Understanding the Project Journey - Skills for Practical Project Managers

Idea to Achievement: The Journey of A Project


Project management can often seem like a mystical art. Complex reporting, planning tools, and a myriad of methodologies appear daunting and can put you off undertaking any major project.

Helpful Tip

It helps to remember that every project is a journey, and like any journey, you can equip yourself with everything you need for the trip.

Here, we’ll take a look at the stages along a project adventure, and give you tips and guidance on how to prepare for your next trip.

In This Article:


From Spark to Achievement


How do you get from the spark of an idea to the achievement of your goals?

Question

This year’s Pulse of the Profession® report, compiled by the Project Management Institute, Inc (PMI)® has many excellent findings. One of the themes that really caught our attention is how project managers turn ideas into reality.

Project managers really are the bridge between an idea and the achievement of a goal.

For those of us who are new to project management, or simply scrambling to run projects with no formal background or training, getting from a great idea to a great achievement can feel like an impossible challenge. Also, how can we do it efficiently, staying within budget and on-time?

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We can do it by using skilful project management.


Run your projects like a journey. You’ll get where you need to go, learn a lot in the process, and maybe even have some fun along the way.

Stages of the Journey


Depending on the structure of your business or project, the details of your project journey may vary. The following stages are common in nearly every undertaking.


1. Idea
1. Idea

Define a goal or goals for your project.
2. Decision
2. Decision

Present a business case and gain support from key stakeholders. Initiate the project.
3. Planning
3. Planning

Scope out the project work and choose your team.
4. Action
4. Action

Get started! Your project kicks into action.
5. Troubleshooting
5. Troubleshooting

Address and solve any issues that crop up along the way.
6. Manage
6. Manage

Stay engaged with the project team and stakeholders. Continually review progress and adjust for any new developments.
7. Achievement
7. Achievement

Reach your destination! Achieve your goal! However you word it, this is a success point.
8. Reflection
8. Reflection

Take time to review how your project went. Learn from both successes and failures, and bring this knowledge into your next endeavour.
Pack for the Journey

Pack for the Journey

Once you have decided to go for it, you need to decide how you’ll undertake your adventure.

How will you travel? Which methodology is best for tackling this project?

What do you need to pack? This relates to the resources you’ll need and the tools you’ll use to execute the project.

What are the Key Skills?

Key Skills:


  • Understanding project management methodologies

  • Confidence and understanding of your chosen method

Travelling Companions


Your project team are key to a productive and pleasant project journey.

Take time in the early planning stages to think about the skills you’ll need, and who will work best together.

What are the Key Skills?

Key Skills:


  • Identifying team strengths and weaknesses

  • Understanding who works best together
Happy Travels

Happy Travels

Once you’ve planned your project and gotten your team in place, it’s time to set off.

Throughout the project, it’s crucial to remain engaged – both with your team and your stakeholders. Communicate regularly, review progress, address changes, and adjust capacity and timeframes as needed.

What are the Key Skills?

Key Skills:


  • Communication

  • Stakeholder management

  • Project monitoring and controlling

Adventures Along the Way


Even the most prepared travellers will encounter cancelled flights.

Part of being an effective project manager is understanding how to insure yourself against total catastrophe, and handle any unavoidable bumps in the road with ease.

What are the Key Skills?

Key Skills:


  • Risk Management

  • Controlling Changes

  • Project Team Management

Arrive at Your Destination!


You did it! You reached your goal!

You and your team can take time to savour a job well done.

Learn from the Journey

Learn from the Journey

No project is uneventful. You’ll stumble across inspiration, find new ways to do things, and come up against obstacles.

It’s tempting to move straight to a new project once you have achieved your aim. However, taking time to close a project and reflect on all you learned is invaluable. You will equip yourself and your team with new wisdom and ability to do even better in your next venture.

What are the Key Skills?

Key Skills:


  • Closing a project

  • Team performance management
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Gaining Key Skills


You can gain all of the key skills mentioned above through a combination of training and continuous self-evaluation.

Training doesn’t have to take a huge chunk of time (our longest project management course is 5 days), and self-evaluation can happen as you work actively on projects.

Handy Tip

Ready to Travel? Let's Go...


Here are some excellent options for project management training and certification.

Certified Project Management Course

Certified Project Management

Gain practical project management skills in 4 days with our QQI Certified Course.

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Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner Course

PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner

Achieve the respected PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner certifications. This is a 5-day course.

Read More
Project Management Professional PMP Exam Prep Course

PMP® Exam Prep

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential is designed for experienced project managers.

Read More
Agile Certified Course

Agile Certified Course (SAMCTM)

Learn about an agile approach to project management and gain international certification.

Read More
Scrum Master Certified Course

Scrum Master Certified (SMCTM)

Become a confident, internationally certified Scrum Master with our 2-day workshop.

Read More


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