When it comes to running and managing a business, a crucial aspect of the process is in regard to project management. This refers to leading teams and managing time frames to achieve set goals and objectives, within given constraints, restrictions and budget.
Project management is a difficult but essential aspect of business management that will determine the success of an organisation, as it ensures business efficiency and effectiveness in operations and achieving overall business outcomes. Whilst larger businesses will utilise solutions such as PMO 365, smaller businesses will often be required to implement an approach more suited to their resources and business position.
In approaching project management, success will come down to experience, an understanding of the appropriate areas of focus, and ensuring that the overall objectives to be achieved are appropriate and within business scope.
Setting the Expectations of a Project
One of the most important parts of project management is in setting expectations by defining the scope, limitations and overall context of a project.
Firstly, this means having the appropriate expectations, and communicating this across the appropriate stakeholders. Whether this means a clear definition of the quality of work expected, the pace of which work must be completed, how responsibilities are delegated or how effective communication should be implemented, setting these expectations will ensure that projects run smoothly from the initial stages.
Furthermore, setting expectations means determining scope and limitations of a project – these will be influenced by budget, time frame, resources available, stakeholders involved, and more. Understanding these aspects of a project will mean that objectives and goals can be more appropriately implemented.
Focusing on KPIs and Predetermined Objectives
Once expectations have been set, project managers should shift focus towards KPIs and predetermined objectives that will act as benchmarks for project development performance on an ongoing basis.
In setting these objectives and reporting on key indicators of performance, it is also important to develop a broader project plan – this allows managers to more effectively review progress, and will mean that KPIs and objectives can be reviewed in a contextual manner.
With this ongoing process of control and monitoring in place, changes can then be made to working approaches and overall project development based on where performance improvements can be made, as well as based on feedback from employees and stakeholders more broadly. Additionally, this process can be improved through the implementation of frequent communication, where project successes, failures and general updates can be shared.
Anticipating Problems With a Project
Whilst planning and a well thought out approach to project management are necessary in minimising problems with a project, it is important to anticipate and create an action plan for any problems that may arise. This is true whether these problems are caused by internal factors such as managerial changes, increased budget restraints or reduced time frames, or by external factors such as supply chain problems, changes to consumer market conditions or even poor performance of the economy.
The problems that have the potential to impact your project will depend on the nature of the project and business as a whole. When it comes to internal factors, determining potential issues and addressing them proactively will mean that the potential of them happening in the first place can be reduced. With both internal and external factors, a thorough plan will mean that the impact they have on project performance and outcomes can be minimised.
Where Project Managers Fail
Ultimately, project failure will often occur as a result of managers failing to implement key measures before a project commences, as well as whilst a project is ongoing. While a project might appear to be running smoothly, the appearance of unexpected problems can dramatically impact the final outcomes of a project. Furthermore, as managers will often focus on the outcomes that are being achieved on paper, they will often shift their management style to one that is less ‘people focused’, which can have adverse effects on project efficiency and progress without being attributed to formally implemented approaches to operations.
With this being said, successful project management comes down to the development of a thorough plan that considers both the short and long term of a project, as well as the implementation of control and monitoring initiatives that keep project progress on track.