Project management is one of the most rapidly growing fields globally, because of its highly valuable application towards strategic business goal attainment.
As a result, some of the most widely recognized technology and business publications are placing more focus on project management. So where did many of the business and technology executives and professionals frequent to find the top content of 2017? We scoured the top online publications to find the 30 most widely read and shared project management articles. We included a synopsis and takeaway for each. Check these out for some of the most well-read best practices, tips, and lessons learned.
These three articles share some of the best practices and how-to articles to help your business reduce risks and avoid costly mistakes.
Summary: The article covers seven high-level project management steps to help project managers achieve on-time, on-budget, goal-focused delivery of high-profile projects, to increase their project success rates and career prospects.
Takeaway: Ensuring strategic alignment, benefits realization, the linkage between strategy formulation and execution, executive sponsorship, hiring the right talent, adopting agile practices, and tackling technology disruption are keys to success.
Summary: Some IT executives and certified project management professionals share some of the most common mistakes that cause project failure and what project managers can do to keep them on track.
Takeaway: Missing the following aspects should be avoided. Identification of roles and responsibilities upfront, work breakdown, task prioritization, recognition that people are a key factor in projects, poor communication, scope creep, no software or tools, and inflexibility.
Summary: This article discusses seven goals that help project management professional become recognized by executives and stakeholders as an indispensable strategic partner.
Takeaway: Project managers should be executing high-impact, high-visibility projects with a direct line to the organization’s overall strategic goals, hiring top talent, reporting on what matters, building an EPMO, providing more clarity, and supporting bimodal IT and digital business.
Here are two articles that provided in-depth coverage of some of the most common and recognized project management certifications.
Summary: Shares details on 11 of the most recognized project management certifications, their requirements, and fees.
Takeaway: IT and business professionals can benefit from having a project management certification and demonstrate they know-how to plan, schedule, budget, execute, deliver, and then report on IT initiatives.
Summary: This is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about the eight project management certifications offered by the Project Management Institute.
Takeaway: PMI offers a wide range of certifications to meet the needs of professionals interested in project, program, portfolio, business analysis, agile, risk, or scheduling management.
These five articles provide insights into project management as a career path, some of the key roles, salaries, and future outlook.
Summary: Project managers play the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects. This article takes a look at a project managers roles, responsibilities, relevant certifications, expected salaries, job-seeking and resume tips.
Takeaway: Being a project manager can be a challenging yet rewarding career option.
Summary: A go-to guide on scrum, a popular agile project management framework. You'll learn scrum terminology, how to use the methodology in software and product development projects, and more.
Takeaway: Scrum masters are in high demand as companies continue to look for ways to get their projects completed and their products to market faster.
Summary: As a project manager, being able to create value, understand how to encourage team engagement and build relationships, and gain a clearer understanding of problem-solving in other areas of business can be rewarding for you and your company.
Takeaway: Going into project management is a strategic way you can become indispensable for any company.
Summary: Industries are just now realizing the true value of project management. This is expected to spur a boom in demand for project management skills in the coming decade, according to the recent report from the Project Management Institute.
Takeaway: Growing demand for project-based professionals is fast fueling a worldwide talent gap, leading to substantial career opportunities in project management — and salaries that can be expected to rise considerably.
Summary: This article discusses what a project manager is, their career path, why project managers are needed, how they generate revenue for companies, and how a career in this field elevates an individual’s skill level.
Takeaway: The ability to multi-task, understand priorities, handle unforeseen challenges, and quickly adapt to market changes is key to being a successful project manager and for creating an agile company.
These two articles highlight the need for project management professionals and the value millennials are bringing to the profession and businesses as a whole.
Summary: Business owners and experts share their thoughts on what millennials are bringing to the table to elevate the field of project management and how this is changing business.
Takeaway: Millennials are bringing fresh perspectives — leveraging technological advancements and placing additional focus in areas like economic, ecological, and social factors.
Summary: Discusses some of the issues with lean startup operations including a lack of clarity of key value proposition, issues with goal prioritization, and scope creep. All of this is creating the need for project managers in startups.
Takeaway: Project management skills bring clarity, focus and much-needed structure to the startup process. Additionally, there is the need for project management tools and sufficient project management training.
Here are four articles that define and compare the various project management methodologies, their uses, and how to select the one for your projects.
Summary: This article looks at each of the agile project management frameworks, their focus, features, process, benefits, and drawbacks, as well as a quick comparison to help you decide which ones will work best for your next project.
Takeaway: Not all methodologies will work for all projects, even within the same company. It is necessary to evaluate each project and revisit business goals to ensure the methodologies you choose are still relevant.
Summary: This is a guide to help project managers evaluate project management methodologies to ensure it is the best fit for your next project. It covers common methodologies like waterfall, agile, hybrid, critical path, critical chain, and six sigma as well as key considerations, the assessment process, and what to include in the evaluation.
Takeaway: Methodologies are not one-size-fits-all, even within the same company, project type or industry. It’s important to develop and implement a streamlined methodology assessment process (MAP) to determine the best approach for each project.
Summary: Whether you are a new to project management, this article covers 10 questions that will arm you with all the key information you need about Agile project management. The article covers the history of Agile, its purpose, how it is used, advantages and disadvantages, the future outlook and other methodologies.
Takeaway: Agile offers numerous benefits and limited drawbacks. Its application in multiple industries makes it an attractive methodology, and with all the benefits offered by agile project management, this methodology is here to stay.
Summary: Six Sigma is a project management term that often surfaces within the business world when it comes to excellence and quality, but what does it mean, and how does it benefit businesses and stakeholders? This article covers what you need to know about what Six Sigma is, how it helps create operational excellence, and where it is used.
