Getting things done with project management

Getting things done with project management

We all run projects; some are small, like decorating a room at home and others big, like building a factory. Regardless of the size of what you're working on, you'll need to finish a series of tasks to get there, and that's all a project is - a series of tasks that need to be completed to reach a specific goal.

The key drivers of a project

All projects have three key drivers that need to be carefully balanced:

Using our example of decorating a room at home, one of the first things you'll discuss with the other stakeholders, likely your partner or spouse (maybe even the children 😬), is when it needs to be finished, how much you can spend, and what the result should be. Many of us do this without thinking, and that's what good project management should feel like - common sense.

Defining project Quality

Time and cost are pretty easy to define; you'll likely have a firm idea of when your project needs to be completed and how much you can spend. "Quality", however, is open to interpretation and may mean different things to different people, so let's try and define it more clearly.

Quality is the measure of the output of your project

Going back to our example of decorating a room, it could be that the room will be used to store things, and quality isn't too important. You might therefore opt for cheap paint, buy little or no decorations, and do it yourself. Flip that around, and let's say the room will be a guest bedroom, and you want your visitors to be as comfortable as possible; quality becomes a strong driver of the project. Based on that, you may well buy some fancy paint or wallpaper. You'll likely need to purchase various pieces of furniture and decorations. You may even opt to get a professional in to do the work. In both examples, you end up with a decorated room, but the quality, how long it takes and how much it costs will be different.

"Time, Cost, and Quality are all closely connected, adjust one, and it impacts the others."

Chris Croft - aka Mr Gantt

Chris Croft's 12-step project management methodology

Chris Croft's 12-step project management methodology

Chris' 12-step methodology is based on tried and tested project management principles that have been developed over the past 100 years and championed by the global authorities in the field of the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the US, and the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK. While other methodologies exist, namely Prince and Agile, Chris believes that the traditional approach works best for most projects. Importantly, the PMI (APM) method is the most accessible and easiest for people to use.

Chris' 12 steps to project management are:

  1. Define the project
  2. List the tasks
  3. Establish task order
  4. Estimate duration of tasks
  5. Add a safety margin (contingency)
  6. Create a Gantt chart
  7. Resource planning
  8. Predict and reduce risk
  9. Monitor progress
  10. Monitor costs
  11. Adjust where needed
  12. Review and learn

Baking the methodology into Mr Gantt

Mr Gantt is a unique piece of project management software in that it doesn't just give you the tools you need to run brilliant projects, but it'll also teach you how and why you're doing things in specific ways as you go. The software has been built around Chris Croft's 12-step methodology, and it'll take you through all of the steps, giving you the tools and the information you need to run your project. Not only that, but Mr Gantt will keep an eye on your progress too, and if he thinks things are going off track, he'll let you know with timely advice and guidance.

We want your feedback!

As we develop Mr Gantt now and into the future, we want to build a community of users that takes an active role in the product's future direction. If you haven't already done so, please subscribe to our mailing list, and we'll let you know when we're looking for people to join our focus group or beta test.

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