The Scope of Project Management in the Financial Industry

Feb 18, 2020 | Project Management

Project management is now becoming a permanent part of different corporations all around the world. Regardless of the size or type of business, all types of companies consider project management skills as a necessary part of the job requirement.

At the same time, educational institutes and colleges are offering new training courses on project management. These courses may range from master's degrees to specialized intensive courses in project management. With project-based organizational cultures increasing exponentially, the demand for project managers with effective management skills has never been higher.

Needless to say, project management also plays a crucial role in the finance industry. In this article, we discuss the scope of project management in the finance industry.

Delivering Efficiency

In industries such as finance and accounting, there is a significant need for efficiency. A number of professionals don’t multitask and ignore the procedures needed for efficiency and productivity.

Project management has tremendous potential for optimizing routine processes and making them efficient. An effective project manager can streamline repetitive, mundane and complex tasks in the finance industry and extract value from them with the help of key project management processes.

Additionally, effective project managers take a more active approach during the project lifecycle and specialize in identifying cost-cutting opportunities. By finding out areas of improvement at the organizational level, project managers can prevent delays and help the organization to achieve both its short-term and long-term goals

Financial Planning and Analysis

In the financial industry, having to work on overseas projects is fairly common. These overseas projects directly affect a company’s cash flow, long-term investments, expenses and revenue, and success.

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Photographer: | Source: Unsplash

This is why it is essential to handle these projects with due diligence and apply all the required accounting procedures. At the same time, finance teams need to continue gathering and analyzing data from various sources simultaneously.

Project management can raise the chances of success in these situations. Project managers can conduct cost-benefit analyses for all finance projects, regardless of which industry they belong to. Furthermore, these managers can pinpoint areas where the company can improve its revenue and cash.

Improving Budget Management

Finance departments are responsible for managing, auditing and accounting for financial assets of their clients. So it is hard to imagine that these departments need help in budget management. However, finance companies often face problems in managing the cost (or opportunity cost) of their projects.

Here is where project management can help these companies. Project management principles dictate project managers to handle budgeting and financial matters efficiently.

This means that skilled project managers are trained in completing projects within estimated budgets and facilitating the company’s financial performance. Project managers are not only able to balance short-term revenue goals with long-term strategies, but also have the oversight to make informed decisions about upcoming opportunities.

Enhancing Team Leadership

Finance companies have a diverse range of clients to cater to. These companies require the expertise and knowhow of financial experts to understand the requirements of their clients. However, this can also pose a problem for finance companies as they need to build and work with cross-functional teams in order to deliver results.

Experts in project management are experienced in coordinating across different departments, encouraging and leading their team members. They can influence their team members, who may come from different backgrounds, to work together and meet both external and internal deadlines efficiently.

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Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: Unsplash

It can help the company to execute projects, such as shareholder reports and balance sheets, according to the relevant compliance guidelines. At the same time, it can significantly improve the company’s overall output.

Communication and Presentation

Like any other industry, the value of effective communication and presentation in the finance industry cannot be overstated. Teams have to constantly engage with each other, as well as executives during the project lifecycle. At the same time, they need to allocate time for presenting findings to stakeholders and ensure that they can get their message across departments effectively.

Professionals experienced in project management need to be effective communicators in order to be successful. From the beginning, they have to deal with different sets of individuals in their teams and learn to meet new user requirements from a project-to-project basis.

Therefore, these individuals are trained to communicate project needs and requirements. Having effective project management will not only help your team understand the goals and of the project, but also help them to share progress in a more organized manner.

Scheduling and Organization

At the end of a fiscal session, finance teams are always under pressure to deliver projects on time. With the burden of projects being the highest than any part of the year, companies need to squeeze as much time as possible so they can accommodate pending projects.

This is where efficient project management can make a difference. Project managers are skilled at scheduling tasks effectively and managing tight deadlines. They can work alongside department managers and their teams, break down tasks and plan them efficiently among the available pool of resources.

By doing so, they divide large projects into a set of milestones. It helps them manage large projects more efficiently and complete them in as little time as possible. Lastly, by taking on an active role and monitoring all team members closely, project managers can prevent delays, which is critical in time-sensitive situations.

Why Are Project Management Skills Necessary in the Financial Industry?

The bottom line is that like all other industries, the finance industry can benefit from project management significantly. The scope of project management in the finance industry may encompass all impending issues in the field. With that said,  companies only rely on experienced project managers to meet their needs and address their key concerns.

This is why finance companies are looking for project managers that are qualified by the Project Management Institute (PMI). If you are keen to build a career in the finance industry, being qualified from a reputable institution like PMI can go a long way. Consider attempting the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam to validate your experience and knowledge in project management.

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