Not every company or team has an official project management process. Regardless of whether you work for a large company or a fast-growing startup, it often happens that an official project management process has not yet been established. But over time, you find it harder and harder to stay organized and work with teammates. You may be questioning if you should pay more attention to project management. But wait a minute: This is only something for teams with their own project managers, isn’t it?
Or maybe not. Maybe you don’t need an extra project manager at all. At Asana, we believe project management skills help teams complete projects more efficiently. Finding a method to plan, manage and execute tasks is relevant for every team and company. While you might not need every part of a traditional [project management] system, your team could still benefit from some of the fundamental aspects of project management.
What is Project Management?
Project management helps your team organize, track and carry out project work. Think of a project as a gathering of tasks that lead towards a specific goal. Project management can assistance your team plan, manage, and execute work so you can deliver results on time. A [project management] tool allows your team to organize all aspects of your work in one place, share information about current work progress with others and provide feedback. This ultimately makes the collaboration more effective.
You don’t have to go back and forth between spreadsheets, emails, and other tools to keep your projects going according to plan. With a [project management] tool, your team can:
- Coordinate cross-divisional work
- Manage project plans, details, files and feedback in one place
- Share status updates with everyone involved
- The team collaboration to improve
Types of Project Management
Project management helps your team keep track of all of the work it takes to meet the requirements of a project within the set deadline. But within this general definition of [project management] there are different types, methods and approaches. These include:
Agile project management
Agile is a type of slim project management popular with the product, engineering, and software development teams. At Agile, teams use the concept of continuous improvement and benefit from flexibility with changes, recurring processes, and gradual evolution. Some of the most popular agile frameworks are Scrum and Kanban.
In the waterfall model, tasks “fall” linearly from one level to the next: As soon as one task has been completed, the next one can be started, and so on. The waterfall model has six phases: requirements, analysis, design, programming, testing, and deployment. The model is best suited for projects where the work results and scope are fixed from the start, as the waterfall method can be less flexible than other [project management] methods.
PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments (projects in controlled environments). However, In the PRINCE2 project management method, projects are divided into seven processes: preparing a project, steering a project, initiating a project, managing the phase transition, controlling a phase, managing product delivery, and completing a project.
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path Method (CPM)
CPM and PERT were develop as the first [project management] methods in the 1950s. CPM offers an algorithm to map the critical path, i.e. the most important processes, between complex, linked tasks with defined time frames. With CPM, teams can determine the longest section of interdependent tasks and thus the minimum duration of the project. PERT helps teams determine the critical path when the schedule and timeframe are unknown. In PERT, project managers identify all tasks that need to be done (not just the critical path) to determine the minimum time to complete the project.
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