What Are The Objectives Of Project Management? (With Phases)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Organisations require methodical and systematic plans to complete goals and achieve success. Project management is the process of conceptualising, planning, implementing and reviewing the progress of any goal or task. Learning more about the objectives and phases of project management can help you become an effective project manager. In this article, we discuss the objectives of project management, explain its different phases and share the essential skills of project managers.

What are the objectives of project management?

Before understanding the objectives of project management, it would be helpful to understand the meaning of a project and the importance of project management. A project is a distinctive endeavour with defined goals, results and outcomes. Organisations typically launch projects to achieve specific goals in a pre-determined timeframe and budget. Client-facing organisations may have individual projects with each client they work with and have a separate team working on each project. Individuals and employees can also have personal projects with specific objectives.

Project management is the process of applying professional expertise, resources, tools and strategies to ensure that the organisation meets the project objectives in the most efficient way. Project management usually focuses on a few core objectives and accordingly decides processes, budgets, and key performance indicators of success. Generally, the project manager or team leaders are responsible for effective project management. Here are some key objectives of project management:

  • Meeting all project goals successfully: To ensure the success of project goals, management and organisation of resources, time, talent and workflows is necessary. Planning and optimisation constitute an essential part of project management.

  • Providing guidance and supervision to team members: Teams working on a project may require supervision to accomplish tasks, change strategy or maintain quality. Project management ensures a structure of hierarchy and accountability that facilitates guidance and support to all team members.

  • Facilitating communication and collaboration: Seamless communication and collaboration are integral to the success of any project or team. Project management enables regular meetings, discussions, feedback sessions, client approvals and exchange of ideas to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals with no wastage of time or effort.

  • Following all safety processes and protocols: Certain projects, like that in food production plants or at construction sites, may require stringent adherence to strict safety protocols and processes. Project management accounts for such reviews and safety checks to ensure the quality and safety of the team members and the end product.

  • Optimising budget and resources: Project management is an attempt to use the allocated budget and resources in the most efficient manner. This allows organisations to save costs, maximise the return and ensure that there are no leakages in the system.

  • Reviewing and course-correcting timely: All projects and plans require updates and changes during the implementation phase. Project management help ensure that there are assessments, quality checks and reviews throughout the project implementation so that changes can take place quickly, effectively and without disruption.

Related: What Is Management? Definition, Functions And Levels

Project management phases

Most project management processes are a part of these five distinct project life cycle phases:

Conception and initiation phase

This is the first stage where the idea and concept of the project develops. It usually involves setting goals, deciding the scope and finalising the timeline of the project. This process usually involves internal and external stakeholders aligning expectations and fixing the success criteria. In most cases, this stage involves posing a question, finding a solution and trying a new approach. This step may culminate in creating a project brief that outlines the project's purpose, goal and requirements.

Design and planning phase

This is one of the most important stages of the entire project. It involves defining processes, creating budgets, developing a timeline of individual milestones and setting safeguards for monitoring and assessment. In addition to estimating different aspects of the budget, this stage also determines general workflows, team roles and responsibilities, vital milestones and monitoring methodologies. This stage involves the entire team working on the project so that everyone can contribute in planning and has clarity regarding their role.

Execution phase

It is at this stage that the processes and actions begin. These processes are as per the project plan and design and each team member works on their task to complete their responsibilities within the deadline. During this phase, the project manager usually supervises different aspects and functions, like management of timeline, resources, change, quality and communication. The team implements the decisions and plans of the last two stages to expect the intended outcome.

Monitoring and controlling phase

A certain time after the execution begins, the team takes steps to review, monitor and assess progress. Depending on the project goals, quality assurance tests or client feedback may also be necessary at this stage. All different processes and tasks in the project undergo validation to determine if it is complete, successful, ongoing or delayed. This step helps identify processes and strategies that may not be effective and replace them to ensure the timely completion of the project.

Related: What Is Quality Control? A Complete Guide

Closing and evaluation phase

Once all the processes and activities are complete, the project ends, and a closing assessment occurs. This determines the success of the goals, the shortcomings and the areas of improvement. Evaluating the performance of the project and team members, alongside discussing the future phases of the project, if any, is the main objective of this stage.

Essential skills to become a project manager

If you want to build a career in project management and wish to become a project manager, here are some skills that can be helpful:

Goal setting

Deciding on the scope, quality, domain and objectives requires strong goal-setting skills. These skills help establish clear and transparent goals are that easily understood by the entire team. Goal setting requires strong research and observation skills to help identify core concepts, challenges, questions, hypotheses, approaches, values and strategies.

Budgeting and auditing

Budgeting and auditing are essential skills for project managers as they are usually responsible for the finances, resource procurement, stakeholders management and risk assessment. Knowing how to optimise the use of resources, maintain balance sheets, generate invoices and ensure compliance can help project managers budget finances and audit processes. Project managers may also have to work closely with the finance team to approve expenses and authorise purchases, which requires basic accounting skills.

Communication

Communication is critical for project managers as they constantly interact with, supervise and guide team members. Project managers facilitate clear communication, timely collaboration and exchange of feedback on the project. They are responsible for organising project meetings, identifying obstacles, finding solutions and enabling team members to work with each other to ensure the overall project success. Project managers may also have to prepare reports, budgets, presentations and minutes of meetings, all of which require strong communication skills.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions And Examples

Problem-solving

Most projects require some change of strategy or process during or after the execution stage. This is because, despite strong planning and implementation, some factors that influence the success of projects always remain outside the control of the team. This can result in unanticipated delays, unplanned disruptions and stalling of progress. To solve these issues, having strong problem-solving skills can be necessary. Problem-solving and decision-making also require strong critical thinking and analytical skills to ensure timely identification of challenges and methodical application of solutions.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples

Organisation and time management

Delivering all project goals in a timely manner is the responsibility of the project manager or team leader. A project manager may have to undertake several critical duties simultaneously and prioritise urgent tasks. This can require strong organisation and time management skills to ensure that all processes and activities occur as per the original design and plan. This also requires quick decision-making and flexibility on the part of the project manager.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Human resource management

The success of every project eventually depends on how well the manager can utilise the human resources of the team, leverage their strengths and skills and motivate them to achieve project goals. This requires effort and time from the team leader to understand every member and their motivation for working on the project. An effective team leader also ensures that the team learns and grows and appreciates successful team members for their contribution and hard work. This requires strong human resource and performance management skills.

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