What is Project management, what does a project manager do and how can your company use project management to achieve a competitive advantage? We answer all these answers and more in this guide. 

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What is a project? 

Before we explain what project management is, we need to go over the basics. So, what is a project?

A project is a temporary activity with a predetermined objective. Before the launch of the project, the desired outcome timeline and budget must be predefined. A project can last a few hours up to a few days, weeks, months, or even several years. 

The five different phases of a project:

  • Initiation where the current situation is analyzed to gain knowledge about the pre-conditions for the project.
  • Planning where the objective is stipulated, a schedule is established, and the project is manned with the right competence. 
  • Execution where the actual project plan is set up and the work is carried out.
  • Performance and control where the quality and cost is measured and performance is tracked. 
  • Finishing the project where all the different components of the project are evaluated and the paperwork is handed over to the purchaser. 

What is project management?

Project management is just what it sounds like ー leading a project and keeping the project right on track. What is project management without a project plan? The answer is nothing. The project plan is the foundation of successful project management.

What does a project leader do?

People meeting and planning a project

For the project to run smoothly, there must be somebody in charge. A project manager is responsible for the launch of the project and keeping deadlines ー and everything in between. The project manager drives the project forward and ensures that the project stays within the budget and is finished in time. Identifying possibilities and risks throughout the project is another important part of being a project manager. 

Using project management in achieving competitive advantage

Now knowing what a project is, what project management is, and what a project leader does ー the next suitable question is how can you use your newly gained knowledge about project management to achieve a competitive advantage.

Five advantages of project management

  • Improves productivity.
  • Reduces costs.
  • Enables early detection of risks.
  • Improves collaboration because all involved in the project know what to do and when to do it.
  • Increases customer satisfaction because expectations and objectives are predefined.

Find out more about project management achieving competitive advantage in this book.  

Project management tools

Are there any tools to make project management easier and more manageable? Yes, yes there is. In fact, there’s a multitude of them, all of which have their own unique functionalities, characteristics, and benefits. Therefore, to help you find the perfect solution for your needs here’s a short checklist with criteria of what such a tool should include. 

A useful project management tool should:

  • Allow you to plan activities. 
  • Allow you to keep track of costs and resources.
  • Provide detailed reports of costs, revenues, and results.
  • Include project time tracking.
  • Be able to track a project’s progress in real-time.
  • Be integrable with tools like Kanban and Gantt charts.
  • Be accessible at all times from a cloud.

Project management is the key to success and tools can help you on your way. Start a free trial to discover the advantages of a project management tool. 

SEE ALSO: 15 Project Management Apps That Won’t Cost You Money

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