Project Management Stages, Types, tools and techniques
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Project Management – Definition, Stages, Types, Techniques and Tools

Project management is a fundamental aspect of everyday life, whether we realize it or not. From planning a vacation to organizing a business event, its core principles are everywhere. To get a deeper understanding on the topic, let’s examine its core elements.

1. Definition of Project Management

In project management, a project is often distinguished from ongoing operational activities by its temporary nature. While operations are ongoing and repetitive, projects have a clear beginning and end, and they are undertaken to deliver a unique product, service, or result.

Definition of Project Management: A project is characterized by its defined start and end dates as well as specific objectives to be achieved within a predetermined timeframe. It involves orchestrating resources and activities to achieve predetermined objectives within the constraints of time, budget, scope, and quality.

3 Project managers working out the project strategy

2. The Role of the Project Manager

At the heart of every successful project is a skilled and dedicated project manager. Acting as the driving force behind the project, project managers play a multifaceted role, balancing leadership, communication, problem-solving, and technical expertise.

They are responsible for defining project objectives, creating project plans, coordinating resources, managing risks, and ensuring the timely delivery of project deliverables. Moreover, project managers serve as the primary point of contact for stakeholders, providing updates, addressing concerns, and facilitating collaboration among team members.

3. Stages of the Project Management Process

Your journey in project management begins with the process. Think of it as a roadmap comprising several stages, each offering unique challenges and opportunities. Let’s compare it with a simple and familiar everyday process for many of us, like making coffee. A project as a whole mirrors quite closely the steps taken in brewing the perfect cup of coffee—from selecting your beans (initiation) to enjoying your first sip (closure).

Stages of the project management process - kanban board

The project management process involves planning, execution, and a critical monitoring and controlling phase, each requiring specific knowledge and skills to navigate effectively.

Key Insights – Stages of the Project Management Process:

  1. Initiation: Defining project objectives and determining the scope and feasibility of the project.
  2. Planning: Developing a detailed plan outlining tasks, timelines, resources, and milestones.
  3. Execution: Implementing the plan, managing resources, and completing tasks according to the project schedule.
  4. Monitoring and Control: Tracking project progress, assessing performance, and making adjustments to ensure objectives are met.
  5. Quality Assurance: Ensuring that project deliverables meet specified quality standards and customer requirements.
  6. Closure: Formally completing the project, delivering the final product or service, and reflecting on lessons learned for future projects.

4. Types of Project Management Methodologies

Staying in the analogy of coffee making, project managers act as the baristas of your project. They orchestrate the whole workflow, plan the next steps, and also guide the team to achieve the desired outcomes. In essence, they are responsible for defining the project goals, establishing the scope, and applying suitable project management methodologies.

Gantt chart - Types of the project management

Various forms of different methodologies have emerged over the years. Here is a short overview of some of the most relevant and well-known.

Key Insights – Project Management Methodologies:

  1. Waterfall: A linear approach where tasks flow sequentially from initiation to closure, with each phase completed before moving on to the next.
  2. Agile: An iterative and incremental approach focusing on flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement, with frequent feedback loops.
  3. Scrum: A subset of Agile, emphasizing short, time-boxed iterations called sprints, with regular team meetings and frequent product demonstrations.
  4. Kanban: Visual management method emphasizing workflow visualization, limiting work in progress, and continuous delivery.
  5. Lean: Focuses on minimizing waste, optimizing processes, and delivering value to customers efficiently.
  6. PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments): A structured project management methodology with defined processes, roles, and responsibilities, widely used in the UK government and private sectors.
  7. Six Sigma: A data-driven methodology aiming to improve process quality and efficiency by identifying and reducing defects or variations.
  8. Critical Path Method (CPM): Technique for scheduling and managing complex projects by identifying the longest sequence of dependent tasks.

5. Project Management Tools and Techniques

In addition to methodologies, project management relies on a variety of tools and techniques to streamline processes and enhance efficiency.

These tools range from simple spreadsheets and Gantt charts to sophisticated project management software like Microsoft Project or Trello. Utilizing these tools enables project managers to track progress, allocate resources, manage budgets, and communicate effectively with team members and stakeholders.

Techniques on the other hand, such as risk management, stakeholder analysis, and earned value management further enhance project outcomes by identifying potential challenges, engaging stakeholders, and measuring project performance against predetermined metrics.

project management methodology and definition


Understanding the temporary nature of projects and the pivotal role of project managers is crucial. Through planning, execution, and monitoring, projects unfold like a carefully brewed cup of coffee, with each stage presenting its own challenges and opportunities.

With defined objectives and skilled leadership, project managers steer teams towards success within set constraints. Just as every project has a unique roadmap, project managers utilize various methodologies, tools, and techniques to tailor their approach for optimal results.

Embracing these principles and leveraging available resources fosters efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction. For further insights into agile methodologies like Scrum, or how to differentiate objectives from goals, visit one of our other articles on project management.

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