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Project management: Good practices for success

The success of a project depends on its proper management, so adapting best practices is essential to its success.
Ismael Morales
27 January, 2021

Projects can range from small services that last a week with little variation in the budgeted work to large projects that involve several departments, which is why having knowledge of project management is vital for projects to come to fruition with the expected profitability.

In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about best practices and tools to make your project a success from the start.

What is project management?

 

Project management is an approach aimed at dealing with all the processes that a project will go through, from the initial estimate based on the final objective or result, through the management of people, resources and available tools.

We can define project management as the sum of methodologies for planning, monitoring and measuring the final results of the project.

With all of these methodologies, we achieve:

    • Manage the initial phase and the evolution of the project
    • Respond in a controlled manner to unexpected problems during the project
    • Facilitate the last tasks of completion and approval of the project

Initially, meetings must be held to analyse and specify the objectives of each project, which can be of various types that address different issues and are linked to each other, for example:

At first, meetings must be held to analyse and specify the objectives of each project.

Outcome (create a new website or build a bigger warehouse), outcome consequence (teach our employees to use the website or relocate material, tools and employees to the new warehouse) outcome benefits (create a new web sales channel or reduce costs in the warehouse) and strategic business objectives (be the largest online distributor or increase our logistics efficiency in two years).

In addition, the goal of project management is to achieve these outcomes within constraints that always affect a project, typically time, cost and scope.

The three points are key to be able to shape the project, since the scope determines the final solution and therefore, specifies the steps to follow or the development to achieve it, the cost will be specified by the tasks developed to achieve the scope and the time is the most unstable component, since any problem with the development will jeopardise the cost of the project, so a correct management of these restrictions is a complicated task.

Stages or phases for excellent project management

 

According to the PMI (Project Management Institute), which is a project management organisation and its PMBOK guide, the phases or stages of project management are feasibility study, planning, execution, monitoring/control and closure. Here we detail them:

 

1.- Feasibility study

 

This corresponds to the first steps of the project and its main objective is to analyse whether the benefit obtained after carrying out the project is greater than its cost, here the aforementioned restrictions come into play (scope, cost and time).

A study of the scope, risks is carried out and the possible expected benefit is analysed to then proceed to decide whether to continue with the project or not.

 

2.- Planning

 

Once the decision is made to proceed with the project, all the necessary tasks to be carried out to achieve the predefined scope are defined. It is very important that this is a detailed planning of the work to be carried out as it could lead to additional unplanned costs that may reverse the expected benefit of the project. In order to perform a correct planning task we have to:

  • Once the scope of the project has been marked out, go back to review and analyse it.
  • Based on the scope, estimate costs, resources and time.
  • Planning the project in a defined manner.

 

3.- Execution

 

Once the project is planned, the execution of the company’s know-how in the management of resources and techniques comes into play. The execution phase is usually where the problems that involve higher costs and delays in the planned tasks usually occur. During this stage we must:

  • Establishing groups, environment and workflows
  • Assigning and executing tasks to groups
  • Change management or problem solving

 

4.- Monitoring or control

 

In this phase we will check if the tasks being executed are meeting the initial planning in terms of quality, costs and time. By proactively monitoring these tasks, we can respond appropriately to any problems and thus reduce the associated costs. In order to monitor the tasks executed, we must:

  • Make a follow-up of the planned tasks
  • Checking of quality delivered/expected or other documents
  • Management of incidents occurred
  • Generate general monitoring reports on each task that allow to see in a summarised way the previous points

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5.- Closing

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At the end of the project, it is evaluated and verified that the result obtained complies with what was planned. In addition, any problems encountered during the process should be documented so that they can be avoided in the future. A summary of a project closure is:

  • Formal closure of the project by all parties
  • Security copy of the project
  • Evaluation of results
  • Documentation update

 

Benefits of a correct project management

 

In addition to the immediate results during the project, the company can benefit in several areas:

Besides the immediate results during the project, the company can benefit in a number of ways

  • Optimisation of workflows
  • Improvement of teamwork
  • Improved internal communication within the company between different production departments
  • Increased preventive capacity in complicated tasks
  • Enables planning and management of resources with fewer errors
  • Optimises incident management

 

Project management tools

 

In order to carry out project management, there are several data visualisation techniques such as Gantt, Pert or Critical Chain diagrams. They are valid for planning and controlling the timing of a project, but as we have seen above, a project consists of more phases.

Based on the stages we have defined above, we can say that a project management programme or tool will provide value if it fulfils these functions:

  • Simultaneously manage an unlimited number of projects.
  • Relate all types of documentation, from quotations to purchase invoices along with certificates, contracts or any other important images that need to be documented.
  • All types of documentation can be linked.
  • Assignment of employees with roles to the project and their tasks.
  • Assignment of employees with roles to the project and their tasks.
  • Linking of tasks and events to the agendas of each employee.
  • Assignment of employees with roles to the project and their tasks.
  • Quick visualisation of products and services involved in the project with amounts related to their expenditure and total related income.
  • Ability to trace any action taken whether expenditure or revenue; what, when, on what product or service, how much, at what price and which employee, among others…
  • Easily obtain the profitability in real time, in relation to what has been budgeted with the current expenses and income with attention to detail.
  • Quick detection of deviations in expenses with the aim of being able to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

All this you can do with STEL Order, thanks to the project management module that we have incorporated into our software you will be able to carry out your projects in the most successful way possible. You can try it for free for 15 days to discover the rest of the functionalities that will undoubtedly help your business to grow.
Click here to start your free trial for 15 days and manage your project effectively.

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