Good project management is the glue that holds a project together. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), businesses failing to appreciate the importance of project management, report an average of 50% more of their projects being unsuccessful. Failed ventures can quickly hinder your initiatives and disrupt or even prevent company growth. Project management is more than just meeting deadlines and establishing a budget. It’s about taking control all throughout the project, ensuring initiatives and goals are purposefully aligned and receiving the appropriate stakeholder support. At MSL, we can do all this and more, to ensure your project is handled successfully from start to finish.
What is Project Management?
In order to understand the importance of project management, we need to specify exactly what project management is.
The Association for Project Management (APMA) defines project management as the “application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters.”
The standard project management plan covers four stages:
Therefore, the aim of project management is to plan and manage a project to effectively achieve its goals and objectives. It comprises of identifying and managing risks, carefully managing resources, smart budgeting and clear communication across numerous teams and stakeholders.
Why is Project Management Important?
Due to the fact that projects are often complex and affect various stakeholders, it makes having project management in place critical to the success of a venture. Businesses using the project management approach will be more successful at meeting budgets, staying on schedule, ensuring quality standards and delivering goals.
Below we discuss in more detail, the reasons as to why project management is important:
- Realistic project planning
Some businesses tend to overestimate how quickly they can achieve objectives or underestimate the costs of a project, or in some cases both. Good project management considers the bigger picture and establishes realistic and feasible targets, budgets and timescales. Without thorough management, a project can quickly fall at the first hurdle.
In order to set realistic targets, budgets and timescales, communication with different stakeholders is key in understanding the priorities and objectives of the project. For instance, at MSL we undertook a canteen makeover project. Based on research, we outlined a clear plan that offset the client’s priorities against the available time and budget. This process involved cost estimation, resource management and risk assessment.
- Transparent focus and objectives
The absence of clearly set out goals was the most common cause for project failure in 2017. Project management helps firms to refine their priorities and outline their project objectives. When project management is left to the team to handle, these objectives can quite quickly and easily become disorganised. If the focus of the project is vague, this can lead to missed deadlines and overspending. Furthermore, without the use of project management overseeing project plans and task breakdowns, many teams may fail to spot potential risk factors as they transpire. If these developing project risks are not addressed, the team could end up prioritising the wrong tasks. Good project management sees to all of these elements so that the team can concentrate on the appropriate tasks as and when the time is right.
- Strategic alignment
One of the most important reasons to utilise project management is to be able to align projects with your business strategy. This means that project management is a driver of your business strategy. Therefore, if you aren’t applying it to your initiatives, you’re essentially losing out on an opportunity to grow as a company. Project management helps to ensure that your project’s overall goals and the tasks to achieve those goals, all align with your firm’s strategy. Strategic alignment at every level of the project ensures that each stakeholder is on the same page, so that your initiatives drive the business forward.
- Well managed process
Project management is a proactive process which aims to help the appropriate individuals do the right tasks at the right time. Without a project management method in place, many teams tend to operate reactively. This means they manage problems as they evolve instead of proactively preparing for common risks and setting project goals from the start. By utilising project management, teams can be helped by breaking down a project into more manageable steps. By doing this, teams can be directed more efficiently and respond to problems with greater agility. To add, a planned maintenance programme can also be effective in ensuring potential problems are minimised from the start, and therefore keeping your project running smoothly and stakeholders happy.
- Quality control
Quality control is a vital aspect of project management. Whilst your project could meet all parameters in terms of time and budget, if the standards aren’t met to a high quality, the project could be deemed unsuccessful. Unfortunately, it’s a very easy trap to fall into. Teams are often working under high pressure to meet deadlines as well as within budget. Consequently, this can lead to rushed efforts and careless execution. This is where project management comes in. For instance at MSL, we were tasked with renovating a first-floor office. Our team ensured deadlines and objectives were met, but more importantly, ensured that each stage of the project was performed to the highest quality.
- Lowered costs
Poor project management can cost a business a great deal. With good project management, you’ll be able to reduce project expenses by improving efficiency, mitigating risks and optimising resources. Regardless of the added cost of investing in project management, organisations will position themselves to gain more.
A lack of proper project management leads to vague objectives, zero accountability and a high risk of project failure. With good project management comes motivated and driven teams, which means deliverables are met on time, within budget and to the highest quality. At MSL, our team can deliver on all six factors above with our bespoke project maintenance, to ensure your venture is completed successfully.
To talk to us more about how we can help you with project maintenance, or any other services we provide, please give us a call on 0333 1234450.