It is important to manage any work in a controlled and efficient way to successfully meet the requirements of the end-user. When you want a smooth collaboration among people. When you want all updates to be known on time. In simple words, when you want all things in place, you must know the right way to manage projects.
Managing projects is a complex process and consists of diverse topics that need to be mastered by the project manager (PM).
He is in charge of the project and must possess various skills and such PMs are high in demand. Especially when they are certified.
One of the popular certifications is PMP. PMs with PMP certification or the project management professional certification is desired in many industries across the world.
In this blog, we will see what are project management tools and how do they contribute to the project's success. Tools are used to make project management efficient, effective, simple, and easy.
1. Project Documentation
It consists of all the essential documents that are prepared for managing the project and to develop the products or services. The questions that you need to ask before you go for the actual documentation are as follows,
- What is the project about?
- What are the goals and requirements of the project?
- Has the project been done in the past?
- Is there a standard methodology that needs to be followed?
- What technology to be used?
- Who are the key resources?
- What is the budget?
- What is the schedule and timeline for the project?
- How to communicate in the project?
Once you answer the above questions you can begin the project documentations.
The essential project documents are as follows,
1. The Business case -This is the high-level document that is required to capture the project objectives, goals, and outcome of the project.
2. Project charter - This authorizes the start of the project and consists of the following elements,
- Scope of the work
- Requirements of the project
- The budget, resources, and the timeline
- Definition of the project done
- Project success factors
3. RACI - This matrix consists of the roles and responsibilities such as Who is Responsible, Who is Accountable, Who is consulted, and Who is Informed. This document helps in distributing the workload and increase the efficiency
4. Risks and Issues Log - This consists of risks which are called the log risk register, and issues logged in the issues log register.
5. WBS - This consists of the project plan, resource management, and detailed tasks and activities listed which prevents project scope creep. The goals and objectives are broken down into individual tasks and activities.
6. Project Communications Plan – To whom the communication of the progress of the project must go to, the issues, and how changes are communicated. All the stakeholders are communicated about the progress so that all are aware of what is happening in the project
7. Change Request Management -Change management is a complex process and needs approval from the change management committee. The change request is initiated by the project manager and the changelog must be sufficiently documented, communicated, and understood by all the parties. You can also become a professional PM with the project management professional certification.
8. Project Schedule - This document has the information on what are the timelines for the completion of each phase, tasks, and activities of the project.
9. Lessons Learned Register - This is updated whenever there is a different bend in the journey of the project and all through the project start to project end. This gives the change information for the subsequent projects.
For more information on the documentation and tools undergo PMP project management training with StarAgile
2. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
The critical parameters are as shown below.
a. Team Members - The key members are identified for the project.
b. Level 1 element - The level 1 element of the projects are identified and 100% of the scope is covered here.
c. Split the components – Identify each component in the above steps and split into smaller tasks. While decomposing the elements into tasks and further ask the question of whether any additional subtasks can be created, if the answer is no then the WBS is complete.
d. Then create the WBS parameters - That is for all the tasks created above describe the risks, costs, owner, boundaries, and milestones.
e. Gantt chart – Finally, create the Gantt chart schedule for the above WBS structure.
In short, it is the process of breaking down the project goals, objectives, and requirements into individual activities and then to tasks from inception to the conclusion.
The WBS is shown in the diagram below,
3. Gantt Chart
Gantt chart is used in the project to see and visualize all the scheduled tasks with the progress and timeline. Using the Gantt chart you can see the following tasks,
- The tasks
- The resource working on each of the jobs
- The start date
- Timelines about the end
- How long it will take to complete
- How each work overlap and group together and the relationship between each of the tasks.
- The project end date.
Gantt charts can be created in Excel or you can use the project management software. For a sample, Gantt chart look at the diagram below,
4. PERT - Project Evaluation and Review Technique
It is one of the important project management tool that helps the PM to clearly assign tasks to the resources and to know the timelines needed for each specific task and is computed backward from the project end date. PERT was used first for the US Navy in 1950 to create weapons and defense projects. There are three outputs from the PERT tool that is
- the shortest possible time to finish each of the tasks
- then the most probable time to complete the tasks, and
- the longest time to finish the tasks
For example please see the diagram below,
Learn more about our online pmp training.
5. Network Diagrams
The PMBOK network diagram is the sequence of the activities with the schedule to trace the path to the early completion of the project. It is created by assigning the schedule number of days to complete each activity and tracing the dependence of one activity with another activity. The output of one activity will be the input to another activity. For example, this diagram is drawn with A activity will complete after 5 days, B activity will complete after 6 days and C activity will complete after 3 days if the A, B, and C are dependent on each other then it will take 14 days to complete the project. It is very easy, but imagine if there are 100 activities then it becomes complex to evaluate without the network diagram. A sample network diagram is shown below.
6. Critical Path Method (CPM)
This project management tool is used to find the critical path that is the longest path that the project takes to complete. In this method, you need to create the schedule for all the tasks with the number of days each task will take to complete. Each task will have the start date and the end date and CPM aims to find the critical path by knowing the relationship between the tasks. The critical path is nothing but the longest path in the CPM diagram. The next is the near-critical path that is the path next to the longest path. These are calculated in the CPM diagram. Please see the diagram below for the CPM example; the red arrows indicate the critical path.
Conclusion – Do you wish to learn the right way to use project management tools?
Now you have seen a brief intro about tools of the project management and how they help in project management, to know in detail about each tool, check our blog website regularly for updates. You can read blogs to enhance your knowledge but undergo training to become hands-on.
StarAgile is the training partner for the PMP certification training course. StarAgile conducts a PMP training course online. To explore more and register for the training with StarAgile click on the link provided. Happy Learning!!!