The best Gantt diagram on the market: TwProject

If you are looking for the best Gantt chart out there, we strongly suggest you to take a closer look at at this article.

Many of our clients, in fact, after exhausting efforts, have chosen Twproject specifically because of the simplicity, user-friendliness, and versatility of its Gantt Chart.

Project management, as you know, involves continuously managing a number of activities, people, timelines, costs, etc., so in all of this a Gantt chart can be a valuable aid to ensure that you don’t miss a deadline and suffer serious consequences. However, this tool is not always easy to use or provides straightforward charts.

But what is it exactly? And what are the parameters for finding the best Gantt diagram available on the market? Let’s check it out in this article.

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar graph showing the schedule of a project and the various activities between the start and end date.

Each bar in the chart represents a task, while the dates are arranged horizontally at the top of the chart.

Modern Gantt charts can also show dependencies between tasks, that is, how each task connects to the others.

This chart allows you to clearly provide deadlines, milestones and progress of the project.

Although no two Gantt charts are the same, here are its key components:

  • Date/Time: The date and duration of each activity is often displayed in days/weeks/months, but can also be represented in minutes/hours, depending on the project and sector. The length of each rectangle identifies the duration of an activity.
  • Activities: all those tasks that are part of the project and live in various stages of completion. Activities can be stand-alone, as well as connected to others.
  • Milestones: Milestones or milestones are critical tasks for the completion and success of a project. At the conclusion of each block on a Gantt chart, milestones are represented by different shapes or icons.
  • Task manager: this may be several people or an entire team depending on the task.
  • Task ID: The task ID is included in the Gantt chart to help everyone involved readily identify the specific task. This ID number is unique to each task, much like a task ID card.

best gantt diagram

What are the advantages of a Gantt chart?

A Gantt diagram makes it possible to significantly streamline the process of planning a project.

Since it is an easy scheme to create, use and maintain, it proves to be a valuable aid for project managers.

Here are some advantages of a Gantt chart:

1. Project status overview

The greatest advantage of using Gantt charts is the ability to see everything about the project in one place.

It functions as an excellent visualization and prioritization tool. In fact, the Gantt provides the overview of the overall project, informing the involved members about the end result, order, duration of tasks, start and end dates, dependencies and progress.

You might also be interested in this article on the calculation of project progress.

2. Team communication improvement

Communication is an integral part of a project and can have the power to make or break it.

The lack of communication is in fact one of the main reasons for the failure of many projects.

Gantt charts are known for providing crystal-clear communication and allowing project managers to provide input on certain activities and pass along relevant information.

3. See overlapping activities and dependencies

Sometimes, a particular task cannot be started unless the previous task is completed.

Such dependencies can make things difficult to manage especially in the case of complex projects that have too many activities whose connections are not so obvious.

Using a Gantt chart, it is easy to see which tasks depend on each other and plan accordingly.

4. Increased remote work efficiency>

Remote work is becoming increasingly popular at the European level. This mode of work is one of the trends expected to dominate the project management world in the coming years.

However, working with a remote team it has its challenges and there are many more difficulties in coordinating and keeping up-to-date employees in different parts of the world.

A Gantt chart therefore makes it easier to “stay on the same page” while working together. It allows, in fact, a real-time view of what has already been done, what is in progress, and what is to come regardless of country and time zone.

5. Increased flexibility

Change is a crucial part of project management.

Even with a project plan that appears to be foolproof you still have to be prepared to have to make ongoing changes.

A tool like the Gantt chart allows you to quickly enter and see any changes and see how they affect subsequent activities.

TWproject: why it is the best gantt diagram on the market

Let’s jump back in and see now why, in the end, so many PMs choose Twproject and its Gantt for their project management.

There are plenty of project management tools that offer the ability to create simple and complex Gantt charts.

However, Twproject offers dynamic features that will make the work easier, including:

  • Real-time resource allocation: TWproject includes a dedicated page to monitor and modify resource allocation in real time. You will be able to easily identify an over- or under-allocation and likewise easily change it.
  • Flexible work schedule management: this tool allows you to set the working hours and absences of each team member, so you always have an up-to-date capacity.
  • Project status oversight: TWproject features dedicated dashboards that allow you to view projects statuses in real time and get notifications related to critical events. Furthermore, a dedicated statistics page will show the health status of each project and task.
  • Sharing and communication: TWproject knows how important communication is in project management. That is why this tool allows easy sharing of ideas, notes, documents, images and links.

TWproject, in essence, is a project management tool designed to make project management as simple as possible. Its flagship Gantt!

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

Project management plan: how to make it

A poor quality project management plan is one of the main reasons for project failure.

Often it means that the project scope was not fully grasped and, as a result, the program and budget were unrealistic.

It is widely proven that planning is a critical success factor in project management.

So, in this article, we will take a look at how to make a project management plan.

Creating a project management plan in 9 steps

A project management plan is a document that outlines the process to be followed to achieve project goals.

A project plan aims to outline which steps and resources are needed to complete a project within schedule and budget.

Here are the 9 steps for developing a project plan that yields quality results:

Project management plan: Gather requirements from key stakeholders

Having created a project map and established key project stakeholders, it is now necessary to collect requirements.

To generate outputs, you need inputs.

After obtaining this information, you can define your project’s scope and determine exactly what results your stakeholders expect.

Strong communication skills are crucial at this stage of the planning process.

Without effective communication, you may miss important details that could be detrimental to the overall success of your project.

Project management plan: Define your project scope

The key questions to ask are “what does the project team have to produce or deliver?” and “what problems are the stakeholders trying to solve?”

Then provide a comprehensive description of your project and the final product results through a project scope statement.”

Project management plan: Create a work breakdown structure

In this step, the project scope is split into smaller, more manageable deliverables and clusters of related activities, also known as ‘work packages’.

Here the question “what activities need to be carried out to create project deliverables?” can help split work.

This will help allocate the right resources to the project’s different parts according to the skills needed.

The work breakdown structure supports planning and coordination, two critical aspects of project management.

Project management plan: Project activity sequence

Almost everything happens sequentially, but the key is to do as many things as possible simultaneously, provided you have the resources to do so.

Particularly in the most dynamic and hyper-competitive industries, the capability to reduce cycle times is a competitive advantage.

create a project management plan

Project management plan: Estimate activity duration, costs, and resources

Cost, duration, and resources required to complete the project activities depend on your project scope.

Getting a correct estimate is essential, as it helps determine whether the plan is feasible, set expectations, and keep costs under control.

Project management plan: Allocate resources to work packages and activities according to skills and interests

Resources include labor, materials, equipment, space, and technology.

After defining the resources needed, it is crucial to determine the skill level required for each activity.

The scope and complexity level of the activities will help determine in which areas high, medium, or low-level skills are required.

Project management plan: Create contingencies

Projects rarely work as planned, so it is important to prepare backup plans.

Contingencies can be determined by analyzing historical data to identify risks that have occurred on similar projects in the past.

For example, if a vendor who provides a key project component experienced performance issues in the past, this could affect your planning.

In that case, the contingency plan could include alternative supplier selection, and cost estimation should this risk occur.

The key here is to consider internal and external factors that may impact project objectives.

Many factors beyond the organization could add risk to the project, including the consumer price index, the economy, government issues, and the actions of competitors.

Project management plan: Creating a baseline for performance metrics

Develop an integrated scope-program-cost baseline for project work, which will serve as a control tool.

You can measure and manage performance by comparing project execution with the baseline.

Performance should be measured during the entire project life cycle; this way, problems can be spotted in time and corrective action taken before it is too late.

Project management plan: Document everything and build a knowledge base

This can be a great way to learn from others’ mistakes and successes.

In organizations where this historical knowledge is not documented, it may be more challenging to organize work for future projects because there are no best practices.

It becomes clear that creating a project management plan is essential not only for the success of a project but also for ensuring that similar projects are well planned in the future.

Project management software such as TWproject facilitates creating your project plan to produce a high-quality project management plan.

This project management tool is flexible and offers a variety of tools to meet different needs.

Moreover, not only does it help in creating a project management plan, but with its user-friendly and easy-to-use interface, it allows you to monitor the progress of several projects at the same time.

Generate your project management plan with Twproject.

Project management for public works

Project management for public works is crucial, especially considering the returns in such a construction project.

Preventing costly mistakes becomes the number one priority.

From planning and design to resource management, budget allocation, and more, project management for public works aims to keep the entire process efficient and on track.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what this is all about.

What is project management for public works?

Construction project management involves leading and orchestrating every part of the project lifecycle, from conception to completion.

It is a holistic practice to deliver construction on schedule and within budget.

Public works project management is a complex discipline that requires addressing many important issues, including cost control, scheduling, procurement, and risk assessment.

Project managers interact with all team members, from architects to owners, to contractors.

The construction industry usually involves various constraints, especially regarding building works.

Therefore, perspectives in the construction industry need to be broader.

Peculiarities of public works project management

Civil engineering project management is a group of techniques and methodologies used to construct or repair roads, bridges, sewer systems, and other civil projects.

Considering the high level of complexity and a low tolerance for errors on these types of projects, the techniques used are often specific and refined project management skills.

There are three areas of interest in civil engineering project management:

  • Tenders;
  • Government requirements;
  • Documentation.

These topics can also be part of project management in other sectors, but they have unique aspects in civil engineering.

All (or nearly all) projects are completed using government funding, adding complexity as the project budget may be somewhat limited.

Besides financial limitations, political pressure and a project profile can often impact the overall project plan and support.

Tendering suppliers, construction companies, and professional staff is a complex and multi-stage process for any large project.

Since project funding is government-based, specific requirements related to the procurement process, licensing requirements, union affiliations, and more are often included in the funding agreement.

Construction project managers must take the time to review the requirements in detail.

Compliance is indeed necessary for funding to be approved and not frozen at a later date.

Government requirements are often provided as a specific section of the agreement.

This may include project milestones, specific press conferences, non-disclosure clauses, financial reporting, etc.

