Why project management is important

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My clients often ask me "why is project management important?" because to them, hiring a project manager just seems like an unnecessary expense which they think they can do themselves. It is a valid question, one which I definitely struggled with myself when I was first getting started.


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My clients often ask me "why is project management important?" because to them, hiring a project manager just seems like an unnecessary expense which they think they can do themselves. It is a valid question, one which I definitely struggled with myself when I was first getting started.

However, what they need to realise is that it's much better to put someone in place who can be held accountable, than to try and do everything on your own. Often these people do not have a clear understanding of what project management is and therefore are not looking at the bigger picture.

Today our team attended a truly insightful project management course from Imsimbi Training. Some people do not believe in investing in education but through all my years in business, I have seen that good project managers are made, not born.

Great project management means much more than just keeping projects on schedule, delivered on time, within budget, and scope. It also unites clients and teams, creates a vision for success and gets everyone on the same page so that there are no unnecessary arguments over the way to do things. These points are usually over looked but they are the single defining factor that makes a project manager worth it.

Take a look at Imsimbi’s Facebook page if you want more information on their training courses.

In this article we will discuss the 5 key points that separate good project managers from great ones:

1. Proper time management, planning beforehand and creating a schedule that works for the team

Planning out the entire project before hand is essential because it makes sure that your team has proper expectations about the requirements which must be met as well as how much work it's going to take. It also allows them to visualize the time frame so that they can mentally prepare for the task ahead of them.

Without a skilled project manager it can be common to set over-ambitious deadlines or incorrectly estimate the budget that your team will need, to accomplish the task. This leads to problems later on, when suddenly the due date is approaching and your team is still far from completing their work, or your project has run out of money and now your team doesn't have the resources to continue.

You need someone who can analyse all available resources and set a deadline with realistic expectations, then develop a schedule which gives room to deal with unanticipated problems. Planning also involves establishing achievable milestones that your team can work toward and it allows the client to keep track of progress being made. That's why Imsimbi has one of the best project management courses. It is quite common for some tasks to take longer than initially expected, taking setbacks into account is one of the things that distinguish the inexperienced from the most professional project managers.

2. Strategic structuring of the project

Great project management ensures that the task is delivered on time and done exactly to the clients specifications. It is about delivering real value which will help the client to further his goals. It's important to understand that every client sets strategic goals that they are looking to accomplish with this project, the project manager needs to make sure he understands exactly what the client wants so that there is no unnecessary errors and he can direct the team accordingly.

When you are working with a large team, it's very easy for a project to get misguided, that's why the manager needs to be certain that the goals of the project align with the strategic framework of the business. This is essential because if the project veers of the correct path, or fails to adapt to the needs of the business, it may end up being an expensive and/or unnecessary use of the team’s time and energy.

3. Risk Management in the workplace

A great project manager will always ensure that risks are mitigated against before they end up becoming a big issue. They need to be prepared for anything which might arise and make sure everything stays on course.

Risk management is not only important but also absolutely vital to the success of any project. There is always a temptation to just avoid dealing with them, turning a blind eye, and just hoping for the best. But this will always end badly, you cannot avoid challenges you need to face them head on and get them handled before they get worse. Having a clear process to identify, manage and mitigate all risks is what prevents them from turning into actual problems in the first place.

4. Leadership

This is one of the most important reasons to have a project manager. Getting your team on the same page is essential as there is always bound to be some miscommunication that occurs. A great project manager is going to bring direction and leadership to the projects, make sure that the team is all on the same page and working toward the same final goal.

Without effective project management, a team can be like a ship without a rudder, the boat will be moving but it will not have any direction, control or purpose. True leadership is going to guarantee that your team is putting their best foot forward every single day and only producing the highest quality work that they are capable of. In order to get the project done, your team needs to be clear on the vision. The project manager is going to keep the team motivated, remove roadblocks, as well as coach and inspire them so that they feel excited about accomplishing the goal.

On top of this, hiring a project manager also serves as a clear line of accountability. This means that there will be no confusion regarding who is in charge and in control. A great project manager is going to enforce the correct process and ensure that every team member is pulling their weight because at the end of the day they are the ones who will be held responsible on whether the project was a success or a failure.

5. Quality Control

Last but not least, you need to produce quality results. Literally every other step is irrelevant if the client is not happy with the final product. It is common for team members to be under enormous amounts of pressure in order to get the project finished on time. This can sometimes lead to people producing less than exceptional work, far below what they are capable of. It is the project manager’s responsibility to ensure that his team is not stressed or under pressure from over bearing workloads, but it is a fine line and they need to be doing everything that they are capable of.

Dedicated project management means that not only will the project have sufficient amount of time and resources, but also that all output gets quality tested at every stage of development before moving forward. A great project manager will inspire his team to have pride in their work, they will want to work harder and feel obligated to do their best. This is something Imsimbi does really well in their courses.

Summary

To summarize why project management is important just remember it gets teams and clients calm about the deadline and makes sure that everything is under control. Project managers make sure that all the objectives are clear, that there are sufficient resources to complete the project, they monitor plans, set up processes to deal with risk, create a budget and lead the team to success. They are going to get everyone on the team motivated and keep them in check, they increase the productivity while keeping everyone happy, including the clients.

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