You plan, organize, motivate, and control resources to accomplish certain goals. The goal is a project. The process is project management. To be more precise, a project is a temporary activity or task, preferably done in a team, to create a specific result, service or product.
The person responsible for managing the entire process of the task, including planning and catering to team members’ needs and wants, is a project manager.
A project manager has to be a good leader, plus expert in teamwork. You cannot boss around. You must work in a team, be approachable, a motivator, a good listener, and a problem-solver, plus a quick decision-maker.
This implies that to be a good project manager, you need leadership traits too. You have to work in a team, yet lead a project efficiently.
A project is temporary. It has a defined start and end, so it has limited scope and resources.
A project is also unique. This is because it is not a routine task. It becomes a separate entity in the organization, although it may contribute to common organizational goals. Yet, it is treated differently and separately.
At times, a project team may include people from different organizations and work cultures. Here lies the real test of patience, interpersonal skills, and teamwork ability of an individual.
If you are a project leader, it is your responsibility to keep the whole team interested and enthusiastic about the project. You must understand the project requirements, deadlines, and different capabilities of team members. It is important to delegate the right task to the right person for better efficiency of the project.
Many organizations may divide their different business tasks and turn them into projects. This makes business work interesting. They deploy different teams that work on different projects. For example, there can be a separate marketing project, operations project, raw material collection project, finance project, recruitment and training project, and more.
The basic structure is the same
Any project, be it small or big, starts with an idea. Then comes planning and design. This is followed by execution, which is followed by monitoring and controlling. The last step is project closing.
Planning gives direction to a project. Monitoring is crucial to see whether the team is working up to the mark and deadlines are accomplished. It is the duty of the project manager to see that the project is completed on time, within the allotted budget and resources, and it helps in achieving greater goals of the organization as a whole.
Excellent project planning and execution requires knowledge, expertise, and tactics to ensure it is complete on time and with high-quality outcomes.
Whether the task is construction of a sky-scraper, increase of sales figure, distribution of a fixed number of gifts until Christmas, building of a bridge or road, creation of a relief camp after a natural calamity, organizing an event, or producing a specific lot of products within a deadline, the basic principles and working stay the same.