Project Management – Concept, stages and benefits

We explain what project management is and the methodologies it uses. Also, what are its stages, benefits and importance.

Projects management
In the business world the approach from project management is extremely frequent.

What is project management?

Project management is a discipline of business administration, whose object of study includes planning, organizing, motivating and controlling resources necessary to achieve a purpose determined in advance, that is, meet an objective.

In this sense, “project” is defined as an enterprise endowed with a beginning and an end determined, whose objective is to produce a single product, service or result, that is, endowed with unique objectives and that, when met, will add value to the production chain or achieve some type of positive change.

Thus, project management can be understood as a set of specific actions that guarantee the fulfillment of an objective within specific time frames, during which resources, tools and talents are used. This type of study allows evaluating, managing and controlling processes of a very diverse nature, applying methodologies, reasoning and concepts.

In today’s business world the approach from project management is extremely frequent, regardless of the size or objectives of an organization, since practically all its operations can be understood as projects: from the development of an important product or service, or the fulfillment of secondary objectives, to the improvement of internal processes of the same productive organization.

Methodologies for project management

Gantt chart - project management
The Gantt chart details the tasks and activities for each project.

There are three main project management methodologies, which use various material and conceptual tools, and they are:

  • The Gantt chart. This methodology has been used for almost 70 years and is probably the most and best known of all project management methods, due to its relative simplicity. It is a two-axis diagram, in which the tasks and activities of each project are detailed, associating them with a schedule that details their start, duration and closure. Right there, the different phases of the project should be included, organizing it sequentially over time, in order to obtain a sort of “script” or procedure to adhere to during the execution of the project.
  • Pert / CPM. These are two complementary approaches, often applied together. CPM is known as the Road to the Critical Path, and it is about the design of an optimal trajectory that, if followed to the letter, would allow the smooth execution of the activities that make up a project. To find it, you must simplify the project as much as possible and make a count of priorities and dependencies, as well as distribution of workloads. However, as this method does not consider uncertainty, it is usually combined with Pert, a methodology that applies a probabilistic function to calculate the total time of project execution, based on the activities that comprise it. With its results, a network of nodes is composed that allows analyzing the critical path and predicting its standard deviation. For this, computer programs are usually used.
  • Critical chain method. The most recent of the three methodologies, but one of the most celebrated by specialists, it is very suitable for complex projects that require a simplifying perspective. It consists of finding, among all the activities that make up the project, which are the “critical” ones, that is, those that determine its maximum duration, and then reduce the estimated time for each one by incorporating “time buffers” in places. key code. These buffers diversify the work, allowing to gain time and effectiveness on the given task.

Stages of project management

The stages or phases of project management are as follows:

  • Feasibility analysis. The initial step is to determine how viable or convenient the project is, that is, what it means to carry it forward in financial, logistical and profitability terms. If the investment in a project far exceeds its profitability, there must be other compelling reasons to carry it forward.
  • Work planning. Then we proceed to list and detail the different tasks that carry out the project will involve, that is, the steps that will have to be followed, without losing sight of the resources that each step will require and the estimates of cost, effort and time necessary.
  • Project execution. In this stage the planned tasks are carried out and a report is drawn up of how they occur, that is, what obstacles they find, what results they produce and all the information necessary to feed the control stage. This is the stage in which everything planned unfolds.
  • Monitoring and control. In this step, it is necessary to monitor that the process is yielding the expected results, and the pertinent conclusions must be drawn from the information collected during execution. Based on these conclusions, strategies can be modified, corrective measures taken and the process directed towards an ideal result.
  • Project closure. The completion of a project is also very important, since at this stage the entire process is evaluated retrospectively, taking note of failures, accidents, unforeseen events and drawing up a report that is useful for planning and executing future projects. This is the learning stage. If the projects are successful, this is where the backup of what has been achieved is done.

Benefits of project management

Projects management
Efficient project management guarantees higher learning margins.

The benefits of efficient project management are not few:

  • Efficient use of resources and time. Avoiding waste, shortages and other setbacks that would reduce the profitability of the project.
  • Greater control over the destiny of the organization. Since you can visualize and organize (prioritize, prioritize, for example) the projects to be undertaken.
  • Greater guarantee of success. Since unplanned projects are at the mercy of what can go wrong, without awareness of what they imply or simply occur in a disorganized way.
  • Greater learning margins. Since project management finally yields valuable reports regarding the conduct of the organization and its strengths and weaknesses in project implementation.

Importance of project management

The formalization of the field of project management gives it the rigor of a scientific discipline, meticulousness and the ability to generate information, experience and learning. In that sense, it is about vital knowledge for business administration and organizational planning, which is currently carried out using various software tools to take advantage of the technological advantages of the time. Without project management, a standardization of this type of business information would not be possible.