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Project Management Best Practice

Project management best practice is a the set of industry guidelines that have benefitted project managers throughout the world. These project management best practices have been passed on across organizations after years of successful project management. As a norm, once the project is completed, in the close-out stage, it is the project manager’s responsibility to compile a list of lessons learnt, and what went wrong with the project. Over a period of time, these lessons learnt become best practices that are shared across organizations.

Some of the project management best practices that you might benefit by adhering to in your projects, are listed below:

1.0 Scope the Project Accurately

The project scope statement should be clear and accurate. There should not be any room for ambiguity. The ‘in-scope’ and ‘out-of-scope’ areas should be accurately documented. It is also important to get a sign-off or consent on the project scope statement from the main project management stakeholders or better still, the project sponsor. Being able to define project scope correctly is vital because it forms the very basis how to write a project plan. It is also used as an input document for creating the work breakdown structure (WBS), project cost estimation, and project risk management plan.

2.0 Plan the Project Correctly

It is always advantageous to give due diligence to the planning activities to ensure that the execution and monitoring parts of the project management follow easily. The project plan, project communication plan, project quality plan and risk management plan should be designed after thoroughly analyzing the project situation. Planning forms the foundation stone of the project management process. If the foundation is tough, you can be assured that the remaining structure will also be sound.

3.0 Define the Project Processes

At the beginning of the project, it is important to define the processes that will be followed throughout the project. These processes might relate to handling issues, scope change, quality plan, communication process, risk management etc. The team should know all the processes to be followed.

4.0 Regular Monitoring of Project Progress

Knowing how to manage a project involves constant monitoring of project progress as against the project milestones. This helps in tracking whether the project is on schedule and within budget. Any deviations observed should immediately be flagged off to the project sponsors and key stakeholders so that measures can be taken to restrain the occurrence of such events on an urgent basis.

5.0 Managing Project Risks

A major part of project management involves managing project risk and having a coherent project risk management process. During the course of the project, you will come across a number of risk triggers that might adversely affect the scope, cost, schedule, and quality. You need to proactively plan to mitigate these risks so that their impact on the project is minimal. Occasionally doing a project risk assessment will pay dividends in particularly complicated high profile deliveries.

6.0 Managing Change

Change management should be handed extremely carefully via a clear change request process. Every change in scope should be analyzed by the project manager in terms of its impact on the scope, cost, schedule, and quality plan. Once this is done, a written approval should be taken from the project sponsor and only then should the team proceed with the change request.

7.0 Formulate a Risk Response Plan

The project manager should formulate a risk response plan on an urgent basis so as to avoid the situation when a seemingly small issue grows big enough to have a significant adverse effect on the project.

8.0 Communicate with the Project Sponsor Regularly

Another project management best practice is to keep talking to the project sponsor throughout the different phases of the project. You should keep them updated about any significant happening in the project. By talking to the project sponsor on a regular basis, you can also get first-hand information as to what is going on in their minds – whether they are happy with the project progress.

Project Management Best Practice - Tip

Following this list of project management best practice will stand you in good stead when delivering both small and large projects. However never forget that every project is different and therefore you will come across scenarios which are not covered in any best practice manual. In these situations use your common sense and be proactive.

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