Projects can often be complex and involve numerous stakeholders so having a project manager to lead the initiative and keep everyone on the same page is critical to project success. If you haven’t worked with a project manager before, I imagine it could be tempting to do without the expense in favour of managing a project yourself. After all, project management can be a financial investment, so why not just do it yourself?
But that would be a mistake.
A good project manager is the glue that holds a project together. Project management is far more than simply setting a budget and keeping an eye on deadlines. A good project manager takes control of a project from start to finish, ensuring that the goals are strategically aligned, the project has stakeholder support and everyone is on the same page. A good project manager will bring a number of qualities and skills too such as leadership, communication, problem-solving, delegation and team-building skills.
The purpose of project management is to plan and manage a project to successfully complete its objectives and deliverables. It involves identifying and managing risks, careful resource management, smart budgeting, and clear communication across multiple teams and stakeholders.
Here are six reasons why both project management and having a project manager is so important:
It’s easy to overestimate how quickly you can achieve deliverables or to underestimate the costs. A good project manager considers the big picture and sets realistic and achievable goals, budgets, and timelines. Without careful management, a project can quickly get off track before it has even begun.
If you leave the management of a project to the team, the scope and objectives can easily get muddled. Without clear focus and leadership, the scope of the project can creep which can lead to missed deadlines and overspending. Plus, without a project manager to oversee the project, many teams may not notice potential risk factors as they arise. If they don’t address evolving project risks, the team could end up prioritising the wrong tasks.
A good project manager keeps an eye on all these factors so that the team can focus on the right tasks at the right time and adapt as needed.
If you’re not applying project management to your initiatives then you are missing a crucial opportunity for your organisation to grow. Use project management to align your projects to your overall business strategy.
As project managers oversee the planning and execution of a project, they help ensure the project’s overall goals and its subsequent tasks and milestones all align with the organization’s strategy. Strategic alignment at every level of the project keeps each stakeholder on the same page and ensures your initiatives drive the business forward.
Project management is a proactive process and project managers help teams to break down a project into manageable pieces that ensure the right people do the right tasks at the right time.
Without a set project management method, the team work reactively—handling issues as they arise rather than proactively planning for known risks and setting project goals and parameters from the beginning.
Quality control is essential. Your project could meet all the milestones for time and budget, but if the quality standards aren’t met, the project will be deemed a failure. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-easy trap to fall into. Teams can be under pressure to finish a project on time and on budget and this can lead to rushed work and poor execution. Project managers not only manage deadlines and objectives, but they also keep an eye on how well tasks are executed. They will define the quality standards so that everyone knows exactly what they’re aiming for.
It’s true. By having proper project management in place, it will improve efficiency, mitigate the risks and optimise resources. Even with investing in a project manager, ultimately, your overall project costs will be reduced.
So, with the right project management in place you can set your projects up for success every time and whilst you may not need complex methodologies, you will always benefit when using a designated project manager.
Here is a great video explaining the importance, along with a look at some tools that can be used.
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Date: November 23, 2020