Do you ever wish that you or your team were better at managing your own business projects more efficiently to achieve your objectives? In today's complex and competitive business environment project management skills are essential to achieve profitability. Keeping projects on track is a real challenge.
Many businesses have begun to recognise the importance of good project management, and indeed there has been a dramatic rise in project management consulting to commerce and industry, particularly in IT project management. Additionally, project-based organisations have started to emerge and project management has become established as a way of controlling business activity, and a vital management discipline which may be a professional career path in its own right.
Forward thinking businesses are turning their whole culture and approach to ideas implementation into one of project management. In fact all tasks could be viewed as projects and therefore we are all project managers to some degree. However, there is a big difference between managing a very simple project involving one or two people and a large commercial project involving a complex mix of people, resources and activities. Such projects are often mission-critical and the need for advanced project management methodologies becomes clear.
A good business coach will understand that you need to manage your projects to be completed on time, meet the required quality objectives, and not cost more than the allocated budget. In fact these are the basic project variables which form the classic time, quality and cost triangle.
Coaching will help you to take control of these critical elements and gain an awareness and an understanding of the project management skills and techniques necessary to be able to plan and manage a project successfully. You should begin to acquire the following skills:
It is important to understand that project management is not only about planning and monitoring, but is also about human attributes like communication, leadership and motivation. Project management methods and computer programs are merely tools for project managers to use. Successful project management is the mix of tools, methods, teamwork, control and leadership that can be developed as part of a business coaching or management training program.
There are many different project management tools available and working with a management coach will help you to explore the main techniques. A coach will work with you on the skills you need to manage a project, specifically planning, resourcing and delivering on time and on budget. These are some of the key areas you should consider as part of your project management training;
1. Preparation and project planning
This can include identifying customer/client needs; defining the objectives and outcomes of the project; identifying boundaries and limitations; planning resources and timescales, organisation and management; identifying key skills and personnel; preparing the budget
2. Project scheduling and delivery
This can include preparing a detailed work plan; key milestones; estimating time and resources; task sequencing; contingency planning and reporting.
3. Reporting and project control
Technical tools and techniques such as gantt chart, critical path analysis, review techniques and change management. This may include learning to use appropriate project management software.
As your career progresses you may find you are facing more and more complex projects and challenges. These may require the coordination of many people, the sequencing of complex tasks and large expenditure of time and money. Coaching in project management skills can be tailored to suit you and can be delivered in a flexible and cost effective way, either at home or in the workplace, to ensure you can confidently meet these challenges.
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