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Tips To A More Effective Project Management

Gillian is at the end of her wits! They only have less than three months to finish the project and yet all things seem to be going wrong. And to top it all, there's little financial resources left to finish all things that needed completion before d-day!

To an expert's eye, Gillian's problem all boils down to improper project management. She may have started the project without evaluating all her resources and whether or not these resources will be enough to meet all the requirements of the project. She has also failed to make a doable timetable for the project, the reason why she is on a panic stage.

Project management is the process of applying one's know-how or knowledge in overseeing and managing a project of whatever magnitude. Do not think that project management is required only by big projects. Small projects can also benefit from an effective project management. Knowing how to use and apply the knowledge you have acquired in all areas will be helpful in the implementation and accomplishment of any project.

Scope of project management

Project management covers all the areas necessary to see a project into completion such a finances, administrative work, communication and public relations. Project management includes but is not limited to:

1. The development of a project plan- The project manager must talk to the project creator before accepting or starting a project. They must agree on specific terms of the project so as to avoid conflicts and unreasonable delay in the future. Make sure you know what needs to be done and in what time frame. Ask for specific results that the creator wants to arrive at so you would know what to expect and you will have a gauge as to whether or not the project was managed properly.

2. Definition of the scope of the plan- Once the terms of reference has been agreed upon, the project manager must make a project plan which contains all the things necessary to start and complete the project. List down all the resources and logistics you need and the available human resources. Make a map of the project, from start to finish. Make the map realistic so you can avoid problems later on.

3. Creation of a project schedule-A timeframe for your project would help you map out the exact schedule required to start and end the project. Create specific time schedules for each step of the project so that would know if you are ahead of your schedule or whether you need to hasten things up to meet the desired schedule.

4. Acquisition of human resources- Aside form good planning. A good project management relies on the acquisition of efficient and able human resources. The project leader may be doing all things possible but if he is surrounded by an inept staff, then he will have more problems than he can handle. A project's human resources must be informed of the project schedule and deadline so they will know what is expected of them. Try to motivate your staff and praise each accomplishment no matter how small.

5. Development of a communication plan and good public relations- Project management includes the creation of a good communication plan which will enable the efficient flow of information from the leaders to the staff and to the stakeholders. The communication plan must make sure that all information related and affecting the project are relayed to the proper person or office as soon as possible to avoid delays and misunderstanding.

A good public relations plan should also be put into place, particularly if the project has a positive or negative impact to the community. So many projects have been stopped in the middle due to pressure from the public. It is better to inform the public on the advantages and disadvantages of the project at the start of the plan so as to avoid conflicts later on.

Proper project management is not really complicated but it requires had work and proper planning to make everything smooth, from the start to the completion of the project.

Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides project management resources on