Projects are short-term organizational ventures that have a limited scope and budget. They are generally used to improve an organization by implementing new technology or reshuffling employee responsibilities. Projects are also used to deliver short-term custom orders for clients or the business as a whole.
Projects require an entirely different management style from regular organizational management. Unlike regular operations, projects have a definite start, timeline, and ending point. This makes it easier to measure the results against the scope of the project. It also allows for better control of resource expenditure.
Effective Change Management
Before you can even start a project, you need to identify and justify the need for undertaking the venture. This involves looking at the organization from a neutral perspective and making an assessment of what can be improved, and how.
The management is generally set in its existing practices and opposes changes that could potentially disrupt ongoing business processes. Those that are part of the management are also reluctant to admit that there is anything wrong with the organization as it risks jeopardizing their own positions.
The management’s tendency to resist change makes it difficult to design and implement any meaningful improvements to the existing organizational style. This is where projects can deliver results as they are generally carried out by project managers who do not have a stake in the existing organizational systems.
Clear Objectives & Focus
A project is started with clearly defined goals and a deadline which doesn’t happen with ongoing organizational management. For example, if a business is trying to modernize its existing systems and software, it can be difficult for the management to identify when the project should start and how it should be completed without disrupting the operations.
An experienced project manager identifies the steps that will be required to update the system, on a step-by-step basis. They identify a critical timeline, different phases required for completion and make use of the resources in a controlled manner.
As project managers are not burdened with the day to day running of business operations, they can remain focused on completing organizational goals on time and get the job done faster.
Project management is useful because it ensures that goals are set up with realistic expectation.
For example, suppose there is an organization that has built up its capacity to produce 10,000 monthly units of product A in ten years. If the management intends to increase the monthly production capacity to 15,000 they can initiate a project and ideally give it a period of 2 – 5 years to achieve that goal.
The management can decrease the timeline if they commit to spending more resources within 2 years in hopes of completing the project sooner.
Since different phases of the project and the end result are identified at the beginning, projects are better at meeting management expectations.
Project Quality Control
A project’s deliverables are measured and compared against expectations at every milestone to ensure that quality meets the standards set at the onset of the project. If delivered results are not up to expectations, the project manager can improve the resources and efforts being put into the project or modify the scope for a more realistic and achievable outcome.
As there is a fixed deadline for projects, the project manager can also identify when they have been unable to complete a stage of the project within time. If the project gets delayed at the start, the project manager can try to get the later stages completed sooner to ensure the deadline is met. A high standard of quality control is difficult to achieve without project management.
Project management helps organizations mitigate environmental risks and protect against unexpected circumstances. The project manager identifies potential risks and threats during the project scoping process. They set up contingency plans on how they will respond to new challenges and ensure that project quality and delivery times are not affected by these problems.
The project manager categorizes risks based on the likelihood of their occurrence. Problems that are more likely to occur, such as project delays, receive a higher priority. If the project manager expects a supplier or subcontractor working on the project to break the contractor, they take steps in advance to guard against this possibility by sourcing a new supplier in the market.
Project Teamwork and Expertise
Organizational projects usually involve people from different departments with diverse skill sets to come together and work for the common goal of the project. The diverse experiences, skills, and motivations play a huge role in the successful completion of projects.
Projects ensure that the right people are working in the right roles and specialized expertise is being applied throughout the project. Since the project goals are easier to identify and each team member is aware of their contribution, project teams are much easier to motivate and deliver a higher standard of productivity.
Project Tracking and Continuous
Projects generally follow a linear model as they are carried out from start to finish. Completion of each stage builds the foundation for the next stage of the project, making tracking and monitoring easier for the organization.
Projects are monitored through status reporting where documents are created and submitted to management. These reports help the management understand how the project is going and where there will be delays in the expected time of completion. Completion of each stage is also used to identify payments and cash disbursements for the next stage of the project.
If the project is going according to plan, management can easily disburse additional funds. However, if the project reports suggest that it might get delayed or costs will exceed estimates, the management can also take over the project or make changes to the project management.
Project Knowledge Base
Projects are short term ventures with definite start and end dates in time. Each project helps an organization identify what steps are required to complete them effectively. The project manager also gains knowledge of all possible issues that may appear as well as how to improve end delivery.
Implementing project management helps an organization break free of bad habits and adopt good practices. This improves future project management for the organization as they are able to reduce costs and delivery times while improving the quality of their final results.