The modern rules of project management best practices

The purpose of this article is to provide you with everything you need to know about project management best practices and what they mean to you.

Define best practices

According to WikiPedia, a best practice is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is believed to be more effective in obtaining a particular result than any other technique, method, process, etc. when applied to a particular condition or circumstance.

Best practice can also be defined as the most efficient (least effort) and effective (best results) way to perform a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven effective over time for large numbers of people. Best practices can and should evolve for improvement as improvements are discovered. It’s about developing and following a standard way of doing things.

In short, best practices are a standard approach to follow, which has been shown to work within an industry or business environment and is then adopted by the majority of people within that specific context.

Do Project Management Best Practices Work?

My work experience has exposed me to working in organizations that have very few specialized resources, insufficient time for projects, and inadequate project planning or budgeting. I have also worked in highly controlled, standardized focus organizations with expert resources where everything in a project is set up to be successful. This means that planning is based on previous similar projects and expert judgment estimates, resources are committed to the project for periods when necessary, an appropriate budget is allocated, and proper scope and quality management is applied. Even though normal risks and problems were experienced in both types of organizational projects, organizations where best practices are applied consistently have shown more successful projects and satisfied customers, meaning these projects always had a better chance. to arrive on time, on budget and with the desired quality.

Composition of a project manager

Here it will refer to a person’s natural abilities or talents, learned skills, and project management knowledge. In Kate Belzer’s Project Management Document: “Even More Art Than Science”, it is stated that project management is both an art and a science. Understanding processes, tools, and techniques are the hard skills, also known as the science of project management. For the successful delivery of a project, you also need soft skills, known as the art of project management. Soft skills help define business value, clarify vision, determine requirements, provide direction, build teams, solve problems, and mitigate risk. Communication is simply the most important soft skill. The ability to apply soft skills effectively throughout the life cycle of a project will improve the success of a project exponentially!

Projects often fail due to a project manager’s inability to communicate effectively, work within the organization’s culture, motivate the project team, manage stakeholder expectations, understand business goals, resolve problems effectively and make clear and informed decisions. These are the skills that take time to acquire through experience, coaching, and mentoring. In my opinion, the art and science of project management requires the intuitive application of your talents, your hard and soft skills, your knowledge and experience in the right combination that is applicable to a specific project situation. Finding that kind of balance is an art unto itself.

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