5 Popular Project Management Techniques That Actually Work

Grant Wasch

Across all businesses and industries, project management techniques are utilized to complete tasks in a timely manner. When faced with a goal, the big picture can seem overwhelming. This is what makes project management so useful: by breaking down the big picture into a series of smaller, more achievable goals, it enhances productivity and makes that end goal not just possible, but probable. With the implementation of project management techniques, the success of a plan becomes a matter of when, not if. Here are some popular ideas that have been proven to work time and time again.

Top 5 Project Management Techniques

  • Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE2)

PRINCE2 is one of the most effective project management techniques. It is such a reliable tool that several countries have adopted the strategy; even the UK government uses it! In this approach, a detailed plan is implemented and every stage is thought out carefully. It includes 7 different principles: continued business justification, learning from experience, defining roles and responsibilities, managing by stages, managing by exception, focusing on products and tailoring to suit the project environment. Two essential practices are used in this tool: project assurance (ensuring the project is progressing and that it is continually feasible) and project support (assigning administrative tasks, which saves others time).

  • Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

PERT dates back to the 1950’s, when the U.S. Navy needed a new method for organizing defense projects. Since it has been in use for so long, it is another ideal project management technique that is sure to help you on the road to success. PERT charts are all about time. In fact, the reason they are such a popular choice is because they’re geared towards efficiency and estimating the amount of time necessary for completing tasks. With PERT, three different time estimates are established: the shortest total time each individual task might take, the most likely amount of time they will take, and the longest amount of time in the worst-case scenario.

  • Kanban Approach

Inspired by Toyota’s system of production, the Kanban approach prioritizes visualization and the importance of each individual’s role in the project. This method is typically used in lean manufacturing and JIT manufacturing, but it can be applied to other industries as well. In this format, an ordered group of cards present what needs to be done on a given day. Out of all the project management techniques, this one puts the concept of a team first. In the Kanban approach, no one is overwhelmed or attempting to complete a large number of tasks at one time. Members of the project are able to move a completed task to the following column and begin on a new task from the first to-do column, seeing the scale of their progress along the way. Kanban is perfect for visual minds and large teams.

  • Gantt Chart

If you are trying to complete several projects at one time, a Gantt chart is the best choice for you. This is one of the more complex project management techniques which, like the Kanban approach, focuses on visual aids to help foster productivity and workflow. Using bars and calendar dates, a Gantt chart lets the viewer see and interact with: start and end dates, project tasks, the team members assigned to each task, the total duration of individual tasks, task dependencies and the way each goal is linked. Plus, online software can be used to streamline the process; what’s not to love?

  • Waterfall

The Waterfall project management technique is effective because it’s minimalistic and to-the-point. While it may not be the best choice for intricate projects with more complicated, overlapping task lists, the Waterfall method is ideal for basic projects with easily illustrated lifecycles. Much like a waterfall (or a set of stairs), the initial stage starts from the top and slowly continues downward until the tasks are complete. In a Waterfall diagram, you see the whole picture, but the individual steps make the project less overwhelming; the beginning and end are both clearly visible without distracting from the linear process. In addition, the next stage cannot be reached until the one prior to it has been 100% concluded.

Implement Project Management Techniques with Team Wasch

Team Wasch understands the challenges of fast-growing businesses, and we know what it takes to get your business to the next level using business process design and business IT systems. To learn more about reducing costs, easing your growing pains, and improving efficiency through working with our team, contact us today at 703-407-8020 or by emailing info@teamwasch.com.

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