Since the effectiveness of project management is usually judged based on project success, there is a number of essential principles that must be followed. First of all, it is crucial to create a comprehensive project plan that would reflect every aspect of the proposed project. These aspects should include cost, time, quality, structure, goals, outcomes, stage-by-stage expectations, roles, and responsibilities. For example, a construction project should have a plan that details its architectural, functional, financial, and structural aspects. These may include planned use, cost structure, material requirements, quality standards, and more.
Having a comprehensive plan allows monitoring project performance at every stage, which is critical to project success, as shown in the previous section. Additionally, identifying roles and responsibilities can help each member of the project team to understand their duties and fulfil them, as well as to ensure accountability for changes, errors, and other problems. For example, the role of project managers is to support the successful performance of a project at all stages. This role includes a great variety of responsibilities, involving planning, performance measurement, communication with workers and clients, analysing and managing risks, and completing documentation. By fulfilling these responsibilities, project managers can assure that the project will go as planned and any challenges that arise in the process will not affect its success.
Additionally, understanding the clients’ expectations and standards related to quality, functions, benefits, and other features of a project can help to plan project activities. Therefore, the second principle of effective project management is active communication with clients that aims to foster long-term relationships and partnerships. This is crucial because clients can highlight the business’s needs with regards to project outcomes, as well as provide essential suggestions on aligning the project with strategy. Applying the principles of transparency will help to ensure that clients are aware of the progress and understand whether or not there is a possibility of delays, changes to the plan, or other unexpected challenges. Communication with clients will help project managers to achieve a higher level of stakeholder satisfaction and ensure that the project meets the business’s needs, thus contributing to project success.
In order to achieve measurable goals, such as compliance with schedule, quality of the end product, and costs, it is also crucial for project managers to address performance. According to a study by Nilashi et al., managers’ leadership and their commitment to meeting goals are among the key factors affecting project success, particularly in construction projects. This means that project managers should monitor performance continuously while also motivating employees to perform better. The most common way of achieving consistently high performance is by setting clear goals with regards to each individuals’ input and performance. This would help to guide workers through the project, increase their commitment, and achieve excellent outcomes.
The last principle of effective project management is understanding and combatting risks that affect the project. As shown by Osey-Kyei et al., successful risk management is among the critical criteria for success in different types of projects. Any project, regardless of its kind and scope, is bound to have certain risks that can affect completion. For example, in construction projects, the chances of supply delays and unexpected structural obstacles are relatively high. While managers can avoid some risks using project management tools, it is also essential to plan for risk mitigation. Thus, project managers should identify all risks at the planning stage, evaluate their possible impact, and create plans for preventing and addressing relevant risks. This would help to ensure that the project fulfils its goals and complies with quality and time standards.