Tools

There are various tools that are used in Project Management and these tools are specifically designed to facilitate tasks of the Project. Some of them are as follows;

  • Project Planning tools
  • Risk Analysis tools
  • Project Management tools
  • Quality Assurance tools

Project Planning Tools:

Project planning simply means planning and setting up a project for successful development within the timeframe.

It includes defined stages or steps to define the objectives of the project with designated resources. It clarifies the scope of what should be done, and then develop a checklist of tasks that need to be done to complete it.

  • The most popular project planning tools are CPM (Critical Path Method) and PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique).
  • Both of them are used for finding parallelism, eliminating bottlenecks in projects, and scheduling activities of projects.

Risk Analysis Tools:

Risk analysis simply means to identify and analyze errors or defects or any issue that can cause a negative impact and result in the changed outcome and objectives of the project.

The analysis is done so that organization can fix issues or remove errors to avoid effects caused by them. These tools help in identifying risks and are useful for binding risk tables.

  • These provide proper guidance for the identification and analysis of risks. These risks can be categorized into categories such as catastrophic, critical, marginal, or negligible.
  • A cost is always associated with each risk that can be calculated at each stage of development. There are tools and techniques to cater to these risks i.e Delphi technique, Information gathering technique, Checklist analysis, etc.

Project Management Tools:

Project management simply means tracking or controlling the progress and tasks of the project. These tools are extensions of project planning tools.

  • These tools are generally used to update pans if require and schedule projects.
  • These tools make Project Management more effective and efficient.
  • Some tools are the Gantt chart, mind map, WBS chart (Work Breakdown Structure), etc.

Quality Assurance Tools:

Quality assurance means maintaining a level of quality of the product by focusing on each step of the process of development or production and delivery.

  • It prevents mistakes and any defects or errors in manufactured products.
  • Some tools that are used for both Quality management plans and to control quality processes are Pareto Diagrams, control charts, histograms and scatter diagrams, etc.
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