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Your Complete but Brief Guide to Project Management

Discover effective project management processes to help you and your company hit high-margin targets faster, error-free, and at the lowest cost possible.

P.Y Adjei
by P.y Adjei | November 11, 2022 | Reading time: 11 minutes

Let our complete but concise guide on effective project management help you and your company hit your high-margin targets faster, error-free, and at the lowest cost possible. This guide teaches you the benefits of project management methods, the step-by-step work streams to create an effective strategy to reduce all forms of waste, and various best practices to maximize a project management certification.

What Is Product Management?

Product management is the process of planning, organizing, and leading the development of a product or service. It’s the art of creating products from conception to market by working with resources, industry knowledge, and specialized teams to deliver products that customers need and want. It's a discipline that combines business strategy and product development to help companies build their brands and grow their revenue through innovation.

Why do we need project management? Companies need it for many reasons, the foremost of which is that it’s the best way to synthesize ideas and information into a cohesive vision, then break that vision down into a clear set of goals that can be executed. It's the reliable process of knowing when to pivot, when not to pivot, and what resources need to be allocated where.

Product management is, therefore, a system that's found in organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries. It's responsible for overseeing the entire product lifecycle: from ideation to launch and beyond. It’s a process that involves:

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

Product management is an integral part of any business. It’s ideal that companies have at least one person who fills this role on staff. In addition to ensuring that all aspects of a product are aligned with customer needs, product management also helps teams stay on track with deadlines, budgets, and timelines.

Product managers are responsible for everything from defining what a product should be and who will use it to deciding how much money should be spent on development. They also work closely with engineers, designers, marketers (and more) to make sure that products are built correctly and on time.

2 workers talking on a construction site


Many people will ask: why is a project management report important? What’s the biggest payoff in using a project management strategy? The answer of course is because of the benefits. At its core, the benefits of robust project management for company owners, managers, and employees revolve around increasing the value added to a project at the lowest cost and risk.

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 acquire legitimate project management certifications. Here are some of the benefits of project management that can help you build your career regardless of what department you’re in:

For Employees

  • You’ll be more productive because the system helps you avoid interruptions throughout your day due to needless meetings.
  • You'll get more opportunities to learn new things and grow as a professional, reflecting better performance scores, chances of promotion, and salary increases. Employees will feel more valued by management because they know they're working as part of an efficient team. This impressive performance makes them more valuable to the company and harder to terminate.

For Managers

  • It helps managers keep track of their progress more accurately, especially if they acquire certification in project management. As a manager, there are many things that need your attention at any given time.
    With project management software, it's easy to prioritize tasks based on importance so that nothing falls through the cracks—even if there are several other things vying for your attention at once.
  • It helps managers feel like they have more control over their lives. When you're managing multiple projects at once, it's easy to lose track of where your time goes. A project management software even 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.

For Employers/Entrepreneurs

  • It lets business owners manage everything from your sales pipeline to your hiring process and everything in between. It can help entrepreneurs set goals and keep track of progress towards those goals so that they can identify areas where things are going well and areas where they could use some improvement.
  • It can ensure that everyone is on board with the same vision for your company—and that everyone is working hard towards achieving it together.
  • It helps entrepreneurs improve their service or product offerings and achieve high-target margins, keeping them always ahead of the curve against the competition.

What Are the 5 Stages of Project Management?

It’s common knowledge that project management is already an established system to gain high-returns for any business venture. But you’re probably asking, “How do I actually do project management? What are the 7 steps of project planning? And what are examples of project management?”

Let’s tackle all these relevant questions below. But first, here are the five stages or process groups of project management you need to incorporate into the strategy. This is often termed as a project life cycle, regardless of how you customize your workflow according to your unique business structure:

1. Initiation: This is when you get your team together, decide what your goals are, and start creating a plan for how to reach those goals. After the beginning of a project gets approved and funded, this initiation stage includes establishing the project's goals and setting up a plan for how it will be executed.

2. Planning: Here you'll break down the work into smaller pieces so it's easier to manage and put together a timeline for completing that work. This stage also involves creating detailed plans for each task that needs to be completed in order for everything else to fall into place.

3. Execution/Production: This is when you actually do the work. You'll use what you've planned to make sure everything goes smoothly and on schedule. This includes an in-depth analysis of what needs to happen to meet those goals, including budgeting, scheduling, and assigning resources, which you’ll learn after getting a certificate in project management.

This is the stage to carry out the plan created during the planning stage by following each task's timeline. This is also to make sure they all stay on track with one another. For example: getting product X finished just as product Y comes off production.

4. Monitoring & Control: This is when you check in and make sure everything's going well in your project management audit—and if not, adjust your plan accordingly so things go back on track again.

5. Closing: Here you'll make sure all your plans have been completed successfully before moving on to the next project (or phase of the current one).

BONUS FACT: What Are the 4 Types of Project Management?

