Managing a business is a full-time job, especially when you’re trying to be the best at what you do. Despite what industry you belong to, you’ll always likely work on a project of some sort. Some may be simple, and others not, depending on the objectives you’ve set out to achieve.
Running into obstacles and other business challenges once in a while isn’t unheard of, yet it’s still important to prepare for these instances and find ways to overcome them. Learning about the basics of project management can be a big step toward this. Not only will you be able to familiarize yourself with the concept, but you’ll also have the tools you need ready at hand.
If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of project management, check out the infographic below and consider it your handy guide.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the process of planning, executing, and completing projects to guide your team to success. Many industries use project management strategies to lead the work more efficiently. It helps ensure that everything runs according to a schedule, achieving all project goals.
Project management also involves arranging and organizing the use of the company’s resources, materials, finances, and all other aspects to minimize delays and risks in your operations. Others may also opt to work with a project management virtual assistant to better integrate the new system into the plan.
10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management
A solid project management plan can help you and your team function more productively and allow you to save time and valuable resources. But to fully utilize it to its maximum potential, getting to know the different aspects of the framework is essential.
Here are knowledge areas of project management that you should know about to help you get started:
- Project integration management
The integration area helps you coordinate your team and all the different parts of your project. This step during the initiation phase ensures that everyone involved in the project has a guided plan to keep operations running smoothly.
- Project scope management
When additional unexpected tasks flow in, scope management controls the process and finds a way to carry out new assignments during the project. Without it, dealing with unforeseen expenses or issues can lead to disturbances in the course of the project, which can cause major losses.
- Project schedule management
Time management is crucial for any business project. This knowledge area in project management will ensure that tasks are done within a critical timeframe or otherwise adjusted in a way that doesn’t hinder the entire project.
- Project cost management
Cost management is the process that determines the project’s budget, identifies the division of resources, and tracks the movement of finances within the group to ensure everything is going according to plan.
- Project quality management
Quality management focuses on consistency throughout the project. It’s a key consideration in project management that verifies outputs, whether it’s according to the standards you or your clients expect or otherwise.
- Project resource management
This area will identify all types of resources that you’ll need to complete the project. Resource management means you’ll have the necessary factors for your project’s success, such as people, equipment, facilities, and funding.
- Project communications management
Communication plays a big role in any company as it keeps everyone informed and aware of what’s happening within the team. Communications management establishes easier transitions when strategies change.
- Project risk management
Complications and challenges aren’t unheard of when managing any project. As such, the risk management area of your project management efforts anticipates these factors and helps you build a plan to work around hurdles, should they occur.
- Project procurement management
When your company doesn’t have enough knowledge or expertise in a subject, you may turn to a virtual assistant company for help. The procurement side of project management enables a quick onboarding process that can speed up your progress when you need products or services from the outside.
- Project stakeholders management
Typically, stakeholders are the ones who request the project, and they’re involved in it, with the project manager as their key person of contact. This area ensures that the team knows the scope of the stakeholders’ demands in the project, limiting any drastic changes in the process later on.
5 Phases of Project Management
Much like any other strategy, project management has procedures that help you control your team and operations. These factors also establish the guiding principles to help you reach your goals.
Here’s a look at the five phases of project management so you can become more familiar with how it works.
Initiation is the process of turning an abstract idea into a definitive goal. During this stage, you’ll build a business case that elaborates on your project, including details on your budget, timeframe, project team, and overall scope of the work.
Project planning is essentially building a roadmap for your project. It identifies all the technical and development requirements while providing a comprehensive timeline and communication plan for everyone involved.
It’s the stage where your team starts doing the necessary work for the project. During this time, you’ll need to establish efficient workflows for your group, ensure everyone can collaborate well, and manage deliverables according to schedule.
- Monitoring and controlling
Monitoring and controlling the project can be done while executing tasks and other developments. This process helps ensure everyone follows the plan and delivers the expected results. You can also use it to watch for any issues that can be prevented or resolved before it gets out of hand.
The project is closed after the final delivery, where the product is checked and properly assessed. This stage allows team members to meet and reflect on the project to discuss their successes and failures.
Practical Tips for a Successful Project Team
Managing your workload, delegating tasks, and handling a team can be overwhelming for a business owner. While working with an outsourced virtual assistant can be a great help, you must ensure everyone can work efficiently together.
Use the following project management tips and tricks to warrant the success of your operation.
- Select a strong project manager
Every team needs a smart and reliable leader. Pick a strong project manager who can inspire your team to do more by understanding each member’s strengths, weaknesses, and growth opportunities to drive the project to fruition. They can also ensure that everyone is on top of their game to avoid any issues throughout the operation.
- Set clear and realistic goals
Setting the right targets to work towards can help you maximize your time and resources to succeed. When your objective seems feasible, your team is less likely to become demotivated with their tasks. You can also see visible results this way, as the process becomes more organized with a clearer vision.
- Define roles and delegate tasks
Like setting goals, defining each person’s role on your team can help them understand their job better, including discussing their responsibilities’ scopes and limitations. It can also speed up the recruitment process and allow workers to focus on their tasks more.
- Keep your team motivated
Research shows that workers work 20% better when motivated. When you give incentives that make project management labor more interesting, your employees can appreciate their positions more and produce better outputs their roles require.
- Never neglect the little things
While the project’s goal is to meet the expected results, celebrating small victories along the way can also benefit your team. When a worker succeeds in their share in the project, it’s important to acknowledge their contributions and efforts to make them feel appreciated.
- Find early adopters
In every team, a few may adapt to your system more easily than others. Get these workers to help their teammates become more accustomed to your operations. Not only will this help manage your progress, but it can also build a better working relationship with one another.
Lead Your Team to Success with a Reliable Virtual Assistant
Every business has a goal in mind that they want to achieve. But to reach those targets, you’ll need to find ways to manage your operations and your team more effectively and efficiently. One way of accomplishing this is by getting familiar with proper project management strategies and using them to improve your overall performance.
While getting to know the ins and outs of project management can be a bit overwhelming at first, having someone skilled on your team can make things easier. So if you’re interested in expanding your workforce and working with remote professionals, then Outsource Access may be the right partner for you!
Our team of experts can help provide you with top-notch virtual assistant services. You can also get seasoned virtual assistants to take over your project management needs and more! Check out our process or book a call today to learn more.