Also, public works projects require a greater level of documentation for two main reasons: the duration of the project and the government’s reporting requirements.

Such a project can involve extensive timelines, as the scope tends to be very broad, and the government needs all the details to justify the investment.

To do so, many project managers may hire a documentation specialist to ensure that the information is reported accurately.

How to simplify project management for public works?

As we have already seen so far, construction projects are incredibly complex and structured endeavors.

pm for public works

Whether the project consists of building a road or renovating a bridge, each project has many moving parts that must be precisely coordinated.

Just like any other project, construction project management has distinct phases: design, planning, and scheduling of the construction itself.

Each phase has many elements and is part of an even more complex overall process.

Therefore, trying to single-handedly and with simple computer tools apply all the project management practices that such a construction needs will only lead to frustration.

To streamline project management work for public works, choosing the right project management software can make all the difference.

You need to make sure that the tool you choose is “robust” and dynamic enough to support the complexity of a construction project.

A good project management solution allows you to improve forecasting, centralize information, increase efficiency, and keep costs and schedules in line.

It also reduces risks, eliminates errors, and facilitates communication.

Especially in public works project management, it, therefore, becomes essential to rely on good software.

Discover Twproject world.

Project management as Head Project Manager

Among the professionals working in the public procurement field, a particular role is covered by project management for the Head Project Manager (RUP – Responsabile Unico del Procedimento, in Italian).

But what is it all about? What are the specific tasks of this position? Let’s discuss it in this article.

Who is the Head Project Manager?

The Head Project Manager is the professional who, according to cf. Art. 31, co. 3, Legislative Decree 50/2016, is responsible for performing all tasks concerning the planning, design, assignment, and execution of contracts not assigned to other bodies or individuals.

Over the years, the legislation has conferred increasingly clear and defined tasks and responsibilities to this role:

  • The European Commission directive (EU 24/2014) on public procurement recommends the presence of a project manager;
  • In Italy, the new Public Procurement Code (Legislative Decree, No. 50 of 18/4/2016) has been published;
  • Also, in 2015, ANAC – the Autorità Nazionale Anticorruzione (National Authority for Anti-Corruption) – published the first document with guidelines regarding the role of the HPD;
  • In 2017, a new version of the Procurement Code was published;
  • Also, in 2017, ANAC issued an updated version of the Guidelines.

From this moment, the HPD becomes equivalent to a project manager in the public procurement sector.

This professional figure is extremely important for public administration operations, as it improves the management of public contracts and significant works.

Public procurement is a hot subject, where discussions and debates often arise about major works that, although considered necessary, are dropped.

All of this is due to incorrect evaluation of time and cost estimates.

This is why the Head Project Manager becomes essential to coordinate and verify successful work.

How is the Head Project Manager chosen?

Any contract confirmation is accompanied by the appointment of an HPD through a formal act of the manager.

The HPD is elected from among employees who hold a managerial position or from employees with the professional skills relevant to the assignment.

The ANAC guidelines outline different levels of the HPD and mention all the requirements, including training, qualifications, and professional experience, for each of them.

Should no person in the workforce meets these requirements, the HPD, which, as mentioned, is a mandatory figure, will be sought and selected in external individuals.

The appointment of HPD is mandatory and cannot be declined.

Head Project Manager’s duties

As previously mentioned, the Head Project Manager is a project manager in public procurement and execution of major works.

Their primary duties and areas of expertise are listed in the Procurement Code.

These include different tasks, including:

  • Formulate proposals or provide information at the planning stage of public contracts;
  • Coordinate activities to evaluate technical and economic feasibility;
  • Verification results validation;
  • Selection of award procedure, award criteria, type of contract;
  • Supervision of the fair conduct of the selection;
  • Review of administrative documents submitted in the tender;
  • Review of anomalous bids;
  • Appointment of the tender committee and, if no conflict is present, participation as chairman in said tender committee;
  • Supervision of project implementation activities, including workplace safety, schedule compliance, cost, and quality.

pm for the head project manager

How to become an Head Project Manager

Thanks to specific knowledge, skill, and expertise requirements defined by the ANAC Guidelines, it is possible to ascertain what skills and knowledge Head Project Manager must possess.

In this respect, different training courses have appeared that help professionals specialize and fulfill the role of Head Project Manager.

These training courses share many similarities with those related to project management, which is not surprising given that the figure of the HPD is that of a project manager with expertise in public procurement.

Project management provides the fundamental knowledge to manage and supervise projects.

Courses, more specifically, focus on jurisprudence, technological insights, management techniques and the analysis of real industry cases.

The training courses to become an Head Project Manager comply with Standard UNI 11648:2016 (Requirements for the Knowledge, Skills and Expertise of the Project Manager).

The teaching method is often a mix of one-on-one lectures, group or individual laboratory sessions, and the analysis of case studies and real-world examples.

On a final note, the Head Project Manager must be specifically trained and have a proven track record in activities similar to the procurement nature.

Besides being appealing because of the field’s uniqueness, this role can also be particularly interesting from an economic point of view.

The actual earnings depend on the type of contract, but the amount of money allocated to the HPD is not to be underestimated.

That of the Head Project Manager is a special and unique project management role that combines the skills of a traditional project coordinator with the great responsibility of managing large works.

Manage your projects with Twproject.

Executive summary: What it is and what it is for in project management

Executive summary, what is it? It’s a question every good project manager should be asking.

Time Magazine reports that 55% of people read content for as little as 15 seconds, which is also true in the case of project management.

Attention levels are at an all-time low, including those of potential investors and project stakeholders.

Those who aim to attract and maintain interest must create an engaging executive summary to keep people’s attention.

So, in this article, we will look at the executive summary and what it is used for in project management.

What is an executive summary?

An Executive Summary synthesizes key points from a larger document, usually a business proposal or business plan.

The good news is that it is a short text that, as the name implies, serves as a summary for a more comprehensive report.

The somewhat bad news is that it is a critical document that can be difficult to draft considering its many different important purposes.

On the one hand, an Executive Summary is used to outline each section of a business plan, investment proposal, or project proposal.

On the other hand, it is used to showcase a business or project to investors and other stakeholders, so it must be persuasive to get their interest.

The push to write an Executive Summary comes from the fact that everyone will pay attention to it because it is considered an accessible document where one can find all crucial information.

Specifically, it provides a brief statement that addresses the problem or proposal detailed in the attached documents, followed by background information, a summary analysis, and a conclusion.

An executive summary is designed to help managers and investors decide whether or not to follow through with a proposal.

How to draft an Executive Summary

What should be included in an executive summary differs based on the content it will cover.

For example, a startup plan may include a description of the product or service, financial projections, and key business metrics such as revenue growth and funding request.

So, before beginning to draft this document, it is crucial to properly consider the type of information the target audience would be interested in knowing.

draft the executive summary

Here are the key components to include when drafting an Executive Summary:

1. Eye-catching introduction

Getting the audience’s attention early on with a catchphrase is critical.

Do this by talking about them and the problem they are trying to address.

The advice here is to be concise and direct, build a good case and do so engagingly.

2. Define the issue

Clearly state the problem or objective that the proposal addresses.

This section should illustrate why it is an issue and why it needs a solution.

Doing so aims to assure stakeholders that you fully understand the situation.

3. Describe the solution and the expected outcome

Briefly explain the solution being suggested while mentioning the advantages and benefits it will bring.

These include, for example:

  • Earnings: improved sales numbers, greater cost savings, customer retention, etc.
  • Time: more time for further value-added initiatives that drive competitive advantage.
  • Authority: Improved brand awareness and leadership in the industry.
  • Efficiency: simpler and leaner processes.

4. Outline the risks

To present a proposal, it is crucial to consider every detail, including potential risks.

Here the potential challenges are listed, and it is shown how you plan to prevent or overcome them.

This small detail will make the project appear safer to approve.

5. Provide factual evidence

Everything included in an Executive Summary must be supported by verified and substantiated data.

More often than not, you will not have enough room in this document to provide every piece of evidence needed.

Yet, in those cases, it is good practice to state which section of the business plan you can refer to verify the claims.

You should never lie in this step; every data and number should be accurate and well documented.

Notably, in this case, good project management software can help track and recover key project-related metrics more easily.

6. End with a call to action

The goal of an Executive Summary is to “sell” more than describe.

By selling, we mean the direct sale of products and services and the sale of a new idea or project to be launched.

In this section, you need to explain why stakeholders should agree with what is presented.

7. Check the details

Once you have drafted the Executive Summary, before sending it to stakeholders, it is important to check the following:

  • Length: an Executive Summary should be concise, usually just one or a couple of pages long. If the reader has questions, they can refer to the details in the full report. As a rule of thumb, the Executive Summary length should be between 5 and 10 percent of the official document.
  • Jargon: avoid slang and use terminology that the target audience can easily understand. Writing for medical experts will be very different from writing for people in finance.
  • Avoiding ambiguity: although the Executive Summary is brief, it must be such that it can explain the various key elements very clearly. Some concepts may be difficult to synthesize in only two or three sentences. If you feel that a statement may generate more doubt than answers, it is better not to include it.
  • Content: Discuss the main points in the same order as they appear in the full document. Refrain from adding information that is not included in the report.
  • Format: Check if there are guidelines regarding formatting to be adhered to. Should this not be the case, the Executive Summary can be structured loosely yet in a user-friendly manner. Pictures or infographics can also be included if necessary to improve understandability.

Last, a well-written Executive Summary allows you to highlight a proposal’s highlights and entice the target audience to take action.

Keep up with the times.

How to measure project performance

Measuring project performance is an expectation that any business effort comes with.

Only in this way can it be determined whether goals have been achieved.

This article will examine why measuring project performance is important and how to do it.

Why is it important to measure project performance?

Different reasons show the importance of measuring project performance. Here are some of them:

Celebrate successes

Meeting goals allows for rewarding project team members committed to their work.

