The 5 Best Project Management Techniques to Use in 2022
Both old and new projects can get difficult to manage. Project managers constantly look for new tools and strategies to make project management less overwhelming. […]
Both old and new projects can get difficult to manage. Project managers constantly look for new tools and strategies to make project management less overwhelming.
The best part is there are several ways to tackle project management tasks and processes. However, we shall look at the top five ones today.
Not only are these the most common, but they are also perfect for various project types and niches. Every method has something unique to offer.
Therefore, knowing about all of them is a good idea. This can help you pick the most suitable ones and apply the best practices to different projects. Let’s get started!
What Is A Project Management Technique?
Project management techniques make use of raw skills. These are applied to a system to make project completion realistic, obtainable and simpler.
They act as small steps that help form a complete and proper project cycle. They lead you to task completion by offering creative ways to meet deadlines successfully and produce quality outputs.
There are several ways to do one task, and various project management techniques are there for exactly this reason.
It may get confusing for a project manager to pick the right methods and techniques. The best way to choose is by looking at the end goal and the variables involved. These include:
- Starting and ending dates
- Number of teams
- Project life cycle, etc.
Once these are defined clearly, the next step is selecting suitable methodologies and seeing whether your variables fit neatly and will synchronize well.
Top 5 Project Management Techniques
Each of the five methods we discuss is unique and can be used in different scenarios. Some methods fit certain situations better than others.
However, since all projects are unique, knowing about each is crucial for project managers. Let us look at these below:
The Waterfall methodology is a simple and classic project planning technique. It takes basics to a new level by dividing a project into separate stages/phases.
Each stage’s completion is dependent on the last one. It is a linear methodology that goes through each phase step by step. It eradicates the margin for sudden/unexpected changes.
It is great for implementing straightforward projects/structures where fewer obstacles are expected. The entire project cycle is pre-planned, and project managers simply lead their teams through each phase. The Waterfall is also very similar to Agile due to its linear nature. However, their completion plans differ vastly.
This methodology keeps project management simple. It enables slow and planned progress and may not be suitable for complex projects. Therefore, it may not be great for projects with many variables.
How To Implement?
- ‘This then that’ mindset must be used for applying the Waterfall methodology.
- Projects must be pre-planned with clear goals and requirements. Break down the steps once roles are assigned, and milestones have been listed clearly.
- Complete one phase fully before moving on to the next task. Double-check before each phase submission, as these, cannot be revisited.
- Be clear regarding the project scope and ensure revisions are performed before the next phase.
Program Evaluation and Review Technique or PERT technique is popular due to component visualization. Charts display project timelines, while graphs make it easier to understand the various processes.
The PERT methodology aids in detailed plan creation and allows you to track goal achievements through visual charts.
It is best for long-term projects where having a visual representation of timelines is helpful. Larger projects with multiple unique challenges can also make use of this technique. Charts help evaluate resources, phases, and time duration for each phase.
How To Implement?
PERT charts should be exactly followed as they enable accuracy.
Arrows mark event flow, while dotted lines indicate tasks outside of a timeline. These may be on a separate path. Segments are used to record timing, dates, and numbers.
Precise vocabulary can be used to create deadlines and set time durations.
‘Optimistic time’ is the ideal deadline, while the ‘pessimistic time’ is the longest time a certain project’s completion can take. ‘Most likely time’ indicates a realistic completion date, and ‘expected time’ accounts for issues, delays, and other problems.
A Toyota engineer designed the Kanban strategy. Therefore, this technique relies heavily on mutual teamwork and simple management principles.
Kanban is similar to PERT and is a visual workflow. However, it has a series of task cards instead of graphs.
It is perfect for overarching management as it aids continuous delivery and puts less burden on separate individuals. Greater emphasis is placed on teamwork through visual project boards with several steps.
How To Implement?
- Individual action items are used to implement Kanban boards.
- Create to-do lists to track all phase completions and emphasize tasks that need to be completed. Every task must be mentioned on a separate card and recorded clearly throughout the project cycle.
- Create column categories like pending, done, and in progress. Assign tasks based on category under the right columns. Prioritize tasks that need to be completed earlier, so a proper sequence is formed.
The name may sound intense, and the interesting part is that the technique is even more so. This methodology gives importance to collaboration, clarity, and flexibility.
It emphasizes the human element to make rigid processes and complex stages simpler. This makes it ideal for larger and more complex projects with a lot of uncertainty and outside factors.
How To Implement?
- The project focus is adaptable and fast-paced. Therefore, smaller phases and short cycles must be utilized.
- Each phase completion should be ended with status assessments, discussions on adjustments, and time stamps.
Critical Path has been around since the 1940s. Essential tasks are mapped out and used to calculate deadlines and project cycle durations.
Since various phases can alter the end date, this methodology calls for task listing. Project managers must also mention how long each phase/task will take and any external factors that can alter the deadline of individual milestones.
The first step is defining all tasks and their dependency on one another. The next is to use these to determine deadlines for each phase that ultimately help come up with a date for project completion.
How To Implement?
- It is a straightforward methodology but must be executed with the right standards.
- Define project scope and individual tasks in a list.
- Identify tasks that rely on one another or those that must be given priority.
- Understand that there may be more than one critical path that you can follow. Some tasks may not be directly within the path but must still be completed as they help power up the main plan. Make sure these are also tracked and completed within the given timeframe.
Project managers have to deal with an array of projects throughout their careers.
Therefore, proper knowledge of various techniques and methodologies means they can make the most suitable pick that works with the industry and project type.
Using a tool like TASKLY can help make the process even simpler. Adjustments and adaptability form the true recipe for success!