10 Reasons There Is Always a Need For Project Management
By Michelle Symonds
There may come a time you face the question “do we really need project management (PM)?” and as a well trained project manager you should be able to answer confidently multiple reasons you do, until the person on the receiving end of your knowledge is in no doubt that yes, you do always need PM to lead a project to success.
Here are 10 reasons there is always a need for project management:
When your project comes to a close, you will be reviewing all the different phases of the project and how successful they were. All elements of the project are analyzed and reviewed to enable the manager to identify areas that need improving and any successful processes that could be implemented in future projects. All lessons learned either negative or positive are documented for future reference, benefitting future work.
The uncertainties of a project can often turn into issues and project managers will integrate effective risk management into their PM framework so any potential issues will be met with risk management strategies.
At the beginning of a project assumptions can be made about the expected process and framework involved. An excellent PM will explore the clients needs and expectations, potential constraints and information that has been sourced and information that needs to be sourced. Working on the idea that assumptions should never lead the project is key to ensuring its success.
Communication is key to maintaining control over the project, allowing stakeholders the opportunity to remain aware of any developments, problems and successes. PM is incredibly important in creating a communication plan which creates an open dialogue and opportunity to address any issues as they arise.
Using knowledge from good quality PM courses, past experience, software and a solid project management framework, a project manager can create a process that reduces any potential errors, manages those errors if they occur and leads the project towards successful completion on time and within budget.
Every project involves a series of tasks, each with their own challenges and potential issues. The project manager will identify the critical path of tasks, placing them in an optimized order that will lead the process successfully towards completion.
A good project manager can use the initiation phase of the project to their advantage, collecting all available information to create a case. This case creates business justification which can be adjusted accordingly and presented to various stakeholders obtaining buy – in and support.
Leading the team
The key skill of a project-manager is leadership and part of this leadership is keeping the team focused on the bigger picture. A project manager should lead their team to success, spending time organizing and focusing the project and its team members ensuring each element of the process is planned, documented and completed on time.
A project manager will focus on the timescale and budget of the project, ensuring successful results. This really is the key to PM and explains why a project-manager is necessary within a project, to ensure that optimal performance is maintained and successful completion occurs.
Effective PM means being aware of the scope for small changes which could eventually shift the project in a risky direction. Being aware of this ‘scope creep’ means the manager will know how to identify project risks and adjust the process accordingly so initial expectations are met and any potential risks are counteracted with strategy.
Michelle Symonds is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Manager and believes that the right project management training can transform a good project manager into a great project manager and is essential for a successful outcome to any project.
There is a wide range of formal and informal training courses now available that include online learning and podcasts as well as more traditional classroom courses from organizations such as Parallel Project Training.