Organizations frequently underestimate the importance of project management for achieving their business objectives and its impact on their bottom line. During the current difficult times of health and economic crisis, projects more than ever are the instrument for quick response to the technological or market developments, changes in consumer preferences, industry regulations, etc.
Although projects can vary in size, duration, organizational and geographical coverage, they all are unique and aim to deliver a specific outcome within a specific timeframe and with specific resources. Whether they concern development of a new product, organizational restructuring or implementation of a new IT system, they are all aimed at achieving tangible and intangible results such as increase in revenues & profit margins or customer loyalty & employee morale.
To achieve the expected project benefits, companies need to apply a structured approach to Project Management in order to:
Ensure clear project scope and objectives – the well-defined projects at the start are a pre-requisite for efficient implementation, clear work plan and delivery of the expected outcomes. Vague or too general project scope and objectives are bound to lead to inefficiencies and misconceptions in the expected results;
Ensure structured and well-planned activities – projects normally comprise of multiple, non-routine activities, which can quickly end up in chaos and delays. The project plan ensures that the activities are correctly ordered & prioritized, the required capacity is available and the expected outcomes are delivered within the established deadlines;
Foster teamwork and cross-functional collaboration – projects are frequently implemented across departments, organizations or even countries. Implementation is particularly complex in matrix organizations with multiple reporting lines. Project Management helps coordinate and organize all those functions to ensure they work in alignment to achieve the common goals;
Optimize project costs – good project managers utilize various project management techniques and tools to track project progress and ensure that the resources are used efficiently and economically. This limits the possibility for cost overruns and retains the project on track as per the original budget;
Manage quality – project management involves various project quality assurance and quality management techniques to make sure that the project outcomes are up to standard and meet the expectations of the stakeholders;
Manage change – projects are the drivers of change in the organization. When managed correctly, they ensure that change is communicated, explained and managed in a way, generating support and acceptance by all impacted parties;
Generate knowledge and know-how – projects are an excellent way to learn and build internal project management capacity. They show us which techniques or approaches work and which ones fail so that next time, we can manage things better.
In conclusion, effective project management is a valuable tool for achieving the company’s business objectives on time, within the approved budget, at the required level of quality and with the expected outcomes to guarantee stakeholder satisfaction.
Projects will continue to be an essential part of the development and growth of any business, requiring that investments are made in development of the existing project management capacity within the company or seeking external support by professional project managers to minimize the risk from inefficiencies and ensure positive ROI.