Project management can be a daunting but exciting experience, especially if you are a beginner with very little knowledge about the work. Of course, you learn along the way. However, there are certain basic principles of project management that, even as a beginner, you should know about.
These project management principles will guide you in delegating tasks and managing the team efficiently, so pay close attention. This article will lay down some of the basic project management principles that will help you along the way on the journey as a project manager.
Create well-defined goals
The first and most basic principle of project management is to start with well-defined goals and objectives that you need to achieve by the end of the project. Setting these goals together with your team members and clients helps them feel included, creates more productivity, and creates a collaboration that gets you a step closer to success.
Your goals must have three characteristics to be effective. They should be:
- Clear- Clarity is crucial for the success of any project, and hence, the goals that you begin with must be clear.
- Realistic- You cannot set unrealistic goals that will never see the light of the day. The goals must be realistic and achievable, even if challenging. Spend some time thinking about whether at all your team will be able to meet the objectives you are setting.
- Measurable- Your goals and objectives must be measurable. You can always use project management tools for this purpose, but if they are too abstract, there is very little chance of success.
Aim at organizational alignment
What does organizational alignment mean? Simply put, an organization works well only when all its elements are aligned with one another, everybody is on the same page, there is space for healthy debates, and much scope for collaboration. There are two ways in which you can think of this alignment:
- Organization-focused view- The components of a company, like its structure, purposes, strategies, and capabilities, are all in tandem with one another.
- Employee-focused view- The focus is on the individual employee and how well they work in collaboration with the others in the company.
As a project manager, you might not be able to control all of these, but knowledge about this project management principle will help you a long way.
Delegate roles and responsibilities
Trying to achieve all goals on your own will lead to a big failure. The work of a project manager is also to delegate roles and responsibilities to the team members based on the unique strengths that each one has.
You can do this using project management tools like Clovine. Roles of members must complement one another and not lead to excessive competition, which can lead to unnecessary conflicts harmful to the company’s morale. Delegating roles and responsibilities to members helps maintain boundaries and professionalism in the workspace.
Meticulous project initiation and execution
Another principle of software project management is to maintain a plan of meticulous project initiation and execution. All the preliminary work that needs to be done before the project begins, like setting goals and objectives, budgeting, and so on, comes under project initiation, and it must be carefully carried out. This preliminary work can be broken up into the following categories:
- The project must have a pre-built case
- Conducting reports on the feasibility of the project
- Including project stakeholders and maintaining accountability as well as transparency
- Creating a Project Initiation Document (PID)
Once project initiation is over, we move to the project execution, where, as the term suggests, the project is executed. It usually starts with a meeting of the members to break the ice and eventually discuss all the tasks, roles, and responsibilities to be accomplished during the project.
Identify milestones and challenges ahead of time
There is a cliche saying- better safe than sorry. That is what is at the core of this project management principle. You need to identify milestones and challenges beforehand and be prepared to face them adequately. When you start with a new project, it can be very overwhelming, and you might miss out on this seemingly unimportant principle.
However, staying prepared for challenges and milestones beforehand gets you to face them with all your tools at hand and overcome them easily. Try to identify these while the project is still at the planning stage.
Project management is a fun job to have if you are well-versed in these basic principles that have been discussed in the article. Not knowing these might catch you off-guard and lead to unnecessary mistakes that could have been easily avoided. We hope these principles stay with you throughout your career and always act as a guiding light.