Project management terms are very familiar in every company. Achieving business goals does not have to be complicated, yet many business owners cannot complete their tasks.
To achieve regular success in this field, effective project management is necessary, consisting of a huge number of factors and concepts worth learning.
This article will present the most important ones that will be a starting point for you to increase your and your employees’ efficiency. To work!
Project Management Definition: Necessary in Every Company
Before we go over and explain the most important concepts, however, let’s consider for a moment what project management is. According to the dictionary project management definition, it is a series of activities carried out to achieve the company’s set goals.
In practice, it is striving for success by carrying out short- and long-term tasks and minimizing any risk that could thwart the company’s plans.
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Project Management Steps- What’s More?
Strategic project management includes several basic activities that allow you to achieve your goals successfully. Belong to them:
- Defining, consisting of setting the purpose, methods of its implementation, as well as detecting potential threats that could prevent the effective closure of the project,
- Project Planning, i.e., determining the sequence of activities, tools to be used, options to be used, and all other detailed plans that will allow achieving the goal without incurring unnecessary risk,
- Implementation of The Plan, i.e., carrying out all necessary works – including the distribution of tasks to individual employees and setting the work schedule,
- control carried out during the project implementation, which aims to verify whether individual tasks are performed correctly and what should be done to make the work run more efficiently,
- Closure of The Project, which should be equivalent to making appropriate analyzes of the effects and whether the project was implemented as expected.
15 Most Important Terms from A To Z!
1. Requirements Analysis- Most Important Among The Project Management Terms
Project management in an enterprise has several goals. One of them is undoubtedly achieving the desired effect, i.e., high-quality products or services, which will be used by the customer in the future.
Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the requirements that must be met for the project to succeed. To complete the process, the entrepreneur should take into account not only the needs of customers or recipients but also:
- requirements of employees, supervisory board and shareholders,
- requirements of suppliers, media, and local governments.
Defining and carefully analyzing the requirements allows us to determine the time consumption, costs, and time of the project. And also determine its profitability or the scope of work to be performed. Effective project management in this aspect also means taking into account opportunities, threats, market requirements, and competitors’ activities.
2. Network Diagram
Each project has at least several tasks that must be performed in the right order and between which there are various dependencies. Skipping or not completing a task may result in you being unable to start or end the next one.
For example – before you start positioning your website, you must first ensure high-quality content or proper linking. Without it, the project cannot be completed.
Knowing exactly what the sequence of activities is, what is their priority and how one task affects another is worth creating a network diagram. It is a special graph that defines the order of tasks and the relations between them. Tasks are placed in rectangles, and the type of arrows between them determines all dependencies.
Thanks to this, it is possible to effectively control the project and organize it – both in terms of the sequence of activities and their distribution over time.
3. Project Schedule
Strategic project management, which is focused on the trouble-free implementation of the plan and achievement of the goal, involves the division of work into individual stages and their appropriate timing.
Often there are many stages, each with several tasks. Often, some stages overlap, and all these factors can lead to clutter and, consequently, problems with the project’s effective implementation.
So, a schedule turns out to be indispensable in every project. It is a kind of calendar that will contain a description of a specific stage, tasks to be performed, time allocated to implementation, and available resources. In this way, it is possible not only to organize all activities but also to achieve the goal.
The schedule can take many forms and be created by different methods. The most popular are:
- Gantt chart, which allows you to present the sequence of activities graphically,
- Pert method, presented in a graphic form and based on a directional diagram,
- Critical path, which we describe in more detail in this glossary.
4. Project Stakeholders
Project management in an organization is a very complex process, influenced not only by the boss and employees but also by many other people. We call them the stakeholders described in the 1980s by Professor R. Edward Freeman. Therefore, we distinguish stakeholders:
- Internal, operating within the organization – here we are talking about employees, supervisory board and shareholders,
- External who operate in the organization’s environment and impact the implementation of projects – these are customers, competitors, suppliers, authorities and institutions, media, trade unions, etc.
According to Freeman’s theory, each of the stakeholders has their interests towards the company and therefore wants their needs to stand on a pedestal. Therefore, effective management of this aspect and proper stakeholder analysis is not easy.
However, they have a key impact on the functioning of the organization and the achievement of goals. For example, adequately selected suppliers will ensure the continuity of production.
Good relations with the media will help build a positive brand image, and a high-quality offer will meet customer expectations. It is worth remembering that the relations between the company and its stakeholders are mutual.
The schedule of each project includes the so-called ” Milestones ” – these are very important events that have a significant impact on the further implementation of the project.
Usually, they occur at the beginning or end of a given stage of the project implementation; they can close it or provide the possibility to continue work.
An example of a milestone could be signing an important contract, approving a specific task, or receiving work results/evaluation.
It also often defines a deadline, e.g. for the completion of specific tasks, or has a decisive influence on the project’s changes.
Milestones must be in the correct place on the schedule. Thanks to this, project management in the enterprise and its implementation will not be disturbed.
