Every organization strive to successfully complete the project within the constraints of cost, budget, scope etc but unfortunately not every project is successful and the ratio of failed projects supersedes the successful one. But if proper project management practices are followed the chances of success are high.
We know that most of the project’s go through a project life cycle or project process group. i.e: The project is initiated, then planned, then execution of the project starts and at the same time, the project is monitored and then finally it’s closed. In this article, we will closely look at some of the best project management practices that could be applied on each cycle of the project.
Project Management Best Practices
Before a project is initiated, there is a pre-initiation process and can be called project selection phase. Different organization’s uses different techniques and methods to select one project over another. Among these techniques could be to look at the ROI and other financial aspects but apart from them, the best project management practices would be that the management could answer a few basic questions and I will highlight a few:
- Do this project in any way according to the company strategic goals?
- Do this project resonate with the company policy?
- Do we have the necessary skilled resources?
- Do we need to get every project that we can get our hands on?
These questions are very important up front in making a decision, whether the project should be undertaken or move on to another one or select one project over another.
Many people skip this process and move directly to planning. Initiation is very important part of the project and a bad start could lead to disaster. let’s have a look at some of the project management best practices that need to be taken into account as soon the project is initiated.
- Do we have a Charter?
- Do Project Manager already assigned to the project?
- Do we have the right team?
- Do stakeholder’s been identified?
- Do stakeholder management strategy made?
- Do stakeholder methods of communication identified?
If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail.
Planning plays pivotal role in every project. If a case study is conducted on failed projects, i am confident, it will be traced back to lack of proper planning. There should be no second thought of not planning the project well in advance. Let’s have a look at some of the most important project management practices to be conducted in planning.
Project Management Plan:
- Do we have a solid Project Management Plan?
- Have we clarified the scope of the project and signed off from stakeholders?
- Do we know, why are we doing the project?
- Do we know the outcome of the project?
- Do we know the end result of the project?
- Do we know, what are we trying to achieve with the project?
Organization’s have different responses towards risks, some are risk taker’s while others are risk averse. Project Management best practices would be to know in advance about risk approach of the organization, so that decisions are taken accordingly.
- Had we identified risks?
- Do we have plans for risks?
Constraints and Assumptions:
Every project will have some constraints and assumptions. Assumptions could be true or not but constraints will definitely limit your options.
- Do we know our main constraints (Scope, Quality, Cost, Schedule)?
There are many techniques for estimation and a couple may be used on the project whether it’s cost estimation or schedule.
- Had we done Cost and Schedule estimation?
- Do the project estimation realistic?
Execution is the process, where rubber meets the road and everything that has been planned are getting into shape. Project execution needs to be performed according to project management plan. Let’s dig into some of the project management best practices that should be followed in executing of the project.
- Do project team knows, what and when to do specific tasks and activities?
- Do project team aware of timelines and milestones?
- Do project team knows about changes and how and where to report?
- Do project team knows about quality and other constraints?
Monitoring and Controlling:
Monitoring and controlling of the project starts from day one. Alot of professionals think that project monitoring starts when project execution is started but that is wrong. This process is started immediately as the project is initiated. Let’s find out some of the project management best practices that needs to be performed in monitoring and controlling of the project.
- Tracking and Monitoring?
- Measuring, Measuring and Measuring?
Many professionals pays little attention to closing of a project and this phase or cycle is as important as other phases of the project. There are many activities that needs to be performed in order to call the project a success. Let’s have a look at some of the project management best practices in closing of the project.
- Had we delivered, what we had planned?
- Had the project achieved, what the project was initiated for?
- Had Lesson Learned been compiled?
- Had we close all procurement?
- Had we free all resources assigned to the project?
- Had we deposit all documents in company’s repository?
Please don’t consider it an exhaustive list of project management best practices as there are many things that needs to be looked into, which i might have not mentioned. If there is something that you think is very important and should be part of this article, please comment below and i will include that in the article.
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