Project management is important for all types of companies, no matter how big or small. Whether you are managing projects for yourself or your team, it pays to know how to do it well.
A well managed project will save money and improve productivity. There are many ways to manage a project, including using a formal process like Scrum or Kanban, or informal processes such as ad hoc planning or just winging it. Regardless of the approach, there are several things every manager must consider.
Running a project without proper project management is a false economic gain. However, it’s often considered to be an unnecessary expense, and there’s no question that it can be expensive – up to 20 percent of the overall project budget!
But can you really not have project management?
Without it, what keeps the team and client together. Without it, who else would be able to navigate through the highs and lows, conflicts, and catastrophe of projects?
Great projects require much more than just following the iron triangle. They need to unite clients and teams, create a shared understanding of what needs to be done, and get everyone on the same page so they know what’s expected of them.
When managed well, projects have a positive effect that extends beyond the delivery of ‘the stuff’
What are the Benefits of Project Management?
Project management is one of those things that you either understand or you don’t. If you don’t know how it works, you might think that it’s about telling people what to do and making sure everyone gets paid. But that’s only part of the story.
In reality, project management is about managing change in a complex environment where there are many stakeholders, each with different goals. It’s about aligning resources across multiple teams and disciplines to achieve shared objectives. And most importantly, it’s about ensuring that everyone involved understands what needs to happen and knows exactly what success looks like.
If you’re still reading, you probably already see why project management matters. You’ve been working hard to build something great and now it’s coming together. Everyone wants to make sure it stays on track and meets expectations.
So here’s the thing: even though you may not use project management software, you still need someone to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Someone to keep everyone aligned and focused on the big picture. Someone to help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes. Someone to make sure that you’re meeting deadlines and hitting targets.
And that’s why project management is such an important tool in every organization.
1. Strategic Project Alignment
Project management is important for two reasons. First, it ensures that what is being developed, built, or implemented is correct, and second, it ensures that it delivers real business benefits.
Every project you undertake advances your clients’ business objectives. It’s important for project managers to be rigorous because part of their job is to ensure that projects follow proper architectural guidelines so that they fit well into the broader framework of their clients’ strategic plans.
Good project planning ensures that the objectives of projects coincide with the company’s overall strategy.
Project management is an essential part of ensuring that the right things get done. It helps to ensure that they’re going to be valuable for the company.
As projects move forward, there might be times when risks arise, become an issue, or even the business plan changes. A project management specialist will help make sure that the project fits into the overall company strategy.
Project management really matters when it comes to creating successful products and services for your company. If you don’t manage your project well, it could be an expensive mistake.
Project management is important because it helps you deliver what matters most to your customers. You need to make sure that the right things are getting done, that they’re doing the right thing, and that they’re doing it well.
If you don’t manage projects properly, you could end up wasting money and resources. You might even lose money and resources. And if you do that, you’ll probably find yourself out of work.
Project management is important because it works hand in hand with leadership. Without leadership, a team can be just like a ship without a captain. A leader leads the way, providing vision, motivation, removing obstacles, coaching, and inspiring his/her team to do their best.
Leaders are accountable for what happens under their watch. They don’t blame others for problems. Instead, leaders take responsibility for everything that goes wrong and make sure things get done correctly next time around.
Leaders are great communicators. They understand what needs to happen, why it needs to happen, how it needs to happen, and most importantly, how it will benefit everyone involved. When people know where they stand, they feel empowered to perform better and achieve success.
With a project manager in place though, there’s no confusion. Who’s in charge and in complete control of the process? The answer is simple: the person who signs off on the plan, budget, timeline, etc.
In fact, if you’re using a “RACI” chart, the person who signs off is the one who gets the red circle. This ensures that every member of the team knows exactly what he/she is responsible for, whether it’s making sure that the project runs smoothly or getting the job completed on time.
The Leadership Role of a Project Manager
A project manager serves as a lead and enforces processes throughout the project. They are responsible for making sure that everything gets done on time, within budget, and according to plan.
Project managers ensure that tasks are completed correctly, and that everyone knows what needs to be done. This includes keeping track of deadlines, communicating clearly with stakeholders, and ensuring that the project stays organized.
