This week on CIO Playbook with Jeffrey Hurley, we discuss Why is project management important. According to David Allen in his book Getting Things Done, we all have projects. However, the most common projects that we experience in our jobs tend to be technology projects. Even though most technology projects are actually business projects with a technology component.
Why is project management important? As leaders both of business and technology organizations we have responsibility for large budgets dedicated to increasing business value and ultimately the bottom line profitability of the organizations we work for. To accomplish these objectives we have to invest in improving the way we do work and at the same time capitalize on new opportunities.Project Management is about:
- Improving communication
- Increasing transparency
- Providing organization
- Defining resource needs
- Managing the details
Earl Nightingale said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal”
Even with the modern advance of mobile phones, email, instant messenger, and so on inter organizational communication continues to be one of the most difficult challenges. Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is core to a project’s success. This goes beyond communicating to the project team and out to the stakeholders. Keeping everyone abreast of their responsibility and informed is the primary role the project manager plays in running a project.
You could argue that increasing transparency is really just improved communication, however, I believe it to be such an important part of why we need good project management that I am calling it out separate. Projects generally have large numbers of staff, dollars, and equipment at work at any given time. The leaders of the organization who have the fiduciary responsibility to bring value to the organization at the best value often cannot spend the time needed to manage all of these assets. Thus it is important that they understand what, why, when, where, and how these assets are being deployed. Project management provides an avenue for understanding.
I just said that they average project has large numbers of people, equipment, and dollars at work at any given time. Thus ensuring there is organization and planning brought to how these assets are deployed is a key tenet of project management. To ensure your organization is getting the best value from its assets means ensuring they are organized so as to be more effective.
Defining Resource Needs
Every project needs people resources to get the work done. The project management process builds the understanding required for acquiring the necessary people resources.
Equipment whether it be machinery, supplies, software, hardware, etc. is used in the development of any project. Understanding these resource requirements early in the project process will ensure their availability when needed rather than delaying action while teams wait for the materials to arrive.
Projects require funds to deploy the people and material. Finance is a key indicator of how a project is doing. From the funds defined at startup to the spending rate throughout financial resources should be carefully monitored.
Managing the Details
Overlooked details is the single largest reason projects fail. Learning to not take anything at face value and probe deeply until satisfied is core to realizing project success. It is human nature to procrastinate and therefore the project manager becomes the single source for avoiding project procrastination. The constant remainder of items and deliverables do the project manager sets the pace for the team to deliver.
Why is Project Management Important
Why is project management important? Because without effective project management communication, transparency, organization, resource needs, and the details can all get lost in the activity of the team. Project management helps to reduce the risk of project failure at the hands of disorganization.
Photo Credit: Veeneman, Angeline. “Clear about Your Options.” Flickr. Yahoo!, 11 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 May 2015.