Principles of Project Management:

Project Management principles teach us the initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing of the work. The team achieves specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The biggest challenge in project management is to make sure that all goals and objectives of the project are achieved while taking into consideration the pre-defined constraints. The basic principles of project management take into account constraints such as time, quality, budget, and the scope of the project.

You may learn these principles as well as the implementation of project management (using both agile and waterfall methodologies) during online courses with certificates in Project Management and the best online MBA in Project Management program.

7 Basic Principles of Project Management:

There are essentially 7 project management principles that you should know about.

1. Focus on Products:

The client or the customer for whom the project has been developed should have a clear idea of what they require and how they want the deliverables to be. They should be realistic about their expectations. When the client is clear about what they want or expect from the project, things become a lot easier for the managers in charge.

2. Continued Business Justification:

There has to be a business justification behind every project. All projects should provide the company with a decent return on investment which makes it worth the effort, time, and investment that goes into it. There are occasions when the circumstances in the industry or in the market change during the life cycle of the project, which affect the return on investment. A decision has to be taken at such a time, as whether to continue with the project or not.

project management principles

4. Manage by Exception:

The sponsor of the project or the owner of the company should not be too concerned with the tiny details and they should not try to micro-manage everything. They should let the managers take charge and make the decisions within a set of pre-decided constraints. Only when the problem or issue becomes critical should it be escalated to the sponsor.

5. Manage by Stages:

The project should be broken down into smaller sub-projects or stages. At the end of each stage, the sponsor of the project makes a critical decision on how to proceed further. The idea is to commit to just one stage at a time.

6. Learn from Experience:

It is one of the most important principles of project management that the manager and those involved with the project should not repeat the same mistakes every time. They should analyze what went wrong with the previous projects they worked on and learn from the lessons while planning the next project. They must not repeat past errors.

7. Tailor to the Environment:

Any project management framework or methodology should be based on the specific requirements of the project. The project should be customized accordingly. Managers should never follow a methodology without considering the environment that they are operating in and the type and amount of work required. For example, a project with a time frame of 1 year should be based on a different methodology compared to one required to be done in 3 weeks.

basic principles of project management

How to Apply Project Management Principles to Succeed:

Anyone can take a project and run with it. But unless you have a clear strategy, your efforts will be wasted. To have a successful project, you need to have an organizational model in mind before even starting. And if you want to succeed with your project management skills, you need to know how other professionals already manage their time and resources. Listed below are four key principles of project management that will help you streamline your workflow so that you spend less time on unproductive activities and more time on what matters most.

1. Define the Scope of Work Before You Start:

This is perhaps the most important step you can take to ensure your project’s success. While you can take a project from planning to execution with little more than a pen and a piece of paper, the project itself is worthless without a defined scope. In order to determine the scope of work for your project, you need to take into account both the resources available to you and the goals you’re trying to achieve. You can do this by taking into account the following:

What are the objectives of your project?

  • What do you hope to accomplish with this project?
  • What is the purpose of this project?

What are the core components of this project?

  • What are the dependencies?
  • What are the interdependencies?
  • What are the objectives and functions of each component?

What are the resources required for this project?

  • What are the resource requirements?
  • What are the limitations of the resources?

What are the stakeholders involved in this project?

  • Who are the key stakeholders?
  • What are the roles of each stakeholder?
  • What are their expectations from this project?

What are the outcomes you want from this project?

  • What are the core deliverables of this project?
  • What are the intermediate deliverables?
  • What are the by-products or residuals?

What are the threats to the success of this project?

  • What are the obstacles to the success of this project?
  • What are the risks to the success of this project?

What are the benefits of this project?

  • When and how will these benefits be realized?

What are the problems that might occur during the course of this project?

What are the other stakeholders in this project?

  • Who are the influencers? Who are the laggards?
  • Who are the partners? Who are the antagonists?

What are the existing systems/practices that will be affected/broken during this project?

  • What are the dependencies on these systems?
  • What are the interdependencies?
  • What are the impacts on these systems if this project is not completed successfully?

2. Set Milestones for Your Project:

In order to facilitate communication, schedule milestones for your project. Setting up milestones will help you clearly communicate to all stakeholders what you are trying to achieve with your project. You can then track progress against these milestones and assess whether or not you are on track with the project. Milestones can be both physical and virtual. Physical milestones are those that occur at a predetermined place and are typically measured using an analog or digital scale. The following are some examples of physical milestones:

  • When will the prototype be ready? The prototype is ready when?
  • When will the first pilot be implemented? The pilot is ready when?
  • When will the production model be ready? The production model is ready when?
  • When will the final version be ready? The final version is ready when?
  • When will the project be finished? The project is finished when? Milestones can also be virtual.

Virtual milestones are those that are visible only to the people who need to know about them and are not visible to anyone else. Examples of virtual milestones include the following:

  • When will the research be ready? The research is ready when?
  • When will the data analysis be complete? The data analysis is complete when?
  • When will the proposal be ready? The proposal is ready when?
  • When will the request be ready? The request is ready when?
  • When will the presentation be ready? The presentation is ready when?
  • When will the implementation be ready? The implementation is ready when?
  • When will the training be ready? The training is ready when?
  • – When will the communication be ready? The communication is ready when?

3. Plan Your Meetings:

There are many ways to plan your meetings, from creating a to-do list to have a calendar view. You can also use software to help you keep track of your meetings and their details. Planning your meetings helps you to stay organized. You can see what tasks need to be done and who has to do them. It’s also helpful to set a daily/weekly/monthly/annual quota to keep yourself accountable. There are many tips on how to set up a meeting schedule. Some of these include having a start and finish time, what you’re meeting about, and how often you’re meeting. You can also use an app that helps you find the best times to meet.

4. Stay Flexible and Use Iterations for Improvement:

Project failures can often be traced back to anything but the project scope, i.e., the way it is executed. Plan for everything, but be ready for anything. It’s better to be 5% off than 95% on. What this means is that you don’t want to get too caught up in your plans. It doesn’t matter whether you have a 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year plan for your project. All that matters is that you are committed to the project and working towards its completion. The project itself might be 5, 10, or even 20 years old. What matters is that you are committed to making it happen. Things change. They always do. You can’t just assume that your plans will go as you originally thought they would. Changes are bound to happen. You need to be ready for anything that comes your way. You can’t just expect everything to go according to plan.


These are the 7 project management principles that every organization should incorporate into their processes. absolutely essential for the success of any project. Project management isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment. You’ll need to be disciplined both in your personal life and your professional life. When you’re starting out in project management, it can be difficult to know where to start. Follow the 7 principles and you’ll have a successful project.

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