If there is no one leading the way, it becomes difficult for the whole team to work together effectively.
Without a project manager, a project can become disorganized and confused about exactly what steps need to be taken next. There might be many different ideas floating around, and nobody seems to be able to make decisions. This leads to confusion and frustration among those involved, and ultimately delays the completion of the project.
When a project manager is present though, things go much smoother. People know what is expected of them, and they feel like they have ownership over the entire project. This makes them feel motivated to take action and complete their assigned tasks.
3. Clearly Defined Focus & Objectives
Project management is vital to ensuring projects are completed successfully. A well managed project will include clear objectives and milestones, along with regular progress reports. Without proper project management, it is easy for projects to go off track.
Where project management is left to team members to figure out on their own, you’ll find teams working without proper briefs or a defined project management methodology in place. This leads to ambiguity about what the team’s purpose is, and where they’re headed. Without clearly defined objectives, it makes it difficult to know how much effort to put forth, and whether or not the resource investment will pay off.
As a project manager, you position yourself to ensure that doesn’t happen. You break up large projects into manageable pieces, making sure each one has a clear objective, and providing enough detail to help everyone understand exactly what needs to be done.
By taking this step, we can avoid confusion about the task at hand, and equip our team with the tools they need to complete their jobs efficiently and effectively.
Oftentimes, the forethought to take such an approach separates great project managers from those who don’t quite grasp the importance of managing projects properly. When you break down a large project into small, bite-sized pieces, you give yourself the opportunity to manage each piece individually, while still being able to see the big picture.
You can determine whether or not the effort invested in completing each task will yield positive returns. And if something goes wrong, you can easily spot potential problems early on, allowing you to make adjustments and course correct before things go too far.
4. Realistic Project Planning
A realistic project plan helps you deliver projects on time and on budget. A project plan is like a road map; it tells you what needs to happen, how much work there is left, and when things are due. You can use a project plan to keep track of everything that needs to be done, including tasks, deadlines, resources, costs, risks, and issues.
Without a project plan, projects often take longer than expected, cost more than anticipated, and don’t meet expectations. With a project plan, however, you’ll know exactly where you’re headed and how far along you are. When you make changes to your plan, you’ll know whether those changes will help you complete your project on time and within budget.
The process of planning a project is one of the most critical aspects of managing a successful project. If you don’t properly plan, you’ll end up having to rework everything later down the road. In fact, research suggests that 80% of projects fail due to poor planning.
There are many different factors that go into creating a well thought out project plan. Some of those include:
- Estimating – How do you estimate your work? What assumptions are being used? How accurate are those assumptions?
- Scope Management – Who needs to approve changes to the scope? Who needs to sign off on deliverables? When does each person need to see the final product?
- Risk Analysis – Is there anything that could potentially derail your project? What risks might you run into along the way?
- Communication Plan – How will you communicate throughout the entire project lifecycle?
- Resource Allocation – Where will you find the people, equipment, materials, and tools needed to complete the project?
A good project management process ensures that everyone involved in the development of a product has an understanding of the scope of the task at hand, and that they’re able to meet their own goals without having to ask for help from others.
5. Enables Quality Control
Quality control is an integral part in every project. In fact, it is one of the most important aspects of any project. If you do not have quality control, you could end up wasting money, time, resources, and even losing clients.
A good project manager will make sure that projects are well managed, especially in regards to quality control. You want to make sure that everything goes smoothly and that there are no issues along the way. There are many ways that you can implement quality control into your project.
Quality control is key to successful projects. A good project manager understands how to manage the process so that the team produces the best possible product. This requires a clear understanding of what needs to happen to ensure success.
With project management you will not underestimate the work involved.
The most common mistake I see in project managers is underestimating the amount of work involved. When you’re working on a large project, you’ll often find yourself rushing to meet deadlines. As a result, you don’t always have enough time to test out assumptions about the final outcome. You might assume that something will just “work itself out,” when in reality, it could cause problems down the road.
In addition, people tend to underestimate how much effort goes into testing. For example, a simple change to a design might require hours of coding. But if you spend too little time testing, you won’t know whether it actually works correctly. If you do run into issues, you’ll waste time fixing them rather than spending the extra time needed to make sure everything runs smoothly.
