Effective project management plays a critical role in determining the success or failure of an organization. In fact, according to the PWC report, 97% of respondents agreed that project management strategies are critical to business performance and organizational success, and 94% agreed that correct PM strategies enable business growth.
But with the presence of various project management strategies, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your organization’s needs. In this article, we’ll explore the 13 best project management strategies and their key benefits.
So whether you are an experienced project manager or just beginning, continue reading to explore the most effective project management strategies that can benefit your organization.
What are project management strategies?
Project management strategies refer to a collection of methods and techniques that project managers and their teams utilize to efficiently plan and complete projects.
The purpose of these strategies is to ensure that projects are accomplished within the set timeframe and budget and fulfill the stakeholders’ objectives.
Project management strategies can include a wide range of tools and project management best practices, such as project planning, risk management, communication management, stakeholder management, quality management, and change management.
By adopting the appropriate project management strategies, organizations can improve their project success rates and maximize their return on investment.
What is a project strategy?
A project strategy refers to a complete plan that describes the objectives, aims, and approaches that a project team intends to employ to achieve success in their project. It is a high-level blueprint that guides the team in making decisions and taking action to deliver the desired outcomes of the project.
Overall, a well-defined project strategy provides the project team with a clear direction and a roadmap to follow, helping them to remain concentrated and aligned toward achieving the project goals.
Importance of strategy in project management
Having a well-defined project strategy is critical to the success of any project. Here are four reasons why project management strategy is important:
- Provides Direction: A project strategy sets the direction and defines the goals, objectives, and priorities of the project.
- Facilitates Planning: A well-defined project strategy can make the planning process much simpler as it gives a clear direction for decision-making, resource allocation, and risk management. This creates a proper foundation for effective project management, initiating a framework for the team that guides them to make informed decisions and allocate resources efficiently.
- Improves Project Performance: A project strategy helps to improve project performance by providing a framework for monitoring and measuring progress against the project goals. This allows the project team to identify areas where improvements can be made and take corrective actions when necessary.
- Enables Effective Communication: A project strategy outlines the communication plan for the project, ensuring that stakeholders are kept informed about the project’s progress, changes in scope, and other important updates.
13 most effective Project management strategies to use
Here are the 13 most effective project management strategies every PM can use:
1. Define Project Scope
Clearly define the project scope, objectives, and deliverables at the start of the project. This will help keep the project team focused and aligned toward achieving the project goals. By defining the scope, the project team can manage stakeholder expectations, manage project changes, and prioritize work effectively.
In addition, defining the project scope can also help manage stakeholder expectations. Stakeholders may have different expectations of what the project should achieve, and without clear boundaries, their expectations can become unrealistic.
By clearly defining the scope, stakeholders will have a better understanding of what can be achieved within the given resources and time frame.
Moreover, defining the project scope helps prioritize work effectively. When the project team knows what needs to be delivered, they can focus on the most critical tasks and allocate resources accordingly.
2. Create a Project Plan
Drafting a project plan is an essential element of an effective project management approach.
According to the Wellington State of Project Management report, approximately 43% of organizations complete their projects within their designated budget. Additionally, only 29% of companies mostly or always finish their projects on time, which is an even lower percentage.
Therefore, a project plan is an essential roadmap that guides the project team toward achieving project objectives within a specified timeline and budget. Developing a detailed project plan requires careful planning and execution.
The project manager must work with the team to identify project requirements, objectives, timelines, and available resources.
The project plan should include a project timeline that identifies the start and end dates for each phase of the project. This timeline should be realistic and allow for flexibility in case of any unexpected events that may impact project delivery.
3. Use a Project Management Tool
Use project management software to keep track of progress, manage resources, and monitor the performance of the project. This will help to improve communication, collaboration, and teamwork. Project management tools can also help with scheduling, reporting, and task management.
4. Establish Roles and Responsibilities
Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each team member, as it will facilitate a better understanding of their project involvement and allow for effective collaboration toward accomplishing project objectives.
Defining roles and responsibilities can also help to avoid conflicts and improve accountability.
When everyone knows what they are responsible for, they can focus on completing their tasks and meeting their deadlines. This reduces the risk of misunderstandings and overlapping responsibilities, which can lead to conflicts and delays.
5. Communicate Effectively
Communication is key to effective project management. Establish a communication plan that outlines how the project team will communicate with stakeholders, how often communication will occur, and what information will be shared.
