The Benefits of Good Project Management
The businesses that seek our services are typically in a period of strong growth, often undergoing a process of continuous improvement or digital transformation. Project management is a key part of this change process, and as we will explore here, it offers a wide variety of benefits.
In the first part of this article, we will define what project management is, and in the second, we will focus on the benefits of good project management.
At DBC, we specialize in ERP implementation projects such as SAP or Oracle. As experts in project management, our philosophy is to strive for excellence while constantly improving our practices.
What is projet management?
Project management allows you to go from an idea to a concrete result through a set of tools and methodologies, regardless of a company’s size or sector. Good project management improves a company’s performance, allows for the efficient coordination of resources, guides the team towards their goals, and helps ensure that budgets and deadlines are respected.
A well-known association for experienced project managers is the Project Management Institute (PMI). This important community was founded in 1969. “In addition to offering certifications to project managers, PMI published the first-ever Guide To The Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK) in 1996, which the organization regularly updates,” says ASANA, team communication manager.
Two well-known types of project management
There are a multitude of project management approaches and methodologies. Each has its benefits, but two in particular are widely used:
The Agile methodology
Very popular with product development, engineering, and software development teams, this approach focuses on continuous team learning, flexibility/adaptation to change, iterations, and progressive evolution. Scrum or Kanban are examples of structures built around the Agile approach.
The Waterfall methodology
This is one of the most intuitive approaches, where tasks follow one after the other in a studied and logical order. This methodology is well suited to projects with specific deliverables, milestones, and scope. This approach tends to be less flexible than others and usually works with phases.
Difference between management and leadership
A good project manager is always key to a project’s success, but it’s just as vital that they are also an effective leader.
A good manager is one who does things right! They understand the methodologies, tools, procedures, and policies to carry out a project. They master management activities such as follow-up meetings, risk and scope management, quality control, etc.
A good leader is one who does the right thing! They are a mobilizer who knows how to foster solid relationships and build trust. A leader knows how to share their enthusiasm and vision, inspiring team members while encouraging and enabling them to act.
The benefits of good project management
Project management is not dissimilar to planning the ascent of a great Himalayan mountain. It shows you the safest and most efficient ways to reach the top while avoiding pitfalls and potential danger.
In this example, the project manager can be compared to an experienced mountain guide, who accompanies and orients the climbing team. And just like when climbing a mountain, this manager is surrounded by an experienced multidisciplinary team, motivated and mobilized by a common goal.
The target? The top of course, which can only be reached by setting well-defined objectives. In order to establish clear objectives, it is necessary to first explore the reasons for initiating the project. Why is this project being undertaken? Who are the people involved? What are the expected results?
Once the project objectives have been identified, they will need to be communicated to all stakeholders with a process in place to support their achievement and to report on milestone progress.
A satisfied client is a loyal client! A project carried out in good conditions, on time and within budget, provides a high level of client satisfaction.
A satisfied business is one that shares its positive experience with other companies. A positive feedback loop that builds stronger relationships and results in as many leads as referrals made by one of your loyal clients.
It should also be highlighted that client satisfaction has a mobilizing effect on the members of the project team. It generates motivation, enthusiasm, innovation, continued effort, and increased productivity.
Empowerment of team members
Good project management means a clear definition of roles and responsibilities, where each task (or story) is assigned to a person responsible for completing it.
Well-defined roles and responsibilities prevent team members from abandoning tasks, forgetting details, or not knowing where to turn for answers to their questions.
As a guide, the project manager ensures that each team member keenly understands their goals and responsibilities. The project manager coaches team members, helping them become more efficient in completing their tasks in a timely manner. By being flexible, they can adapt their strategy to better meet team members’ needs.
There are a variety of tools and techniques for communicating information effectively within a project. Regardless of the technique being used, the important thing is to avoid neglecting communication, which is essential to any project’s success.
Information asymmetry is a true hindrance, and all team members must have a sufficient level of information to be able to react, adapt, and make the right decisions in a given situation.
Sharing regular updates with team members, while allowing everyone to express their opinions, not only reduces the number of status-related questions, but also maintains a healthy group dynamic.
Better risk management
In addition to issue management, risk management is essential when it comes to successfully managing a project.
At DBC, our approach is based on assessing the probability of risks and their potential impact. This allows us to better manage project vulnerabilities as well as proactively consider which actions to take to mitigate pitfalls.
Through better risk management, the decision making process is streamlined, allowing us to react to unexpected events with little to no destabilization.
Risk management is a process that runs through a project’s entire lifespan, evolving throughout as necessary. By definition, unexpected events can’t be predicted!
Better scope management
There are no (or few) projects without a Scope Change Request. Whether identified or hidden, every deviation from the original plan or budget results in a change request. The sooner it is identified, the better.
For smaller projects, a list of change requests should be maintained along with at least an informal approval process. For larger projects, in addition to the above list, a change request form should also be carefully completed.
Moreover, a formal approval process must be established with the approval of key project officials. All this must be done under the supervision of the project manager. When a change request is accepted, a new baseline (reference) must be made for the plan or budget. And don’t forget that a change request can also be positive; items can be removed from the scope!
While not exhaustive, every element mentioned in this article contributes to a project’s success. Good project management allows an organized team to track and accomplish a set of activities with specific objectives. The project manager is a conductor who organizes and plans the work according to specific practices in order to ensure that all objectives are met on time and within budget.