To avoid making mistakes like this, you must set up gates that allow you to stop the flow of work based on quality standards. These gates give you the ability to pause the project while you catch errors or adjust course. They also help you identify potential bottlenecks early on, allowing you to plan ahead and prevent delays.
Planning out your project beforehand will save you lots of headaches down the road. Make sure that you know what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve.
6. Ensures Risk Management
Project management is important because it enables organizations to identify and mitigate risks to ensure successful outcomes. A well-managed project is one that avoids problems, reduces costs, and meets deadlines.
Risk management is critical to project successes. The temptation is just to ignore them altogether, hoping that nothing goes wrong. This approach often leads to catastrophic failures.
Good project management practice requires project leaders to carefully analyze all potential risk factors to the project, quantify each one, develop a mitigation strategy against each one, and a contingency plan if any of them materializes.
Especially in complex projects, dealing effectively with risk is where the real value of project management becomes apparent. In addition to helping you manage risk, good project management practices enable you to deliver better products and services faster, cheaper, and with fewer errors.
Risk management is an important part in any project, especially for those where there is uncertainty about what might happen. In such cases, it is essential to understand how to deal with risks effectively. This is done by identifying risks, assessing them, and deciding on how to handle them.
When you are managing risks, remember that a risk must either benefit or harm the project otherwise, it shouldn’t exist. If the risk harms the project, do something about it. But if the risk benefits the project, don’t worry too much about it. You can still take steps to mitigate the risk, even though the risk itself is beneficial.
The most common way of dealing with risks is to avoid them altogether. However, sometimes it makes sense to accept some risks because avoiding them could cause significant damage to the project. For example, if you’re building a house, you’ll probably want to build it somewhere else rather than on a cliff edge.
But you can never completely eliminate risks. Even if you try to do everything perfectly, you will inevitably make mistakes. So you have to learn to live with the fact that things will go wrong sometimes.
7. Ensures Orderly Process
Project managers are responsible for ensuring that the entire project is completed within the agreed upon timeframe and budget. They must manage risk, allocate resources efficiently, and keep everyone engaged. A good project manager will always identify potential problems early and solve them before they become issues.
The best way to avoid chaos is to plan ahead. In order to achieve effective project management, you must start with a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the project. Once those goals and objectives are established, it’s time to break down each task into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces are called activities. Each activity should have clearly defined outcomes and deadlines. You’ll want to assign someone to each activity to ensure that everything gets done on time.
Once the project timeline is complete, you’ll want to establish milestones along the way. Milestones represent key points during the project where progress needs to be checked off against. If a milestone isn’t met, then there could be consequences for the project. For example, if a deadline isn’t met, then the client might lose confidence in the project. Or, if a feature isn’t implemented, then the product won’t meet expectations.
Finally, once the project is finished, you’ll want to assess whether the project was successful. Did you hit every goal and objective? What went wrong? How did you improve next time? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to determine whether or not the project was worth the effort.
You can use this project management checklist to help you organize and manage your project effectively.
A good project manager should be aware of how to manage stakeholder expectations and employee needs. This includes being able to manage expectations of internal stakeholders such as team members, clients, and vendors. It also includes managing expectations of external stakeholders like customers, investors, and partners. And it includes managing expectations of employees. In short, a good project manager must be able to manage expectations.
Without a good project management process in place, there will be chaos within the organization. Project managers are responsible for creating processes that help teams work together efficiently. They are responsible for making sure everyone understands what those processes are, why they exist, and how they apply to projects.
8. Project management gives you Continuous Oversight
Project management is an essential component to successful projects. But it’s hard to manage a project without knowing exactly what’s going on. With project management tools, you’ll always know what stage each task is in, and whether it’s completed or still pending. You’ll even receive email notifications when tasks enter a certain state.
Status reporting helps keep projects on course. If you’re working on a project with multiple team members, it’s important to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. With this tool, every member of the team can quickly view status reports and check off items as they complete them. You’ll know exactly where each person stands, and can communicate accordingly.
