What are the Project Management Techniques?

The guideways or the roadways that are undertaken to perform a project efficiently and all the tools required to accomplish the task are the general outlines for project management techniques.

When a project is given, through the project management techniques, a project manager sets a specific target and pathways to accomplish the task with the least possible time and with higher outputs. The project manager along with team members breaks down the pathways into a sequence of logical paths both optimized and efficient. When each path is followed in a step-by-step manner, the project is successfully accomplished.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

The PERT usually utilizes the graphical kind of technique. The PERT technique verifies the time required to accomplish the tasks required to complete the project and establishes the dependent variables associated with the tasks. The method then calculates the most optimized path known as the critical path to determine the optimized and efficient path to complete the project. All the other paths are known as non-critical paths. This kind of technique is usually applicable for long-term projects. PERT is also known as a process-based technique.

Critical path technique

This technique is also known as the critical path method (CPM). This is a statistical technique rather than a graphical technique. The most important feature of the CPM is that it identifies potholes in a project. Identification of potholes of a project gives the project manager a better insight of the project. For instance, the different activities that should be chosen and the activities that should not be chosen for the project. Further, through the CPM a project manager can select the task based on the criticality and importance. This allows the manager to determine resources that have task dependencies. The loop of CPM functions to determine the most high-level task and thrive to accomplish that task efficiently. CPM is also known as an activity-based technique.

A critical path method based approach.
CC BY-SA 4.0 | Image Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org | Agarcialw

Kanban technique

Kanban is another project management technique that primarily focuses on visual representation. Kanban strictly monitors the work process flow and the associated works in the workflow. This will determine the critical areas and the potholes in the workflow process. This technique is generally referred to as the self-organization technique. This can be compared with the visual board, where a user has a set of work that is represented in a visual representation. The representation has all the details such as the path that one may take to complete the task and the available resources that one can use during the process. After the completion of the work, one unchecks the areas that are completed. The representation in Kanban has a section called 'min read'. This section is frequently updated, regarding the number of individuals who view the current status of the project. If the section shows, 'min read 10', it means the current status of the project is viewed by ten individuals or workers.

Gantt charts

Gantt charts are another tool in the project management techniques, where all the tasks and the activities to be performed are shown with their required time to complete. In a typical Gantt chart, the activities are represented on the left and the associated time required to complete those activities are printed at the top. The user has to keep the chart up-to-date after each completion of the activity.

A Gantt chart.
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Image Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org | Vheilman

Project Management Software

Project management software is an inbuilt project management tool that is used to carry out complex projects. The project management software has interactive user interfaces, which allow the user to simply drag and drop different blocks. Here the user is required to input the resources and time required to complete the project. The software's algorithm automatically calculates and represents the critical path that is required to accomplish the task. These algorithms are developed by applying the rational unified process technique.

Context and Application

This topic is extensively used in every industry starting from small enterprises to large industries. Besides, the topic is taught in universities that provide undergraduate curriculums like in the third year of engineering degrees in mechanical and production engineering.

  • Bachelors in Technology (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Bachelors in Technology (Production Engineering)
  • Masters in Business Administration (Project Management)

Practice Problems

1. Which of the following is the role of a project manager?

  1. Breaking down a project path into a series of logical small paths or sub-tasks.
  2. Finish the project in the least time following any possible paths.
  3. Finish the project using minimum resources without caring about the path required.
  4. None of these.

Correct option- a

Explanation: The project manager along with his team members form the project team. Altogether, they break down a project path into a series of logical paths or sub-tasks that are individually followed to complete the project in the most optimized and efficient way.

2. Which of the following is true for the critical path method?

  1. It is a non-routine technique of accomplishing a task.
  2. It is a process-based approach.
  3. It is an activity-based approach.
  4. The end-users are the team members.

Correct option- b

Explanation: The critical path method is also known as the activity-based approach. This method generally emphasizes the activities and their associated time of completion.

3. Which of the following is true for Kanban?

  1. It is a visual representation.
  2. It represents the workflow of the process.
  3. It represents the works associated with the workflow sequences.
  4. All of these.

Correct option- d

Explanation: Kanban is a project management tool that includes the workflow process and the associated work related to workflow. It helps determine the critical areas and potholes in the workflow, which work extensively to get an optimized outcome.

4. Which of the following is min read by other users?

  1. Gantt charts
  2. Kanban
  3. Activity chart
  4. Simultaneous Motion Control Charts (SIMO) charts

Correct option- b

Explanation: Kanban is the visual representation of the project and its associated workflow. These are graphically drawn by the users who are in charge of the project and for his/her viewing purposes. These visual descriptions are min read by users.

5. Which of the following is an abbreviation for PERT?

  1. Program evaluation and reviewing technique
  2. Process evaluation and review technique
  3. Program evaluation and review technique
  4. Process evaluation and reviewing technique

Correct option- c

Explanation: The correct abbreviation for PERT is the program evaluation and review technique.

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