Professionals can arrive at project management through many paths. Some project management beginners opt for training courses or get degrees, while others learn from experience and leverage skills they already have to become project managers. For those just beginning your journey, we’ll go through some methods, frameworks, and tools to help create a solid jumping off point to start your career.
In this project management for beginners guide, we’ll also provide you with some handy starter templates to help you manage your projects no matter which level you’re at. Before jumping into tactics, however, it’s important to start at the beginning and define the role.
What is project management?
Project management is the process of guiding a team toward the successful completion of a project. It involves planning, scheduling, tracking, reporting, and facilitating feedback between team members, stakeholders, and other relevant parties.
Put simply, if you want to complete a project successfully, good project management is foundational. But the value gained from strong project management goes much deeper than a check in the “goals met” column for each project.
Three benefits of project management
With the right tools and techniques, a project manager can build a roadmap everyone on a team can follow to ensure the highest chance of success. The project manager assigns necessary tasks to the team members and facilitates hand-offs and communication to keep progress on schedule. They know who’s working on what, what results or deliverables to expect from every activity, and how to keep the entire team moving in the same direction.
The benefits are myriad:
- Improved collaboration: When everyone on the team knows what tasks are in the pipeline and who’s working on them, collaboration is easy. If someone has a question about an activity a colleague is working on, they can go straight to the source.
- Less confusion: Good project management means every team member has a clearly defined role, making unfinished tasks, missing details, and general uncertainty less likely.
- More effective teams: Establishing a plan team members can follow for measurable progress provides a sense of ownership to everyone involved. This helps keep team members motivated and moving toward individual goals, as they can see how their contributions impact the overall project.
Given the benefits, it’s no wonder companies are doubling down on investments in project management.
By 2027, employers will need around 88 million employees working in project management roles.
This makes now the perfect time to begin implementing proven project management practices and software. The first step is figuring out the right methodology and frameworks to use.
Understanding project management methods and frameworks
Established techniques provide a ready-made approach for successfully managing projects from start to finish. Choosing a framework or methodology that matches the needs of your project is a great way to set a foundation for successful outcomes and is one of the basics of project management.
Project management methodologies
Methodologies provide a set of techniques, tools, and principles for planning and completing a project. Since no two projects, teams, or businesses are the same, there are several methodologies to choose from. Some popular project management methodologies include:
- Waterfall: As one of the oldest methodologies, Waterfall applies to linear project management. This occurs when teams complete each task sequentially before moving to the next. The product manager establishes every task, deliverable, and expectation beforehand and oversees the timeline. The Waterfall methodology may be the right choice if you have a project with well-understood constraints and specifically defined steps.
- Agile: Agile methodology supports projects and workflows that are adaptive and flexible, allowing process refinement according to activity and team. It’s more flexible and open to change than many other methodologies. Agile may be the best project approach if you anticipate making pivots and need to adapt quickly or produce fast results.
The methodology you choose defines the necessary steps for your project and even creates some direction for how a team accomplishes each step. Let’s take a look at some popular project management frameworks, including Gnatt charts and Kanban boards, to see how they can help your project and your business.
Project management frameworks
Frameworks are much less prescriptive than methodologies. A framework is a loosely structured approach to solving a particular problem. You can drop them into any given workflow and adapt them to fit a project’s needs. Some popular frameworks include:
- Kanban: Kanban is a visual task management framework that organizes tasks onto cards and boards. These visual cues make it easy for teams to understand project status and task flow at-a-glance.
- Gantt charts: A Gantt chart is another visual tool used to represent a project plan. The chart includes a list of tasks with corresponding bars mapped to timelines. Gantt charts let project managers and teams see a project schedule at-a-glance, including when various tasks begin and end, which tasks are dependent on others, and which tasks may overlap.
When you understand the nuances of methodologies and frameworks, you can pick the tools that best fit your business and project. That starts with choosing a method, but project management teams and managers may also need to select software and other tech tools to support success.
Project management with monday.com
Finding the appropriate project management approach is just as crucial as identifying the right tools and software. For a seamless process, the approach fits the team and project and the tools fit the approach. monday.com makes that possible with:
- Custom workflows: Project managers can easily create and manage processes that fit team workflows. Work from templates and drag and drop blocks to create the perfect tool for individual processes.
- Keep projects on schedule: Using monday.com’s due date columns makes a project manager’s job much easier. You can also create dashboards linked to every team member, letting you track progress and timelines.
- Better collaboration: Files, communication, issue logs, and many other tools are centralized and available to the whole team, so everyone is always on the same page.
As a Work OS, monday.com provides you and your team with the tools necessary to collaborate, communicate, and keep every project on time and under budget. And our numerous free templates let you get started on a variety of tasks without starting from scratch.
Related templates for project management
We have hundreds to choose from, but the templates below give you an easy-to-use starting point for project management on monday.com.
Project management plan template
Planning is the first step of any new project, and the monday.com project management plan template lets you hit the ground running. This template organizes a project according to phases, so you can dive in and start adding tasks. As work progresses, you can keep an eye on the status of each task by drilling down to check on updates, activity, and files.
Single project template
If you’re looking for a productive way to organize a single project, our single project template is for you. This template has everything you need to track the status of activities across every phase of your project. It also has a handy Gantt view that shows you a high-level overview of the project as it progresses.
If you’re itching to put tools like monday.com and our project templates to work as you lead a project team to success, our FAQ section provides some hints on how to get started.
FAQs about project management
How do you manage a project with no experience?
If it’s early on in your project managing career, you may find yourself tasked with leading a project for the first time. Start by learning as much as you can about the project management tools and methodologies involved. Knowing what steps to follow through the project life cycle helps you guide a project to success.
How do you become a project manager?
Many project managers have some type of experience in managing processes, leading teams, or conducting business analysis. You can pair such experience with industry certifications and qualifications for project management, such as a PMP certification. The Project Management Institute also offers certifications in specific methodologies, such as Agile. You can also go through a project management program before applying to work as a project manager.
monday.com makes project management easy
Project managers of any level will increase efficiency and project effectiveness by supporting collaboration, planning and keeping up with schedules, and knowing which tasks to automate. Use the above project management for beginners guide to better understand expectations and monday.com’s comprehensive and easy-to-use project management tools to help empower your success.