It’s an interesting question that clients sometimes ask. They will ask you, “Can’t we just inform the team that is doing the work and manage it ourselves? It will be much cheaper.
They wonder if they really need project management because on paper it seems like an unnecessary overhead and tax, since project managers don’t really deliver anything and, too often, they get in the way of what they want the team to do. So if all of that is true, why is project management important?
The truth is that running projects without good project management are a false economy. It is often thought of as an unnecessary burden on the budget, and there is no doubt that it can be costly, up to 20% of the overall project budget. But can you afford not to have project management? Without that, what holds the team and the customer together? And without it, who is left as the leader in the ups and downs, crashes, and catastrophes of the projects?
Excellent project management means much more than keeping the iron triangle of project management in check, meeting deadlines, budget, and scope; Brings customers and teams together, creates a vision for success, and puts everyone on the same page of what it takes to stay on the road to success. When projects are managed properly, there is a positive impact that reverberates beyond just delivering “the stuff.”
Why Is Project Management Important?
1. Strategic Alignment
Project management is important because it ensures that what is being delivered is well done and will provide real value against business opportunities.
Each client has certain strategic objectives and the projects we do for them help them achieve them. The importance of project management is realized in the guarantee that there is rigor in the architecture of the projects adequately so that they fit well into the broader context of the strategic frameworks of our clients. Good project management ensures that project objectives are closely aligned with the strategic objectives of the business.
When identifying a strong business case and being methodical in calculating ROI, project management is important because it can help ensure that the right thing is delivered, which will deliver real value.
Of course, as projects progress, risks may arise, become problems, or even business strategy may change. But a project manager will make sure the project is part of that realignment. The importance of project management is demonstrated in cases where projects deviate from a course or are not adapted to business needs, becoming expensive or unnecessary.
Project management is important because it brings leadership and direction to projects.
Without project management, a team can be like a ship without a rudder; Moving but without direction, control, or purpose. Leadership allows the team to do its best work. Project management provides leadership and vision, motivation, coaching, removes obstacles, and inspires the team to do the best it can.
A project manager serves the team but also denotes clear lines of responsibility. With a project manager in place, there is no confusion about who is in charge and in control of what is happening in an ever-changing environment. Project managers enforce the process and keep everyone on the team in line as well because ultimately they are responsible for whether the project fails or succeeds.
3. Focus and Clear Objectives
Project management is important because it ensures that there is an adequate plan in place to execute the strategic objectives.
When project management is left to the team, you’ll find that teams work without proper reporting, projects lack focus, may have vague or nebulous goals, and leave the team unsure of what they are supposed to do or do. why.
As project managers, we position ourselves to prevent such a situation and promote timely fulfillment of tasks, dividing the project into tasks for our teams. Oftentimes, the foresight to take this approach is what differentiates good project management from bad. Breaking down into smaller pieces of work allows teams to stay focused on clear goals, orient their efforts toward achieving the end goal by taking smaller steps, and quickly identifying risks, as risk management is important in managing risk. Projects.
Typically, the objectives of a project have to change in conjunction with the risk of materialization. Again, without a dedicated supervisor and management, a project could fail quickly, but good project management (and a good project manager) is what allows the team to focus and, when necessary, refocus on its goals.
4. Realistic Project Planning
Project management is important because it ensures that proper expectations are set around what can be delivered, when, and for how much. In the phase of planning and developing projects, management is absolutely necessary.
Without proper project management, budget estimates and project deadlines can be set that are too ambitious or lack an analogous estimating vision for similar projects. Ultimately, this means that without good project management, projects are delivered late and over budget.
Effective project managers must be able to negotiate reasonable and achievable deadlines and milestones among stakeholders, teams, and management. Too often, the urgency put into delivery compromises the necessary steps and ultimately the quality of the project outcome.
We all know that most tasks will take longer than initially planned – a good project manager can analyze and balance available resources, with the required schedule, and develop a realistic schedule. Project management is really important when scheduling, as it brings objectivity to planning.
A good project manager creates a clear process, with achievable deadlines, that allows all members of the project team to work within reasonable limits, and not create unreasonable expectations.
5. Quality Control
Project management is important because it ensures that the quality of what is being delivered is always up to par.
Projects are also often under enormous pressure to complete. Without a dedicated project manager, who has the support and buy-in of executive management, tasks are underestimated, schedules get tighter, and processes are sped up. The result of all this is a poor quality product. Dedicated project management ensures that a project not only has the time and resources to deliver but also that the quality of the project is assessed at every stage.