By measuring the level of success achieved, you can gauge the project’s contribution to the organization.

By having objective numbers, employees will be able to understand the impact they have had and thus feel more confident in their skills.

Find areas where improvement can be made

Measuring performance in project management can help build a more strategic approach to projects.

Measurement may reveal deviations from expected results, which allows you to find areas where improvement can be achieved before the next assignment.

Measuring project performance is therefore critical for business growth.

Make organizational decisions

Management may rely on project performance to determine other business decisions.

This performance can, for example, impact recruitment and hiring decisions, funding, and current employee planning.

Metrics for measuring project performance

Every business or project requires performance metrics that match its purpose or goal.

measure project performance

To choose the right metrics, these three steps should be followed as early as during the planning phase of a project:

  1. Understanding the goal and scope of the project;
  2. Determining what crucial success factors must be met to succeed and achieve the goal;
  3. Take every key success factor and determine how it will be measured.

Here are some KPI indicators that are often used:

Cost calculation

Cost measures the performance of a project from a financial standpoint.

In this case, you compare the original budget created before beginning work with the funds expended during project execution.

If these figures are similar, you can assume that you accurately estimated the required monetary resources.

If the actual expenditure is within your budget, the project is a true success. If, on the other hand, your costs were higher than expected, you need to learn the reasons why.

This evaluation type does not occur only at the end of a project but must be regularly implemented throughout its lifecycle.

This way, strategies can be implemented to reduce potential overspending before escalating.

Meeting deadlines

If a project’s deadlines have been met, project managers and project teams have worked fruitfully.

Delivering a quality project timely is a mark of success.

Establishing milestones before work begins makes it possible to get a clear deadline schedule.

This will make it easy to determine whether or not deadlines have been met.

Return on investment

Return on investment, aka ROI, tells the company’s ability to achieve financial profit from the project.

If results are profitable, then the company will earn more.

It can be beneficial to calculate the ROI of the performance of multiple projects to determine which strategy was the most profitable investment decision for the company.

To use this metric, you should assign a monetary amount to each data unit to determine the net benefits.

These benefits can include a contribution to profit, cost savings, increased production, etc.

Costs can include resources, labor, training, and general expenses.

This is the formula:

ROI = (benefits/net costs) x 100

Earned Value

Earned Value provides strategic direction by showing how much value the company has gained from what it has spent up to a given point in time on a project.

This metric compares the value of work completed within a particular date to the approved budget for the project.

Earned Value is also called Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP).

This is the formula:

Earned Value (EV) = % of work completed / budget upon completion

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA)

This metric is pretty straightforward: the higher the margin, the better the business performance.

Any project completed should contribute to the financial profit of a business.

In this case, the margin is the percentage of each euro earned after costs have been deducted.

The formula is as follows:

EBITDA = (total profit – total costs) / 100

Customer satisfaction

In some kinds of projects, the customer satisfaction level determines whether or not the work was successful.

Higher customer satisfaction is often a sign that their needs have been met effectively and that the product delivered is of quality.

Some strategies that are often used to measure this type of performance are, for example, monitoring social media interactions or administering surveys asking questions about product usefulness and brand awareness.

The Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) is the most popular system to gauge customer satisfaction, followed by the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

All in all, the best way to measure project performance is to set goals beforehand, establish measurements based on expected results, and track performance regularly so that you will have enough time to take action on project progress if necessary.

When a goal is not met, adjustments need to be made.

When a goal is passed, processes can be repeated in the future.

It is almost redundant to mention how a Project Management Software like Twproject can make it very easy to measure each performance.

New targets, a new way of working.

Cost estimating in project management

A solid cost estimate in project management is paramount to the success of a project.

A poorly conceived budget leads to misallocation of resources, unrealistic expectations, and, eventually, failure.

Also, the very nature of a project carries risks, which lead to unexpected costs and management issues.

So it is easy to understand that cost estimation in project management is easier said than done.

Let’s get to the bottom of the subject in this article.

What is cost estimation in project management?

In project management, cost estimation forecasts the financial resources needed to complete a project within a given scope.

Early estimates are often used in the first planning phase and can determine whether or not a project will move forward.

After a project has been approved, a more detailed cost estimate becomes essential for budgeting to allocate various resources over the lifecycle appropriately.

A complete cost estimate should include both direct and indirect costs.

Getting a budget that minimizes costs while maximizing project quality and scope can be challenging.

This is why having a proper cost estimate is critical.

4 project cost estimation techniques

costs estimating in projects

The exact way project managers do a cost estimate depends on different factors.

Some businesses, for example, require that all projects be budgeted based on specific policies, while others may rely on the project manager’s experience.

Here are four of the most common cost estimating techniques in project management:

1. Analogous estimating

Through an analogous estimating technique, a project manager estimates the expected project costs based on the known costs associated with a similar project that has already been completed in the past.

This estimating method involves a mix of historical data and expert opinions from professionals working on the project.

As no two projects are identical, analogous estimating has some limitations.

This technique is often used in the early stages of project planning, when a rough estimate may be enough.

Alternatively, analogous estimating can be used when there is not enough detailed information about the current project.

2. Parametric estimating

The parametric estimating technique uses historical data and statistical modeling to attribute a monetary value to specific project resources.

It is a significantly more accurate method than the analogous estimation seen above, but it requires more early data to estimate costs accurately.

This technique is often used in the construction and building industry.

One example might be: an experienced construction manager may know that, on average, the square meter of a new building costs a given amount.

Having this average cost known, as well as the error margin and square footage of the new project, parametric estimating will help identify a relatively certain budget.

Please note, however, that in this case, the data source must be accurate; otherwise, the entire estimation would be incorrect.

3. Bottom-up estimating

In bottom-up estimating, a larger project is split into several smaller pieces of work.

Then, the project manager estimates costs for each of these smaller work packages individually.

For example, if a project involves work that will be divided among multiple departments within an organization, then costs might be split by department.

Once all costs have been estimated, they are counted and summed into a single larger cost estimate for the project as a whole.

Since bottom-up estimating allows a project manager to examine each activity within a project in more detail, this technique generally provides for a very accurate estimating process.

4. Three-points estimating

In the three-points estimating, based on the experiences of similar past projects, three separate estimates are defined for those costs associated with a project:

  • An “optimistic” estimate (a), where work is ideally carried out by spending funds as efficiently as possible;
  • A “pessimistic” estimate (b), which is the worst scenario, where funds are spent, and work is done in the absolute least efficient way;
  • The “most likely” scenario (m), which generally lies somewhere in the middle and is the most realistic estimate.

From these three numbers, through exact formulas, the weighted average and standard deviation are calculated:

E = (a + 4m + b) / 6

DS = (b – a) / 6

Standard deviation is used to estimate probability.

This technique, when employed correctly, provides a very accurate estimate and, thus, successful cost planning.

To wrap things up, it is evident that cost estimation in project management is an important matter.

Not only is budgeting considered when deciding whether or not a project should be undertaken, but it must also be regularly monitored so that work can be successful.

When estimating and monitoring project costs, it is crucial to use good tools to calculate a more accurate project budget.

TWProject allows you to keep track of a project’s costs through its multiple features, providing essential support to a project manager’s work.

Measure costs and benefits of a project with Twproject.

Tangible benefits: What are they? Do you know them all?

In project management, we constantly ask what allows us to create value for stakeholders, which involves considering tangible benefits.

Not all financial benefits are the same, so it is crucial to know how many and what all expected benefits are.

In this article we will explain what tangible benefits are, what benefits they bring to a project, and how to measure them.

What are tangible benefits?

Tangible benefits are all those benefits that are quantifiable and measurable.

Simply put, they are project benefits that can be assigned a monetary value, the number of labor hours, or other specific metrics.

Therefore, the defining factor is whether a benefit includes measurable objective evidence.

These are different from intangible benefits, or intangible benefits, which cannot be quantified financially.

Here are some practical examples of tangible benefits of a project:

  • Increased turnover;
  • Savings in resource costs;
  • Savings in hardware costs;
  • Increased productivity;
  • Improved quality,
  • Reduced production costs,
  • Reduced error rate,
  • An improved customer service,
  • Increased customer retention rate.

Tangible benefits management process

The project benefits management process consists of four different parts. Here are what they are:

Tangible benefits definition

The project must identify clearly what tangible benefits will be delivered and how they will be quantified.

It is important to remember that most of the time, these benefits will only become evident once the output has been delivered.

Benefit organization

When it comes to benefits, it is crucial to identify the following elements:

  • What to measure,
  • What to expect,
  • When and how benefits will be evaluated,
  • What is the minimum threshold for declaring success,
  • What will be the impact on the project if the measured benefits do not match the expected benefits.

Tangible benefits implementation and monitoring

Once the project begins, it is important to measure, record, and report what the actual results are compared to the expected results.

This should be done throughout the entire project lifecycle and not just at the end of the work.

Regular reporting will give a clear indication of whether a project is still on track or not.

Benefit evaluation

Monitoring benefit metrics and comparing them to expected benefits will indicate a project’s performance.

Having actual data and comparing it to a predetermined threshold will help the organization maximize a project’s potential.

How to evaluate tangible benefits

tangible benefits of a project

Tangible benefits evaluation aims to establish whether an organization is achieving its declared goals.

This perspective focuses on calculations that seek to take subjectivity out of the results.

The information obtained from this evaluation is crucial in helping to achieve long-term goals.

Here is how three types of assessment are performed:

  1. Performance indicators

Tangible benefit evaluations use key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks to make objective measurements.

The KPIs chosen to evaluate a tangible benefit are related directly to a specific benchmark measurement.

For example, employee productivity and customer satisfaction may be tangible benefits in a retail business.

KPIs related to employee productivity might include the average time to complete a task and the number of times the checkout process falls within a set interval.

Customer satisfaction KPIs might include the number of customer complaints in a particular period and customer service ratings.

  1. Cost-benefit analysis

A cost-benefit analysis is most useful when evaluating a tangible cost-benefit.

