As a whole, project management has evolved very quickly in only a relatively short period of time. While elements of project management have been around for as long as humans have been engaged in joint tasks, it was not until the mid-20th century that this became an actual science. While that rapid evolution has offered significant benefits to companies in all industries, it makes understanding project management a little difficult. Here’s a quick look at some of the integral components PMs will need to know.
Know Your Resources and Revaluate Always
Resources form the backbone of your project. Without adequate resources, you obviously won’t be able to reach your goals. Moreover, don’t limit your perception of resources to money only. There are many other resources necessary to a successful project, and essentially anything that helps you on the way can be slotted into this category, including team members, managers, equipment, software, templates and more. Each resource needs to be catalogued and accounted for, and then reevaluated throughout the project. If resources are not meeting your needs, a change of plan may be in order.
Document, Document, Document
The amount of information you have to deal with on a daily basis can be daunting, but it’s vital that you document everything. While it might seem simpler to think “I’ll remember that” when reading an email from a manager, it’s far better to document it then and there. This same concept applies to any other pertinent information or data you deal with throughout the project. Accurate, ongoing documentation ensures that you have everything you need when you need it. It also ensures that you are able to communicate with stakeholders accurately and keep all players on the same page.
Know Where You Are
Part of your task as a project manager is to know where your project is at any given point. You need to ensure that you have the means to do this, though. This will involve staying in constant communication with your team members, as well as knowing what tasks have been completed, how they integrate into the plan as a whole and more. In addition, you’ll find that constant monitoring of progress ensures that you have a good idea of when issues are about to arise and helps you head things off.
Have the Right Team
Project management is not a solo occupation. You will have a team working with you, and it’s up to you to ensure that you have the right team members for the job. You need experts in the various processes, tasks and components of your overall plan, so be thorough in your vetting. Don’t settle for “good enough” when there’s someone better that can join the team. The quality of your team members is paramount to seeing success, so don’t stint here.
Develop a firm understanding of all these components and you’ll find that you’re far more effective as a PM, and that your projects offer greater value in the end.