Project Management Techniques: Seven Best Techniques to Use in 2022

Project Management Techniques: Seven Best Techniques to Use in 2022
Vlad Kovalskiy
October 18, 2021
Last updated: November 25, 2021


Project management is an attempt to help the enterprise complete its projects successfully. It aims to organize, supervise and facilitate efficient implementation of the business plan. Typically, it does that through scheduling, budget control, workflow management, appropriate documentation, accounting software application, and numerous other functions. Here, we shall look at five techniques and two methodologies of effective project management that have proven to work particularly well and yet require no special hardware or preliminary training.

Work Breakdown Structure

It is easier to work on a big and complex project if you can break it into smaller tasks, and this is precisely what Work Breakdown Structure helps you do. You can use it to divide a project into tasks and break them down into even smaller jobs until you have a clear picture of what you must do and in what order.

Work Breakdown Structure also helps to assign jobs from the lowest ladder to appropriate employees. Furthermore, you can use it to estimate costs and time limits for each component and express guidelines for performance and budget schedules in a graphic format.

Effectively, this project management technique will help you organize and manage your employees' teamwork by breaking it down into components, distributing work assignments among the team's members, and supervising the schedules and budgets.

Who Will Benefit from It

Work Breakdown Structure is an optimal tool for managing projects of medium complexity with low task interdependence within a project. 

How to Start

  1. Formulate a project's final goals in operational terms.

  2. Specify tasks required to achieve those goals.

  3. Continue to break each task down until you reach the level of indivisible operations.

  4. Allocate appropriate time and budget for each operation.

  5. Group the operations into manageable work assignments.

  6. Distribute the work assignments among your employees.

 

Critical Path Method

If you run a big business, the main problem is how to coordinate numerous and complex projects. Critical Path Method can help you do it by scheduling multiple project tasks more efficiently. And you will benefit from this project management technique even more if you apply it in combination with Program Evaluation Review Technique.

A critical path refers to the longest time required to complete a set of interrelated tasks. You can use the Critical Path Method to determine how long it will take to complete each task on the project. That will help you understand when to start and finish each work assignment to meet the project deadline.

Who Will Benefit from It

Critical Path Method works best with highly complex projects consisting of numerous interdependent tasks and pressing deadlines. It helps to set time limits, track progress, and coordinate concurrent work assignments for a large staff.

How to Start

  1. Specify tasks required to complete a project.

  2. Calculate how long it will take to complete each task.

  3. Determine how the tasks depend on each other.

  4. Define separate deadlines for different parts of the project.

  5. Draw a separate timeline for each task on one chart.

  6. Identify the critical path and use it to set separate deadlines for each task.

 

Program Evaluation Review Technique

This project management technique serves as an excellent visual representation of the Work Breakdown Structure and the Critical Path Method combined. The Program Evaluation Review Technique helps to predict how long it will take to complete a project by calculating

  1. The minimum amount of time you will need to finish a task

  2.  How long it will take to complete the activity if something goes wrong

  3. How long it will most probably take to complete it

In other words, the Program Evaluation Review Technique includes the uncertainty factor in its calculations, which makes it an optimal tool for estimating the time required for completing unfamiliar tasks. 

Who Will Benefit from It

Apart from unpredictable, unique, and new tasks, the technique is most suitable for large-scale complex projects in which many things can go wrong at any time.

How to Start

  1. Specify tasks required to achieve a project's final goals.

  2. Determine how the tasks depend on each other.

  3. Divide the tasks into manageable groups.

  4. Allocate appropriate time for each group of tasks by calculating the minimum, the maximum, and the most likely amount of time it might take to complete them.

  5. Identify a critical path for each group separately, and use it to deadlines for each task in the group.

 

Gantt Chart

This project management technique is quite helpful with projects on which you cannot take more than one task at a time. A Gantt Chart shows you how different parts of a project depend on each other in terms of their schedules. The tasks are listed on the vertical axis, while the horizontal one shows a time interval and a deadline set for each one.

A Gantt Chart will make it easier for you to plan your activities across several projects and distribute work assignments among your employees in such a way that they do not overlap. It is a fundamental time management technique to help members of a team coordinate their activities. And it will work even better if you formulate a clear and precise Work Breakdown Structure first.

Who Will Benefit from It

A Gantt Chart is an ideal solution for a company or a department in which employees have to be aware of their co-workers' schedules to know if they may start with a particular work assignment. 

How to Start

  1. Determine how work assignments depend on each other.

  2. Draw a separate timeline for each assignment on one chart.

  3. Distribute the work assignments among your employees.

  4. Team members mark on the chart when they start and finish with their tasks.

 

Kanban

The primary purpose of this project management technique is to set upper limits to your work progress in order to avoid potential overload. It helps you plan your output by establishing priorities and expressing them in a graphic format.

Who Will Benefit from It

Kanban is an excellent tool for managing irregular and unpredictable workflow and, as such, perfectly suits freelancers and small service-oriented companies.

For example, Bitrix24, an accounting software provider, successfully applies Kanban and Gantt Charts to helping its customers schedule business tasks, maintain efficient project management and facilitate productive teamwork.

How to Start

  1. Determine the current work capacity of a particular business unit.

  2. Correlate the unit's workload with the current demand for output and adjust it accordingly.

  3. Accept the final adjustment as the main criterion.

  4. Terminate the work activity in the case of an overload.

 

Waterfall

Unlike the previous tools we have discussed, Waterfall is an approach rather than a project management technique. Essentially, it helps organize business management tasks in an efficient sequence to follow for optimal results. That sequence consists of five levels:

  • Business needs

  • Business plan

  • Project implementation

  • Feedback and anajysis

  • Closure

Who Will Benefit from It

The Waterfall is the most constructive strategy for managing long, complex, and stable projects in which there is little need for re-considerations and adjustments. It will be less effective if:

  • Task requirements are not constant or cannot be clearly defined

  • Circumstances are subject to abrupt and frequent change

  • Progress and development depend on feedback

How to Start

  1. Define your project needs.

  2. Create a comprehensive and specific business plan.

  3. Set criteria for evaluating your performance.

  4. Execute your business plan.

  5. Complete all tasks, exchange feedback with your partners, employees, and clients, and close the project.


Agile

As a methodology, Agile Project Management seems to be diametrically opposite to the Waterfall. Whereas the latter tends to be rigid and structure-oriented, Agile emphasizes function and dynamics and leaves room for feedback, negotiation, and self-management.

This project management technique focuses on the team rather than the business plan and welcomes feedback from the customers as an invaluable resource for business development. And unlike its counterpart, Agile remains constantly alert for and responsive to change.

Who Will Benefit from It

Agile works best for projects with clearly defined business goals and vibrant intra-organizational dynamics, operating in the circumstances of constant change, especially if there are no frequent and critical deadlines to meet.

How to Start

  1. Formulate a project's final goals in operational terms.

  2. Specify tasks required to achieve those goals.

  3. dentify the sources of feedback on the company's performance.

  4. Define the criteria for the adjustment of task specifications.

  5. Formulate guidelines for responding to unforeseen circumstances.

  6. Train your staff in the logistics of self-organization.

  7. Establish communication channels with your staff, clients, and partners.

  8. Regularly revisit your business goals and task specifications, which, ideally, should be accepted as tentative.

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