An example would be to determine whether an estimated increase in revenue from a suggested program is greater than the program’s cost.

An evaluation begins by identifying existing or potential tangible benefits and calculating or estimating the financial cost of achieving these benefits.

Each benefit is then measured relative to a benchmark.

Generally, the cost of achieving a tangible benefit should be less than 50 percent of its actual or estimated financial benefits, and the amortization period should not exceed 12 months.

  1. Opportunity cost analysis

An opportunity cost analysis broadens the concept of benefit-cost analysis to include a diverse range of options.

For example, creating a company website can increase customer satisfaction and boost sales revenues.

Yet, several other options are available to achieve these same goals, each of which comes at different costs.

Although building a website in-house, rather than outsourcing the project, can reduce initial costs, it can jeopardize customer satisfaction and revenue if the company does not have sufficient skills to build a fully functioning site right away.

In this case, whichever option improves tangible benefits is often preferred.

The bottom line is that tangible benefits are a key element in a project.

Without palpable benefits, it is improbable that stakeholders will agree to start work.

Therefore, it is essential to know how to distinguish all the tangible benefits a project can bring to an organization and how to measure them objectively.

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What are the intangible benefits of a project?

When we refer to intangible benefits, it does not mean that these are not real.

The peculiarity is that, unlike the tangible benefits of a project that are easily measurable, intangible benefits are not.

Since an intangible benefit is somewhat subjective, the range and scope will vary from one organization and individual to another.

Therefore, in this article, we will look at the intangible benefits of a project.

What is an intangible benefit?

An intangible or immaterial benefit is a subjective type of benefit that cannot be touched effectively and is challenging to quantify in monetary terms.

Intangible assets are important to consider because they constitute a significant part of a company’s value.

According to economists, more than 25 percent of a company’s value is now based on intangible assets, such as brand image and market share.

Unfortunately, some vital business projects often go unfunded because intangible benefits are not considered.

These misguided investments can be detrimental to critical strategic goals, such as improving market share and enhancing competitive advantage.

What are the intangible benefits?

As previously mentioned, intangible benefits can vary depending on the company and the project.

Virtually, anyone can benefit from one or more intangible benefits.

The most challenging thing, however, is understanding what intangible assets a company might already offer.

More specifically, intangible benefits are those assets whose foundation is built on knowledge and information.

These can be classified into four macro-groups:

  1. Human Resources – company employees’ knowledge, skills, and experience. This refers not only to operational aspects but also to relationships, contacts, and individual qualities;
  2. Organizational resources – the set of activities and assets that serve to achieve goals. Examples include corporate culture with its norms and processes, information and communication systems, patents or copyrights;
  3. Relational resources – processes and information that connect to the market and allow a company to execute its work in its industry effectively. More specifically, partnerships, collaborations, alliances, and relationships with investors or lending institutions are partnerships. Brand and corporate reputation belong to this same group;
  4. Specific technological skills – which are defined as those skills that relate to the use of technology, innovation, and research and development of new solutions.

Why is it important to consider intangible benefits in a project?

The answer to this question is quite simple: businesses that include intangible benefits in their projects will be able to generate a decisive competitive advantage.

Therefore, their margin will be higher compared to their competitors.

As a matter of fact, in today’s dynamic market, the process of imitation between products and companies is one of the most common risk factors.

Businesses’ investments often focus on processes and tools intended to improve performance in performing similar activities to those competitors perform.

As they do so, they forget to focus on their strategic positioning, brand, and individuality.

intangible benefits of a project

Never lose sight of the intangible benefits

A business can make unique decisions and take more individual actions by considering intangible benefits.

Indeed, what makes a product or service valuable is not based so much on its physical components, but the expressible intellectual content makes the difference.

Yet because of their intangible nature, intangible benefits can be overlooked or undervalued.

When a company prefers a short-term view with quick results, intangible resources inevitably slip into oblivion.

These require a medium-term period to yield their value.

Measuring intangible assets is a complex and still relatively unexplored subject.

Within corporate financial statements or management reports, we rarely find specifications on, for example, supplier relationship quality or employee learning curve.

We live, however, in an era in which it has become paramount to consider these kinds of intangible benefits as well.

These are resources that ultimately create value, thus enabling tangible benefits to be generated.

How do intangible benefits are measured?

By this point in the article, it should be evident that measuring intangible benefits is not easy work.

Before outlining some techniques that are used, it is important to stress that for estimating individual intangibles, it would be necessary to isolate flows from them by eliminating those potentially related to other activities.

Here are three possible strategies for estimating intangible benefits:

  • Cost criteria: this method considers two criteria – historical and production cost. The former is the price paid by the company to develop the individual resource, while the latter estimates the cost of reproducing the intangible resource being evaluated.
  • Comparable transaction method: Is based on acknowledging to the intangible value corresponding to the price applied to a similar asset in transactions.
  • Profit method: this refers to the actualization of cash flows that are related to the intangible asset. It is, however, an ineffective technique in most cases.

On a final note, it is clear that intangible benefits play a key role in businesses.

In today’s dynamic and volatile market, investment analyses based solely on tangibles are no longer sufficient.

It is becoming increasingly clear how intangible assets are major drivers of product and service value and a source of competitive advantage.

Evaluating intangibles is, therefore, a widely debated issue and will continue to be so.

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Project management techniques, project planning and project controlling

The project management universe is broad, yet project management techniques, planning, and control are the common thread that links this discipline together.

These strategies help make work easier and more effective and can be implemented on any project, no matter the field or industry.

There are many project management techniques to choose from; so, let’s see what are the best known and most effective in this article.

Why are project management techniques important?

When starting a project, there are so many unknown variables that it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

This is where having a set of project managementprocesses and techniques helps.

This allows you to keep all the moving parts of a project organized within a coherent set of activities, without leaving anything to chance.

Still, by no means all project management techniques are executed in the same way.

Based on the type of project, as well as the team and corporate culture, you can choose a strategy that best suits your needs.

Also, within the same organization, different techniques might be preferred for different projects.

The rule of thumb is: the technique should fit a project, not the other way around.

6 project management techniques, project planning and project controlling

1. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

When you first visualize a project, whatever its size, you may feel overwhelmed.

Among the most common reasons why projects take longer, cost more, and ultimately fail is because the work lacks proper structure.

Therefore, project managers need to structure the work into smaller, and more manageable tasks – a process that is often called Work Breakdown Structure.

A WBS turns large project tasks into manageable blocks of activities by levels and dependencies.

This allows the project team to easily understand and complete their work.

To adopt this technique, you first start with the end result of the project and work backward to delineate the whole sequence of activities that the team must complete to get to the finish line.

2. Gantt Charts

Gantt charts are a great project management technique for both newbies and professionals.

They are a graphic representation of all the activities that a team needs to complete to complete a project.

By using a Gantt chart, you can visualize dependencies of activities, the time required for the work, and how the length of each activity will affect start dates and deadlines.

3. Critical Path Method (CPM)

project management techniques

The Critical Path Method is one of the project management techniques used to painstakingly plan all project activities.

In this case, the so-called “critical path,” that is, the shortest path to project completion, is calculated and activities are planned accordingly.

CPM involves the creation of a project model that includes a list of all activities or a WBS, the completion time for each, potential dependencies, milestones and deliverables.

Having this information, the longest completion path can be calculated in accordance with the planned activities.

By following this method, you can identify which activities are critical to your project and which ones are movable and can be pushed back without extending the schedule.

This technique is most suitable for complex projects involving many task dependencies.

4. Waterfall

The Waterfall methodology is one of the oldest project management techniques.

By using this strategy, activities will flow in a linear manner through 5 stages:

  • Requirements collection – where you get all the necessary documentation;
  • Planning, creating a list of activities;
  • Implementation – tasks are completed;
  • Verification, where final results are reviewed;
  • Maintenance, where output is adjusted where necessary.

The Waterfall methodology works excellently in projects that have distinct phases and require only a few iterations.

5. Kanban

Kanban is one of the most straightforward project management techniques to use.

Its philosophy lies in the creation of three columns:

  • To Do
  • Ongoing
  • Completed

So, you simply move tasks from one column to another.

Kanban is particularly effective for simpler projects or project teams prone to multitasking.

6. Scrum

The Scrum technique is one of the most popular Agile methodologies in project management.

Here you would work with the so-called “sprints,” in which you focus on a specific feature or end result. These sprints usually last no more than two weeks.

At the end of each sprint, you should hold a review meeting with your whole team, provide suggestions for improving the next sprint, and then continue with your work.

Ultimately, the Scrum method allows each project to be completed with maximum efficiency.

Also, this technique often allows projects to be completed sooner than other traditional techniques, which is convenient for companies that need to focus on speed-to-market.

The Scrum methodology is best suited for software development project teams and, generally, for complex projects that require multiple iterations throughout their lifecycle.

Each of these project management, project planning, and project controlling techniques discussed in this article comes with its own pros and cons.

Depending on the type and size of the project, a project manager will choose which strategy works best.

Regardless of which technique is adopted, good project management software can assist in managing and achieving results in a faster and easier fashion.

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Project management app

A quality project management app makes planning, executing, and monitoring project progress a piece of cake.

By using the right software, you can create a transparent record so that everyone knows who is doing what and when and at what point in the project you are.

Let’s take a look at what a project management app is and how to choose the right one in this article.

What is a project management app?

A project management tool is software that helps teams to plan, manage and optimize resources throughout the organization.

These tools differ in features, although most have a few things in common, including:

  • Activity tracking and assignment: most, if not all, project management tools feature the option to assign and track tasks throughout their lifecycle.
  • Collaboration: all project management tools include collaboration features, such as chats and comments.
  • Document sharing: to successfully complete projects and activities, you need to be able to share and work together on materials and resources.

How to choose a project management app

With so many tools on the market, finding the best project management tool can be challenging.

More often than not, team leaders purchase project management software only to find out after a few months that they have made the wrong choice.