A good project manager will report to stakeholders about what’s going on. While some teams prefer to use Slack to communicate, others like to send emails. Either way, it’s important to let people know what’s happening. With this tool, your stakeholders can easily access information about the project, including progress reports, milestone dates, and more. They can even request changes to the plan.
Your clients will appreciate having a clean, well-organized project. When you provide regular progress reports, your clients will feel confident that you’re doing everything possible to finish the job on schedule. Plus, they’ll appreciate being able to clearly see how far along the project is. With this tool, they can easily see how much time is left, and how much work is remaining.
Clients can easily see how long it takes to complete each task. As a client, you want to know how long it will take to complete a particular task. With this tool, clients can quickly calculate how long it will take each step to complete a project. They can also compare the estimated time for a task against the actual amount of time it took.
With this tool, you’ll never lose track of a project again. Whether you’re managing one big project or several smaller ones, you’ll always know exactly what’s going on with each task. You can also set up automated reminders to ensure that you don’t forget anything.
9. Grows PM’s Subject Matter Expertise
Project managers are essential to managing projects effectively. But without subject matter expertise, it’s easy to fall into one of several traps.
Project management is important for two reasons: Someone needs to be able to see if everyone is doing their part, and someone needs to be able keep track of everything.
Project managers who’ve been working for several year will be familiar with most of the different types of tasks involved in managing a project. They’ll learn technical skills, project management skills, and subject mater expertise, they’ll be able to understand every aspect of the work that their team executes. They will learn the tools and technologies they’re using, and the possibilities and limits, and the types of issues that usually arise.
It’s important for them to be able to have intelligent and informed conversations because they can then have intelligent and informed discussions with their clients, teams, stakeholders and supplier. They’re well equipped for communicating across projects, making sure that no one forgets anything or overlooks something.
If you don’t have subject matter expertise through proper planning, you may end up with an unbalanced product where the creatives ignore the technological constraints or the developers forget the artistic vision of the product. Project management helps keep the team focused on the overall goals of the project and brings them together so they can make the best decisions for the project.
10. You Manage and Learn from Success and Failure
A retrospective meeting is a great way to learn lessons from a project. By looking backwards, you can identify what worked well and what didn’t. You can also look forward to see what you want to do differently next time around.
When you’re managing projects, it’s important not to repeat the same mistakes twice. Post-project reviews help project teams evaluate their performance and identify ways they could improve for future projects.
It creates a valuable set of documentation for future reference, allowing the organization to learn from its mistakes and successes. If they don’t learn from their mistakes, teams will often continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.
Retrospective meetings are often held after a project is complete, but they don’t always have to be. They’re a chance to discuss successes and failures from the project, and think about ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The purpose of retrospectives isn’t just to figure out what went wrong; it’s also to find ways to improve the process moving forward. For example, if you’ve got a team working together on a project, there might be some communication issues. If those problems aren’t addressed during a postproject review, they’ll likely come up again.
Summary: Project Management is Important
Project management is important because it helps you plan, organize, track, control, measure and report progress towards achieving goals. There are many different types of project management methods, each suited for specific situations.
When choosing a project management method, consider what type of project you’re managing – whether it is one-off or ongoing, short term or long term, simple or complex, small scale or large scale – and choose the appropriate approach.
Without project management, teams and clients suffer from chaos, uncertainty, a lack of clarity, unrealistic planning, high risks, poor quality project deliverable, projects going over budget, and delivered late.
These problems occur because there is no clear objective, no defined scope, no realistic timeline, no resource allocation, no measurable milestones, no accountability, no reporting, no communication, no governance, and no visibility into how things are progressing.
Great project management matters because it allows you to plan, organize, track and control progress towards achieving goals. You can use project management tools like Gantt charts, PERT Charts, critical path diagrams, Kanban boards, flowcharts, storyboards, etc., to help manage and monitor projects.
With good training, project managers can make sure teams understand their roles and responsibilities and ensure projects run smoothly. They can give feedback and provide coaching, mentoring and training to improve performance and increase productivity.
And that project management enabled team works together to achieve the right stuff – stuff that delivers real ROI, and that makes happy customers.