This is very useful among the project management terms. Kanban is a very popular production management method that was developed in Japan in the 1950s. It is a planning system that allows you to produce exactly as many products as you need at a given moment.
It works well both in the simplest technological processes, where it allows you to quickly determine what has been done, what is in progress, and what needs to be done, and the most complicated ones, in which many people and devices participate.
To be able to optimize the process, the so-called Kanban cards. They contain the most important information, and the systems based on this method are fully computerized in most enterprises. Thanks to the use of Kanban, the company will not have any:
- Unnecessary technological and control operations
7. Design Card
To keep your projects running smoothly and efficiently, you need to create project cards. These are information documents that relate to the prerequisites for a project to start.
They contain the scope and objectives of the project, the division of roles and responsibilities of people involved in the project, as well as the expectations of stakeholders. It is a short document, but very important – without it is impossible to start a project.
8. Project Book
When a project is complete, you can (although not obligatory) create a project ledger. This is the document that contains the most important information about the completed project. Its creation is highly recommended in the vast majority of cases because it allows you to answer any questions, incl.
Whether the design was made correctly and whether the method used proved to be effective. Thanks to the information obtained in this way, it will be possible to optimize future activities and even more effective project management.
9. Stakeholder Map – Project Management
All entrepreneurs should be aware of the stakeholders’ importance (both internal and external) for each project. Knowing who should be involved in the project and who should only be informed about work progress is extremely important.
And to obtain it, the so-called stakeholder maps. They contain all stakeholders who have an impact on the project, as well as information about them, including:
- Their effect on the organization (and vice versa – the organization on them),
- Their interest in the organization (and vice versa),
- The importance of individuals in the context of the project,
- Nature of the relationship (positive, negative, indifferent).
10. Project Force Field
According to Kurt Lewin, a pioneer of social psychology, our behavior depends on two forces that affect us – inhibitory and driving forces. Thanks to this theory, it was possible to create an analysis of the project force field, allowing to determine those forces that lead to the development of the enterprise or, on the contrary, inhibit it.
Project management should focus on actions that will strengthen the driving forces and reduce the braking points. In this way, it is possible to achieve a specific goal faster and easier.
11. Project Management Program
In the era of modern computer tools and systems, project management “on a piece of paper” is not the best solution. It is much better to use one of the many project management programs, many of which are entirely free.
Thanks to them, it is possible to create a project, work schedule, and carry out activities in a smooth and trouble-free manner.
The most popular solutions of this type that are worth using include Asana, Trello, and Basecamp. They will prove useful in both small and large organizations implementing the most complex projects.
12. Critical Path – Project Management
Some of the tasks are very important in the context of timely project implementation. Any delays related to their performance may delay the completion of a given project.
These tasks are said to be on the critical path and must be given special attention. It determines the shortest time needed to complete the project, and therefore, its proper planning is so important.
How to properly plan such a path? First of all, it is necessary to make a list of all tasks to be performed within the project and arrange their sequence.
Next, it is necessary to analyze the dependencies between tasks, develop a network diagram, and determine individual tasks’ duration.
13. Design Triangle
Regardless of the type of project we carry out, it will be limited by three factors:
- The time needed to complete the task,
- The cost that the project will generate,
- Scope, i.e., Steps that must be taken to complete the project.
These three factors create the so-called design triangle, also known as the constraint triangle. The task of the project managers is to keep this triangle balanced.
Thanks to this, the activities carried out will be harmonious and will not cause problems in achieving the goal. Note that changing one factor affects the other two. It is, therefore, important to react appropriately to any changes.
14. Gantt Chart – Project Management
This is one of the best scheduling methods in project management. It allows you to graphically present and control individual activities, allowing you to plan, perform simulations, and smooth changes when the situation requires it. Goals are placed on the Gantt chart.
The time for their implementation and the sequence of their implementation are determined, the places where the goals are to be achieved, and the activities already performed. In this way, the performance of the project runs smoothly and without any problems.
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This method works well for small, medium, and large projects, and it is perfect for teamwork. Thanks to this, it works in many areas and is widely used.
15. Risk Management- Final and Very Important Among Project Management Terms
The implementation of each project is associated with various types of risks that can lead to problems. Therefore, each entity is obliged to manage risk, i.e., to analyze the threats and potential losses they may cause.
Thanks to this, it is possible to achieve an acceptable level of risk. And as a consequence – the possibility of trouble-free execution of tasks according to the schedule.
There are several risk management strategies. The most popular ones are avoidance, transfer, mitigation, and acceptance. In all cases, the risk assessment should be made on a case-by-case basis and the choice of methods to minimize it.
Final Words To Learn Project Management Terms
These are very essential to have some knowledge about useful project management terms. Of course, mastering the basic concepts is only the beginning of your journey, which ends with effective project management.
If you follow these project management terms in your project management strategy, it will work, but it needs up-to-date attention.
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