It is important to remember when comparing tools that a tool efficace should meet two main requirements.

First, it should come with all the functionality a project manager needs; second, it should be something the entire team is willing to use.

Meeting both of these requirements is easier said than done, so here are 9 key steps to choosing the right project management app.

How to choose your project management app

1. Determine your needs

The first step for finding a project management app is to determine your current issues in the way your team works.

It is critical to note these weaknesses in a list that you can refer to later. Potential problems include:

  • Lack of communication between departments
  • Unorganized projects and missed deadlines
  • Inability to understand customer feedback
  • Inconsistent load and workflow among team members
  • Too many time-wasting meetings

This list should be used as a starting point for defining what functionality you would like in a project management tool.

If a tool does not provide a solution to these problems or only partially solves them, you should move on to a different option.

2. Find the best project management tools

After establishing your needs, it is time to see what options are available.

Here are some ways to get started:

  • Ask your colleagues what they liked to use in the past
  • Talk to other project managers in your industry
  • Take a look at the recommendations from industry websites
  • Check software reviews

3. Test your project management tool

After having found your tool, it’s time to give it a go.

Most project management software comes with a free trial, and even if they don’t, many companies will gladly offer one if requested.

In this case, it is a good idea to assemble a small group to test the app, making sure to choose people with different duties and work styles, as differing opinions are key to preventing future problems.

project management app

4. Getting feedback from your team

After completing the trial, it’s time to gather feedback by contacting everyone who took part in the test project and asking:

  • Does the software solve the problems originally determined?
  • Would the project management tool make their workflow more efficient?
  • What did they like most/least about the instrument?
  • How likely would they be to recommend this tool?
  • How long would it take to roll it out across the company?

5. Evaluate the cost of the project management tool

In the cost, you should not only consider the subscription to the app, but also the time it takes to roll out the tool in your company.

If the result is long-term savings, this is definitely a good solution.

6. Implement the project management tool

Having found and purchased the right project management software, you need to devise a plan for implementing the tool throughout your company.

Most people are resilient to change, so you need a program that will make implementation as smooth as possible.

Key elements to consider are:

  • Timeline: Set the time limit in which you want to implement the tool in your company.
  • Training: What training do the different people need? Who will provide it? How will it be provided?
  • Integration: Who will take care of their creation?

7. Completing a retrospective

Once the tool has been rolled out, it is worth taking a look at the process.

Were there areas where it would have been better to do things differently? What went wrong in the implementation process?

These questions will help in making future implementation plans smoother and less troublesome.

It is also vital to regularly check in with the project team to find out how they are using the project management app, where changes can be made, and how to implement it more successfully in the long run.

All in all, engaging and convincing a work team to use a new project management app can be challenging, yet once it is implemented and in use, it will make everyone’s lives much easier.

Featuring a range of features including flexible project views as well as analytics, project tracking and resources, TWproject is a great project management software that will assist companies from different industries in la managing projects.

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Risk analysis in project management

Risk analysis in project management becomes a very important aspect in the success of a project.

Projects capitalize on resources and opportunities, and from these stem uncertainty, challenges, and risks; in fact, the thing that a project manager wants to deal with last is risk.

Let’s define what risk analysis is in project management, why it is important, and how to execute it in this article.

What is risk analysis in project management

Risk analysis in project management is the structured monitoring of problems that can impact schedules and quality of an ongoing project.

Through risk management, you can clearly pinpoint and define risks, their chances of happening, how to deal with them if they occur, and the steps to take to prevent them.

The success of a project often depends on the quality of the risk analysis since an unexpected event could have consequences, even major ones, in different parts of the work.

While there are two types of analysis – quantitative and qualitative – using one or the other may depend on the needs of your particular project.

Quantitative risk analysis: what it is and how to do it

Quantitative risk analysis is a statistical and numerically calculated examination of the impact of a risk on the overall project.

By quantitatively measuring risks, it helps reduce uncertainty about the success of a project by promoting the development of a risk management plan.

This analysis method may require specific tools, but it is generally objective and accurate.

Here is how it is performed:

  • Interview relevant parties to collect information and shape scenarios.
  • Sensitivity analysis: assists in identifying risks and defining which may occur most and the effects on the project.
  • Expected monetary value analysis: a statistical method that measures the average outcome of probable scenarios by including the cost and gain of each path.
  • Modeling and simulation: is a tool that makes use of a model that converts uncertainties into their potential impact on project objectives.
  • Plan risk analysis: in this case, the precedence diagram method can be used to see whether the project objective will be completed within a specific date and within cost estimate.
  • Expert opinion: Getting expert advice for identifying potential costs and effects on planning, assessing possibilities, interpreting data, and identifying weaknesses and strengths can be invaluable.

Qualitative risk analysis: what it is and how to do it

Qualitative risk analysis calculates the likelihood of a risk to occur.

This helps in determining which risks to focus on based on both the chance of occurrence and the magnitude of their impact on the project.

Qualitative risk analysis typically implies organizing and categorizing risks into a matrix that illustrates the probability, outcome, and impact of each risk on the overall success of the project.

This method is faster than quantitative risk analysis, although it is more subjective.

Here is how it is accomplished:

  • Risk probability and impact evaluation: During this stage, each risk that might occur is studied and analyzed relative to its likely effects on the project objectives. Then, each risk is classified according to different levels.
  • Impact risk assessment matrix: documented results of risk probability can be described in qualitative terms, such as very high, high, neutral, low, and very low.
  • Risk rating is developed using a matrix that represents the risk scales for each risk. The matrix documents the risk likelihood scale between zero chance (rate 0.0) and certainty (rate 1.0), as well as the risk impact scale, which reflects the severity of its influence on the project objective. This matrix helps in improving data quality and makes the management process easier to replicate during the project.
  • Risk classification: in this stage, risks are grouped by common causes to determine the most vulnerable areas of the project and to help develop an effective risk response plan.
  • Risk urgency evaluation: in some cases, urgency can be combined with risk rating. This is a method used to gauge the extent to which data are useful for risk management, thus generating a final rating
  • Expert opinion: it may be helpful to seek the advice of experts, such as people who have recent experience on similar project cases, through interviews or special workshops.

Why is risk analysis in project management important?

risk analysis in pm

  • Promotes progress: the project can progress by limiting the number of deviations and setbacks that occur during its life cycle.
  • Communicates problems: knowing potential project risks helps the project manager communicate problems to stakeholders.
  • Makes risks manageable: risk analysis builds opportunities to prepare for problem management by reducing the negative impact on the project.

Bottom line, risks are a common concern for all projects.

One of the major challenges a project manager faces is not to be overwhelmed by the number or magnitude of possible risks that have been identified.

On the contrary, a good project manager should be skilled enough to focus on the important elements that could threaten the smooth operation of the project and then develop a risk management and response plan.

The risk management process in project management is one of the most important practices in project management and is aimed at ensuring its path towards successful completion.

Through proper project risk management, which also includes using  good project management software, a company can ensure successful project completion and also minimize the negative impact of any risks through timely actions.

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Waterfall vs Agile: Which methodology to choose for project management?

Which methodology between Waterfall vs. Agile to choose? Every project comes with its own set of unique challenges, and this one, specifically, occurs in every scenario.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial to ensure that the development methodologies used by an organization are tailored to the specific circumstances.

In fact, each option affects the speed of the project and the overall chances of success differently.

In this article, therefore, we would like to provide insight into which methodology to choose for project management.

What is Waterfall methodology ?

Waterfall is a sequential methodology based on a clearly defined scope that centers on the collection of preliminary requirements and then follows a set order.

This means that when each of the Waterfall steps is successfully completed, the team moves on to the following step.

The more strict, linear nature of the Waterfall methodology makes it the perfect choice for simple, specific activities.

It is easy to manage, comes with specific deliverables and well-defined starting and ending points.

Nevertheless, it is easy to see how this methodology is less flexible than the alternatives.

Since this plan is sequential and linear, any changes become relatively costly and time-consuming.

This means that a solid understanding must be met and shared by all parties.

The Waterfall methodology excels when project requirements are fairly static, but would not be adequate for the delivery of a complex product that could change frequently and abruptly.

What is Agile methodology?

The agile approach is designed around flexibility.

Teams typically begin with a basic project design and break it down into a small set of activities, which are reviewed, tested, and evaluated at the end of each so-called “sprint”.

These sprints allow them to identify issues, bugs or incorporate customer feedback into the design before the next sprint is performed.

Agile methodology is great for projects where the outcome is not clearly defined but the goal is.

Work can evolve based on team input, stakeholder feedback and customer opinions.

The result is a product that both incorporates updated end-user and stakeholder feedback and is therefore ultimately more likely to be successful.

On the other hand, agile project flexibility can also be its ruin, as it presents a greater opportunity for projected timelines and costs to be compromised as the project evolves.

A well-defined set of measurable goals is critical to ensure smooth alignment.

Without a defined end to the construction process, sprints can continue for many months.

The only clue is how close the product is to achieving the goals and how those goals are aligned with value.

This pattern depends on how much change tolerance a project demands.

If the requirements are tangible and merely have to be executed, the flexibility of Agile provides little value.

However, considering the increasing complexity of each market, this “certainty” becomes increasingly unlikely.

How to choose the right project management methodology

agile vs lean metodology

There is no one size fits all approach for choosing a successful project management methodology.

However, there are a few aspects to consider to ensure that the most appropriate approach is selected. These are:

Project complexity

First, it is important to regard the project in terms of simplicity or complexity.

For simple projects, a linear methodology such as Waterfall will ensure that time and budget expenses are in line with the simplistic nature of the work.

Conversely, in the case of complex products, an Agile approach ensures that every aspect of the project is refined iteratively, resulting in higher success rates.

Inflexibility

If you are working with set schedules, budgets and delivery requirements, a methodology such as Waterfall is almost certainly the best choice to ensure that metrics are met.

