Successful projects are usually the result of careful planning and the talent and collaboration of a project’s team members. Projects can’t move forward without each of its key team members, but it’s not always clear who those members are, or what roles they play. Here, we’ll describe five roles – project manager, project team member, project sponsor, executive sponsor and business analyst – and describe their associated duties.
What is Project Management?
More specifically, what is a project? It’s a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.
A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.
And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.
The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market — all are projects.
And all must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that organizations need.
Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
Project Management Techniques
Techniques in project management range from traditional to innovative ones. Which one to choose for running a project, depends on project specifics, its complexity, teams involved, and other factors. Most of them can be used in various fields, however, there are techniques that are traditionally used in certain areas of activity, or are developed specifically for certain fields. Below, we’ve listed the most popular techniques that are used in project management.
The simplest, traditional technique is sometimes the most appropriate for running projects. It includes preparing a plan of upcoming work, estimating tasks to perform, allocating resources, providing and getting feedback from the team, and monitoring quality and deadlines.
Where to use: this technique is ideal for running projects performed by small teams, when it’s not really necessary to implement a complex process.
This technique is also considered traditional, but it takes the simple classic approach to the new level. As its name suggests, the technique is based on the sequential performance of tasks. The next step starts when the previous one is accomplished. To monitor progress and performed steps, Gantt charts are often used, as they provide a clear visual representation of phases and dependencies.
Where to use: this technique is traditionally used for complex projects where detailed phasing is required and successful delivery depends on rigid work structuring.