Project managers use various methods and project management skills to manage projects from start to finish. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are four common ones:

  • Data gathering and analysis methods: This method requires you to collect 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 it will require in order to make an accurate estimation of the total cost. These methods are especially useful in Benefits Realization Management (BRM), Critical Path Method, and Critical Chain Project Management approaches.
  • Estimating methods: This method involves estimating costs based on previous projects that you have completed using similar materials or project management methodologies. You can also get estimates from suppliers if they offer them. You can observe these methods in Lean Project Management, Iterative and Incremental Project Management, Earned Value Management, and Critical Chain Project Management Approaches.
  • Meetings and events: These include regular meetings between stakeholders where progress is discussed and changes are made if necessary. They also include special events like celebrations when milestones are reached, or client visits when major changes occur during the construction phases of projects.
  • Custom-based: This is the type for all projects that are structured according to the unique model of your business. These projects include buildings or roads being built by contractors who rely on this unique method for managing their own workloads while keeping clients happy with updates. You can see this method in Process-Based Management, Project Production Management, and Product-Based Planning.

BONUS FACT: What Is the Role of a Project Manager?

A project manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of a project, from inception to completion. They are responsible for ensuring that the project is completed according to scope, on time and on budget, and within quality standards.

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

What do project managers do all day? Product managers have three main responsibilities:

  • determining what features will make a product successful (often with the help of Agile Project Management)
  • understanding how these features will affect the bottom line of the company
  • overseeing production using a reliable library for project management system while keeping costs down.

APPLICATION: Where Is Project Management Used?

These are the major industries where the use cases of project management methods (such as Prince2 Project Management, and Waterfall Project Management) can have dramatic results:

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

What Are Examples of Project Management?

The most obvious example of project management is when you hear about someone who's hired to lead the development of a new product or service for their company. The person in this position likely has several direct reports, and they're responsible for managing their team and making sure all of their projects are completed on time and within budget.

But there are other examples of project management that aren't so obvious: project managers might be responsible for planning events like conferences or trade shows; overseeing large-scale renovations at companies; or with implementing new technologies into existing systems.

What Are the 7 Cs of Project Management?

The 7 Cs of project management is a concept that helps you determine what kind of projects your organization should take on. These seven Cs are customers, competitors, capabilities, cost, channels, communication, and coordination.

Every organization— both large ISO 9001-compliant firms and small— must assess itself against these variables. They must determine how closely each potential project fits in its ability to support or detract from the organization's strategy and operational objectives.

For a detailed explanation of these 7 Cs, read this comprehensive guide from Project Management.

A tape measure and architectural drawing on a table

PROs and CONS 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. It's gaining even better innovation as more companies wake up to the fact that traditional methods are no longer working as well as they used to. However, while project management benefits outweigh the costs, it also has its fair share of disadvantages.

Here are the PROs and CONs that managers, employees, and business owners must understand about project management:

PROs of Project Management

  • Project management helps you to focus on the big picture and track your progress.
  • PMOs can help deliver higher quality results in project planning, execution, and control by providing an objective view of project information.
  • A well-structured PMO can help you meet organizational goals and objectives by improving performance management, ensuring compliance with policies and procedures, avoiding costly penalties, and providing a single source of truth for all projects.

Cons of Project Management

  • Implementing a PMO requires significant effort from employees and managers alike. You need buy-in from all stakeholders to ensure that everyone's time is used effectively. This may require changes in how you do things, which may be difficult if people have been doing things their own way for years.
  • Project management can be time-consuming, especially if there are multiple people working on the same project. For example, if you're working with other people who are not as familiar with the project management process as you are. This can lead to delays in getting things done and will hurt your business targets.

How to Be a Great Project Manager: 10 Important Tips and Effective Best Practices From the Pros

You're probably thinking: “How hard can it be to execute a project management strategy?” After all, it's likely that you’re familiar already with how to optimize your company’s workflows and systems.

Project management is a core part of every business, from small businesses to large corporations, but only when done right. A well-managed project can be the difference between success and failure. Project management is a difficult thing to get right, but it doesn't have to be. You don't need years of experience or an MBA degree—you just need to know what you're doing and how to do it in a proven, industry-tested way.

But how do you ensure that your projects are being managed effectively? Here are some indispensable tips and best practices for the successful execution of project management:

  1. Start small and simplify your solutions. Make sure the first few steps to your project management are easy to implement and impact your company in the most positive way. 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.
  2. Use simple but powerful checklists to execute your project management tasks. For best execution, find a simple but trusted app or checklist maker that can define the scope of the project in terms of time, resources, and budget. Using the right tools and the best project management software can help you manage your projects, but it's up to you to use it effectively. The more you learn about how to use the software, and when and why, the more effective your projects will be.
  3. Identify risks and develop contingency plans to mitigate them. First off, you need to know what your goal is for each phase of the project. If you don't have a clear idea of what needs to be done and how long it will take, then chances are good that something will slip through the cracks along the way—and that could lead to major problems down the road.
  4. 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. Make sure everyone knows what's expected of them and that they feel like part of a team committed to success.
  5. Do your homework. The best-laid plans won't stand up if you don't have all of your information correct at the outset. Research everything from your target audience assessment data to how much money is available in your budget before starting any project so you know exactly where you stand financially.

In a nutshell…

Now that you've read through our indispensable tips and best practices, we hope you’re as excited about the possibilities of product management as we are. We believe that by following these guidelines, quality managers and business owners will excel in their ventures, gain accolades and be able to use the method effectively in increasing business’ growth and profitability.

Learn the complete concept and other training modules about project management HERE.

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P.y Adjei

P.y Adjei

With about 10 years of content creation, writing and editing under his belt, P.Y has written and edited for some well known international magazine publications. P.Y’s love for content has pushed him forward to taking on new challenges in different industries and Lumiform is a perfect home for him to learn and grow.

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