It is critical to consider this aspect thoughtfully, as choosing the wrong methodology due to the inflexibility of the project can greatly increase the risk of breaking time and budget constraints and ultimately cause the project to fail.

Project values

What do the customer, stakeholders, and end user value most?

For example, if stakeholders value the ability to consistently review and suggest iterative updates, the Agile methodology may be best option.

Business culture

Arguably one of the most important steps in choosing a suitable methodology is to conduct an in-depth study of what the team and organization value most.

Every organization have its own corporate culture, habits and values, and adopting a trending methodology that goes against it will most likely result in failure.

Waterfall or Agile? Why choose, when you can have both with Twproject

As we saw previously, there is no single framework that is always the best choice.

Waterfall and Agile methodology both have their pros and cons, the important thing is to use them in the right way and at the right time, leveraging their strengths when the circumstances call for it.

As such, good project management software, like TWproject, can help integrate the two methodologies and gain the maximum benefits.

Thanks to a variety of features, TWproject allows you to assess the project circumstances and its elements and figure out which approach is best to follow.

Many organizations currently choose a mixed approach, using multiple methods where they are most suitable.

Good project management software can therefore help in choosing and organizing work by increasing the likelihood of success.

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Project management plan: what it is for and how to make it

With no adequate project management plan, your business will be vulnerable to chaotic management, vague objectives, inadequate resources, and frustrated employees.

As a matter of fact, unrealistic planning results in high risks that produce poor quality results from high costs.

This is why it is so important to make a comprehensive project management plan before the work begins.

In this article we will take a look at what a project management plan is, what it is for, and how to implement it.

What is a project management plan?

The project manager creates the project management plan based on input gathered from the project team and key stakeholders.

A project management plan is a formal document that outlines how a project will be executed, monitored and controlled.

As work moves forward, project performance is benchmarked compared to the performance measurement baseline included in the project management plan.

Should a deviation from the baseline occur while the work is in progress, the project manager needs to address it by making adjustments to correct it.

If these adjustments should fail to correct the deviations, formal baseline change requests become mandatory.

Project managers spend a large amount of time guaranteeing that goals are met, ensuring that all stakeholders get the hoped-for benefits.

As well as proper planning, a project manager’s skills also consist of efficiently controlling the project and ensuring that project deliverables are on time and that the project is completed according to the project management plan.

How to make a project management plan

There is no unique model that works for all projects.

Each management plan must be tuned to the given industry and project circumstances.

Yet, typically, here is how a project management plan is made:

1. Identify the goal of your project

To build anything meaningful, the first step is to lay the right foundation. Here are the questions you need to ask:

  • Why is this project being created?
  • What is the goal?
  • How will it be measured?
  • What is considered a success?
  • How will this affect stakeholders?

2. Trace the framework

This following step must detail how things will be carried out and what the project will look like once it has started.

It is critical that a project does not overstretch otherwise the team will never achieve its goals.

The scope of the project should include deliverables and scheduling of results; in fact, all team members should know what is to be delivered and when.

3. Visually trace your project

A thoughtfully crafted project schedule is the key to success.

Without this, your project will likely collapse into a chaos of missed deadlines, mismanagement, and frustration.

In this case, planning tools such as the Gantt chart and time sequences can streamline the creation of a project management plan.

By visually outlining each activity in the project, it will allow for faster addition of important milestones and search for any dependencies or conflicts.

TWProject- project management plan

4. Identify the structure of your project team

Assembling a team and aligning them with your project vision is not so simple.

This can only be achieved through good communication, which is why good project documentation is paramount.

An organizational chart can help include some necessary information such as team hierarchy, everyone’s responsibilities, and contact information for each member.

5. Risk management

A key task of a project manager is to pinpoint the factors that could potentially jeopardize your project, and devise solutions to address them.

A risk management plan typically begins by listing all the elements of a project, and then a risk breakdown structure allows them to be organized both hierarchically and by category.

This will make it easier to find them, manage them, and figure out a quicker solution.

6. Plan communication

One thing that often gets overlooked by project managers is having a  communication management plan. This outlines how the project team will communicate with stakeholders.

Too often, by default, project communication consists in ad hoc emails or last-minute meetings, but this can be prevented by planning ahead by drafting a structured communication plan.

This form of reporting is valuable for providing regular communication of clear and consistent updates about project progress.

This can also help in detecting and flagging problems before they arise, build trust with stakeholders, and make it easier to reflect on project performance.

Therefore, it becomes clear how a project management plan is key for a successful project, as it will be able to drive work and keep it on track.

As previously mentioned, there are a number of project management plan templates based on your industry, company culture, and project type.

In this case, a good, comprehensive, feature-rich project management tool, can help in choosing the best plan template and drafting a complete and comprehensive document.

This way, the project manager will be able to ensure that actual progress stays on track with planned progress.

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Value Stream Mapping: What it is used for, and how to properly implement it

Value Stream Mapping can be a powerful tool to help you determine how to improve supply chains that involve complex processes.

VSM can be leveraged to get a full picture and understanding of the entire process, or it can be targeted at a specific segment to achieve certain goals.

But what is it exactly about? In this article, we will take a look at what Value Stream Mapping is, what it is used for, and how to implement it properly.

What is Value Stream Mapping (VSM)?

To understand what value stream mapping is, we must first learn what value stream is.

It is a series of steps that are involved in providing the product or service that customers want or need.

Value Stream Mapping provides a better understanding of what these steps are where value is added and, more importantly, how to improve the overall process.

It is worth mentioning that the beginning and end points of the mapping process can vary depending on the objectives.

As a matter of fact, different businesses may have different value streams and may find themselves creating value stream maps for each individual product or service.

Value stream mapping has become increasingly popular in recent years and is still considered by many to be a fairly new tool in the effort to improve business efficiency.

In truth, however, value stream mapping was born more than 30 years ago at Toyota Motor Corporation.

The technique was created when the company’s focus shifted to eliminating waste and pursuing process efficiency.

Its popularity grew as American companies began to observe and study the efficiency and consistency of Toyota’s operations.

Then, this approach kept evolving from there into what we now know as value stream mapping, which is applicable and useful to companies and value streams of all types.

How to achieve value stream mapping

  1. Determine your product

The first step of the Value Stream Mapping process is to determine which product or product set needs to be studied and improved.

Generally, one team is constituted to execute the mapping and analysis, depending on the size of the effort.

  1. Current State Mapping

This step is important to visualize the whole creation flow of the product or service you want to analyze.

The whole process that the company follows to make it is brought together here.

To generate the Current State Map, data and information are collected by interviewing those people who perform each activity involved in the process.

Among them we find:

  • Cycle or processing time
  • Equipment reliability
  • Quantity
  • Number of workers and shifts
  • Inventory levels
  • Queue or waiting time

The information gathered does not necessarily have to be perfect or over-detailed.

As long as the data can provide a reasonably clear overview of the main problems, a more streamlined process can begin to be developed.

  1. Future State Mapping

Future State Map is meant to represent the optimized workflow through the elimination, or reduction, of waste at every step involved in the process.

value stream

To achieve an optimized process, the following questions must be asked:

  • What is the Takt Time? Takt is a German word referring to the stick that a conductor uses to control speed, rhythm and tempo. Takt time, in business, refers to the rate at which a part or component must be produced to meet customer demand.
  • Are there bottlenecks or constraints? From data collection, cycle times or processing times can be observed. Should any of these be greater than the takt time, then you are most likely facing a bottleneck or constraint. This could lead to waste in some areas or additional processing time, such as overtime, to meet demand.
  • Where is it possible to reduce inventory or lead time? You should look at your raw material and finished goods inventories to see if these can be reduced. Finding ways to reduce inventory in a logical way is key.
  • What additional improvements are required? For example, is there a need to improve equipment reliability? Are yield or quality levels on the first run acceptable? Is specific training needed for workers to cut down on errors? It is necessary to analyze individual activities to determine where there is potential for improvement and how it can be achieved.
  • What activities are unnecessary and do not bring added value? The root of all waste must be pinpointed so that it can be removed.
  1. Create an improvement action plan 

At the end of the Value Stream Mapping process, you eventually get to create an action plan that will drive overall process improvement.

Here are the questions that will help you achieve an optimized workflow:

  • Which changes should be implemented first?
  • What changes should be a priority for our business?
  • What changes are priorities for customers?
  • What specific activities must be implemented to achieve an optimized process?
  • Who is responsible for implementing and monitoring changes?
  • How do we gauge our changes’ success?

By answering these questions, it will be possible to lay out an improvement plan that ascertains what resources are needed, including  time, people and budget.

Also, you will need to constantly monitor results across key metrics and implement further adjustments if needed.

Bottom line, regardless of the industry and business, the Value Stream Map is an effective technique to innovate and evolve.

It is worth noting that the process of work mapping is a starting point, not a finishing one, toward continual improvement in business operations.

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Lean Automation: What is it and how businesses benefit from it

The goal of Lean Automation is to satisfy customers at the lowest cost possible.

To achieve this goal, it is better to follow the lean philosophy, which claims to remove those activities of low or no value.

But what exactly is Lean Automation and how does it benefit companies? Let’s find out in this article.

What is Lean Automation?

At the heart of lean production lies a shift in thinking: instead of improving individual process productivity, the focus should be on continuously improving the value customers get from products.

Likewise, the focus should also be on limiting and reducing costs.

In Industry 4.0, this ambivalent attention to the end customer and business costs sees the integration of automation.

The fourth industrial revolution requires the involvement of technology and digital transformation in virtually every industry, including lean manufacturing.

Therefore, Lean Automation becomes a key player in this context, due to its power to integrate lean principles by gradually automating processes.

Benefits of Lean Automation for companies

By choosing to integrate Lean Automation into production facilities, processes become faster and more efficient.

If executed correctly, this automation addition can yield a variety of benefits such as:

Lean Automation: Waste elimination

Automation provides the option of properly setting and programming a piece of equipment so that it yields results within certain ranges and can provide automatic alerts if the process does not meet tolerance limits.

