You probably can succeed without it, but you are much more likely to get better results with it. This the short answer to the question of “why is project management important for your business.”
Project management is not easy. It’s hard work, and it requires lots of time and effort. It also needs a deep understanding of things like reporting, tracking, resource management, planning, forecasting, and more.
Let’s dig deeper and see what project management is and why it’s essential for any business.
What is project management?
Wikipedia defines project management as the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing your team’s work to achieve certain goals and meet specific success criteria.
At the end of the day, project management’s importance lies in balancing the time, cost, and quality of your output. If you’re successful at this, then you have achieved proper project management.
The Project Management Institute takes project management a step further and defines 10 areas of knowledge of project management:
- Risk Management
- Stakeholder Management
- Human Resources
That brings us to the next question;
What is the importance of project management?
Most projects are pretty complicated. Projects always consist of so many moving parts. These need leadership to keep everything in order and keep the project on its track to success.
A complex project can smoothly go over budget or miss a deadline. This can have catastrophic results, but project management can complete the project on time and without going over budget.
Here are some reasons why the successful execution of the project management methodology can make your project succeed.
1. Project Planning
If you don’t know where you are going, you are going nowhere. Project planning is crucial for any business or organization.
Businesses can easily underestimate the time, effort, and resources needed to achieve their goals. These mistakes can lead to disastrous consequences easily.
Having a plan and sticking to this original plan is far easier said than done. Good project managers can see the big picture and then break it down into smaller steps that can be taken to achieve this big picture.
Project management can help businesses set realistic goals, accurate budgets, and possible timelines that can be met.
Project Management also requires good resource management where managers can assign just the right resources – whether human or capital – to the tasks that need to be done.
2. Quality control
Delivering projects on time and without going over budget is excellent and all, but they must be done without compromising quality. That’s where the quality control of project management comes in.
Project managers must continuously maintain the quality of the output while staying on the deadlines and objectives of the project.
Those quality standards are often also set by the project managers, who can do that because they can see the big picture and the available resources.
When project managers set quality standards for their projects, this helps set the expectations for everyone so that stakeholders, for example, don’t overestimate the quality when the budget and resources are limited in comparison.
3. Processes management
A project’s progress is much like the movement of the train. Lots of moving parts have to be moving in sync.
It’s up to the project managers to not only set those parts in motion and keep them in sync, but they also must put these pieces in the right places from the beginning.
A project manager will down the project into smaller, more easily manageable pieces. Once they break down the project into processes, processes, milestones, and deadlines, they will direct their teams to success.
This breaking down of the project also helps businesses identify any issues and react to them more quickly to keep the project on the right track.
Setting the right pieces in the right places and setting them in motion is not something a project manager does once and gets done. After that comes the integration part.
The project manager must then integrate the processes. Do you know how so many businesses suffer from the conflicts between their sales and marketing teams? This is a sign of bad project management.
For the project’s success, the different processes and teams must integrate with meaningful ways that keep the project moving forward and provide value to all processes that are part of the integration.
It’s the project manager’s responsibility to identify the needed integrations, carry them, and keep them operational.
5. Alignment with the Business’s Strategy and Values
Have you ever seen a project launched by an organization and thought to yourself, “But why?” or “Well, that’s weird coming from them.”
This is a clear sign of a misalignment between the business’s values and strategies and the project they are carrying on.
As managers get immersed in the everyday tasks and processes going on, they can become blinded to the big picture, and that’s when the misalignment happens.
A project that starts with certain values and concepts can look completely different from what was planned.
If this was intentional, it’s often a good thing, but when it’s unintentional – which happens more than we would like to admit, it can deem the project a failure.
It’s up to project managers to make sure the project stays consistent with the business’s strategy and values and of the concepts behind the project. This strategic alignment must take place at every level of the project to keep things moving forward smoothly.
6. Optimizing the team’s performance
Project management also cares a ton about the optimization of the available resources. The most valuable resource is, of course, the team, and it’s up to the project manager to help this teamwork at its best.
According to the same study, 68% of businesses were using the agile approach in 2016, and this number went up to 71% in 2017 and is still growing to this day.
The optimization of the team’s performance has so many aspects to it. Still, one of the most important is time management as it helps managers improve individuals’ performance substantially and, as a result, the team’s overall performance.
You can check the best time tracking and management software here.
7. Risk Management
If you can always count on something, it would be that something will go wrong. Always.
This is true in projects, and when things go wrong in projects, they can go very wrong, very quickly. A good project manager will always be one step ahead by anticipating threats and calculating the chances of potential risks.
This helps them stay prepared by knowing where disaster could strike. A good project manager always has plans B, C, and even D that ensures the project will keep going even when something goes wrong.
Risk management is important for successful project management. When a project fails to have risk management in control, the overall project management falls apart pretty quickly.
Project Management Software
Long gone are the days of pen and paper, where you had to write everything down to keep track.
Today, there are so many online project management software that help businesses execute perfect project management.
Cloud-based project management software is available to all businesses now. There are plenty of free options. They give project managers more power than ever before.
Here are 5 great benefits for project management software
1. Easy Collaboration
Project management software opens channels of communication between team members as well as different teams in your organization.
The real-time nature of project management software helps with seamless collaboration and completely avoids any potential communication issues.
2. Better Communications
Not only will team members communicate more easily with each other, but they will also be able to communicate with management and clients with ease.
Clients will also get updates quickly on their projects and check the progress themselves from the software’s dashboard.
3. Better Budgeting
Flexible project management software helps managers track how their budget is spent and where in-detail.
This can help them identify if a certain area is taking too much of the project’s budget or areas where they can save money.
This helps project managers also make better financial decisions in the following stages of the project.
4. The same standards
Project management software helps get everyone on the same page. It standardizes the process, so everyone’s output is in alignment.
This is important not only to look professional but also to make all outputs work together seamlessly to achieve the picture’s large picture.
5. Remote Teams
Project management software makes it easy to onboard and work with team members who are not on the same continent.
This means that businesses can use the solutions to hire talents that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to (or would have cost them a lot of money and paperwork to do so).
Do you want to learn more? Check out these 10 benefits of using project management software.
What do effective Project Managers do?
A project manager is responsible for keeping the project on track to hitting its goals. This means they need to work with all kinds of different people in different positions.
This means they have to communicate with stakeholders, upper management, outside vendors, etc.
A project manager is also responsible for estimating the resources the project needs to be finished with quality and on time. This includes workforce, capital resources, and the time needed.
Project managers must also direct the project at each stage. They must make sure that everyone knows their roles and finishes their work as they should be.
To keep things short, project managers are responsible for controlling and directing every aspect of the project from start to finish.
If you are interested in becoming a project manager, you should check out these online project management training courses.
I think you now have a grasp n what project management is and why it’s so important for any business, regardless of the size or the field.
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