Project management can be overwhelming, especially if you have no experience in this department. However, every business owner must learn it sooner or later. Good project management can either make or break your company. It’s especially important when the project is still in its infant stages. During this time, you’ll deal with countless logistics issues.
Thus, being a project manager can be scary early on. But as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. Several techniques exist that can help you tackle your project management responsibilities smoothly and efficiently. The sooner you understand these PM techniques, the sooner you can employ them. Once you do, you’ll be surprised by the sudden boost in your productivity.
In this article, we’ll show you the best project management techniques every skilled PM should know.
The 12 best project management techniques that can help you grow your business
The key to efficient project management is finding the technique that suits your project the best.
Here are 12 project management techniques that can help you improve as a PM:
Scrum is a useful project management technique derived from Agile Development Framework processes. The ADF features a project overview which you can change based on the frequent evaluation. Using feedback in this way ensures the project then lives up to its full potential.
But what does the Scrum technique look like in practice? It involves a team that works on a project for a set period. We call these periods sprints. The team features a Scrum Master, the person who oversees all project discussions. The goal of these discussions is to find solutions to possible obstacles on the path to success.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
No matter the size, all projects can seem daunting at first. Before you know it, you will quickly drown in a sea of responsibilities. That’s why rushing in without a concrete plan is a waste of time and effort. Any good project manager must first plan before they act.
As the name implies, Work Breakdown Structure helps you break down the project into small chunks. Thus, your team will always know what the current goal is. This leads to increased productivity.
WBS makes this even easier by visually monitoring all tasks in your projects. It resembles a family tree. The final product is located at the top. It’s connected to several boxes (tasks) by lines. These tasks all branch out into as many smaller tasks as the project requires.
The best thing about WBS is how intuitive it is once you understand the key principles.
Gantt charts are old yet reliable project management tools. Both beginner and veteran project managers still use them. Much like WBS, they focus on visualizing your project management.
These charts visualize the task you must tackle. At the same time, they allow you to set the amount of time your team should dedicate to each task.
Apart from measuring time, they also allow you to see task dependencies and predict how setbacks may affect your deadlines.
Pert stands for Program Evaluation and Review Technique. This project management methodology is great for estimating how long it will take you to complete your tasks and projects.
Combined with the WBS technique, PERT can help you calculate probabilities based on the statistics of each individual task. These statistics consider your used resources, spent time, and involved departments.
PERT truly shines when you use it with systems that track your important performance and project data. If you tracked how much time you spent on each phase of one task, it will help you calculate estimated time lengths for your future projects.
Though it takes a while to fully wrap your head around it, this PM technique can most of your responsibilities.
Process-Based Project Management
This type of strategy passes down the company principles to each team. First, you must recognize the goal of each individual task. Then, your team should follow your company’s objective to achieve these goals.
Process-Based Project management helps PMs stay focused on the client’s primary objective. This ensures the client will be satisfied with your work.
Critical Path Method (CPM)
This is arguably the most important project management technique on our list. To execute it, you need to first create a project model that covers all the tasks necessary to complete it. This can either be a list or a WBS chart. These tasks should also come with estimated times of completion and other dependencies.
This data helps you determine the longest time it will take you to complete all tasks. It allows you to understand how much time you can take to finish the project while meeting all deadlines. Thus, you’ll know which tasks you need to tackle ASAP, and which can wait.
Using the CPM technique depends on the type of project management software you use. Some tools can’t perform it, meaning you must deal with the math yourself.
While the waterfall technique may be old, it remains useful even today. It involves breaking down your project management into 5 linear phases:
- Requirements: Gather all the necessary data and documentation
- Design: Create a task list based on the WBS technique
- Implementation: Complete all the tasks
- Verification: Check the state of your completed deliverables
- Maintenance: Maintain or alter your approach as needed
Critical Chain Project Management
We recommend using this project management technique when the budget is your primary concern. It allows you to keep track of your budget when you hire new members for your team. Additionally, this technique helps you decide on the best tools and ways you can use to accomplish your task.
Critical Chain Project Management is great if you want to achieve good results with a limited budget.
Though simple, the Kanban technique allows you to visualize the workflows during your project. It’s easily one of the most popular project management techniques used today. The result is a Kanban board filled with many cards.
Your team can use these cards to track your project progress across all stages. The Kanban board can boost your team’s productivity by breaking the project into small manageable tasks.
Traditional Project Management
Many project managers take the ‘don’t fix what isn’t broken’ approach when it comes to PM. Traditional project management involves a PM who oversees the project during all stages. They instruct the team and provide invaluable feedback. This helps the team create the project exactly as the client desired it.
However, we recommend this only for smaller teams. Overseeing more complex projects this way may be too much for one person to handle.
Scaled Agile Framework
The SAFe technique implements agile projects at scale. It has four levels of organization: essential, large solution, portfolio, and full. This makes it applicable to companies of all sizes.
We recommend the Scaled Agile Framework for companies that focus on growth. With it, your team can react to market changes and new technologies better. As a result, your overall productivity will increase.
Extreme Project Management
Though it may sound sinister, the ‘extreme’ adjective refers to the employment of flexible planning and unconventional methods. We recommend extreme project management for companies with very complex projects with an unknown approach.
This project management technique doesn’t rely on set milestones on concrete goals. You just make it all up as you go.
Our final thoughts on the project management techniques
As your business idea manifests, you’ll notice you suddenly have many responsibilities. One of your biggest challenges prioritizing them based on importance.
Luckily, you can use several project management techniques to make this task significantly easier.
We’re certain our examples will be a godsend to every aspiring project manager out there.