This helps avoid scrap, rework and waste.

Even the most experienced operators cannot match the efficiency and repeatability of automation on routine or semi-routine processes.

Furthermore, automation systems can perform multiple tasks simultaneously, which is impossible in manual systems.

Lean Automation: Internet of Things

By connecting your equipment to your business systems, it will help reduce the effort required to report the state of production.

Internet of Things will allow for greater focus on productive work that will meet customer needs by eliminating the need to report any operation.

Lean Automation: Cost management

Manufacturing businesses in industrialized countries struggle to stay competitive in an increasingly aggressive market.

Automation cuts the number of people or shifts needed to achieve the same level of productivity, as well as reducing the need for goods handling machinery.

A way to increase automation is through the use of collaborative robotics and other automated machinery engineered to work together with humans.

These particular robots and machines may come at a relatively high initial cost, but they can deliver a quick return on investment.

Lean Automation: Improved security

Worker safety should be fundamental in any industry, especially the manufacturing industry where the most accidents occur.

By automating dangerous processes, you can keep employees safer by reducing production errors.

For example, an automated warehouse system keeps employees out of harm’s way on the warehouse floor, where accidents and collisions with forklifts can happen.

Lean Automation: Improved accuracy

Inventory management is one of the most important yet time-consuming activities in manufacturing.

No production facility can expect to satisfy its customers or operate effectively if its inventory is not accurate and controlled.

One of the most effective ways to guarantee its accuracy is to automate stock picking and storage processes.

Automated equipment can significantly reduce lost or misplaced materials and help ensure accurate lot tracking, which can cut down on obsolescence or waste due to expiration or spoilage.

Lean Automation: Front and back office automation

More than simple workflows or info alerts, today’s Lean Automation solutions can achieve a level of AI.

These automated processes can handle routine tasks and streamline business processes, ranging from accounting to prioritizing sales orders for shipment.

This can provide consistent quality and eliminate wasteful printing and document storage.

Lean Automation: Productivity maximization

Employee leaves and absences can impact overall productivity negatively.

Also, managing the workforce effectively can be challenging.

By implementing process Lean Automation, you can manage your workforce efficiently, streamlining those tasks that are time-consuming and repetitive, all while maximizing productivity.

Plus, by using an automated time and attendance software solution, organizations are able to automate payroll, work rules, and accrual rules along with vacation management, union contracts, and overtime reporting.

lean automation for businesses

How to Implement Lean Automation

  1. Analyze processes: When implementing Lean Automation, you should always prioritize your customers’ needs.

Lean manufacturing is about delivering the best value to your customer; therefore, automation efforts should focus on creating what the customer needs.

To properly set up the workflow, it is critical to distribute responsibility evenly.

The whole process should not be based on the operation of a single machine or person.

By distributing human responsibility and machine activities, the entire business can be better able to withstand change.

  1. Vet people: Those people who shape the automation process are critical; thus, it is important to identify those with knowledge, experience, and expertise who can help during the process.

Also, it is important to maintain an open communication with all employees to create a culture of excellence.

  1. Consider tools and technology: Any tools and technology that you will be using should work well with the people in the company.

In fact, automation should support employees’ work and not make it complicated or stall it.

Another medium to consider when implementing lean automation is training.

It is important to educate workers on how they can best use automated machinery to improve their work.

Bottom line, by implementing Lean Automation in a company, you can reduce waste and improve productivity.

However, to provide a truly efficient process, it is just not enough to be familiar with Lean Automation principles, but these must be adapted to the business structure.

One way to adapt a process to the business structure is to assign a role to all the resources involved by grouping them into a project and assigning a workload.

This workload must be spread out to avoid bottlenecks in the process while always ensuring customers’ needs are met.

TWProject helps in easily overcoming this issue thanks “Projects” tool, which helps to assign resources related to the process, execution time, and tasks to be performed in the process. Each resource involved in the process will be able to keep track of the project phases by managing the different tasks assigned and their execution times.

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Lean accounting: How to implement it for a successful management analysis

Lean accounting has grown in popularity in the first decade of the 21st century as an increasing number of companies have embraced lean production and lean processes.

In a nutshell, lean accounting offers a way to gauge the success of the implementation of lean thinking.

As business leaders can see how lean management affects operations, this form of accounting assigns a number to this change.

Let’s take a closer look in this article at what lean accounting is and how to implement it for a successful management analysis and performance measurement.

What is lean accounting?

Lean accounting aims to streamline accounting processes across a business to maximize productivity, service, quality and profit.

Lean accounting comprises a number of “lean practices” and administrative processes that are put to use to reduce waste of time and resources.

These practices do not relate to reporting requirements, tax regulations and compliance, instead they concern internal processes that aim to improve the overall accounting department.

Lean accounting differs significantly from traditional accounting, and because of this, it is a somewhat controversial topic in the world of finance.

Generally speaking, lean accounting does not replace generally established accounting practices, thus, ideally, it should be used alongside traditional reporting methods.

How does lean accounting work?

The purpose of adopting lean principles for accounting is to make financial information easier to understand and more relevant.

To close the existing gap between the accounting domain and other business activities, lean accounting can be adopted via the following steps:

1. Simplifying financial reporting

To deliver value and optimize work processes, you need a shift to a new way of thinking, lean thinking.

At its core lies respect for people, one of the two cornerstones of lean philosophy.

In accounting, respect for people is about preparing and delivering financial information in a way that those who do not deal with finances on a daily basis can digest it more easily.

By doing so, all departments can understand what the numbers are about and can feel more involved.

2. Tracking financial data that matters and removing waste

Lean production seeks to improve business by regularly and continually getting rid of anything that does not bring value to the end product and to the customer.

By applying this approach to the accounting field, it involves removing all redundant and unnecessary information and simplifying data to present meaningful insights allowing for better decision making.

the lean accounting

3. Understanding what creates the most value for customers and making constant improvements

What sets lean methodology apart is how value flows within a business, the so-called “value stream.”

This involves pinpointing what brings real value to the customer, mapping the workflow around value generation and establishing a pull system in which only the required work is carried out.

This process can be applied to any business operation, including the financial domain.

The only condition is that this lean transformation is not a stand-alone, static event, but must be viewed as an ongoing effort and a ultimate drive for improvement.

4. The decision-making process, the “box score” and the value stream

A popular tool used in lean accounting is the so-called “box score,” a term borrowed from baseball.

Here the overview of both the performance indicators and the operational and financial performance of the value stream is reported.

The box score is very powerful because it allows informed decisions to be made based on value stream.

Why use lean accounting?

The application of lean philosophy principles to an organization’s accounting and financial operations aims to bring profits and revenues in line with actual value streams and strategic business goals.

The purpose of lean accounting is to generate value by minimizing waste, redundant and unnecessary work. Consequently, inducing true organizational agility.

The concept of lean accounting requires reliable and simple financial reporting.

There are a number of benefits to applying lean accounting across organizations; here are some of them:

  • Accounting that everyone can understand and use right away.
  • Accounting that supports and drives lean progress.
  • Effective operational and financial checks.
  • Reports and information that empower people for continuous improvement.
  • Eliminating a great part of waste in accounting systems.
  • Successfully calculating the financial impact of implementing lean management.
  • Better decisions that lead to better deals, which lead to better profits.

To recapitulate, the general purpose of lean accounting is to gather, analyze, and report the performance and cash reserves of a company; information that is used to take informed management decisions.

Instead of completely removing standard reporting overnight, the accounting department can phase in the lean processes of lean accounting.

Accountants generally need to be open to new processes and change their perspective to embrace lean accounting.

Lean accounting is a journey packed with continuous improvements that strives for the perfection of the entire organization.

Lean methodology applied to accounting also means that waste in financial processes must be removed, such as shortening the forecasting and budgeting cycle, closing the books faster, etc.

Sudden changes are hard to embrace, yet slowly shifting to the approach will encourage accounting staff to gradually acquire new habits that are necessary for success.

In all this, having good project management software can help manage change and implement lean accounting processes in a quicker and easier way.

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Capital budgeting: what it is and why it is important

Capital budgeting refers to the process a business follows to determine which long-term capital investments are worth investing in in relation to their potential returns.

If a business is considering whether to undertake a large investment project, capital budgeting is the most efficient approach for making an informed decision.

Yet what is it exactly? Let’s explore this topic in this article, and see what capital budgeting is and why it is important.

What is capital budgeting?

Capital budgeting, also known as investment appraisal, involves the evaluation of the costs and benefits of a business’s potential large-scale projects.

Here are some examples: adding a new product to the range, building or purchasing a second warehouse, or a major software change.

Before deciding whether and which option to pursue, it would be necessary to first complete a financial analysis, referred to as capital budgeting.

Capital budgeting involves choosing projects that bring value to a business.

Businesses are, in fact, expected to choose and pursue only those projects that will increase their profitability and, by extension, improve shareholder wealth.

Companies, apart from nonprofit organizations, do exist to make a profit.

Hence, the capital budgeting process is a measurable way for businesses to determine the long-term economic and financial profitability of any investment project.

Why capital budgeting is important

Capital budgeting is a precious tool since it provides a means of estimating and measuring project value throughout their life cycle.

These investment projects may include:

  • Investing in new equipment, technology and buildings;
  • Upgrades and maintenance of current equipment and technology;
  • Renovation interventions on existing buildings;
  • Increasing workforce;
  • New product development;
  • Expansion into new markets.

Before a business approves a given project, capital budgeting allows for the company to establish a cost budget, estimate a timeline for return on investment, and decide whether the potential value of the project is worth the capital investment required.

