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Why project management matters


Published: 17th August 2020

The world of business is continuously changing with the ever-increasing innovations that are taking place in the business world. Project management matters because it helps businesses with all the changes they need to handle. While there are many start-up businesses who are striving to find project managers capable of bringing their visions to life there are others hearing the words project management and wondering exactly what it entails.

The fundamental issue is if project management is important for the development process or simply a concept likely to waste money and time. Many businesses have, mistakenly, adopted the belief that project management is not worth the investment. However, a project manager is responsible for much more than the development process of a project. A good project manager has the skills to keep on top of the workload, and any unexpected issues that might come up with a project. Shifting deadlines, communicating with team members and stakeholders, managing risk, deadlines and budgets are all part of their skillset.

It might appear that a professional project manager could be quite an expense, but a project manager has the experience and the qualifications to pull your project together and spot those issues that could really be costly. What a good project manager might cost you could easily be made up for by the savings that they will make for you, keeping your project on target and ensuring that you really don’t go over budget, and that if you do it is by the smallest amount possible.

If you are still not convinced about the value that you will get from having a project manager than why not take a look at the following advantages that you might be able to take advantage of.

Project management looks easy, until you give it a go

What is project management? One essential part of project management is the ability to oversee a team who all possess different skills and talents on a range of levels. The project team are responsible for not only the planning but also the execution of the objectives of the project. Each project should follow a set of guidelines in order to successfully reach the desired end goal. The right project plan will mean the difference between the project being a success or unfortunately a failure.

Having the skills to keep not only the team in check but also juggle communication with stakeholders and suppliers as well takes a great deal of organisation. A project manager is able to think on their feet and when they are faced with an unexpected problem that might mean a delay or an extra cost to the project budget they are able to find a quick and efficient solution.

While some of the skills that a project manager might rely on are instinctive, there are others that really need to be honed through training for project managers . Of course they also need plenty of experience that can really only be gained by doing the job, and learning from their mistakes and errors.

Learning the skills to understand the plan that any project should follow can be difficult to master however it is well worth taking the time to ensure that you learn everything that you need. A good project manager never stops learning, and every new project offers the opportunity to sharpen those existing skills while learning new ones. That being said, here are some of the steps that you will need to consider along the way.

Setting out a plan

Projects, no matter how organised you think they are, are naturally chaotic and it is very important to define a plan that will ensure that the chaos is as organised as possible. The main goal of project management is having the ability to organise and plan the project in such a way that this natural chaos is tamed and controlled as much as possible. A clear path should be mapped out that clearly indicates a route from start to finish of the project. It is important to make sure that the outcome is a positive one that meets the goals set out in the project at the very beginning. A good project manager will be able to come up with a plan that considers the task and any factors that may influence it, which means potential issues will be identified and planned for, making for a smoother process.

Create a schedule

A project that does not have a proper schedule and plan is doomed to failure from the beginning. If there is no schedule to follow then it is all too easy for team members to stray from any approximate timeframes that have been set out for individual elements of the project and this could lead to delays which may well mean that your costs will overrun. If you want to give your project the best shot possible at having a positive outcome, then you need a a project manager that can create a sound schedule that can help you to achieve this.

Encourage teamwork

A project manager has the ability to bring people together. Often these are people with a wide range of different skills who are brought together to work on a project where their individual skills will be beneficial to the project as a whole. While some of them may have worked together on projects before, there is a good chance that there will be some new team members who have not worked with each other before, or who are new to the whole idea of project management. When it comes to effective project management and planning, collaboration is the cornerstone and a good project manager can help you achieve this.

Maximise resources

Whether you are thinking about the human or financial resources involved in your project they are an expensive commodity. A good project manager is able to enforce the disciplines of project management in order to ensure that all of the resources involved are used economically and efficiently. The disciplines that a project manager might use would include risk management and project tracking. This will give them the opportunity to see any issues that arise before they really have a significant impact on the project. They can then take steps to amend their plan in order to get the project back on track.

Manage integration

Projects do not just happen on their own, they need to be integrated into the other systems and business processes of the organisation and they need someone to help achieve this. You would not be able to build a sales system that did not have the capability of integrating with your other sales processes and the sales organisation. There would be very little value to such a move. When it comes to project value integration is usually key.  Project management plays a huge part in identifying and managing integration.

Controlling costs

There are projects that cost relatively little and others that have a significant amount of money available on their budget. Whether you are working to a small or large budget it is really important to ensure that budget performance is on track. When project management strategies are used there is a far greater chance that your project will not overrun its budget. Planning the entire project from start to finish will give the experienced project manager the scope to know where there are parts of the budget that can afford to be tweaked in the event of unexpected costs occurring or deadlines being missed. Not only that, but a good project manager could help to bring a project in under budget, as they may have good negotiating skills and contacts that could provide services at a lower price than you are able to source alone.

Managing changes

The project management environment is full of things that can change. There really is very little that is constant except from the changes that may occur. It is a difficult and complex task managing the changes that can occur and it takes a good degree of skill, knowledge, and the ability to think on your feet. The role of a project manager is very simple; that is to manage change. This is a huge part of the job and is certainly not something that is optional.

Managing quality

Quality refers to the value of the item or items that you produce. The role of the project manager is to identify, control and manage quality. When this is done correctly this will result in a product or a service that is high quality and hopefully a client who is happy with the outcome. Whether you’re producing digital services or physical products, the required outcome is the same; something the client is happy to recommend you for, and something you can be proud of as a business.

Using knowledge gained in previous projects

Whether a project is in a field your project manager has already worked in or one that is completely new to them they will be able to use their knowledge of previous projects to help make the project run more smoothly. What knowledge they will gain from a new project is considered by most businesses to represent a significant asset.

Allows learning from failure

Unfortunately, no matter how well a project manager plans a project, no matter how great the budget or how skilled the members of the project team, sometimes projects fail. This is unfortunately part of the project management cycle, however there is always something new to learn even from a failed project. Project management makes sure that there is always learning to be done whether it comes from a project success or a project failure.

To sum up… why project management matters

These are just a few of the reasons why so many companies make the decision to employ individuals who have project management skills and qualifications. If you been wondering whether to start searching for a project manager for your business, or even make the move to project management then now might just be the time to do it. The demand for project managers is on the increase. More and more companies are beginning to realise that employing someone with the right skillset may not actually be as expensive as they first believed. With an experienced and qualified project manager to drive their project forward not only will they have a better chance of getting the results that they are looking for but will also have someone who understand exactly what measures need to be taken when problems arise.

A good project manager does more than just set a plan for the project that will work to the budget they have been given. They will keep track of how the work is going, communicating with the members of the team on a regular basis to ensure that they are constantly updated. If something unexpected comes up that could alter the timescales and affect the budget, they will be aware of this promptly. This will offer them the best opportunity possible to find a solution that will allow the project to continue as closely as possible to its agreed deadlines and budget rather than jeopardising the project entirely, which could be vital for business success.

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