What are the Elements of Project Management?

What Are the Elements of Project Management?

Project management is the application of the right processes to take a project from the start to the end in a way that the desired goals are achieved both efficiently and accurately. Project management software systems have grown in popularity in recent years and are so widely used because project management software is a centralized system for project planning and execution.

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The process of project management has different stages and each stage has its own requirements. The five basic stages of project management include initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing.

In this article we have briefly discussed the above mentioned stages of project management and have also discussed the key elements that form the part of a project plan. Following is the description of the five stages involved in project management.

  • Initiation: The process starts with conception and initiation. This is the stage in which the idea of the project is originated and its need is recognized. You also determine what it is that you want to achieve with this project.
  • Planning: The second stage is the planning stage. In this stage you, as the project manager, decide how you will make use of the available time and other resources to achieve the end goal of the project. You also identify potential risks by doing a risk assessment at this stage and make a risk mitigation plan to protect yourselves against those risks. Project management software typically offers tools for various project methodologies and gives you user-friendly options for creating professional Gantt charts.
  • Execution: This is the stage in which you start taking the action. The more effort you put in the planning stage and the more factors that are accounted for in the project plan, the smoother will be the execution stage. However, no matter how well you plan there are always certain factors that are out of your control and you can only find out about them when you actually execute the plan.
  • Monitoring: This is to see if the execution is going according to the plan. Any unexpected situations that disrupt the process of execution are monitored and adjustments are made accordingly so that there is no hindrance in achieving the project goals. This stage sometimes require you to go back to planning stage and take into account the newly emerged factors.
  • Closing: This is the final stage of project management. As the name implies, it is the stage in which you wind up the whole process making sure that the goals you set for the project are achieved.

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What Are the 3 Elements of Project Management?

There are three elements that form part of the project management triangle. These three factors are scope, time, and cost. While the factors time and cost and self-explanatory, the scope of the project refers to the magnitude of the project and its quality.

The bigger the end goals of the project and the better the quality is required, the bigger is the scope of the project. Project management systems like Primavera, Asana, and Basecamp are generally good for projects with a larger scope and greater need for collaboration among teams. 

Microsoft offers a suite of products like MS Planner and MS Project that can be integrated to create a selection of good project management tools, which can be a good option if you already use a lot of Microsoft products. MS Project is much more robust than Excel and MS teams integrates with MS Project as well for team collaborations needed in project work. 

For smaller projects or companies, Google offers different tools that can be used for projects such as Google Sheets which offers more sharing capabilities and features than Excel. While Google doesn't offer a dedicated project management app, many small companies leverage Workspace for planning and project needs.

The project triangle works in a way that the scope is directly proportional to the combination of cost and time. This means that if you aim to achieve the desired quality then the combination of cost and time must be equal to the scope. 

If you are looking to increase the scope of the project, then you also must increase the cost and time you are willing to put into the project otherwise you will not end up with the desired quality. To understand this better, consider scope to be on one end of a scale and time and cost to be on the other end. The balance of the scale signifies the desired quality. 

Now if you increase the size of scope, the scale will lose its balance unless you increase the size of cost and time as well. If you have a time constraint, you will have to compensate for it by increasing cost and vice versa. Whether you are able to increase one or both the factors, the right balanced must be maintained at all times if you desire to achieve the results you were aiming for.

best project management software

What Are the Elements of Project Management?

When it comes to business success, project management is a very important skill.

Based on a PMI report 70% of successful leaders or “champions” prioritize project management skills and only 11% of the under-performers do. Among the champions 83% of the organizations were those that prioritized project management training while among the under-performers only 34% did so.

This says a lot about the relationship between organizational success and good project management skills.

Another interesting finding of the PMI report was that among the champions there was an emphasis on formal knowledge transfer with 81 percent of the champions having a formal knowledge transfer process as compared to only 16 percent of under-performers having the same.

If you are looking to bring a real change in the way your organization operates then it is about time that you start paying attention to your project management plan. The best is to hire a project manager who is an expert in the field.

Cicmil points out that strategic organizational change is most likely facilitated and managed through an organization's use of the project management disciplines.

We have learned that project management is defined by three elements namely scope, time, and cost. The first element has to do with the output of the project or what results we are expecting to get out of the project. The second and the third element can be combined into one category: resources. Both time and cost are the resources that we need to invest in the project to get the desired results. A good project manager is one who is able to manage the project in such a way that the resources used in the project bring the best possible return on investment.

One way to achieve that is having a competent project manager along with a competent team and the other way is to also have the right project management tools.

According to Smartsheet, 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

Smartsheet is a simple project management tool that is built based on the triple constraint theory of project management that takes into account all the three elements namely scope, time, and cost at the same time.