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No matter how big or small a project is, it must be efficiently managed to make sure its goals are met. Project managers must be well aware of the roles and responsibilities they have, what the need to designate and be acquainted with the tools and techniques of project management by the back of their hands.
There is a wide range of project management tools and techniques project managers employ worldwide to triumph the project. Tools are preferably used to classify decisive activities, prioritise them, allocate them and then view the project progress to ensure successful deliverance.
Here are a few of the most important tools and techniques made use of in project management.
1. What is The Project Plan?
This is the most important implement when it comes to project planning/execution. When you have a plan in place, things automatically pan out the way you wanted them to. Without a plan of action as reference, all plans, no matter how big or small face complexities.
Here’s why you need one:
- Communication with clients becomes easy.
- Work gets transparent when everyone knows what their roles and responsibilities are and how the project is advancing.
- Your life becomes more organized especially when you are multitasking during the course of a project.
- You can focus solely on the project goal – every milestone you achieve, every task you complete and finally concentrate on the end product.
Practices of a project plan
- Scope of work for each person associated.
- Features out the approach of the project, line of attack as defined in the scope and project objectives.
- A project plan also states the strategies that drive the core of a plan. This again varies from project to project and the purpose each serves.
- Resource allocation and delivery schedule comprise two other chief mechanisms of a project plan. The details in this section include each activity by each person and what their respective R&Rs are.
2. Milestone Checklist
One of the most powerful tools a project manager should bring into play is the milestone checklist. This checklist helps a project manager to establish if they are on track as per the plan at hand. This is not an extensive expensive tool. A simple Excel template does the trick. This document is a live document that is updated according to progress of the plan.
Here’s how a typical milestone checklist looks like:
Source- Milestone Charts
3. Gantt Charts
A gantt chart illustrates the project schedule and shows the project manager dependencies of each person and the activities each is undertaking. These are charts that are brought into play for any kind of project, no matter how big or small. Because a project involves a wide range of tasks and responsibilities, while creating a Gantt chart may look easy, it’s one of the most complex tasks for a project manager.
If the project is of a small scale, one can create a Gantt chart on Excel or download a template easily available on the web. If the project is of a large scale and has a lot of risks involved, the project manager should use sophisticated tools like MS Project, SmartSheet, TeamGantt, Tom’s Planner etc.
Here’s how an archetypal Gantt Chart looks like: