Simple project management may not be appropriate for very large and complex organisations. Their large and complex projects require a full formal project management methodology to ensure that none of the immense detail is overlooked in their projects. Such methodologies as PRINCE are designed for this purpose.
However smaller teams, organisations and start-ups can benefit from a simpler approach as long as the same basic principles of good project management are observed. These principles are:
- Always identify a stakeholder – the person for whom the project is being carried out. It may be a customer, or a manager within your organisation. The stakeholder is usually the person who requested whatever it is that the project is supposed to deliver. The project manager should keep the stakeholder involved at all times as the project progresses.
- Clearly identify, before the project starts, all of the tasks required for the project. If there is some uncertainty concerning any task identify this too. Make sure the stakeholder is aware of both tasks and uncertainties.
- Keep records of the project.
- Regularly check the progress of tasks and act if any important tasks are blocked.
- Identify the critical path of the project – these are the important tasks which must be completed for the project itself to complete.
With project management systems, the system must allow management of tasks by the staff who carry them out. This is collaboration and is the key to modern working practices.
Here at Simpris we have made a simple project management system, but one which we think has power beneath its simplicity. So what should you look for in a simple project management system? Here is our advice.
- it should be easy to go in and create a project
- it should be easy to add asks to your project and assign them to staff
- it should be easy to set up a project team
- it should be easy to monitor the progress of tasks in the project
- the system should prevent loss of control of the project
- the system should be simple enough that project staff actually want to use it
As long as your project management system is simple to use and understand, it should be able to manage surprisingly complex projects without complexity in the management process itself. The tasks may be very complex, but the management of the project can be simple.