Struggling to complete critical organizational projects? If you’re wondering how to improve your project management process, these five resources will help you get on track.
Take a moment to try to think about all of the current projects going on within your business. Impossible, right? After all, there are marketing projects, new product development, IT upgrades … the list goes on. There’s one thing keeping these projects moving forward for the benefit of your organization: project management.
Unfortunately, many organizations have yet to truly prioritize project management. In a 2020 study by the Project Management Institute, 46% of organizations said they were developing a culture that values project management. And this means more than half weren’t.
Sure, these companies may move projects forward, but many do so haphazardly. They may use clunky spreadsheets to track project tasks. Or they may refrain from hiring a dedicated project manager and instead place the management burden on their already busy teams.
Managing projects in this way has its consequences. For example, initiatives can be delayed, which will result in increased project costs that may directly impact your bottom line. These processes may also cause your team to experience burnout, which decreases morale and productivity.
The only way to avert these consequences is to implement a proper project management process. To do so, you’ll need to hire a project manager skilled in managing multiple initiatives at once. You need a thorough written plan for each project, complete with a budget and defined goals. And this is just the start.
Luckily, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Here, we’ve compiled our top project management resources you can use to ensure project success.
One of the first steps you must take to improve your project management process is to hire someone responsible for ensuring projects are carefully planned and goals are met. A skilled project manager is an invaluable addition to your team.
However, finding and recruiting a project manager with the proper technical expertise and skills will require a comprehensive plan of action. For example, you’ll need to find a project manager who has experience in your industry as well as the skills necessary to motivate your employees. This hiring kit includes a detailed job description, interview questions with notes and sample job posting.
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What is cost variance? What about critical path or project scope? Every discipline has its own vocabulary, including project management. In fact, project management lingo can be quite complex. Part of improving your process is ensuring everyone on your team understands this terminology, so that everyone is on the same page.
This glossary includes common terms used in project management, from assumption to work plan, along with a concise description of each one. The guide is easy to download, print and use for future reference.
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Any project can be complex, especially those involving IT components such as software and hardware. That’s why each initiative should be planned thoroughly. Your plan should include a budget, defined goals, milestones, a work plan and other critical elements.
Typically, projects follow five specific phases: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling/closing. And each phase comes with its own set of detailed steps that must be followed for project success.
In this checklist, we outline each phase of project management in detail. Plus, we provide an easy-to-use spreadsheet you can use to check off tasks in each phase as you move forward.
Download Checklist: Project management on TechRepublic Premium
In project management, each decision must be based on analysis. This is especially true in IT projects, where the stakes are high. An IT project cost and benefit analysis can help you estimate the costs and benefits associated with any project decision to determine the best path forward.
We’ve put together this simple IT project cost/benefit calculator to help you determine the expenses associated with your tech projects. It includes sections for collecting year-one costs as well as second- and third-year expenses. The last tab in the spreadsheet will automatically calculate your project’s overall cost/benefit total.
Download IT project cost/benefit calculator on TechRepublic Premium
It’s impossible to complete every potential process that comes along. No organization has the resources for that. One of the key responsibilities of any project manager or stakeholder is to decide which initiatives should move forward and which ones should be tabled for later. This is the process of prioritization and it can be difficult.
To simplify the process, you must implement a formal prioritization process. This includes considering the factors involved such as business value, cost, risk and strategy alignment. This automated workbook includes an effective two-step (yes, two step) process for project prioritization. It also includes an interactive worksheet you can download and use any time prioritization must be completed.