4 Examples of Project Management (With Success Factors)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published November 27, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Many industries use project management to divide complex tasks and projects into smaller activities to achieve success. Organizations use project management to plan and complete projects based on specific budgets, timelines, and resources. Reviewing various project management examples can help you learn how to manage your own projects and advance your skills. In this article, we define project management, describe the importance of reviewing an example of project management, review the success factors of an effective project plan, and provide project management examples.
What is project management?
Project management is a process in which a company allocates resources to complete a task. The plan considers both material resources, such as money, equipment, materials, and space, along with immaterial resources, such as skills, knowledge, time, and labour. Teams engage in project management to organize their efforts to achieve a specific goal. It involves dividing a project into smaller, more manageable tasks, each with specific deliverables, managers, and deadlines. The cumulative achievement of the tasks in each phase leads the team to move to the next stage of the project until they complete the complex project or activity.
Project management typically involves five stages, including planning, initiation, execution, monitoring, and closing. Depending on the type of project, there are several methodologies project managers use to organize projects. Here are the methods you might use:
Waterfall project management: This project management approach is when team members complete project tasks in a linear or sequential order, where each phase begins at the completion of another. In this method, timelines, budgets, and resources get allocated, and responsibilities get assigned at the beginning of the project.
Agile project management: This approach is an iterative approach, where different teams undertake project phases simultaneously. Many IT projects use this method, with teams delivering work through short sprints and prioritizing work based on feedback.
Lean project management: Part of the agile project management approach, the goal of lean project management is to minimize the time and resources wasted from each phase to achieve project goals. Those who use this approach believe they can deliver value to the customer at a reduced cost.
Why it is helpful to review an example of project management
When beginning a project, it's helpful to review an example of project management to determine how you might structure and build your project plan. You can review examples to better understand the project management methodologies and evaluate which might work best for your project. Examples allow you to put abstract concepts into practical situations, which you can use to learn how to plan your project in the different stages. Reviewing hypothetical or real-world examples can help you plan and organize your own project and use valuable learnings from others to inform your management style.
Project management success factors
Here are the various conditions upon which you can measure the success of your project:
Visibility: It's important that the project's goals are transparent and clearly defined at the beginning of the project to ensure all participants and stakeholders are aware of the goal. Throughout the project's completion, it's also helpful for all involved to have a clear understanding of the tasks and who's responsible for their completion, along with expected timelines.
Communication: The successful implementation of a project depends on strong team communication and collaboration, including communicating the goals of each stage and the overall project. Facilitating open communication between phases of the project and each participant also allows the project manager to gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of the plan for improved management.
Efficiency: The objective of using project management to complete a project is to minimize resource waste throughout the project's lifecycle. The efficient use of time, money, materials, and labour can help increase the profitability of a project and improve the outcome.
Collaboration: The success of any project relies on effective team or departmental collaboration, with the importance of working together increasing as the scope or complexity of a project grows. You can use technology to improve communication between the manager, team members, and other stakeholders involved to ensure all participants receive updates on achievements, setbacks, and changes to the plan.
4 examples of project management
Reviewing various examples of project management can help you understand the methodologies and planning decisions made by project managers. Here are four examples you can review to deepen your knowledge of project management principles:
1. Waterfall project management example
Here's a project management example that uses a waterfall methodology for your consideration:
A family has hired a construction company to build them a new house. The project includes the design of the home, sourcing all the construction materials, contracting tradespeople to complete specific jobs, and finishing the house. As the construction process requires a linear approach, the company uses a waterfall project management method to plan the build. For example, the blueprints get completed before the foundation gets laid and the house gets framed.
When making the plan, the project manager identifies the steps of the building process, outlines the expected timeframe for each, and secures tradespeople and labourers to complete the appropriate stages. They provide the family with a cost estimate based on the projected timeline, materials required, professionals involved in the process, and the scope of the project. The project manager oversees each phase, ensuring tasks get completed in sequential order. At the completion of the home build, they reflect on the process to identify any areas of improvement and adjustments they might make to the project plan in the future.
2. Agile project management example
Here's an example of project management that uses an agile method to help further your understanding:
A new business is designing a website for their company to sell their products online. The business owners meet with website developers to share their ideas on the website, determine the scope of the site, and discuss deliverables. At the completion of the meeting, the team assigns tasks and sets general timeframes for the completion of each. The business owners are responsible for organizing their content, getting photos of their products, writing product descriptions, and organizing their inventory. As the business owners complete their tasks, the web developers plan the website's structure, outline the content pages, and develop the wireframes.
The team meets again to evaluate the success of the tasks. As the business owners were organizing inventory, they determined they wanted to focus on a specific group of products rather than place all products on the website. The website development plan gets altered, and the developers update their wireframes and concepts to suit the changes. Once approved, the developers begin the front and back-end development of the site to create the framework, and the business owners work with a copywriter to write the site's content. The content gets added to the completed site, and the website launches.
3. Lean project management example
Here's a project management example that uses a lean method to eliminate project waste:
A cell phone manufacturer with high customer demand is looking to eliminate product and material waste while maintaining its high-quality products. Currently, the manufacturer requires significant lead time for distributor orders and several weeks to process change order requests. The distributors get frustrated with the system, which requires many analog processes to submit and confirm orders. To improve lead times, deliver orders faster, and improve distributor relations, the manufacturer engages in the process of technology adoption.
The manufacturer evaluated several phases of its order submission and manufacturing processes to determine opportunities for improvement. They structured the project to prioritize initiatives, implement changes, and evaluate the results. Throughout the process, they discovered that increasing inventory alone didn't solve their problem, but postponing customization until the last production stage did. They used lean techniques to reduce planning cycles, automate order processes, implement quality control methods, and reduce their product lead time. The lean project management method increased productivity and improved distributor relations without decreasing product quality.
4. Product development project management example
Here's an example of how using project management can help you organize the development of a new product:
An appliance company is developing a new countertop appliance to help individuals make fast and healthy meals. To develop their new product, they bring together their design, engineering, sales, and marketing teams to contribute to the project plan. The project manager discusses the goals of the project with the department leaders and determines a timeframe for each phase of development. The engineering team develops the mechanics of the new product and then collaborates with the design team to determine the look and functionality of the appliance.
At the following meeting, the team engages with sales and marketing teams to present the newly developed appliance, present the functionality, and outline production costs. The sales and marketing teams work together to determine the pricing and marketing strategy and decide that the company can increase the price if the engineering team adds additional features. The engineering and design teams work together to add the features, while the marketing team develops the advertising and promotional campaigns. During this time, the sales team works with their distributors to secure product orders. The product has a successful launch, and the company profits.
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