Honestly, it’s not that hard and anyone can do it!
Project management has a bit of a bad reputation. It can be seen as the red tape holding everything up, while people with clipboards make sure you, as the expert, are doing things in a prescribed order instead of just getting on with the actual work.
In reality, project management, in its simplest form, is something most of us use every day, and it’s often little more than common sense. A few basic principles can go a long way. We thought we’d tear down those nasty myths and show you that actually, project management isn’t all that bad.
Myth 1: Project management has to be complicated.
According to the Association for Project Management (APM), project management is “ the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives.”
And a project is “a unique, transient endeavor, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits.”
Okay, they’re not helping matters. As far as we’re concerned, a project is an activity with an end goal, and project management is planning what to do so your project is successful.
You likely do a basic version of this each week – your project is going shopping, with the goal of stocking your fridge, and your project management involves looking in the fridge and making a shopping list.
Myth 2: You need special training to project manage.
While training can help if you’re managing a team of people and a multi-million dollar budget, anyone can start project managing at a smaller scale. Even at global giants IBM, only 56% of project managers hold a certificate. Common sense, communication, and organization can go a long way!
Plenty of people use Kanban to manage their own small, personal projects, and it’s easy to get started with our Support section here on the site. Plus, if you have a question those pages haven’t answered, you can just ask the forum or drop us an email.
Myth 3: It requires a lot of planning.
Project management, by definition, requires some planning, but it doesn’t have to be a lot for you to see results.
Take our shopping example from earlier: it only takes a minute to see what you need and write a list. That means you can go straight to the right aisles instead of wandering the whole store and check your list to make sure you’ve got everything.
Planning can be as simple as ‘what do I have, what do I need, and how do I get it?’
Myth 4: It wastes time you could spend doing work.
Done well, project management will actually save you time – the time you’d otherwise spend on correcting mistakes from poor planning or having to go back and find out what you were after in the first place.
The earlier in the project you plan, the easier it is to get things right.
There are countless quotes we could’ve used to illustrate this, but this one from Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorites: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
Myth 5: You need expensive software.
Sometimes project management only needs a to-do list. Even if there is a lot more to manage, the software needn’t be super flashy and expensive.
We like to think we’re the living proof of this one! Kanban for WordPress is packed full of project management functionality, and you can start project managing with it today for free.
Now you’ve seen how simple and effective project management can be, why not give it a go? You’ll be amazed at the difference that a little more planning can make at work or home!