Project management is a very complicated process and requires a lot of experience and expertise to execute competently. The project manager needs to be a team leader and a team player at the same time so that he or she can work together along with the team to make the most of the teamwork and guide the team well when there’s a need. It requires meticulous planning and supervision to make sure the plan in strictly followed so that the project conforms to the estimation approved by the client. The Project manager needs to plan for the right resources required allocating the task as per the plan and completing the project successfully on time. While this was a very tedious job earlier, with project management software using cutting edge technology, managing the project has become simpler and more effective. Whether using software or not, the following 5 points are essential for competent project management.
1. Cost Management
Every project requires estimation and it is the project manager’s duty to arrive at the cost factors that would attribute to successful completion of the project. It will include the cost of the man, materials, and machines required to complete the project and some buffer cost to cover any contingencies. The project manager not only draws the estimation but also makes sure that the project stays within the cost limit as per the estimation. If it does not, the project will not be profitable and the manager will be held responsible for the losses incurred.
2. Time Management
Time is a very important factor that decides all the other aspects of a project. It determines the cost, profitability and the completion of a project. The project is estimated considering the current costs considering a percentage escalation in the costs over the estimated period of time. If the project does not complete within the specified time, the cost factors will vary and usually it will affect the profitability of the project. Time is also important in the case where the work has to be on the exteriors and seasonal changes may affect its completion.
3. Material Management
Material management is very important when the project involves production or construction. Materials have to be planned in advance to make sure they are available on time. Planning for the right quantity is also important as procuring too much material will result in unnecessary blockage of money and too little will result in a shortage of materials. Making sure the available materials are at the right location is also as important. Having the materials at the warehouse at a time when it has to be at the production site will result in delayed production. Planning for the right amount of materials and making sure they are available at the project site on time are very important.
4. Employee Management
This is a part of resource management. Where the projects are employee-centric, the project manager has to plan for the right resources in advance so that the ones not available can be recruited and the ones allocated to other projects can time their completion effectively. Where you need an expert programmer, you cannot place 2 trainees instead and expect them to yield the same. Employee management is very tricky as there’s a chance that some of the key resources allocated may leave the project before completion and in such a case, the project manager must be ready with a replacement who can manage the situation as well as the previous employee.
5. Risk Management
Risk management is a very important aspect of Project management. Everything involves some risk and an experienced project manager will always buffer for the risks during estimation. An experienced project manager considers the risks involved in expenses, materials, machine and man and includes them all in the estimate and plans. This gets him or her enough time and money to meet the contingencies in case there’s any.
These are the basics of project management. Without following these basic management principles, the project manager will not be able to complete a project profitably on time.