There is a famous saying – “A group of team members without a project manager is like a cricket team without a captain.” Project Management is an indispensable function for business and is used as a means of achieving strategic objectives. Let’s find out how….
In several areas of our lives, we use project management without even realizing we are. Whether it’s planning your meal or building a township, we all use project management every day. Initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling and closing every project require knowledge and expertise to succeed and will be more likely to get completed with a certified and experienced project manager as they are the right people who get things done, effectively.
Project management has emerged as a crucial factor that determines the success of an organization. Project management function is not limited to only IT industry; it is across industries and geographies.
Take for instance, designing and assembling a new bike or a car is a project, making a movie is a project. All these projects, irrespective of their domains, are assigned with a dedicated project manager.
What exactly is Project Management?
Project management is a universal tool designed to provide an effective method to complete a project while staying within a predefined budget and timeframe, and while delivering a specific product or service at an acceptable quality level. In business, project management offers a valuable and highly effective structure which helps to identify and focus on the priorities, track and measure performance, overcome challenges and issues, address unforeseen risks as they arise and achieve higher performance and probability of success in each business endeavor.
Why companies need Project Managers?
Companies hire project managers so that targets set by the clients and stakeholders can be achieved within agreed timeframe. After all, companies do business, not the charity, so there has to be Return on Investment (ROI), project managers help to keep the project cost within limits in combination with on-time delivery so that the ROI can be secured.
There is a huge difference between just completing a project verses completing a project successfully, and a project cannot be completed successfully unless it is effectively managed.
To give a real life example, in one of our Faichi projects, we were asked to make some feature changes at the last moment, although changes were looking minor, project manager jumped in and analyzed the change, its impact on the overall project objectives and found that it would affect the schedule by few weeks resulting in increased cost and slow time to market. This information was instantly conveyed to the client and it was mutually agreed that it is better to push this change to the next phase of the project. This is a typical scenario in several projects wherein project manager and his/her expertise play vital role in ensuring project doesn’t go off-track.
Many people get confused about the role of a Project Manager especially in agile projects. The truth is whether project follows waterfall model or agile methodology, the presence of project managers will always be inevitable due to following reasons:
- People are not perfect, they need to be managed and aligned with project objectives.
- Requirements are like wind that blows randomly all the time, these unpredictable changes need to be controlled and manage
- Communication gaps need to be bridged
- Processes are not perfect, they need to be improved
- Even sprints in agile need to be planned, work needs to be time-boxed else the project will be never ending.
- Monitor and Control deviations and take actions to pull the project back on track.
Hence, the effective project management techniques leads to business success through lesser risk, reduced costs and most important of all enhanced customer satisfaction.
To help project managers in contributing to organization’s success, there must be alignment between organization’s mission, vision and priorities and the actual work being done. If strategy is the engine that drives the company toward its goals, project management provides the underlying framework, it protects against issues and risks. It is the discipline that guarantees that someone’s hands are always on the steering wheel and the project is heading in the right direction.
The Project Management Office
Companies are also discovering that, as their project management strategy matures, the business value derived from it increases. To increase that value and ensure strategic alignment across the project portfolio, executives at many global corporations are creating project management offices (PMOs). Ninety percent of global senior executives ranked project management methods as either critical or somewhat important to their ability to deliver successful projects and remain competitive, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit survey.
When senior management wants to launch a new product before the competition or marketing team wants to submit a proposal to a potential client, they come to the Project Management Office because PMO knows what it takes to build a solution, how to deliver it, how to speed the process up and how to measure results. It is as simple as that…!!!
I am yet to come across a project in any industry, anywhere in the world, which doesn’t need to be planned, monitored and controlled.
To sum up, if you wish to take the flight to the destination as per the route and within time, you definitely need an efficient pilot
This blog is written by Kedar Aphale, Project Manager at Faichi. Faichi Solutions provides a unique approach in managing projects successfully. The co-ordination challenges across remote teams and stakeholders is real but, we know how to deal with those challenges and deliver on-time quality releases. We have worked with multiple clients using Agile/Scrum methodology. This ensures the needed flexibility to define the product requirements as per the market needs. Know more about our Project management approach.