Skip to content
× FreshBooks App Logo
Official App
Free - Google Play
Get it
You're currently on our UK site. Select your regional site here:
8 Min. Read

10 Project Management Principles Everyone Should Know

10 Project Management Principles Everyone Should Know

Project management comes with a wide range of moving parts. You need to monitor project activities and ensure other team members are pulling their own weight. But is there anything you can do to help make sure everyone is on the same page?

The good news is yes, there are several things you can do to deliver on all your project requirements. Continue reading to learn about some of the basic components to make better project decisions. We will break down 10 project management principles everyone should know.

Table of Contents

What Are Project Management Principles?

10 Project Management Principles

Key Takeaways

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Project Management Principles?

Project management principles are ideas and guidelines that help you complete projects successfully. Even though each project you work on might be unique, you should think about using these fundamental principles for the majority, if not all of them.

These concepts address every stage of the project management life cycle. For example, from project conception to post-project analysis. Reviewing them gives you a general idea of the path you can take to successfully lead and deliver projects. 

Yet, you may find that some of these concepts need some adjusting to fit the context of your project.

Get The Scoop On Your Profitability

10 Project Management Principles

For a project management career to be successful, it takes a lot of time and effort to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. Setting realistic goals for yourself requires having a clear sense of where to begin and an understanding of the concepts.

Use these 10 project management principles to help guide your next project.

  1. Define a Formal Project Management Structure

Having a formalised structure for your projects makes it simpler to control and manage them. The structure of a project is an outline that identifies essential components. It also enables you to strategically plan out its specifics.

Here are some fundamental components of a strong project structure:

  • Project charter — This is a document that describes your entire project. It includes all of your objectives and the steps you’re going to take to reach them.
  • Project plan — This component outlines and defines all of the control and execution stages of the project. It will often include things like a project schedule, a risk analysis, and a work breakdown structure.
  • Budget — Having a project budget will allow you to estimate project costs. These can include what you might have to pay team members, manufacturers, or suppliers, for example.
  • Schedule — This is going to include a list of all the tasks you need to complete. It will also include a breakdown of the milestones you want to reach and any deadlines you have set.

  1. Establish Clear Project Goals & Objectives

A crucial step in determining the ideal outcome for each task and the entire project is setting project goals. It’s crucial to accept the stakeholders’ requirements before concentrating on goals. It is simpler to evaluate progress and a project team’s success when project goals are realistic and measurable.

  1. Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities

With the help of this principle, you can explain each team member’s role and duties in detail. In order to establish standards within the team, it is important that you discuss the expectations.

Everyone is in the know regarding what to do and when to do it. For instance, if you’re working on a software project, you might give one team member the task of creating a new web feature. You might also tell them when to deliver it so the next person can incorporate it into a website.

To help with this, you can use the RACI chart to determine roles and responsibilities. It stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Involved. You can use this to assign each team member a letter that best sums up their contribution to the project or a specific task. It also highlights their position within the organisation and measures their level of influence.

  1. Identify and Implement the Right Tools

You might employ a variety of tools to guarantee the project’s successful completion. But this can depend on the project’s duration or scope. Choosing project management and communication software are usually required for this step. Analyse similar projects and find out what tools or software they used to determine which tools might be useful.

Talking this over with your team can also be helpful because they might have some insightful suggestions or ideas. Your project team will find it easier to complete tasks if they use the right tools. And you can easily track their progress to ensure that everyone is keeping up with their assignments.

  1. Address Any Issues As They Arise

Using this principle, you can prevent misunderstandings and quickly spot any problems that might crop up during a project. Using your conflict resolution and communication skills is going to go a long way. You can arrange a team meeting to address any questions the team may have after explaining roles and responsibilities to them.

By doing this, you can clear up any misunderstandings and make sure that everyone is aware of the main goals and each individual step. Create a shared document with answers to frequently asked questions. Then, distribute it to the team before the project begins.

  1. Review Project Goals and Milestones

Reviewing the project gives you the chance to confirm that the team completed all tasks. You can also ensure that the schedule and plan were followed. You can review the initial list of objectives in this step to see if you were successful in achieving each one. Before delivering a project to a client, you must review all documentation. This is a crucial step in completing the project.

  1. Hold Everyone Accountable

You can ensure that people complete the tasks that are assigned to them by holding them accountable. It’s critical to let everyone on the team know that you expect them to be accountable for their actions.

Doing so may make them feel more accountable and make them aware of how their performance affects the project’s success as a whole. Reaching out to each person involved in the project regularly to check in and get their feedback is a great way to increase accountability.

  1. Monitor Progress

You can ensure that everything is going according to schedule by checking in on progress. Additionally, you can ask them to give you regular updates on their work. Or you can organise progress meetings where everyone presents their progress to the team as a whole.

On occasion, you might discover that the team misses a deadline. Even though it’s not ideal, you can deal with it by extending some deadlines or giving your team members more resources. Analysing the team’s performance during the first few weeks and modifying the timeline as necessary may be helpful.

  1. Adjust and Alter Project Priorities As Needed

Clients or stakeholders may share new requests or set spending limits throughout the course of a project. Adjusting to changes will help you stay adaptable, make the most of your resources, and maximise the potential of your team. This way, you can ensure that you can still achieve the main project objectives. And this can happen regardless of a significant change occurs. Then, you can quickly incorporate it into the plan and schedule.

  1. Analyse the Project

Consider taking some time to analyse a project after its completion. Pay close attention to both your successes and your areas of weakness. You can learn from mistakes in this manner and steer clear of them in the future. Planning a final team meeting where you can share client feedback and recognise team members for their efforts is also a good idea.

A Very Well-Oiled Accounting Machine

Key Takeaways

There is a lot to consider as a project manager. Do everything you can to ensure project success and deliver on expectations that project stakeholders have. Set key project objectives, as a great first place to start. From here, implement the principles of project management as you begin the execution phase.

Begin by setting clear expectations and identify and set milestones you want to reach. When your goals are clear, your team will have more success.

FAQs on Project Management Principles

What Is the Golden Rule of Project Management?

There can be more than one golden rule of project management. Some include understanding the scope, understanding the goals, planning, and having a contingency. 

What Is Project Management Life Cycle?

The project management life cycle refers to breaking down a project into four phases. These include initiating, planning, executing, and closing. 

What Are the Key Elements in Project Management?

Some of the most important key elements include resources, scope, budget, and time. 

What Are the Different Types of Project Management?

There can be several. Some common types include agile, scrum, lean, waterfall, and kanban.