Takeaway: Learn the basics about the project management concept Six Sigma, which drastically reduces defects, waste, and time while lowering costs and enhancing customer satisfaction.
The three articles below discuss some of the risks encountered in project management, ways to reduce risks and when it may be time to end a project to avoid unnecessary damage.
Summary: Critical IT projects still fall flat at an alarming rate despite the use of methodologies and management techniques meant to head off failures. The article shares a cautionary tale to IT departments about the risks of complacency.
Takeaway: Inadequate resources, overly aggressive timelines, underestimated costs, overlooked requirements, unanticipated complications, poor governance and human mistakes are key factors IT departments need to pay closer attention to in order to reduce project failure risk.
Summary: Business owners and experts share their thoughts on when and why it may be time to pull the plug on projects or keep going. They cover the path to failure, how to recognize the risks, why projects fail, five key questions to ask yourself, how to kill a project, and lessons learned.
Takeaway: Admitting project failure is never easy, but sometimes the kill decision turns out to be the best decision.
Summary: Here are five project management mistakes that you should avoid if you want to reap the benefits of project management software. The article covers unclear objectives, lack of prioritization, lack of employee performance, and poor communication.
Takeaway: Unless project management software can be implemented properly, it can lead to increased operational bottlenecks and wasted resources.
Skills and Traits
In these seven articles, the highest-valued skills and attributes of successful project managers are shared by experts, business leaders, and companies seeking to hire.
Summary: Project management experts and executives were surveyed to find out what skills are required to successfully keep projects on track and on budget.
Takeaway: Leadership, motivation, communication, organization, prioritization, problem-solving, and adaptability are essential skills companies are looking for when hiring project managers.
Summary: Discusses how to stand out as a strategic leader beyond just project-based skill sets. Included are traits like becoming a strategic partner, recognizing others achievements, respect and motivation, being fully vested, accountability and being able to work in the gray.
Takeaway: These traits make the difference between being a project manager and being a strategic project and business leader.
Summary: Business leaders share the skills they believe project managers should possess if they are to be considered truly great project managers. These include having empathy, team empowerment, being subject matter experts, understanding strategy and risk management, sound judgment, and more.
Takeaway: Project managers that have these skill will be highly sought after by businesses looking for what they deem as the best project managers.
Summary: Emotional intelligence is the ability to empathize with others, demonstrate emotions, and make decisions based on multi-level awareness. Business leaders discuss the need for project managers with emotional intelligence and the benefits of this trait.
Takeaway: Emotional intelligence is one of the most valuable assets for project managers and a key tool for the companies that hire individuals who possess this attribute.
Summary: This article shares the why ethics play such a vital role in project management at the business and government level. It goes over PMI’s code of ethics for project managers and the importance to businesses. It also covers the Project Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) formally signed into law by the Obama administration in 2016 to establish and improve ethical standards at the US federal level.
Takeaway: Ethics are a key requirement at all levels, they hold project professionals to the highest standards possible and to provide stakeholders with a solid sense of confidence.
Summary: Brian de Haaff is a product manager and shares his thoughts on the key traits that make a good project manager. He talks about his early career and his passion for being a product manager. Vision, motivation, prioritization, and transparency he believes are fundamental.
Takeaway: These four traits have helped him and can also prepare other individuals for the leap towards a career as a project management professional.
Summary: This article discusses four of the most common product management mistakes that startups make when dealing with product development. Those mistakes include selecting talent based on the wrong criteria, allowing communication to fall through the cracks, missing the mark on requirements or scope, and being unrealistic with timelines.
Takeaway: Losing sight of these four things can lead to disaster and even failure for start-ups that simply cannot weather a big storm that is avoidable with effective product management.
Software and Tools
These last four articles highlight the value of project management software and tools as well as their use in doing the heavy lifting in projects and streamline workflows, so that help teams focus on projects and not processes.
Summary: The most widely mentioned reason for project failure is a lack of clearly defined or achievable objectives, which makes it impossible to track progress. This article discusses how there is a sea of project management tools out there that make it hard for companies to find the right solution. The need for a singular robust project management tool to handle tasks, budgets, and more, is a desired and needed option for companies.
Takeaway: Careful vetting of project management vendors that offer comprehensive solutions is critical for project and business success.
Summary: Project managers’ impressive capabilities can be significantly bolstered with top-notch project management tools. This article shares seven of the best project management solutions with a wide range of features and integrations to keep your teams on task and productive — regardless of where they roam.
Takeaway: Finding the right project management app to fit for your company’s growing project, program, portfolio and company-wide business needs just got easier with the help of this list.
Summary: Startups also need to keep everyone on the same page, regardless of where they are around the world. With a lengthy list of project management tools available it can be daunting to choose one to meet the needs of small businesses and start-ups. This article covers just a few of the project management tools startups can use.
Takeaway: Successful projects are even more critical for small businesses which makes it important to find the best project management tool to get your projects off the ground and keep your business running smoothly.
Summary: The Chicago Bulls, Western Governors University (WGU), and BitMar Networks share how their teams are leveraging data analytics to improve their project performance in a world where worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics is expected to grow to more than $187 billion by 2019 and the project management industry is projected to hit $5.81 trillion by 2020.
Takeaway: With the data analytics and project management industries growing at an explosive rate, it only makes sense to use both powerful tools in combination and interwoven into a company's fabric to create a more sustainable competitive advantage.
These 30 widely read and shared articles highlight the high-degree of interest in project management and the use of the related skills and tools to ensure projects are carefully and successfully planned and executed to help companies succeed.