Project Management Basics for Mere Mortals

Project Management for Mere Mortals
Project management is a fairly new profession and was practically unheard of before 1990. However, it’s a discipline that’s now compulsory for completion of many business management courses.

For those of you who use project management skills on a daily basis to deftly plan, organize, lead and control resources to achieve a specific goal, you can skip this article. For the rest of us mere mortals, were going to look at the core features that make a project successful.

Get Consensus from the ‘Ground Floor’ Up

Involve any and all departments that will be effected by the changes you are going to implement, and try to involve external parties such as customers, couriers and so forth. Omitting a key department is a recipe for disaster, so be sure to “bake” success into your plan.

Define Your Verbs

The project plan must be specific about the goals, steps required (your “verbs”) to achieve these goals, a timeline for each project step and the team members responsible for each activity.


If you love meetings, Project Management is your dream job. You’ll need to schedule daily or weekly project management meetings to accurately update the project plan as required. These meeting will expose additional issues, unforeseen delay and allows team member to view the current project status. All parties should have complete visibility of what’s required to achieve the overall objectives.

Establish Realistic Deadlines for Goal Completion

You may be managing a new process that involves purging existing material or using up existing material stock. Deadlines have to factor in cost, quality level and labor implications of any proposed changes. And again, getting input from all departments can be revelatory.

Most people who do there jobs are experts in that particular work, so they will have insights that can prevent you from making bad decisions and commitments.

Senior Management Support

Support from senior management is especially important when project management goals involve sweeping changes within an organization. Some changes require investment in new technology and can have serious cost implications. Without management support, many projects end up being delayed or cancelled, when other departments refuse to alter their existing methods.

Photo by VFS Digital Design

Photo by VFS Digital Design

So with careful and comprehensive planning, it’s possible to define, structure and monitor any process, regardless of industry. Even for a mere mortal.


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