Below are 7 reasons that detail why capital budgeting is important:

  1. Future cash flow calculation: the capital budgeting process takes into account estimated future cash flows by using various techniques such as calculating net present value, profitability ratio, and accounting rate of return.
  1. Business long-term goals: capital budgeting assists organizations in taking decisions and achieving long-term goals as it provides insight regarding future costs and growth. Setting long-term goals is one of the most important and sensitive areas for any organization. Any wrong decision made in this area can impact negatively on a company’s long-term profitability.
  1. Spending control: the capital budgeting approach takes into account the investment cost for the project by factoring in related expenses such as research and development costs, operating costs, etc. Therefore, with this information, the organization can have full control of its future costs. The proper management and control of total costs is a very important factor in ensuring a company’s perspective of growth and efficiency.
  1. Wealth maximization: interest and investment decisions of the company’s shareholders depend on its long-term investment decisions. If investments are made by the company in a sound and planned manner, shareholder confidence increases and they thus become more interested in investing in the company resulting in wealth maximization.
  1. Collaboration across departments: throughout the capital budgeting process, many steps and ideas are involved, and a number of decisions are taken by different departments and levels within the company. This allows the flow and exchange of information within different departments increasing collaboration.
  1. Large fund protection: through the capital budgeting process, funds invested in the company are protected to some extent from any future uncertainty.
  1. Risk awareness: through the capital budgeting process, company management can have a sense of the different types of risks and complications that may be encountered during the life cycle of a project. Therefore, management can have ready and advanced strategies for dealing with such future complexities.

Bottom line, budgeting is a key component of any successful financial investment and is one of the cornerstones in any decision-making process.

to do capital budgeting

When no adequate planning process is executed for the development of a project, there is always a risk of a sudden increase in costs, delays in output development, regulatory complications, etc.

Therefore, every business should put in place a sound capital budgeting process before launching any large investment project.

This process can also help in comparing profitability of different projects and in prioritizing one project over the other.

Without an efficient capital budgeting process, a business will face more risk, less trust from investors and customers, and, as a result, less available funds.

Capital budgeting is thus an efficient way to know what is the best direction for a company to take.

Also, a project management software can help ensure an efficient and flawless capital budgeting process.

In this article, we have covered how the economic-financial part plays a key role in a company’s success, and using project management software such as TWproject can ensure that the capital budgeting process takes place in the most efficient way possible. Try it for free by clicking on the banner below.

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Project management for the construction industry

Project management for the construction industry is arguably one of the most intricate segments of project management ever.

Whether you’re building a shopping mall or a residential building, there are countless elements and people in a construction project that must be accurately coordinated.

Each one of these phases is already intricate enough on its own, yet in combination with the whole project, they become exponentially more complex.

In this article, we’ll cover what construction project management is and how it works in detail.

What is project management for the construction industry?

In a nutshell, project management for the construction industry is the construction project management process.

It is a multifaceted subject that involves addressing many important matters, including cost control, la programmazione, l’approvvigionamento e la valutazione del rischio.

Project managers interact and closely liaise with all team members involved, from architects to owners, to contractors.

There are many different types of construction projects, and each one comes with different challenges.

However, all of them need a project owner, a construction project manager, and a general contractor.

What are the 5 stages of construction projects?

Understanding the five main phases of construction project management is a must for managing projects successfully.

Here are the 5 stages:

Construction project stages: Planning and development

Ascertaining whether to pursue a project is the first and most important part of the construction process.

Halting projects after they have been started is costly and the further they progress, the greater the potential losses.

Feasibility studies, capital budgeting, pro-con lists and comprehensive stakeholder input are keys to this phase.

Construction project stages: Planning

After a project’s kick-off is approved because it is considered sustainable and productive, it is time to begin the planning stage.

This stage covers the development of all things, from the basic concept to the final design – details included.

Once the project is finalized and approved, it is time for the next stage.

Construction project stages: Pre-construction

Pre-construction is about defining a roadmap that will lead through the construction process.

It involves creating a plan for the project that shows everyone what they need to do, when they need to do it, how they should deliver it, and how much each task should cost.

If all parties follow this plan and fulfill their roles perfectly, they will deliver the project on time, up to standard and on budget.

Pre-construction typically involves a wide range of critical tasks. Here are some of the most important ones:

Risk assessment and contingency plan also play an important part in this stage.

More often than not, things rarely go as planned, especially while working on something as complex as a construction project; therefore, project managers and stakeholders must be prepared to implement changes.

The more proactive you are, the less time, money, and resources will be lost looking for a solution when hiccups happen.

Construction project stages: Sourcing

This describes the sourcing and transportation of materials and services required to complete a construction project.

Sourcing can come from local, regional or global markets. Each comes with its own pros and cons.

Local sourcing, in fact, may be less time consuming, but may cost more.

On the other hand, less expensive materials shipped over long distances are potentially more subject to delays and disruptions.

It is best to thoroughly research your options so that you can make the best choice to meet your budget requirements and stay on schedule.

Also, choosing when to conduct sourcing is also an important decision that, again, comes with pros and cons depending on what you choose.

Instead of completing procurement before the construction project begins, you can get the resources you need as the project progresses to meet evolving requirements.

Although this strategy provides additional flexibility, reduces holding costs and conserves cash, it can risk delaying shipments or any momentary shortages could slow the entire project.

project management for construction industry

Construction project stages: Construction

After the previous stages have been completed, the construction stage can begin.

All of the preparation and planning done previously will pay off at this stage, ultimately making the construction process go smoothly and finish successfully.

Even the most painstaking plans can’t foresee any unexpected events along the way, so monitoring and evaluating progress regularly is critical to staying on track.

Particularly in construction project management, it’s important to stay flexible enough to manage changes and minimize the impact on the project.

When managing construction projects, it is especially difficult to keep control of all the variables in a project.

Project managers in the construction industry definitely need the right software to successfully manage projects.

A good project management software helps you monitor progress, improve forecasting, centralize information, increase efficiency and keep costs in check.

With Twproject you can control every step of the work, reduce risks, eliminate errors, and streamline communication.

A construction project management tool also keeps stakeholders updated by sharing extensive data reports.

Ultimately, a project management software simplifies your overall process and improves productivity, all whilst ensuring you stay on schedule and within agreed budgets.

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Project Sustainability Management: when project management meets sustainability

In today’s day and age, it’s tough to spend a day without hearing or seeing some messages about sustainability, and in this regard, Project Sustainability Management is picking up steam.

For project managers, this means seeing a project with a new perspective, and making the right decisions for the company, its people, and society as a whole.

Basically, it’s all about doing the right thing.

Successful project management is already challenging enough in itself because it revolves around balancing three constraints: cost, time and scope.

The integration of sustainability adds even more complexity to the mix.

Let’s explore why sustainable project management is important and how you can do it in this article.

What is Project Sustainability Management?

The 71% of the world’s leading 500 companies are publicly disclosing their GHG emissions alongside several other energy metrics.

Sustainability has become a corporate goal for all industries, and organizations now recognize that it is just irresponsible not to tackle the issue.

Moreover, the pandemic has brought to light new challenges and emergencies, revealing that sustainability is the only way forward.

Boston Consulting Group reported that 70% of people have become more aware of the impact that human activity has on the climate since the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, sustainable project management isn’t just a matter of being green and tackling climate change.

Being responsible is about ensuring that resources are used wisely, that people are treated equally and paid a fair wage, and that communities are factored into business decisions.

A great way to make sure the project continues to be sustainable is to have this goal in mind from the outset of the project.

Once it is built into the project vision, it cannot be forgotten.

Just having sustainability relevant in all areas of the project will ensure that environmental damage is at a minimum.

As a result, project managers working in this area must take a holistic approach, weighing environmental, social, and economic factors.

The four aspects of Project Sustainability Management

Specifically, sustainability involves balancing four different areas that include:

  • Environment, such as climate change
  • Economy, such as accessibility
  • Society, such as community
  • Management, such as health and safety

Taking them all into account is the key to building truly sustainable projects.

Let’s explore them in more detail:

Environmental sustainability means employing sustainable resources, preventing pollution, and reducing climate change impacts. This involves assessing equipment, resources used for a project, industry standards, and purchasing practices. Fair trade is one of the best options to ensure sustainability as it is an agreement designed to help producers in growing countries achieve fair trade relationships.

This is connected to economic sustainability, by thinking beyond  return on investment and ensuring that the project fits into the overall strategy of the organization by analyzing how much it adds and how feasible it is in the long term.

Beside the environmental and economic areas of an organization, the less debated, but equally important, are the social and managerial elements. Ensuring that the organization is socially sustainable means assessing how sustainable its culture, structure, and human resource practices are. The organization must ensure that it provides fair working conditions and have sound health and safety measures in place. This part is often tied to HR, which is why they are often considered the sustainability agent in certain organizations. The HR department must ensure that there is no discrimination against vulnerable groups and that civil and fundamental rights are met. They are also responsible for employee training and skill development and overall community engagement, both of which are significant social areas.

project sustainability management

How do we place sustainability at the very core of every project?

Project Managers have the responsibility of overseeing the project delivery and support processes.

Both will strive to ensure that the client is satisfied while motivating their team to provide excellence.

This is the essence of a project management job.

By leveraging benchmarking tools such as the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), project managers can compare the impacts of their plans.

The idea underlying the use of benchmarking tools is to integrate sustainability throughout the entire project lifecycle.

Therefore, project managers can ensure that any development improves, or at least preserves, the environment and the livelihood of those who inhabit it.

Project Sustainability Management requires a more holistic approach.

It takes into consideration how resources are used, climate change mitigation, property rights, community involvement, and human rights.

The project manager’s goal is to create value and deliver a project both on time and on budget, but also to execute it in an ethical and fair manner.

Part of the complexity of sustainable project management lies in its intertemporal nature.

Therefore, a sustainable project’s lifecycle should not end at the completion stage; environmental and social impacts must also be monitored and controlled afterwards.

Managers must therefore arm themselves with new indicators for monitoring and overseeing these environmental and social aspects, e.g. ISO, SA and others.

Bottom line, projects are a medium to achieve change, provide new products and services, and thus shape society.

As such, sustainability should not just be an afterthought, but rather should be one of the key goals for every project.

New targets, a new way of working.