Friday, February 22, 2013

A Brief History of Project Management

This cool info-graphic explores a (brief) history of project management over the past 2500 years. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why Project Management is a Crucial Skill

Project Management Lifecycle
Project Management Lifecycle (Photo:
Projects are the lifeblood of every organization, projects create things, drive growth, and a company that has no projects going on is definitely not a successful company.

This is what makes project managers an increasingly crucial part of organizations, whether they are a freelancer or in house the managerial role of a project is vital to the realization of that project’s goals.  This leads to the initial decisions that the project manager must make, "what are the project’s goals?"

A project manager must decide what the goals of the project are before the project starts.

Going into a project knowing what you want provides everyone involved with a clear cut sense of purpose and understanding. There’s nothing more demoralizing then devoting time and efforts into achieving some goal only to be told halfway through that the goal doesn’t matter anymore and to go for a new one.  

This is why project managers need to be well versed in their understanding of the project and equally organized so they can plan exactly what they want to get from the project.  

Strategic development and time management skills come into play at this pre-project stage and are essential for any project manager. Once they apply these skills to figure out the goals of the project they next need to decide who will be completing these goals

Allocation of resources is another key requirement of any good project manager, and perhaps the most important resource is labor. The project manager needs to decide who is going to complete what task and when. This requires an intense understanding of members of the project team, what skills they possess, and even who they work best with. Although small teams within a project are common they aren’t necessarily required which makes recognizing when a team is needed and when individual work is best fall under the needed skills of a project manager.

Personal interactions and general people skills should be another strong suit of a good project manager, project managers need to be able to easily communicate with their team members and effectively express the goals they want them to achieve. Once everyone knows what they are doing, how they are doing it, and when they are doing it the only thing left is execution.

It may sound simple but actual execution of (what should be) a well planned strategy can be a long process.

Project managers should be monitoring development of the project and stay ready to make changes to the strategy for any unforeseen situations that arise during the execution stage.  

Communication between all parties involved is also vital. It’s the job of the project manager to make sure customers, executives, project members, and everyone in between is kept on the same page with developments and changes. Thanks to increasingly available communications technology from smartphones to Skype this is becoming an easier and more fluid process and will continue to do so.

Being an efficient project manager requires strong leadership, organizational, and communication skills to name a few. It may seem like a tall order but it’s because of this that effective project managers are increasing their demand and Forbes listed project managers in their Top 10 Best Freelance Careers.

About the Author

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs at Fordham Nights and can be reached at