Good project management requires closed phases in which teams can evaluate the result in terms of quality, applicability, and return on investment. Project management is critically important to quality assurance as it allows for a phased and staggered process, creating time for teams to examine and test their results every step along the way.
6. Risk Management
Project management is important because it ensures that risks are properly managed and reduced to prevent them from becoming problems.
Risk management is critical to the success of the project. The temptation is to simply ‘sweep them under the rug’, never discuss them with the client, and hope for the best. But having a robust process around identifying, managing, and mitigating risks are what helps prevent risks from becoming problems.
Good project management practice requires project managers to carefully analyze all potential risks to the project, quantify them, develop a mitigation plan against them, and a contingency plan in case any of them materialize. Naturally, risks must be prioritized according to the probability of their occurrence, and appropriate responses are assigned by risk. Good project management is important in this regard, as projects never go off the rails, and how we deal with change and adapting our plans is the key to successfully delivering projects.
7. Orderly Process
Project management is important because it ensures that the right people do the right thing at the right time, and it ensures that the right project process is followed throughout the project life cycle.
Surprisingly, many large and well-known companies have reactive planning processes. But reactivity, as opposed to proactivity, can regularly put projects into survival mode. This occurs when teams break down, tasks are duplicated, and planning becomes reactive, creating inefficiency and frustration on the team.
Proper planning and process can make a big difference as the team knows who is doing what, when, and how. The right process helps clarify roles, streamline processes and inputs, anticipate risks, and create checks and balances to ensure the project is continually aligned with the overall strategy. Project management is important here because, without an orderly and easy-to-understand process, companies risk project failure, loss of employee trust, and waste of resources.
8. Continuous Supervision
Project management is important because it ensures that the progress of a project is properly monitored and reported.
The project progress report may sound boring and unnecessary, and if everything goes according to plan, it may seem like documentation just for the sake of it. However, ongoing monitoring of the project, to ensure that it is being performed correctly compared to the original plan, is critical to ensuring that the project remains on track.
When properly monitored and reported, it is easy to see when a project is starting to deviate from its intended course. The sooner you can detect project deviation, the easier it will be for you to correct the course.
Good project managers will generate progress or status reports regularly, which will be easily digestible and will allow stakeholders to keep track of the project. Typically these project progress reports will provide information on the work that was completed and planned, the hours used and how they compare to plan, how the project is doing compared to milestones, risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies, and any project results, as it progresses.
This information is invaluable, not only for tracking progress but also for clients to gain the trust of other stakeholders in their organization, allowing them to easily monitor the progress of a project.
9. Experience in the Subject
Project management is important because someone needs to be able to understand if everyone is doing what they should.
With a few years of experience under their belt, project managers will know a bit about various aspects of delivering the projects they manage. They will know everything about the work their teams are doing. the platforms and systems they use, the capabilities and limitations, and the types of problems that typically occur.
Having this kind of subject matter expertise means they can have smart conversations with customers, team, stakeholders, and vendors. They are well equipped to be the communication center in a project, ensuring that as the project flows between different teams and phases of work, nothing is forgotten or overlooked.
Without experience in the field of proper project management, you will see that a project becomes unbalanced: creatives ignore the limitations of technology or developers forget the creative vision of the project. Project management keeps the team focused on the big picture and brings everyone together to force the right compromises to make the project a success.
10. Management and Learning from Success and Failure
Project management is important because it learns from the successes and failures of the past.
Project management can break bad habits, and when delivering projects, it’s important not to make the same mistakes twice. Project managers use retrospectives or post-project reviews to consider what went well, what did not go so well, and what needs to be done differently for the next project.
This produces a valuable set of documentation that becomes a record of “dos and don’ts” for future projects, allowing the organization to learn from failure and success. Without this learning, teams will often continue to make the same mistakes, over and over again. These retrospectives are great documents to use in a project kickoff meeting, to remind the team about failures, such as underestimating projects and successes, such as the benefits of a strong process, or the importance of keeping the timesheet current.
So why is project management important? Without it, teams and clients are exposed to chaotic management, unclear objectives, lack of resources, unrealistic planning, high risk, poor quality results, projects that are over budget and are delivered late.
Excellent project management matters because it delivers success. Project management creates and empowers happy and motivated teams who know their work affairs, so they do the best they can. And that empowered project management team ensures the right things are delivered – things that deliver a real return on investment, and that make customers happy.