Regular communication can help to manage stakeholder expectations and ensure that everyone is informed about project progress and any issues that arise.
6. Manage Risks
Identify potential risks and develop a risk management plan. This will help to minimize the impact of risks and ensure that the project stays on track. Within the risk management plan, it is crucial to incorporate risk mitigation strategies, as well as a contingency plan. Contingency plans should be developed for risks that cannot be avoided or mitigated.
The primary objectives of these plans are to define the necessary steps to be taken in case a risk arises, including the project team’s response, resource requirements, and the potential impact on the project’s objectives or budget. Thus It is important to note that risk management ought to be a continuous process throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.
7. Monitor Progress
To ensure the project stays on track and the team achieves its objectives, it’s important to monitor the project’s progress against the project plan and make any necessary adjustments. Regular progress monitoring can also help to identify potential issues before they become problems.
8. Conduct Regular Meetings
Conduct regular team meetings to discuss project progress, issues, and potential risks. This will help to ensure that everyone is informed about the project status and can work together to resolve any issues.
During team meetings, it is important to review progress against the project plan, discuss any issues or challenges that have arisen, and identify potential risks or changes in scope.
Encouraging team members to share their ideas and provide feedback can enhance the project’s outcomes. Additionally, team meetings can improve communication and collaboration within the team.
9. Manage Stakeholder Expectations
Manage stakeholder expectations by keeping them informed about project progress and any changes to the project plan. This will help to build trust and confidence among stakeholders and can improve overall project outcomes.
10. Establish Quality Standards
Establish quality standards for the project deliverables and ensure that they are met. This will help to ensure that the project outcomes meet stakeholder expectations and that the project team is delivering high-quality work.
To establish quality standards, the project manager should begin by defining the quality requirements for the project.
This can be done by identifying the expectations and needs of the stakeholders and understanding the industry standards and regulations that apply to the project. Based on these requirements, the project manager can develop quality standards that meet the project objectives and ensure that the final deliverables meet the required level of quality
11. Foster Teamwork
Foster teamwork by promoting collaboration, communication, and positive team culture. This can help to improve team morale and motivation, which can lead to better project outcomes.
Another important aspect of fostering teamwork is recognizing and rewarding individual and team achievements. By acknowledging and rewarding success, you can help to motivate team members and reinforce positive behaviors.
12. Manage Changes
Following a change management process can help to ensure that changes to the project plan are thoroughly evaluated, approved, and effectively communicated to the project team and stakeholders. This will assist in managing any alterations to the project plan. Proper change management can also help to minimize the impact of changes on the project.
13. Conduct Post-Project Reviews
Conduct post-project reviews to evaluate project outcomes, identify areas for improvement, and gather feedback from stakeholders. This can help to identify best practices and key takeaways that can be applied to future projects, improving overall project management capabilities.
What are the 5 stages of project management strategy?
The process of project management entails planning, executing, and controlling tasks in order to achieve specific project objectives. The five stages of project management provide a framework for managing projects effectively, from initiating a project to closing it out. The five stages are as follows:
- Initiation: The first stage of project management involves identifying the project’s goals, objectives, and stakeholders. During this stage, the project team also determines the feasibility of the project and evaluates potential risks.
- Planning: During the second stage, a comprehensive project plan is developed, which includes outlining the project’s scope, timeline, budget, and resource requirements.
- Execution: The third stage involves executing the project plan by implementing the tasks and activities outlined in the plan.
- Monitoring and Controlling: During the fourth stage, project progress is monitored, and adjustments to the project plan are made as required. The project team should regularly assess project performance and adjust the plan to minimize any potential risks or delays.
- Closure: The final stage involves closing out the project by completing any outstanding tasks, evaluating the project outcomes, and conducting a post-project review. The project team should also identify best practices that can be applied to future projects.
What is a project plan strategy?
A project plan strategy is a comprehensive and detailed document that outlines the approach, objectives, deliverables, and resources required to complete a project successfully.
It provides a roadmap for project managers to follow and helps ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders.
A project plan strategy typically includes key elements such as project scope, project objectives, timelines, resource allocation, risk management, communication plans, and stakeholder engagement.
The plan outlines how the project will be executed, monitored, and controlled and includes details on the specific tasks, milestones, and deliverables that need to be achieved.
Another component of a marketing project plan is the content workflow: if it’s a product launch plan, this will help you bring and follow a piece of content from ideation to the delivery stage.
