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Your guide to mastering project management

Project management strategies are essential for businesses who want to streamline the way they develop products or services; no matter your industry, project management can bring major spikes in revenue and productivity

Effective project management helps you and your company meet your business goals and complete tasks at the highest quality and lowest cost possible. There are several different project management methods that you as a program manager can use to streamline your workflows, as well as project management software that makes optimization easier..

Table of contents

1. What is project management?

2. What are the benefits of project management?

2.1. Benefits of project management for employees

2.2. Benefits of project management for managers

2.3. Benefits of project management for employers/entrepreneurs

2.4. What is the role of a project manager?

3. What are the stages of project management?

3.1. 1. Initiation

3.2. 2. Planning

3.3. 3. Execution

3.4. 4. Monitoring/controlling

3.5. 5. Closing

4. What are the 4 types of project management?

5. What are the 7 Cs of project management?

5.1. Customers

5.2. Competitors

5.3. Capabilities

5.4. Cost

5.5. Channels

5.6. Communication

5.7. Coordination

5.8. Where is project management used?

6. What are the challenges of project management?

7. Project management best practices

7.1. Start small and simplify your solutions

7.2. Use checklists

7.3. Identify risks

7.4. Keep your team happy

7.5. Do you homework

What Is project management?

Project management is the process of planning, organizing, and leading business projects, which are commonly associated with the development of a product or service. Product managers transform concepts into marketable goods by working with resources, industry knowledge, and specialized teams to deliver products that customers need and want. Project planning combines business strategy and product development to help companies build their brands and offer their customers more value.

Companies need project management for many reasons;most importantly, project management is the best way to synthesize ideas and information into a cohesive vision. From there, you can break that vision down into a set of smaller goals that are easy to work towards and track. Program managers need to know when to pivot, when not to pivot, and what resources need to be allocated where.

These systems are found in organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries, as a way to oversee the entire product lifecycle. Project management involves:

  • defining goals
  • creating strategies to achieve those goals
  • managing projects to execute those strategies

In order to reliably and effectively benefit from project management, your company should have at least one project manager on staff. This person will be responsible for defining the end product, deciding how much money should be spent on development, and monitoring the process of development. They’ll also work closely with engineers, designers, and marketers to make sure quality work is delivered in time.

2 workers talking on a construction site

What are the benefits of project management?

Many people will ask why a project management report is important. The answer is that a defined project management strategy increases the value of any project your business decides to pursue.

Project management can be a great way to show off your leadership skills and to help you get ahead in your career, especially if you become a certified project manager. These benefits apply to everyone in an organization, regardless of their position.

Benefits of project management for employees

  • As an employee, you’ll be more productive because clearly defined goals help you avoid interruptions and needless meetings.
  • You’ll have more opportunities to learn new things and grow as a professional, which means better performance scores, higher chances of promotion, and salary increases. The knowledge that you’re part of a well-functioning team makes you more valuable to employers, which in turn means you are harder to terminate.

Benefits of project management for managers

  • Project management helps managers keep track of their progress and helps balance all the things demanding their attention. This becomes even easier with project management software, which helps you prioritize tasks based on importance and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Project management gives you more control over your work. When you’re managing multiple projects at once, it’s easy to lose track of where your time goes. Using project management software makes it easy for you to see exactly how much time you spend on each task and where you can make improvements so that you’re always spending your time wisely.

Benefits of project management for employers/entrepreneurs

  • Project management allows business owners to manage everything from your sales pipeline to the hiring process. It can help entrepreneurs set goals and maintain their progress towards those goals, as well as pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Good project management ensures that everyone knows and shares your company’s vision. It also helps you refine that vision and deliver higher-quality end products.

What is the role of a project manager?

Project managers oversee every aspect of a project from beginning to end. They apply project management best practices to make sure projects are completed according to the scope, schedule, and budget that were defined during project planning.

Project managers— especially those with a Google Project Management Certificate— are often hired by companies who don’t have the right resources in-house or who want someone with experience leading large-scale projects. In other words, product managers ensure that products get made, and they do this by creating an environment that fosters creativity, accountability, and collaboration.

Product managers have three main responsibilities:

  • Determining what features will make a product successful (often by applying agile project management)
  • Understanding how these features will affect the company’s bottom line
  • Overseeing production by using project management software to keep costs down.

What are the stages of project management?

Project management is an established system with concrete steps and best practices that program managers tend to follow. You may have heard of concepts like agile project management, the seven steps of project planning, or the five stages of project management

The first of these project management tips to understand is that there are five stages of project management you need to incorporate into your strategy. These stages are also sometimes called the product life cycle.

1. Initiation

In the initiation phase, get your team together, decide what your goals are, and start planning how you will reach those goals. After projects are approved and funded, initiation includes establishing the project’s goals and planning execution.

2. Planning

Here, you’ll break down the work into smaller pieces so it’s easier to manage and create a timeline for each piece. Thorough planning means going into as much detail as possible about what needs to happen and how.

3. Execution

This is when you actually do the work. You’ll use what you’ve planned to make sure everything goes smoothly and on schedule. Said planning includes in-depth analysis of what needs to happen to meet project goals, including budgeting, scheduling, and assigning resources.

This is where establishing timelines becomes important, so you can assess progress easily. Staying on schedule is vital if projects depend on one another; for example, if you need to finish product X just as product Y comes off production.

4. Monitoring/controlling

The monitoring phase involves checking in to make sure your project management processis working smoothly, and if it isn’t, making adjustments to your plan.

5. Closing

This is where you’ll make sure all your plans have been completed successfully before moving on to the next project or next phase of the project.

