Imagine a scenario where a project was handled on the fly. There would be no requirements chalked out, no schedules for delivery and no monitoring of product quality. The team might not have any action plan in place, and perhaps wouldn’t even know where to start! With no communication, no planning, and no strategy, this would undoubtedly be a recipe for disaster.
Most projects are complex and challenging, and require a fine balance between meeting user needs, sticking to the allocated budget, optimizing resources, keeping within the scope, maintaining quality and completing on time. Without a structured approach to all these factors, it would become impossible to deliver a successful project.
In this blog, you’ll learn the importance of project management to organizations. What is the contribution of a good project manager, and why should you choose a career in project management? Read on to find out!
Why Is Project Management Important?
A McKinsey survey found that “nearly 60 percent of senior executives said building a strong project management discipline is a top-three priority for their companies as they look to the future.”
Forward-looking organizations that give project management the attention it deserves are able to consistently deliver business results and stay ahead of the pack. The right techniques and methods can reduce costs, improve efficiencies, enhance customer and stakeholder satisfaction, and bring about sustainable competitive advantage.
More organizations are investing time, money and effort in training their teams on global best practices in project management, and are seeing measurable results as they build the required expertise across their teams.
Top 10 Benefits of Project Management
Here are some of the top benefits that a well-defined project management strategy brings to an organization.
1. Better Planning
Project management allows the team to see the big picture. When requirements are captured, budgets are planned, timelines are mapped out and there are realistic, achievable targets, the project can get off on the right foot and stay on track.
2. Collaboration and communication
Project management smoothens channels of communication, directing the team to get together at regular intervals to discuss progress, iron out obstacles and brainstorm on the way forward. The whole team collaborates and works together as a cohesive unit to achieve end goals, and this improves team morale and enhances productivity.
3. Optimized resource allocation
Without proper project management, resource allocation would go haywire. When project management techniques are implemented, people of different skill levels and with expertise in diverse domains are optimally used, so that their talents are brought to the fore and they can make meaningful contributions to the project. This is made possible through smart planning and resource allocation.
4. Reduced costs and timely deliveries
When processes are in place and resources are optimized, budgets and timelines can stay on track and within limits. There will be no delays, and the project goals can be rolled out in a timely manner.
5. Enhanced quality
Project managers are always under pressure to perform better than their best. Budgets are inevitably tight and timelines are short, but with the right project planning quality control can be achieved. Methodologies like Scrum and Kanban facilitate planning and ensure that the quality standards are met.
6. Higher customer satisfaction
With the cutthroat competition in the market today, retaining a loyal customer base is of greater importance than ever before. Thoughtful project planning and implementation increases the chances of being able to meet and exceed the end-user’s requirements. Greater customer satisfaction will lead to increased word-of-mouth referrals, and consequently more projects will come your way.
7. Increased productivity
Proper planning of time, budget and resources, and having efficient systems and processes in place, leads to the team being able to roll out products faster and with enhanced quality. This increases team productivity and boosts the organization’s bottom-line.
8. Increased flexibility
Today’s projects must be able to adapt to changing requirements, and without the right project management this will become impossible. With flexibility at the core, project managers can navigate their way around volatile market needs and course correct as needed to meet customer expectations.
9. Happy employees
As the team works with heightened efficiency, greater communication and more collaboration, team morale is bound to increase. With the rollout of a successful project, the team will gain confidence and stay engaged, looking to perform even better the next time round. Project managers can inspire and motivate teams by incentivizing top performers and this will further increase employee engagement.
10. Continuous learning
Introspections at the end of each project cycle allow for continuous improvement, where the team can look back on the completed work and try to list out what went wrong and what could have been improved. Agile frameworks factor in regular reviews and retrospectives where the main agenda is to find out how the team can collectively better themselves.
The Importance of Effective Project Managers
A project manager is the captain of the ship, holding the team and clients together and helping to navigate through uncertainties, conflicts and roadblocks. An effective project manager will be able to get everyone on the same page, uphold the vision and outline the goals, and lays the groundwork for success.
Project management is not just about successful delivery of one project. It has a positive impact that leads to successful deliveries of projects, programs and entire portfolios and ultimately leads to organizational success. A failed project, on the other hand, can derail new initiatives, lower morale and prevent business growth.
An effective project manager is able to facilitate effective project planning, mitigate risks and optimize resources, manage budgets and time schedules, and enable clear communication across teams and stakeholders.
Why Choose a Career in Project Management?
Across the world, the nature of work is continually changing due to advancements in technology, evolving industry needs and digitization. This has led to work being organized around projects, with teams that are grouped together based on the skills and expertise required to carry out specific tasks.
As more organizations realize the value that a project management strategy brings to the table, expertise in project management is highly valued. Project managers are critical to project success and play the most important role in helping organizations to achieve their goals. A career in project management is considered to be future-proof, and experienced project managers will always be highly sought after across industries and sectors.
Is a career in project management for you? This is a question only you are equipped to answer! But if you’re someone who loves managing people, has the ability to multitask and are great at balancing timelines and budgets, then this is a role you will love. You’ll be on the frontline of your organization, getting challenged every day and helping to create visible results that directly translate to organizational growth.
No matter which industry you’re in, this is a great space to be in, and there’s no better time than now to get into the project management arena!
How to Define the Value of Project Management
Project management that’s done right can be so seamless that it often turns invisible. A clearly defined, well-structured project plan runs like a smoothly oiled machine, and there are no hiccups to progress.
It’s perhaps only when the project management structure is not in place that the gaps begin to show; releases don’t happen as planned, schedules go awry, and budgets spin out of control.
How, then, is the value of project management defined? Is it possible to quantify the real value of project management? Thankfully, we have several ways to define just that, measuring the importance of efficient project management for your organization.
Use project management tools
Project management tools are a project manager’s best friend, getting twice the work done in half the time! Proofhub, Asana, Trello, Clarizen and Kissflow are a few of the top-rated tools and trackers that can work as a one-stop solution to plan, schedule, track, and monitor projects.
Measure the savings on time and money
Using project management solutions, you will be able to calculate the savings in terms of time and money. This will optimize resource allocation and cut down on wasted processes, streamline communication and keep employees engaged and productive.
By quantifying KPIs through progress markers, you will be able to judge and measure the work that is happening on the project. For an Agile project, how many releases are being rolled out in each cycle? How many features or Product Backlog items are being completed in a certain period of time? You can collate team and stakeholder feedback, create team benchmarks and track progress.
Empower Your Teams to Be More Productive
Project management techniques continue to evolve, factoring in changing industry needs and global best practices. But through all the changes, what remains very clear is that well-defined project management techniques and process implementation are directly linked to increased business value.
Strong and clearly structured project management practices will go a long way toward driving organizational growth and boosting productivity. Mature project management capabilities must be integrated across all levels of the organization, from the management down to the smallest team.
Empowering your employees with best practices, tools and techniques in project management is a must, in order to get them on the same page and working together in cohesion to deliver successful projects. This is the only way to survive —and thrive— amidst an increasingly competitive global marketplace.