Project plan strategies are essential for effective project management as they help project managers to break down complex projects into smaller, manageable components and ensure that everyone involved in the project is aware of their roles and responsibilities.
They also help project managers to track progress and identify potential issues or roadblocks that could impact the project’s success. Overall, a well-designed project plan strategy is critical to the success of any project.
Types of project management strategies
Some examples of project management strategies that are commonly used in different types of projects are
1. Agile Project Management
This strategy involves breaking a project into small, repetitive tasks that can be completed quickly and efficiently. Agile project management is useful for complex projects with evolving requirements, as it allows teams to respond quickly to changes and adapt their approach as needed.
In fact, companies that implemented an agile project management system experienced a 37% higher growth rate in revenue compared to those that did not adopt such a system.
2. Risk Management
This strategy involves identifying potential project risks and developing mitigation plans to address them. Effective risk management enables teams to anticipate and proactively address potential issues, preventing them from becoming significant problems.
3. Change Management
The strategy involves creating a plan for managing any changes to the project scope, timeline, or budget. Change management strategies can help teams to maintain project alignment and control project scope.
4. Lean Project Management
This approach aims to optimize productivity by simplifying project procedures and eliminating unnecessary activities. Lean project management is useful for projects with limited resources or tight timelines, as it can help teams to deliver results quickly and cost-effectively.
5. Critical Chain Project Management
This strategy involves identifying the critical path of a project and focusing resources on completing those tasks efficiently. Critical chain project management can help teams to prioritize tasks, avoid delays, and optimize resource utilization.
These are just a few examples of project management strategies. The right strategy for a particular project will depend on the project’s goals, requirements, and constraints.
5 Effective project management techniques to use
Project management techniques are specific tools, methods, or approaches that project managers use to plan, execute, and control projects effectively. Techniques can be used to manage project scope, time, cost, quality, risk, and other aspects of the project.
Some project management techniques include:
1. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
This technique involves breaking down a project into smaller, more manageable components.
A WBS can help teams to identify all the tasks required to complete the project and can help to ensure that no important tasks are overlooked.
2. Gantt Chart
This technique is a visual tool that helps to schedule and track project tasks over time.
Gantt charts can help teams to identify dependencies between tasks, monitor progress, and ensure that the project stays on track.
3. Critical Path Analysis (CPA)
The method entails pinpointing the crucial path of a project, which is the series of tasks that must be accomplished within their respective deadlines to ensure the timely completion of the project.
CPA can help teams to prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively.
4. Earned Value Management (EVM)
This technique is a project management approach that integrates cost, schedule, and performance data to track project progress and forecast project outcomes. EVM can help teams to identify potential problems early on and make adjustments to keep the project on track.
5. Risk Analysis
This technique involves identifying potential risks that could impact a project and developing strategies to mitigate those risks. Risk analysis can help teams to anticipate and address potential issues before they become major problems.
These are just a few examples of project management techniques. Moreover, project managers can use a variety of techniques in combination to manage projects effectively.
Choosing the Right Project Management Strategy for Your Project
Choosing the right project management strategy is crucial for the success of any project. A project management strategy is a systematic approach to planning, executing, and controlling a project.
It helps ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
Should You Use Project Management Software for Successful Execution?
It’s evident that effective project management requires a combination of careful planning, precise execution, and strong team management. Each of the 13 strategies highlighted in the post addresses a critical aspect of project management and provides practical guidance on how to implement it successfully.
These approaches can help you at all levels, even if you are new to project management or an experienced professional; implementing these strategies can assist you in maintaining control, staying organized, and remaining focused on your projects.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the strategies of project management?
There are many different strategies for project management, including traditional project management, agile project management, lean project management, critical chain project management, risk management, and others. The appropriate approach for a specific project will be determined by the project’s objectives, specifications, and limitations.
What are the 6Ps in project management?
The 6Ps in project management refer to the six key elements that must be considered when planning a project. These are purpose, people, product, process, project, and performance. By considering these elements carefully, project managers can ensure that projects are well-planned, well-executed, and meet the needs of stakeholders.
What is a project life cycle?
The sequence of phases that a project undergoes from initiation to completion is referred to as the project life cycle. The project life cycle typically includes four or five phases, depending on the project’s goals and requirements.
The phases that make up the project life cycle may include initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and control, as well as closure. By following a structured project life cycle, project managers can ensure that projects are completed successfully and meet the needs of stakeholders.