What are the 4 types of project management?

Though project management adheres to five common steps as described above, project managers use various methods when following these steps from start to finish. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses. The four most common types of project management are:

  1. Data gathering and analysis methods: Data-driven project management means collecting as much information about the project as possible before moving forward. You need to know how much time it will take to complete the project and what resources you need in order to accurately estimate costs.
  2. Estimation methods: Estimation methods involve referring to previous projects that you have completed using similar materials or project management methodologies to get an idea of a project’s costs. You can also get estimates from suppliers if they offer them. Estimation methods are used in lean manufacturing, earned value management, and critical chain project management.
  3. Meetings and events: Project management meetings take place between managers and stakeholders, and are spaces to discuss progress and make any necessary changes. These meetings may also include special events like celebrations of milestones or client visits.
  4. Custom-based: Adopting custom-based project management reflects your business’s unique model. One example would be buildings or roads constructed by contractors who rely on this unique method for managing their own workloads while keeping clients happy with updates. You might use this method in process-based management, project production management, and product-based planning.

  5. What are the 7 Cs of project management?

    The 7 Cs of project management provide a framework for deciding which sorts of projects your business should pursue. These seven Cs are customers, competitors, capabilities, cost, channels, communication, and coordination.


    Your customer is an integral part of your project management strategy, since they are who you sell to. Customer wants and needs define project requirements and meeting these wants and needs is how you judge project success.


    Paying attention to competitors is an important step in informing your own projects. Seeing what has worked well, what has failed, and what gaps are present in the market will help you refine project goals.


    The saying “don’t bite off more than you can chew” applies to project management; knowing the skill sets your project manager(s) have helps you set realistic goals. It also helps you plan improvements for the future.


    Managing costs is essential, as staying within budget is the only way to reliably complete projects. Cost management means allocating portions of your budget to project areas based on their estimated needs.


    Effectively project management means maintaining several different channels of communication. A project manager’s job involves deciding which channels are more appropriate and conducive to team collaboration.


    Once communication channels have been chosen, it’s imperative that product managers establish a precedent of regular and honest communication. New ideas, progress updates, and other relevant information are necessary to all projects.


    The final project management tip contained within the seven Cs is coordination. This means making sure members of your team are in sync and all aware of their roles within a given project. Project managers need to check that all daily tasks and activities are completed as planned.

    Where Is project management used?

    Project management is useful to every company that develops products or services. However, there are particular industries where a good product management strategy is essential. They are:

    • Technology
    • Health Services
    • Horticultural
    • Manufacturing
    • Construction
    • Finance
    • Cleaning Services
    • Emergency Services
    • Facility Management
    • Food & Hospitality
    • Real Estate
    • Manufacturing

    A tape measure and architectural drawing on a table

    What are the challenges of project management?

    Project management is a key component of any business, but it can be difficult to determine the best approach for your organization. Project management methods and project management software are evolving, which present new challenges for business owners. Some of the main ones are:

    1. Implementing a project management strategy requires significant effort from employees and managers alike. You need commitment from all stakeholders to ensure that everyone’s time is used effectively. Getting others to share your vision could mean adjusting your processes, which may be difficult if people have been doing things their own way for years.
    2. Project management can be time-consuming, especially if there are multiple people working on the same project. For example, working with other people who are not as familiar with the project management process as you are can lead to delays and missed deadlines.
    3. In an ideal world, all your resource, timeline, and cost estimations would be correct and your project planning would proceed without changes. But it’s often the case that things are more expensive than you thought or that the requirements of a project change partway through when a stakeholder wants something different than was initially agreed. Having cost-management strategies in place and using agile project management can help you react to changes.
    4. Particularly in a large company, the consistent and clear communication that drives successful project management is sometimes difficult to achieve. Effective communication creates awareness of every team member’s progress and roles, and affords you greater control over the way projects develop. Project management software can help you streamline communication and gather feedback.

    Project management best practices

    Well-managed projects are the difference between success and failure. Project management is a difficult thing to get right, but it doesn’t have to be. Since project management has clearly-defined stages and methods used in various industries, there is no shortage of project management tips out there to help you on your way.

    Start small and simplify your solutions

    Make sure the first steps of your project management are easy to implement and have the most positive impact possible. If this is your first time managing a project or managing a large group of people, work on one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything at once.

    Use checklists

    Simple but powerful checklists can make it much easier to execute project management tasks. The simpler and more intuitive the checklist, the better. Many types of project management software allow you to create checklists for easy task-tracking.

    Identify risks

    After determining your goals during each phase of your project, think about potential risk factors. Knowing which parts of the process are most subject to delay helps you devise strategies to keep that from happening. Not evaluating project risks could lead to major problems down the road.

    Keep your team happy

    It may seem obvious, but if your team isn’t happy with their work environment or the way they’re being treated, they won’t perform well. This can lead to costly mistakes, missed deadlines, and even lost clients. Take care to manage expectations without overworking or micromanaging employees, and remind employees that you are all one team committed to success.

    Do your homework

    The best-laid plans won’t lead anywhere if you don’t have all of your information correct at the outset. Research everything from your target audience assessment data to how much funding you could receive before starting any project, so you know exactly where you stand financially.

    By following these project management guidelines, quality managers and business owners will have much better luck designing and implementing product management strategies. Product management software like Lumiform can help the program manager(s) in your organization run their projects smoothly. You can collect data on all aspects of a project with digital checklists designed to assess everything from daily tasks to quality assurance to feedback.

    A group of workers at a desk, presenting a meeting on a laptop
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